United Moves up the 787-10 Dreamliner Inaugural to… Right Now

Dec 20, 2018

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Update 12/20/18: Business class is now entirely sold out.


United’s been planning a big event for its 787-10 Dreamliner inaugural, flying from Los Angeles (LAX) to Newark (EWR) on Jan. 7. The airline even launched a special MileagePlus Exclusives auction, with bidding ending in the 500,000-mile range. The winners are not going to be happy to read this news…

One of today’s round-trips between LAX and Newark was supposed to be operated by the smaller 787-8 Dreamliner, which for some reason “wasn’t available” — United swapped in the 787-10, instead, marking the first time the extended-length plane is operating a passenger flight.

Passengers will find United's first 787 Polaris cabin. Photo by Zach Honig.
Passengers will find United’s first 787 Polaris cabin. Photo by Zach Honig.

Per United:

“There will be some holiday magic on United flights 25 and 275 between Los Angeles to New York/Newark, which will be operated by our new Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner. The aircraft that was scheduled to operate the flights wasn’t available so we swapped in our new 787-10 to save the day, and get customers on their way. The aircraft is expected to enter regular service beginning on January 7, 2019 between our hubs in Los Angeles and New York/Newark.”

Holiday magic, indeed — at least for those able to travel today. While the LAX flight is just about ready to depart, as of this writing, there are saver award seats in United’s new Polaris business-class cabin on the return flight from Newark, priced at 35,000 miles each way, with seats open in economy for 12,500 miles.

This is also the first Dreamliner to offer United’s new Premium Plus seat — while full premium-economy service isn’t available just yet, passengers booking an Economy Plus seat can choose to sit in the premium economy cabin when traveling on a regular coach ticket.

The -10 is United's first Dreamliner to offer Premium Plus. Photo by Zach Honig.
The -10 is United’s first Dreamliner to offer Premium Plus. Photo by Zach Honig.

If you’re flying from Newark to LAX today, it might be worth taking advantage of United’s same-day change policy to move to the 787-10 — any travelers on a regular (non-Basic Economy) ticket should be able switch to the 787 for $75, while Gold members and above can make the move for free. Otherwise, you’ll most likely need to wait until January 7, 2019, when the -10 begins daily service on this same transcon route.

For more on United’s extended-length Dreamliner, see:

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