For United, its Boeing Dreamliner family is complete. United took delivery of its first 787-10, the largest aircraft in the Dreamliner series. United will now become the first airline in the world to operate the entire Dreamliner range—the 787-8, 787-9, and now 787-10.
Come January, it will also be the first North American airline to fly the 787-10, when it criss-crosses the U.S. between its hubs on the east and west coasts.
What Makes United’s 787-10 Unique?
United plans to take delivery of 14 of the -10, complementing its existing 25 787-9 and 12 787-8 already in service.
The 787-10 is a full 18 feet longer than the 787-9, with total capacity of 318 passengers compared to the -9’s 252. Those 318 seats are divided into four cabins—44 Polaris seats (business class) in a unique all-aisle configuration, 21 Premium Plus seats (premium economy) in a 2-3-2 arrangement, 54 Economy Plus seats (extra-legroom economy) in 3-3-3, and 199 Economy seats also in 3-3-3.
United’s 787-10 will be the first aircraft to be delivered with its new Premium Plus cabin, which will initially be sold as Economy Plus. This is a temporary win for elite customers who will get to select these seats at no charge—until United has enough planes with a premium economy cabin to begin selling it.
Economy Plus is a typical extra-legroom economy seat, but with the added benefit on transcontinental routes of a complimentary “coastal-city-inspired menu” with hot meal, pre-arrival snack, and alcoholic beverages. Speaking of routes…
What Routes Will United’s 787-10 Operate?
As announced last month, United will begin operating the 787-10 on its transcontinental routes between Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York/Newark. Even United mentioned how unusual it is for a new widebody to have regularly scheduled domestic service.
While United typically operates its widebody aircraft for international routes, it will operate its first -10 aircraft between New York/Newark and Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Sure enough, the 787-10—coded as “781”—is scheduled through the end of schedule between its EWR, SFO, and LAX hubs. The 787-10 will debut on the New York/Newark and Los Angeles route on January 9th, with one flight in each direction. Then, on February 14th, the aircraft will also make its way onto the New York/Newark and San Francisco route with two scheduled services each way.
What About 787-10 Passenger Comfort?
United is touting its passenger comfort onboard the latest Dreamliner including “updated lighting colors that mimic sunrise and sunset.” It will also debut a new seatback entertainment system that has more customizable movie playlists, accessibility features, and most notably for AvGeeks, split screen capabilities that allow for watching a movie and viewing the flight map simultaneously. Nice.
While Polaris is a solid international business class hard product, it’s actually top-notch for a transcontinental service.
However, for those in economy, the Boeing 787 is just not a comfortable plane—plain and simple. With its narrow fuselage, the 3-3-3 configuration makes seat width extremely tight, although its not any worse than a 777 in a 3-4-3 arrangement. The seat width difference is noticeable in economy when compared to a more spacious aircraft like the Airbus A350, which Delta operates.
How To Book 787-10 Using Miles & Award Availability
As a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards, it’s easy to move points to United’s MileagePlus program. The Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card is part of Ultimate Rewards and is a fantastic mid-tier travel card. By getting approved and spending $4,000 within the first three months of account opening, you could earn enough points to fly in Polaris business one-way on United’s new 787-10 premium transcon.
United is all-Boeing for its widebodies for now. This 787-10 is a complementary addition to its Dreamliner lineup and will provide extra capacity on popular routes. For transcon customers, it will be a nice upgrade in Polaris business compared to United’s 757 or 777 aircraft. Economy is a wash but the addition of Premium Plus sold as extra-legroom economy is a solid, albeit temporary perk.
I’m curious to see how long the 787-10’s domestic run will last and where else we’ll see this new bird fly.
The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.