United's Flying a 787-9 Dreamliner Between Newark and LAX
Update: United has revised its Dreamliner schedule, and will now be flying the 787 between Newark and Los Angeles only from June 9 through July 10, 2016. A 777-200 will operate the flight beginning July 11.
American and Delta have both been known to operate internationally configured aircraft on regularly scheduled domestic flights, but United might take the cake for greatest variety in the shortest amount of time. So far this year, the airline has been flying both a 747 and an international 777 on daily domestic routes, with the 747 flying between Chicago and San Francisco and the 777 traveling between Newark and Los Angeles.
Now, UA is planning to have another long-haul plane operating p.s. flights — a 787-9, the airline's extended-length Dreamliner that's normally assigned to flights to Australia and a few other routes, including the new nonstop from SFO to Singapore set to launch in June. With the addition of a 787 to United's p.s. route to LA, you won't need to fly halfway around the world to experience the carrier's latest Dreamliner. It'll fly Thursday-Tuesday every week through August 1 (though it could always be extended at that point).
787-9 service begins on June 9, with the first flight departing Newark at 9:00am and arriving at LAX at 11:34am. The same plane will turn around and head back to Newark at 1:10pm, arriving back in the NYC area at 9:19pm. As you can see above, there are seats available on the first flight, with economy priced at $210 and BusinessFirst at $1,018 for the one-way trip. If you're booking business, however, you'll save quite a bit by purchasing a round-trip, with return fares available for just $1,197.
There are also some flights with award and upgrade availability — currently, you'll find the most award seats on flights departing on Saturdays. Saver awards will run you 12,500 miles in economy or 25,000 miles each way in business. Additionally, given that there are some dates with economy seats for $359 round-trip, United elites looking to travel in business class on the cheap may prefer to book coach and apply Regional Premier Upgrade certificates, which will clear into BusinessFirst, just as on any other p.s. flight (based on availability).
United's 787-9 has a total of 48 BusinessFirst seats spread between two cabins, with seats arranged in a 2-2-2 configuration. United's Dreamliners have the same lie-flat seats that are installed in all former-Continental aircraft, including some 777-200s and 767-300s, and all international 757s and 767-400ERs. The "ex-Continental" seat is a huge step up from what you'll find on some United planes, such as the 747-400 and select 777-200s and 767-300s.
Economy is also decently comfortable, but note the standard 3-3-3 Dreamliner configuration, which, with a 17.3-inch width, may feel quite a bit tighter than most of the airline's 777s, which also have economy seats arranged as 3-3-3 but with an 18.3-inch width, due to the wider cabin. United will soon be installing narrower seats on some of its 777s, however.
Will you be flying United's Dreamliner between Newark and LAX?