Monday, September 24, 2012

Dream the impossible Dream.

It's finally coming. United has taken delivery of it's first Boeing 787 "Dreamliner" and will be deploying it to Houston soon...

United's Dreamliner due in Houston Later this Week. Kiah Collier,

United Airlines announced Monday it took delivery of its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner over the weekend.
The long-awaited aircraft will fly from Boeing Field in Seattle to Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport sometime later this week, the Chicago-based carrier said.
The inaugural commercial flight, from Houston to Chicago, is scheduled to depart at 7:25 a.m. on Nov. 4.

This is great news for IAH, and Houston.  Coming as it does after a run of bad United news the Chron.commenters are really letting it fly.

Some examples:

1:30 PM on September 24, 2012
Wow. What has Nigeria got that other countries do not have?

Oil, for one.  Chevron oil operations more specifically.  A direct flight to Lagos on the Dreamliner would probably be a big deal to the many oil & oilfield services companies in Houston doing business there.

2:05 PM on September 24, 2012

Wait a few months ago United was saying if SW got approval for int'l flights out of Hobby that they were going to be laying people off and cutting the number of flights out of Bush airport. Now they are bringing their premier aircraft to Houston?

Actually, they did cut some routes and lay-off people.  As a matter of fact, they cut the IAH-AUK direct flight that was scheduled to be Dreamliner metal.  What they never did say was that they were pulling out of the IAH altogether.  Many of us (who paid attention to the whole mess) were hoping that IAH having the 787 training center and base of operations wasn't going to change.  This move appears that it will not.  This then, is a good thing.

At least no one suggested that United should go out of business.  That's been a recurring comment by many.

Another commenter complained that didn't offer fare information, a curious complaint since that wasn't the point of the article. However, a quick search shows that, for travel leaving 11/04/2012 and returning to Houston 11/07/2012, the price for an economy seat on the Dreamliner is around $619/person.  About double that of a regular flight for Chicago during the same time.  Such is the price for riding on a plane's inaugural flight.

Under the "for what it's worth" category, looking at the available seating the plan appears to be working.  The inaugural flight is already around 3/4 of the way sold out, with all first and business class seats (and most of economy plus) sold. (or given to company personnel etc.)

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