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Dreamliner delays: United to refund would-be Boeing 787 flyers

By David Flynn     Filed under: United Airlines, Boeing 787

LATEST | We reckon plenty of travellers are eager to hitch a ride on United's new Boeing 787s, which will take to the skies from November 4.

But hold your horses: the airline is scaling back the rest of its planned domestic 787 schedule due to delays by Boeing in delivering as many as four more Dreamliners to United by year's end.

United has already begun notifying customers who booked to fly on the second 787 service that they'll now be travelling on, well, not a 787.

"We're offering to refund or re-book customers who specifically intended to fly on one of the early Dreamliner flights," said Christen David, director of corporate communications for United Continental..

"We believe this year's subsequent 787 deliveries could be delayed as well, but we are hopeful that we will still receive four more 787s this year."

PREVIOUS | United Airlines' Boeing 787 Dreamliner is set make its debut on November 4 with domestic US flights fanning out from Houston to New York (Newark), Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Denver.

Four weeks later, on December 4, will see the start of international 787 flights to Europe and Asia – although at this stage Sydney and Melbourne will have to make do with United's aging Boeing 747s.

United's first international Dreamliner service will run daily from Houston to Amsterdam from December 4, with a daily Los Angeles-Tokyo service following from January 3, 2013.

A weekday Houston-Lagos flight begins January 7, while Houston-London runs daily from February 4 and Los Angeles-Shanghai from March 30. The already-announced daily service between Denver and Tokyo starts on March 31.

The first of United's massive order of 50 Boeing 787-8s is slated for delivery by the end of September, with five to follow before year's end.

The 787s will be built to a three-class layout for Business First, Economy Plus and Economy.

United's international business class – which is tagged Business First, in a confusing attempt to differentiate it from 'Global First'  international first class and US domestic 'United First' – numbers 36 seats, occupying the first six rows in a 2-2-2 configuration.

That's followed by a surprisingly large Economy Plus cabin from rows 16-22, some seats in row 23 plus all of row 27 (the exit row at the front of the main economy cabin).

Economy Plus isn't your conventional Premium Economy class - it's the same seat, 3-3-3 layout and in-flight menu as economy, but with extra legroom.

The rest of the plane, from rows 28 to 38, is given over to standard close-quarter economy seats – delivering a total seat count of 219 from tip to tail.

Also in AusBT's extensive coverage of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner...

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About David Flynn

David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

 

Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 31/8/12 by jordanmyer-smith

It still gets me that UA still went with the awful blue color scheme especially in economy. The Ethipoian 788 looked better!

2 on 1/11/12 by cbourl

I was booked and upgraded on a  Dreamliner flight on 17 Nov from ewr-iah  Now downgraded to an old 767-400ER with no lie flats and no contact from United Ill call them tonight and hopefully be rebooked with my upgrade on a CO 757-200 with flatbeds later in the day

3 on 1/11/12 by cbourl

All rebooked on a 757200 ex-CO Flatbed in BF - my upgrade on the 787 in F which changed to a 767400ER recliner  was transferred over to 757200 BF and no change fee - Go Uniuted! Disappointed about the Dreamliner but there will be other opportunities!

 

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