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Old 11-05-2012, 07:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default PHOTOS: United's Inaugural Dreamliner Flight: UA#1116 (IAH-ORD)

Yesterday was a ‘Dream’ come true. I booked my seat on United’s inaugural 787 flight when the IAH-ORD route was announced in September. I flew down to IAH on Saturday afternoon flew back with an amazing crew and group of people. Media, Aviation enthusiasts, United employees and a few passengers who had no idea what they were about to experience.

There was a ribbon cutting ceremony at gate E5 with breakfast and media coverage. United President and CEO Jeffery A. Smisek was there to speak and cut the ribbon and joined us on the flight to Chicago. He sat in 16F, just across the Economy Plus aisle from me in 16L.

The GenX engines provided instant power as we left IAH and rotated around 140kts. As we climbed to 41,000 feet. Jeff Smisek led us in a champagne toast where he thanked everyone aboard the inaugural flight along with United employees and those at Boeing and GE who helped make the Dreamliner possible.

I can’t believe how quiet the cabin was and with an 8,000 mile range, if you’re going to be somewhere for a while, the Dreamliner is the aircraft I want to fly. Business First is 2-2-2 with 18 seats forward of L3 and 18 more to the right. Economy Plus is 3-3-3 with 72 seats and Economy is 3-3-3 with 111. Economy is a bit tight, but every row is staggered which makes life easier when stepping into the aisle...especially on arrival.

The bins are HUGE! If you’re the kind of passenger that worrys about not having any bin space by the time your boarding group is called, you can rest easy. The interactive windows were fantastic. It takes a moment to let the light in or dim the shade but it’s a cool feature. The windows in your row are linked so they stay consistent to your seat. The only complaint I have is the glare you get on the top of the window. I didn’t mind it until I started taking photos.

The inaugural flight was a free for all. Everybody was up, crossing into cabins front and back with cameras, iPhones, recorders and TV cameras. Interviews everywhere you turned and Mr. Smirk took time to talk and take photos with every passenger.

We landed on runway 10 in Chicago and as we taxied to gate C20 airport employees and pilots of every aircraft seemed to watch as aviation history passed in front of them. We arrived at the gate with a water cannon salute and Chicago news media.

While the Dreamliner prepared for it’s turn back to IAH, there were never less than 25 ramp crew around the 787 at all times. Working, watching or training. It was an unbelievable sight. In the food court next to C20, everyone from kids to pilots were pressed against the window to take photos or just watch. I haven’t seen plane watching like that since St. Maarten.

This is a special aircraft. See it while you can and (if you can) fly it in the US before it goes international after the first of the year. You will not be disappointed.

Early Morning in Houston at Gate E5
United Airlines 'Dreamliner' Boeing 787-822 (N20904)
The Crew: Captain Jim Starley and Captain Cliff Pittman.
787_Crew1
Inaugural United 787 Dreamliner flight: UA#1116 (IAH-ORD)
The Fourth First.
Thomas Lee (and his wife) from Orange County, CA. Tom was a passenger on the first 747 flight as well as the first A380 and 787 flights. He and his wife now add the first North American Dreamliner flight to this list.
United Airlines 'Dreamliner' Boeing 787-822 (N20904)
Ribbon Cutting
United President and CEO Jeffery A. Smisek and crew in Houston prior to departing for Chicago.
United Airlines 'Dreamliner' Boeing 787-822 (N20904)
Living the 'Dream'
United Airlines 'Dreamliner' Boeing 787-822 (N20904)
Business First
United Airlines 'Dreamliner' Boeing 787-822 (N20904)
United Airlines 'Dreamliner' Boeing 787-822 (N20904)
United Airlines 'Dreamliner' Boeing 787-822 (N20904)
United Airlines 'Dreamliner' Boeing 787-822 (N20904)
My view from 16L: First row of E+
United Airlines 'Dreamliner' Boeing 787-822 (N20904)
787_16L2
United Airlines 'Dreamliner' Boeing 787-822 (N20904)
United Airlines 'Dreamliner' Boeing 787-822 (N20904)
United Airlines 'Dreamliner' Boeing 787-822 (N20904)
Taxi to the gate
United Airlines 'Dreamliner' Boeing 787-822 (N20904)
Water Cannon at C20
United Airlines 'Dreamliner' Boeing 787-822 (N20904)
Envious Pilot
United Airlines 'Dreamliner' Boeing 787-822 (N20904)
Ramping up
United Airlines 'Dreamliner' Boeing 787-822 (N20904)
Heading back to Houston
United Airlines 'Dreamliner' Boeing 787-822 (N20904)
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Last edited by Kozmania; 11-06-2012 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: PHOTOS: United's Inaugural Dreamliner Flight: UA#1116 (IAH-ORD)

United Airlines 'Dreamliner' Boeing 787-822 (N20904)
United Airlines 'Dreamliner' Boeing 787-822 (N20904)
United Airlines 'Dreamliner' Boeing 787-822 (N20904)

... More to come!
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: PHOTOS: United's Inaugural Dreamliner Flight: UA#1116 (IAH-ORD)

Congrats on the flight!! Great Koz photos as usual.

Toronto gets it's first scheduled 787 flight this Saturday in Ethiopian colours!!



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Old 11-05-2012, 09:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: PHOTOS: United's Inaugural Dreamliner Flight: UA#1116 (IAH-ORD)

great write up and pics of this inaugural [email protected]:200 freak do you know what time ethiopian will arrive at yyz?
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: PHOTOS: United's Inaugural Dreamliner Flight: UA#1116 (IAH-ORD)

Yeah, I'm planning to go catch the Ethiopian 787. Nice pics, you're lucky to fly on that 787!
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: PHOTOS: United's Inaugural Dreamliner Flight: UA#1116 (IAH-ORD)

Quote:
Originally Posted by beltloader View Post
great write up and pics of this inaugural [email protected]:200 freak do you know what time ethiopian will arrive at yyz?
Hey Beltloader,

ET 502 Arrival 0810
ET 503 Departure 1100

Hope to catch it departing.

Koz, sorry for the hijack....but it is related yet to another 787 Inaugural!!



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Old 11-05-2012, 10:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: PHOTOS: United's Inaugural Dreamliner Flight: UA#1116 (IAH-ORD)

love how the wing flexes from inside the cabin view..
thumbs up..
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: PHOTOS: United's Inaugural Dreamliner Flight: UA#1116 (IAH-ORD)

Great story and photos. It truly is a beautiful airplane.
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:18 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: PHOTOS: United's Inaugural Dreamliner Flight: UA#1116 (IAH-ORD)

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1:200Freak View Post
Congrats on the flight!! Great Koz photos as usual.

Toronto gets it's first scheduled 787 flight this Saturday in Ethiopian colours!!
Thanks, Freak!

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam340 View Post
Yeah, I'm planning to go catch the Ethiopian 787. Nice pics, you're lucky to fly on that 787!
Thank you, Adam!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1:200Freak View Post
Hey Beltloader,

ET 502 Arrival 0810
ET 503 Departure 1100

Hope to catch it departing.

Koz, sorry for the hijack....but it is related yet to another 787 Inaugural!!
! No worries!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hilman View Post
love how the wing flexes from inside the cabin view..
thumbs up..
Thanks, Hilman! The wing was ridiculous!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitty Hawk 1903 View Post
Great story and photos. It truly is a beautiful airplane.
Thanks! It really was a fantastic ride!
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:38 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: PHOTOS: United's Inaugural Dreamliner Flight: UA#1116 (IAH-ORD)

Congratulations Koz! Great pictures and narrative.
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:59 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: PHOTOS: United's Inaugural Dreamliner Flight: UA#1116 (IAH-ORD)

Great pics and congrats to you on taking this historic flight!
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:22 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: PHOTOS: United's Inaugural Dreamliner Flight: UA#1116 (IAH-ORD)

Thank you, Oldschool!

Here's a few more...

Inaugural Backdrop at the gate in Houston
Proud to fly 787
FL410 from 16J
United Airlines 'Dreamliner' Boeing 787-822 (N20904)
C20 in Chicago
United Airlines 'Dreamliner' Boeing 787-822 (N20904)
United Airlines 'Dreamliner' Boeing 787-822 (N20904)
United Airlines 'Dreamliner' Boeing 787-822 (N20904)
United Airlines 'Dreamliner' Boeing 787-822 (N20904)
United Airlines 'Dreamliner' Boeing 787-822 (N20904)
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:39 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: PHOTOS: United's Inaugural Dreamliner Flight: UA#1116 (IAH-ORD)

My favourite shot is the 'Envious pilot' shot haha! Great set of photos and great story!
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:18 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: PHOTOS: United's Inaugural Dreamliner Flight: UA#1116 (IAH-ORD)

NICE!!! VERY NICE!!! THANK YOU!!! Did they give you any inaugural souvenirs?
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Old 11-06-2012, 04:49 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: PHOTOS: United's Inaugural Dreamliner Flight: UA#1116 (IAH-ORD)

Great photos and write up, Koz.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kozmania View Post
We landed on runway 10 in Chicago...
I went to ORD to catch the landing that morning. Almost didn't catch it. I went to the USG parking lot because planes were landing on runways 28 and 27. There was a pretty big crowd there.

About twenty minutes to the arrival, we found out that they were going to switch to runways 10 and 9. Everybody jumped into their cars and drove quickly to other side of the airport.
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:33 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: PHOTOS: United's Inaugural Dreamliner Flight: UA#1116 (IAH-ORD)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SgtMoody View Post
My favourite shot is the 'Envious pilot' shot haha! Great set of photos and great story!
Thanks! It was something else to see pilots watch the plane at the gate. It was like all of us were kids on Christmas morning!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffinMass View Post
NICE!!! VERY NICE!!! THANK YOU!!! Did they give you any inaugural souvenirs?
We all had 787 placards waiting for us onboard. Jeff Smisek had signed our first flight certificates and was signing everything for everybody. I'll post a photo tonight of what they gave us. I also grabbed a few emergency cards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by greyst#41 View Post
Great photos and write up, Koz.


I went to ORD to catch the landing that morning. Almost didn't catch it. I went to the USG parking lot because planes were landing on runways 28 and 27. There was a pretty big crowd there.

About twenty minutes to the arrival, we found out that they were going to switch to runways 10 and 9. Everybody jumped into their cars and drove quickly to other side of the airport.
Thanks! I heard about the mad dash to get over to Beeline from USG! That must have been a scene! I was on the right side about 8 windows back or door R2. I saw a few spotters on the south side of Jet-X as we came down Beeline. I have video of that I need to post.
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:59 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: PHOTOS: United's Inaugural Dreamliner Flight: UA#1116 (IAH-ORD)

Great photos Koz. The 787 is a deceptively large aircraft. It's tough to scale this new proportion when comparing it between a 76 and 77.
The biz seats look quite small for a big ticket cabin.
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:44 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: PHOTOS: United's Inaugural Dreamliner Flight: UA#1116 (IAH-ORD)

Thank you for sharing your experience with us! The 787 looks like an amazing plane, but I am also disappointed with the interior UA has installed on such a game-changer of an aircraft. It's not because I'm an AA employee, but even DL's reconfigured old int'l 763s have more state-of-the-art seats in both cabins.

I just trained on our new 77W last month in DFW, and the interior of the plane is going to be beautiful, with a whole new color scheme in all cabins, ambient lighting (there's even a setting for the lighting called Cocktail Party, we're wondering what that one will look like!), refreshed and more advanced suites for First Class, an all-new Business Class and a stand-up bar.

Over on airliners.net, they say that people don't care about the seats and interior so much as the fact they're on a 787. But I'm not so sure, being a flight attendant, I've found that seat comfort and privacy are important to the premium customer who is paying thousands of dollars to fly long-haul international. After all, if it was just the aircraft type that mattered, DL wouldn't be making any money with their old 763s, and they earned over $1 billion in the last quarter alone.

I think UA would have been wise to introduce a whole new cabin and new seating, because they're just going to have to reconfigure and modernize at a later time, and most likely sooner rather than later.
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:06 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: PHOTOS: United's Inaugural Dreamliner Flight: UA#1116 (IAH-ORD)

Thanks again for the comments, everybody!

Here's some video I put together from the flight. Hope you enjoy it as well!

United Airlines Inaugural 787 Dreamliner flight: IAH-ORD 11/4/12 (N20904) - YouTube
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:00 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: PHOTOS: United's Inaugural Dreamliner Flight: UA#1116 (IAH-ORD)

Oh...almost forgot to ask. What is the seat row sequence (odd or even numbered seat rows) so when booking an economy seat you get a window lined up with the seat instead of the pillar against your shoulder?
Thanks and Congrats once more on a once in a lifetime experience.
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