Trip Report: United Airlines inaugural 777 flight DEN-ORD June 7, 1995

I was going through my photos yesterday and came across the batch of pictures I took when I flew on the inaugural United Airlines Boeing 777 flight from Denver to Chicago on June 7, 1995. Knowing there are a ton of aviation geeks out there like me, I figured it would be worth it to post a vintage trip report of my experience and share the pictures below.

I was employed by United at the time, took a vacation day that Wednesday and purchased a revenue ticket to ensure I’d have a seat on the historic flight. As I recall, the ticket was about $240 for the same day ORD-DEN-ORD trip, and luckily I still had elite status with United so I was able to upgrade into Connoisseur Class on the all-important 777 segment.

I was “Premier Emeritus,” the soft landing United used to bestow on elites in the year following not having requalified for any status. This was in the day of paper 500-milers and I do remember I had only two left, so my flight to Denver that morning on a 757 was in economy. I broke the rules and booked my own reservation (a no-no for employees to book their own revenue tickets at that time) and I also self-upgraded the DEN-ORD segment, but did that within my 24-hour window per the rules. Sorry United!

It was a beautiful day to fly and I arrived in Denver early leaving about an hour and a half to savor the departure gate festivities at B36 for United flight 910.

a plane parked at an airport

a large white banner with a logo on itan ice sculpture in front of an airplane

The gate area was decked out with balloons, beverages, food and cake, and several members of the media were present along with United executives.

people in an airport waiting areaa group of people standing around a balloon archa cake with a logo on it

After a ribbon-cutting ceremony it was time to board, and my heart was racing in excited anticipation of the historic flight. The business class cabin on the initial configuration seated 49 passengers and was divided into a three row cabin forward of door two, and a four row cabin aft.

a group of people standing in front of a buildinga plane parked at an airport

a man in a blue shirt working on a planea diagram of a tall buildingOnboard, champagne was served and each passenger (at least in Connoisseur Class) was provided with commemorative baseball caps and inaugural flight certificates.

a man sitting in an airplane

I had hair (and acne)!

a certificate of flight with a passport and a stamp

Although I was disappointed in not having scored a window seat, I was still able to witness many of United’s employees and airport workers watching us taxi out to the runway. The flight was fantastic and I noticed Lester Holt, a CBS news anchor in Chicago at that time (now on NBC’s Today Show), was seated in the rear Connoisseur cabin. The flight flew by and we were far too quickly arriving at our gate in Chicago.

a banner with blue and white balloons

It remains to this day one of my all time favorite experiences flying United and I hope you enjoyed the flash back photo tour.

Related posts:

United Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner Inaugural – Houston to Denver


  1. […] Author’s Note: This story is dedicated to Darren Booth and his family. Mr. Booth was a Boarding Area blogger, and back when he worked for United, he had the opportunity to fly on the world’s first 777 passenger flight, and if you have just a few minutes, I highly recommend you check out his first hand account here.  […]


  1. Amazing trip report!

    I really enjoyed this, Darren. Thanks for sharing.

    I chuckled that Newark was in the ORD banner above. Quite prophetic!

  2. I can’t believe it’s been that long ago that the 777 was new and the Denver had just opened, nice report!

  3. I was on the flight and this is the only photographic record I have. My camera had jammed on loading and I HAD nil pics of this historic flight. Much ado was made of the LHR flight which left 1st (video available via
    GoogleSearch) but this above flight was the first to takeoff and land. It isn’t every day you get to part of aviation history!

    ps. the launch customer for the 767 in 1978 or so was UNITED too.

  4. thanks for sharing, We watched a 5 part PBS series on building the 777 and remember when it went into service. Lovely plane

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