I was planning on writing up a single post covering the United Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner inaugural on November 4, 2012. But with the volume of pics and video I’d like to share, I’ve decided to use a more traditional trip report method by breaking the posts up.
I booked my reservations on August 31, the day before Dreamliner availability went live (see this post for my reasoning). My first LAX-IAH-LAX ticket was paid with cash and I upgraded the IAH-LAX portion immediately with a Regional Premier Upgrade. I booked the IAH-ORD-IAH ticket as an award as the same-day roundtrip fare was in excess of $1,000, a bit more than I was willing to spend. While BusinessFirst was available in both directions, I opted to fly coach on the ORD-IAH segment for the sake of experiencing both cabins.
I flew into Houston on Saturday morning November 3rd to buffer in enough time in case of delays or cancellations (eh hem… Bruce aka @NonRevAdventure). There was no way I was going to miss the inaugural. Oh, and Bruce did make it down from Chicago in time, happily, but a tweet from him mid-Saturday afternoon noted his original flight canceled. And as a non-revver, that could’ve spelled a load of trouble for him getting to Houston.
On Saturday morning at LAX, I signed the FlyerTalk board (using my handle “UNITED863”) in the United Club noting my itinerary before heading off to the gate for my 737-800 flight to Houston.
It was a fairly uneventful flight, though the video safety demonstration wasn’t playing properly. The flight attendants kept trying to restart it as we taxied to the runway to no avail. As such, the pilots had to pull onto a parallel taxiway and pause until the flight attendants were able to complete the now-necessary live safety demo. Afterwards, we were airborne quickly.
Breakfast in first class consisted of a cheese omelet with sausage and a spinach-filled quiche type thing, along with fruit, yogurt and a croissant or cinnamon roll.
As the safety video had its issues, the in-flight entertainment system was also non-operational the whole flight. No live TV for me this time. Cloud buildup was dense as we approached Houston and I do quite love the view it provides.
After landing and arriving on-time at the gate, I waited more than an hour for the courtesy shuttle to my hotel. While waiting, the clouds darkened and once I got to the hotel, thunderstorms blew through for the next hour or so. Afterwards, it was a cool and partly cloudy evening, so weather looked like it wouldn’t be a factor for the 7:20 a.m. departure on Sunday.
Up next: The Pre-Departure Festivities