United Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner Inaugural: UA Flight 1510 ORD to IAH

When I returned to gate C20 after a brief visit to the United Club, the gate room was as packed for the departure as it was for the arrival. A line of 25 to 35 people had already jammed the boarding lanes and after a brief delay, boarding began for flight 1510 bound for Houston.

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United Dreamliner Inaugural: UA Flight 1510 ORD to IAH

United Dreamliner Inaugural: UA Flight 1209 IAH to LAX

a group of people in a roomThere were several of us taking the return flight back to Houston after having just arrived on the inaugural. And there were a few very enthusiastic first-time riders, as well, most of whom were sitting in BusinessFirst. I purposely decided to fly coach on this flight to see how the ride was in back and selected 16A, the bulkhead window seat.

a seat in an airplanea person's legs and a pair of magazines in a pocketa man sitting in an airplaneBesides row 7 on United’s Airbus(es), this was the most spacious bulkhead seat I’ve experienced (exit rows excluded). I had a fantastic seatmate in 16B, Chris Sloan of Airchive.com, and a United employee sat in 16C.

We pushed back nearly on-time with minimal fanfare, though a few people watched us taxi away. I heard a couple of claps upon liftoff, but nothing like the inaugural round of applause.

an airplane parked at an airporta group of people standing near a building Once airborne, Captain Starling came on the PA welcoming us on the 787 and gave a brief review of our flight path. As I usually do, I pulled up the IFE screen from the armrest to activate the map.

a screen with text on ita map on a screenI was impressed with the size of the screen and absolutely love how new and undamaged it was. Those poor things get banged around so much that I’m certain by now they’ve seen some abuse. The control unit is located in the hard-walled seat divider (no movable armrests in the bulkhead).

a close up of a control panel I took a quick trip to the lav before beverage service started and noticed the unique ashtray next to the door.

a door with a sign and handlea white object on the wallOnce we hit cruising altitude, the crew began their service. Chris and I began a friendly and informative chat with the United employee in 16C and Jack Harty of Airways Magazine joined us in the bulkhead. What was unusual is it seemed that we were the only four really enjoying the ride and having a mini party while the rest of the cabin remained silent. Perhaps more was going on ahead of the curtain.

an airplane wing with clouds in the backgroundA little piece of Continental Airlines made its way onto this flight in the galley.

a close up of a metal boxThe flight sailed by as Chris, Jack, the United employee, myself and another enthusiastic rider who sat further back in the cabin were deep in conversation on all things United and aviation.

Houston weather was pleasant when we landed and pulled into gate. There were some new riders waiting for the next flight to LAX and many of us who disembarked headed over to the windows to capture a few photos of this beautiful aircraft.

a plane at an airporta close-up of a plane I had nearly two hours before my final flight of the day back to LAX, so I said goodbye to Chris and Jack and headed to the United Club to upload my pictures and video on my laptop.

Up next: UA Flight 1209 IAH to LAX and my overall impressions of United’s 787

Related posts:

United 787 Inaugural: Takeoff Video

United 787 Inaugural: Chicago Arrival Celebration

United 787 Inaugural: Flight 1116 IAH to ORD


  1. Nice article on the 787 flight. The “ashtray” you mentioned is not exactly an ashtray, but you are on the right track. It is a snuffer to put out cigarettes. Although US carriers ban smoking, the 787 will fly for countries where smoking is still allowed and Boeing includes the snuffer on all 787 deliveries.
    I have about 50 hours flying the 787, primarily training the new Captains and First Officers for our long haul flying starting in January.
    Hope to see you on one of my flight.
    John Stegemoller
    Captain – Check Airman
    IAH B-787

    • @Captain John: Thanks for stopping by and leaving the snuffer detail! I certainly hope you’ll be piloting my next ride on a United 787 so I can thank you in person. She’s a beautiful aircraft!

  2. My wife and I flew the IAH to LAX flight in seats 1A and 1B. What a nice ride.
    We are now in China doing the PVG to IAH route. We will be sitting in 16A and 16B on one of our flights later this year, so how do you think those seats will do for a 13 hour flight from LAX to PVG?
    Thanks for the article
    David Cupples

    • @David: Personally, I think 16ABC and 16JKL are the best coach seats on the 787. Oodles of forward room, plenty of overhead bin space, no one reclining into you, and even the window seat can easily access the aisle without the middle/aisle seat passengers getting up. Plus, it’s a very quiet part of the cabin – no lavs or galleys to bother you. The only downside is peering into BusinessFirst and being a bit jealous of what you see. 😉

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