What You Need To Know About United Airlines’ New 787-10 Dreamliner

a large white airplane on a runway

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United Airlines took delivery of its first 787-10 Boeing Dreamliner on Monday and in one fell swoop became the first US airline to take delivery of this Dreamliner variant and the first airline in the world to operate all three Dreamliner variants (787-8, 787-9 & 787-10).

The Dreamliners get bigger as you progress through the list and the 787-10 is 18 feet longer than the previous longest Dreamliner United Airlines operated. This has allowed United the freedom to incorporate 4 different seat classes into its aircraft.

Here’s what you can expect onboard:

  • 44 United Polaris Business Class seats
  • 21 United Premium Plus seats (Premium Economy)
  • 54 Economy Plus seats
  • 199 standard Economy Class seats

This configuration makes the 787-10 the first United aircraft to offer both the airline’s new Premium Economy cabin and a true Polaris Business Class cabin (watch out for “fake” Polaris Business Class cabins).

That makes the 787-10 worth a closer look.

The Polaris Business Class cabin on the new Dreamliner is actually 4 seats smaller than the Business Class cabin on the shorter 787-9 but that’s because the newer aircraft also offers Premium Economy.

a plane with seats and windows
Polaris Business Class – Image United

This is United’s best cabin by quite a distance (the other Business Class cabins are incredibly out of date) and means that the 787-10 Dreamliner will be an aircraft to look out for when booking Business Class fares and awards.

The United Premium Plus cabin is United’s new Premium Economy product. This can easily be confused with United’s Economy Plus (extra leg-room product) but it’s actually a completely different offering.

The Premium Plus cabin on the 787-10 Dreamliner will offer 54 seats and that, I believe, makes it the largest Premium Economy cabin currently offered on a Dreamliner.

a woman holding a glass of wine while sitting in an airplane
United Premium Plus – Image United

Don’t expect anything too amazing from the seats – they’re very similar to those offered by American Airlines and Delta – but they are a significant step up from the abomination you’ll find in regular Economy Class.

The seat width will be around 19 inches (2 inches more than most Economy Class seats) and the seats should offer 38″ of leg-room (7″ more than regular Economy and 4″ more than most Economy Plus seats).

The Economy Plus and regular Economy Class seats will all continue to offer just 17″ of seat width (time for a lot of us to go on a diet!) and 31″ or 34″ of leg-room.

As well as having the latest cabins onboard United says that the 787-10 comes with “updated lighting patterns that mimic sunrise and sunset colors will help customers in each cabin fall asleep and wake up more adjusted to new time zones” as well as a new in-flight entertainment system.

The new IFE features include the following:

  • Split-screen capabilities that allow customers to watch a movie and view the flight map simultaneously.
  • A relax mode that lets customers customize a selection of soothing videos and relaxing audio playlists.
  • The world’s most extensive suite of accessibility features on a seatback entertainment system, which accommodates any level of vision, as well as provides support for customers with hearing and mobility issues.
  • Movie and television recommendations based on remaining flight time, previously watched content and movies and shows that have been added to a customer’s favorites list.

All seats feature universal power outlets and USB ports so charging laptops and handheld devices should be easy (assuming the outlets work!). Passengers will also find that the aircraft is fitted with WiFi but, considering some of the reports I’ve read, I wouldn’t expect speeds to be anything to write home about.

The first flight the new United Airlines 787-10 will operate will be on 7 January 2019 between Los Angeles and, as further aircraft are delivered, the San Francisco – Newark route will also get 787-10 service (from 14 February 2019).

The domestic routes are only for the purposes of familiarizing United’s crews with the new aircraft so, eventually, the new Dreamliner will be let loose on long-haul international routes…but United hasn’t yet indicated which routes these will be.

Featured image courtesy of United


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