I have not been paid by any entity in any way (financially, benefits) to write the following post. This is from a trip that occurred in April 2019. Any airline, lounge, and/or loyalty program policies may have changed since then.
Airline: United Airlines
Flight: UA 2361
Aircraft: Boeing 787-10
Route: Los Angeles (LAX) – Houston (IAH)
New plane, who dis?
As I sit here and watch the San Antonio Spurs lose Game 7 against the Denver Nuggets, I thought back to happier times to avoid the depression of a fan watching their team fall apart in a series they should’ve won. A time when I was flying United’s newest long-haul jetliner: the B787-10.
Not only was I flying the newest jet, but I was (surprisingly) upgraded thanks to my Premier 1K status on this hub-to-hub route from Los Angeles to Houston. This was the first segment of the day’s travels as I headed home to Brownsville in the Rio Grande Valley.
Before I stepped on the plane though, I headed to the Los Angeles United Club, getting breakfast and some views of the ramp in, which you can read about in my upcoming United Club LAX review!
Walking over to the gate, I realized that if I would’ve gotten to the airport earlier, I would’ve had a chance of getting to the Star Alliance lounge at the Tom Bradley International Terminal. Although I was flying United domestically, I am still a Star Alliance Gold member, meaning that I would have access to the lounge! It’s quite a walk from United’s Terminal 7, but definitely an improvement in food offerings.
Getting to the gate, I got in line for Zone 1 when I remembered that United had recently changed their boarding procedure. Now they board Premier 1Ks during pre-boarding, which I suppose helps alleviate Zone 1 boarding
I was the first person that boarded via door L1, so I got a look at the United Polaris Business Class on this new jet.
Included on this aircraft are United’s new Premium Plus seats, the new Premium Economy product. You can read about United’s Premium Plus seat at their dedicated website over the seat.
The seats look fairly comfortable for a lengthy domestic flight, and they are definitely an improvement over Economy and Economy Plus seating for long-haul flights, especially with the improved meal service and unlimited alcohol. They are in a 2-3-2 configuration with 38″ pitch, 6″ recline, all packed in a 19″ wide seat. All this time I was wondering, why not use legacy United’s 2-4-2 “Business Class” as an ultra-competitive Premium Economy? 😉
Hopefully I’ll get a chance to review these seats soon, so stay updated by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube!
I soon settled into my seat for the flight, 11L. This is the final seat in the cabin, and gives a great view of the engine and wing. It’s also a “true” window seat, meaning that the table and storage console are on the aisle side, giving you direct and uninterrupted access to the window!
The In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) or Audio Video On Demand (AVOD) screen on this aircraft was very responsive to inputs, and is far more comprehensive than the IFE on the B767-300ER Polaris seats or the B777-300ER.
I loved that every screen presented the seat number! It was such a nice touch that isn’t much, but for me it enhanced my perception of the seat.
The screen is also a hub for some of your experience functions, such as dimming the B787 windows, the call button, lights, etc. It is incredibly modern and has a fantastic response rate, which I find to be a great improvement over the other screens in the other United aircraft.
Finally after pushback, we made our way to the runway and took off towards the Lone Star State.
Shortly after takeoff, once the seat belt sign was turned off, I made my way to the lavatories to see what they had to offer. I first made my way to the one closest to door L1.
I then made my way to the biggest lavatory in the cabin, the one closest to door L2. This one comes with a fold-down seat to help you change into the United pajamas on flights of 12 hours or longer.
Upon getting back to my seat, I made sure to log on to the United WiFi to get work done while flying, taking a snap of the prices for this 2.5 hour flight.
Then the meal service started with the signature warm nuts and drink order.
I took this time to enjoy my lunchtime view of the southwestern sky, accompanied by a GEnx engine.
This was followed by the tray containing the salad and main course, which was an Asian fusion stir-fry of noodles, chicken, and veggies in a light curry sauce.
Now, I know that jumbled mess on a plate may not look appetizing, but it was surprisingly very flavorful, but the chicken was unfortunately dry. With the tray came a pretzel bread roll (my favorite roll) and a chocolate mousse cheesecake slice, which just too much sugar for me.
I took this time to mess around some more with the screen, which will tell you information about your flight, like airspeed, altitude, outside temperature, etc.
United invested into these entertainment screens, and per United, they give you:
- Split screen capabilities allowing customers to watch a movie and view the flight map simultaneously.
- A relax mode for customers who want to 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 and previously watched content.
Unfortunately, like every flight, the journey came to an end, and we touched down in Houston, ending this flight on this amazing bird!
United’s B787-10 is the newest addition to the fleet, sporting the new Polaris Business Class cabin and the Premium Economy cabin, named Premium Plus. It’s a very comfortable plane that was great for this hop to Houston, and it’s a phenomenal addition for the long-haul flights they have so far announced. These destinations include Frankfurt, Tel Aviv, Paris, Barcelona, Brussels, and Dublin, all from the Newark/New York hub.
With the most recent MileagePlus devaluations, as with all devaluations, I expect scoring a true Polaris experience on this bird will be more costly than before. I personally try to score upgrades with the MileagePlus Upgrade option, or purchasing a Polaris ticket with miles, but as with all “updates to award travel on the horizon,” customer unfriendly changes are on the way, g-u-a-r-a-n-t-e-e-d, which you can read about here at United’s Award Travel link.
I look forward to hopefully flying this plane again on an international flight, hopefully before the changes to the MileagePlus program hit!
What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comment section below! Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed it, follow us on our social media accounts located in the sidebar, and please share share share!
As always, remember to keep living life one trip at a time!