In our line of work, new planes are a big deal. So we’ve watched closely as Boeing’s longest version of the Dreamliner — the 787-10 — hits the skies. United is the first U.S. airline to get the “dash-ten” and it has started deploying the stretch Dreamliner on their premium transcontinental routes between Newark and Los Angeles & San Francisco. When we found out that the San Francisco-Newark inaugural flight was on Valentine’s Day, we knew we had to be on it!
There’s a lot of reasons to care about United’s 787-10. It’s the first of United’s Dreamliners to carry the Polaris business class seat, which goes fully flat and offers everyone direct aisle access. The plane comes with an awesome new inflight entertainment system. And now United is the first and only airline to operate the full Dreamliner family: the 787-8, 787-9 and the 787-10.
Read on for photos and more from United’s inaugural 787-10 transcon service out of SFO — including a Valentine’s Day celebration for United’s newest plane.
Photo: United Airlines
What’s the best way to celebrate Valentine’s Day? For most people some combination of candy, kisses, chocolate, and rom-coms does the trick. But we AvGeeks like to do things a little differently, don’t we? So tomorrow and into Friday, get ready for some epic live tweeting as we — along with San Francisco (SFO) airport and United Airlines — give a little Valentine’s Day love to the new Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner.
United just started taking delivery of the -10, the largest version of the Dreamliner. It started on limited flights between Newark (EWR) and Los Angeles (LAX), and this Valentine’s Day will be the starting day for regular 787-10 service from Newark to San Francisco.
The 787-10 Polaris business class cabin – Photo: United Airlines
Why does this plane matter to you? Well, United is the first U.S. airline to fly the 787-10, and it’s also the first Dreamliner variant to get United’s true Polaris seat. The plane also sports a real-deal premium economy seat — called United Premium Plus — and a redesigned inflight entertainment system. So follow along on Twitter starting tomorrow at noon PST for live updates from our very special Valentine’s Day flight, as United inaugurates 787-10 service from SFO to EWR! And on Friday, drop by United’s brand-new Polaris lounge at LAX with us.
Our United 787-9 being made ready for the inaugural long-haul LAX-SIN flight
Superlatives abounded on this, the inaugural non-stop flight from Los Angeles to Singapore. It’s billed as the third-longest direct flight in the world and the longest to originate from the United States.
There was even a ribbon-cutting ceremony – the presence of a trade delegation highlighted the fact that economic ties are strong between Singapore and the U.S.
The flight takes 17 hours, five minutes to cover the 8,772 miles between Los Angeles and Singapore. Favorable headwinds shaved an hour off our flight time, but, still. It’s an awfully long time to be in the air.
United’s first Boeing 777-300ER (reg N2331U) at Chicago
Last Monday, it was disorienting when my alarm went off at 3:30am. At the time, I was not sure why it was happening, but I knew that I was not a fan. That was until I snapped back into reality and remembered that I was getting up early to fly on a few airplanes. The mission of that day was to check out United’s new Polaris business class — and I was up for it! I was to start in Seattle, fly to Chicago to meet United’s first 777-300ER, then I would get to know the product flying to San Fransisco, before heading home. All in the same long day.
In the Polaris business class cabin on United’s first 777-300ER
I have read about United’s new Polaris product and seen the photos, but nothing beats putting it to the test at 40,000 feet. Was it worth getting up so early? Oh you better believe it — it was one stellar experience (okay, I will try to behave with the space puns, mostly).