SECOND UPDATE: I'm told L.A.-London is switching to a 787 after all. It looks like the first day of the changeover is Aug. 1 on the flight to Europe.
UPDATE: United will not switch Los Angeles-London to the 787 in 2016 as planned. Instead, the aircraft that was to be allocated to the route - a Boeing 787-9 - will fly San Francisco-Tel Aviv. Los Angeles-London will stay with a Boeing 777-200 for the "foreseeable future," United told employees recently. All the rest of the information below is correct as of mid-November 2015.
ORIGINAL POST: If you like to fly the Boeing 787 Dreamliner on long routes and you live in Los Angeles, United Airlines might be your best bet, according to airlineroute.net.
United will be swapping Boeing 777s for Boeing 787s on two routes - London Heathrow, and Sydney. Other long-haul United routes from Los Angeles - to Shanghai, Tokyo and Melbourne, already use the Boeing 787. The changes are scheduled to begin with the Spring 2016/Summer 2016 schedule.
This won't affect many travelers, but the switch to Boeing 787s means United would be giving up a true international first class product on my flights from Los Angeles. The Boeing 777s flying internationally from the West Coast now have three classes - coach, business and first. But the Boeing 787s only have business and economy.
United is slowly phasing out first class throughout its fleet, but the product will remain for a few years on the 777s and 747s. Here's what Howard Attarian, senior vice president of flight operations, had to say recently on the subject:
While nobody disputes that customers like first-class service, even fewer are willing to pay for first-class service.. We've found our [unit revenue] is higher with 2-class service (and we have the perfect test product flying both two- and three-class 767 and 777 airplanes), our product delivery is simplified, and we offer seats that people actually pay for. Other airlines are going in this direction, too. That said, you'll see three-class airplanes in our fleet for some time. Reconfiguring them to two-class is very expensive, and we won't do that on all of our current three-class aircraft before they retire.
Three San Francisco routes will also move to the 787 - Sydney, Taipei and Tokyo Haneda. San Francisco-Seoul switches to the 787 for a temporary period between Aug. 1 and Oct. 21, 2016.
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