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.
United Dreamliner Inaugural: Introduction
United Dreamliner Inaugural: Pre-Departure Festivities
United Dreamliner Inaugural: UA Flight 1116 IAH to ORD
United Dreamliner Inaugural: Chicago Arrival Celebration
United Dreamliner Inaugural: UA Flight 1510 ORD to IAH
United Dreamliner Inaugural: UA Flight 1209 IAH to LAX
There 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.
Besides 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.
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.
I 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).
I took a quick trip to the lav before beverage service started and noticed the unique ashtray next to the door.
Once 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.
A little piece of Continental Airlines made its way onto this flight in the galley.
The 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.
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
United 787 Inaugural: Takeoff Video
United 787 Inaugural: Chicago Arrival Celebration
United 787 Inaugural: Flight 1116 IAH to ORD