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United Airlines’ Got Its Brand New Dream Machine

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United Airlines became the first carrier in North America to accept delivery of the new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

United Airlines has received the first of 26 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on order. The airline is the first in North America to add the latest stretch version of the 787 to its fleet. United plans to operate the new aircraft, which has a range of 350 more miles than the 787-8, on a new Los Angeles (LAX) to Melbourne, Australia (MEL) route scheduled to begin service in October. The LAX to MLB route will be the longest one any Dreamliner has flown. United also plans to operate the new aircraft on select flights between Houston (IAH) and LAX in advance of the inaugural MLB flight.

“The 787-9 builds on the Dreamliner’s fuel efficiency and customer comfort while giving us even more flexibility and range,” United’s Vice President of Fleet Ron Baur said in a statement. “Last year our customers gave the 787 the highest customer satisfaction scores of any aircraft in our fleet, and we know they’ll enjoy what the 787-9 has to offer.”

The positive passenger feedback stems from the Dreamliner’s unique design, which eliminates many of the fatiguing effects of long-haul flights. Because the aircraft is made primarily of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP), which is less corrosive than metal, a higher humidity can be maintained within the cabin. This lessens the drying and dehydrating effects passengers sometimes experience while flying. Also, due to the added strength of the CFRP composition, the aircraft can be pressurized to the atmosphere of 6,000 feet above sea level, rather than the typical 8,000 feet used by most aircraft flying today.

United will outfit the 787-9 with 252 seats, 48 of which will be BusinessFirst. A member of the FlyerTalk community shared a video tour of the new aircraft.

Correction: The correct airline code for Melbourne, Australia is MEL. An earlier version of this article listed it as MLB.

[Photo: United Airlines]

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glennaa11 September 4, 2014

Seems like overkill to send the 787-9 from LA to little Melbourne, FL.