Change of plans
Not so dreamy: United's Dreamliner flights delayed as officials wait for secondplane
Air travel enthusiasts might remember how United Airlines announced Houston's George Bush Intercontinental as the initial hub for its new Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet, with temporary domestic service launching in November before the planes go into international use on Dec. 4.
Those plans have changed now, thanks to the unexpected delivery delay of United's second Dreamliner aircraft (its first arrived at IAH in late September).
The Houston Chronicle reports that United is expecting to receive the second plane from Boeing "any day," but that aircraft will still have to undergo a month of noncommercial testing before flying with passengers.
Service from Houston to Chicago on the first Dreamliner is still scheduled for Nov. 4, but travelers on other subsequent flights — the fall/winter schedule includes trips to Los Angeles International Airport, San Francisco, Denver and Newark, plus one-off trips to Cleveland and Washington, D.C. — will be booked on alternate transportation means.
"We will begin the process of notifying customers on the initial affected flights that they will be traveling on a different aircraft type. We're offering to refund or rebook customers who specifically intended to fly on one of the early Dreamliner flights," United spokespoerson Christen David told CultureMap via email.
The airline expects to receive five Dreamliner jets before the end of 2012.