Is it 'Risky' to Book Future Itineraries that include the Boeing 787-800 aka 'Dreamliner'?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by NYCUA1K, Jan 24, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    A couple of days ago I booked a trip for late June 2013, returning in early July to do the following:

    JFK -> LAX Boeing 757-200 (p.s.)
    LAX - PVG Boeing 787-800 (Dreamliner)

    then I would redeem on ANA to do PVG - > KIX, and then KIX->NRT by high-speed (bullet) train, followed by

    NRT - > LAX 787-800 (Dreamliner)
    LAX -> JFK Boeing 757-200 (p.s.)

    Here are my questions: (a) With the Dreamliner having been grounded after experiencing problems, does anyone out there have a feel as to whether this plane will be 'un-grounded' by this summer? (b) I had put down a couple of GPUs to secure upgrades both ways and both the outbound segments (p.s and the Dreamliner) cleared at booking, as did the inbound p.s., while the inbound Dreamliner (NRT->LAX) has been waitlisted. What will happen to the cleared outbound Dreamliner upgrade if they should switch to a different plane (likely a 744)? Would the already cleared upgrade be automatic after a change of metal ?

    Thank you in advance for your insights on these issues...
     
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  2. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I don't think there is much of a risk that the flights will not operate. There is a greater risk that they won't be on the 787 but it isn't clear that such a change would ruin the trip for you. If the upgrade has already cleared that should transfer to the other aircraft without issue.

    I don't see any particular risk in booking this, unless you want to be absolutely 100% positive that you're on a particular aircraft type. And that's always at risk of swaps, especially 4+ months out.
     
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  3. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Thanks for the quick reply. While the goal of the trip is to attend a meeting in KIX, I chose this slightly contorted itinerary (first to PVG and then redeeming to get to KIX and back to NRT by bullet train) precisely because it would include the Dreamliner for the TPAC both ways, but it also turned out to be about $300 cheaper than if I had booked NYC to KIX and flew on UA+ANA. Therefore, the calculation did explicitly include the chance to fly on the Dreamliner, which is less than 100% sure at the moment...:(
     
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  4. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    What would you have booked if they hadn't scheduled the Dreamliner?
     
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  5. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    I have no argument with other posters, but I'd add the following. There is little precedent for a commercial aircraft grounding that lasts longer than a few weeks. This case probably will not be longer. Thus by June they'll probably be back in service and you'll have your flights. If they aren't you'll be fine with whatever else flies instead.
     
  6. skyvan

    skyvan Gold Member

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    I have a flight booked IAH-LAX at the end of a SIN-IAH (via DME) SQ F trip in the last week of February. If it looks like that isn't going to operate then I'll be finding another way back to LAX...likely on LH...but at this point I think there will be a solution by then.
     
  7. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    What I have done in the past -- whatever is available to NRT (maybe UA - LGA through IAD) and then ANA from NRT to KIX.

    I definitely like your optimism and hope that it'll be justified come the summer and the Dreamliner is soaring again...:)
     
  8. davef139

    davef139 Gold Member

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    Ill agree with this and to add if for some reason 787's are grounded in June still Boeing will have a HUGE problem on their hands from investors and companies who have bought them.
     
  9. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Absolutely, not to mention the embarrassment for Boeing (and Smisek -- see his on board commercials about this bird!) of having a product that's been billed as the "future of civil aviation" being grounded shortly after launching. There will simply be great pressure on Boeing to have "the most technologically advanced commercial jetliner ever built" (Smisek) live up to the hype!
     
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  10. unavaca
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    unavaca Gold Member

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    I wouldn't sweat it. If all else fails, they'll swap it out for a 772 or 763.
     
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  11. From NYC
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    From NYC Gold Member

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    Then again, might not be so quickly over:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/25/business/the-ntsb-sees-lengthy-inquiry-into-787-dreamliner.html?hp
     
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  12. Olton Hall
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    Olton Hall Gold Member

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    Any aircraft that still has that intro the FA's have been instructed to fast forward past that. If they can't fast forward they are supposed to do a manual, old style safety briefing.

    FAA is saying it's not an easy fix. Who know how long that will take. The battery is just one problem, be it the biggest one. There are plenty of other small gremlins with the aircraft that will have to wait to be ironed out.
     
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  13. RichardInSF
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    RichardInSF Silver Member

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    To answer the OP's question: I sure hope not because I'm booked on it in March!
     
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  14. Olton Hall
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    Olton Hall Gold Member

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    They seem to be using the word months.(plural)
     
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  15. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    I'll give you 5:1 odds you'll not fly a 787 during March 2013
     
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  16. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    UA hasn't had the 787 scheduled very intensively so they have enough alternate aircraft to maintain schedule integrity (although I think the DEN-NRT launch could be in jeopardy).

    NH is more risky as they have a much larger 787 fleet and fewer alternate aircraft.
     
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  17. anabolism
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    anabolism Gold Member

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    Are they? Do you have a link? I thought they still didn't know the cause of the fire, nor the reason the safety systems failed. Without knowing the cause, how can anyone guess at a timeline for a fix?

    As I understand it (which could easily be wrong of course), the grounding is because the three issues: The battery fire, the electrical system malfunction, and the failure of the safety system that is supposed to prevent the battery fire. These three may or may not be related. Are you saying there are other, independent problems that are sufficient to warrant grounding?
     
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  18. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    The FAA says not. There are many such minor issues, normal ones it seems, but I have seen no indication at all that there is any non-electrical issue that would ground the 787. I'm watching closely, so I think I would see it were any such issue disclosed. It could happen of course, but I strongly doubt it.

    Sent from my iPad using milepoint
     
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  19. Olton Hall
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    Olton Hall Gold Member

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    The months comes from the news conference. They don't know if it's going to take 2 months, 4 months, or 6 months to figure out the cause, fix, and testing to get the plane back into the air.

    I don't know if they ever solved the problem that caused the one GEnX engine to come apart on the test rig. That engine was scheduled for a production aircraft IIRC

    The plane has many other gremlins as all new aircraft have. they don't warrant grounding but mess up the schedules as they perform teh repairs on layovers.
     
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  20. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Wow! This is sweet! The upgrade for my previously waitlisted inbound NRT-LAX Dreamliner also just cleared nearly 7 months out!

    This marks success on the first 4 of 4 upgrades of the year, suggesting that I might have yet another great year with UGs...:cool:
     
  21. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Let's hope the route isn't operated by the island hopper :)
     
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  22. Olton Hall
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    Olton Hall Gold Member

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  23. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Let's hope not. I suspect that I will be in C** on those TPAC Dreamliners come June-July...

    **BusinessFirst
     
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  24. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    Hey, don't you be dissin' my ride!

    (Got here via the island hopper, leaving via the island hopper.)
     
  25. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Hey, I did the hopper back in 2010 and loved. Would do it again if the price was right and I had the time to burn.
     
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