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According to Airline Route, United will fly its Boeing 787 Dreamliner from Houston to London from December 20, 2013 to May 5, 2014.

I like to track the routes of Dreamliners that fly to the US because they’re a great way for beginners to get a state-of-the-art business class flights that are easy redemptions.

This route from Houston to London has the best business class award availability I’ve seen on any United Dreamliner route.

When is the award space? How is the United BusinessFirst product on the Dreamliner?

I don’t like United’s name for international business class (“BusinessFirst”), since you might confuse it with United’s name for international first class (“Global First”). Of course, you might confuse the products themselves. See Antipodean Summer: United Global First from Los Angeles to Sydney.

Semantic quibbles aside, though, I love flying United BusinessFirst.

Pay special attention to Tahsir’s trip report, since he flew United’s 787.

The plane has no Global First but 36 BusinessFirst beds arranged 2-2-2 in two mini-cabins of three rows each.

United has been stingy at releasing award space on those 36 beds on most routes, but I was hoping to see better availability, since the flights to London would be winter and spring flights, hardly peak time to Europe.

I did find better availability than I’ve seen United release on other Dreamliner routes, though it isn’t great. I’ll reproduce the calendars below.

These calendars show award space on direct Houston to London flights and London to Houston flights. Yellow days have Saver award space in economy. Blue days have Saver award space in business class. Green days have Saver award space in both classes.

But there are three flights per day on the route, only one of which is served by a Dreamliner, so the color coding doesn’t correspond to Dreamliner space.

The Dreamliner flight is flight 102 and leaves Houston at 8:55 PM, landing 9hr10min later at 12:05 PM in London the next day. The return is flight 103 and leaves London at 1:35 PM and lands 10hr30min later at 6:05 PM in Houston.

On the outbound, I saw space on December 24 and December 31, so you’d spend part of Christmas or New Year’s Day in the air.

I also found a few stray dates with business class availability in April 2014.

The return offered more award space. First, there is award space on Christmas day if you want to make the day last longer by crossing six time zones west.

Then I saw several Wednesdays in a row in March and April with award space.

Bottom Line

The United Dreamliner route from Houston to London this winter and spring is hardly a gold mine, but there is award space in both directions in the spring. The route is a great chance to spend 100k United or US Airways miles on a world-class business class product on an awesome new plane.

If you don’t live in Houston, it is a United hub with connections all over the place. United offers great award space on domestic routes, so connecting should be easy.

If you do live in Houston–and even if you don’t–look to add a free oneway to the award.

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