Flight 33 is scheduled to arrive in L.A. later this morning from Tokyo, and so far United has not announced any changes in its 787 schedules - despite the decision by Japan's two biggest airlines to ground their Boeing Dreamliners after one of them was forced to make an emergency landing. A cockpit message on the All Nipon Airways flight indicated battery problems and a burning smell. United has invested heavily in the 787 - more than any other U.S. carrier - and the LAX-to-Tokyo run is especially important. In fact, the WSJ reported that United had at least two of its six 787s on standby at LAX for the airline's first trans-Pacific flight from Los Angeles to Tokyo. The two planes flew back to Houston without passengers. United had no immediate comment on the groundings in Japan. Any decision to ground the aircraft is a huge deal - Boeing as well as the FAA had signed off on the plane as ready for commercial service.
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