No, there isn’t a sale or anything. $1K is a pretty fair price for flying nonstop Houston to Amsterdam. But as a few others have pointed out here and there, booking is now open for several of United’s inaugural flights on its newly acquired Boeing 787 Dreamliners. Although tickets for Denver to Tokyo (NRT) went out sale a while ago, the first route that will actually go into service is Houston to Amsterdam on December 4. Tokyo is one of the last routes to begin service according to current announcements. You can read more about it on AirlineRoute.net.
You may recall that United had a bit of a glitch for its DEN-NRT flights, allowing people to buy ridiculously cheap B fares and get an easy upgrade to business class. Just for fun, I checked out IAH-AMS. No such luck. B fares are in the multiples of thousands. But a cheap L fares are only $975 in economy, and if you have any Global Premier Upgrades, a W fare is only $1,230. That’s not a bad premium for moving up to an upgradable fare and potentially getting access to a business class seat. (The fare I show below is not the absolute lowest because I included a Sunday return. If you’re going to depart mid-week on Tuesday, you might as well enjoy the city for a few days.)
Of course, the RN upgrade bucket is zeroed out. Big surprise. But it is fun to see ExpertFlyer write out the whole “Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner” in the aircraft type column.