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Incentive To Fly First Class On A Regional Jet  
User currently offlineSoxfan From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 864 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 8586 times:

Hi Everyone,

Several US airlines currently fly regional jets with first-class seating.

Delta: CRJ900
Northwest: CRJ900 and ERJ175
United: CRJ700 and ERJ170
US Airways: ERJ190

As most regional jets are used for shorter flights (although many have begun to be stretched farther), I'm wondering what the incentive is for the passenger to fly in first class as opposed to coach on these planes. At least for the above airlines, there is no provided entertainment, food service (if any) is usually a snack, and the legroom is usually only 4-5 inches more than coach. A few possible reasons I'm come up with for why a passenger might fly in first class are:

1) The passenger's ticket is being paid for.
2) The passenger wants a solo seat instead of a 2x2 layout for the rest of the plane.
3) The passenger wants the few extra inches of legroom.
4) The passenger wants to be the first off the plane.
5) The passenger has a connecting flight in which he or she is traveling in a premium class.

Do these seem like valid reasons? Can anyone else share some insight as to why some passengers might fly first class on regional jets? Thanks for your thoughts!

Soxfan  

[Edited 2008-07-19 19:45:05]


Pilot: "Request push, which way should we face?" JFK Ground: "You better face the front, sir, or you'll scare the pax!"
31 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineWhappeh From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 1563 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 8576 times:

The ERJ190 that US Airways offers is actually quite a comfortable first class...

and its not an RJ, but thats for another thread.



-Travel now, journey infinitely.
User currently offlineNws2002 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 896 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 8548 times:

The airlines have placed first class seats on these flights because it keeps their frequent fliers happy with upgrades. That's about the only reason, I doubt they get much direct revenue from first class seating on regional flights, although some RJ routes are pretty long. The revenue comes in from the passenger connecting to another flight.

User currently offlineWilcharl From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1166 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 8533 times:

aside from comp upgrade how about the pax that are connecting to another flight that has first class ie: ATL-DTW-CDG...

User currently offlineAnalog From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 1900 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 8528 times:



Quoting Nws2002 (Reply 2):
The airlines have placed first class seats on these flights because it keeps their frequent fliers happy with upgrades.

Ding ding!

It also helps on multi-segment itineraries where the long flight is in F or C class. Having a regional jet connection with no F can kill the deal.

It also reduces seat count, so that may impact scope clauses.


User currently offlineDeltAirlines From United States of America, joined May 1999, 8897 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 8530 times:



Quoting Nws2002 (Reply 2):
The airlines have placed first class seats on these flights because it keeps their frequent fliers happy with upgrades.

That's the reason I fly First Class on the RJs - I get the upgrades for free as an elite. That's going to be the case for a lot of these passengers.

On some routes, such as DL out of JFK, these First Class seats help lure premium cabin traffic, as they can have one-stop service and a First Class seat all the way from their origin to destination.


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30900 posts, RR: 87
Reply 6, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 8463 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

I fly (paid) F on RJs because it's more comfortable.

User currently offlineCOERJ145 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1421 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 8397 times:



Quoting Soxfan (Thread starter):
there is no provided entertainment, food service (if any) is usually a snack, and the legroom is usually only 4-5 inches more than coach. A few possible reasons I'm come up with for why a passenger might fly in first class are:

AFAIK NW equipped the E175s and CRJ-900s with hot galleys to provide the same first class food service as mainline flights.


User currently offlineNycbjr From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 447 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 8348 times:



Quoting Stitch (Reply 6):
I fly (paid) F on RJs because it's more comfortable.

why stich I didn't know u were in the "elite" paying for first  duck  kidding of course  Smile

Im guessing the scope clause is a major consideration.. alone with keeping elite FF's happy.

cheers


User currently offlineWarreng24 From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 707 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 8329 times:



Quoting Soxfan (Thread starter):
United: CRJ700 and ERJ170



Quoting Soxfan (Thread starter):
Can anyone else share some insight as to why some passengers might fly first class on regional jets?

UA provides a complimentary snackbox to passengers in F (on flights longer than 759 miles) as well as complimentary alcoholic beverages.


User currently offlineSsides From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4059 posts, RR: 21
Reply 10, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 8202 times:



Quoting Soxfan (Thread starter):
5) The passenger has a connecting flight in which he or she is traveling in a premium class.

I'd guess this is a big reason for the cabins -- and the fact that people seem to be willing to pay for them.



"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
User currently offlineDL767captain From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 2539 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 8164 times:

I'm thinking it's a couple reasons.

1. To allow customers that are using the RJs in a connecting flight who paid/upgraded for first on the longer flight leg can remain in first class the whole time.

2. To upgrade frequent fliers.


The first one seems to make a little more sense. If i'm flying SAN-LAX-IAD in first class and the SAN-LAX portion is on a regional jet it would be nice to still be offered first class, kinda lame to be put in coach on the small leg of the flight.


User currently offlineFlynavy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 8112 times:



Quoting Soxfan (Thread starter):
US Airways: ERJ190

in the case of US Airways, the E-190 is a mainline aircraft, flown by mainline staff.


User currently offlineJariarkko From Finland, joined Jun 2007, 20 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 8094 times:



Quoting DeltAirlines (Reply 5):
That's the reason I fly First Class on the RJs - I get the upgrades for free as an elite.

Circular logic. You fly F because you get it for free. But is there some advantage to it?

I can also see the airline's benefit in the above Big grin Less seats, no more income. This must be why the U.S. airlines are doing so well...

FWIW, in Europe there is business class on short flights and the difference to economy is extremely minor, more or less the same seats but maybe with better meal service. You get to sit in the front, which is useful for getting out faster in larger planes. For small planes that does not matter.

I only fly in the better class if I have to, which the airlines often manage to force me to do (ticket rules on short trips, availability of seats, etc). I suppose there are people who also do that to get more frequent flyer miles.


User currently offlineAirStairs From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 487 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 4 days ago) and read 7949 times:

From my understanding, it is generally to serve connecting passengers as the F fares for such short hops alone are rarely justifiable (hell, so are the Y fares).

I used to buy the $50 check-in upgrades for the PHX-LAX flights when HP offered F seating on the CR7 for a short while. Probably not worth it; but, certainly more comfortable and not extortion when I only paid ~$150 in the first place.


AirStairs


User currently offlineSoxfan From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 864 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 7799 times:

These are all good points; what I find interesting about RJs, is that the coach seating configuration is 2x2, which tends to be the first class configuration on mainline aircraft (except, FlyNavy, for US's ERJ190s  Wink), not 2x3 or 3x3 so there is no real middle seat, and it doesn't seem like the first seats offer THAT much more room due to the limitations posed by the plane size. It seems that most people agree that connecting on a F flight, or free upgrades are the primary reasons for passengers to fly in first. Would you say that airlines get a lot of direct revenue off of putting first class on these planes, as it has the potential to eliminate between 2-4 coach seats; it doesn't seem like a lot, but free upgrades bring in less money than coach passengers. I wonder how many paid passengers actually choose to fly in first on these planes, apart from those connecting.

Soxfan  Smile



Pilot: "Request push, which way should we face?" JFK Ground: "You better face the front, sir, or you'll scare the pax!"
User currently offlineFanoftristars From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 1607 posts, RR: 5
Reply 16, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 7692 times:



Quoting Nycbjr (Reply 8):
Im guessing the scope clause is a major consideration.. alone with keeping elite FF's happy.

I think those two reasons are absolutely the two biggest reasons with the third being that people actually pay for the seat. DL's connection carriers are limited to 76 seats max before the plane must be flown by mainline pilots, thus you end up with a CRJ-900 with exactly 76 seats, and based on the size, that leaves plenty of room for a small F cabin.



"FLY DELTA JETS"
User currently offlineBurnsie28 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 7538 posts, RR: 8
Reply 17, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 7625 times:



Quoting COERJ145 (Reply 7):
AFAIK NW equipped the E175s and CRJ-900s with hot galleys to provide the same first class food service as mainline flights.

Yes, I have flown both in FC, the E175 MSP-DFW and it was a hot reuben (spelling) sandwich going down. Coming back I flew the CRJ-900 at dinner and it was an amazing chicken enchilada meal. Rice, beans, the works.

Quoting Warreng24 (Reply 9):
UA provides a complimentary snackbox to passengers in F (on flights longer than 759 miles) as well as complimentary alcoholic beverages.

Hopefully they will upgrade that one day to meet the likes of NW and DL.



"Some People Just Know How To Fly"- Best slogan ever, RIP NW 1926-2009
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22911 posts, RR: 20
Reply 18, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 7419 times:



Quoting Flynavy (Reply 12):
in the case of US Airways, the E-190 is a mainline aircraft, flown by mainline staff.

So the RJ in "ERJ-190" stands for "Royal Jordanian?" Isn't this really pedantic?



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25154 posts, RR: 22
Reply 19, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 7252 times:



Quoting Jariarkko (Reply 13):
FWIW, in Europe there is business class on short flights and the difference to economy is extremely minor, more or less the same seats but maybe with better meal service. You get to sit in the front, which is useful for getting out faster in larger planes. For small planes that does not matter.

And on larger aircraft like 737s and A320s with 3-3 seating, many European carriers don't sell the middle seat in business class so you're guaranteed an empty seat next to you. LH also does this in business class on their CRJs which have the same 2-2 seating as Y class but they only sell one of each pair of 2 seats so again you always have an empty seat next to you.


User currently offlineUAL747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 7080 times:

I just got done flying OKC-ORD-HNL in first and the OKC flight was on a CRJ-700 and I was in "ExecPlus" which I guess is the Regionals first class. It's funny, because I was the only one in the entire first section and I was in 1A which is the single seated side and there was a lot of legroom in the bulkhead. They served a large snack box and preflight drinks andof course inflight drinks, but it wasn't in glass. I don't think I would have paid for it had I just been on the CRJ and wasn't connecting to an 8hr flight.

UAL


User currently offlineDeltAirlines From United States of America, joined May 1999, 8897 posts, RR: 12
Reply 21, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 6848 times:



Quoting Jariarkko (Reply 13):
You fly F because you get it for free. But is there some advantage to it?

I can also see the airline's benefit in the above Big grin Less seats, no more income. This must be why the U.S. airlines are doing so well...

Well, in Delta's case, their contract with the pilot's union limits Connection to operating planes with no more than 76 seats. So, with that, DL has two choices - they can increase pitch throughout the entire plane and give everyone an extra 3-4 inches of legroom, or they can put First Class seats in, which can either be sold for a revenue premium or be given as Frequent Flyer upgrades (and generally, frequent flyer elites tend to be a bit higher yielding). So, in a situation like this where they can only put 76 seats on the plane (and not 86 in an all-economy layout like US has), it comes down to putting in First Class and possibly extracting a revenue premium, or making everyone in coach happy.

As for advantages, it's the same as Delta's MD-80 fleet. Bigger seat, free alcohol, get off the plane faster. Most of these planes are on shorter routes (although they do appear on some longer pokes), so the lack of food service isn't a huge deal to me personally.


User currently offlineCRJ900 From Norway, joined Jun 2004, 2178 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 6724 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Are Persons of Size often "upgraded" to a First class seat on RJs to avoid a barrage of complaints and potentially embarrasing situations?


Come, fly the prevailing winds with me
User currently offlineDeltAirlines From United States of America, joined May 1999, 8897 posts, RR: 12
Reply 23, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 6686 times:



Quoting CRJ900 (Reply 22):
Are Persons of Size often "upgraded" to a First class seat on RJs to avoid a barrage of complaints and potentially embarrasing situations?

I would certainly hope not. If you want First Class, pay for it somehow - cash, mileage or FF upgrade certificates. Only time someone should get upgraded to first class without "paying" for it via money/FF privileges should be if there is an operational need for it, and then of those, it really should go from highest fare bucket to lowest fare bucket. Being a Person of Size should not have any influence in it (really, it should be up to a computer to determine upgrades; DL does a fine job of taking the work out of their agents hands and letting a computer sort it all out).


User currently offlineAsqx From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 615 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 6627 times:



Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 18):
So the RJ in "ERJ-190" stands for "Royal Jordanian?" Isn't this really pedantic?

Embraer calls the planes EMBRAER 190 or EMB190. I vaguely recall reading an article when the Embraer 170 was first rolled out that they were not going to call it a regional jet, unlike the earlier 37-50 seat ERJs. If you head over to Embraer's website, you won't see them refer to them as ERJs but simply Embraer 170s, etc.


25 Post contains links Vfw614 : There is no such aircraft as an "ERJ-190"....... It is EMB 110 / 120 and ERJ 135 / 140 / 145 and Embraer 170 / 175 / 190 / 195. From the horse's mout
26 Cubsrule : The FAA's TCDS site is down right now, but each of those certificates contains a statement along the lines of "The name of the aircraft is ERJ-XXX, b
27 Vfw614 : Thanks, but I think I will stick with how the aircraft are marketed by the manufacturer - which gives a pretty good idea for which market they are pro
28 TXJim : I would have to agree with this. Back when DL had their Portalnd hub to the far east, I was traveling to SEL constantly and my company had a Business
29 Cubsrule : Does it? Are the CR7 and the 170 not direct competitors? It seems like doing this masks something strange going on at US (and DL, and UA at one point
30 Vfw614 : Well, I guess the explanation is pretty simple. The whole thing started with the CRJ100 and all Bombardier until today offers is a stretch-stretch-str
31 Cubsrule : That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. When we play with words, we ignore the real issues.
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