m404
Posts: 1875
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 4:43 pm

Not Everyone Likes The RJs

Sat Feb 14, 2004 7:19 pm

http://www.ajc.com/business/content/business/0204/14littlejets.html

I know that many members really like the RJs and think they are "neat" and "sexy" and I've gotten flack when mentioning their downside but it seems I'm not alone. This is especially true for routes much longer than I think they were originally intended and for the taller among us.

Yes, I know that this is just the first generation and more comfortable planes are on the way but my point in the other posting was that they are popular for another reason. The mainline carrier doesn't have to pay mainline wages both to the air and ground crews. Fewer and fewer ground employees are allowed to work a forty hour week and crews are even eligible for food stamps.

The fares however certainly do not reflect this savings and maybe cannot because of a high aircraft operating cost. As seen in Continentals figures just released, the Express unit accounted for the majority of the operating profit and not the mainline unit, this will probably be the norm in other carriers as use increases. Not all of these operators are majority owned by the major and earnings might reflect that. A coming battle will be with employees feed up with these standards as they tire of fast food wages. Moving up to the mainline carrier, the old and normal route, is getting neigh on to impossible as they are not holding on to their own people and instead growing what use to be the "puddlejumpers" much faster than themselves.

What do you see the scenario as being for the next 10 years for these companies, their relationship to the mainline operator, growth possibilities, their employees? If the economy increases enough will they get smaller? If it decreases can the operating costs be absorbed by higher prices?

No. I don't work for one, but am just a student of the evolution of American air carriers so don't flame me for mentioning lower wages. I know most of you will NEVER have to worry about that.
Less sarcasm and more thought equal better understanding
 
NLINK
Posts: 301
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2003 3:20 pm

RE: DL To Pull Out Of NRT?

Sun Feb 15, 2004 1:15 am

I agree womewhat that they are being used for the wrong reason, for carriers to replace 4 737 with 8 rj for more frequency
 
MarcoPolo747
Posts: 446
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 7:37 am

RE: Not Everyone Likes The RJs

Sun Feb 15, 2004 1:25 am


A part the lack of space for carry on items it's nice to fly RJs, boarding and getting back to the terminal at destination is usually much faster.
 
picarus
Posts: 307
Joined: Fri Dec 29, 2000 6:51 am

RE: Not Everyone Likes The RJs

Sun Feb 15, 2004 1:56 am

M404-

I couldn't agree with you more. I avoid them whenever possible--becoming more difficult to do--on any flight over 1.5 hours. While I do believe they're here to stay, I think the economics will eventually catch up on the 'cost' side of the equation for this first generation--narrowing the gap with traditional mainline jets.

BTW--cool moniker.

Picarus
 
fjnovak1
Posts: 574
Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2000 2:23 am

RE: Not Everyone Likes The RJs

Sun Feb 15, 2004 2:02 am

I don't really mind them for flights 1.5 hours or less...I rode one on a DTW-CVG sector and an ATL-SAV sector and thats fine; however, DTW-SAV and SAV-DTW is about all i think i could take in those tiny things! It really feels different flying in those; not considerably less smooth, just a different feeling...the CRJ I think feels more cramped than the ERJ...
Go Blue!!
 
cloudboy
Posts: 981
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:38 pm

RE: Not Everyone Likes The RJs

Sun Feb 15, 2004 2:05 am

Like it or not, I think RJs are a big part of the future, especially for the mainline carriers. It's probably the easiest way for them to bring down their costs. Frequency and cost are getting more attention than comfort, and that means smaller planes flying more frequently over lots of routes.

It seems a lot of the problems with the RJs are really amenity based, and these could possibly be fixed. There is no reason why the airlines can't increase seat pitch, or dedicate more space to luggage and galley. It's a focus on cost over quality.

Perhaps they should make the regionals more comfortable than say a 737. More seat pitch, better seats, in-flight entertainment, etc. More of a "semi-private" jet than an airliner.
"Six becoming three doesn't create more Americans that want to fly." -Adam Pilarski
 
cedarjet
Posts: 8101
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 1:12 am

RE: Not Everyone Likes The RJs

Sun Feb 15, 2004 2:12 am

What's not to like? Much quicker boarding, much less shoving at baggage claim, sporty performance, everyone gets a window or an aisle (on an Embraer, everyone on one side gets both). I can't imagine why anyone would prefer a 737 if the seat pitch is the same.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
vector
Posts: 212
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2000 10:37 am

RE: Not Everyone Likes The RJs

Sun Feb 15, 2004 2:14 am

'Perhaps they should make the regionals more comfortable than say a 737. More seat pitch, better seats, in-flight entertainment, etc. More of a "semi-private" jet than an airliner.'

It´s what you will see with the new generation of Embraer´s, like the Embraer 170.

vector
 
caetravlr
Posts: 856
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2000 8:19 am

RE: Not Everyone Likes The RJs

Sun Feb 15, 2004 2:16 am

Presently, I think that Delta is the only airline that flies any kind of mainline metal into CAE. And that is only to ATL, and that is with a mix of RJs even on that route, at least last time I checked. If it is ever an option for me, I try to fly on mainline jets for all the reasons listed above. Having said that, when I was flying to MDT on a regular basis, I had no problem flying an RJ to IAD and then a little J41 (which I do hate even more) into MDT. So for an hour or so, an RJ is fine. CAE - ORD starts to push the boundaries of what I can stand on one of those things. I am only 5-7, 160 lbs, and I don't care for RJs, I can imagine what a taller or larger person might think.

I believe that any cost efficiencies they have come from how poorly their crews are paid. I think the operating seat mile cost is considerably more than most mainline jets. It might be time to start reevaluating some of the flights that they are used on. Hopefully the infusion of RJs into the US domestic route system will reach critical mass very soon.

Just my opinion, there are pros and cons.

Regards,
CAETravlr
A woman drove me to drink and I didn't have the decency to thank her. - W.C. Fields
 
APAOps5
Posts: 94
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2003 1:37 pm

RE: Not Everyone Likes The RJs

Sun Feb 15, 2004 2:18 am

This past week I had a week's worth of business trips. I had to fly four different airlines in as many days. Two days of which were spent on RJ's. One day with CO's EMB-145 and the other w/ Delta's CRJ. My segment on the ERJ, was not bad for a 3 1/2hour flight. Pitch and leg room compared to mainline service, seat size felt smaller but that may have been perception based. The CRJ experience, was not fun. It was only for a 48 minute leg, but it felt like forever. Seats felt severely cramped, and absolutely no leg room. And I am not even that tall (5'10 1/2"). I agree the trend for the industry as whole is to move towards the RJ's, but as carriers add them to longer and longer routes, something needs to be said about adding some comfort. Personally, if I had more than an hour leg, I would avoid the CRJ as much as possible.
 
srbmod
Posts: 15446
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 1:32 pm

RE: Not Everyone Likes The RJs

Sun Feb 15, 2004 2:22 am

There was a mistake in the article, but the only way you can see it is if you actually get the AJC. There is a picture comparing a CRJ with a 757-200 in terms of seats, lavs, seat pitch, f/a to pax ratio, overhead bin space. The mistake they made was that they referred to the CRJ-200 as the CRJ-50.
 
jjeff
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2003 11:52 am

RE: Not Everyone Likes The RJs

Sun Feb 15, 2004 2:35 am


The RJs I fly (predominantly United Express and America West Express) are configured to have less pitch, narrower seats, reduced overhead storage and are much less comfortable. Routes much over an hour are miserable. And in southwestern US markets, cabins tend to heat up much more quickly while planes are on the ground making boarding more like entering a sauna during much of the year. I do go out of my way to book a 737 or A320 if at all possible. An RJ is fine for shorter, big airport to small airport legs like LAX-SAN, LAX-MRY, SFO-SBA but no miniplanes please for longer routes or those between larger city pairs (LAX-SFO, LAX-SJC, BUR-DEN, BUR-PHX).

 
MidnightMike
Posts: 2810
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2003 10:07 am

RE: Not Everyone Likes The RJs

Sun Feb 15, 2004 2:55 am

M404 APAOps5 Vector Picarus

Well, add me to the bandwagon, the RJ's are just not comfortable aircraft, if the airlines were to increase seat pitch & removed some seats, maybe they would excite. I rode on a RJ from Chicago to Norfolk Virginia & I thought I was going to die, very uncomfortable.

Hell, I don't need a meal nor a movie, just a comfortable seat & those RJ's just don't cut it. I never booked a flight based on the equipment of the airlines, but, because of the RJ's I do watch the equipment.

Yes, the airplanes feel different when in flight but after being in aviation for a while, who cares, just give me a comfortable seat.
NO URLS in signature
 
User avatar
KaiGywer
Crew
Posts: 11182
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 9:59 am

RE: Not Everyone Likes The RJs

Sun Feb 15, 2004 6:49 am

Pinnacle flies CRJs from MSP to PNS, JAX, AUS and several others. Those must be of the longest RJ flights in the country. 3 hrs on an RJ with nothing more than a slight beverage service...ouch!
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, an
 
MidnightMike
Posts: 2810
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2003 10:07 am

RE: Not Everyone Likes The RJs

Sun Feb 15, 2004 7:02 am


Pinnacle, you got that right, I sat in jumpseats that were more comfortable than those aircraft.

I remember I made sure to get the emergency exit seat, big deal, no difference! Amazing!
NO URLS in signature
 
flyingnanook
Posts: 817
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2004 4:41 pm

RE: Not Everyone Likes The RJs

Sun Feb 15, 2004 7:10 am

I flew a CRJ on UA LAX-SJC. It wasn't the most comfortable thing I've been on, but it was better than flying WN on that route. (Don't get me wrong, I like WN, but I don't like it when I'm on the last leg of a x-country trip, not many seats to choose from). I still prefer turboprops to the RJ's though. There's just something about them that I can't put my finger on.

So RJ's aren't too bad for flights about an hour but no longer please.
Semper ubi sub ubi.
 
APAOps5
Posts: 94
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2003 1:37 pm

RE: Not Everyone Likes The RJs

Sun Feb 15, 2004 7:12 am

My CO Express flight from IAH-SLC was 3 hrs 10 mins on an ERJ. It wasn't as horrible as other carriers, we got two-or three beverage services and a small lunch. If you do have to fly on an RJ I would recommend the ERJ, and Continental for that matter. (It is nice that either you will have an aisle or window seat or both), but compared to the CRJ, it definately is not as cramped. You can at least look out the window on an ERJ, where the CRJ is positioned so you have to break your neck, if you don't bang your head on the seat in front of you that is.
 
VC745D
Posts: 208
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2004 5:52 am

RE: Not Everyone Likes The RJs

Sun Feb 15, 2004 7:25 am

RJs are one more reason I keep my flying to a minimum these days.
 
nwacrew
Posts: 305
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2003 12:06 pm

RE: Not Everyone Likes The RJs

Sun Feb 15, 2004 8:05 am

I know there are a lot of Northwest passengers who used to complain about flying on our DC-9's, but who now sing that twinjet's praises after being crammed into a regional jet...
 
elwood64151
Posts: 2410
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2002 10:22 am

RE: Not Everyone Likes The RJs

Sun Feb 15, 2004 10:34 am

I can't imagine why anyone would prefer a 737 if the seat pitch is the same.

I prefer the 737 because I don't like hitting my on the ceiling when I enter the a/c.

It´s what you will see with the new generation of Embraer´s, like the Embraer 170.

And like the 747's piano bar and other ammenities, you will quickly see this disappear in favor of more seats. Same goes for all the neat stuff on the A380.

Here's the thing:

For short, lean routes (like ATL-CAE, FAT-LAS, or OMA-MCI), an RJ is perfect. You get frequency with lower overall costs.

But when you're operating routes like IND-ATL or PIT-MDW, you don't need 8 flights a day. Four will suffice, thank you. And with that, you can use a mainline aircraft. And frankly, you'll be spending less, overall, with four mainline flights than you would with eight RJ flights. The flight itself might cost more, but that's a tactical issue, to put it in military terms. The strategic issue isn't controlling costs so much as it is making money. Controlling costs is important, but not when "efficiency" is chosen over "profitability."
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.