Since moving to Houston 4 years ago, CO
has become my airline of choice. They offer above-average service throughout the entire airport-flight experience, and most of their fleet is newer and well-kept (except the aforementioned pre-NG 737s).
I've only flown CO
on domestic routes so far, mostly on 738s but also a couple of 752s and 733s, and their now-retired MD80s. CO
's IFE is adequate, with flip-down LCD
monitors every 3 rows or so on the 752 and 73NG
(the screens are pretty small though, and many of them have horrible color balance). One of the 733s I've flown on (and presumably some of the 735s) had CRT monitors above the aisle, but the programming was the same as on the newer jets...several music channels in addition to the video channel.... On flights under 2-3 hours or so you'll see a generic sitcom along with pre-canned entertainment news...on longer flights they show a movie from about a year ago that you've probably never heard of; some are good, some aren't, and you don't get a choice. Beware that on more than a few flights I've been on, IFE seemed to be a distant afterthought for the cabin crew (who are generally very helpful and accommodating). Once one tape ends, it might be a half-hour or more before they get around to starting the next tape (CO uses Sony's Hi8 analog videotape format, similar to Super-VHS in picture and sound quality).
Having to watch a blank t.v. screen for a while is my only complaint so far with CO
's flight experience, which is very menial considering their awesome flight crews. As with any airline, the most important factor is arriving at your destination safe (and alive), and I have no problem trusting my life to the pilots of CO
As for the ERJs, operated by ExpressJet, I love them! The seats are basically the same size as mainline coach, except they're all leather which at least gives the impression that they're more comfortable (they are IMO). Being only 5'7, pitch and legroom aren't really issues for me either, and unlike others I have never felt cramped (I only sit on the single portside seat unless there's an open row, then I'll spread out on the 2 starboard chairs). I always think of these things as either miniature "big jets" or large biz jets, which is basically what they are (it's interesting to know that Embraer based these jets on the fuselage of the 30-seat, turbo-prop EMB-120, which SkyWest flies as CO
Connection to several smaller markets from IAH
; their interiors are almost identical). With speeds comparable to the larger jets, you'll get where you're going just about as fast, but there's no IFE at all. All the ERJ flights I've been on have had beverage/snack service, though.
This is probably too much information, but CO
is a great airline overall. Have a great trip!
[Edited 2005-01-11 05:28:13]