This is my first time doing a trip report in this forum. Two days ago I did a first for me....first class on a regional jet! I was going SHV-DFW but all the AA Eagle flights were full so I went via MEM. I work for Eagle and was trying to get back to DFW, but all the SHV-DFW flights were full. SHV-DFW is becoming very hard for standby as they have reduced the schedule from a peak of 13 trips to 9, partly due to the temporary fuel price cancels. Anyway here's the trip:
Flight: NW 3418 (op by Mesaba)
Date: 25 October
Equipment: AVRO RJ 85
Departure 11:20 (ontime) at gate 11 (former Delta then TWA gate)
Arrival 12:30 (ontime) gate C5
The ticket counter agent had given me seat 6D, which I didnt know if it was a middle or aisle seat. The plane has a 2 X 3 configuration in coach, which is unusual in the RJ world.
I asked the gate agent if there was any chance I might get first class. I was dressed appropriately and told the agent I was a non-rev. He gave me 1A, so I was excited. I told him I had never flown an Avro or 146 before.
The flight was only booked to like 11 pax plus 4 nonrevs, so he boarded everyone at once, not even splitting up first class from coach. I think he did that because it was only non revs in first class.
When I boarded via stairs....(at SHV DL and NW board via stairs while AA and CO board via jetbridge)...I enjoyed looking at the plane on the ramp. I noticed they were not taking gate check bags, as this plane has good overhead bins.
When I got on the plane I thought first class was a scam..all the seats have the same upholstery and there's no real partition so I thought there was no difference. Then I sat down and noticed the seats were huge. Rows 2-4 have footrests, but row 1 doesn't due to the bulkhead.
I was offered a pre-departure beverage, and after takeoff I had a real glass plus she offered snacks. I had a granola bar and some mixed nuts. I thought it was ample service for a 40 minute flight.
There is not real partition, but they do let some curtains down between first and coach. The curtains are over the last seatbacks of first class, as they can't extend across the aisle.
It was a smooth and quick takeoff on rwy 23 (SHV's short runway of 5200 '). Then a turn north toward El Dorado, AR to then join the Marvel arrival into MEM.
We landed on rwy 36L in MEM and it was a very smooth touchdown. I could hear the autopilot calling out the altitude as we were landing. I didn't notice, however, when the pilot pulled the speedbreaks (on the wing and on the tail) at 100' altitude on landing. They have the speedbreaks but no reverse thrust.
I had 45 minutes to connect to AA 3580, which was basically across the hall and down 3 gates at C 12. As my luck would have it, NW Airlink Pinnacle canceled their DFW flight, so AA was taking all the passengers. I did get a standby seat, and that flight departed with 50/50 on board. My whole reason for going via MEM (besides getting to ride on an AVRO) was because the MEM DFW eagle flight was empty, plus the MD80 an hour later was empty too.
If you'd like to know, I flew AA 3580. Here are the details:
Flight: AA 3580 (Eagle)
Date: Oct 25th
Seat: 4B (only coach on this one)
This is already kind of long, so I'll just say that, due to the huge windows in the ERJ, I got a great view of the Fedex ramp on takeoff. We took off on 36C putting FedEx on the right side. I slept through the beverage service. It was a nice, smooth flight too at flight level 280. We landed at DFW Rwy 17C and parked on the B side at B10A.