sfflyer123
Topic Author
Posts: 322
Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 6:18 pm

First Class On A Regional Jet. SFO-Calgary CRJ-700

Sat May 11, 2013 8:31 pm

I flew from San Francisco to Calgary in first class on the CRJ 700 regional jet. I wanted to go skiing, and I figured that the Canadian rockies were the place to go since I had never been there before. As you may know, United flies there non-stop from SFO many times per day. I figured this would be a good chance for me to fly UA and get my miles.

I bought my ticket probably 6 weeks in advance. Fortunately, I got an upgrade both legs since I used my miles to upgrade these flights. The regional jets are very tiny, and the upgrade can be very difficult. However, I applied my upgrade request early on, and I did not rely on the CPU (complimentary premier upgrade), which is a "free" upgrade based upon elite status. I rarely get the CPU upgrade nowadays, even as a 1K. I almost always need to use an upgrade instrument.

Check in was standard, not much to write home about except that now everybody is a premier. The only distinction is Global services or First Class on PS flights. Otherwise, as a 1K, you're in the same premier line as the 25k/year and the credit card holders.

SFO has now implemented TSA pre-check, which is phenomenal. As a 1K you fly through that line. It has made life much better. It closes at 6pm, unfortunately.

The flight has a pre-departure OJ or water, and then a drink after take off. They don't have ovens, etc, on these regional jets, so they do give you a nice snack box. It's a nice touch. They also do coffee/tea service after your mail snack, so that is also very nice.

The legroom on the regional jets is actually much bigger than the first class on the A320/319 and the b757 series on UA. It's much more spacious. The drawbacks, however, are that there is absolutely no entertainment whatsoever--no radio, no TV, nothing. You have to bring your own.

The economy class section of the regional jet is also tight. They can be quite cramped. The roof is probably only 5'10" tall, so if you're taller, you have to bend down just to walk.

The bathroom is very problematic for people who are over six feet. Your head is cocked to one side the entire time, so it is very uncomfortable trying to use the bathroom in these small jets.

Overall, I think if you get upgraded to first, the regional jet is nice for a short flight. However, it can be somewhat painful in economy. I try to avoid these regional jets for the most part, but on some routes, we have no choice, given how UA is now cutting back.

Here is my video of the entire flight:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wKVQfB4-_Y

I hope you enjoy my commercial-free trip report, and I hope this gives you an idea of the regional jet first class experience!
 
767747
Posts: 2136
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:08 am

RE: First Class On A Regional Jet. SFO-Calgary CRJ-700

Sun May 12, 2013 2:13 am

Great report, sfflyer123!

Did you stay in Banff? It looked familiar to me - I visited this place back in '01. F on the CRJ looks pretty good, and snack doesn't look too bad.

Thanks for sharing,

Matthew
I love to fly!
 
ORDnHKG
Posts: 105
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 5:29 am

RE: First Class On A Regional Jet. SFO-Calgary CRJ-700

Sun May 12, 2013 5:45 am

Quoting sfflyer123 (Thread starter):
The economy class section of the regional jet is also tight. They can be quite cramped. The roof is probably only 5'10" tall, so if you're taller, you have to bend down just to walk.

The bathroom is very problematic for people who are over six feet. Your head is cocked to one side the entire time, so it is very uncomfortable trying to use the bathroom in these small jets.

Overall, I think if you get upgraded to first, the regional jet is nice for a short flight. However, it can be somewhat painful in economy. I try to avoid these regional jets for the most part, but on some routes, we have no choice, given how UA is now cutting back.

Disagree

CR7 and E70 are actually the better of RJ in Y since both of them have E+ in Y with UA. Not to mention, It is 2+2 in Y, so no middle seat, the seats in Y are only slightly narrower than F. Besides, row 2 in F on the CR7 have substanially less legroom than row 1, it is not much better than E+ or E+ bulkhead row 3. I wouldn't even bother to use RPU to upgrade to F on any RJ routes, as basically all you will get in F is a snack box as extra, nothing else, so if CPU clear to F that's fine, if not that's fine too in E+.
 
rockyracoon
Posts: 1013
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2003 3:58 am

RE: First Class On A Regional Jet. SFO-Calgary CRJ-700

Sun May 12, 2013 12:40 pm

Hi,


What does the snack mix consist of?
 
adamspotter
Posts: 1191
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:06 pm

RE: First Class On A Regional Jet. SFO-Calgary CRJ-700

Sun May 12, 2013 2:16 pm

Great video report as always sfflyer!

cheers,

Brendan
 
sfflyer123
Topic Author
Posts: 322
Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 6:18 pm

RE: First Class On A Regional Jet. SFO-Calgary CRJ-700

Mon May 13, 2013 12:12 am

Quoting 767747 (Reply 1):
Great report, sfflyer123!

Did you stay in Banff? It looked familiar to me - I visited this place back in '01. F on the CRJ looks pretty good, and snack doesn't look too bad.

Thank you. Yes, I was in Banff & Lake Louise. It was fun.

Quoting ORDnHKG (Reply 2):
Disagree

CR7 and E70 are actually the better of RJ in Y since both of them have E+ in Y with UA. Not to mention, It is 2+2 in Y, so no middle seat, the seats in Y are only slightly narrower than F. Besides, row 2 in F on the CR7 have substanially less legroom than row 1, it is not much better than E+ or E+ bulkhead row 3. I wouldn't even bother to use RPU to upgrade to F on any RJ routes, as basically all you will get in F is a snack box as extra, nothing else, so if CPU clear to F that's fine, if not that's fine too in E+.

Good to know. Thanks.

Quoting rockyracoon (Reply 3):
What does the snack mix consist of?

If you take a look at the video, it shows the snack box in all its glory!

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 4):
Great video report as always sfflyer!

Thank you!
 
MSS658
Posts: 2454
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 8:16 am

RE: First Class On A Regional Jet. SFO-Calgary CRJ-700

Tue May 14, 2013 12:31 pm

Hey

Great video report, thanks for sharing!
F doens't look bat at all on the CRJ, especially the 1-2 arrangment.
The snack box however is a bit on the poor side for a 2hour F-class flight


Greetings
Marc
Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
 
eastern747
Posts: 578
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 5:34 am

RE: First Class On A Regional Jet. SFO-Calgary CRJ-700

Tue May 14, 2013 6:37 pm

Those snack boxes are a complete "joke" and it's a shame UA has such poor inflight service. However on the other hand, if everyone sitting up in front are on free tickets, you loose money. You need to charge them enough to cover the cost of moving them A to B. It could be $100 or so, but it pays for catering and some of the costs to move that aircraft. Those snack boxes were full of nasty mass produced food. I once again have to ask the question, does UA say what is boarded or the regional doing the flight? You want to compare this with a great, professional snack, look at PORTER. All coach, free snack,glassware, free beer and wine, and real food. The crews are very pleasant, and if you connect in Toronto, the gate area is like a business or F/C lounge with free snacks and beverages, with comfortable seats. Those folks in the Willis Tower need to wake up!!!IMHO
 
sfflyer123
Topic Author
Posts: 322
Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 6:18 pm

RE: First Class On A Regional Jet. SFO-Calgary CRJ-700

Thu May 16, 2013 3:58 am

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 6):
Great video report, thanks for sharing!
F doens't look bat at all on the CRJ, especially the 1-2 arrangment.
The snack box however is a bit on the poor side for a 2hour F-class flight

Thank you. Yeah, I've only been on UA regional jets, so I don't know what other airlines serve in first class on their regionals, but good to know! Thanks.

Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 7):
hand, if everyone sitting up in front are on free tickets, you loose money. You need to charge them enough to cover the cost of moving them A to B. It could be $100 or so, but it pays for catering and some of the costs to move that aircraft. Those snack boxes were full of nasty mass produced food. I once again have to ask the question, does UA say what is boarded or the regional doing the flight? You want to compare this with a great, professional snack, look at PORTER. All coach, free snack,glassware, free beer and wine, and real food. The crews are very pleasant, and if you connect in Toronto, the gate area is like a business or F/C lounge with free snacks and beverages, with comfortable seats. Those folks in the Willis Tower need to wake up!!!IMHO

Great comment. I've never heard of Porter; is that a Canadian airline?
 
eastern747
Posts: 578
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 5:34 am

RE: First Class On A Regional Jet. SFO-Calgary CRJ-700

Thu May 16, 2013 2:16 pm

Porter is Canadian based at Toronto City airport. Check their website.
 
sfflyer123
Topic Author
Posts: 322
Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 6:18 pm

RE: First Class On A Regional Jet. SFO-Calgary CRJ-700

Sat May 18, 2013 3:13 am

Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 9):
Porter is Canadian based at Toronto City airport. Check their website

Thanks. I'll have to check it out!
 
Sancho99504
Posts: 274
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2005 2:44 pm

RE: First Class On A Regional Jet. SFO-Calgary CRJ-700

Thu May 23, 2013 12:55 am

Quoting sfflyer123 (Thread starter):
The roof is probably only 5'10" tall, so if you're taller, you have to bend down just to walk.

The bathroom is very problematic for people who are over six feet. Your head is cocked to one side the entire time, so it is very uncomfortable trying to use the bathroom in these small jets.

I travel on CRJ-700/900 with DL connection carriers all the time. I'm wondering if UA/OO does something different with their CRJ-700's that make them feel cramped. I'm 6'1" 270lbs and do not have to duck walking the aisle or lean sideways in the lavs, but the lav size can feel cramped for one who does fly most of their trips on mainline. DL serves cold meals on flights over 3 hours in F on regional jets, not snack boxes.
kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out-USMC
 
sfflyer123
Topic Author
Posts: 322
Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 6:18 pm

RE: First Class On A Regional Jet. SFO-Calgary CRJ-700

Fri May 24, 2013 3:11 am

Quoting sancho99504 (Reply 11):
I travel on CRJ-700/900 with DL connection carriers all the time. I'm wondering if UA/OO does something different with their CRJ-700's that make them feel cramped. I'm 6'1" 270lbs and do not have to duck walking the aisle or lean sideways in the lavs, but the lav size can feel cramped for one who does fly most of their trips on mainline. DL serves cold meals on flights over 3 hours in F on regional jets, not snack boxes

Very interesting. I wonder if the roof is "thicker" on the UA planes--meaning they have more "stuff" built into the roof that makes it shorter on the UA planes. good to know about the cold meal. I think UA needs to step up!

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