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Even though I make an attempt to keep my av-geekinees contained, I often cannot help myself. Last week a couple coworkers and I were lamenting the experience of flying regional jets. Since one is from the central valley of California, I dug into my box of useless trivia and unearthed the fact that United operates a nonstop flight between Chicago and Fresno, a distance of over 1,700 miles. Using? Yep. A regional jet.
I’d been curious when I first saw the route being added, per the map the back of United’s in-flight magazine. It intrigued me enough to look it up, and my jaw dropped when I saw it was being operated by an ERJ-175.
The only redeeming factor of such a trip is that it was on the one regional jet I actually like flying (SEE: 3 reasons why the ERJ-175 is my favorite non-wide-body jet). But that’s still a ridiculously long way to go in a tiny plane. First class is awesome on the ERJ, specifically the window/aisle seats where you don’t have anyone next to you.
When I went looking for the flight on Google Flights last week, it wasn’t there. I eventually figured out that the service ended in August. Maybe United will fly it seasonally? I don’t know. Maybe there weren’t many people who wanted to fly that far in an ERJ.
There are others, and they’re worse
United actually has other regional jet routes that are about the same length. The longest is San Francisco to Madison, Wisconsin, which clocks in a little under 1,800 miles. It is also operated by an ERJ-175.
Turns out United isn’t the only carrier to fly long routes with regional jets. Air Canada operates one between Calgary and Houston with a CRJ-900. That one might be a hard pass. Even a CRJ-900 isn’t as nice of a ride as an ERJ-175.
Would you fly nearly 1,800 miles in a regional jet?
Route map images courtesy of Karl L. Swartz and Great Circle Mapper.
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CLE-DFW every week for 10 months on a Continental Express ERJ-145
Well that is a “mere” 1,021 miles 🙂
I’d say a 145 and a 175 are totally different animals 😉
This I agree with 100%.
Recent flight on Air Canada Vancouver to Chicago on a CRJ. Bad weather as always in Chicago, so with rerouting/holding had a fuel issue and had to refuel in Milwaukee before continuing to Chicago, as that jet is “not meant” for long distances (per the Flight Captain). On the other hand, as less desirable, was the only saver option available to book through United.
I fly the Calgary to Houston and vice versa on Air Canada several times a year. It’s not terrible, I think the key is to travel with someone, that way you have the aisle / window seat together. Those planes are tight that it can be somewhat uncomfortable to seat really close next to a stranger…
American Eagle flies the ERJ-175 MIA-MSP, for a cool 1500 miles.
What about international flight in ERJ175. New route ORD to BJX will be operated by ERJ175… 1,648 miles… Flights are starting on October 28th.
wasn’t it a while back UA actually did IAH-YYC (or was it YUL, i forgot which one) with a ERJ-145 ? That’s far worse than CRJ900 by AC Jazz
I flew Pittsburgh to Denver direct on a full E170 once. Never again! The weather was bad to so we had to be seated the entire time.
I actually prefer ERJ175 over Boeing and Airbus. All the amenities of full size jets and I find the ERJ175 more comfortable.
Good article, I actually was looking at this last week. RIC to DEN on UA is an ERJ-175 and comes in at about 1500 miles. Since that route is really your only option when flying RIC – OGG (and only want one stop) you have to be okay with it. I agree with you 100% that an ERJ-170/75/90 is much better than a CRJ-700/900.
My, mother and I will be on a Kenyan Airways ER-190, NBO-LVI (1363 miles, 3h15m) and I’m thrilled: 1-2 seating in C; in-seat video; relatively new plane; good headroom. Works for me.
I would fly 1,800 miles in an ERJ-170/175. I might consider an ERJ-145 if I got a solo seat. I would not look forward to such a flight on a CRJ 200 or 700.
What does the size of the plane matter? Embraer 175 is actually a very comfortable plane. Better than the same trip in a middle seat on mainline.
UA is now just a cut throat sub trying to keep stockholders happy. Passengers? Ehhh. ERJs and CRJs are no longer “regional jets”, they’re main line haulers. All about the $!
Last month we flew on Easy jet from Bordeaux to Lyon. An unfortunate cancellation gave us few options. WE had to give up our business class seats for what was available, a pair of aisle seats across from each other. Our daughters were horrified, but it was our choice. Our plane had the 3-3 configuration, seats were small and firm, but we fit. Luckily the 2 other passengers in my row were young athletic Frenchmen who easily stepped over me to their seats. The aisles are narrow, but since we are in our 80’s we boarded early.
Would I want to make a longer flight in that plane? That would be a no. On the other hand, the Easy Jet staff were very nice, helped us with our luggage, as you board and exit on the tarmac up a steep flight of stairs.
One thing we absolutely loved was their enforcement of their one carry on rule. It was very amusing to see numerous people trying to stuff their assorted bags into one at 6 AM.
Our cruise manager had warned us about this so we had no problems.
Minor point here. Officially the nomenclature as per Embraer for the family of 170/175/190/195 is E-175 etc, NOT ERJ which ended with the ERJ-145. These are 2 totally different families of aircraft. To infer that the E family even remotely resembles the older Jungle Jets is an insult to Embraer.
To a lesser extent the original Tundra jets CRJ-100/200 were improved as the 700/900 models, but had much commonality. The Canadair CS-100/300 (now the Airbus 220 series), are also an entirely different aircraft family with almost no commonality.
BTW, the E Family has ranges varying from 2100 to 2400+ in their basic configurations.
Over the course of my nearly 16,000 commercial aviation flights, I’ve seen flown most types, and seen most of what there is to see. I enjoy the E Family, and have no qualms flying on them.
Very comfortable aircraft to fly with full size bins and stand up cabin heights.
Safe journeys to you and yours.