United’s new CRJ-550 enters regular passenger service on Sunday, and AirlineGeeks was invited to take a look at the airplane before its inaugural run. The reconfigured CRJ-700 is a stark departure from the regional jets of the past with comfortable seating and passenger-friendly amenities.
United touts the 550 as, “the world’s only 50-seat regional aircraft to offer true first-class seating and other premium amenities.”
Boarding the CRJ-550 passengers can immediately tell, this isn’t your standard regional jet. Passengers are greeted by a spacious entryway and the first-class walk-up bar. It has the feel of an international wide-body, not a regional feeder plane.
The aircraft is set up in a premium heavy two-class configuration consisting of 10 first class seats featuring a whopping 42” pitch. 20 Economy Plus and 20 Economy seats with 34-36” pitch and 30” pitch respectively. The first row of economy plus has virtually unlimited legroom.
The plane sports room for every customer to bring on a roller bag that can be stored in floor level lockers as well as a walk-up drink and snack station for passengers seated up front. Alcoholic drinks will continue to have to be served by a flight attendant.
First class passengers will also be treated to premium snacks found on mainline flights like a fruit and cheese plate. Drinks up front will be served in the Polaris glassware to polish off the premium experience.
The jet will feature Wi-Fi as well as streaming entertainment. Power outlets will be added at each seat at a later date, according to United.
The CRJ-550 enters regularly scheduled service this Sunday from Chicago O’Hare to fifteen destinations and will begin flying out of United’s Newark and Washington Dulles hubs in the coming weeks.
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