Many people like to complain about modern airlines. I, however am not one to complain. Give me a half decent seat and a view out the window and I’m happy. I have never ever come off of a flight thinking “well that was miserable” until now. Thanks United Express.
This miserable experience all started off at about 8 AM at San Francisco International Airport. After a good night of sleep on one of United’s amazing 787 aircraft I was ready for my final flight home. We arrived at our gate at 10:20 AM only to be told that our flight to Albuquerque would be delayed. After about an hour of waiting a young looking CRJ-700 finally fulled up to the stand. Even though the aircraft was parked we waited an additional 40 minutes to board and were given no explanation as to why we waited. Finally about an hour and a half after our flight was supposed to have left we began boarding.
As is the case with every flight on the CRJ large carry on bags had to be gate checked. No big deal. Upon entering the aircraft the cabin felt not only new but also very very clean. While everyone was taking their seats and getting settled the captain told those of us in the cabin that our flight was running very late due to “an assortment of issues” and that the ride into Albuquerque would be rough. This is very common on a summer afternoon in Albuquerque due to the heat and the mountains. As we taxied for takeoff from San Francisco I noticed that my back was getting sore. I blamed it on the waiting in the airport and didn’t think any more of it. As our little CRJ slowly found its way to the runway I enjoyed looking at the assortment of beautiful aircraft parked at the terminal. As we turned onto the active runway the CRJ’s engines began to spool up. Even though the CRJ carries fuselage mounted engines as long as you aren’t in the back 3 rows the aircraft is remarkably quiet even at takeoff. The aircraft took to the sky in no time in what was one of the fastest takeoff rolls I have ever experienced in an airliner. On our way out of San Francisco I once again noticed that my entire back was in much pain. I finally realized what was wrong. The seats in the CRJ had almost no padding. I don’t mean little padding as is the case in most slimline seats I mean there was so little padding one could feel the metal components in the seat digging into their back. As the flight progressed the seats only felt worse.
About an hour into our flight the flight attendants passed out complimentary snacks and drinks. United has a good domestic drink and snack service consisting of a snack mix and a generously sized soft drink of your choice. After the drink service had come to an end I sat in pain for the remaining hour of flying time thinking about how I wished to be on an American Airlines CRJ at that time. About an hour behind schedule our flight began its descent into Albuquerque. The wind was strong as was the turbulence which made for an extremely fun approach. As our pilots made a firm but not rough landing I began to think of our flight as a whole. Delays happen on occasion. I was and still am willing to forgive that however, I simply cannot forgive the absolutely abysmal seat that has been installed on the Untied Express CRJ-700 fleet.
Now for the numbers
Seat Comfort: Am I allowed to go into the negatives?
Customer Service: 7/10
I can easily sum up the United Express flight experience in two sentences:
United Express is a very good regional product ruined by the worst seat I’ve ever had the displeasure to use. Seriously…give your money to American Eagle.