The landscape of travel is going through countless changes these days. This is definitely a mixed bag, but there is one change that I find to be overwhelmingly positive. Regional jets are not going away, but many carriers are moving from 50 seaters to larger planes. To me, that is inarguably a positive development. The CRJ200 is my least favorite plane, and I’ve flown more legs on that type than any other. By a long shot. While I’m taller than average, as a rule, if I can’t stand up in a plane, I’m not a fan. Good riddance to the CRJ200!
American Retires the CRJ200
Along with several other of the oldest types in the fleet, American has announced that the CRJ200 will no longer be a part of their (regional) fleet. Rocky covered this announcement in more detail here. For those interested in fleet information, an excellent source, albeit unofficial is the American Fleet Site. This lists detailed information about all mainline and regional fleets. Based on information here, all CRJ200s for American’s regional carriers are either retired or stored. Even one of my frequent routes between Milwaukee and Chicago are usually operated by larger regional jets, most often the CRJ700. While not exactly comfortable either, a noticeable improvement on the smaller version.
One of the reasons I have preferred flying American in recent years, is that I mostly could avoid the CRJ200, with mostly mainline flights from my home airport to DFW and PHX, most flights are more comfortable. Less connections at O’Hare are a positive in most ways as well.
United still flies the CRJ200…
While United still has regional partners operating the CRJ200, I don’t suspect this is going to last much longer, especially in the current environment. Due to scope clauses in the agreement with pilots, there is a ratio of mainline vs regional planes in the fleet, and in particular how large the regional planes are. This article from Flight Global reports on a conference where United executives discuss their plans to reconfigure some of their regional fleets. I suspect this means less 50-seaters, at least the traditional types. More CRJ550s are probably coming, while they hold 50 passengers, they fill a need to keep costs low, and still provide more comfort to passengers on shorter flights.
My time as a frequent United flyer is when I flew most of the hundreds of legs on the CRJ200. Thankfully that is mostly in my past now. United currently has CRJ200s operated by Skywest and Air Wisconsin in their Express fleet. Source: United Fleet Website
Delta still flies the CRJ200…
I haven’t seen any announcements regarding plans for Delta ending the use of the CRJ200 in their regional fleet. Many of these planes are still out flying regularly. Things change quickly, and there are still over 100 50-seat CRJ’s in the Delta Connection fleet, so it will likely take some time to wind these down, if and when that decision in made.
I’ve flown CRJ200s for Delta, and going even further back when Northwest was a separate entity. Long ago…Delta currently has CRJ200s operated by Endeavor and Skywest in their connection fleet. Source: Delta Airlines Fleet Site
I’m happy that American has retired the CRJ200, my least favorite plane. These are still in service for United and Delta, but I expect this to change as these planes continue to age. I’m not sure the economics work as well as they have in the past. Regional jets are a part of travel, but thankfully, more comfortable options such as the E-175s are becoming more common for shorter hops.