Lots of CRJs: United CRJ200 Review GSP-IAD-SCE

Ok, here’s another one. This United CRJ200 review is pretty boring, but I don’t fly United very often so I figured it would be a good comparison.

This morning I’m flying to Pennsylvania. Right in the middle of the state is a town called Dubois, they don’t really have an airport so I’m flying to State College then driving about an hour. On the outbound I’ll be flying United and then I’ll fly Delta Home.

This is another United Airlines flight, bit of an oddity for me, but UA had good prices and times on this route so that’s what I’m flying. Today’s flight is via IAD, haven’t been to Dullas since this blog began.

Both flights today are also on United’s CRJ200 so that kinda sucks but is what it is. Anyway, let’s get into it.

In This Trip

1 :Lots of CRJs: United CRJ200 Review GSP-IAD-SCE

     1.1: GSP Airport
     1.2: Delta 737-800 Service
     1.3: United CRJ200 Bulkhead Review GSP-IAD
     1.4: IAD Airport Transfer and Turkish Airlines Lounge Dullas
     1.5: United CRJ200 Economy Review IAD-SCE
     1.6: Final Thoughts

2: Review: Fairfield Inn and Suites DuBois, PA

3: More CRJs: Delta SCE-DTW-GSP CRJ200 and CRJ900 Economy Review

GSP Airport

Welcome back to my walk from the economy parking lot here at GSP. It’s much faster to just walk through the parking lot next to the garage than it is to use the sidewalk at the main entrance. If it’s raining, and it looks like it might today, walk though the garage, then you’re covered the whole time.

Inside the security line for regular passengers was as long as I’ve ever seen. I was pre-check and that line was very short with only 2 people ahead of me.

Once through security I made a left to the A concourse here at GSP. A is the larger concourse that houses United, American, and Southwest. B concourse is almost exclusively Delta, but Allegiant shares B1 and I think that’s where Silver departs from too.

My gate this morning for the flight to Dullas was all the way at the end. Gate A8. There are more gates on this side than the A Concourse, but it’s still not a large terminal.

Our United CRJ200 waiting to take us up to Dullas this morning. It’s a little gloomy outside today and that’s a bit of foreshadowing for the entire rest of the trip.

United CRJ200 Bulkhead Review GSP-IAD

After walking from car, to terminal, to gate in under 10 minutes, I had about 10 minutes to kill before boarding. Pretty usual Monday morning crowd here at GSP. Mostly business looking people, a few couples, and then some families.

After finishing with the 7:30 flight to Houston, the gate agent walked over and made the boarding announments for our United flight to Dullas. The United CRJ 200 has tiny overhead bins, and while my pelican case does fit, they are gate checking everything and it’s not worth the fight. If I have a really short connection I’ll have that argument, but no reason for that today.

I usually don’t like sitting in row one of any aircraft. These United CRJ200 row one isn’t great, I’m not a big guy and I don’t fit very well.

The pilots made their normal boarding announcement and we were told it’s a 1:10 flight once we’re in the air. Just enough time for a podcast or two.

We were fully boarded about 10 minutes early and pushed back about 5 minutes early. Good start, much like our last United flight. The flight attendant did have to ask if someone from rows 1-3 would mind changing seats to more towards the middle of the plane. This is pretty common on CRJ200s when they aren’t completely full.

Looks like we’re taking off to the North East on this gloomy morning. The weather is scheduled to be crummy all week here in Greenville, at least it’s not hot. These CRJ200s suck when they are hot.

We soon took off and blasted through the cloud layer. Actually pretty once you get up here. Unfortunately the United CRJ200 suffers from the same issue as all of these things, the AC sucks and it’s starting to warm up.

The overhead panel is very simple on the United CRJ200. It seems like my particular air vent did not have adjustable flow. It couldn’t be closed or open anymore.

Once we were above 10k ft the flight attendant came through with a snack service. United has Stroopwafels and they are delicious. I accompanied mine with a water.

It was getting a little rough and they left the seatbelt sign on while the flight attendant finish the service. We’re flying between the cloud layers this morning, not surprised about it being a little bumpy. Hopefully as we get up the coast a bit it will smooth out.

As we passed through the final layer of cloud it did smooth out and gave us a wonderful view. After the people around me finished their snacks and put their respective masks back on I took mine off and quickly enjoyed my Stroopwafel and water breakfast.

I do like that on the CRJ200, the flight attendants will pull a curtain across the boarding door mechanism. It tries to pretend it’s not a CRJ200. I give these things a hard time, but they do service an important role. Small airports aren’t big enough to support larger aircraft so without the CRJ, service would likely be reduced.

As we overflew Richmond, you could feel us starting to slightly descend and the flight attendant did walkthrough to collect trash from the service. Flying on the right side of the plane, while heading north in the morning is a sunny event. Great sunrise, but a bit blinding. Before check in, I had a seat on the other side of the plane, but at the time, had a seat mate, so I swapped.

It’s always a gamble but unfortunately didn’t pay off this time as I have a seat mate here in row 1. Win some loose some, happens. As we crossed back through the top cloud layer again, it started to get bumpy. The seat belt sight was turned back on and the flight attendant re-secured the curtain blocking the view of the boarding door.

As we continued to descend rain started streaking across my window. Guess it’s raining here today in Northern Virginia. We slowly continued our decent and the DC burbs came into view.

We flew directly over the Washington Football team practice facility. Seems like the weather here in DMV isn’t any better than it was down in South Carolina.

Yep, looks wet, but at least it’s not cold. It’s late August so it’s more steamy wet than a cold wet.

After landing in a very wet IAD we had to wait a few minutes for our gate to open. There was a vehicle blocking the way. Not a big deal, we’re a few minutes early anyway.

After pulling into the Ax gates here in at IAD, we had to wait for the ramp to be brought over. We’ll also be walking outside in the rain, as it should be.

The A#x gates are all outdoor boarding gates. I almost like that, there’s something very fun about walking outside to a plane.

IAD Airport Transfer and Turkish Airlines Lounge Dullas

I walked into the terminal and was a little surprised, I wasn’t expecting to see so many people in this part of the airport. But this is a banked hub for United so lots of planes arriving here even if the rest of the A/B terminal is empty.

I walked into a pretty empty A terminal and down to the B terminal to try out some lounges.

The AF/KL lounge was closed, the VS lounge was closed, the LH lounge was closed, finally made it to the TK lounge and it’s open. Unsurprisingly the international terminal is nearly empty.

Turns out I haven’t used priority pass in a really long time and has to ask Val to send me a picture of the card so I could log back into the app. There’s a good reason I haven’t used PP in a while, it sucks.

Inside the Turkish Lounge I found a table near the buffet. I’ve been here before when it was pre-covid and the service was find but it was absolutely packed. It’s only slightly less crowded now, but the buffet selection is really poor.

This TK lounge is so widely regarded as one of the best PP lounges in the US, it’s crap. Many of these lounges operate different programs for when it’s PP hours vs customer hours, but this is pretty pathetic. The food offerings were bread(not toast), berries, yoghurt, and rubbery eggs. A Holiday Inn Express has better breakfast options.

A highlight was when an ANA 787 arrived. Great view of that, but unfortunately there was no power at my table or anywhere nearby. I always travel with a power pack, but I don’t usually anticipate using it in a lounge.

After about an hour I decided to leave. Honestly didn’t even get any food or drinks, just didn’t seem worth it.

My flight was leaving in about a 45 minutes and on my walk back I got to see the Planemate shuttling people over to the other United gates at C/D. The A/B terminal is much better here at Dullas, except for these A#x gates, these are not great.

I slowly walked to my gate, all the way at the end of the A#X gates. Saw a Jersey Mike’s subs along the way and it was almost lunchtime so I stopped.

This area isn’t great, but at least it’s not crowded and there are plenty of areas to sit. The gate arrangement here is much like the old CVG or the current temporary SLC gates, lots of gates to let you outside where you then find the plane.
I was planning on eating once I landed in PA, but as soon as I packed the sandwich away, an announcement was made that our flight was delayed due to maintenance issues. So I grabbed a seat in an empty area and had lunch.

At noon, our scheduled departure time, we got the announcement that we were now boarding.

United CRJ200 Economy Review IAD-SCE

After a quick scan of my boarding pass and getting a new valet check tag I was outside again and walking to my plane. There was a person to check and insure that I got on the correct plane. Because there are several parked here and all using the same gate, they need to make sure it’s the correct plane.

I put my bag onto the cart again and then walked up the ramp.

Again boarding by ramp, I really like that. I don’t care where I am, I want to board via stairs/ramp. I do miss walking up the stairs on the back of the door, that really feels like a private jet, until you get inside. Either way, I haven’t done that in years and kinda miss it.

How else can you get great views like this. Even if the weather is a bit crap, I’d still rather have this experience.

There’s not much to say about this United CRJ200 vs the previous one. I will say, I’d much rather be in row 4 than 1. The bulkhead kinda sucks, there’s very few bulkheads I like, the United CRJ200 is not on that list.

The whole boarding process was very fast. Less than 10 minutes from boarding announcement to “everyone on board” announcement by the flight attendant.

The pilot also made the standard pilot announcement, weather 75f and clouds, flight time 31 minutes, sorry about the delay, thanks for flying with us. The flight attendant was also nice and bubbly. And the door soon closed.

The flight attendant did her safety briefing as we pushed back. Very normal and boring. I do like how United closes this with “welcome to the friendly skies.”

Time for another podcast and some hunchback style window viewing. The United CRJ200, and every CRJ200 have very low windows, just how it is. It’s a real bummer because I love to watch out the window.

We begun our taxi over to the runway, got a great view of why Dullas is famous, it’s terminal building, the control tower, and the plane mates.

Very few flights these days still. This terminal is mostly for international flights and those are still pretty rare these days. We begun our taxi over to the runway, got a great view of why Dullas is famous, it’s terminal building, the control tower, and the plane mates.

We soon took off to the North West. Man, these United CRJ200s are hot. Again, this isn’t United specific, it’s not as bad as when we flew out of CDC, but still, it shouldn’t be.

Still pretty cloudy outside, shouldn’t be a surprise. Anyway, pretty short flight today so not expecting anything amazing, we’re not really flying over anything exciting. As we crossed 10k feet we got a quick announced from the flight attendant. We would be getting a quick water service, but nothing beyond that. I’m pretty impressed that even on a 30 minute flight, they’ll offer any service at all.

I had a water as I didn’t have a drink with my sandwich, to my surprise, the flight attendant also did a pass through with the snack basket. I again had a Stroopwafel. I love those things. This United CRJ200 flight while somewhat uncomfortable, does have good service.

Very quickly after finishing my snack the pilot came on and told us we were descending. This is a pretty short flight at only 133 miles.

I’ve flown some short ones, KOA-OGG, DTW-CLE, GSP-CLT, this one is in that group.

We never made it above the top cloud layer before starting our decent. Fast flight, never even had enough time pull the curtain on the boarding door.

Looks like it’s going to be a little raining today here in Pennsylvania. Probably about the same as back at Dullas. We’re flying just about at the bottom of the clouds, little rough nothing serious.

Flights into college towns are funny, they all have a similar feel. Mostly because they are lots of CRJ200. TLH, GNV, or SCE same thing.

We soon landed and began our taxi back to the gate. Doesn’t look like SCE doesn’t have a taxiway for the runway, as we had to turn around on the short runway and head back to the terminal. All in, except for the short delay, this was a pleasant flight.

State College Airport doesn’t have any Jet Bridges. It has more gates than I expected at 8, but there were only 3 boarding doors inside. I’m just glad I get to walk outside again, the luggage cart was already loaded and in place by the time I exited.

Another shot looking back down the United CRJ200 as the regular checked luggage was unloaded. Not a lot of ramp equipment here.

I soon walked into the terminal and to the rental car counters. There was no option to walk into the secured area so this was very much like Cedar City Airport, but a bit bigger. More like a Gainesville sized airport.

Final Thoughts

United is a good airline. I’ve had a few of flights with them in the last month and they were all perfectly pleasant. Val also has some United Flights scheduled for later this month so keep an eye out for those trips.

On the United CRJ200 I would not recommend the bulk head, basically any other seat is better. I did like that even on these short flights, they offered a snack and water service. That’s good marks in my book.

Dullas is not a bad airport in the A/B concourse. Plenty of space and I like distinctly international terminals like what you find here and at ORD. The Turkish lounge is not good these days. I’ve been before and almost liked it, but now, during Covid, it’s bad. It’s the only Priority Pass lounge open these days but really, I’d rather just find a quiet spot to sit and relax. At least the is power to charge my phone.

Anyway, I enjoyed this flight. On the way home I’ll be flying Delta and we’ll see how that goes.

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