I’m not a big fan of regional jets because they’re small, tight and hot in the summer. Unfortunately, there are times when you have no choice but to fly them—like when I recently had to fly one between Toronto and Washington, D.C. Both American Airlines (AA) and Air Canada service this route, both only with regional jets. I chose AA because I have elite status with them.
Although I was able to board the plane first, I chose to wait because it was 88ºF out and I knew that we had to walk up stairs to the plane as it wasn’t connected to a ramp. I knew that it was going to be hot on the plane once I took my seat, as the air conditioning doesn’t really kick in until they shut the plane’s door. Sure enough, when I eventually boarded people were fanning themselves because it was so hot. In addition, there was still plenty of overhead space for my bag, as most people carry bags that are too large for these smaller planes and are forced to gate check them. I made the right call, and I suggest you do, too—just not when I’m on the plane ;).
Related: Ask a Pilot with Spencer: Do Regional Airlines Abide by the Same Safety Standards?
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I totally disagree, Johnny. To me, seats in regional jets seem more roomy, especially in legroom. I feel like the ride quality in a regional jet is usually similar to those of larger planes except when you get low at airports like Denver in the summertimes when it gets a little bumpy.
I boarded a regional jet on United yesterday in Denver when it was in the 90s. I was upgraded to first class, so I was the second person on the plane. The plane was very well air conditioned.