5 Reasons I Love Flying The Embraer E175

5 Reasons I Love Flying The Embraer E175

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Typically I go out of my way to avoid regional jets. They’re loud, tight, require you to gate-check your bag, sometimes don’t have first class, etc. However, there’s one regional jet I love — the Embraer E175 (perhaps more accurately, the entire family of Embraer jets, as I like the Embraer E190, etc., as well, but just don’t fly them as much).

I most frequently fly the Embraer E175 on American Eagle, and I think I almost prefer the plane to American’s domestic mainline fleet. Why?

No middle seats on the entire plane

There aren’t really any bad seats on the Embraer jets, as there are no middle seats. This is great if you’re traveling with someone, since you can have a window and aisle. Not only that, but the seats are over 18″ wide, making them among the widest economy seats you’ll find on any plane.

Speaking of economy seats on this aircraft, the bulkhead economy seats on the Embraer E175 might just be the best economy seats you’ll find anywhere. They have virtually unlimited legroom, and in some ways might just offer more space than first class. Keep in mind there’s even a trick to snagging these last minute.

Embraer E175 economy class cabin

Great ratio of first class seats

This of course varies by airline, but American Eagle’s Embraer E175s have a fantastic ratio of first class seats (and the same is true on most airlines). The planes have a total of 76 seats, and 12 of those are first class seats, representing ~16% of the overall capacity.

Compare that to American’s Boeing 737s (the carrier’s most common plane), which have 172 seats, with 16 first class seats, representing ~9% of the overall capacity. Upgrade chances don’t get much better than on the Embraer E175, thanks to the percentage of first class seats.

For those curious, there’s a reason that there are so many first class seats. American mainline pilots have a scope clause that limits the regional jet flying that airlines can do. Regional jets flying for American’s subsidiaries are capped at having 76 seats — that’s exactly how many seats American Eagle Embraer E175s have, including the large first class cabin and extra legroom economy cabin. In an all-economy configuration, the jet could comfortably have 88 seats.

Embraer E175 first class cabin

Single first class seats

As someone who loves looking out the window but also likes having access to the aisle, this is something I value. While economy on the Embraer E175 is in a 2-2 configuration, first class is in a 1-2 configuration. If you’re lucky, you can snag one of the solo first class seats and have both a window and an aisle.

Embraer E175 first class solo seats

Big windows

This might sound minor to some, but continuing on the above, I love looking out windows. Many regional jets have small windows that aren’t even at eye-level. The Embraer E175 has huge windows (at least they feel that way) at the perfect level. I feel like they’re bigger than on typical Airbus or Boeing narrow bodies, though perhaps that’s an illusion. At a minimum, they’re certainly wider.

The Embraer E175 has big windows

Feels like a big jet

In terms of the passenger experience, the Embraer feels more like a big jet than a regional jet. You don’t have to crouch when walking down the aisle, the seats and aisle are wide, the overhead bins are big enough to store full size carry-ons, the plane is fairly quiet, the engines are under the wings, etc.

While the CRJ-700 is about the same size, it does very much feel like a regional jet. If you’re someone who usually gets claustrophobic in regional jets, the Embraer E175 may be the plane for you.

The Embraer E175 feels like a big jet

Bottom line

It’s always a joy to fly Embraer jets. They’re comfortable, regardless of whether you’re in economy or first class, and I don’t even mind them for long stretches.

As someone who frequently flies American Eagle Embraer E175s, my only frustration is that Wi-Fi on the planes is slower than on the mainline fleet. The good news is that American will soon upgrade regional jet Wi-Fi. Other than that, I’ll almost take an Embraer E175 over an Airbus A320 or Boeing 737.

Anyone else love Embraer jets as much as I do?

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  1. Stephen Young Guest

    The first time I flew, as a passenger on an Embraer jet, en route to Bali, Indonesia, I was most impressed by the fact that the plane was so quiet, much more so than any other aircraft in which I had flown. The seating was uber comfortable and the overall cabin environment was great.

  2. Eugene Anderson Guest

    It is a joy to fly on the E-175. I have flown between ANC-SEA round trip. And from San Jose to Tucson. Would rather fly a E-175 than a 737 any day of the week.

  3. Jacob Guest

    Speaking of the CRJ-700, yes totally agree (been in both F and Y in them) but I was recently on a CRJ-900 (AA) for the first time, in F, and I felt like I would have been comfortable for significantly longer than the 30 minute flight I was on. The recline was crazy!! So for me that would be choice #2 behind the 170/175 series...I think I was on a JetBlue 190 once but I'm just of course so much more used to AA's fleet.

  4. Bill Guest

    I loved working on those planes back in my days. Small plane biy plane feeling. Most co.fortable seats on all single aisle planes. Only if they just had seatback screens it would be the perfect plane

  5. Marie Guest

    Thank you Ben for this positive report on the EMB 175.

  6. David Guest

    Totally agree… you can always reserve a seat in premium economy, and I have never failed to be upgraded on an E175!

    Great article as always.

  7. Jon Guest

    Good article. I love flying American's Embraer 175 for the reason Ben says here -- i.e., a high percentage of first class to coach seats. Flying to/from DCA, ORD, CLT or Tampa on this product, I've had a high batting average of getting a complimentary upgrade.

  8. Benedito Venturoso Guest

    I agree 100%. The Embraer E-Jets are the best flying experience in the market. It's a pity that scope clauses valid for the big American carriers don't allow the newer Embraer E-2 planes to join their fleets. They are even more comfortable, quiet and with extra-sized overhead bins. The evolution banned by stupid scope clauses!

  9. MrCashIsKing New Member

    Agree 100%. Love these planes.

  10. FlyerDon Guest

    Just curious, when booking a flight on American Eagle does anyone know or care which Eagle carrier is operating the flight? Does anyone notice a difference between say flying on Eagle SkyWest versus flying on Envoy?

  11. Anthony Joseph Guest

    Amen, I prefer the Embraers even on a 4 hr flight from PDX to AUS.

  12. Hans with Golden Rule Travel Guest

    Do you find the First Class seats on AA's E75s to be lacking back support and/or the recline function is always broken and slowly goes back? I've had some recent ones where I just felt I couldn't get any back support and sit up straight.

  13. Timo Diamond

    100% agree on every point. Plus, it's a thrill on take off because they have a very zippy feel to them.

  14. Joseph Guest

    Agreed completely. The single row of First is a total dream. Boxes lunches on AEagle are usually much better than rewarmed mainline meals. Also chance of upgrade is way higher to First on AEagle flights. What’s not to like?

  15. Jerry Diamond

    I used to like this aircraft a lot more, on AA specifically, but Wi-Fi hasn't seemed to work very well in over a year. It's not even a matter of it being slow, but it's often inoperable. I know faster Wi-Fi is coming, but these days it's basically useless.

    1. James S Guest

      I came here to say this. I love the E175, but the wifi on American Eagle has been completely unusable in the past year. I spend entire flights trying to connect - and when I'm able to connect, the rest of the flight is spent trying to get my inbox to load. The wifi was never as fast as mainline, but it was always usable. I don't know what changed, but I now book away from the aircraft for business travel because I can't get any work done.

  16. gideon yuval Guest

    one issue: half the overhead bins are too small for hard hand luggage

  17. Hector Leiva Guest

    I agree, these Embraer jets are one of my favorite planes to fly in. The only negative aspect is the very limited overhead baggage space. You can only fit standard carry-on bags laid flat because the bins are not tall enough. I am lucky to have status to be among the first to board, but the last people most likely will not find space for their carryons.

  18. NedsKid Diamond

    American keeps trying to offer me to fly across the country on one. CLT-TUL-LAX or similar.

  19. 2nvman Guest

    I couldn't agree more. I just flew on it from Austin to Reno on Sunday. 8A the first row main cabin. Crazy leg room and comfortable seat. The most comfortable 3 hour+ ride in MC. I will say I'm not a fan of 8B the aisle seat. Being at the "intersection" of FC and MC you get unlimited leg room however a high traffic area. Glad to hear they are upgrading WiFi.

  20. sunviking82 Guest

    I 100% agree. Flew PHX to STL and back last spring on an E-175. Coach on the way over and FC on the way back. Both experiences were great. I am a nervous flyer and typically avoid any regional jet but this was our only choice. For a 3 hour flight it was great. Only "uncomfortable" moment was some unsettled weather on our PHX approach that required all including the flight crew to strap in...

    I 100% agree. Flew PHX to STL and back last spring on an E-175. Coach on the way over and FC on the way back. Both experiences were great. I am a nervous flyer and typically avoid any regional jet but this was our only choice. For a 3 hour flight it was great. Only "uncomfortable" moment was some unsettled weather on our PHX approach that required all including the flight crew to strap in for a few minutes (in my mind it seemed longer but wasn't in reality). Any jet that I can store my carry on in the over head and still have space under the seat, power and wifi (although old GoGo, few people were using it so worked well for me) and a bit of entertainment (AA streaming still better then any seat back IFE IMO) is a perfect for me. No more fears of flying them in the future. BTW the FC boxed lunch is quite tasty!

  21. Andy Guest

    Seat 1A on AA's E175 is one one my favorite seats in the sky. Nothing beats an aisle/window combo.

  22. Paper Boarding Pass Guest

    Anything is better than the ERJ or CRJ which are as large as a tube of tooth paste.

    1. N1120A Guest

      The ERJ145 is actually quite comfortable on the single side or the exit row. The windows are also useable.

  23. Bill Guest

    Also, I very rarely have to worry about getting my carry-on roller to fit in an overhead bin on the E175. Cant say that about any of the other regional jets.

  24. Redacted Guest

    Absolutely. I intentionally fly the E175 over the 737 on short-ish flights due to what you say, Ben. Not having a random neighbor next to me is generally worth the small upgrade fee. As another commenter just said, deplaning is super quick too.

    Also the right two seats in the first aisle of first class are pretty awesome if traveling as a couple (even more leg room than 1A… plus two windows).

    Also...

    Absolutely. I intentionally fly the E175 over the 737 on short-ish flights due to what you say, Ben. Not having a random neighbor next to me is generally worth the small upgrade fee. As another commenter just said, deplaning is super quick too.

    Also the right two seats in the first aisle of first class are pretty awesome if traveling as a couple (even more leg room than 1A… plus two windows).

    Also intentionally fly LCY when in London for a few reasons, of which is the E190s.

  25. Mike Skaggs Guest

    And, when you have a tight connection, you wont be waiting 30 min to deplane because you are in the back of an A321 NEO.

    That single FC seat is called the "throne" and I think its the best domestic first class seat out there.

  26. George Romey Guest

    I like the plane too although the first class single seat windows are a bit misaligned. Great plane for upgrade chances if your a higher elite although in the case of AA upgrades are often sold at $54, which I take to get a single seat and no hoping for an upgrade drama.

  27. Bob Guest

    I find the windows too low relative to the seat and the seats have too little lumbar support. Apart from that, they're ok.

  28. Brian Guest

    Fly them dozens of times a year in first class (did yesterday and will tomorrow) and always go for single seats. I agree with all of this. Plus the bathrooms are at least reasonable size unlike the CRJ-700 & -900.

    Just last week I had a choice between a Delta CRJ-9 and an American 175 and I picked AA for this reason.

    The legroom in first class isn’t great and actually I find the seats...

    Fly them dozens of times a year in first class (did yesterday and will tomorrow) and always go for single seats. I agree with all of this. Plus the bathrooms are at least reasonable size unlike the CRJ-700 & -900.

    Just last week I had a choice between a Delta CRJ-9 and an American 175 and I picked AA for this reason.

    The legroom in first class isn’t great and actually I find the seats in the CRJ-900s on Delta mildy more comfortable because they’re softer, but the 175 is a great plane.

    For a midwesterner who is always going to coasts, it’s a decent choice.

  29. David Guest

    Totally agree I think it’s the best overall economy experience on a U.S. airline and conceding that I don’t expect good meals in first it’s the second best first class domestic experience behind the rare lay flat seats. I would also add that a smaller plane has benefits as well. Shorter boarding time that also means they start boarding later which gives me more time to get to the airport. Shorter time to retrieve your...

    Totally agree I think it’s the best overall economy experience on a U.S. airline and conceding that I don’t expect good meals in first it’s the second best first class domestic experience behind the rare lay flat seats. I would also add that a smaller plane has benefits as well. Shorter boarding time that also means they start boarding later which gives me more time to get to the airport. Shorter time to retrieve your baggage at baggage claim even if you have the last bag delivered. Overall a convenient and comfortable way to travel. Can never understand why more people don’t sing it’s praises.

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Anthony Joseph Guest

Amen, I prefer the Embraers even on a 4 hr flight from PDX to AUS.

1
Timo Diamond

100% agree on every point. Plus, it's a thrill on take off because they have a very zippy feel to them.

1
Joseph Guest

Agreed completely. The single row of First is a total dream. Boxes lunches on AEagle are usually much better than rewarmed mainline meals. Also chance of upgrade is way higher to First on AEagle flights. What’s not to like?

1
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