Skip to content

First look and where to sit when flying Breeze Airways’ Embraer jets

May 28, 2021
7 min read
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

A brand-new startup airline just debuted in the U.S.

The carrier is Breeze Airways, the brainchild of serial airline entrepreneur David Neeleman, who’s perhaps most famous for launching New York-based JetBlue and, among others, Azul in Brazil.

Breeze is launching with 39 routes, aimed at connecting mid-size cities that’ve historically been overlooked or underserved by the mainline carriers. The “Seriously Nicer” airline say it's trying to make travel simpler and more convenient, through a robust mobile app and other tech enhancements, its point-to-point route network, low-cost operating model and friendly ground crew and flight attendants.

To reduce costs, Breeze is leasing 118-seat Embraer E195 jets from Azul, as well as 108-seat E190s from Nordic Aviation Capital. Later this year, the airline is expecting the first of its 60 new Airbus A220-300 jets, which can hold up to 160 passengers and will be deployed on longer routes. Neeleman said he expects the first delivery in October, with one delivery a month after that through the next few years.

For now, however, let's take a look inside the Embraer jets that'll get Breeze off the ground.

Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG’s free new biweekly Aviation newsletter!

First look inside Breeze Airways’ Embraer 195

Breeze’s Embraer 195s are outfitted with 118 coach seats, spread across 30 rows in a 2-2 configuration. The carrier’s smaller E190s have 10 fewer seats but are arranged in a similar 2-2 layout.

One of the most flyer-friendly features of the Embraer E-jet family is that there are no middle seats in coach.

Breeze is planning to install first class, dubbed the "Nicest" cabin, on its soon-to-be delivered Airbus A220s, but for now, the carrier is offering just one large economy cabin on the Embraers.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

The first five rows of the plane, demarcated by the light gray seats, are branded as the carrier’s “Nicer” section. These are Breeze's version of extra-legroom seats and can be assigned for free when purchasing a more expensive “Nicer” fare, or added on to the entry-level “Nice” fare for $20 to $50.

Seat pitch here ranges from 34 to 37 inches, so if you’re looking for the most comfortable ride, this is where you’ll find it.

The rest of the plane is outfitted with dark-gray “Nice” seats, each with 31 inches of pitch. (The E190s are a bit tighter at 29 inches of pitch in the "Nice" section.) Advanced seat assignments in this section range from $10 to $30 when purchasing an entry-level "Nice" fare.

The exit row, Row 14, is branded as a “Nicer” row and features 39 inches of pitch — the most you’ll find on the entire plane. Just note that the window armrest is immovable since it’s built into the exit door.

All other armrests throughout the jet can be raised or lowered, except for those in the first-row bulkhead.

Each of the 118 leather seats is quite comfortable and noticeably well-padded — a step up from the slimline seats you’ll find on other low-cost carriers, like America's second-newest airline, Avelo. The only thing missing is a winged headrest, but that shouldn't be much of an issue on Breeze's short flights.

Seat width measures 17.6 inches, which made for a very comfortable ride on Thursday’s inaugural from Tampa to Charleston.

At launch, Breeze’s inflight experience will be quite limited: there’s no Wi-Fi or entertainment, though the carrier is planning to debut those amenities in the coming months. The Embraers will be retrofitted with streaming entertainment, which will include movies, TV shows, games and a moving map. The A220s will add Wi-Fi to the mix as well. (It's unclear if Breeze will also install power outlets on the A220s.)

Hopefully, the carrier also adds some flair to the monochrome cabin while upgrading the tech.

Fortunately, the Embraer jets sport some of the largest airplane windows in the sky — 14 inches long and 13 inches wide — giving aviation enthusiasts plenty of real estate to grab a perfectly framed wing-view shot.

Of course, the pilots had the best view on the plane.

Each seat features a large tray table, measuring 17.5 inches wide and 11 inches long, big enough to comfortably fit my 13-inch MacBook Pro.

There are two lavatories on Breeze’s Embraer jets, one in the front and one in the back. Both are similarly sized, so you’ll want to use whichever is closer to your seats, assuming both are unoccupied.

Just note that the back galley is adjacent to the service area, so it could get quite cramped back there if a line were to form.

The plane’s overhead bins are large enough to fit a backpack or small rollaboard, but full-size carry-on bags might need to be checked at the gate, depending on their size.

Breeze’s most affordable “Nice” fares don’t include a full-size carry-on bag (that'll set you back $20 to $50), so you shouldn’t have to worry about running out of overhead bin space if you board just minutes before departure.

More Breeze: What it was like aboard the airline's inaugural flight

Where to sit when flying Breeze’ Airways Embraer 190

For an all-coach cabin, you might think that there’s little difference between seats. Turns out, however, that it pays to strategize when selecting seats with Breeze.

As mentioned, the first five rows of “Nicest” seats offer extra legroom.

Row one is at the bulkhead, which cuts into your legroom. All bags need to be stowed in the overhead bin for taxi, takeoff and landing, and the aisle and window armrests are immovable. I’d avoid these seats if possible.

For future Breeze flights, I’d personally choose row two — these seats have 37 inches of pitch, the second most you’ll find on the plane after the exit row.

Rows three, four and five each feature 34 inches of pitch.

The rest of the plane, aside from exit row 14, is outfitted with 31 inches of pitch.

The exit row has 39 inches, though I’d still choose Row 2 for a faster deplaning experience, despite having two fewer inches of pitch.

You’ll want to avoid Row 13 at all costs. These seats don’t recline since they’re right in front of the exit row.

I’d also avoid the last row, Row 30, since there’s limited recline, and the proximity to the galley could be bothersome.

Regardless of where you end up sitting, you’ll appreciate that there are no missing windows on this plane — a "seriously nice" feature according to this aviation enthusiast.

The other new startup: New US airline, Avelo, made splashy launch in April

Bottom line

Breeze’s Embraer 190 and 195 jets offer a comfortable travel experience.

With a 2-2 configuration, no one will end up in a dreaded middle seat. Though you won't find any onboard connectivity or entertainment just yet, the leather seats are well-padded and there’s plenty of legroom, especially considering that most of Breeze's flights are under two hours.

All told, it’s a breeze to fly with the newest airline in America.

All photos by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site

Rewards

3 - 4X points
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

Intro offer

60,000 bonus points
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$250

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees