United’s 50-Seat CRJ550 Will Offer Large First-Class Cabin, Snack Bar

Feb 6, 2019

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.

Bombardier’s commercial jet program has really been on a roll recently. Last year, the manufacturer joined forces with Airbus for the popular A220 series while also going to great lengths to improve passenger comfort on one of its largest regional jets, the CRJ900.

Now, in a somewhat-unexpected move, Bombardier is introducing a new variant of sorts, in partnership with United. The CRJ550 — which, until today, essentially didn’t exist — is a 50-seat version of the CRJ700, headed to some of United’s more profitable regional routes.

The CRJ550 is based on the existing CRJ700 fuselage — the adjustments are largely cosmetic, which should make it possible to quickly gain certification from Transport Canada and the FAA, shutdown issues aside.

While United’s 700s offer six first class seats, 16 in Economy Plus and 48 in coach, for a total of 70 seats, the CRJ550 will sport just 50 in the same fuselage, with more space throughout. United will be adding a whopping 10 seats in first class, arranged in a 1-2 configuration, plus 20 in Economy Plus and 20 in coach.

The first class cabin on United
The first class cabin on United’s existing CRJ700. Photo courtesy of United.

Best yet, the 550 will offer a total of four storage closets, allowing most passengers to store their carry-on bags in the cabin rather than checking them at the gate. First-class flyers, meanwhile, will have access to a self-service drink and snack station in the premium cabin — certainly an unusual sight on a regional jet.

United plans to operate its CRJ550s on premium regional routes of up to 900 miles, replacing current 50-seat aircraft, such as the Embraer 145.

So far, the airline only confirmed that it’ll fly between Chicago (ORD) and Walmart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas (XNA). United is apparently losing out on business from Walmart employees and suppliers looking to fly in premium cabins — with more first-class seats on the way, XNA flyers will have an easier time booking premium-cabin United travel between Arkansas and Asia.

With 50 CRJ550s already ordered, and the potential to add more later, we’ll see them on many more routes out of Chicago, in addition to regional flights from other United hubs, including Newark (EWR) on the East Coast. Pending government approval, United’s regional jet operator GoJet is expected to begin flying the 550 by the second half of this year.

American Express® Green Card

WELCOME OFFER: 30,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: up to $100 annual CLEAR statement credit, up to $100 annual LoungeBuddy statement credit, 3x points on travel and transit, 3x points on restaurants worldwide

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 30,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, from subway swipes and window seats to hotel stays and city tours.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points at restaurants worldwide.
  • Receive up to $100 per year in statement credits when you use the American Express® Green Card to pay for your CLEAR® membership at select airports and stadiums across the U.S. and Permissible Biometric Scanning Technology terms: eye scanning, irises scanning and fingerprints scanning.
  • Use the American Express® Green Card to purchase lounge access through LoungeBuddy to any of the lounges in the LoungeBuddy network – no memberships, elite statuses, or first class tickets required. Earn up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year on your LoungeBuddy purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $150 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
See Rates & Fees
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.