United’s 50-Seat CRJ550 Will Offer Large First-Class Cabin, Snack Bar
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.
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.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees