This week sees me on another business trip to Raleigh, NC, which isn’t all that big a deal. It also saw me flying on perhaps my least preferred carrier – American Airlines – once again for perhaps the silliest reason possible. I really, really, really wanted to fly on the Embraer E-135 regional jet. This is the smallest of the regional jets in operation these days and yet I went out of my way to ride on one.
Why? Because it is the last of the Embraer models out there in commercial service that I had not yet flown. And I’m a big enough aviation geek that I keep track of this sort of thing.
I tried to grab this ride a couple weeks ago but my efforts were thwarted by the cAAncelAAtor, leaving me on a CR7 instead. When this trip came up I crossed my fingers, booked the same exact itinerary and hoped that the plane would not break this time around, letting me fly on the mini-jet.
The plane is the same interior cross-section as its larger cousin, the ERJ-145, but it felt smaller inside. Maybe that’s because I’ve been on too many wide-body aircraft lately or some other psychological problem I’m experiencing, but it was small inside. That said, once I settled into 11C, almost all the way in the back, the space wasn’t all that horrible. Sure, it is just a coach seat and I was on the plane for less than 2 hours total, but it was fine.
Overall a generally unremarkable trip, though it does allow me to cross off the last entry on that list.
One bit that caught my eye during boarding is that the plane I was on, N725AE, is actually a "named" plane. It has a plaque inside to honor a company employee. Considering most named planes are the big ones this was quite a surprise. I guess it is still an honor, even if it is the smallest commercial jet in operation, right? So congratulations to Gary Opbroek for being the 2010 Tech Ops Employee of the Year!
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