Me in front of the first ERJ-145 I flew at Mazatlan Airport. I love being able to get close to the plane on the tarmac.

Me in front of the first ERJ-145 I flew after landing at Mazatlan Airport. I love being able to get close to the plane on the tarmac.

I am currently about 37,000 feet on a Continental Express ERJ-145. I am heading from Mazatlan, Mexico (MZT) to Houston, TX (IAH), then on to my home in Seattle (SEA) [which will be on a Boeing 757]. Well, sort of…right now, as I write this blog, it is the morning of Saturday May 8th. My flight does not have wi-fi, but I am writing it in notepad and will post it up on Monday the 10th. Every time I am in the air, I always try to write up at least a few blogs, since I love the inspiration.

This is my second flight in a regional jet, my first being a week ago heading from IAH to MZT. It is quite amazing, with all my flying experience I have not flown on a ERJ-145. My home base is in Seattle and there just aren’t many flights with regional jets to and from SEA.

When booking my flight, I purposely choose Continental since I would be able to fly on an ERJ-145 (I know, I have heard the “airline nerd” jokes already). I have heard some positive, but mostly negative things about flying the aircraft and I was excited to check it out myself.

The 1-2 layout is nice, but small overhead-bins are only on one side.

The 1-2 layout is nice, but small overhead-bins are only on one side.

There are a lot of people out there that do not like flying in smaller planes. They will go out of their way and pay more to avoid them. Yes, the ride can be more bumpy, there are normally less experienced pilots flying them, and it can be a tight fit. However, I think the positives out weigh the negatives.

For me, the smaller the aircraft let me feel more connected to the flying experience. I understand that some people like to forget they are in a man-made machine 37,000 feet above the ground, but not me.

I enjoy the 1-2 seat layout. There is a single seat on the left side of the plane and two seats on the right side of the plane. This means that every person either has a window or aisle seat. On both flights I sat on the single seat side. It is nice being able to see out the window and have easy access to the aisle.

The seats feel quite roomy and the ERJ-145 has 17.3″ width and 31″ pitch, which isn’t bad. The Boeing 737-800 I flew from SEA to IAH also had 31″ pitch and only 17.2″ width.

Don't make fun of my hecka-awesome shades. Headroom wasn't so great for being 6'1".

Don't make fun of my hecka-awesome shades or my man-beard. Headroom wasn't so great for being 6'1".

The ERJ-145 only holds 50 passengers, which gives it an intimate experience. I seems easier to talk to other passengers and get to know those around me. Since there are less passengers, the turn around time of the aircraft is very short (time from landing to being able to take off again). This allows airlines to provide more flight options to destinations and more flights to smaller airports.

There are a few downsides to the ERJ-145. I am currently sitting in row 17 of 19 rows. The only lavatory is located at the back of the aircraft. It seems not many people went to the restroom before taking off, since a lot of folks have made a visit back here. I could see where this would be distracting for someone wanting to sleep.

There is also very limited carry-on room. If you are trying to bring on bigger carry-ons, be prepared to have them checked. Out of the five of us travelling in my group, only two were able to bring their carry-ons aboard (and we were able to take all of them on board the Boeing 737 from SEA to IAH).

I have heard people talk about service on smaller regional aircraft can be sub-par. Even though I have experienced great service on some smaller airlines, like Horizon Air (the free beer or wine helps), I have personally seen a lower level of service when flying regional aircraft. Although I did get a free snack (this will be short lived), the flight attendants, both to and from MZT, definitely were not friendly and were quite rude to passengers. It could have just been a coincidence, but it was noticeable.

My flights to and from MZT were Continental Express, which is run by ExpressJet, however, the Continental name is on the airplane and on my ticket. I strongly feel that is a larger airline is willing to put their name on a regional airline, they are partly responsible for the quality of service one receives. Passengers should have a consistent level of service no matter what kind of aircraft they are flying.

The ERJ-145 is built by Embraer, an airplane manufacture based out of Brazil. The aircraft first flew in August 1995 and started service with airlines in 1996. To date over 1,100 ERJ’s have been manufactured. With so many ERJ-145’s out there and many more on order, I have a feeling this won’t be my last experience with this aircraft type.

Find a few more pics via my Flickr account.

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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me:
Week in Review: Interesting stories I missed while on vacation

Your ERJ-145 experience was better than mine. You got a snack (though it’s hard to get a snack on a 20 minute takeoff to landing flight.

20min take off to landing? What flight was that? Might as well walk 😉



Good old DAY-CVG (64 Miles)


Just wait until UA merges with CO… then you’ll have RJs to SFO and LAX like we already have on UA out of SEA… sigh.

The “sigh” at the end makes me think you aren’t a fan? I used to fly Alaska B737’s and MD80’s from SEA to RNO all the time. Then it changed over to Horizon and their Q400’s. It was lame since it took 2hrs vs 1.5hrs, but I understood the cost savings to the airline. Plus I get free beer on Horizon!



Not at all a fan. The crews are top notch, but the seats are narrower, there is no food service (except a crummy snack box), and no IFE (specifically no Channel 9).

The ERJs are alright… the 170s are great. I guess I could switch allegiance to AS or VX, but they aren’t very good for international redemption.

Well AS has a pretty good mileage partner network and VX has the best IFE I have found ( Guessing you fly into LAX or SFO quite a bit?


Those ERJs are great in terms of cabin noise and TAT. I love their fast climb! I also love those bigger EMBRAER jets, the EMBRAER 170, 175, 190 and 195. They are all great planes from this fine Brazilian aircraft maker.

I was quite surprised how long it took to take off both times flying the ERJ-145.

I was in the back both times, so the noise wasn’t so hot. However, I enjoy the sound of jet engines :).


As a Midwesterner, nearly all our flights are on RJs and the Embraer line is absolutely the best. (We even have some three-hour Embraer flights to New York.) They are quiet and the windows are placed in a better position, compared to Canadair, which must make its windows for three-year-olds.

Do you find problems with carry-ons a lot. I could see people who fly them often and only have carry-ons, it could be a pain either having to check them or having smaller ones only.


Actually, I prefer the RJ service when I only have a wheeled carry on, because they take it from me at the jet door and hand it back to me when I exit. I don’t have to carry it down the isle or try to find an overhead compartment for it!

That is a good point! For free too!


Just flew on a United Express ERJ 145. Noisest jet I’ve ever been on. They should hand out hearing protection.

Alex Flores

There’s absolutely nothing good about an ERJ-145…NOTHING!
Noisy, cramped, uncomfortable are some the adjetives that best describe it (it’s Bombadier counter-part is no better).
I make sure I never fly them…..airlines could not get rid of them fast enough for me!

THEY are good planes

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