When Will Delta Retire The CRJ-200?

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Regional flights in the United States are often operated on small jets with limited overhead bin space. One of the most feared and hated of regional jets is the Bombardier CRJ200. However, Delta is still flying these aircraft in 2019. Although unliked by many, these jets do open up opportunities for airlines.

Delta CRJ200
Delta still flies the CRJ200. Photo: Eric Salard via Flickr

Delta’s CRJ200s

Delta Connection flies Bombardier CRJ200s on several routes. These are usually to regional destinations out of hubs. With only fifty seats onboard, these are the smallest of jets in both Delta’s mainline and Delta Connection fleet. Unfortunately, however, these jets do restrict some elements of passenger comfort.

Delta Connection CRJ200
The CRJ200 is the smallest of the Delta Connection fleet. Photo: Aero Icarus via Flickr

Onboard

Like most regional jets, the overhead bins on the plane are small. This means that passengers have to gate-check their bags. And, after arriving, passengers then have to wait for their bag before catching a connection.

Delta also does not offer a First Class cabin on their CRJ200s. Instead, row one is marked as Delta Comfort+. Comfort+ really is just an economy seat with extra legroom. Unfortunately,  this seat does not really offer any kind of upgrade compared to the main cabin seats on the CRJ200. In fact, it seems that there is no extra legroom compared to other seats.

CRJ200 legroom
Comfort plus can get a little tight on a CRJ200! Photo: Jay Singh/Simple Flying

Aside from the lack of a First Class cabin and constrained legroom in Comfort+, the same issues can be found on other Bombardier regional jets that Delta flies.

Why the CRJ200 is not all that bad

The CRJ200 does not have a major fan following. However, that doesn’t make the CRJ200 all bad. In fact, this aircraft opens up plenty of opportunities that other regional jets could not. With fewer seats than a CRJ700 or E175, Delta can add additional flights to regional destinations.

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CRJ 900
Larger regional jets, like the CRJ900, are not suitable for all destinations. Photo: Delta

As someone who has lived in regional destinations for most of my life, I have found that having air connectivity is more important than First Class or large overhead storage bins. In addition, with smaller regional jets operating more flights per day, there are more possibilities for connections. Frequency adds more flexibility than would larger capacity to regional destinations.

Overall

Rene’s Points posed the question of whether or not frequent fliers would want to fly on the CRJ200’s final flight. But, the final flight of the CRJ200 for Delta might not be a happy event for all. Unlike the MD-80s and MD-90s, there really isn’t a clear CRJ200 replacement.

If the demise of the CRJ200 leads to fewer flights to regional destinations, then would the end of CRJ200 flights really be a good thing? What do you think? Let us know in the comments!

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