When Will Delta Retire The CRJ-200?

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.

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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.

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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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Herb33

Perhaps worth remembering that CRJ 200 created the regional jet market , basically by lengthening the fuselage of the Canadair Challenger and trading range for payload. Embraer followed with the even smaller E145, with three abreast seating. The appearance of the superior E175 series made these earlier pioneers unpopular and uneconomic. But comfort and luxury are not important on typical short flights.

Matt

I’m assuming you meant ERJ-145. The E-Jet isn’t a direct competitor to the ERJ. It has a longer range and bigger capacity. The ERJ is still in production, and is used for routes like those described in the article, and are the only in production options at these capacities. If Delta doesn’t believe they can use at least 70 seats, they are the only option other than keeping their existing product in operation m

Juan

Sure, there are the short flights, but then you have routes like SBN-ATL where you could be on a CRJ200 for 2+ hours. That’s where it really gets miserable.

Gabriel Sanchez

Having worked on CRJ200s. I can tell you that they aren’t fun at all. They always break. I’m glad we just retired our last CRJ200s in June

Matt

I’m not a CRJ fan, but other than a lack of first class, there really isn’t a difference in passenger experience between the 100/200 and 700/900. Both are pretty miserable.

S King

The CRJ’s and ERJ’s have served to expand the markets of the mainliners, and have done an extraordinarily good job of it. Before these models, service to smaller airports was mainly provided by turboprops. Americans seem to have an aversion to turboprops, these days, and given the noise and vibration of turboprops, it’s understandable. Personally, if I fly in from Asia or Europe (several times a year), I much prefer to fly from my gateway airport to my destination than to go through the hassle of renting a car and driving. As for being miserable, the CRJ’s have 17 inch-wide… Read more »

Hamz durv

They should buy the new CRJ 550

Yossarian

The CRJ550 is not a new aircraft. It’s a CRJ700 reconfigured to 50 seats and given a new interior. And it comes with Wi-Fi and streaming video

Delta Segment Flyer

All you have to do is check out my Twitter profile @deltasegmentfly. For over 5 years I have said I will throw a party after the last one flies out of TRI. They suck!

Ashley Finders

Terrible planes to fly in. Super narrow seats with absolutely no shoulder room. I purposely avoid flying these planes. United still uses a lot of these on Skywest flights and they are terrible.

S King

CRJ’s have admittedly narrow 17 inch seats. In coach, the B737 has 17.2-17.3 inch seats.

I’ll take the CRJ, because it’s much better at 2X2 than the B737 is in 3X3 …..

I purposely avoid flying in B737’s …….

Tom T

I try to avoid the B737 whenever possible. I much prefer the A319/20/21 series when is comes to narrow body aircraft in that category.

I must also confess that I am not a fan of the CRJ-200.

STEVEN PAPPAS

I think the CRJ-200 is a better plane than the ERJ-145, it’s better off short runways and the 145 feels much smaller inside giving me a cramped feeling.

Matt

I’ll take the ERJ every time, as long as I can sit on the left side.

Kipp

Having flown for many years before the regional jet I guess everyone forgot that the smaller airports were served by the dash 8, Merlin’s, and other turboprop planes. The arrival of the CRJ100/200 was a MAJOR advancement in passenger comfort and safety. So the question now, with the retirement of the CRJ200, what aircraft will be used to fill the void for those “low demand” city pairs. Egg beaters? Back to the future!

Cherry

Delta flies the CR9 to regional destinations too! I took the CR9 from ATL to. SHV recently.

Bart Downing

The CRJ200 is small and cramped, but that I can live with. The biggest problem is the unreliability. The Skywest/Delta fleet fall apart daily. I’ve had my business plans totally trashed throughout 2019 due to mechanical problems. The CRJ200 has to be one of the most unreliable aircraft ever built.