TRIP REPORT (first): Kind, with a side of Regional Flying. United Express ORD-ALB CRJ-700 First Class

This flight was booked as a one way itinerary originating in LAX and connecting through Chicago (ORD) with a termination in Albany, NY. For the whole one way flight I paid 380$ with an upgrade to economy plus and a request for an upgrade to first through the “Plus Point” upgrade system. My first leg I got upgraded and was disappointed with United, you can read about that journey through the not so friendly skies here. However this second leg I was also fortunate enough to get the upgrade and enjoyed the flight on a much higher magnitude. Due to the way plus points work for the two upgrades combined it only cost me 20 plus points. Plus points are wonderful when they work, I booked this transcon flight in economy, and ended up in first both legs. If you would like to learn, and read more about plus points you can do that here.

The aircraft that normally operates this route is a 737-800, which is a narrow body mainline United airplane. The 737-800 is equipped with standard recliners in First, with a 2-2 layout. The Crj-700 is not mainline United, and is laid out in a 1-2 configuration in first. That said I found these seats to be incredibly comfortable. Unlike my last flight on one of United’s 737-800, these seats were comfy even when not reclined, the width is fair for the aircraft, and overall the seat is well padded.

If I had to choose between the seat on the 737 I flew earlier and the CRJ-700 I would’ve chosen the CRJ. This should be a surprise, and is a surprise to me, because the CRJ family is one of the most hated families in the current commercial world. In the end I was impressed by this hard product, as long as your not over 6’2-3 this seat will fit your needs for the couple hours (at most) you would be in it. The seat also allowed me to get about an hour and a half of sleep.
The Service on the plane and at the gate were what made this flight memorable. The gate agent was incredibly kind, and more importantly very helpful when I realized I had left something on my last flight (That story is still pending). The Flight attendant was a lovely lady, and was happy to be there. She was also very helpful in my quest for my lost belongings. And her empathy was duly noted about the quest. No pre departure beverage was served due to the fact that first class boarded last, however waiting at our seat was a bag with mini pretzels, a stroop waffle, and a bottle of water.
Like my last flight I found this a nice touch, because despite their not being actual “service” on board, it showed that United still cared about their premium passengers. A wipe was also in the bag, and the flight attendant passed out wipes during boarding as well. Overall the service was what made me want to fly United again after my rather disappointing first flight.
Overall Impression
During the approach into Albany I was reflecting on the two flights I had just experienced with United, and how basically the reviews should be switched. This flight should’ve been the one that was “disappointing” and “irritating” yet it wasn’t. It was calm, and clean, and new. United’s CRJ-700’s are a nice ride as long as you are short. Their hard product was good, and their service was memorable. This flight restored my hope in that soon United can create a consistent fleet of premium products, for all its First class passengers. For the price that I paid these flights allowed me to arrive in Albany rested, and enjoy the rest of the day with my family.

Side Note: If you would like to read my other trip report’s they can be viewed here, and here. I would like to write for the Points Guy when in College, so feedback is welcome. However, please be kind. Thanks for reading!
Im flying Southwest home, please answer the poll below if you would like a trip report on that:

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