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Video | US Airways Express Embraer 170 – First Class Seat 1A

Jake Redman March 19, 2012 6

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Embraer 170 (ERJ-170)

Reviewed by:
On March 19, 2012
Last modified:March 19, 2012


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Airline: US Airways
Aircraft: Embraer 170
Seat: Row 1  (Bulkhead)
Class: First

Cheesy Crackers snack in first class.
Cheesy crackers. Here’s a tip: They don’t go very well with coffee.

The Seat: The bite-sized first class section of this US Airways Express Embraer 170 (operated by Republic Airlines) is very similar to what you’d find on the same aircraft operated by other US domestic airlines. Seat width naturally suffers compared to mainline aircraft (as does elbow space). The good news if you’re flying solo: One side of this cabin is fitted with just a single seat (no neighbor) so you’ve got some extra space and the benefit of being on both the aisle and by the window. On the side of row 1 with 2 seats there’s a little extra legroom due to the bulkhead being a little further away. If you’re tall, it may benefit you to be in rows 2 or 3 where you can stretch your legs underneath the seat in front of you.

Size and width are the only real seat-related benefits you get here. There are no video, audio or power options for regional aircraft, although this isn’t normally a deal-breaker for the often short routes these planes fly. Everyone benefits from a well balanced, lighter airplane…unless your iPod is dead.

Service:I was the only passenger in first class on this flight. For that reason, I guess I expected the flight attendant to just leave me the entire snack basket and provide seemingly endless super-interesting conversation for 2 hours. While I did have my choice unlimited snacks, the smiles and visits were minimal and created more of an opportunity for her to help the flight attendant in Economy…I didn’t mind at all, of course. Very typical service for US domestic first class.

Food:Snack basket had a pretty decent selection of carb-heavy snacks and sweets. I stuck with simple cheesy-crackers.

Summary:. Good but not extrahordinary. If the price is right, this isn’t a bad value.  Easier boarding, first off the airplane and a slightly more comfortable flight than the best seats in economy.

Rating: 3 hops (of 5).

Strategy:If space is available, upgrades are offered by US Airways at check-in (either online or at the kiosk). Preferred (elite) members are upgraded in the days before, in order by level of status. If you’re not a preferred member it’s wise to check in early (up to 24 hours before your flight) online to see if upgrades are available (and at what cost).

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Jake Redman

Jake Redman

Modhop Host & Founder Jake Redman brings years of global exploration and travel tips to the podcast and our videos at Modhop. Jake is also a Producer and Host for SiriusXM.

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This post currently has 6 comments.
  1. Jacob Paiste via Facebook on March 19, 2012

    Worlds most demanding passenger, and the only one in first class. haha! Can’t be that bad! Great review and thanks for making a review on this aircraft Jake.

  2. Bryan Gray on October 9, 2012

    I flew this aircraft type last month and was seated in seat 3 A…. One thing I noticed wat that the seat recline was one of the most dramatic i have ever experienced and was wonderful for a late night flight from Charlotte to New Orleans providing for a great snooze. Did you find that to be the case in seat 1 A as well?

    • Jake Redman on October 9, 2012

      Hi Bryan. I didn’t notice extraordinary recline in 1A, but it’s entirely possible I didn’t give it a real push. I’ll have to check it out on my next hop aboard this one. Thanks for the tip!

    • Patrick on January 25, 2015


      I just had a flight in seat 3A! Oh my, I could basically lay down! It was wonderful because of the division of first and economy there is a hue gap that lets the last row seats recline decent.


  3. Ben on July 30, 2013

    Hi! I’m going to fly on this aircraft in 3 weeks, I Have seat 1A, Should i change it? it’s a very short flight of only 95 miles (PHL to LGA)

    • modhop on August 4, 2013

      Hi Ben,

      Depends on your preference. Some like having the bulkhead wall to prop their feet up on, some want full-stretch underneath the seat in front of them. On a short hop like this one, I usually take anything that’s open on the side with 1 seat if I’m travelling solo. Have a great flight!

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