Monday, February 23, 2009

Jet Set to El Paso

Ever flown on one of these little Canada Regional Jets? When I printed my boarding pass last night I knew that I was in for something different.

Gate B79... that means you go all the way to one end of the B concourse, and then some. Descend a mysterious staircase into the bowels of the airport, down a long hall, and finally, out onto the tarmac where you walk through actual air out to where the plane is parked. It looks like nothing so much as a city bus that just happens to have wings.

The front door of the plane folds down. Climb the five little steps, and in you go.

A CRJ200 holds 50 people.


Paul Merrill said...

No down-the-aisle cart in those babies!

Marti said...

Well, they do have an aisle; it would probably be illegal not to. But it's definitely a small plane. They had to ask for a couple of volunteers to move from the front to the back to balance things out.

Shane said...

I used to fly these all the time on the hop from Colorado Springs to Denver. I never decided if I preferred the little jet to the little plane with props. The props seemed to me to be a little more normal and historical way to solve the whole "heavier than air" flight dilemma.

But for 15-17 minutes both sufficed.

Dean Smith said...

We flew Cessna Caravans (single engine prop) from San Jose, CR to Tamarindo, Guanacaste and then back to San Jose. 10 passengers, each having to be weighed with their carry-ons. There was an "aisle" of sorts about 6 inches wide that meandered among the seats. Each time the Co-pilot got on, he went up that aisle, proving that he could struggle through. The pilot got in his own door. The flights were very "bumpy," but the landings were jouful with much applause for the pilots. Remeined me of flying in the 1950's on DC-3's and Connies.