From Pittsburgh to New York City, I flew on an American Eagle Embraer 175 (E-175) operated by Republic, a short and very scenic flight from Western Pennsylvania to Eastern New York.
American Eagle E-175 First Class Review (PIT-JFK)
Buying last-minute business class tickets was over $600 and economy class was over $400, so it made sense to use miles (15,000 British Airways Avios for domestic first class, so a rather attractive four cents per point in value).
Even though I checked in the day before and already had a mobile boarding pass, I like to pick up a paper boarding pass so I stopped at the counter in PIT to obtain one (just in case of a mobile phone malfunction, I like having a back-up paper boarding…though I find myself making the effort to get one much less than before).
The agent was quite gregarious and that dated airport and the boarding pass that said “Smoke: No” and just the rather cold gray morning with mostly male business travelers, many wearing coats and ties, made me feel like I had stepped back in time.
The Pre-Check line was longer than the normal line (with a reminder to leave your guns at home…), but I waited for it in anyway because I did not want to take my shoes off or my laptop out of the bag.
After a stop at the Admirals Club, I proceeded down to the gate where the old school boarding gate also made me feel like I had stepped back in time.
American Airlines / American Eagle 4438 (operated by Republic)
Pittsburgh (PIT) – New York (JFK)
Depart: 10:04 AM
Arrive: 11:40 AM
Duration: 01hr, 36min
Distance: 340 miles
Aircraft: Embraer E-175
Seat: 2F (First Class)
I was one of the last to board, so I don’t have my usual pristine cabin shots, but here’s a couple from a previous trip:
I settled in my window seat and leaned back. The chair was comfortable and I found the first class (what most of the world calls business class) seat quite plush and more comfortable than on mainline, particularly when compared to a 737 jet.
We took off on time, but the captain announced a delayed arrival in New York due to heavy traffic in the region.
Once in the air, a flight attendant offered a choice of beverage. I had consumed more than enough coffee already, so I just had sparkling water, served in a glass. There were no snacks offered with it.
Wi-fi (for purchase) and streaming video (complimentary) was available. I did not have to pay for wi-fi thanks to my T-Mobile Magenta plan.
It was nice to have internet, but I was treated to very beautiful views out the window, particularly as we flew over Manhattan:
Another short and smooth flight on American Eagle. We landed in T8 at JFK.
I always get deja vu of flying in a different era when traveling from Pittsburgh, but the morning went quite smoothly. Even on a short hop, it is nice to fly up front and I appreciated the great views out the window.
Finally, a semi-related note on Breeze. Breeze offered flights from Pittsburgh to Islip Long Island (ISP), but the timing (single daily flight) was horrible. Now I see Breeze has cut the service altogether. American Airlines, on the other hand, offers at least four flights per day. That’s the power of network carrier to attract last-minute ticket sales…