I look at the boarding pass and sighed - another commuter jet. They’re claustrophobic agony. You can’t stand up. If you’re six feet or more and have a window seat, you have to bend your head to the interior curve of the fuselage. And for all of us who fly, we know commuter jets are as prevalent as the bigger planes, no joy themselves but ususally better.
So I was completely surprised when I boarded a Comair flight in Cinncinati last night for the trip back to Boston. It was brand new CRJ-900 jet which was spacious and you could stand up in the aisle (I’m six feet). Comair just took a delivery of 12 planes in September and they could redefine commuter jet travel. It even had a 12-seat first class section. Legroom was decent and I’d have to say I prefer it to most big passeneger jets. A lot depends on the load factor and this flight was only three quarters full. And it didn’t hurt that it that the interior was sparkling and new
There might be a catch, though. According to the flight attendant, the CRJ-900 could be configured with more than 90 seats. The one I was on had 76 seats. Bombardier, the manufacturer, says the aircraft has an "86-seat interior." The addition of 10 more seats could convert the plane I was on last night back into bad old commuter jet misery. Three cheers for Comair.