E-175 Experiences

 
Old Feb 29, 08, 8:54 pm
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E-175 Experiences

I had my first round trip on the Embraer 175 this past week, MSP-CLT-MSP, Compass Air. A few observations.

1. The Plane. It's a nicer plane than I expected. At least some can stand up straight on board. The interior is a bit monochromatic, but the leather seats in Y are comfortable enough and the movable, adjustable headrests are nice. Funny little jog between F and Y.

2. Upgrades. I'm Gold, but I did not get upgraded on either flight. I had no expectations. I'm sure that these are elite heavy flights since the only other non-stop at these times on this route is US Airways. It looked like there were a lot of BF upgrades. Plus, there are 25% fewer FC seats than the DC-9's that used to run this route. My flights were full.

3. Flight Experience. Perfectly fine, comfortable, good ventilation, lighting, able to stand up and walk the cabin. My IFE was a book of NY Times crossword puzzles. Nice to have larger windows; too bad they don't align with the seats!

4. Oops! On my return, NW 2048 CLT-MSP 2/28, we had a timely departure. I noticed that a mechanic came on board shortly before we left. Very soon after departure, before the seat belt sign was turned off, and I think before we reached an altitude where we could use electronic equipment (in my case a mechanical pencil) the lead FA comes on and announces that the lavatories (both) are out of order. She announces that beverage service will be delayed until we get closer to MSP.

Soon the FA's come through with the snack cart and offer the trail mix, Pringles, or snack box for free. I tried the blue snack box because I would never pay for one. It confirmed that I would never pay for one. The beverage cart came through later. I passed on the beverage.

Then we had the weather delay into MSP.

When we arrived at MSP a bit over an hour late and we were given the standard amenities packet by the lead FA (without the top strip torn off, does that make a difference? )

The pilot, co-pilot, and two FA's were outstanding. They kept us informed, profusely apologized, performed beyond my expectations. The lead FA did get a little annoyed when seat belts were disconnected before we arrived at the gate ("CLICK!"), and walked the plane to find the offenders. ^

It appeared like the mechanical issue was known prior to take off, but they declined to acknowledge until we were in the air. Conjecture, of course.

Would I fly an E175 again? Yeah, why not. Fare was cheap. Mechanical and weather issues - stuff happens. Two and a half hours is probably the limit. I would still need to try FC before I evaluate for sure .

I have not yet tried the CR900

Cheers,
pogopossum
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Old Mar 1, 08, 3:54 am
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Originally Posted by pogopossum View Post
4. Oops! On my return, NW 2048 CLT-MSP 2/28, we had a timely departure. I noticed that a mechanic came on board shortly before we left. Very soon after departure, before the seat belt sign was turned off, and I think before we reached an altitude where we could use electronic equipment (in my case a mechanical pencil) the lead FA comes on and announces that the lavatories (both) are out of order. She announces that beverage service will be delayed until we get closer to MSP.
The way I'm reading this is that the crew knew the lavs were out, before closing the cabin door. If this were the case, is this a safety violation? I'd be really ticked, if I had a medical condition, found out about this after takeoff, found out that the crew knew about this before departing, and then had a medical event. I've flown once without an F-lav, it was announced before departure, and everyone had a choice to fly or not-fly (DC-9, with two more lavs in the back). So much for transparency, if this were the case).

Steve B.
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Old Mar 1, 08, 7:59 am
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I was on 2 EMB-175's in December, PIT-MSP-PIT. Got upgraded both ways. We did have a water issue before departure at MSP and a mechanic came on and fixed it, causing a short delay. I believe the pilot said the plane had come from the hanger and since it was cold they did not have water already in the system.
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Old Mar 1, 08, 11:03 am
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Hmmmm....... as I understand it, per the FAA, no lav is a no-go!
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Old Mar 1, 08, 11:38 am
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I've only been on this plane in F. I really liked it, much better than the DC-9 F cabin in my opinion. The seat pitch in F is a little better than the DC-9 and the seats had a pretty good amount of recline. My 22" rollaboard fits nicely in the overhead bins which can't be said for any of the CRJ products.

As far as the OPs statement about having 25% fewer F seats than the older planes, the actual percentage of F seats to Y seats remains about the same so in theory the upgrade chances should be the same.

My elite status is actually on CO but since my upgrade percentage is still at 100% on NW I'll be logging most of my domestic miles on NW this year... Even on the DC-9 I'd rather sit in NW F than CO Y anyday.
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Old Mar 1, 08, 11:51 am
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Originally Posted by pogopossum View Post
It appeared like the mechanical issue was known prior to take off, but they declined to acknowledge until we were in the air. Conjecture, of course.
It could be that, but with something as big as the lavs, its doubtful they just ignored them. Now, they should have mentioned it to the passengers before boarding, but this is just me playing Monday Morning quarterback and there is a lot that could have been going on to preclude that.

A captain has to balance the needs of passengers versus the needs of the company and delaying a flight so that people can use the restroom 10 minutes before scheduled departure may not be realistic, especially on a shorter flight.

Its a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation.

As a passenger, you might think its not, but deboarding an aircraft is a big deal.

Once you let people off, they are free to roam. You'll have someone decide to go to the bathroom, then go get something to eat or just wander off. Then you are in the tough spot of either leaving without them or wait the indefinite amount of time before that one passenger hears the multiple announcements and wanders back to the gate. You leave, they are now mad because their flight left without them.

Now, it is possible they both broke in flight.

One thing about these new aircraft is that they are highly computer controlled and very electronic in nature. If the computer senses a fault, it can take just about anything offline. Often, when an aircraft is new, the software sometimes is a bit too sensitive and pulls stunts like taking systems out of service for no reason. I am not familiar with the systems of the EMB170, but it is possible that the computer just had a bad day and turned them or an associated system off, rendering the lav's unusable.

Fixing that problem would require rebooting the computer, which in an aircraft's case, requires shutting everything down and turning it back on after a minute or so.

Obviously, that's not a good option while in the air.

Originally Posted by sbagdon View Post
The way I'm reading this is that the crew knew the lavs were out, before closing the cabin door. If this were the case, is this a safety violation?[/I]
Not necessarily.

Every airliner has a book called the Minimum Equipment List or MEL as you will often hear it referred to. The MEL is a book of things on the plane that can be broken and it still be safe and legal to fly.

What an MEL allows an airline to do is maintain some semblance of an ontime schedule and to get the aircraft to a location where the maintenance can be performed. Not every outstation has parts, for example.

In the above case, it is quite possible that both lavatories can be inoperative and the plane still be legally dispatched (the a/c I fly can be dispatched with its only lav inop and when the blue juice freezes some nights, that's what happens).

This may also explain why the mechanic came on the plane. In most cases, to "MEL" an item requires a mechanic to come on board and perform certain actions that render the component unusable. He then makes an entry in the aircraft log noting that the lav's, in the above example, are inoperative.

Each MEL has a time limit for when it has to be fixed, ranging form 24 hours to 120 days, depending on how critical the part is. However, most reputable operators do fix the issues relatively quickly.

How many MEL's can an aircraft have?

Well, often there is no limit. Some operations can be precluded if certain systems are inoperative. However, at the end of the day, its up to the captain to draw the line and get some things fixed if its unreasonable.

How do you know how many MEL's your plane has?

Each MEL item must be clearly posted for the crew to see, so in most cases, stickers are placed in different places in the cockpit to denote each MEL. Many stickers means many MEL's.

Checko
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Old Mar 1, 08, 4:03 pm
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The same thing just happened to me on a flight from MSP to PSP. Front lav would not work because of a computer problem. Pilot announced that it was no necessary to fly the plane and handy-dandy wipes would be there if you wanted them. We took off.

I have flow 1st on the 900. Very nice ride up front.
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Old Mar 1, 08, 4:13 pm
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Quote dvs7310 / As far as the OPs statement about having 25% fewer F seats than the older planes, the actual percentage of F seats to Y seats remains about the same so in theory the upgrade chances should be the same. /Unquote

Good point, I did not think of it that way. Maybe now that March 1 is here the upgrade chances will improve

The part that struck me odd is that the announcement of the inoperative lav's took place before anyone would have had a chance to use them. Perhaps a computer glitch, but...

Quote Great Chekco / Fixing that problem would require rebooting the computer, which in an aircraft's case, requires shutting everything down and turning it back on after a minute or so. / Unquote

I hope there is some level of redundancy.

Cheers,
pogopossum
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Old Mar 1, 08, 4:27 pm
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Originally Posted by dvs7310 View Post
As far as the OPs statement about having 25% fewer F seats than the older planes, the actual percentage of F seats to Y seats remains about the same so in theory the upgrade chances should be the same.
The CR9s and the E75s have the second best % of F seats at 15.7%, right behind the D9S with 16.0%.

EDIT: The DL CR9s have 14.3% F, which, while not quite as good, is great on DL and almost as good as NW's D94s at 14.6%.

Last edited by ed1; Mar 1, 08 at 4:33 pm
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Old Mar 1, 08, 5:31 pm
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Anybody have FC experience on these flights during meal times? I've flown Airbus equipment CLT-MSP and vice-versa and had meals served (hot meals). Is it the same on these birds?
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Old Mar 1, 08, 6:06 pm
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Originally Posted by gsupstate View Post
Anybody have FC experience on these flights during meal times? I've flown Airbus equipment CLT-MSP and vice-versa and had meals served (hot meals). Is it the same on these birds?
Here's one post, and there are probably others in that thread.
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Old Mar 1, 08, 7:07 pm
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Originally Posted by gsupstate View Post
Anybody have FC experience on these flights during meal times? I've flown Airbus equipment CLT-MSP and vice-versa and had meals served (hot meals). Is it the same on these birds?
Yes, last Sunday I did a breakfast flight from AUS-MSP on the E175 (Compass). We had scrambled eggs, sausages, and potatoes in one plate and a fruit plate to the side.
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Old Mar 2, 08, 3:09 am
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Originally Posted by dvs7310 View Post
Yes, last Sunday I did a breakfast flight from AUS-MSP on the E175 (Compass). We had scrambled eggs, sausages, and potatoes in one plate and a fruit plate to the side.
Any word if DTW-AUS gets food, in a CRJ-900?

Steve B.
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Old Mar 2, 08, 9:11 am
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If the 900 flight falls under the NWA mealtime guidelines, there will be food onboard.


AZJ
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Old May 22, 08, 6:52 am
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Well my upgrade percentage for 2008 as a gold is down to 80%. Still not too bad! ^

This week I ended up in Row 5 on the E175 IAH-MSP. I have always enjoyed Row 5 on the Airbus 319/320 because of the great legroom and no bulkhead wall. Row on the E175 is the same - but it is the seat width I really noticed - wow. Seat width on Row 5 on the Airbus is a little tight because of the fixed partitions between seats. About 30 minutes into my flight, it dawned on me how much seat width I was enjoying.

This is a sweet little plane!
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