Flight Review: United Express CRJ-700 Economy Class from Phoenix to San Francisco

Flight Review: United Express CRJ-700 Economy Class from Phoenix to San Francisco

Contributed by Hirofumi Suda
Contributed by Hirofumi Suda
Hirofumi is a Japanese aviation enthusiast based in Delhi, India. Besides finding joy in trying out as many airline products as possible, he is also running a travel agency focused on providing tours within India especially to the Himalayas. If you happen to read Japanese, also make sure to check his personal blog here.

Flight Information
: September 3, 2017
Flight No.: UA5603
Route: Phoenix Sky Harbor to San Francisco International
Airline: United Express (operated by SkyWest Airlines)
Type: Bombardier CRJ-700
Registration: N742SK
ATD: 11:16AM
ATA: 1:00PM
Flight Duration: 1 hr 44 min

While I also took a flight from Los Angeles to Phoenix onboard a United Express E175 during this trip, I will not be reviewing that one as it was more or less identical to this flight.

Getting Onboard a United Express CRJ-700

At Phoenix airport, I had a very smooth check-in given that I was traveling with hand luggage only and could use the self-check-in kiosk. Furthermore, as a Star Alliance Gold member, I could go through a dedicated “Priority Access” security check lane.

United Express Boarding Pass

“Premier Access” boarding pass.

Once through security, I headed to United’s lounge where I spent most of the time before boarding.

The boarding procedure itself was also efficient, as there were separate lines for each of the five – or so – boarding groups.

First, United’s top-tier frequent flyers and first class passengers were called to board. Then, group two which included other Star Alliance Gold members followed, and so I got on board the CRJ.

United Express Bombardier CRJ-700

United Express CRJ-700.

Once onboard, I headed to my window seat, 11D. The seat as well as the leg room were perfectly fine for the short hop.

Inside the seat pocket, one could find the “Hemisphere” in-flight magazine which also included the in-flight sales menu, and a wi-fi manual.

Look Outside Window

View out of the window before we moved.
United Express Seatpitch

Seat pitch.
United Express Seats

United Express CRJ-700 seats.
Phoenix Terminal

Southwest Airlines operates a hub at Phoenix airport.

The Flight from Phoenix to San Francisco

The in-flight service itself was uneventful due to the length of the flight. However, the views were what made the flight interesting.

After taking-off from Phoenix, we could see some urban scenery for a while.

Phoenix Sky Harbor

View seconds after take-off.
After Take Off

…and some more seconds later.

Downtown Phoenix.

Sprawling suburbs of Phoenix.

Then, a free drink and snack service was done. Besides the tasty pretzels, I had apple-cranberry juice.

United Express Snack Mix

Snack mix and juice.

By the time the service was done, we were flying over desert which started turning greener and greener as the plane got closer and closer the northern Californian coast.

Around the same time, we also flew over an airport that I was not able to identify. If you know what airport it was, please leave a comment below.



Unidentified airport.

Some minutes later, we reached the coast, near Monterey. Then, we flew above San Francisco Bay. And finally, we landed at San Francisco airport reaching our arrival gate half-an-hour ahead of schedule – and seeing some United 747s along the way.


West Coast.

San Mateo bridge.
United 747

United 747 at San Francisco airport.
United Express CRJ

We parked next to another CRJ.

United Express CRJ-700 from Phoenix to San Francisco Summary

Overall, the aircraft was in clean condition (except for the tray table as you could see on the photo with the boarding pass), and snacks and drinks more than sufficient for the short flight were served. The great views out of the window were a nice bonus. If you are flying out of Phoenix, I would definitely recommend a window seat so that you can enjoy the desert scenery.

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