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The CRJ-200 is the Nickelback Of The Skies

Eight Reasons Why The CRJ-200 Is The Worst Airliner In The Skies Today

Photo by: Curimedia

Sometimes the truth hurts, but it’s necessary. The CRJ-200 is the worst airliner flying today.  Yep, we said it.  We’ll go a step further.  It’s the Nickelback of the skies.  Canadians are great people but between the antics of Justin Bieber, the melodic monotony of Nickelback, and the cramped CRJ-200, they sure do know how to export some junk too.

Here’s some background on the clunker.  The Bombardier CRJ-200 was a commercial success and a passenger comfort failure. Since 1992, the CRJ-100 and CRJ-200s have plied the skies. They’ve connected countless small cities to larger hubs across the US, Asia and Europe.  In some cases, they’ve opened up new route opportunities. Back when props ruled the regional skies, airlines touted the regional jet as a new era of jet speed and comfort to small cities.  It was a marketing gimmick though.  The CRJ might be a few knots faster than a turboprop but we think it is the most uncomfortable and annoying jet out there today for passengers. It’s not much better for the crew either.  We can’t wait until airlines finally get rid of the junkers. Here’s why:

1.) The jet is too damn small!

The CRJ cabin was originally designed as a business jet.  We’re pretty sure that the jet is supremely comfortable when it features a nice couch and 1×1 seating.  But when you try to place 4 people across, it gets crowded quick.  With 17″ wide seats, and an industry minimum aisle, the jet is supremely uncomfortable.  It’s not just the seat width though.  Ask any 6ft+ tall person flying and they will not only complain about the narrow seat, they’ll also complain that the curvature of the fuselage guarantees that they’ll end the flight with a stiff neck and/or back.

2.) The CRJ climbs like a pig

Performance always suffers when its hot out but its not unusual to see an average loaded CRJ struggling to climb above 500 feet per minute anytime the jet is above FL200.   While the ceiling is supposedly FL370, the CRJ usually caps out at below FL320 in the summertime.

3.) The bathroom is disgusting

Even the most hardened avgeek will cringe when her or she is assigned 14B on a CRJ-200.  They’ll trade the ‘comfort’ of an aisle seat for the dreaded smell of a chemical toilet.  The CRJ’s toilet is actually just a 3 gallon reservoir of blue juice.  That means that after just a few uses, each flush is a noxious mix of swirling pee, poop and blue juice.  The back of the jet smells like an outhouse. The bathroom itself is super cramped too. For those poor passengers who have to pee, they get the added fun of trying to play a sadistic version of Tetris while trying to do so.

4.) The windows are too low

Unless you are a 3 year old, the CRJ windows are way lower than eye level.  That means that to looks outside, you’ll have to duck down.  Uggh!  Just ask for an aisle seat.  It’s not worth the back pain to try to stare out the window.

5.) You’re hot then you’re cold

Cabin comfort is anything but comfortable in the CRJ.  The jet is never cool in the summer.  It reminds me of people who try to cool an entire house with a window A/C.  The system is set up to fail.  Cold air comes out the vents at your feet.  Hot air comes out from above.  It means that your torso will sweat in-flight but your feet will freeze.

6.) High approach speeds and it lands like a truck

The CRJ-200 lacks any leading edge devices.  With a wing originally designed for a smaller jet, approaches are at a high speed and decidedly nose down.  We’ve heard it’s not uncommon for a jumpseater to let out a squeal as it looks like it’s going to be a nose gear touchdown until the very last second.

It doesn’t get much better after touchdown. The CRJ lands firm at best. To put it nicely, the jet is stiff.  For those poor passengers on the CRJ, even a good landing sounds like a semi-truck that is driving down a dirt road at 140mph.

7.) Pilots nickname it the Canadian Reset Jet

Faults are pretty common on the jet.  The fix for nearly every problem is a reset by maintenance.  For passengers, this means that you should expect an extra 10-20 minutes in your seat prior to pushback.

8.) The overhead bins can’t hold anything more than a laptop bag

The overhead bins are so tiny.  What’s the point?  They can’t even hold a backpack.  Most passengers wish that they’d just get rid of them in favor of a little more headspace.

As much as we hate the CRJ-200, we have to give a shoutout to the crews and maintenance folks that keep these jets running.  Day in and day out, you safely fly this mini-tank and its 50 passengers through busy airspace and horrendous weather.  We look forward to the day that this Canadian piece of trash will be replaced by more comfortable rides.  And we hope that the great people who crew these jets will soon be flying better equipment too.

Cover photo: Wikipedia image of Nickleback’s lead singer by Stuart Sevastos and CRJ-200 photo by Eric Salard (N863AS LAX) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


Written by Avgeekery

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