Review of Air Wisconsin flight Chicago Fargo in Economy

Airline Air Wisconsin
Flight UA4851
Class Economy
Seat 8A
Flight time 02:04
Take-off 17 Mar 18, 08:45
Arrival at 17 Mar 18, 10:49
ZW 8 reviews
jish.b
By SILVER 378
Published on 17th February 2019


BACKGROUND


This is the last of four flights during our spring break trip to New York last year. Having flown on a Embarer (ERJ-145), Boeing (B777-200ER), Airbus (A320-200), it was the fourth manufacturer thanks to the CRJ-200ER. Now a lot of you would probably remember Following a quick bathroom break at Terminal 1 after the uneventful-but-PTU-sound-ringing-in-my-head A320 flight from EWR, we walked to the other side of Concourse B - the wide body side. The lovely girlfriend lined up at Starbucks to kick off the morning, while I did some more planespotting. Another close encounter with a Boeing 777 - this one being a domestic one that had come in from Honolulu, albeit a little late.

Coffee to kick things off, coffee of the most basic kind…
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Hello there, beastly Boeing! :)
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Just like the last time we did a quick walk over to Concourse C because there was time to kill. However being kinda tired and there was not enough time to photograph these planes. Besides they were all 737s anyway, so…
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Walking back to concourse B it was a more of a A320 story. UA1626 back to EWR was on for an on time departure.
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Walking towards the regional gates it sure got very cramped in the terminal area. I kinda got the feeling that Concourse E saw mostly Embraer departures, while Concourse F was mostly CRJ departures. Specifically, Air Wisconsin. But do correct me if I'm wrong.
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Air Canada Express - enjoying the livery while it lasts…
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United RJs
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To the Foxtrot!
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On the way to we saw an ad with Josh Duhamel promoting whatever little bit there was of North Dakota which we found out to be hilarious.
Look at that, ND making it's non-existent mark among the top guns!
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Due to some operational delay of another CRJ-200 departing from F28, our gate changed to F22 which was very close by. No big deal. If anything I was actually surprised to see many CRJs around because when I think O’Hare I usually think ERJ-145s, but I guess you learn something every time you travel!
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There was no F16 parked at F16, it was a ERJ-175… :rotfl:
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Anyway, N417ZW showed up at Gate 22 a little before it’s scheduled time. It was quite the tight squeeze maneuvering all the planes in. This had come in from Green Bay, Wisconsin, Air Wisconsin’s home. A 37 minute flight. we parked ourselves with a decent view of the activity - one of which included an Air China B777F. ‘Oh, oh my wish! order must be on that one!’, quipped my girlfriend.
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I quite like the new Alaska Airlines livery
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In the meantime I noticed the activity around N417ZW just prior to it’s departure. A crew change happened during this time with the 2 pilots and flight attendant board to operate to Fargo. Of course - the first officer stepped out for a little bit to complete the pre-flight check. It did look like she had an Indian background. Amazing.
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THE CRJ CONUNDRUM….


I mentioned in my previous trip report of my general dislike for the CRJ-200 over time. There really isn’t much to choose from on these birds between the US3’s regionals. I just wanted to get this flight going & done quite quickly. The saving grace was the fact that I managed to snag the two emergency exit seats on port side, 8A & 8B. Even better - I could select these for free!

BOARDING - MAYBE IT WON'T BE AS BAD?!


Boarding was called 21 minutes to departure time. Dropped off our baggage to pick up later on in Fargo. We were onboard at 0826 hours to a largely welcoming flight attendant, Dakota.
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The cabin itself looked similar to what you’d find on the SkyWests and Endeavors of the world..err, United States. Nothing too major, but I wasn’t expecting the surprising amount of legroom in 8A & 8B! With the law requiring bags to be stored up in the bins, I settled in for what would be a pretty comfortable flight on the CRJ-200!
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The ERJ at F16…
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AMAZING leg room! And of course, the girlfriend took a glorious opportunity to interject…
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Boarding was completed pretty quick as Dakota came around to check with our responsibilities at the emergency exit seats - with great legroom comes great responsibility! :praise: I noticed the last of the baggage those were get checked being loaded on to the CRJ-200. The announcements happened - a surprisingly quick 1hr05min across to Fargo seemed impressive, but unrealistic. This was soon confirmed by the Captain - it would be a 1hr20min flight to calm winds, clear skies and 11F in Fargo.

YAY! My bag is on there!
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Cabin
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DEPARTURE


There were quite a RJs departing at this hour - the lack of movement meant that most people were starting to fall asleep. Wasn’t too much of a delay for us thankfully, we pushed back at 0847 hours, just 2 minutes late. Engines fired up but we had to wait for our clearance to taxi. Was interesting to see another CRJ-200 take our place at Gate F22 within 6 minutes of pushing us back. Quite efficient!



Pushback
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Taking our gate, just 6 minutes after we pushed back…
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Eventually got our taxi clearance 10 minutes after departure time, it was going to be quite the long taxi to Runway 09R. About 15 or 20 other regional jets made their way to the runway, too. Here are some pictures:
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Boeing, Embraer and (Air)bus! :devil:
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Lined up with Runway 09R at 0903 hours, 18 minutes after departure time. Pretty soon we were off and airborne rather quickly before making a lengthy bank back towards the west. Flew over some pretty cool airports part of Chicago’s class B airspace. A smooth climb up to 34000 feet.



O'Hare, until next time!
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Chicago Executive - PWK
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INFLIGHT


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The scenery got whiter below - the more deep in to the mid west, the more snow covered it got. What a way to get back to ND, huh! Service was split in to 2 parts, the first being stroopwaffels for all, the 2nd being the drink Service. A request for 2 stroopwaffels for us each was greeted with no frown whatsoever. So far so good!

Cannot go wrong with this!!
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For the 2nd round of service, the drinks, I got myself a ginger ale. Nice to see a crew member enthusiastic to be there!
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Another airport - not sure which one though…
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Setback
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Safety Card
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More in to the west? More in to the snow…
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Responsibilities…
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UNFORTUNATE FLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT?


The flight was an uneventful one, for the most part. I was quite comfortable in 8A with the extra legroom. I was loving it - a comfortable CRJ flight?! No way! But here is where things got a little interesting: the passenger in 9C was clearly quite tired from the on-goings of this morning flight: they snored. Really loud. So loud to the extent that it was no longer a question of some of us passengers hiding our laughter any more, but for how much longer one would laugh with every snore. Unfortunately hilarious. Even the flight attendant couldn’t hide his chuckle while checking on us! This was about as interesting as it got.

I headed for the lavatory at the back, and just like the ERJ-145 it was quite cramped, but that’s understandable given that these RJs are tiny to begin with. It was quite clean.
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Just under an hour in to the flight we were over the hometown of rivals that don’t have a hub in ORD: Minneapolis, the home of Northwe..er…Delta.
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DESCENT, APPROACH & ARRIVAL


Arrival preparation announcements were done, usual jing-bang as we descended down over North-western Minnesota. Coming up from the Southern end we had to go towards the north and line up with runway 18 for arrival. The same runway I had landed on a few weeks ago during my night cross country.
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Runway in sight!
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The Red River, completely frozen!
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Looking at the smoke from the factory it didn’t look like it was very windy at all,if anything a very light breeze from the south in addition to clear skies. Lined up with the runway, all looking pretty sweet as we touched down at 1027 hours after a flying time of 1hr27min.



Taxied off towards the apron where our ride got a picture of us:
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A Delta Connection CRJ-900LR had gone tech in Fargo, so it was being prepped to head back to MSP after 2 nights of being stuck.
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An on schedule Delta flight:
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Docked at gate 5 just fine at 1032 hours, 17 minutes before time. Waited at the jet bridge before collecting our gate checked baggage, and were on our way home back to Grand Forks!
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On the way to Grand Forks we found this massive tractor on the I-29 that reminded us of a story we told my cousin: imagine this being in Manhattan, NYC would actually come to a standstill!
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I also got another prompt email from United after these flights. It was nothing but praise, to be honest.
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See more

Verdict

Air Wisconsin

8.4/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment/wifi7.5
Meal/catering8.0

Chicago - ORD

6.8/10
Efficiency7.0
Access6.5
Services7.0
Cleanliness6.5

Fargo - FAR

7.1/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.5
Services4.5
Cleanliness7.5

Conclusion

It is quite telling that the [b]2 regional arm flights of United were better than the mainline flights[/b]. 3 of the 4 were well on time, but the cabin [b]crew on the regional flights felt more personable. And surprise surprise, the seat was most comfortable on the CRJ of all![/b] All in all, a great trip with United especially with the price paid, [b]I have no complaints whatsoever[/b], but will probably make an effort to avoid ORD as much as possible, if at all viable. Following this trip things started to look up for me as well as I finally managed to log my first couple of solo flights in addition to romping away towards my PPL - and with that, [b]the plans for my summer trip to India was really starting to come alive….[/b]

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