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Review: United Express E170 Economy (AUS-EWR)

Updated: May 22

After a few long weeks at home it was finally time for us to head out on another adventure. Since we were leaving for the week, we spent the afternoon tidying up the house in advance of Mrs. ATX Jetsetter’s brother coming over to watch the dog. I even managed to run by the car wash before heading to the airport where Gumbo decided to make himself comfortable in my front seat as he got scared of the back. After dropping him off at the house it was off to the airport.

German Shepherd in a Car
Gumbo is not excited that we are leaving


As I mentioned in the introduction, the flights for this week were absolutely insane with Texas having Spring Break and Austin hosting South by Southwest. Though it wasn’t ideal, I ended up paying roughly $700 for my one RT ticket which is a lot of money to spend for 4 hours in a United Express E170. However, the times worked well with Mrs. ATX Jetsetter’s ticket and it would help me requalify for Star Alliance Gold status for 2024 as the spend requirements are back to pre-pandemic levels.


Because of the crowds, Austin Airport was warning domestic travelers to show up 2.5 hours prior to departure due to prospected delays at security. We arrived 1.75 hours before departure and thanks to CLEAR and the fact that we had no checked bags, we were airside less than 5 minutes later.


With over an hour to kill before boarding and no lounge access we grabbed a table at HAYMKR, close to our departure gate 29, for a quick snack and beverage.


We closed out our tab at HAYMKR and made the short walk to gate 29 where we arrived just before pre-boarding. With only 6 first class seats and roughly 55 pax, there was nobody in the Group 1 lane and we were first onboard after passengers needing extra time. While waiting to board, the gate agent made an announcement saying they only had space for 25 bags in the overhead bin and that everything else would need to be gate checked.

Austin Airport United Express ERJ-170
N653RW is our ride up to Newark Tonight

Republic Airways DBA United Express

UA 3412

AUS-EWR (Austin-Bergstrom International – Newark Liberty International)

Seat: 7A (Economy)

EMB-170 (N653RW)

Scheduled: 7:02p-11:53p

Actual: 6:58p-11:39p


Aside from the smaller, 2 row F cabin, the interior was your standard United Express E-Jet. Fortunately, thanks to my *G status, I was able to select extra legroom EconomyPlus seats at booking and assigned myself seat 7A, the first row behind first class, which gave me a ton of extra legroom as there was no bulkhead wall in front.

We pushed back a few minutes before departure next to a United 737-MAX9 in the old hybrid colors and taxied over to runway 18L ahead of a British Airways A350-1000 headed for London.


We took off to the south and made a sweeping left hand turn to point Northeast and head towards Newark. Once we reached our cruising altitude the captain turned the seat belt sign off and I headed to check out the rear lav.

United Express E170 Lavatory

After returning to my seat, I paid $8 to connect to the Wi-Fi for the duration of the flight. Frustratingly, it took a while to connect and was spotty throughout the flight. I had planned to work on this trip report, but the connection kept glitching when trying to sync to my Google drive.

One of the perks of sitting in EconomyPlus, in addition to the added legroom, is a upgraded snack basket so I grabbed a couple of Stroopwafels for the flight and resigned myself to tracking our spotty progress on FlightRadar24 as I had also left my AirPods at home. The FA serving the economy cabin came through to do the beverage service and I went with a vodka soda. Aside from some turbulence over western Kentucky, the flight was mostly smooth and I nodded off for the last hour or so.


I woke up as we began our descent into Newark and, thanks to a dirty and fogged up window, I wasn't able to get any good pictures of the descent over New Jersey. We landed from the southwest and, after holding for a few departing aircraft, made our way to our arrival gate, C114.

After disembarking, we followed the signs to the AirTrain and zone P4 to catch the shuttle over to our hotel.


Almost 4 hours gate to gate, and 3 in the air, is a long time to spend on a regional jet. While there wasn’t anything extreme that stood out about this flight, it definitely stretched my limits of comfort. If the schedule and the price was right I would definitely fly on them again, though I’m glad our next trip to NYC is in the pointy end of a Delta A220.

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