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Review: United Express E175 Economy (IAH-DFW)

For our last leg back to Dallas, we had a quick hop up from Houston on a United Express E175. We had to race to make our connection thanks to a delayed inbound flight from New Orleans. This was one of those flights that is so boring I thought about not writing it up but, it closed out our first trip of 2024 so here we are.


Booking

This flight was the second and final leg of our trip back to Dallas after the Sugar Bowl. We misconnected due to the initial delay and went standby on this flight before getting confirmed while boarding in New Orleans.


Our routing MSY-IAH-DFW in Economy cost 17,000 MileagePlus miles plus $5.60 in taxes and fees. While it wasn't the best use of miles, it certainly beat the cash prices leaving New Orleans after the game.


Pre-Flight

Our flight arrived into Gate C34 and we had 17 minutes to make the 19 minute (according to the United app) walk over to Gate B6. We raced off the plane, or moved as fast as a pregnant lady can, and headed for the Skyway tram.

Skyway Tram System Station at Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport
Racing over to Terminal B

As we waited on the train I got a text from United stating, "Take a deep breath - we're holding your next flight for a few extra minutes." It looked like United's Connection Saver was helping us out today! Still moving at a brisk, but slower pace, we cruised towards the low B-Gates.


Boarding

Terminal B in Houston serves most of the United Express Flights. The high B gates feature a traditional jet bridge setup while the low B gates involve ground boarding from three different piers. All passengers wait in a large holding area until their flights are ready to board. It was no surprise that boarding was well underway by the time we made it and the agent was doing last call for DFW.

Houston Intercontinental Airport Gates B1-B11 Boarding Area
Next Stop: Dallas/Fort Worth

The initial checkpoint was only to access the lower level pier and we still had to walk a couple of minutes to the actual gate. The pier is very sterile and feels more like a high school gym rather than a major airline hub.

Houston Intercontinental Airport United Express Boarding Area Terminal B
Houston Intercontinental Terminal B Boarding Area

The gate agent was waving at us to come quickly and a group of about 5 of us all made our way quickly to the podium, a quick scan of our BPs and we headed out on the tarmac.


Mesa Airlines DBA United Express

UA 6080

IAH-DFW (Houston-Bush Intercontinental - Dallas/Ft. Worth International)

Seat: 23D (Economy)

EMB-175 (N87337)

Scheduled: 6:10p-7:36p

Actual: 6:12p-7:24p


With no jet bridge, we boarded via ramp. This gave me a great view of the Embraer 175 that would be shuttling us up to Dallas.

United Express Embraer 175 at Houston Intercontinental Airport
United Express Embraer 175

Seat

Since we were originally on standby, we had to take what was available. At least the E175 has no middle seats so we were guaranteed a window or aisle. Mrs. ATX took my Economy Plus seat, 8A, and I headed back to 23B, a standard economy seat. I didn't get any great shots of the cabin as the plane was already full.


Legroom was on the tight side but at this point I was just happy we'd be getting home tonight. The seatback pocket was small and made of mesh. It wouldn't hold much and, with the tight legroom, I wouldn't have used it anyway.

United Express Embraer 175 Economy Legroom
United Express Embraer 175 Economy Legroom

After the boarding door closed, I moved across the aisle as 23C and D were both unoccupied. This allowed me to stretch out a bit.

United Express Embraer 175 Economy Seats
Some coveted real estate across the aisle

The seat was identical to my assigned 23B and had a literature pocket and tray table located in the seatback. No seatback IFE on these regional jets but streaming entertainment and WiFi were available.


Departure

Some weather rolled in to the Houston area just as we were preparing to depart and we ended up pushing back a couple minutes behind schedule. From there, we had a 15 minute taxi out to our departure runway.

United Express Embraer 175 Taxiing at Houston-Intercontinental Airport
Taxiing at Houston-Intercontinental Airport

After waiting our turn, we headed down the runway and shot into the night sky for our quick flight over to DFW.


In-Flight

Due to reports of turbulence, the Captain asked that the flight attendants remain seated for the duration of the flight. With no service and no views out of the window due to clouds, I just streamed a TV show on my phone and soon we were descending into Dallas/Ft. Worth.


Arrival

45 minutes after take off, our flight touched down at a wet and rainy Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport.

View Approaching Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport from a United Express E175
View Approaching Dallas/Ft. Worth

We landed on the remote runway, 17L, and had a 15 minute taxi over to our arrival gate, E6. With no checked bags, we deplaned and headed straight to the curb where Mrs. ATX's brother was waiting to pick us up.


Summary

Thanks for coming along on this quick hop from Houston to Dallas in United Express E175 Economy. The weather meant no service on this short flight but, we were just happy to be onboard. There are pros and cons to flying on a regional jet vs. mainline and while the lack of middle seats is a plus, no seatback IFE, tight seats, and small overhead bins detract from the experience.


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