Bags for an ERJ-145
I'll be flying in an ERJ-145 later this month, on two United flights. With only an hour layover, I can not take the chance of checking, or even gate-checking, my luggage, particularly since this airline can almost always be counted on to be late. (I only chose them because I needed to use up some points).
After grabbing the tickets, I learned that the plane is VERY small, and almost all bags are gate-checked. The overhead bins are tight, and only on one side of the aircraft, so I guess I can't count on getting space there. My underseat area, if I have the correct info, will be 16 x 12 x 9 inches. I am not a light packer, but out of necessity I think I will just take my Synapse 25 or Smart Alec, along with my Co-Pilot. I want to be sure that whatever bag I take doesn't get gate-checked, because I think I'll have to run for my next flight, so even though the Western Flyer or a duffel would technically fit United's requirements, I really can't take the chance that it won't be allowed on the plane.
Has anyone flown on this particular aircraft? It is the ERJ-145 v2, owned by United. I'd appreciate any tips. I usually fly JetBlue, or international flights, which have a generous amount of space, so I don't have a lot of expertise with this type of flying.
It will be a long weekend, but I do need to pack a spare pair of shoes (sandals), two pairs of pants, and a few extra shirts, my iPad Mini and phone, chargers, and a gift. I would like to take a camera as well.
Have flown one many times. Synapse 25 (and Western Flyer) should do okay in overhead (as long as it's not overpacked). I often use a Patagonia MLC pack on this aircraft and utilize overhead storage. Depending on boarding position, overhead could be full. (Though co-pilot will still fit up top).
Most important thing here is to select the aisle seat on the side with two seats (I believe that's B seat). Reason being, the under seat storage is the largest of the three seats. Single seat space is tight under seat, and window seat is restricted, as well.
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I have flown more RJ-145's than I can remember.
All wheeled bags will be gate checked. I don't remember the last time any of my Tom Bihn bags were. Most soft sided, carry-on bags will fit in the overheads. And since most people have wheels, you shouldn't have a problem finding room.
But don't take my word for it...here's a thread from a few years back that has a photo of an Aeronaut in the overhead of an Embraer 145:
I've taken my WF and TS on really small planes with 1 seat on one side and 2 on the other. I've never had trouble getting them under the seat or in the overhead. There was one time when I had half a fleece in my WF that I had to give it an extra shove to get it in the overhead but it did fit.
In my experience, the Western Flyer fits better in the overhead bin than the Smart Alec. The flatter shape of the WF helps in this case. I've never had trouble putting the Smart Alec under the seat in front of me, however.
Thanks, Frank II! Just want to make sure we're talking about the same plane -- I know there are CRJ and ERJ's... I think the space available in the overhead of an ERJ-145 is 17" x 12" x 7"? The Aeronaut is 22" x 14" x 9". Though I suppose if it was half-filled it might scrunch to fit? I also read that there are a few different versions of the ERJ-145, though I'd imagine the bin space would be similar in all of them.
Originally Posted by Frank II
* NOTE: See later posts. I believe the dimensions I posted for the overhead might be incorrect. **
My current strategy, based on what everyone has written, is to use my Synapse 25 or Smart Alec, and first try to fit it under the seat in front of me. If that doesn't work I will remove one packing cube to make it smaller, and put that in the overhead. Hopefully there should be space for something that relatively small, and it seems unlikely that the GA's would target a medium-sized backpack for gate-check.
Whatever happens, I guess it will be more data points, and I'll try to snap my own photos.
I fly pretty regularly for work and last year flew on ERJ-145's almost weekly. I am able to fit my Aeronaut (stuffed fairly full) in to the overhead bins with no problems. The best part about flying on these small planes is that most people need to gate check their bags so the overheads are mostly empty no matter what seating area you're in...
You should have no problems with either of your bags in the overhead bins. The only bag I've ever had issues with on smaller planes (ERJ's and CRJ's) is the Tri-Star, because when you put stuff in to all three compartments, it tends to pack a bit thick. Otherwise, I've never had any issues with any of my TB bags fitting in the overhead. The gate agent may ask you to gate check and if they do just kindly accept the green tag but then just take your bag on the plane... it'll make your life a lot easier. :)
Thanks for the comments!
They are all very helpful.
Where did you get the dimensions of the overhead? It doesn't seem right to me. That seems more like the under seat dimensions.
The ERJ-145 is the Embraer. It stand for Embraer Regional Jet model 145. They also make a 135 and 140. The only difference from the passenger's point of view is the number of rows.
CRJ stands for Canadair Regional Jet. Embraer and Canadair are the names of the manufacturers. Embraer is from Brazil and I'll let you guess where Canadair is from.
As far as gate checking goes, back in the day when I had to gate check, I rarely had to wait for my bag. In some cases, they won't let the passengers off the plane until the gate checked bags are ready for pickup. They don't want passengers milling about the door to the plane waiting for a bag. It's a safety hazard.
I like the ERJ's because the seating is 1-2. I can usually get the seat by myself so I have both the aisle and the window with no one next to me.
Personally,I think you are over-worrying this.
You definitely have to wait these days... I've missed connections because of it! Some airports are faster than others but in general it takes anywhere from 15-30 mins to get your gate checked bags at the gate. With a one hour connection, with a potential 30 minute wait for your bag plus running to another gate that may be far away, there's a chance that you could miss your connection... especially if there are any delays. Anyway, with a TB bag, you won't have to worry. Just stuff your bag in the overhead bin and forget about it.
Originally Posted by Frank II
OK, thanks again, Frank II and tangfj. It's possible that the dimensions I posted for the overhead are incorrect. I made a note in the post.
As Frank II posted, gate-checking might not be a problem, but I'd prefer to plan well so that I can keep my bag with me. It will make me more comfortable, even if I have less space for my feet. I guess there are some advantages to being 5'2".
I appreciate the clarification on "ERJ" and "CRJ"!
Where do you have to wait 30 minutes for a gate checked bag? I've never waited more than 10 minutes.
Some of the smallest RJ (I can't remember which) had a tiny overhead with sliding doors on one side and a small overhead (big enough for a TS) on the other side. I wonder if the small measurement is for that tiny bin?
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PHL, IAD, ORD, and ATL are the places where I've usually had to wait the longest but generally speaking anywhere that is a major hub can be bad. PHL and IAD were probably the worst offenders in my experience. Part of the problem for me is that I'm usually one of the first to board the plane since I am usually in boarding group one... most of the time bags are first in, last out and I'm usually one of the last people in the jet bridge waiting on my bag. Plus if you ever have traveled on busy days for business travel (monday AM and thursday PM) then you'll know that 99% of the people boarding the plane have carry on luggage and most people will be waiting in the jet bridge for their bags. In any case, ever since I've discovered TB bags I no longer have that problem!
Originally Posted by Frank II
One variation of "gate checking" that I often encounter with Dash 8 and Q-400 aircraft (which have notoriously small overhead bins) are "Sky Check" carts (or whatever the different airlines call them). It's very easy to drop the bag on the cart and then board the aircraft and the bags are usually waiting when the first passengers disembark.
Until now I've been using an Air Boss which will not fit either the bins or underseat (partially my fault due to the amount of gear I pack), so the Sky Check system has worked well. I now have a shiny new TriStar so I'm anxiously awaiting an opportunity to try it out to see how it works on the smaller aircraft.
One other question - has anyone ever seen an Excel (or whatever) chart that lists each of the TB bags and which aircraft they will easily fit into (assuming "normal" packing of each bag)?