Richmond International Airport (RIC) – John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
STD: 5:01 PM ATD: 5:56 PM GMT-4
STA: 6:29 PM ATA: 7:21 PM GMT-4
Flight Date: March 19, 2017
Class of Service: Economy
Seat Pitch: 31 inches
Seat Width: 17.3 inches
Meals: Complimentary beverages and snacks, charge for beer and wine
In-Seat Outlets: No
After a weekend of visiting friends for the weekend, Brian and I were heading back home to New York. As I’d mentioned before, tickets to and from New York and Richmond are unusually expensive considering the short distance/flying time between the two cities. While I’d managed to book a nonstop flight to Richmond without driving the cost up dramatically, the return leg was $100 more expensive with a nonstop flight home than if I took a layover in Boston.
So I booked the layover and hoped for irregular operations (IRROPS) shenanigans when I arrived at the airport to swap to a nonstop to New York at no extra cost.
Check In & Boarding
Check in was fairly standard – the check in counters (and the airport) were pretty much empty when we got there. I was hoping the agent was going to let me know my flight was delayed due to an issue that was completely Delta’s fault, but no such luck.
Security was a breeze, and we made our way to our gate to settle down and check email and the like before our flight. The gate area was pretty quiet – and since there was no one there, we sat right by counter.
In retrospect, this was the best move I’d made all day. Boarding had been delayed and I overheard her mention to a colleague that she was just waiting to get the final green light from the captain, since they had to assign a new crew. I mentioned to her that I had a connecting flight to New York to catch in Boston and was worried I wouldn’t make my connection. “Why didn’t you say so?!” she said as she swapped us to the flight into LaGuardia. That flight eventually was delayed for two hours, so I moved us over to the flight headed to JFK.
Originally scheduled to depart at 5:01 PM, boarding didn’t begin for the flight until about 5:45 – when it was (delayed) scheduled to depart. Even so, I couldn’t complain – after swapping onto this flight after delays on the first two flights I was booked on, I was just glad this one was leaving at all.
As we boarded the tiny aircraft, we made our way to our seats – 7C and D in the middle of the plane. No upgrades on this flight – there wasn’t even a First Class cabin, just a couple of Premium Economy seats in the front of the plane (which were already taken by the time we had swapped over).
No in-flight entertainment on this flight, which was a bit more painful since this plane was not equipped with wifi, so watching a show on Delta Studio was not an option. The seat also did not come equipped with a power source, so if you forgot to charge your phone before boarding like I did, the ride might feel just a bit more boring (though I brought a book, fortunately).
Leg room is a little tight on these planes, but again, the CRJ-200 is used on short haul flights, so it’s not a terrible inconvenience for me at 5’3.
The overhead cabins are notably small on these planes – just about everyone had to gate check their bags on the way in (although if you ask me, most luggage companies just sell oversized “carry on” bags).
At 6:00 – past our scheduled (delayed) departure time, we were still parked at the gate, but the flight attendant went through the safety demonstration as we waited to push back. A couple of minutes later we pushed back from the gate and we were finally on our way.
Between pushback and take off we spent a good 20 minutes taxiing and waiting, but we were finally(!) wheels up at 6:25.
The snack service began at about 10 minutes into the flight, with our very friendly FA walking through the cabin with a box of snacks. Available on the flight were pretzels, peanuts, nature box yogurt bar, and Delta-branded biscotti. I opted for the pretzels and Brian picked the peanuts.
The drinks available on the flight were limited – I asked for a sparkling water and they didn’t have any on board (but did have tonic water or sprite). While “adult beverages” (that’s what they called them, I swear) were available on today’s flight, I just asked for water.
Midway through the flight, I decided to pop over into the lavatory which was tiny but functional. Just generic Delta hand soap used on this flight – no fancy Malin+Goetz products here.
If I had actually booked a nonstop flight, I might have been more annoyed about the continuous delays, but since I ended up getting back to New York earlier than scheduled, I’m pretty happy with the turnout. For such a short flight, an experience on any airline won’t be too different. In any case, the service on the flight was friendly and speedy – impressive for such a quick flight.
Other than Delta, United and American also offer flights between the New York City area and Richmond at around the same time and usually for about the same price.