Review: American Eagle CRJ-700 Economy (BTR-DFW)

48 hours after we arrived in Baton Rouge, our weekend with friends was coming to an end. We headed off to the airport to catch our flights back to Austin.


Typically when I travel to Baton Rouge it is cheaper to fly into New Orleans and rent a car but, for whatever reason, United wanted almost $700 per person to fly to New Orleans while American had flights to Baton Rouge for under $400 round trip, which made American a no-brainer.


Due to some delays and a misconnection on our outbound flights, we ended up getting rebooked on United through Houston. Because of the rebooking and changes, our reservation got broken and Mrs. ATX Jetsetter and I got split up on separate reservations. We headed to the airport a little early just in case we had issues as I could select Main Cabin Extra seats at check-in while she couldn’t.

As we rode to the airport I checked our inbound flight and saw that we had a delayed inbound flight. The delay was already showing 20 minutes and that would only grow as the updated departure time was almost 15 minutes in the past.

American Airlines flight delay notification in app

We pulled up curbside at Baton Rouge Metro Airport and headed over to the American Airlines counter. The place was a ghost town and the only person in the ticketing area was the American AAgent and one of the ramp workers.

a large concrete sign next to a body of water
an airport check in area

After taking a look at our reservations, the AAgent was able to assign us seats 4A and B in the first row of Main Cabin Extra, meaning we would get a bit of additional legroom on our flight up to Dallas. With boarding passes in hand, we headed upstairs towards the security checkpoint, which was also deserted.

an empty airport with escalators
a large giraffe statue in a building

Up until we reached security I still hadn’t seen a single passenger, only a couple of airport employees. This gave the whole place an eerie feeling.

Baton Rouge Airport Security Checkpoint

It took about 30 seconds for us to clear security and we found ourselves airside facing the large glass wall of windows overlooking the empty ramp. I used to fly through Baton Rouge fairly frequently and don’t ever remember seeing it this deserted. It makes for a pretty great passenger experience though when you can go from curb to gate in just a couple of minutes.

a large glass window with chairs and tables
a plane on the tarmac

Turning the corner from security, I found some of the passengers for our flight hanging out at the bar. We grabbed a couple of seats to kill time while we waited for our inbound aircraft to arrive.

a room with tables and chairs
a man and woman sitting at a bar


Our scheduled boarding time arrived and there was no sign of our aircraft at the gate, or any people for that matter. I walked down a little further to see our plane parked at a remote stand near the end of the terminal with passengers deplaning via stairs. Apparently the pushback tug was broken so we couldn’t use the jet bridge.

SkyWest CRJ-700 at Baton Rouge Airport

With the inbound delayed and the broken jet bridge requiring a gate change, boarding didn’t begin until 15 minutes before our scheduled departure time. We boarded with Group 4 and headed out across the tarmac to our waiting American Eagle CRJ-700.

Baton Rouge Airport Boarding Gate B5

Today’s aircraft was in the SkyWest house colors and I was able to get a great shot of it as we walked across the tarmac.

SkyWest DBA American Eagle

AA 4906

BTR-DFW (Baton Rouge Metro – Dallas/Ft. Worth International)

Seat: 4A (Economy)

CRJ-700 (N603SK) (SkyWest House Livery)

Scheduled: 5:30p-7:09p

Actual: 5:33p-7:03p

SkyWest CRJ-700 at Baton Rouge Airport

We were met at the stairs by the Captain who was helping to load bags onto the aircraft to try and get us out on time. I really appreciated the hustle of the Baton Rouge AAgents and SkyWest crew to make up for lost time.

a man standing on the stairs of an airplane
a man standing on a runway with luggage


We climbed the stairs and walked through the First Class cabin back to row 4, the first row of Economy which American brands as ‘Main Cabin Extra’. Seats 4A and 4B had virtually unlimited legroom but 4B has the downside of being bumped by passengers trying to walk through the aisle.

American Eagle CRJ-700 Economy bulkhead seats

As is typical for a regional jet, there was no IFE screen available though American did offer streaming via WiFi, which is something you won’t find on United’s CRJ-900s.

American Eagle CRJ-700 Economy Legroom


Even with the delayed inbound, we still rolled off the gate only a few minutes behind schedule. We had a very quick taxi across a still deserted airport over to Runway 13.

a large airport with a large building and a parking lot
a runway with a plane on it

We took off towards the southeast and had a very low initial climb before making a sweeping left turn to the northwest to head for Dallas.

a runway with buildings and grass
a road with cars and buildings in the background
an airplane wing and a landscape
an airplane wing above a city

In Flight

We climbed out of Baton Rouge, dodging some storms as we went, and the flight attendants began their in-flight service.

Thunderstorms departing Baton Rouge Airport

I connected to the inflight WiFI and looked up our connecting flight to Austin which, shockingly, was also delayed.

a screen shot of a flight
a screenshot of a flight schedule

One of the perks of flying in Main Cabin Extra on American, in addition to the extra legroom, is complimentary alcohol. Knowing that our connecting flight was already delayed, I relaxed with a vodka soda. This was accompanied by a small bag of pretzels.

American Eagle CRJ-700 Economy Snack and Beverage Service

After about an hour in the air, I visited the restroom at the rear of the plane. While it was no frills, it was kept clean and stocked during the duration of our flight.

a toilet and sink in a plane
a sink with a soap dispenser on it

As we approached Dallas, I passed the time looking out the window at the building storm clouds our pilots were doing their best to avoid.

clouds in the sky
aerial view of a city from an airplane


We took a unique approach into DFW and ended up landing on the far out Runway 31R.

a aerial view of a highway
a runway with grass and buildings in the background

Since we landed on far out 31R, we had a 15 minute taxi over to our arrival gate of E38.

a plane on the runway
a plane on the runway

Once we deplaned, it was a short wait on the jetway for our gate checked bags and, from there, we headed off to the SkyLink train and Terminal D to catch our connecting flight to Austin.

DFW Airport jet bridge interior

As I headed up the jet bridge and into the terminal, I managed to snag one last shot of our plane.

American Eagle CRJ-700 at DFW Airport Gate E38


Our flight from Baton Rouge to Dallas/Ft. Worth was your standard American Eagle flight. What really stood out though was the effort of both the ground crew in Baton Rouge to get us boarded, and the SkyWest Captain who was loading bags to try and get us on our way as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, my overall experience with American’s reliability continues to be poor.

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Our Weekend in Baton Rouge

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