Review: United Express E175 Economy (MTJ-DEN)

After a great weekend celebrating friends in Telluride it was time to head back to Austin. We were initially booked on the afternoon flight via Houston but Mrs. ATX Jetsetter decided that she missed Gumbo and wanted to get home early, so we had a 4:00a wake up call, the morning after a wedding I might add, to make the drive down to Montrose. We also had confirmed upgrades on the later flight via Houston but you can’t keep Mrs. ATX away from her dog.


As I mentioned earlier in this trip report, this flight was part of our very expensive $800+ per person roundtrip economy ticket. Thankfully, I had an expiring $1100 United credit that helped offset the cost.


We arrived at the Montrose Regional Airport entirely too early and returned our rental car to Avis, and by that I mean I climbed behind the Avis desk to find an envelope that I dropped my keys in. From there, with no bags to check, we headed off to security.

a group of cars parked in a parking lot
a building with a few portable toilets

The airport was completely deserted and we were the only passengers around when we arrived, a massive difference from our arrival a few days earlier.

a large airport terminal with chairs and tables
a building with glass walls and a glass wall

It was 6:05a when we got in the security line and, unfortunately, security didn’t open until 6:15a. Thankfully we had one of the most interesting security signs I’ve seen in a long time to keep us entertained. Who doesn’t love construction paper?

a room with a large glass door and a person standing in front of it
a sign in a store

The TSA agents opened the checkpoint a few minutes early and even with PreCheck lite we were airside by 6:15a. Since our United flight to Denver was the only one leaving this early in the morning, there was plenty of room for us to spread out.

a door with a screen on it
a row of chairs in a room

While we waited to board, we were treated to another beautiful Colorado sunrise over the airport.

Sunrise over Montrose Regional Airport


A few minutes before our scheduled boarding time, the agent working our flight called pre-boards and those needing extra time along with active duty military. Soon after, Group 1 was called. There was no separate boarding for Global Services or Premier 1K on this flight.

SkyWest DBA United Express

UA 5297

MTJ-DEN (Montrose Regional – Denver International)

Seat: 9D (Economy)

EMB-175 (N605UX)

Scheduled: 7:35a-8:55a

Actual: 7:32a-8:39a

With the new terminal still under construction, we had a long walk out to our waiting Embraer 175 aircraft. While some folks don’t like bus gates, I love them as you get some great views of the airplane prior to boarding.

a group of people walking with luggage at an airport
a group of people boarding an airplane
a plane on the runway
a plane on the runway

Once on board, we turned right and headed past the curtain to the Economy cabin.


The E175 is a great aircraft for elite upgrades due to its high First to Economy ratio. However, when the upgrade doesn’t clear, there’s no exit row to stretch out in. The Economy Plus seats were decent for this short flight over to Denver and I was able to select them for free at booking thanks to my Star Alliance Gold status.

a person's legs in a seat with a safety card in the back
a seat with a card in it


We pushed off the gate a few minutes early and taxied over to Runway 35 and took off to the north.

View departing Montrose Regional Airport from a United Express E175

As we climbed away from the airport, we turned east, south, and then west to head towards Denver.

an airplane wing and a landscape
an airplane wing and a landscape

In Flight

As we climbed out of Montrose, we had some fantastic views of the surrounding scenery.

an airplane wing over a landscape
an airplane wing and view of mountains

The flight attendants made the announcement that, due to the short flying time, no service would be offered in Economy. With less than 40 minutes in the air, I passed my time napping and looking out of the window.


We landed from the north and taxied over to the high B gates. I even managed to catch the Icelandair Hekla Aurora livery. My iPhone and a dirty window meant the pictures weren’t great.

Icelandair Hekla Aurora Boeing 757 at Denver International Airport

We pulled into the gate over 15 minutes early and, a few minutes later, the jet bridge was connected and we were off the plane.

From there, we headed back to the American Express Centurion Lounge to wait for our connecting flight to Austin.


With an on time departure, early arrival, and no in-flight service I don’t really have much to say about this flight. It went by quickly and we got from point A to B without any delays. Even in Economy, the 2-2 layout on the Embraer 175 is a comfortable ride.

In This Trip Report

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