Normally, if an airline makes a splash with an aircraft, that’s a very bad thing.

However, on Friday, Nov. 22, United Airlines did its best to make a big, positive public relations splash at Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA). At the event, the airline debuted the “first-of-its-kind” CRJ-550 Aircraft and conducted tours of the plane that will now serve the PTIA/Chicago route.

The plane’s appearance marked the beginning of a national publicity tour of airports for the CRJ-550. At the Nov. 22 event, executives from United Airlines pointed out the unique features of the 50-seat, two-cabin aircraft that’s the first to offer “true first-class seating on a regional jet.”

Sarah Murphy, United’s senior vice president of United Express, said the CRJ-550 is “unlike any other aircraft in the world” and added that it offers customers “unprecedented comfort and service.”

With the introduction of the new plane and the high-profile media event at PTIA, United is hoping to convince area customers to choose that airline when flying to and from Chicago.

The plane features more legroom, storage space and other amenities than any other regional aircraft now in the air according to United officials. For instance, it includes enough storage space for every customer to bring a roller bag on board – even those customers in the very late boarding groups.   The plane also has more overall legroom per seat than any other 50-seat aircraft flown by a US airline, and it includes a self-serve refreshment center for first-class customers.

United is also taking other steps to sway PTIA flyers – and others around the country ­– to pick the airline. Recently, United Airlines announced MileagePlus award miles that never expire and the airline began giving even lowly economy customers a choice of complimentary snacks on domestic flights. On many airlines, your choice is only to take the little bag of nuts or not.

United also has a new phone app that lets you take a virtual walk through of the CRJ-550 and pick you seat so you have a better idea of exactly where that seat is on the plane, and the airline introduced its “amenity kits made exclusively for the airline by luxury skincare line Sunday Riley.”