I was fortunate (lucky) enough to get upgraded on a Republic operated Q400 out of IAD over the holidays. The last time I flew a Q400 was before the demise of Colgan, on an aircraft not equipped with First seats. When did the Q400 fleet start getting First seats, and is this something they're doing to the entire fleet? SeatGuru has three different versions of the UA Q400, but none show First. I also noticed a huge empty space starting at the lav and extending all the way past the boarding door and 1A (ending at 2C/2D). It looked like it was being used to store crew bags, but it seemed like a pretty big waste of space. Is this present in lieu of seats to comply with scope regulations, or is there some other purpose behind it? I had not previously flown on one of the "NextGen" Q400's, and this was actually a pretty nice ride. 2A was a comfortable place to be (as comfortable as you can be on a regional flight), and the NextGen model seemed a lot quieter than the previous generation 400's and the 200/300's. Kudos to the Republic crew too... very friendly and professional.