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Topic: Trip To The Baltic States On BT And HV
Username: EHRD
Posted 2010-04-06 01:42:57 and read 8789 times.

Last november Air Baltic announced a new route from Amsterdam to Vilnius. This would be a nice opportunity to visit the Baltic states. I Booked the trip for me and a friend in november. Total cost for this trip was € 193,66 per person, a bit more than we usually spend for a day trip.

Date: 27jan2010
Flight: Air Baltic // BT 620
From: Amsterdam // AMS
To: Vilnius // VNO
Duration: 2h19m
STD: 09.05 // ATD: 08.59
STA: 12.25 // ATA: 12.18
Aircraft: Boeing 737-500 // YL-BBH
Seat: Economy // 6A


On wednesdaymorning january 27th my friend picked me up and we drove to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol where we arrived about 2h15m before departure. Air Baltic offers online check-in from most airports they serve except Amsterdam so we had to be early at the airport to make sure we would get windowseats. Asked for two windowseats and that would be no problem since only 28 passengers were booked on this flight. After check-in we walked slowly to our gate B27.
Pushback was six minutes ahead of schedule and seven minutes later we were airborn from runway 24. After the left turn on the ARNEM1S departure we entered the clouds. Unfortunately it was cloudy during most of the flight. It became clear when approaching Lithuania.

   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JV90Dlca68

http://img441.imageshack.us/img441/5223/img3833v.jpg
http://img339.imageshack.us/img339/7286/img3834x.jpg
http://img196.imageshack.us/img196/9273/img3837c.jpg
http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/4517/img3838.jpg

Cruising altitude was 37000 feet and the flighttime 2 hours and 9 minutes. A short announcement from the flightdeck when approaching Vilnius. A freezing -20 degrees centigrade was waiting for us outside. Landing was on runway 02.

   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gJfMEyiXQU

http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/9466/img3843i.jpg
Our aircraft at the gate

http://img686.imageshack.us/img686/1206/img3841hd.jpg
http://img13.imageshack.us/img13/42/img3844ba.jpg
http://img263.imageshack.us/img263/484/img3846m.jpg
Aerosvit Boeing 737-400 M-ABCO stored at Vilnius Airport, ex-UR-VVN

We arrived 7 minutes ahead of schedule at the gate from where we had a long walk towards the exit. In the arrivals hall we saw a poster of the local railways saying that a ride to the city centre would take only a few minutes. We still had about 3 hours left before our next flight would leave so we decided to go to the city centre.

http://img638.imageshack.us/img638/7452/img3847l.jpg
http://img23.imageshack.us/img23/3415/img3849v.jpg

We walked to the old town in Vilnius but it was way too cold to make some pictures, my fingers were frozen . After one hour we headed back to the train station for the ride back to the airport for our next flight to Riga.

Date: 27jan2010
Flight: Air Baltic // BT 346
From: Vilnius // VNO
To: Riga // RIX
Duration: 0h57m
STD: 15.35 // ATD: 15.25
STA: 16.30 // ATA: 16.22
Aircraft: Fokker 50 // YL-BAC
Seat: Economy // 12E


Not much to do in the departure hall. Spotted some interesting aircraft an UT Air ATR42 and an Ukrainian Saab 340.

http://img444.imageshack.us/img444/8505/img3851.jpg

Boarding started a little early. A short busride to our aircraft which was parked on stand 1.
And then I had a problem… For this flight (and the next flight) I checked in online and I chose windowseats as always. On this flight I chose seats 6D and 7D. When approaching row 6, the windowseat was already occupied by a lady. I told her that she was in my seat to which she replied “no I’m not ”. I told her that seat 6D is a windowseat. The lady said “no it’s not a windowseat”. By then I was getting a little annoid, because I was 100% sure she was wrong. A big shock when I looked up to the seatnumbers…. The lady was right. Seat 6D was indeed an aisle seat and 6E was a windowseat, different than on their website    The only thing to do was to take the aisle seat and hope that the flight wasn’t full. After the announcement “boarding completed” I jumped up and walked to seat 11E which remained free. Again a big “oh no”…. Row 11 doesn’t have a window and row 12 was blocked by the flight crews’ bags. I asked the stewardess if I could take seat 12E. She didn’t look very happy but luckily she said “no problem” and moved the bags to row 11 and in the end I had a windowseat   

Startup 10 minutes ahead of schedule, take-off was from runway 20. A right turn after departure. No clouds so we had a good view of the airport and the city of Vilnius.

   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5CUmpqUmXw

http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/1268/img3854x.jpg
http://img688.imageshack.us/img688/8549/img3858v.jpg
http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/724/img3857e.jpg
http://img707.imageshack.us/img707/4980/img3860v.jpg
http://img51.imageshack.us/img51/1206/img3861c.jpg

Smooth flight to Riga. BOB service on board except for the businessclass. Flying time was 47 minutes and landing was on runway 18.

   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W14l508aWs0

http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/7629/img3863l.jpg
http://img200.imageshack.us/img200/6528/img3867o.jpg
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http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/6194/img3876un.jpg
http://img263.imageshack.us/img263/4770/img3874l.jpg
Our Fokker 50 after arrival

We decided not to leave the airport and went straight to the departure gate for our next flight to Berlin-Tegel.

Date: 27jan2010
Flight: Air Baltic // BT 213
From: Riga // RIX
To: Berlin Tegel // TXL
Duration: 1h30m
STD: 18.30 // ATD: 18.24
STA: 19.05 // ATA: 18.54
Aircraft: Boeing 737-500 // YL-BBE
Seat: Economy // 16A


Traffic was slow at Riga. In the first hour only one movement, a Netherlands Airforce Fokker 50 landed and parked on a remote stand. Later some Air Baltic Fokker 50’s and Boeing 737’s arrived but by then it was already too dark to do some aircraft spotting.

Pushback 6 minutes ahead of scheduled departure time from gate B6. Take off from runway 18.
Smooth flight all the way and the load today was about 60%.

   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nxeo_W2mYII

http://img411.imageshack.us/img411/15/img3877w.jpg

During descent into Tegel Airport I noticed it was snowing. After a little bit bumpy approach we landed on runway 26R and arrived 11 minutes early on stand.

   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGYtBCYOAdI

Date: 27jan2010
Flight: Transavia // HV 6876
From: Berlin Tegel // TXL
To: Amsterdam // AMS
Duration: 1h52m
STD: 21.40 // ATD: 22.46
STA: 23.00 // ATA: 00.38
Aircraft: Boeing 737-700 // PH-XRD
Seat: Economy // 23B



We have been to Tegel before and we knew that it is a very boring airport to spend some time. After check-in (Transavia does not offer online check-in from this airport) we went outside and saw that the light snowshower had become a heavy snowshower. Back to the gate area where we saw that about 15 snowploughs were on their way to clear the taxiways and runways.

http://img693.imageshack.us/img693/2175/img3881s.jpg

Boarding was on time at gate 7 but when boarding was completed, the captain made the announcement that we were numer 13 in line for de-icing and we had to wait at least one hour before we would get permission for pushback.

http://img297.imageshack.us/img297/7796/img3885.jpg
Limited view on the lefthand side of the aircraft. The righthand side was totally covered by snow.

The cabincrew decided to do the BOB service now. This was done by just one flight attendant, the rest remained in the front or back galleys. Alsmost everyone bought something so good business on this flight for Transavia. Almost an hou rafter scheduled departuretime again an announcement from the cockpit that we had to wait another 30 minutes but 5 minutes after that we already started our pushback and taxied slowly to the de-icing spot. De-icing took about 10 minutes and thereafter slow taxi to runway 26L. The take-off was a bit different than usual because the runway was contaminated with snow. We entered the runway and the brakes were applied.Flaps were selected on the runway (so no snow would get between the flaps during taxi) and take-off power was set to 40% N1, than 70% N1 for 1 minute to get rid of ice and snow on the fanblades. After 1 minute brakes were released and we left the ground at 23.25. A smooth flight all the way and no service during the flight since most people wanted to get some sleep. We landed on runway 36C at 00.30, first time for me to land on this runway, and arrived at 00.38 on stand D47, 1 hour and 38 minutes behind schedule.
Tired but satisfied we went home.

Thanks for reading.
I am preparing some more tripreports about our daytrip to the Isle of Man on Manx2 and a trip to Russia on LH and FV Tu154 of last year.

Martin

Topic: RE: Trip To The Baltic States On BT And HV
Username: airbuseric
Posted 2010-04-06 02:02:24 and read 8749 times.

Hi Martin,

I can't remember seeing reports by you before here? Anyway, it's nice to have a fellow reporter online and good to see some BT routes covered from Holland. BT is by now the most reported airline I think (lately) 
Quoting EHRD (Thread starter):
Total cost for this trip was € 193,66 per person, a bit more than we usually spend for a day trip.

Not bad. That is less then 50 Euro's per flight. I would say a bargain!

You've some nice pics from VNO airport. But that load of below 30 pax is not good news to keep that route online for long. BT should use a Q400 on this route also (but I always say that, it seems they need it on so many services with so many poor loads around their network).

Quoting EHRD (Thread starter):
We have been to Tegel before and we knew that it is a very boring airport to spend some time.

They have a Starbucks with nice seating, so take a good book and some coffee, and I can spend hours at TXL without problems  
Quoting EHRD (Thread starter):
and take-off power was set to 40% N1, than 70% N1 for 1 minute to get rid of ice and snow on the fanblades.

Did the crew inform this to their passengers? Not the usual information I would say...

Eric

Topic: RE: Trip To The Baltic States On BT And HV
Username: DALCE
Posted 2010-04-06 03:18:14 and read 8620 times.

Hi martin,

A verys nice report of an interesting route you have selected.
Although Air Baltic is covered quite well lately, it still is interesting to read.
Keep those reports coming, as you sure have some talent for it 

cheers,
Joost (D-ALCE)

Topic: RE: Trip To The Baltic States On BT And HV
Username: FlyingFinn76
Posted 2010-04-06 10:56:42 and read 8199 times.

Hi Martin,

Great first (?) report here mostly about an airline and airports very familiar to me. January sure was quite freezing - I passed through RIX the very next day.

I flew VNO-AMS on FlyLAL (RIP) some years ago - back then that flight was quite full. Then again I flew AMS-RIX on BT during the first month of the routes operation and the load was something similar - around 30 pax. Hope they will get better in due time.

It was nice seeing the VNO train - it came online since my last visit to VNO so I haven't had a chance to try it out (yet?). Great snowy pictures of Vilnius as well, the northbound departure (and southbound landing) patterns there are great as you basically fly right over the city centre and when the weather's clear you get awesome views over this fab city.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 1):
BT is by now the most reported airline I think (lately)
Quoting DALCE (Reply 2):
Although Air Baltic is covered quite well lately, it still is interesting to read.

Heh, I wonder why  

Keep up the good work!

Topic: RE: Trip To The Baltic States On BT And HV
Username: The777Man
Posted 2010-04-06 15:24:08 and read 7898 times.

Hi Martin!

Nice report with nice, snowy pictures! A great day trip and glad you made it home the same day despite the weather.......

The777Man

Topic: RE: Trip To The Baltic States On BT And HV
Username: vandenheuvel
Posted 2010-04-07 00:50:10 and read 7698 times.

EHRD,

Great report. I'll like to try this flight myself. You've made nice photos of the snowy Baltic airports  

I absolutely love the photo of that train. Do you have more photos of that?

Tim,

Topic: RE: Trip To The Baltic States On BT And HV
Username: kl911
Posted 2010-04-07 17:04:41 and read 7454 times.

Nice report! Did none of the airlines offer free food or drinks? What was the offer if it was BOB onboard?

Topic: RE: Trip To The Baltic States On BT And HV
Username: FlyingFinn76
Posted 2010-04-07 21:41:01 and read 7341 times.

Quoting kl911 (Reply 6):
Nice report! Did none of the airlines offer free food or drinks? What was the offer if it was BOB onboard?

Strictly BOB on both BT and HV.

The airBaltic BOB menus can be found here http://www.airbaltic.com/public/in-f...ht_services_and_meal_preorder.html

Transavia BOB menus can be found here: http://www.transavia.com/hv/en-EU/service/assortiment-on-board - use the Netherlands link for the TXL-AMS service.

Topic: RE: Trip To The Baltic States On BT And HV
Username: EHRD
Posted 2010-04-08 01:16:08 and read 7238 times.

Thank you all for your comments!   

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 1):
I can't remember seeing reports by you before here?

It is my first tripreport as "EHRD". I wrote two tripreports in 2003 but at that time my username was "Sunwing".
http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/trip_reports/read.main/30122
http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/trip_reports/read.main/32324

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 1):
But that load of below 30 pax is not good news to keep that route online for long.

Air Baltic started the route two weeks before our trip. I hope the loads are better now. Unfortunately they got some competition on the route. Estonian Air flies AMS-VNO-TLL six times a week, so Air Baltic changed the morning flights to evening flights.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 1):
Did the crew inform this to their passengers? Not the usual information I would say...

No, we didn't get that information from the crew. We asked about it on a Dutch aviation site and got this answer:

Boeing manual: if taxiway = contaminated delay takeoff flaps till just prior for departure
part II: if icing conditions exist, engine runup is required
To get rid of the ice on the fanblades: first 40% N1, than 70% for 30 seconds.


Quoting vandenheuvel (Reply 5):
I absolutely love the photo of that train. Do you have more photos of that?

I have one more photo. I believe this Express train was going to St. Petersburg, Russia.
http://img255.imageshack.us/img255/2364/vnotrain.jpg

Quoting kl911 (Reply 6):
Nice report! Did none of the airlines offer free food or drinks? What was the offer if it was BOB onboard?

Thanks!
Like FlyingFinn76 already said: only BOB on all flights except for the businessclass on BT (ofcourse no businessclass on HV  ) It is possible to pre-order a hot meal through BT's website.

Topic: RE: Trip To The Baltic States On BT And HV
Username: vandenheuvel
Posted 2010-04-08 01:28:22 and read 7221 times.

Quoting EHRD (Reply 8):
I have one more photo. I believe this Express train was going to St. Petersburg, Russia.

That's so great. Thanks.

Topic: RE: Trip To The Baltic States On BT And HV
Username: akhmad
Posted 2010-04-10 23:31:14 and read 6776 times.

Hi Martin,

Like other fellow A.netters, I have not seen any report of yours earlier. But, this one is certainly worth reading. Nice pictures. I can imagine how freezing it must have been.   

Quoting EHRD (Thread starter):
The cabincrew decided to do the BOB service now. This was done by just one flight attendant, the rest remained in the front or back galleys.

When my KE flight from MAD (and that of Tim as well ) experienced two hour delay before departure, the flight attendants started the meal service on the ground.

Thanks for sharing.

Cheers,
Suryo

Topic: RE: Trip To The Baltic States On BT And HV
Username: BasilFawlty
Posted 2010-04-11 16:47:31 and read 6441 times.

Hi Martinus!

Nice report, good to see you writing trip reports again! Looking forward to more trip reports in the near future.  

Thanks for sharing.


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