Print from Airliners.net discussion forum
http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/trip_reports/read.main/171294/

Topic: BRU-WAW-RIX-BRU In A Day On LOT & AirBaltic
Username: Sultanils
Posted 2010-07-04 04:47:06 and read 7885 times.

Dear readers,

A few weeks after my previous trip: BRU-MXP-BRU: The EasyWay (by sultanils May 26 2010 in Trip Reports) it was again time to be up in the air!
What follows is my second trip report from a recent daytrip which brought me from Brussels/Belgium to Warsaw/Poland on LOT, continuing to Riga/Latvia, again on LOT and back to Brussels/Belgium on airBaltic.
There's not really a story here, I just wanted to start summer with a relaxing day of flying and spotting.
Flights were booked well in advance which ensured I had the cheapest fares available, well done Sultanils!

The day before I checked in online for WAW-RIX and RIX-BRU. For some reason OLCI for BRU-WAW was not possible, the system did not recognize my booking reference and a call to the LOT office was not helpful either.
So the next morning I drove to the airport on time to check in manually, this was done in seconds by a friendly agent. My flight left from the A gates, so a long walk ahead.

After queuing for 10 minutes at security, I arrived at the A gates


Some spotting...

Iberia A321 to MAD


My ride to WAW at gate A53


2 BrusselsAirlines A333's at the B gates, just arrived from Africa


2 Thomas-the-Cook's getting ready for a charter flight


BrusselsAirlines A333 on tow to the T gates, later to Africa


Another Cook on the roll


SAS & Lufthansa


Boarding was on time.

Route: BRU→WAW
Aircraft (scheduled): Embraer 175  
Aircraft (actual): Boeing 737-500 
Reg: SP-LKF
STD-ATD: 7:50-9:50

The aircraft looked quite used & worn with fabric cloth seats. However legroom was excellent and the seats were comfy. A nice breakfast with complimentary hot & cold drinks was offered. Two thumbs up for LOT here! No comment from the flightdeck however so no route info either.
Some pic's on the way:

On pushback


Taxiing to the active runway


On to runway 25R... or not? (Actually, we did not turn left to 25R but right to 20, a nice surprise!)


Rotate!


Overflying 25L


In the middle on the left an overview of BRU (sorry, hazy picture)


Some pic's on the way from BRU to WAW:



Rocky Mountains or something else (presumably over Germany)?


One wing or another


WAW airport on my side (sorry, hazy picture)


After passing WAW we took a sharp left turn and came into finals:

Polish landscape


And again


And again


On short finals


Touchdown and braking


Wow, we're in WAW!


Reaching our parking position, hi neighbour!


And parked next to this lovely lady


Bagage claim in WAW, oops, I do not need to be here lol (I urgently was in need of the toilet  )


WAW is excellent for spotting from the terminal building when airside; apron view


After arrival I had to go through security again. This was a real mess, people pushing and cutting the line, only 1 lane was open and it seemed everybody's flight was leaving at the same time. On top of that the staff was rude and unorganized. At the A gates in BRU I had bought a bottle of water, sort of 'grab & fly', meaning you can take the bottle on the plane. Since I stayed in WAW in the Schengen zone, I thought I could keep this bottle for my next flights. I thought wrong and had to dispose of it. I wanted to argue but in stead I just shut up and decided to keep the honour to myself

Boarding for the flight to Riga was a little late. It involved a strange procedure: upon showing your boarding pass and ID to the gate agent, you got a card which said 'GATE 44 BUS ADMISSION'. I went down 2 stairs and arrived at, you guessed it, a bus! I returned my admission card to the driver and was thus allowed on the bus. Funny, really funny!

Anyway, it was boarding by bus then and we arrived at our aircraft:


Route: WAW→RIX
Aircraft (scheduled): ATR72
Aircraft (actual): ATR42
Reg: SP-EDF
STD-ATD: 11:10-13:55

Hmm, another change of aircraft... Its seems LOT plays around with it's aircraft a LOT   The aircraft was in good condition, leather seats, low legroom however and a general claustrophobic feel to the cabin (hey, Sultanils, you're in a prop you know  )

I was seated next to the right engine exhaust, hence the haze


Waiting for takeoff, ladies first!


And off to Riga...


The crew came round with hot & cold drinks and a tasty sandwich. No info from up front...



Overflying downtown Warsaw


Little fluffy clouds, how cute...


For the non-believers, it indeed is a prop!


Turbulent approach to RIX airport


Coming closer


And here we are, welcome to Riga!


Some F100's sitting on the apron (a Carpatair and something else)


Nice tail of EuroLOT


After deboarding and a short busride to the terminal I arrived at RIX International; a tiny cosy little airport. No strange security procedures here, the atmosphere was very relaxed. I posted myself at a window in a nice bar, got myself an icecold Coke and enjoyed the view.

Lufthansa to FRA and Ryanair to ?


The ATR that brought me in from WAW, getting serviced


Belavia lounging


CSA on arrival from PRG


After a few more arrivals & departures the airport got quiet for quite some time, until suddenly the evening rush began and one after another airBaltic came in to land.



Turkish Airlines to IST almost ready to go


Departure time for my flight to BRU came closer until suddenly I got an unexpected SMS from airBaltic informing me that the flight to BRU was delayed by half an hour. Nice touch to inform passengers this way, very modern.
After some more waiting, boarding was announced and we walked in the nice Latvian sun to the aircraft.

Some airBaltic F50's getting ready for their next flight


Walking to our aircraft


Nice shiny engine


I like their livery


Route: RIX→BRU
Aircraft (scheduled): Boeing 737-500
Aircraft (actual): Boeing 737-500
Reg: YL-BBQ
STD-ATD: 17:15-18:40

The delay was already up to 30 mins; the plane was still being refueled while we were waiting in our seats, it was very hot inside. Legroom was excellent and the new Recaro slimline seats were very comfy.

The captain waiting to sign the fueling documents


On our way to the active runway meeting brother or sister


Turning...


And off we go!


Climbout towards the sea


Riga beach  

A 737-500 wing (nothing special really lol)


Some nice clouds on the way over Poland


Another beach  

In-seat entertainment


Another one of my hobbies  

We passed this airport along the way, anyone know which one it is?


Almost back in BRU, I think this is the city of Hasselt


After 2h of flying, we started descending for BRU


On very very very short finals


And braking on 25L


Then we stopped on the taxiway for 10 mins, according to the captain, someone was occupying our parking space and we had to wait for it to be clear.

Waiting in the sun


CSA also arrived at the A gates, presumably from PRG


Lufthansa taxiing out


Alitalia


Our neighbour on stand


And so I was back where I started from: BRU (but an hour late). A lovely day it was for sure.

In conclusion I can tell you the following according to my personal experience:

LOT:
+ good seating comfort on the B735
+ meal service & meal quality
+ ontime performance

- switching of aircraft (I wanted both the EMB75 and ATR72 and got the B735 and ATR42)
- claustrophobic cabin on the ATR42
- B735 a bit worn out

airBaltic:
+ excellent seating comfort in the refurbished cabin
- (nothing really)

Thanks for reading,
(Sulta)Nils

Next story coming up: From the city of light to the city of night: CDG-LHR-CDG on the AF A380

Topic: RE: BRU-WAW-RIX-BRU In A Day On LOT & AirBaltic
Username: gardermoen
Posted 2010-07-04 05:35:25 and read 7787 times.

Nice report - enjoyd the pictures!

The LOT Embraer jet in star alliance sure looks cute! I haven't seen many of these jets in Star Alliance livery, is this one of the very few?

Interesting that at RIX, the Turkish 737 used a staircase and not the air bridge at the parking position.

Topic: RE: BRU-WAW-RIX-BRU In A Day On LOT & AirBaltic
Username: akhmad
Posted 2010-07-04 10:12:11 and read 7445 times.

Hi Nils,

Nice day trip report! Definitely a good start for the hot summer.

Quoting Sultanils (Thread starter):
Aircraft (scheduled): Embraer 175
Aircraft (actual): Boeing 737-500

Bummer!  
Quoting Sultanils (Thread starter):
A nice breakfast

What did you get for breakfast?

Thanks for sharing.

Cheers,
Suryo

Topic: RE: BRU-WAW-RIX-BRU In A Day On LOT & AirBaltic
Username: sia744
Posted 2010-07-04 10:59:48 and read 7393 times.

Sultanils,

Nice TR. Is that a aviation museum at RIX with all the migs and old Antonovs??

I bet u were kicking yourself when you found out it was a B737-500! Always next time!

sia744

Topic: RE: BRU-WAW-RIX-BRU In A Day On LOT & AirBaltic
Username: Contact Air
Posted 2010-07-04 12:00:39 and read 7322 times.

Hi Sultanils,

Very nice trip report and pictures - I enjoyed reading and watching.

Quoting Sultanils (Thread starter):
Boarding for the flight to Riga was a little late. It involved a strange procedure: upon showing your boarding pass and ID to the gate agent, you got a card which said 'GATE 44 BUS ADMISSION'. I went down 2 stairs and arrived at, you guessed it, a bus! I returned my admission card to the driver and was thus allowed on the bus. Funny, really funny!

Interesting - I have never heard of such a boarding procedure.

Regards
Christoph

Topic: RE: BRU-WAW-RIX-BRU In A Day On LOT & AirBaltic
Username: FLIEGER67
Posted 2010-07-04 13:23:14 and read 7249 times.

Hey, Nils,

nice story and pictures.

You´re really lucky with the weather, thats the way to spend a day, sun, spotting and flying.

Greetings,
Markus (FLIEGER67)

Topic: RE: BRU-WAW-RIX-BRU In A Day On LOT & AirBaltic
Username: FlyingFinn76
Posted 2010-07-04 22:50:24 and read 7008 times.

Hi Nils,

A nice read (and watch) about something I'm very familiar with  .

Looks like you got lucky with the weather as well.

Quoting Sultanils (Thread starter):
. It involved a strange procedure: upon showing your boarding pass and ID to the gate agent, you got a card which said 'GATE 44 BUS ADMISSION'. I went down 2 stairs and arrived at, you guessed it, a bus! I returned my admission card to the driver and was thus allowed on the bus.

Yep, I've never had this happen anywhere but Warsaw. The first time they did it for me I had no idea what it was and just tucked the card to my bag, only to have to rummage through it once entering the bus a few seconds later...!

Quoting Sultanils (Thread starter):
Some F100's sitting on the apron (a Carpatair and something else)

Blue Air.

Quoting Sultanils (Thread starter):
Nice touch to inform passengers this way, very modern.

Interesting, despite having my fair share of flights (and delays) with BT, they've never ever sent me an SMS notification of any kind. On the contrary, SK/KF always do, even about trivial matters which is nice customer service.

Quoting Sultanils (Thread starter):
Riga beach

Jurmala actually, which means "The beaches" in Latvian. It is a fab destination to spend some sunny days in, too bad the water in the Baltic Sea never really gets that warm!

Quoting gardermoen (Reply 1):

Interesting that at RIX, the Turkish 737 used a staircase and not the air bridge at the parking position.

That jetway belongs to the Schengen part of the terminal, thus it cannot be used for a flight to Turkey. Riga only has one jetway that can be used for non-Schengen departures (and is convertible to Schengen as well), thus most flights outside Schengen board by bus or walking across the apron.

Quoting sia744 (Reply 3):

Nice TR. Is that a aviation museum at RIX with all the migs and old Antonovs??

Yes it is, although "museum" is a bit of an overstatement really, as it is just a bunch of old Soviet-era military hardware sitting there rotting under the skies. Still, not a bad place to visit although a bit expensive for foreigners (Latvians pay much less for admittance). See here: http://aviamuseum.org/EN/

Topic: RE: BRU-WAW-RIX-BRU In A Day On LOT & AirBaltic
Username: MH017
Posted 2010-07-05 00:09:33 and read 6964 times.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 6):
Blue Air.

It's actually Blueline from France  

Topic: RE: BRU-WAW-RIX-BRU In A Day On LOT & AirBaltic
Username: FlyingFinn76
Posted 2010-07-05 00:11:58 and read 6964 times.

Quoting MH017 (Reply 7):

It's actually Blueline from France

Thanks. That's what I meant, but not having drank my morning coffee yet I wasn't thinking that straight! I stand corrected.

Topic: RE: BRU-WAW-RIX-BRU In A Day On LOT & AirBaltic
Username: 767747
Posted 2010-07-05 15:34:43 and read 6753 times.

Great report! Looks like you had some good flights with Air Baltic and LOT. I always like boarding via stairs; I wish you got to do this more at big airports in the US. Haven't done this since when I flew through FRA a few years ago, and had to deplane off of an Lufthansa A340!

767747

Topic: RE: BRU-WAW-RIX-BRU In A Day On LOT & AirBaltic
Username: Sultanils
Posted 2010-07-06 12:30:27 and read 6531 times.

Hi & thank's for your replies!

Quoting gardermoen (Reply 1):
Nice report - enjoyd the pictures!

Thanks!

Quoting gardermoen (Reply 1):
I haven't seen many of these jets in Star Alliance livery, is this one of the very few?

I haven't a clue but for sure there are other people around who are up-to-date on this.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 2):
Nice day trip report!

Dank je (thank you)!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 2):
What did you get for breakfast?

Well, 2 slices of Polish bread, a croissant, some slices of meat, a sausage, jam, and good coffee!

Quoting sia744 (Reply 3):
I bet u were kicking yourself when you found out it was a B737-500!

Yes, wasn't too happy about that. But then again: if it flies and doesn't sting, its ok  
Better luck next time...

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 4):
Very nice trip report and pictures - I enjoyed reading and watching

Thanks, I enjoyed writing it!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 5):
nice story and pictures

Thank you.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 5):
You´re really lucky with the weather

Yes, the weather really added bonus to this great day.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 6):
A nice read (and watch) about something I'm very familiar with


From your reports here I can indeed tell you have some xperience with RIX airport  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 6):
Jurmala actually, which means "The beaches" in Latvian

Oh, didn't know that... I do wonder how many days a year it's possible to get a tan on that beach?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 6):
That jetway belongs to the Schengen part of the terminal, thus it cannot be used for a flight to Turkey. Riga only has one jetway that can be used for non-Schengen departures (and is convertible to Schengen as well), thus most flights outside Schengen board by bus or walking across the apron.

Thanks for clarifying, I was also wondering why the jetway wasn't used!

Quoting 767747 (Reply 9):
Great report!

Thank you very much!

Quoting 767747 (Reply 9):
I always like boarding via stairs

Me too, the views & photo opportunities are always good!

(Sulta)Nils


The messages in this discussion express the views of the author of the message, not necessarily the views of Airliners.net or any entity associated with Airliners.net.

Copyright © Lundgren Aerospace. All rights reserved.
http://www.airliners.net/