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Sky Europe NE 127: 30/OCT/08: LTN-BTS: Y Cabin  
User currently offlineAbrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5075 posts, RR: 55
Posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 9797 times:

Feedback always appreciated.

Trip Report: 056
Flight Category: Y-ISR (See Report End)
Date: 30 Oct-08
SDT/SAT/Dur/Delay: 1930/2/02:20 hrs
Flight: Sky Europe NE 127, 821 miles
Routing: LTN-BTS
Aircraft: 73G
Seat: Economy, 1A

I > Background:

I had never been to Bratislava, and never flown on Sky Europe … so this was the perfect opportunity to tick both off from my lists. A quick search on A.Net tells me that this is the first report on NE’s LTN-BTS link … and given Sky Europe’s precarious finances, might be one of the last?

II > Pre-Flight:

a) Before Airport:
Established in 2001, Sky Europe is a LCC headquartered in Bratislava, with its main operational bases at BTS, PRG, VIE, and KSC. It has been going through a financial difficult time and many analyst openly question whether their cash position is sustainable during a difficult economic environment.

LTN-BTS is served twice daily using their Boeing 737-700 aircraft and I decided to take the evening flight out.

Ticketing for the flight was done on the extremely well designed and easy to use Sky Europe website at www.skyeurope.com. The site is crisp and clear, and one can view their booking later and do modifications. Additionally, it allows online check-in (select airports; not LTN) and my biggest requirement, seat selection! For seat selection, you have to pay a small fee (5 Euros for any seat; 7 Euros for window – very new fee; 10 Euros for premium seats). Since I wanted the additional legroom, I paid up the 10 Euros and got myself seat 1A and more legroom than I ever need!

b) At Airport:
Once you get past the rather gloomy check-in area (am convinced it is because of the depressing lighting), Luton is actually a very convenient and efficient airport which I prefer to STN. Sky Europe uses 2 check-in counters; one for all passengers, and the other for “priority” passengers. This “priority” status can be bought for 3 Euros. Check-in was remarkably smooth and the nice agent was able to issue my boarding pass and check my bag in within 5 minutes.

After collecting my boarding pass, I went through the fastest security and was greeted by a slightly more cheerful terminal. After doing some window shopping, it was soon time to board. Boarding was chaotic and it seemed that the agents did not distinguish between regular boarders and those who had paid additional fees. C’est la vie. Luton’s boarding process is interesting … the agent takes your boarding stub and you go down this non-descript staircase and wait until you’re “let out” to the apron. Give London was freezing, the experience was not pleasant!

Upon boarding, a very attractive FA welcomed me as I took my seat. It seems that most people had not opted for preferred seating as most of those seats remained empty. Y load on the flight was a tad north of 60%.

Airport - External:

(London Luton Airport)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/NE127/001.jpg

Check-in:

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/NE127/002.jpg

Airport - Internal:

(Pre-Security)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/NE127/004.jpg

(Post-Security)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/NE127/005.jpg

(FIDS)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/NE127/003.jpg

Scenes of the tarmac:

NONE

Lounge

NONE

Boarding:

(Boarding gate area)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/NE127/007.jpg

(Boarding called – so you stood on this line, then went and held on a freezing staircase)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/NE127/006.jpg

III> In-Flight:

a) Service Schedule + Impressions:
Food and beverages for sale, followed by in-flight shop, and finally more food and beverages for sale.

b) Aircraft + Seats:
My Sky Europe 73G was OM-NGA with some hot model serving the purpose of the logo-jet. The aircraft looked good in NE’s colors. Inside, the Y leather seats were surprisingly comfortable (especially for a LCC) – in fact, they were probably more comfortable and padded than most mainline carriers Y. Of course, 1A had plenty of legroom … and it actually was not too shabby on the other rows either. What surprised me was the recline … probably one of the most generous recline in Y … and for sure, a market leader among LCC’s.

Aircraft:

(Logojet 73G)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/NE127/008.jpg

Views from Aircraft:

NONE

General Seat Views + Seat Legroom

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/NE127/009.jpg

(Legroom)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/NE127/010.jpg

Seat Recline + Angle View:

(Extremely geneous recline)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/NE127/011.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/NE127/012.jpg

Cabin:

(Photo Courtesy: Ingo Lang)


http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/NE127/014.jpg

c) Meal + Beverage:

Call me a snob, but I am still not used to the concept of paying for food and drinks. When the FA came and asked what I wanted, I had naturally assumed that it was free. Oops. Anyways, I requested a food/souvenir sale catalogue and ended up buying a croissant and some café. Both were 2 Euros and relatively reasonably priced. Since I don’t have much experience with BOB on European flights, perhaps my European A.Net colleagues can tell me where NE stands in terms of meal and beverage prices and selection.

(What I ordered)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/NE127/015.jpg

(Partial BOB options)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/NE127/016.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/NE127/017.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/NE127/017.jpg

d) Inflight Entertainment:

Sky Europe has no audio/video programming on its flight. It does have a decent magazine which I had fun reading.

(“In-flight magazines”, Boarding Passes, etc.)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/NE127/019.jpg

e) Crew:

There was a crew of 3 – and each of them were totally different. The beautiful lead FA was absolutely wonderful. She was ex-Slovakian Airways and we had a great time talking about the Tu-154 and the crazy noises it would make. She was a veteran of the job (even though, she was hardly over 30) and clearly enjoyed aviation. The other, was a super *****. She was curt, not polite, and everything you requested from her seemed like a big ordeal. Thankfully, she was much more pleasant after the senior crew member excitedly told her of our common interest in aviation. Seriously, how can 2 crew be so different?

IV> Post-Flight:

Landing at around 10pm, I could see the Air Slovakia 757 and a bunch of other random aircraft parked around the airport. Immigration was SLOW. Now, my Liechtenstein passport was in Vaduz for renewal, and I was travelling with my brand new Venezuelan passport … just because I had never used it. God, did it raise a red flag. The border official was clearly used to cookie-cutter passports and I was curiously studied and grilled on my intentions in the Slovak Republic. He was additionally confused why I “looked like a European” (duh) and did not actually believe that Venezuelans did not need a visa to Slovak Republic. Anyways. Bratislava is a TINY TINY airport and I was out in a taxi soon post grilling.

(BTS Airport)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/NE127/020.jpg

V> Impressions + Scores:

I will admit that I don’t have much experience on European LCC’s. I guess Sky Europe did what an LCC is supposed to do with ease – provide cheap ticket from point A and B and hope for ancillary revenue. It got both from me. An added bonus for me were the comfortable seats and the ability to pay a little extra for better seats. It could do with more IFE options (perhaps another revenue stream?), and its crew would be better if it was consistent. The whole Dr Jekyl and Hyde act was a bit too much. Definitely would fly them again … especially if the competing airline is another LCC.

1.0 > RESERVATION: 8.5
2.0 > CHECK-IN: 7.0
0.5 > LOUNGE: n/a
0.5 > BOARDING: 5.0
2.0 > SEAT: 7.5
0.5 > AIRCRAFT OVERALL AMBIENCE: 6.0
1.0 > IFE: 5.0
2.0 > CREW: 6.0
2.0 > FOOD: 4.0
0.5 > BEVERAGES: 5.0
0.5 > A.KITS + OTHER FREEBIES: 5.0
0.5 > DISEMBARKATION: 7.0
1.0 > ON-TIME RECORD: 9.0
WEIGHTED OVERALL IMPRESSION (WOI): 6.33
(Pre-flight WOI of all reviews: 6.43)
* Weighted Overall Impression (WOI) aligns scores with what matters most. Weights are indicated alongside each category.
(Scores are based on comparison with other airlines in THAT class of service – No comparison of Y vs. F for example)

VI> Other Trip Reports:

PREMIUM:
8.61: Air Canada (49): YYZ-SCL: 06/2008
8.11: Aeroflot (33): MOW-DEL: 09/2007
8.04: Korean Air (40): NRT-ICN: 10/2007
8.02: Delta Airlines (24): JFK-CDG: 08/2007
7.46: LAN (55): YYZ-JFK: 09/2008
7.82: Singapore Airlines (06): EWR-SIN: 09/2006
7.14: Swiss (52): SCL-GRU: 06/2008
6.93: Delta Airlines (18): SEA-JFK: 11/2006
6.81: Air Canada (17): ICN-YYZ: 10/2006
6.70: KLM (32): EBB-AMS: 08/2007
6.25: Korean Air (45): NAN-ICN: 10/2007
6.11: TAP Portugal (53): GRU-OPO: 06/2008
5.75: Singapore Airlines (16): CCU-SIN: 10/2006
5.64: NorthWest (46): ICN-NRT-SEA: 10/2007
5.39: LOT (54): WAW-JFK: 06/2008
4.42: Air France: CDG-JNB (25): 08/2007

ECONOMY: Long + Medium:
9.26: Air India (48): JFK-DEL: 02/2008
7.38: Avianca (01): BOG-LIM: 07/2006
6.26: Jet Blue (21): CUN-JFK: 02/2007
6.06: Air Canada (04): YYZ-YVR: 09/2006
5.89: USA 3000 (19): PUJ-BDL: 01/2007
5.79: Air New Zealand (42): RAR-NAN: 10/2007
5.46: TAP Air Portugal (23): OSL-LIS: 05/2007

ECONOMY: Short
8.56: Paramount Airways (38): BLR-MAA: 09/2007
8.24: Kingfisher (14): IXA-GAU: 10/2006
7.87: Indian (34): BOM-MAA: 09/2007
7.72: Alliance Air (13): CCU-IXA: 10/2006
7.57: Indian Airlines (10): DEL-CCU: 09/2006
7.23: West Jet (03): YYC-YVR: 09/2006
7.15: JetLite (37): BOM-GOI: 09/2007
6.70: Spice Jet (09): CCU-DEL: 09/2006
6.63: Air Fiji (44): NAN-SUV: 10/2007
6.58: Air Tran (02): EWR-MDW: 08/2006
6.44: CO Micronesia (39): ROR-YAP: 10/2007
6.41: Pacific Sun (43): NAN-SUV: 10/2007
6.37: Skybus (47): SWF-CMH: 02/2008
6.33: Kenya Airways (29): NBO-BJM: 08/2007
6.33: Sky Europe (56): LTN-BTS: 10/2008
6.31: Indigo (15): GAU-CCU: 10/2006
6.22: Air Link Swazi (28): MTS-JNB: 08/2007
6.22: Air India (36): HYD-BOM: 09/2007
6.13: Adam Air (07): SIN-CGK: 09/2006
6.13: Air Rarotonga (41): RAR-AIT: 10/2007
6.00: Transairways (27): INH-MPM: 08/2007
5.95: Air Canada (05): ALB-YYZ: 09/2006
5.85: SAS Norge (22): OSL-AES: 05/2007
5.81: LAM Mozambique (26): JNB-MPM: 08/2007
5.69: Air Deccan (12): IXZ-CCU: 10/2006
5.67: Rwanda Air Exp (30): KGL-NBO: 08/2007
5.07: Go Air (35): MAA-HYD: 09/2007
5.00: Sky Airline (51): IQQ-SCL: 06/2008
4.96: Valuair (08): CGK-SIN: 09/2006
4.78: Air Comet Chile (50): SCL-IQQ: 06/2008
4.74: Fly 540 (31): MYD-LAU: 08/2007
4.33: Viva Aerobus (20): ELP-MTY: 02/2007
4.11: Air Sahara (11): CCU-BOM: 09/2006

(Note on Codes: Y – Economy, J – Business, F – First :: I/D – International/Domestic :: SR/MR/LR – Short/Medium/Long Haul)

VII> Other Pictures:

As has become customary, here are some pictures form Bratislava.

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/NE127/021.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/NE127/022.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/NE127/023.jpg


Live, and let live.
12 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineKiramakora From Argentina, joined Aug 2006, 547 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 9626 times:

As always, cool report. I love the Bratislava pictures.

User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4748 posts, RR: 26
Reply 2, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 9616 times:

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/NE127/001.jpg
Did this little girl go to the airport straight from her bed wrapped in her blanket??



Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6714 posts, RR: 78
Reply 3, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 9608 times:

Great report, Abrelosojos. It would be sad to lose SkyEurope considering the product it offers, but I guess it's hard for a small LCC competing against certain extra-large and extra-cheap ones...  Wink

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
He was additionally confused why I “looked like a European” (duh) and did not actually believe that Venezuelans did not need a visa to Slovak Republic.

Probably it was his first day at an international airport?  Wink


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineAirbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4253 posts, RR: 51
Reply 4, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 9507 times:

Hi,
good report on NE! I have heard more positive stories about their products, although they fly now into some more difficult times and hardly survive so far... we'll see how it continues.
As you mention, you're not used to buy food/drinks on board, although me, as a European, is getting more and more used to it. In the end, the total invoice is usually still far below that of the mainline airlines. So a low fare, and you save a lot of money which you can spend on board. That's what these airlines want, and how they earn most of their money.
Thanks for the good pics!  Smile

Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineLufthansa747 From Philippines, joined May 1999, 3201 posts, RR: 43
Reply 5, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 9498 times:

Great report as usual! It seems NE is a notch above the real bare bones LCCs like FR and AK.


Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
User currently offlineBentley55 From Panama, joined Mar 2008, 99 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 9268 times:

Cool trip report, very interesting to read. However I noted that you were not wearing your customary caramel colored shoes that you have always worn in your previous TRs  Smile

User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8506 posts, RR: 55
Reply 7, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 8795 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Thanks, good read as always.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
the rather gloomy check-in area (am convinced it is because of the depressing lighting),

- I think you are right, it really could look better with more light.

NE sound pretty decent here, will be interesting to see if they do manage to last the winter.

Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineAlespesl From Czech Republic, joined Jan 2004, 582 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 8655 times:

Hey, great TR. I have really enjoyed reading. I used Sky Europe this year on many of their flights from PRG. Also I have taken them from BTS to PRG when they used to operate this route in Jan 08.

I have taken them this past saturday for a day trip from PRG to AMS. Both of my flights were great, but load fact was very bad. PRG-AMS 67 pax and AMS-PRG 70 pax.

My next flight with them is on DEC 06, PRG-ORY-PRG for a day trip to Paris.



Next Flight: Oct 10: PRG-MUC-KIV EMB 195/CRJ 900, Oct 12: KIV-MUC-PRG CRJ900/EMB 195 wiht Lufthansa
User currently offlineOa260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26853 posts, RR: 58
Reply 9, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 8622 times:

Hi nice report , they look ok but nothing special. For some reason Im not a fan of the colour scheme of the cabin. Red and blue. Anyway IF mag and BOB offerings look ok and EUR2 is about right these days.

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 2):
Did this little girl go to the airport straight from her bed wrapped in her blanket??

LOL... thats what I was thinking. It takes all sorts these days.



OA260


User currently offlineAbrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5075 posts, RR: 55
Reply 10, posted (5 years 8 months 1 hour ago) and read 8214 times:



Quoting Kiramakora (Reply 1):
As always, cool report. I love the Bratislava pictures.

= Gracias hombre.

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 2):
Did this little girl go to the airport straight from her bed wrapped in her blanket??

= LOL. I did not even notice initially.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 3):
Great report, Abrelosojos. It would be sad to lose SkyEurope considering the product it offers, but I guess it's hard for a small LCC competing against certain extra-large and extra-cheap ones... Wink

= Yup.

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 5):
It seems NE is a notch above the real bare bones LCCs like FR and AK.

= I don't have much experience with LCC's in this genre, but it seems NE is definitely a notch above the likes of FR.

Quoting Bentley55 (Reply 6):
However I noted that you were not wearing your customary caramel colored shoes that you have always worn in your previous TRs Smile

= Jaja. I am glad that my shoes and my jeans have received so much attention in my TR's. My caramel colored shoes are looking very battered - however, given they are easy to slip on and off, it might still feature in TR's as I absolutely hate taking off my shoes for security.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 7):
NE sound pretty decent here, will be interesting to see if they do manage to last the winter.

= Didn't the chap at FR give it end of 2008?

Quoting Alespesl (Reply 8):
My next flight with them is on DEC 06, PRG-ORY-PRG for a day trip to Paris.

= Write a TR!

Quoting Oa260 (Reply 9):
Anyway IF mag and BOB offerings look ok and EUR2 is about right these days.

= Cool. Thanks. As mentioned, I don't have much of a benchmark.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineBW424 From Trinidad and Tobago, joined Sep 2008, 1424 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (5 years 8 months 1 hour ago) and read 8184 times:

Very nice TR there!!

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 2):
Did this little girl go to the airport straight from her bed wrapped in her blanket??

LOL.I was about to ask the same thing?



It is what we think we know already that prevents us from learning.......
User currently offlineMilesDependent From Australia, joined Sep 2001, 856 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 7911 times:

Great report. Thanks for posting.

Quoting BW424 (Reply 11):
Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 2):
Did this little girl go to the airport straight from her bed wrapped in her blanket??

She don't look so "little" to me Big grin


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