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Logging The 717! BCN-VCE On Spanair  
User currently offlineaflyingkiwi From New Zealand, joined Nov 2010, 517 posts, RR: 3
Posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 8895 times:

Logging the 717! BCN-VCE on Spanair

Hi and welcome to my third trip report. This TR will showcase my sole Intra-Europe flight, which was between Barcelona and Venice. For those of you wondering how I got to Europe, feel free to read my previous trip reports.

A Trip Of A Lifetime To Europe, AKL-ICN on KE
A Trip Of A Lifetime To Europe, ICN-LHR on KE

Background
While we were in Europe , I mostly travelled by train (mostly short hops so air travel isn’t particularly convenient) but of course we couldn’t leave without one flight. I wanted to find a flight with an interesting type and airline.

I had a look around and found a flight from BCN to VCE, which was cheap (50 Euros), had an interesting plane type (B717) and had an interesting airline (Spanair) which I had never heard of before I booked this flight (I know, dumb me!). Anyway I decided to book this and was looking forward to this flight.

I booked this flight about 4 months before the trip and of course when you do book early, things sometimes change, firstly the type changed to an A320 (nooooo!) than to an MD-83 (    ) and than on the first day we were in Europe we got an email saying that our flight is cancelled and we were rebooked on the early morning flight (effectively 16.25 Departure to 08.00). Luckily it didn’t hurt our schedules and it also turned out that our type would be the 717 so I guess it was meant to be my destiny  .

Before the Flight
It’s an 08.00 departure for me today so that means an early wake up call. I end up dragging myself out of bed at 04.30, which is far too early, but I made it my goal to catch the first Aerobus at 05.30 so I could have a good look around Barcelona Airport. After a quick check to make sure everything is in my bag, I leave the hotel and walk through the deserted streets of Barcelona to Placa Catalunya where the bus would depart.

The bus ended up being packed with people and we had to leave a fair few behind at the bus stop. I guess it’s a good thing they have a bus every 5 minutes. Anyway, the bus ended up taking half an hour and I arrived at BCN at 06.00.


Date: October 2 2010
Routing: Barcelona (BCN) to Venice (VCE)
Fli No: JK 81
Timings (actual): 0800-0945 (0801-0939)
Pushback: 0801
Rotate: 0807
Flying Time (actual): 1hr 45mins (1hr 38mins)
Seat: 22A

Type: Boeing 717-200
Reg: EC-KHX

Check-in
After getting off the bus, we firstly went to the Spanair check-in area. There was a pretty long queue at the counter so I decided to use the kiosk check-in. The first machine didn’t work and judging by the lack of people at the kiosks, I guessed all of them weren’t working but I decided to try one more and it did work. The kiosk was easy to use and it quickly spat out our boarding passes.

After that we needed to drop of our bags (Spanair allows 1 free checked bag). The bag drop had a small queue but in the end it took no less than 5 minutes.

Check-in Queue
http://imgboot.com/images/aflyingkiwi/dscf3214.jpg
Check-in Kiosk
http://imgboot.com/images/aflyingkiwi/dscf3213.jpg
Boarding Pass (Picture taken at home)
http://imgboot.com/images/aflyingkiwi/november2010aftereuropephotos010.jpg

Barcelona Airport
After Check-in, I ordered a much needed coffee, than after that I had a look around terminal.

For those of you who don’t know, Spanair operate from Terminal 1 which is a terminal that was opened in June 2009 thus making it just over a year old when I used it. My impressions of the airport are that it is very modern, very clean and easy to use.

Once you go Airside there are plenty of shops to look at and there’s always an adequate amount of seats available. The Airport is also very spotter-friendly with plenty of windows to look out of it though unfortunately it was dark and my camera is awful for any night shots.

Landside
http://imgboot.com/images/aflyingkiwi/dscf3216.jpg
I Like the reflection effect on this photo.
http://imgboot.com/images/aflyingkiwi/dscf3215.jpg
Empty Airside.
http://imgboot.com/images/aflyingkiwi/dscf3217.jpg

After our look around, I bought myself a light brekkie and by then it was nearly time to board. Boarding started at 07.30 and we ended up in a bus. About 10 minutes later the bus left and I was soon in front of the Boeing 717 that would be taking me to Venice.


View Large View Medium
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Photo © Jan Severijns - AirTeamImages
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Photo © Rui Miguel


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Photo © Pawel Cieplak
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Photo © Luc Verkuringen



Our flight today would be operated by EC-KHX. The Aircraft is 11 years old and has previously operated for Olympic Airlines as SX-BOB. According to airfleets.net it is now operating for Blue1 though it doesn’t tell you the reg (Just OH-???). Maybe some finnish a.netters can help clear this up?

Our 717
http://imgboot.com/images/aflyingkiwi/dscf3222.jpg
Another Shot
http://imgboot.com/images/aflyingkiwi/dscf3223.jpg


Once I stepped off the bus, I took a couple of pics of the aircraft and got in line to get on the flight. At the door, We were greeted by 2 smiling FA’s who helped everyone get on their way. I made my way to the back where I would be sitting today, 22A to be more precise which is behind the wing but in front of the engines.

When you first get to the seat, the first thing you notice is the absolutely abysmal legroom. I am by no means a big person but it was very uncomfortable and it’s got to be the worst legroom I’ve ever experienced. The seat itself is quite comfortable though.

This picture makes the legroom look a lot better than it actually is.
http://imgboot.com/images/aflyingkiwi/dscf3247.jpg
Seats (picture taken in-flight)
http://imgboot.com/images/aflyingkiwi/dscf3232.jpg

Boarding ended up not taking too long and we left pretty much on-time. We taxied past the ATC Tower and had a rolling takeoff on runway 25L.

Load for today’s flight is about 60% which is pretty bad considering they had 2 flights to start with.

Orange Attack!
http://imgboot.com/images/aflyingkiwi/dscf3225.jpg
ATC Tower
http://imgboot.com/images/aflyingkiwi/dscf3226.jpg
Start of Runway
http://imgboot.com/images/aflyingkiwi/dscf3228.jpg
Rotate
http://imgboot.com/images/aflyingkiwi/dscf3229.jpg
Looks like a nice beach for spotting.
http://imgboot.com/images/aflyingkiwi/dscf3230.jpg

Before the flight, I had learnt that Spanair have taken an LCC style approach and now nothing is free. The BOB cart came around about half an hour after takeoff though I didn’t bother to get anything as I wasn’t hungry. After that I got up went to the lavatory which was clean.

Lavatory
http://imgboot.com/images/aflyingkiwi/dscf3233.jpg
Cabin Shot
http://imgboot.com/images/aflyingkiwi/dscf3234.jpg
Scenery
http://imgboot.com/images/aflyingkiwi/dscf3236.jpg

After the crew did a trash-run, the flight was pretty uneventful. The crew retreated to the Galleys and I just stayed in my seat watching the scenery pass by. I also read the in-flight magazine which is a Okayish read, everything was in English which I assume is the standard in Europe?

Contents of Seat Pocket (In-flight magazine & BOB menu)
http://imgboot.com/images/aflyingkiwi/dscf3240.jpg
Safety Card and ad.
http://imgboot.com/images/aflyingkiwi/dscf3241.jpg
Italian Town
http://imgboot.com/images/aflyingkiwi/dscf3242.jpg
Engine
http://imgboot.com/images/aflyingkiwi/dscf3244.jpg
Can someone identify the airport at the bottom?
http://imgboot.com/images/aflyingkiwi/dscf3245.jpg
Foothills of the Alps
http://imgboot.com/images/aflyingkiwi/dscf3246.jpg

About 15 minutes before the arrival time, descent started. I was treated to some nice views of the Veneto Region though unfortunately no views of Venice because that was on the other side of the aircraft. Instead I got views of the uglier, industrial cousin of Venice, Mestre which is on the mainland.

Italian Countryside
http://imgboot.com/images/aflyingkiwi/dscf3249.jpg
The Brenta River
http://imgboot.com/images/aflyingkiwi/dscf3250.jpg
Mestre
http://imgboot.com/images/aflyingkiwi/dscf3251.jpg
Marshland surrounding Airport
http://imgboot.com/images/aflyingkiwi/dscf3252.jpg
Terminal
http://imgboot.com/images/aflyingkiwi/dscf3253.jpg
Apron
http://imgboot.com/images/aflyingkiwi/dscf3254.jpg
Next to a US 762
http://imgboot.com/images/aflyingkiwi/dscf3255.jpg
Interesting Terminal Design
http://imgboot.com/images/aflyingkiwi/dscf3256.jpg

Arrival
Disembarking the plane was quick and we made our way to the baggage claim. Our bags ended up being one of the first and we were soon out into the rather crowded arrivals area.

Conclusion
Well Spanair offered an Okayish product but I wouldn’t be in a hurry to try it again. The combination of a poor seat-pitch and the nothing is free (apart from Checked Baggage) approach are the 2 big negatives for Spanair. It sort of sets a double standard for Star Alliance, which is disappointing.

Well of course I can’t forget the main purpose of this flight and that is the 717. It’s definitely a very nice aircraft which you don’t see very often down under (Apart from Western Australia but I highly doubt I’ll be visiting there for a while) and of course it’s a nice change from the usual A320’s and 737’s.

Thank you for reading this TR and if there’s any feedback, don’t hesitate in replying  .

Stay Tuned for my next report which will be the return journey from Europe, FCO-ICN-AKL on KE to be more precise.

Regards,
aflyingkiwi

[Edited 2011-01-15 19:20:03]

13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinejrlander From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 1106 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 8782 times:

I do believe the airport at the bottom of the photo is NCE

User currently offlinerogerbcn From Andorra, joined Sep 2006, 1209 posts, RR: 20
Reply 2, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 8691 times:

Hola aflyingkiwi!

Thanks for this TR.

It is always nice to see a B717 TR from my home airport, BCN.

Definitely B717s are great planes, I really love them and they are becoming quite scarce as JK is becoming and all Airbus. The MD will be all gone soon and only a few B717 will remain in their fleet for not heavy loaded routes.
VCE is a route they opened last summer 4 times a week and they are still on it at much more convenient schedules now, at 11.35.
You are right, their legroom is a joke. When I travel with them I make sure I get a seat at the front where it is marginally better, even use their comfort option, which for 25/39€ let's you upgrade to business class.

Looking forward to reading your return home with KE.

Salut!

Roger



"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
User currently offlineaflyingkiwi From New Zealand, joined Nov 2010, 517 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 8485 times:

Hi jrlander

Quoting jrlander (Reply 1):
I do believe the airport at the bottom of the photo is NCE

Thank you, it is indeed NCE

Hola Roger

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 2):
Thanks for this TR.

I'm glad you liked it  .

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 2):
Definitely B717s are great planes, I really love them and they are becoming quite scarce as JK is becoming and all Airbus.

I didn't know JK were going all Airbus, It definately is a shame that they are getting of the MD's and 717's.

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 2):
even use their comfort option, which for 25/39€ let's you upgrade to business class.

The upgrade price sounds like are really good deal.

Regards
aflyingkiwi


User currently offlineAlwaysOnAPlane From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2010, 305 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 8277 times:

Hi aflyingkiwi. Thanks for sharing.

Always good to see write ups of these less flown aircraft. JK are missing from my log but i will try and get round to flying them only to fill in that space. At least i know what to expect now  . The 25/39€ upgrade sounds ok though i guess.

Cheers, Lee


User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From UK - England, joined Sep 2003, 5186 posts, RR: 55
Reply 5, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 7959 times:

Hi, aflyingkiwi,

a well writtten story together with nice pictures.
A good impression how to fly the JK 717 these days.
Well, JK always good for some rebookings or cancellations, like also in you´re case.

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Thread starter):
Type: Boeing 717-200
Reg: EC-KHX

Also in my log, BCN-MRS last May.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)



Next: London City connections!.
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Reply 6, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 7763 times:

Hi Kiwi,

Dude, that's pretty amazing - I was in Venice the very same day and actually saw your plane parked at the airport when landing there with AB from TXL. I think I featured a picture of it in my TR, I definitely remember shooting a photo of it!

Anyway a nice little report, quite enjoyed reading it. I'm glad Blue1 reconfigured the cabin after acquiring these birds from SpanAir/AeBal, the pitch isn't the best but it definitely is better than what your photos show!


User currently offlineaflyingkiwi From New Zealand, joined Nov 2010, 517 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 7513 times:

Hi Lee,

Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 4):
Always good to see write ups of these less flown aircraft.

It's always interesting to see reports on these lesser known aircraft, well there are still quite a few 717's out there (mostly at FL) but it's still pretty rare.

Hi Markus,

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 5):
a well writtten story together with nice pictures.

Thanks, I'm glad you liked it.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 5):
Well, JK always good for some rebookings or cancellations, like also in you´re case.

Oh yes, I remember reading a few of your reports with cancellations by JK.

Hi FlyingFinn76,

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 6):
Dude, that's pretty amazing - I was in Venice the very same day and actually saw your plane parked at the airport when landing there with AB from TXL.

Yeah that is pretty amazing. I think I remember reading your Trip Report but I that was before my airliners.net days. I also wasn't in Venice that day so no chance of seeing me there.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 6):
I'm glad Blue1 reconfigured the cabin after acquiring these birds from SpanAir/AeBal, the pitch isn't the best but it definitely is better than what your photos show!
  

Regards
aflyingkiwi


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6939 posts, RR: 77
Reply 8, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 7116 times:

Hi flyingkiwi,

nice report about your side trip. Trying to get the 717 was a good decision.

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Thread starter):
While we were in Europe , I mostly travelled by train (mostly short hops so air travel isn’t particularly convenient) but of course we couldn’t leave without one flight.

Nothing's more convenient than flying...  

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Thread starter):
According to airfleets.net it is now operating for Blue1 though it doesn’t tell you the reg (Just OH-???). Maybe some finnish a.netters can help clear this up?

Airfleets is a free database, so don't expect too much. According to aerotransport.org, the plane is not yet operating for Blue1.

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Thread starter):
The combination of a poor seat-pitch and the nothing is free (apart from Checked Baggage) approach are the 2 big negatives for Spanair. It sort of sets a double standard for Star Alliance, which is disappointing.

Spanair offers less than many LCCs in these days, definitely a carrier which I try to avoid. I had some flights on the airline when snacks and drinks were still served free of charge on European routes.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinetaichen From Spain, joined Jul 2001, 219 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 7088 times:

Nice report !

JKK is now just an OK-ish airline, too much LCC concept for my taste ...

I think the 717 are gone forever now, at least they announced a "farewell flight" not so long ago on their Facebook patge.

Their inflight magazine is written in Spanish, Catalan and English. Certainly, "only English" is not usual in Europe, save for certain carriers (KL, and of course British / Irish carriers) ...


User currently offlineaflyingkiwi From New Zealand, joined Nov 2010, 517 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 6842 times:

Hi PH,

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 8):
nice report about your side trip. Trying to get the 717 was a good decision.

Thanks, The 717 was a good decision in my opinion.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 8):
Airfleets is a free database, so don't expect too much. According to aerotransport.org, the plane is not yet operating for Blue1.

Thanks for the info,  .

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 8):
Spanair offers less than many LCCs in these days, definitely a carrier which I try to avoid. I had some flights on the airline when snacks and drinks were still served free of charge on European routes.

Spanair are pretty much an LCC except they do allow free checked luggage which is useful for me and also they weren't expensive so I'm happy with what I've got.

Hi Taichen,

Quoting taichen (Reply 9):
Nice report !

Thanks, I'm glad you liked it

Quoting taichen (Reply 9):
I think the 717 are gone forever now, at least they announced a "farewell flight" not so long ago on their Facebook patge.

That's sad, I assume they're all going to Blue1

Quoting taichen (Reply 9):
Their inflight magazine is written in Spanish, Catalan and English. Certainly, "only English" is not usual in Europe, save for certain carriers (KL, and of course British / Irish carriers)

Sorry, I meant that english along with any other languages are featured in inflight magazines in Europe.


User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6457 posts, RR: 38
Reply 11, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 6324 times:

Hi aflyingkiwi,

Nice continuation of your trip to Europe. Good thing you managed to get the 717 although the MD-83 wouldn't be too bad either.. I've been looking into flying the 717 into Alice Springs but it's just a bit expensive. I hope I get there sometime though. In fact, they don't just fly around WA although the majority of flights are. There's one that does a hop from DRW-CNS and another that goes CNS-ASP IIRC.

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Thread starter):
When you first get to the seat, the first thing you notice is the absolutely abysmal legroom.

Eek, that's horrible.

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Thread starter):
and now nothing is free

Good to know you managed to get into the lav though  


Thanks for sharing!


Cheers,
Nicholas



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineaflyingkiwi From New Zealand, joined Nov 2010, 517 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (3 years 11 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 6102 times:

Hi Nicholas

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 11):
Nice continuation of your trip to Europe.

Thanks.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 11):
I hope I get there sometime though. In fact, they don't just fly around WA although the majority of flights are. There's one that does a hop from DRW-CNS and another that goes CNS-ASP IIRC.

That's cool though at the moment a trip to Darwin and Alice Springs will be very unlikely for me.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 11):
Good to know you managed to get into the lav though

Yeah it was pretty tough to get out with the legroom.... on a related note does FR charge for toilets now?

Regards
aflyingkiwi


User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 16
Reply 13, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 5333 times:

Nice report, enjoyed reading it. I have logged my first 717 flight a few years ago on Air Tran from JAX to ATL.


Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
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