aflyingkiwi From New Zealand, joined Nov 2010, 515 posts, RR: 3 Posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 8844 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.
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
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.
Boarding Pass (Picture taken at home)
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.
I Like the reflection effect on this photo.
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.
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?
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.
Seats (picture taken in-flight)
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.
Start of Runway
Looks like a nice beach for spotting.
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.
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)
Safety Card and ad.
Can someone identify the airport at the bottom?
Foothills of the Alps
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.
The Brenta River
Marshland surrounding Airport
Next to a US 762
Interesting Terminal Design
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.
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.
rogerbcn From Andorra, joined Sep 2006, 1209 posts, RR: 20
Reply 2, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 8640 times:
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.
"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
AlwaysOnAPlane From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2010, 305 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 8226 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.
FlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Reply 6, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 7712 times:
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!
PlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6902 posts, RR: 77
Reply 8, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 7065 times:
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.
aflyingkiwi From New Zealand, joined Nov 2010, 515 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 6791 times:
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.
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.
NZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6451 posts, RR: 38
Reply 11, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 6273 times:
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.
aflyingkiwi From New Zealand, joined Nov 2010, 515 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 6051 times:
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 11): Nice continuation of your trip to Europe.
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?