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AirBaltic Over The Baltic: ARN-RIX-ARN  
User currently offlinedeltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 6600 times:

Hi!

This is my third trip report about a trip to Riga I did on April 19th-20th.

The story behind the trip is that me and my mom had decided to make a small trip during my break from school over Easter. Although, we didn't know where to head. Sooner or later, we decided on a day trip to Riga. FR and BT operates this route. As we have trouble reaching Skavsta (NYO) from where my parents live, our choice was airBaltic from ARN. We didn't find any good deals for a day trip though, so we decided on a 24h trip with a night spent in Riga. Both flights were scheduled on Dash 8's.
I found a cheap hotel by browsing Hotels.com for abit, and we decided on 4-star Avalon Hotel with dinner and breakfast included, for only 64€.

April 19th.

We arrived at ARN rather early, about two hours before our departure. We had checked in online the day before and printed our boarding passes, so we just had to drop our bag at the bagdrop. This was easily done after a short 2-min queue. Since we booked our tickets through the SAS website, who codeshares with BT on the route, we had one bag each included, despite it usually costing extra on BT flights.

After we got rid of our bag, we went to one of the two security at ARN terminal 5, we decided on the one in the old part of T5, as we weren't really in the mood for shopping (the other security checkpoint dumps you right into the duty-free shop).

The security queue was short and we were through in no time.

The older part of T5.
http://imgboot.com/images/deltamartin/dsc01557.jpg

Austrian logo jet.
http://imgboot.com/images/deltamartin/dsc01560.jpg

When we were through we decided to grab some brunch. I decided on a hot cheese and ham panini, and my mother on a cheese and ham sandwich.

After we had finished our sandwiches we still had some waiting to do, so we sat at our gate, doing some reading and such.

Both heading to New York.
http://imgboot.com/images/deltamartin/dsc01567.jpg

Our gate was 3B, 3A is a normal Jetway gate, but 3B is right next to it, but it leads you downstairs to the tarmac instead. It's used for the planes to low for the jetways, such as the Dash 8's.
http://imgboot.com/images/deltamartin/dsc01569.jpg

Later, the aircraft arrived. Today's ride is YL-BAH, my first BT flight, and my first flight on a Dash-8.
http://imgboot.com/images/deltamartin/dsc01570.jpg

I think they were having some trainees today:
http://imgboot.com/images/deltamartin/dsc01573.jpg

Then boarding were called and we board the aircraft.
http://imgboot.com/images/deltamartin/dsc01575.jpg

The cabin crew today was a young female and a youngish male.

We were seated at 21 C and D. The last row. There are no seats on the other side of the aisle here, so these seats offer abit more privacy than the ordinary seats on this aircraft.
http://imgboot.com/images/deltamartin/dsc01576.jpg

The load was light, alot of open seats. Maybe 50%.

The seat has a decent comfort level. Leg room is OK but not more.
http://imgboot.com/images/deltamartin/dsc01577.jpg

We take off from runway 19L a few mins after scheduled departure.
http://imgboot.com/images/deltamartin/dsc01584.jpg

The suburb Märsta.
http://imgboot.com/images/deltamartin/dsc01585.jpg

The weather was great today with lots of sunshine and few clouds, so great views followed over the Stockholm archipelago. As my family has a small house in the northern archipelago, we moved over to the left side of the aircraft soon after takeoff, so see if we could spot the peninsula which our house is located on. After we located it we moved back to the right side again.

Northern archipelago:
http://imgboot.com/images/deltamartin/dsc01591.jpg

The flight went on smoothly over the Baltic sea. We didn't bother buying anything from the BOB cart.

Gotska Sandön, north of Gotland.
http://imgboot.com/images/deltamartin/dsc01592.jpg

Sooner or later we reached land again, here's the town of Ventspils.
http://imgboot.com/images/deltamartin/dsc01593.jpg

Later on we reached the Gulf of Riga, and our descent begun.
http://imgboot.com/images/deltamartin/dsc01595.jpg

It was very windy and we were shaken quite alot before landing. I actually felt a little sick!

Getting closer to the ground.
http://imgboot.com/images/deltamartin/dsc01600.jpg

Despite the winds we managed to land safely on runway 36.

I spotted a few Russian planes during taxi.

We parked at a remote stand, and we were shuttled to the terminal in a bus. One bus was enough due to the light load.
One last look at YL-BAH. Or, so i thought.
http://imgboot.com/images/deltamartin/dsc01606.jpg

We went to the baggage belt. Our bag was the third on the belt, so we didn't have to wait for long. It only took us about 10 mins from stepping out of the aircraft to entering Latvia. Not bad, for a bus transfer and all.
http://imgboot.com/images/deltamartin/dsc01610.jpg

We decided to take bus 22 to get into Riga, since we had read it would have a stop right outside our hotel.

At 0.70 LVL per person, about 1 EUR, it was a really cheap and easy way to get into town.

The hotel was really nice. Modern and fresh, we liked it. We were very pleased with the hotel.
Some photos i took of the hotel:
http://imgboot.com/images/deltamartin/dsc01648.jpg

http://imgboot.com/images/deltamartin/dsc01615.jpg

http://imgboot.com/images/deltamartin/dsc01618.jpg

Riga is a beautiful town, the old town reminded alot of my hometown, Stockholm.
Riga is definentley worth a visit! To anyone visiting, i would recommend a bus tour, that's what we did, and it was a good way of seeing Riga.
Some photos i took during the bus tour:
http://imgboot.com/images/deltamartin/dsc01627.jpg

http://imgboot.com/images/deltamartin/dsc01634.jpg

Riga's new library:
http://imgboot.com/images/deltamartin/dsc01640.jpg

April 20th

After 24 hours in Riga it was time to head back to RIX. Once again, we took the nr. 22 bus.

We arrived at the airport after 25 mins or so, and we checked in and dropped our bag at the lime-colored bagdrop desk. Since we still had a couple of hours until departure, we decided to eat at a restaurant called Lido, i decided on some chicken with fries. It was a cozy little restaurant with lots of options, and best of all: a great view of the apron.

After our lunch, we headed through the deserted security check, and went to our gate. A real gate this time, not a remote stand. Still an hour before boarding, so i explored the airport abit. Not so much to explore, but the newer parts of the terminal is actually really nice. Cozy but functional.

Sooner or later, our aircraft arrived at the gate. To my disappointment, i noticed it was YL-BAH once again.
http://imgboot.com/images/deltamartin/dsc01664.jpg

After the arriving passengers disembarked, we were soon told to board. Boarding was same as on Arlanda, down the stairs in the Jetway out on the tarmac.
http://imgboot.com/images/deltamartin/dsc01670.jpg

This time, we had decided on seat 20 A and B. The row furthest back on the left side. Load was abit better this time at maybe 65%.
Legroom was the same.
http://imgboot.com/images/deltamartin/dsc01673.jpg

Cabin shot:
http://imgboot.com/images/deltamartin/dsc01675.jpg

We taxied to the runway and made a quick takeoff.
http://imgboot.com/images/deltamartin/dsc01680.jpg

Bad overview of RIX:
http://imgboot.com/images/deltamartin/dsc01682.jpg

It's not as windy as when we landed yesterday.
The weather was very sunny today aswell, but with more clouds over the Baltic ocean, and rather cloudy over Sweden aswell.

This time, we used the last of our LVL on the BOB-service. We bought a bottle of water and a Pringles can.

Landing at ARN was at runway 26 on time.

A BA-Cityflyer E170, I'll be flying one of those in September.
http://imgboot.com/images/deltamartin/dsc01691.jpg

We quickly taxied to gate 4, the mirrored gate of the one we left the day before.
A second last look at YL-BAH!
http://imgboot.com/images/deltamartin/dsc01694.jpg

We got our bag rather quickly here aswell, and then we were back in Sweden!

The trip was really fun and enjoyable. I must say that i like airBaltic, they offer good trips from A to B. Not many frills but they are not expensive. Reminded me alot about SAS, not so weird though, since they used to be the owner of 50%.
I must also say that i like the Dash 8, it was quieter than i imagined and it was overall quite comfortable.

Thanks all for reading my trip report. Comments are appreciated.

8 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinealespesl From Czech Republic, joined Jan 2004, 583 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 6362 times:

Hey, great TR. Really liked the pictures. I am looking forward my trip with BT this September. Flying TXL-RIX-TAY and TLL-RIX-ARN with them.


Next Flight: Dec 06 PRG-WAW ATR72, Dec 07 WAW-PRG ATR42 with Czech Airlines.
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Reply 2, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 6182 times:

Hi DM,

Great to see a report covering BT that's not written by me!   You know I'm quite biased, but I love this little airline a lot. Many people say bad things about it and complain a lot - but at the end of the day, at least for me the airline is a perfect match. Glad you enjoyed your trip with airBaltic!

Some nice shots of Riga and your hotel looks great! This reminds me that I should really drag my ass back to the city proper one of these days - last time I visited was way back in 2008, despite flying through RIX on a monthly basis ever since... The way things move in these Baltic countries means that right now it is a completely different city than what it was back then!

Quoting deltamartin (Thread starter):
Since we booked our tickets through the SAS website, who codeshares with BT on the route, we had one bag each included, despite it usually costing extra on BT flights.

Umm, why would you need to check any luggage for a short overnight stay? BT is quite generous with cabin baggage, it wouldn't have been a problem for you and your mom to each have a standard sized rollaboard and a personal item (hand bag/back bag etc.). I'm just wondering because I learned to travel very light a long time ago, nowadays I check luggage maybe twice a year and do everything else with carry on only...

Of course on the way back things would be different if you wanted to take advantage of the cheap alcohol prices in Latvia...  
Quoting deltamartin (Thread starter):
two security at ARN terminal 5, we decided on the one in the old part of T5, as we weren't really in the mood for shopping (the other security checkpoint dumps you right into the duty-free shop).

Hey, I'm not the only one who feels this way and always tries to avoid Arlanda Norra as much as possible!

Quoting deltamartin (Thread starter):
The suburb Märsta.

Ahh, Märsta. I spent a night there some years ago in one of the worst hotels I've ever been to - Park Inn Arlanda. Avoid at all costs - a horrible dump. But Märsta is handy if one wants to save some money when traveling between STHLM city and Arlanda - take a pendeltåg to its terminus there and then the bus to Arlanda - much cheaper than other alternatives but slower as well.

Quoting deltamartin (Thread starter):
It only took us about 10 mins from stepping out of the aircraft to entering Latvia. Not bad, for a bus transfer and all.

That's RIX for you. It's one of the few airports where I actually trust the published MCT of 25 minutes.

Quoting deltamartin (Thread starter):
we decided to eat at a restaurant called Lido, i decided on some chicken with fries. It was a cozy little restaurant with lots of options, and best of all: a great view of the apron.

I don't know if you noticed, but Lido is a true Latvian institution. There are lots of outlets in Riga city and all throughout Latvia as well. Nowadays there's one in Tallinn, too. I kinda like it - good, hearty Latvian comfort food, an amazing selection and decent prices. I really wish there would be one at RIX airside as the food offerings there are very bad...

Quoting deltamartin (Thread starter):
Boarding was same as on Arlanda, down the stairs in the Jetway out on the tarmac.

Interesting, never seen this before at RIX.


User currently offlinedeltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5647 times:

Thanks both of you for the comments!

Quoting alespesl (Reply 1):
I am looking forward my trip with BT this September. Flying TXL-RIX-TAY and TLL-RIX-ARN with them.

I'm sure your trip will be great! Hope you enjoy ARN!  

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 2):
Umm, why would you need to check any luggage for a short overnight stay? BT is quite generous with cabin baggage, it wouldn't have been a problem for you and your mom to each have a standard sized rollaboard and a personal item (hand bag/back bag etc.). I'm just wondering because I learned to travel very light a long time ago, nowadays I check luggage maybe twice a year and do everything else with carry on only...

Of course on the way back things would be different if you wanted to take advantage of the cheap alcohol prices in Latvia...

You kindof answered the question by yourself, it was mostly empty on the way over there. My mother bought a few bottles when we were there so it was heavier on the way back!  
It was mostly a way of not have to carry the bag while at the airports.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 2):
I don't know if you noticed, but Lido is a true Latvian institution. There are lots of outlets in Riga city and all throughout Latvia as well. Nowadays there's one in Tallinn, too. I kinda like it - good, hearty Latvian comfort food

I noticed a couple more of them while on the bus tour.
And i must say, i liked it too!


User currently onlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17144 posts, RR: 10
Reply 4, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 5338 times:

Nice TR

I have also had the pleasure to fly on YL-BAH.

Quoting deltamartin (Thread starter):
Since we booked our tickets through the SAS website, who codeshares with BT on the route, we had one bag each included, despite it usually costing extra on BT flights.

Didnt know that! Was the price the same on SK's website as on BT's?



Thank you for sharing

B747forever



Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlinesultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1788 posts, RR: 30
Reply 5, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 5042 times:

Hello deltamartin,

Nice little report on Air Baltic. Only too bad you flew the same reg twice   I have some minor positive experience on BT (flew them once from RIX to BRU on a B735). I have yet to try their F50's and Q400/8.

Quoting deltamartin (Thread starter):
I decided on a hot cheese and ham panini, and my mother on a cheese and ham sandwich.

How are food prices at ARN?

Quoting deltamartin (Thread starter):
but the newer parts of the terminal is actually really nice. Cozy but functional.

Exactly my opinion too   

Quoting deltamartin (Thread starter):
Not many frills but they are not expensive.

Indeed but for departures and connections out of my home airport BRU, timings are far from ideal...

Bye,
Nils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6671 posts, RR: 55
Reply 6, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 4956 times:

Very nice report with nice pictures ! Riga looks nice. Too bad you got to fly the same aircraft on the way back....

What's the name of the island of where your summer house is ? My parents have a summer house on Blido.

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineflywrite From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2009, 195 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 4910 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Great trip report!

I'll be flying through ARN later this month for the first time, so it gives me a flavour of what to expect.

Did you have any problems taking pictures at ARN, either through the windows or when getting on/off the aircraft?


User currently offlinedeltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4786 times:

Hey again and thanks for the comments!

Quoting B747forever (Reply 4):
Was the price the same on SK's website as on BT's?

Can't remember exactley, but i'm fairly sure they were about the same.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 5):
How are food prices at ARN?

As in all of Scandinavia, pretty expensive, i think my panini costed about 5 EUR, it was not that big either, delicious tho!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 6):
What's the name of the island of where your summer house is ? My parents have a summer house on Blido.

It's on a peninsula called Rådmansö. Blidö is actually one of the islands visible on the picture i have in my TR, in the middle there are two parallel islands, the one on the right abit shorter and chubbier, that's Blidö! Rådmansö is abit further north.  
Quoting flywrite (Reply 7):

Did you have any problems taking pictures at ARN, either through the windows or when getting on/off the aircraft?

Never had any problem taking pictures in airports in Sweden, may get a few looks but nothing past that.

Martin


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