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Brussels Airlines Revisit – The New And The Old  
User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1915 posts, RR: 9
Posted (2 years 12 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 10775 times:

I don’t know what is the reason that seems to draw me towards Brussels Airlines! Maybe it is the service! Maybe it is still sort of a full service airline (well economy is all BOB)! Maybe it is the livery! When it comes to European business class, it is pretty identical with identical seats as in economy – just a blocked middle seat with slightly more legroom. However, Brussels Airlines seems to provide a bit more for its business class passengers, and with often one row of seats, the service is personable, and the F/As are well trained and looked smart. I can’t wait for SN to return to the US in the future.

SN 3734 AGP-BRU Lv1005 Arr1255 Boeing 737-300 Winglet OO-VEH
http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8QbNHDNy5bqTlY

SN 2719 BRU-GVA Lv1530 Arr1645 Airbus A319-100 OO-SSQ
http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8QbNHDNy5bqTnQ

Booking:
I used my BD points for this ticket – not the best bargain, but is the best way to fly SN without paying the high price. I called SN reservation center to get the seat assignment. I was able to retrieve the reservation at SN website and printed out the e-ticket with no issue.

Check-in:
Malaga Airport’s Terminal Three is another amazing architectural piece with high ceiling and modern architectural design. Similar to Barcelona El Prat International Airport, the Spanish definitely knows how to turn airports into profitable shopping malls. If there are no planes, you will not now that you are at an airport. I like the natural light and high ceiling. The airport looks up to date.

Malaga Airport Terminal Three


Impressive architecture


Rows of check-in desks


Brussels Airlines check-in desks


Priority lane


Logo


It was pretty busy this morning with many Europeans returning home after summer holidays. All the flights look fully booked with additional charter flights. Brussels Airlines has its own check-in counters – one joint priority/baggage drop off lane, and one general lane. The regular line was busy, but priority line was not busy. There was no kiosk for Brussels Airlines, and I guess since most people are in holidays, not people have access to a printer to print boarding passes at home. The flight was definitely full in the back.

Flight Information Display System


Our flight


A very delayed Delta Airlines flight to JFK – possibly due to closure of JFK due to earthquake in the east coast


21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1915 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (2 years 12 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 10771 times:

Airport or shopping mall?


Lounge:
The check-in agent did not tell me any lounge information and I just presumed that it possibly only had a single lounge serving all airlines. I was not far from it and I just followed the sign and reach the SALA VIP Lounge, and the agent happily admitted to the lounge. I saw a sign about a Swiss lounge at non-Schegen Pier B, but was closed till November for renovation. Don’t realize the Swiss loves Malaga that much!

The lounge was very large and it was sparsely occupied due to the morning nature, or simply not many elite passengers using this airport. The food options are typically bread and spread, with cereals, snacks, and saddest looking bananas and kiwis that I have known. There were a few display cases for duty free shops – you can never forget about shopping and spending money at these new Spanish airports.

Entrance to SALA VIP


Lounge


Lots of comfortable sofas


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1915 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (2 years 12 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 10767 times:

Beverage


Gate area:


D42


Writings in the floor


The inbound aircraft from Brussels arrived on time and parked at a surprisingly convenient gate, D42. However I need to go to the other wing to take these pictures.

Beautiful day here at Malaga


OO-VEH at Malaga


Winglet shot


Air-conditioned jetway


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1915 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (2 years 12 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 10761 times:

I was just happy to finally get a flight on my log with this 737 variant with winglet. As I said in my facebook, a classic bird with a modern touch! Boarding finally began at 9:47am and there was no priority boarding at all. Did not matter much, as business class only had two passengers, and economy flex had eight passengers, and the rest was regular economy with lots of people going home from the holidays. The mood was pretty festive.

The cabin interior was better than expected, and I guess the old Virgin Express stuffs were all gone, or this might be SN from the beginning. Anyway, there were the typical blue leather seats used by SN. The headrest colors determined the cabin class. The first couple rows have a bit more legroom. In this model, 1DEF has slightly more legroom than 1ABC. With all three seats to myself it was very comfortable.

Cabin shot


My seat


The purser immediately offered me a choice of pre-takeoff beverage, which was rare in European airlines, and SN might be the only one offering a full choice.

Water of course for me


Nice b branding


Veuling, s’il vous plait


Newspapers and magazines were offered with ample choices from different languages. Full flex economy passengers also get the newspapers service. I got a copy of the Tribune and Newsweek magazine. We seemed to have a few missing passengers today, and ground staffs were busy looking for them. Anyway boarding was completed at 10:07am, and we pushed back five minutes later. AGP was pretty busy, but taxi was short. We took off from R/W31 at 10:22am.

Leaving Malaga


Winglet shot – that is the reason why I flew an additional leg to AGP


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1915 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (2 years 12 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 10755 times:

Beautiful coastal line


Malaga Costal Del Sol Airport


Glimpse of galley


The purser was wonderful as usual, and today we had four F/As, as one of them was a trainee. During the safety demo, the purser made sure everyone knows about the newbie, and everyone gave her a loud applaud during the demo. She also helped out in business class. Brussels Airlines crew was always good, especially the purser. With a long flight, he just asked if I wanted to wait a bit before serving me lunch. He started with an apertif service with pretzels.

Champagne and pretzels of course


Then around 11am, he served us lunch, which was a nice beef fillet dish with risotto, carrots and parsnips. There was a small side salad, a Belgian cheese plate and a dessert of Raspberries Flan topped with Meringue. Bread rolls were also available of course – typical SN long white or brown rolls. All served in proper china – no cheap plastic like other airlines! The only sad part was the plastic utensils used.

Full lunch tray


Salad


Sides


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1915 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (2 years 12 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 10755 times:

Entrée


Cheese plate


Business class logo


Dessert


Then after lunch, there was a separate tea/coffee and chocolate service (Neuhaus’) of course!
Wonderful chocolates


My tea was refreshed throughout the flight, and the F/A always asked if I needed something else prior to taking away of any glasses. It was a nice flight.

Descent soon began at 12:13pm, and we landed on R/W25L at 12:40pm, and quickly parked at gate A46 six minutes later. This aircraft would continue to Nice next. An early arrival of course!

Brussel Airlines’ A330


I had a long layover so I took my time before heading to the Brussels Airlines lounge. Nothing more to add about the lounge, except today’s soup is Cream of Broccoli soup and there is no free WIFI. I think complimentary WIFI is so important these days that a proper lounge should always provide that service. Anyway, the lounge was very quiet during my days. Given the crises at Europe, I presume everyone would rush here but I guess I was wrong.



User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1915 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (2 years 12 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 10748 times:



Apron today – Pier B was pretty busy


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1915 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (2 years 12 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 10743 times:

SN 2719 BRU-GVA Lv1530 Arr1645 Airbus A319-100 OO-SSQ


So why do I call this report the new and the old? Because I got to fly both the oldest and newest seats offered by Brussels Airlines in a day. OO-SSQ is one of the newest A319s delivered to SN, and has fitted with the new generation of slim seats used by Austrian Airlines and Lufthansa, and perhaps all future Star Alliance or LH related airlines partners. Germanwings, a LH related LCC, also features the slim seats.

Priority boarding


OO-SSQ at BRU


Boarding began at 3:13pm at gate A59. The plane was towed from the hangar so no need to wait for cleaners or passengers to deplane. However catering was running a bit late. Even though boarding began and yes there was priority boarding here in Brussels, and there was a separate priority lane. I think that is the only way you can reinforce a boarding system. Nevertheless Europeans travel light and boarding is accomplished within reasonable time without people fighting spaces for their kitchen sinks. Anyway we had to wait in the jetway a bit before catering was completed in the forward galley.

Pre-takeoff beverage


Here was my first cabin shot!


Window shot


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1915 posts, RR: 9
Reply 8, posted (2 years 12 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 10737 times:

Nearby Arkefly 737s


Pretty good cabin and it was all clean with updated interior and seats. The flight was pretty full and only one row of business class seat and I was the only J passenger this afternoon. The purser offered me a drink and newspapers and magazines immediately. There were more economy flex passengers, as expected on this business oriented routes – all suit types, instead of the more shorts and t-shirts crowd on the last flight. Economy flex cabin was full and some of the middle seats were filled.

Door was closed on time at 3:29pm and we pushed back four minutes later. Brussels Airport was a bit busy, but taxi time was still short. Following the departure of BA A319 G-EUPB, we lifted off the cloudy Brussels at 3:42pm.

Brussels Airport


Flying time was an hour and four minutes, and after passing some cloudy layers, seat belt sign was off in five minutes. Cabin service began with hot towel service, and then a cold lunch/light meal/collation. Today’s lunch features a cold plate of pasta salad, green salad, cucumber topped with yogurt dressing and thousand island type dressing, along with crumbled feta cheese and chicken chunks. Of course rolls were offered, along with a Belgian cheese plate and Neuhaus chocolate.

Cold lunch


Entrée


Beverage
Belgian cheese plate


Bread roll


Neuhaus chocolates


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1915 posts, RR: 9
Reply 9, posted (2 years 12 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 10734 times:

Cabin
The new slim seats allow more legroom for sure, and row 1 has more legroom now due to cutouts from the front storage bin, and the magazine pockets move up a bit. You can see from the picture.


Legroom shot for bulkhead seats


First few rows of the cabin definitely have more legroom, but the negative aspect of the slim seat is the lack of lumbar support. I can feel everything in my back, especially when my neighbor puts things into the magazine pocket or putting down the tray table. But for a short flight, it is okay and legroom is at least ample.


My seat 1A


This shows you how thin the seats are


Row 1 again


Overhead panel


Tray table – higher than the old seats


I am surprised that no entertainment system is installed on this new plane. But anyway, most flights are short and I am glad to see these new A319s in various European markets.

Descent soon began at 4:16pm and there was a bit of ATC hold. Not surprised given the single runway configuration at Geneva Cointrin International airport. We landed on R/W23 at 4:46pm and parked at gate A1 at 4:48pm.

Flybaboo DH-4 at one of the satellites


In general another good set of flight with Brussels Airlines, and look forward flying it more often in the future!

Carfield


User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5088 posts, RR: 55
Reply 10, posted (2 years 12 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 10417 times:

Carfield,

Thanks a lot for posting these J class reports across Europe. Pleasure to read, especially of SN Brussels which is one of my favorite European carriers. To be honest, I did not expect their intra-Europe offering to be this competitive. Thanks for letting us know!

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3234 posts, RR: 12
Reply 11, posted (2 years 12 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 10181 times:

Hi! Great to see this report. I'm booked to fly LIS-BRU-BJM with SN in C in January. I had a look, and couldn't see any other SN C Euro trip reports, so this is great to see! Seems like there is a decent service with SN.


http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LHR-VIE-PRN,SPU-OSL-LHR,STN-SNN-STN,LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,
User currently offlinedebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2417 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (2 years 12 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 9905 times:

Nice TR...

Quoting Carfield (Thread starter):
I don’t know what is the reason that seems to draw me towards Brussels Airlines!



In my opinion Brussels Airlines WAS a wonderful, clear company- but after LH's purchase things getting worse. Very sad to see! SN started as dual "hybrid" carrier between SN Brussels Airlines and Virgin- what a FANTASTIC idea! With chi-chi in the front and pure no-frill in the back (you could see the roots from both carriers melted into one!). Now, after LH re-introduced Biz-Class etc. this philosophy is destroyed- what a shame!

Quoting Carfield (Thread starter):
don’t know what is the reason that seems to draw me towards Brussels Airlines! Maybe it is the service! Maybe it is still sort of a full service airline (well economy is all BOB)!



Nope, not true at all. SN is offering like Spanair, SAS etc. a 3-class-product - Business, Economy FLEX and Economy LIGHT. Economy FLEX was the previous sole premium-cabin and is still offering as such FULL service (meals.drinks and if possible free middle seats etc.!). Only Economy LIGHT (the idea of former Virgin Express) is true no-fill with BOB!

Quoting Carfield (Thread starter):
I used my BD points for this ticket – not the best bargain, but is the best way to fly SN without paying the high price.



Here we go, a nightmare! Previously you could buy cheap low-cost tickets in Economy Light (like any other LoCo-carrier), but these times are gone. And I still miss the good old times- premium passengers up-front and no-frill travelers in the back. Now you pay ridiculous (LH-like) fares, but still for a no-frill, BOB only service!


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6748 posts, RR: 77
Reply 13, posted (2 years 12 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 9867 times:

Hi Carfield, nice report with many good pictures!

Quoting Carfield (Thread starter):
Veuling, s’il vous plait

Interesting, the one and only A319 in the Vueling fleet.

Quoting Carfield (Thread starter):
Then around 11am, he served us lunch, which was a nice beef fillet dish with risotto, carrots and parsnips. There was a small side salad, a Belgian cheese plate and a dessert of Raspberries Flan topped with Meringue. Bread rolls were also available of course – typical SN long white or brown rolls. All served in proper china – no cheap plastic like other airlines! The only sad part was the plastic utensils used.

The presentation is great - but what I liked most are the Belgian flags in the cheese!


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinephotoshooter From Belgium, joined Feb 2010, 454 posts, RR: 20
Reply 14, posted (2 years 12 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 9827 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD SUPPORT

Hi, nice trip report you've got there Carfield!

Allow me to say that I'm quite shocked how they treat their passengers in their plane. In B.Business, it seems rather
nice and a good service as well. Although in the back, they treat you like cattle.
Tell me, were the cabin crew smiling and friendly? Because they weren't on all the flights I've had so far.
And British Airways is another airline who's offering drinks in the beginning during boarding and procedures to Business
passengers. I believe LH does that as well.

Malaga Airport looks very nice, I really like the architecture though!

Quoting Carfield (Reply 8):
Nearby Arkefly 737s

Arkefly?! noo! Jetairfly! although the difference is hard to find.


greets,

Photoshooter



'A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.' - Winston Churchill
User currently offlineTomskii From Belgium, joined May 2011, 467 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (2 years 12 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 9564 times:

Please do me a favor :p Don't call JetairFly ArkeFly. Those are two different companies within the TUI Travel Group.  

I have never had any complaints about SN service but a minor issue is most windows on their planes are dirty/damaged which results in less nice views.  



Nikon D90 + Nikkor f4.5-5.6 18-105mm + Tamron f4-5.6 70-300mm
User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1915 posts, RR: 9
Reply 16, posted (2 years 12 months 23 hours ago) and read 9428 times:

Thanks for all your kind comments!

Yes I am aware of the three cabin classes at SN - Economy Flex receives complimentary meal and drinks, and the purser also serves the Economy Flex on the first leg, since there were only two rows of them and it was not full. On the shorter BRU to GVA, I was served first by another F/A - not the purser, and then the purser and the J F/A served full flex Y, as there were a number of them. They also got a cold meal with beverages, and then tea and coffee runs. I think the meal from AGP to BRU is more extensive but also a cold meal in Flex Y. They are not boxed meal because I recalled that they are all in trays, even on the shorter BRU to GVA flight. Newspapers are offered for both J and Flexible economy. Someone from regular Y asked for the paper, and the purser said that they were for business and full fare economy passengers only.

In terms of pre-takeoff beverage, SN is the only one that I have flown so far that offer you a real beverage of your choice served in a glass. But I presume they always have only a handful. Swiss also offers a bottled water - still or sparkling before takeoff. Lufthansa - I flew a couple intra-European flights up front and no pre-takeoff beverage so far... at least according to my notes... there might be some enhancements now. I don't think BA does that too, but it might have changed lately... but I honestly did not fly too many intra-European flights up front - I usually only flew J when it is part of a longer haul flight connection, and/or award flight.

Anyway I like SN... the F/As look pretty friendly to all passengers on the flights. The folks in Y look happy and on the AGP to BRU flight, the F/As did two rounds of BOB runs.

Thanks again,
Carfield

[Edited 2011-08-28 12:10:32]

User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 15
Reply 17, posted (2 years 12 months 20 hours ago) and read 9294 times:

Hi

Nice trip report, thanks for sharing and thanks for covering our hometown airline. An airline only logged twice by me, and funny enough. Exactly on the same route (BRU-AGP-BRU). I've been on OO-VEH as well between BRU and FAO when she was still in red colors back in 2006. Glad you enjoyed your flights, I had a rather average expercience with SN in 2007.


Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1926 posts, RR: 24
Reply 18, posted (2 years 12 months 19 hours ago) and read 9251 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Another great report, Carfield!

SN looks very nice, and I like their concept; 3 different classes, and you pay for what you get! Business looks very good, and a high level of service for some intra-European flights!

Matthew (767747)


User currently offlinezhiao From United States of America, joined Jan 2011, 394 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (2 years 11 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 7832 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Thanks!

I looked at the route system of this airline, and was surprised to see how many exotic African destinations are served.

Is there really so much demand between BRU and places like Ruwanda and Cen African Republic? These are some of the poorest places on Earth, so there must be something to it, like the metals trade. Anyway, would love to see a flight trip report to one of those destinations someday!


User currently offlineTomskii From Belgium, joined May 2011, 467 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 7242 times:

Quoting zhiao (Reply 19):

Is there really so much demand between BRU and places like Ruwanda and Cen African Republic? These are some of the poorest places on Earth, so there must be something to it, like the metals trade. Anyway, would love to see a flight trip report to one of those destinations someday!

I worked at Brussels Airport this summer as a student, and you would be surprised how many rich africans actually fly (mostly businessmen with their family)

So to answer the question yes the demand is very high. Then just some info, I don't know if you we're familiar with Sabena's (old SN identifier) routes back in the days. They had far more african routes from BRU then Brussels Airlines has atm. But then again Brusels airlines isn't as old as Sabena was.  



Nikon D90 + Nikkor f4.5-5.6 18-105mm + Tamron f4-5.6 70-300mm
User currently offlinestipica From Croatia, joined Feb 2011, 426 posts, RR: 8
Reply 21, posted (2 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 6475 times:

Hi Carfield and thank you very much for this ... nice and very educational ... I hope that LH will abolish BOB servis and then provide some delicious snacks for eco-travelers like OS and LH ...

Quoting Carfield (Reply 7):
or LH related airlines partners

OU will introduce the Lufthansa Recaro designed seats fot the new economy class cabin on selected Airbus A320s in time for the 2012 summer season ...

good luck ... stipica  



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