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SAS, Lounges, MD-87 & The Brussels Disaster (pics)  
User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1715 posts, RR: 18
Posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 13988 times:

Hello fellow reporters, and dear readers. Welcome to my sixth report of the year, and the first one for this spring. This time I will cover my short weekend getaway to Brussels via Copenhagen on SAS. As always the report will be accompanied by a lagom amount of reasonably high quality pictures, that I hope you will enjoy.



Background




On the morning of march the 2nd, I woke up to the pleasant news that the 900 missing miles for my Gold status in the world’s largest airline alliance, consisting of 26 member airlines from 27 countries, with 1290 destinations ranging from Longyearbyen in the north to Christchurch in the south, had been posted (just two months late). As you’d imagine, I instantly became eager to book some flights in order to take advantage of my long awaited perks. Being in the middle of a busy school season, I am restricted to only travel on weekends which to me is quite sad since there aren’t that many frequencies on weekends, at least not on SAS. Oh yes, speaking of the airline. Since plane tickets are generally very expensive when booked on short notice, I had to stick with the SAS last minute youth deals which are quite reasonable priced compared to what SAS normally charge for their tickets these days.

As it normally takes a week for the Gold status to be registered throughout the starnet computer system, I decided to make my trip on the weekend of March 10-11th. A number of destinations were considered, and my choices were later on narrowed down to DUS and MUC due to their suitable departure times, and good lounge offerings. Sadly though, a few days prior to departure it became clear that all Economy Class tickets for the return segments had been sold out, so I now had to look for another suitable destination. Luckily though Brussels turned out to have some seats available, the departure times fitted well with my schedule and the price was quite reasonable too. For an extra €50 in airport taxes I was able to select flights via Copenhagen, giving me a nice long two hour layover on both legs, double the mileage, and the chance to log the seemingly rare and highly lucrative McDonnell Douglas MD-87. Total cost for all four flights was roughly €165, not bad considering they were booked just one day in advance.

Next up came the hotel, since I wanted to be as cheap as possible, without thinking I booked myself into the cheapest hotel I could find, which turned out to be in the neighbourhoods of Brussels North Station. This came to be a near fatal mistake, but more on that later on. With all the bookings made, I sent out a post on FB asking if anyone would like to keep me company in Brussels. Luckily, fellow a.netter Marc (MSS658) agreed to meet up for a quick lunch on Sunday, so we exchanged our phone numbers and selected the spot where to meet. Having all that done, I quickly packed my Lowepro camera backpack, and went to sleep.




March 10th 2012




Following a poor night’s sleep, I woke up at 7.30am by the sound of the Lufthansa anywake alarm clock. The destination guess was sadly wrong this time as well, so no discount voucher for me. I slowly dragged myself up from bed, and ran down the stairs to the bathroom to conduct my usual morning formalities. Since mom was still asleep, there would be no breakfast for me this morning. Not that it matters much since I was still planning to eat that in the lounge. Showered, dressed, and groomed I picked up my backpack and headed out the door for the 7 minute walk to the train station, at roughly 8am. The train arrived on time at 8.14am, and after a smooth 1hr 39m ride, I finally arrived to the SkyCity railway station.

With some two hours left before the flight would leave, I decided not to waste much time around at the terminal. A quick stop by the Pharmacy at SkyCity to pick up a tube of toothpaste, before heading over to the Business Class/Star Alliance Gold check-in counters, at the SAS concourse.


Check-In



With this being a saturday, the lines for the self-service counters were absolutely huge, whereas the *G counters only had a handful of passengers standing by them. As I approached the empty counter, I was once again met with some cold looks from the young male SAS agent Carl who was manning it this morning.


C: [Stone cold look, reluctant to greet]

Me: -”Hi, I’m flying on SK1421 and I would like to collect my boarding pass, please” [hands over passport]

C: [Typing on computer] -”Do you have any kind of loyalty card?”

Me: -”Look closer on the screen, and you’ll see it”

C: -”Oh yes, there it is! Is there anything else I may assist you with, or are you happy with your seat assignments?” [friendly smile]

Me: -”Those pre-selected seats will do very fine, thanks” [smiling back]

C: -”Okay then, here is your boarding card with both sectors on it, and your passport. Both lounges are open for you today, and security is to your right”

Me: -”Thank you very much. Have a nice day!”


The reception was quite expected, i.e the curse of the young playing its part as the staff always shows some sort of reluctant body language the moment I approach the counters, this only to be recovered by a smile and a friendly tone when they realise that I’m indeed at the right counter. It’s quite fun to watch the embarrassment on their faces, but really you can’t blame them for doing their job the correct way.

Soon I made beeline for the security which was a swift affair. Despite not being able to access the fast track lane since it’s only reserved for Eurobonus Gold members traveling on SAS operated flights, I was able to get through within less than four minutes.


Airside at Arlanda




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View of the airside area at Arlanda T5. Must say I prefer this part of the airport over the older one.



At 10.05am I was through security and well on my way to the lounge to see if there was still some breakfast left on offer. I was feeling quite starved.


Lounge at Arlanda




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View of the lounge entrance. I still think they should change the sign to SAS Lounges since it’s not just the Business Lounge.



As I entered through the glass doors, I was once again met with some rude eyes from the elderly female lounge dragon. Basically she was preparing to send me off, but after the green ”beep” her face turned slightly surprised as she welcomed me inside the Scandinavian Lounge.



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Interior of the SAS Scandinavian Lounge Arlanda.



I was inside the lounge at 10.09am, and the place was fairly empty. Only a handful of people scattered around the comfy sofas, as expected on a saturday morning. When I reached the food section I was slightly disappointed that they had cleared away the breakfast, and replaced it with that gooey industrial curry chicken pasta thing which they seem to have been serving for the past three months. Yes it’s even worse than that smoked loin of pork (which was quite good actually). I really don’t see why an airline can chose to serve such bad food in the lounge at their 2nd largest hub. The food might perhaps be some of the worst in the whole SAS Lounge network.

Nevertheless to say, they still had some bread and cream cheese on offer so I made myself a few sandwiches of those before settling down at the marble table. After having stuffed myself with rye bread and Philadelphia, I grabbed some coffee and a fairly fresh croissant before moving over to the more comfy sofas.



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A coffee and Croissant to end this breakfast. Not often that I eat Croissants home in Sweden.



Having finished breakfast, I grabbed a bottle of mineral water and moved my stuff to the ”smoker’s room” where I went to work. After one hour or so, a group of chinese gentlemen in their mid 20s filled up the circular armchair arrangement in the room, plugging in their computers while bringing in more food, wine and snacks that they could carry. Their loud conversations were followed by some equally loud noises of chewing and burping (those manners sadly don’t work in Scandinavia). I was left quite disturbed by this, and decided to pack up my schoolbooks, call it a day and move somewhere else.

The last 30 minutes before the flight would board were spent at the marble table, flicking through a Newsweek while sampling some of that pasta thingy and sipping on a Ginger Ale (cheers Planehunter). The pasta may have tasted slightly better than it looked, but it was still quite bland and of poor quality. Some Worcestershire sauce helped adding some flavours. At 12.00am, I picked up my backpack and left the lounge. The dragon was very friendly as she wished me a pleasant day, as I made my way down the glass elevator and down to Gate 1.


SK1421 Stockholm ARN – Copenhagen CPH



Flight: SK1421 ARN-CPH

Departure: 12.20

Arrival: 13.30

Duration: 1h 10m

Date: March 10th 2012

Seat & Class: 21A Economy Class

Aircraft & Reg: Boeing 737-683 LN-RRD



.
View of the the gate area.



By judging the number of people standing in the gate area, it became very apparent that this flight would be a full flight. Very soon, the gate agent came over the speaker informing the passengers that this flight was indeed overbooked, and that they looked for one person who could volunteer to be put on the next flight with open seats that would depart three hours later, a compensation of €300 in travel vouchers would also be given.

If I hadn’t been flying onwards to BRU, I would’ve gone for this offer right away. Quite ironically a man carrying an even larger Nikon than mine offered to have himself bumped off the flight. The man seemed very happy with this compensation, and soon the boarding was called. As usual on SAS, no priority boarding was given for Star Alliance Gold members, so all passenger were allowed to clog the jetway at their own leisure.



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Entering the aircraft. Seems like SAS have been ditching those lovely poems in favour for some hideous LCC’ish website adverts.



Being seated at the back, I made sure to be one of the first people to board the plane. At the door I was given a ”Hello” by the crew, who today consisted of three female attendants in their mid 30s. Not as genuinely friendly as you’d expect from the Senior ARN based crews, but not as stone cold rude as on my flight to Berlin last month. Soon I made my way down to seat 21A where my two row mates were just about to settle down, before I came along insisting to squeeze in first. Shoes remained on since I’m wearing chucks now, backpack and jacket in the overhead before making myself comfortable.



.
Legroom was an acceptable 31”. Any flight longer than two hours, and I will be complaining.



The flight was indeed jam-packed, and it took quite some time before all passengers had settled in. Overhead compartments were overfull as well, so some passengers had to keep their stuff by the feet. Thank God it was just a one hour flight.



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View from our parking position. Look there’s the notorious Air Baltic Fokker, dedicated to our friend PetteriFinn.



Soon ”boarding completed” sounded through the PA, and the plane was pushed back. The norwegian captain came over the horn to make his usual welcome speech, as the CFM-56 engines came to life. A manual safety demonstration and taxi followed, before lining up to runway 01L/19R. A lengthy and very heavy takeoff was then performed, and the plane quickly made a bank to the right before continuing the slow climb.



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The takeoff was very heavy indeed. In normal cases we would’ve been shooting up in the air now.




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Thankfully towards the end of the runway, it was ”Wheels Up!” for us.




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Climbing out over the frozen lands of Sweden.



Minutes after the wheels being locked and loaded, the seatbelt sign was switched off and the crew sprung up the aisle to conduct the service. The single cart moved from the front to the back, meaning that it would take at least 20 minutes before reaching my row. So in the meantime I got up from my seat for a visit to the loo.



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View of the cabin on this stubby 737.



In the rear galley, I noticed the passenger manifest hanging and I simply couldn’t resist having a peek. As it turned out, the flight was indeed packed to the brim in both classes, and out of the 124 passengers onboard, were 18 ”frequent flyers”. Out of those 8 were EBG, 8 EBS, 1 LH FTV, and then me. The only non SAS Star Gold on the flight. Upon reaching my seat the plane had already reached its cruising altitude.



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Cruising at altitude. Sorry about the dirty window and massive glare.



Moments after settling back into my seat, the trolley had finally reached my row. I was quite surprised by the number of passengers turning down the free coffee/tea. I on the other hand gladly accepted a cup of tea, which was handed over with a friendly tone but no smile from the crew. Not that it matters much since the reception was in my zone of tolerance, thankfully.



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The freebie tea, courtesy of SAS. Quite sufficient for a flight of this duration.



Before I even had time to finish my cup of watery bland tea, the nose of the aircraft tipped down, indicating that our descent to Kastrup would commence soon. The crew were quickly back up the aisle to collect the trash, so the remaining contents of the cup had to be chugged before having it promptly disposed by the crew. A series of turns soon followed, as we lined up for the runway.



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Circulating around the Öresund area, before coming in for a landing at Kastrup.



A smooth landing soon followed, with some spectacular views of the Öresund Bridge. Breaking not so hard, and after some three minutes of taxiing we finally reached our gate at the B concourse of Terminal 3.



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Touchdown. Sorry about the quality.




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View from our parking position at arrival.



My layover time in Kastrup was just shy of 105 minutes, and for obvious reasons I wanted to make the most out of my time in the lounge. As I’m not too familiar with Kastrup yet, it took me some 10 minutes from leaving the gate, until I arrived at the lounge.



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Transferring in Kastrup. The place is indeed civilised, although not near ZRH.



After some scouting around the terminal with my backpack, I finally reached the entrance to the lounge. I find it rather interesting how SAS have chosen not to have a discrete entrance to their lounges, like many other airlines seem to have chosen. But I suppose making a showcase of it seems to have the same effect, i.e to scare off ”unauthorised” passengers.


Lounge at Kastrup




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The entrance to the SAS flagship lounge facilities.



At the reception, I was met by the same old woman who a few weeks earlier told me to ”f*ck off”. This time however, my boarding pass was promptly handed over to her, after which the lucky green ”beep” sounded, and I was welcomed in with a smile. I was feeling very excited as I walked up the stairs to the inner-sanctum of air travel, the best SAS has to offer in lounge terms. Only good things have been heard about this place, and I could only agree. This lounge was amazing!



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The main seating area of the lounge, seen right as you’ve walked up the stairs.



The place felt very nice, bright, warm, an airy. Lounge was around 50% full by the time I arrived, and it seemed that a lot of the passengers were heading off to Tokyo (never really seen SAS as a long haul carrier, so this was a bit new to me). Despite looking very out of place, most passengers didn’t seem to make much notice which is a good thing. They must probably’ve thought I was somebody’s guest.

Feeling very hungry, I made my way over to the food section to see what lunch they had on offer for the day.



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Overview of the food and drinks section. Those marble tables are really good for eating at, and it doesn’t make it ”un-private” at all to sit there eating with others.




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Food offerings were by far superior to what they offer at Arlanda. Being a big fan of cold food, I didn’t mind the lack of hot choices at all.



On offer today were two cold food options. The first one was a moroccan couscous salad, with grilled curry chicken, roman lettuce, and Cesar dressing. The other option was more Scandinavian influenced, basically a selection of items to make yourself your own ”räkmacka” or shrimp sandwich. These consisted of hand-peeled shrimp, hardboiled eggs, light mayonnaise , cherry tomatoes, and rye bread. In addition to all this was a wide selection of freshly baked breads, and not old and chewy like they serve at Arlanda.



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I settled for a generous portion of the chicken, along with some diet coke.



The chicken and couscous combination was mouthwateringly good, and along with the dressing it all blended in very well. Next up, I decided to try some of the ”räkmacka” minus the bread, which also tasted very good. Don’t recall stuffing myself with that many shrimps before. As you’d imagine, I was feeling very stuffed from all the food, and those wooden chairs would no longer support me as I needed a place to lay down. So I grabbed myself some coffee, Bailey’s and dessert before crashing on one of the comfy sofas in the TV-room.



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The coffee station. The machine actually made a perfect cup of fresh-brewed, something I seldom expect from these WMF machines these days.




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The drinks section. Choices were the same as in Arlanda, and luckily the Bailey’s was not locked up behind the cabinet.




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Settling down with some almond cake, freshly ground coffee, and Bailey’s on the rocks.



I was too lazy and tired to even bother looking for this week’s issue of Newsweek, and besides they wouldn’t have let me keep it anyway. So instead I watched a nostalgic episode of Ugly Betty playing on the TV. Such a shame that they had to cancel that show after just 4 years…

A quick glance at the clock revealed that my flight was now boarding, so reluctantly I gathered by belongings and bit the dragons goodbye as I quickly made my way over to Gate D4


SK1593 Copenhagen CPH – Brussels BRU



Flight: SK1593 CPH-BRU

Departure: 15.40

Arrival: 17.10

Duration: 1h 30m

Date: March 10th 2012

Seat & Class: 8A Economy Class

Aircraft & Reg: McDonnell Douglas MD-87 OY-KHU


Arriving to the gate, I was met with the unpleasant surprise that our flight had been delayed by 20 minutes. Quite a bummer since those extra minutes could’ve been spent in the lounge. So instead, made the short walk over to the lounge, where the staff quickly recognised me and let me enter without showing the documents. I decided to go to the Business Lounge which was downstairs, for a quick look around the place. A glass of Diet Coke was chugged before returning to the gate some 5 minutes later.



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View of the gate area.



Soon though, the flight crew showed up at the gate, and we were directed to have our boarding passes scanned before following them into the holding pen. When all passengers and crews had been gathered in the pen, we were allowed to walk through the zig-zag walkways leading down to a stairway by the apron. Yes we would indeed board our MD via the airstairs it seems, and I was happy as a clam.



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The end of the walkway had some crystal clear windows, offering a good view of the lovely plane. Perfect for pictures!




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Entering the MD-87 via its front airstairs. Back would’ve been nicer, but oh well I’m just glad to be logging this rare type.




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No poem on this plane either. What’s happening with SAS!?!



At the door, a senior danish purser was standing and NOT greeting the passengers. Instead she just stood there, looking stone cold. I knew by that moment that she would make this a rather unpleasant flight. It’s the people like her who give this company some really bad publicity, completely throwing the values of Scandinavian hospitality out the window. I was not feeling any welcome at all, and was just hoping and praying that the younger Swedish flight attendant would be serving my section. She seemed much friendlier by the way.

I soon made my way down to seat 8A, where a swedish middle-aged woman was already seated at the aisle seat. She seemed to be in a bad mood, and was not happy with having me over at the window. I stowed my backpack and jacket in the overhead, before she reluctantly got up to allow me in.



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The legroom as always was a generous 33” at the front rows on the MD.




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View from our parking position.



Shortly after having settled in, the door was closed and the aircraft pushed back. Immediately, the senior captain came over the horn jokingly apologising for the delay which was caused by the co-pilot oversleeping. Naturally that wasn’t true as his colleague later came to add. At least the flight deck crew seemed to be in a good mood. A manual safety demonstration was soon conducted, with that awful woman appearing in front of our rows. I tried my best to look away, since literally she was scaring the crap out of me. She looked strikingly similar to that evil old lady in ”Emil i Lönneberga” that I used to watch as a kid (okay now I’m being a bit too hard, don’t attack me).

Soon we reached the runway, and the powerful little MadDog made a rocketing takeoff.



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Takeoff, with the Öresund Bridge visible in a distance.



The takeoff on the MD-87 was interestingly a lot more powerful than on any of the other MD models I’ve flown. Maybe it’s because of the higher thrust-to-weight ratio. Nevertheless, we soon reached our cruising altitude and the crew rolled out the trolleys and started the show.



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Cruising at 39.000 feet.



Economy Extra on this flight consisted of 7 rows, all in front of the curtain. The viciously rude senior purser did not bother with shutting the curtain, and instead she went in the galley and came out with as many of those paper lunch boxes as she could carry. Yes each box was brusquely handed over to the passengers, and the way she did it did not look good at all. Next up she came around with the drinks trolley and offered the passengers a drink of their choice. As she served the drinks she cracked a few faux smiles, which really sent me shivers down my spine. Never have a flight attendant made me feel so creeped out before.

In the rows behind me, the friendly Swedish purser was conducting the BOB service, and my request for a coffee granted and it was handed to me with a genuine smile.



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Complimentary coffee, courtesy of SAS. And yes the milk is Swedish.



After having finished my coffee, I decided to have a walk down the cabin and a visit to inspect the loo. The woman in the aisle seat was not happy with me getting up, as she made a very annoyed shrug when I kindly asked her if I could move out. Again, I was in a good mood so I didn’t mind much about this behaviour.



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View of the cabin on this MD-87. Looks pretty much like any other MD.



As I returned to my seat, I noticed that the vicious purser was offering re-fills to the other passengers. Sadly though by the time I sat down in my seat, she had already passed my row. So I hit the call button for her attention. A few minutes later, she came by my seat.


V: -”What do you want”?

Me: -”Can I have some more coffee please”? [hands over empty cup]

V: -”No, I can’t give you that. We’re about to land now” [rips away the cup from my hand]

Me: -”Arrgh, okay. But there’s still some 40 minutes before arrival?!”

V: [angry look] [walks away]


Okay, now this woman was really as viciously rude as she looked. Nevertheless, I didn’t care much for that coffee anyway. However her behaviour was simply unacceptable, especially from an airline like SAS who profiles themselves as a ”friendly airline”. To be honest people like her shouldn’t even be allowed to have jobs that require interaction with customers, maybe she should’ve been better off as a luggage handler or ramper.

The reminder of the flight was spent looking out the window, before the captain announced our descent into Brussels National Airport. The descent was very steep, as we literally plummeted down into the clouds. Soon the ground became visible, and the aircraft made a smooth touchdown.



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Coming in for our final approach.




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Touchdown!



Following landing was a quick taxi to our gate at the A terminal of Brussels airport. The door was soon opened, and all passengers were allowed to leave the plane. I decided to remain seated until all passengers had left the aircraft, to give me some time to re-arrange the items in my backpack due to the amount of pickpockets and criminals in Brussels. Yes a small padlock was also hung on the zippers to the camera compartment, just for that extra safety. I left the plane fairly protected from the pickpockets, and headed up the jetway for the long walk from the A-gates to the terminal.



The Brussels Disaster




Prior to my trip, I had done some research about the city, in addition to the warnings I received from my friend Eric who specifically told me that the area where I had chosen my hotel was not a good area. Well the research brought some chocking results. Turns out that the neighbourhoods surrounding Brussels North Station are the worst in the city. They can best be described as ghettos, the result of a segregated and socioculturally crippled society. After having read horror stories of people being robbed with pistols and machetes on the very same streets in northern Brussels, I instantly began regretting my choice of weekend destination.

To make matters worse, a lot of those crimes are commited by moroccan immigrants, which of course made me feel even more unwelcome to the country. I expected to be treated very badly by the ethnic population, which sadly turned out to be true as I made my way over to the tourist information counter to ask for info regarding the trains. The agent behind the counter gave me some very uninviting looks, as I approached him.


Me: -"Hello, can you tell me which trains leave for Brussels North Station"

Agent: -"Brussels have three railway stations"

Me: -"Okay, but which train should I take?"

Agent: -"I've answered your question already, now please walk away!"


As expected, a very poor first impression on the Belgians. Luckily the signs led me to the ticket counters where I was able to purchase a weekend return ticket to the station, and get directions to the train.

As I walked down to the empty platform, the place was rather empty since the train wasn't due to arrive for some 15 minutes or so. Gradually, the place began filling up with people, and some strange and feared looks were cast at me. One Belgian gentleman in his late 20s looked particularly scared at me, and he even made a harder grip around his messenger bag the moment he saw me, as if I was going to rob him or so. For those of you who know me, I am by no means an aggressive nor dangerous looking person, so this naturally had me concerned that they must really have some serious sh*t going on with those immigrants.

Soon the train pulled in to the platform, and as I entered I happened to take a seat just a few rows in front of the scared Belgian guy. Almost instantly after settling down, a middle aged woman sits down in the opposite facing seats.


W: -"Hope you don't mind me sitting here?" [smile]

Me: -"No not at all, some company is always nice"

W: -"Thanks. You were on the flight from Copenhagen, right? I saw you taking pictures of the plane"

Me: -"Oh yes, that is very correct" [smile]


Turns out the woman was originally from Belgium, and had just returned back home after six months of working as a french teacher in Jönköping, Sweden. After having introduced myself, I told her about my aviation hobby, and she became very surprised when I told her about the MD-87 being such a rare type. We had a good conversation throughout the ride, and I was given some valuable sightseeing advise.

The Belgian guy at the row behind must've overheard our conversation, as he had a more of an embarrassed look on his face now, after having made that misconception about me. But I don't blame him. As me and the woman made our way out the train, we bid each other goodbye at the platform, and I began making my way towards the exit.

My first impressions of the area were as bad as I had expected. Dodgy gangs of crooks were scattered out on every street corner, and making eye contact with any of them even just for a split second could have you robbed or beaten up. According to the map, my hotel was supposed to be located just a few hundred meters south of the financial district. Sadly though, as I penetrated deeper into the ghetto slums of northern Brussels, the hotel was nowhere to be found, and as the sun slowly slowly made its way down the horizon, more dodgy crooks were gathering up on the streets.

I was feeling very unsafe at that time, especially when carrying a backpack with passport, travel documents, iPhone and €2000 worth of camera equipment. I could be robbed at any second, and I had a feeling that no passer-by would even care or take notice if that were to happen. I was was walking the streets of a no-mans land, a lawless society, a highly segregated sociocultural train crash, one more hour at this dump would mean the end, and I had to get the hell away from there fast!

So I entered a dodgy convenient store where the owner gave me instructions on how to get back to the train station. A phone call in despair was made to Marc to whom I explained my situation, and very kindly let me spend the night at his place. Something which I today am still very thankful for. A text message containing info about the trains was sent to me, as I hurried my way back to the station. Ticket purchase was made instantly upon reaching the station, and minutes later I was on the train to a sleepy town in the western outskirts of Brussels. Those €43 lost on the hotel was a small price to pay considering my personal safety was at stake here.

After a one hour long train ride, I finally arrived to the town where Marc lives. We quickly met up at the train station, and made beeline to his famous Toyota Prius which was neatly parked nearby. So it seems, the hero in every drama always drives a Prius! Soon we rolled away to the main square where we would be having dinner at a very authentic Belgian fastfood joint.

The food in question was the infamous belgian fries. For a very reasonable €4 we were served a massive bowl of fries with an equally large chunk of mayonnaise on the top, along with two oversized franks. The portion was indeed massive, but turned out to be far from the largest one as explained by Marc. Nevertheless to say, finishing it came to be quite a challenge of me, as I have never eaten so much fat in a single meal before.
Yes in PetteriFinn's terms this was truly a cardiologist's nightmare. I could only finish two thirds of the food, as the high cholesterol levels would've otherwise made my blood coagulate, and well you know the rest.

Nevertheless to say, Marc and I had a very good and lengthy chat spanning for well over 90 minutes. Soon we decided to call it a day, and headed back to the Prius for a short drive out to Marc's house. Despite both of us feeling very tired after our adventures that day, we stayed up for one more hour or so, looking at photo albums before finally crashing in our respective rooms.



March 11th 2012




The sound from my alarm clock woke me up at 8am in the morning after a very good night's sleep. The glorious morning sunlight filled the room as I slowly came to life, dragging my way from bed and into the shower. With all my morning formalities conducted, I gathered up my stuff and soon met Marc in the hallway. He offered me to come along to the bakery to pick up some essential breakfast items, which I gladly obliged to. On our way into town, we took a little detour for some sightseeing around the countryside. After having picked up the stuff from the bakery, we returned to the house to drop some of them off before setting off to the train station. At 10am, the Prius was parked at the station, and we sat down by the  platform for some breakfast in the morning sun.

At 10.30am the train pulled up at the station, and we hopped on for the 1hr ride into Brussels. The ride was rather smooth, except for the rude conductor who on purpose stepped on my brand new shoe, leaving a nasty brown mark as I was reaching for my ticket from my pocket. Apparently this jerk must've assumed me for some crooked free-rider. Nevertheless to say, after a quick transfer at Brussels North we arrived at the Midi station around 11.45am.

We had roughly 90 minutes to spend in the city which was more than enough to visit the main attractions. We had a quick stroll down the Butcher's Street, The Grand Place, and the urinating infant before settling down at a café for an overpriced Belgian Waffle. Though at least it tasted good.



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Some streets in Brussels. Really love the old buildings.




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The Grand Place. It was actually a lot bigger than I had anticipated.




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And here it is, the pride and joy of the nation: a statue of a small boy taking a piss!




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The waffles are indeed a must when visiting Belgium, with some Belgian chocolate of course!



As a lot of people have stated before me, Brussels was far from the most exciting city in Europe. However the place was really nice during daytime, and I felt much safer walking around with my camera around the neck. Perhaps not the place to visit again when traveling to Belgium, as Marc suggested some nicer places to visit.

Soon though the clock turned 1pm, and it was time for Marc and I to head back to the Midi station to catch our trains back to our respective destinations. Marc rode along with me on the train heading for the airport, as he had to make a connection at Brussels North. We said goodbye to eachother on the train, before Marc hopped off and I continued for the 10 minute ride to the airport.


Check-In



At roughly 1.30pm I arrived to the terminal at Brussels National Airport. I quickly made my way up the elevator, before locating the check-in area for my SAS flight. With some 4 hours before departure, the manned counters were sadly closed. I quite like the human interaction with the agents at the *G counters, but sadly this time I was constrained to the self-service machine located nearby.



.
View of the check-in area



After swiping my VISA card through the machine, my booking showed up on the screen with my pre-selected seats clearly stated from yesterday's OLCI. The BP was quickly printed, with my Star Gold status clearly stated. Accessing the lounges would luckily be no problem now.

With my flimsy grocery shop BP in hand, I scouted off the looong way to the A-gates. As expalined by Marc the previous night this airport has really gained a notosious reputation over the years. Maybe they should introduce a metro train á la ZRH.



.
Reaching the gates really takes a long time as you've to go through several corridors, escalators and walkways before reaching security. Can't imagine what hell it must be if you show up late!



Soon though after some 15 minutes of walking, I finally reached the security area. The issuing carrier of my *G status happened to have a very big presence at Brussels Airport, and were giving their Gold card holders access to the fasttrack security lane. Sadly though my access was denied as I was flying on SAS. Luckily this wasn't a major issue for me, as I was able to go through the regular lane in less than five minutes.


Airside in Brussels



Brussels Airport does for some reason provide an interesting reputation of the city. While the terminal was fresh, new and clean, the place just felt so utterly sterile and dull. Of course not to speak the excessive amounts of stores found right after security.



.
Seriously, this place feels more like a shopping mall than an airport!



Generally I'm not a big fan of airport terminals, as I often times find myself either bored, stressed from all the people, or angry over the overpriced food and coffee. So I quickly made my way over to the lounge floor.


Lounge in Brussels



An escalator took me up to the lounge floor, where a friendly receptionist inspected people's boarding passes before directing them to the correct lounge. A friendly female agent greeted me as I turned up at the counter.


Agent: -"Hello Sir, can I see your boarding pass please?"

Me: [hands over the BP]

Agent: [inspects BP closely] -"You are welcome to use the SAS Lounge, it's right down that hall to your right.

Me: -"Thank you, have a nice day!"



.
The entrance to the SAS Business Lounge BRU



At the reception I was met with a "Bonjour" from the dragon, to which I replied with a "Hejsan". No strange looks, the BP was promptly scanned and I was allowed inside. In general, Business Class lounges are crap, and I wasn’t expecting much from this place. However my expectations came to be exceeded as I entered the lounge. The place was very bright, clean and fresh. Furniture and decorations on the walls looked far nicer than in the Business Lounge at ARN (to be honest, they should really do something about that place, it’s a dump). It felt kind of strange to be in a SAS Lounge outside Scandinavia, and I strangely had a feeling of home much similar to when I visited IKEA in Shanghai a few months ago.



.
The main table area. No fancy marble tables here though.




.
One of the two seating areas, both offering some good views over the runway.




.
The drinks and snack area. Very basic selection, and no strong booze offered, just like any other SAS Business Lounge.




.
The food section was however, very, very poor. I think that’s the leftover breakfast!




.
I settled for a Brown Leffe, along with some cold cuts and nibbles.



The Leffe was indeed a very nice, and genuinely belgian touch. Both kinds were on offer i.e the Blonde and the Brune, and I settled for the latter as I prefer the sweet taste more. Generally I’m not a big beer fan, but after having had some Leffe in Copenhagen a few weeks earlier I’ve grown quite fond of the stuff. Too bad they didn’t have any fruit on offer. After chugging that big glass of Leffe, I began feeling a bit drowsy. So I grabbed myself a Swedish magazine, and laid down on the couch for one hour or so.

After a while, I got bored of the place and decided to check out the other lounges. After stopping by the main reception again, I was given instructions on how to reach the Brussels Airlines Sunrise Lounge. Sadly though as I arrived the place turned out to be closed, so after a long walk back I had to settle for the smaller SN Business Lounge.



.
The entrance to the Brussels Airlines Business Lounge. Interesting that OW and Skyteam also use this lounge. Although there’s an IB Lounge so slightly surprised why BA and AY send their C pax here.




.
View of the main seating area, which was pretty much all this lounge consisted of.



To be honest, the lounge was not as nice as one might expect from the home base of an airline. But then again it’s a Business Class Lounge so they’re mostly crap anyway (except for the OW Lounges by judging all the reports). The furniture seemed to remind a lot of the lounges in the US, especially with the faux leather sofas and the whole-floor carpet. The seating was rather poor, but acceptable for a shorter visit like today. Feeling pretty hungry, I headed over to see what food and beverages were on offer.



.
The food and beverages section.



Again there was no proper food offered in this lounge either, only some dry sandwiches, a selection of miniature cheese, diced salami, breads and crackers. The drinks selection was a bit more generous as it included a wider selection of soft drinks included tonic water and bitter lemon, proper juice was offered as well. In addition to this was a basic selection of spirits, including Gordon’s Gin, sadly no Bailey’s. I grabbed myself a bottle of grapefruit juice, some food, and a copy of TIME Magazine before settling down at one of the tables.



.
Dry sandwiches, cheese, and salami made up my lunch for that day!



Feeling rather stuffed from all the cheese, I went back to the drinks section to make myself a nice G&T before spending the last 45 minutes prior to the flight surfing the internet on the PC stations available in the lounge. A quick look out the window revealed that the expected MD-82 had pulled up to the nearby gate, so no need for me to wait at the gate. At 5.00pm boarding started, so I bid the dragons goodbye as I made beeline for the gate.


SK1594 Brussels BRU – Copenhagen CPH



Flight: SK1594 BRU-CPH

Departure: 17.30

Arrival: 19.00

Duration: 1h 30m

Date: March 11th 2012

Seat & Class: 24A Economy Class

Aircraft & Reg: McDonnell Douglas MD-82 LN-RML



.
View of the gate area.



As I arrived to the gate area, the boarding process was already in full swing. No priority lane dedicated for Star Gold members as usually on SAS, but luckily the gate agents were doing their best to have all people on the plane as quick as possible, since the boarding process was very rushed. I’m guessing it has to do with the short turnaround time. Nevertheless, my boarding pass was promptly scanned by the french speaking agent and soon I was well on my way down the jetway.



.
Entering the aircraft. Nice to see the poem still there, but I suppose it’s just a matter of time before it’s gone.



At the door I was greeted by a senior female Danish purser. The welcome was neither rude or welcoming, indicating that the service on this will be rather mediocre. As I made my way further back the plane, the very same Swedish purser from yesterday’s flight was assisting passengers with stowing their luggage in the overhead compartments. Soon I reached my window seat on the A side of row 24. Aisle seat remained empty until the end of the boarding process when an older danish gentleman sat down in the aisle seat. By judging the steady stream of passengers flocking the cabin, it became clear that this would be a full flight. So it seems like SAS are making some good money after all.



.
The legroom was an acceptable 32”. Slightly tighter than on the outbound flight.




.
View from our parking position. The Lounge was clearly visible from the window!



Soon ”boarding complete” was announced over the speakers, and the plane soon pushed back. Pratt&Whitney engines roared to life as we began our taxi towards the runway. Luckily the back rows weren’t as noisy as I had anticipated in the beginning, it’s been a long while since I last sat in the back of the MD.



.
Pushing back along side a Lufthansa E-jet heading for either FRA or MUC.



During our taxi the crew conducted a manual safety demonstration before strapping themselves back into their jumpseats as we reached the runway. A noisy and powerful takeoff soon followed, as you’d always expect on these MadDog’s, and following that was a sharp right bank as the plane turned its nose towards north.



.

.
Takeoff! I bet the MD-82 rocketing away must’ve made a pretty sight from the lounge.




.
Slowly climbing towards our cruising altitude. Yes, there were clouds at 39.000 feet.



Minutes after takeoff, the seatbelt sign was turned off and the crew rolled out the trolleys, this despite the climb out still being in progress. Soon, the friendly Swedish purser reached my row, and my request for a coffee was granted, and promptly handed over to me with a smile. Yes, the Swedish crews are worlds ahead the Danish ones despite also being CPH based.



.
Coffee was the standard SAS affair. I don’t bother with the Cloudshop these days.




.
Finally reaching cruising altitude.



The flight was rather uneventful. I spent most of it looking out the window and listening to some music on my iPhone. The man in the aisle seat seemed very focused with his work papers, and after having accidentally taken a quick glance at them for a brief second revealed that the man was a lawyer. Well the man didn’t seem to have been happy about that since he looked at me very angrily when I kindly asked to get up from my seat for my usual walk down the aisle and inspection of the loo. I suppose the clicks from my camera may have bothered him too, not that there was much shutter action going on anyways.



.
Cabin view of this old MD-82. Those seats behind the galley looked really nice, such a shame they were blocked at OLCI.



After taking the picture of the cabin, the woman seated at the adjacent aisle seat seemed very upset about me taking the pictures, and I could see her angrily looking up at me trying to make some eye contact. Presumably this woman must either have been one of those über nervous flyers or maybe she was just looking to pick a fight, nevertheless as she began calling for the crew, I simply ran back to my seat. To my defence I was taking a picture of the cabin and not her…

As I returned to my seat, we had already began our descent to Copenhagen. A few minutes later the captain came over the PA announcing that landing would take place in 15 minutes. Soon we plunged into the clouds, and down below the green swamps surrounding Kastrup became visible. A smooth landing soon followed, before the aircraft made a quick taxi to our gate at the A concourse of Kastrup. De-boarding was a mess as always, and in order to maximise my time in the lounge I huffed my way out of the aircraft and was up the jetway at 7pm sharp. The terminal was just as packed as during the previous day, and after a 6 minute walk I finally arrived to the SAS Lounge complex.


Lounge at Kastrup – Take two!



At the door, I was greeted by the friendly dragon. Your typical SAS grandmother, and after having had my BP scanned I was allowed to walk up those magic stairs leading up to the Scandinavian Lounge. The place was fairly packed on this sunday evening, mostly Swedish suit travellers heading back home to either ARN or some other European destination. With respect to the other guests, I decided to play it cool and not take any pictures inside the lounge. Feeling rather starved from the abysmal food they offered in Brussels, I instantly headed over to the food section. Choices were the same as the previous day, so I settled with some more of that delicious chicken couscous dish. The dessert was skipped in favour for a large Bailey’s which was savoured in peace and quiet in the relaxing room.



.
The empty relaxing room in the Scandinavian Lounge. It was really nice and quiet compared to the rest of the lounge.




.
Chairs were very comfortable, too bad I couldn’t see the planes.



A quick glance at the clock revealed that my flight would be boarding in roughly 10 minutes. So I reluctantly got up from the comfy relaxing chair and headed down the stairs. On my way down I grabbed a few refreshing wipes to bring home, yes they’re very good for keeping my white computer spotless and clean, also good for wiping off the camera. It turned out that the plane would leave from gate D3 which right outside the lounge, so with a few extra minutes to kill I decided to have a look around the downstairs Business Lounge.



.
The food section looked very similar to the one in Arlanda. Food offerings were the same as upstairs.




.
There is also a relaxing room in this lounge, although not as nice as the one in the Scandinavian Lounge.




.
Seating areas consisted mostly of these blue armchairs which are comfortable for shorter visits, but not much for longer ones.



The Business Lounge was not much spectacular, although a bit nicer than the one at Arlanda I must s


SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
46 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1715 posts, RR: 18
Reply 1, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 14047 times:

The Business Lounge was not much spectacular, although a bit nicer than the one at Arlanda I must say that I preferred the one in Brussels more. I bid the dragons a good evening as I made my way over to the gate for the second and last flight for the day.


SK414 Copenhagen CPH – Stockholm ARN



Flight: SK414 CPH-ARN

Departure: 21.00

Arrival: 22.10

Duration: 1h 10m

Date: March 11th 2012

Seat & Class: 10A Economy Class

Aircraft & Reg: McDonnell Douglas MD-82 SE-DIL


This flight was very uneventful, and I decided not to take any pictures mainly due to the dark but also because it was pretty much identical to the previous flight, e.g same aircraft, same service, etc, etc. It was a smooth flight, that was spent sleeping and listening to music on the iPhone. Touchdown at ARN was smooth, and a few minutes after docking to the gate I was already on the bus back home to Västerås.



Conclusions




SAS as always made a grand show of mediocrity. None of the crews on the flights were particularly special. Flights were however fairly on time, good seat comfort and clean aircraft. The lack of free catering is nowadays one of my least concerns since I now have access to the lounges where I can pig out on whatever food is on offer. The free coffee and water is a very good compromise and fairly sufficient for 1hr flights. The SAS Lounges were fantastic as always, and I will hopefully spend many productive hours studying there in the near future.

Belgium was however a different story, while the county failed to give a good impression, I had a very good time with Marc who was very kind to offer his hospitality, and I have much to thank him for. Hopefully we will meet soon again! It is however rather unlikely that I will ever visit Belgium again during the near future, but we never know. All in all, despite the mishaps it has been a very good trip.


That’ll mark the end of this report!



Previous Reports




Feel free to have a look at my previous reports. The reports are categorised chronologically based on their year/date of publication.


2012

Ich Bin Ein Berliner & SAS: B736/MD-82, Y (pics) (by LH4116 Feb 24 2012 in Trip Reports)

Proper Short Haul – Lufthansa CPH-FRA-CPH Y (pics) (by LH4116 Feb 13 2012 in Trip Reports)

SAS At Their Very Finest! ZRH-ARN, Business (pics) (by lh4116 Feb 2 2012 in Trip Reports)

Swiss Flatbed Business Class: PVG-ZRH +More (pics) (by LH4116 Jan 23 2012 in Trip Reports)

Proper Long Haul – Swiss Made: ARN-PVG Y (pics) (by LH4116 Jan 10 2012 in Trip Reports)

2011

LH Italia, You Won’t Be Missed! ARN-MXP C (pics) (by LH4116 Oct 31 2011 in Trip Reports)

Parisian City Break à La Air France. ARN-CDG Y Rt (by LH4116 Aug 27 2011 in Trip Reports)

Long, Sleek And Still Blue. Finnair B757! (pics) (by LH4116 Aug 5 2011 in Trip Reports)

Off To Norway, On A Classic. ARN-BGO SAS Y (pics) (by LH4116 Jul 30 2011 in Trip Reports)

”Flying It Fake” On SAS, ARN-DLM Rt In ”C” (pics) (by LH4116 Jul 5 2011 in Trip Reports)

Norwegian ARN-GOT Inaugural Flights, Feb 17 (pics) (by LH4116 Feb 25 2011 in Trip Reports)

2010

TAP Portugal, And The Moroccan Travesty (pics) (by LH4116 Jul 15 2010 in Trip Reports)

Off To The Northern Skies, On SAS And X2000 (pics) (by LH4116 May 9 2010 in Trip Reports)

http://ww.airliners.net/aviation-forums/trip_reports/read.main/164070/

2009

KLM Y, ARN-AMS R/t + Wonderful Holland (pics) (by LH4116 Oct 30 2009 in Trip Reports)

Trip Report: Train to Gothenburg, 1st Class (pics) (by LH4116 Jul 10 2009 in Non Aviation)

I Give You, SAS At Its Very Best! (pics) (by LH4116 Apr 17 2009 in Trip Reports)


Comments are much appreciated!

Wheels Up!
//Jonas

[Edited 2012-03-15 18:46:56]


SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlineThai744 From Australia, joined Jun 2004, 303 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 13825 times:
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Nice report - particularly for someone like me, from Australia, who doesn't get a chance to travel on the European airlines very often - especially on short-haul flights!

It's funny - when I see pictures of the SAS lounges in Scandinavia, I always think to myself that they've been fitted-out with their furniture and fittings by IKEA. (Please don't take offence by the comment!) Just an observation.

I have a question - on your flight from ARN to CPH, you mentioned the captain was Norwegian. As this flight is from Sweden to Denmark, does this mean that he does his announcements in Norwegian, as that is where he is from, or are the crew all fluent in Danish, Swedish and Norwegian? Interesting to know how the in-flight announcements work on SAS!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The reception was quite expected, i.e the curse of the young playing its part as the staff always shows some sort of reluctant body language the moment I approach the counters, this only to be recovered by a smile and a friendly tone when they realise that I’m indeed at the right counter. It’s quite fun to watch the embarrassment on their faces, but really you can’t blame them for doing their job the correct way.

Sorry - but this is NOT doing their job the right way at all! Regardless of how old somebody is, they should show respect and courtesy and ASSUME NOTHING until they find out the full story! I used to hate this when I was young, and it would have annoyed me if I was you. Not good customer service whatsoever.

Thanks again for a great report.


User currently offlineQuokkas From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 13498 times:

Hi Jonas,

Once again an excellent trip report providing an entertaining read and some good photos.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I woke up to the pleasant news that the 900 missing miles

Good to hear that you finally get to enjoy some of the benefits that you missed out on your previous trip. The lounges look decent enough, even if the food offerings were disappointing.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
but really you can’t blame them for doing their job the correct way.

Since when is being cold and unfriendly part of customer service? A polite welcome will always give a favourable impression even if the individual can't provide direct assistance. Rudeness is never a good advertisement for a business.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
her face turned slightly surprised as she welcomed me inside the Scandinavian Lounge.

Again it would appear that staff are making judgements on perceptions rather than information. But it reassuring to see that her attitude improved as she became

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
very friendly as she wished me a pleasant day
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
and bit the dragons

You were still hungry?  
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
McDonnell Douglas

I understand that the MD80s are being phased out. When will this process be complete?

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 1):
It is however rather unlikely that I will ever visit Belgium again

That is a shame because there are some very interesting places to visit out of the capital.


User currently offlinejwhite9185 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 1405 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 13368 times:

Interesting read. Although I am a little nervous now as I'm staying at a hotel in the area of Brussels North station next week! Although it's nearer the main road near Rogier metro so hopefully shouldn't be too bad.


A300,A319,A320,A321,A333,A343,A346,A388,732,733,734,735,738,741,742,744,752,763,772,77W,788,Q400,DC10,E145,E170,E175,E19
User currently offlineairbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4277 posts, RR: 51
Reply 5, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 13263 times:

Jonas,

well, what can I say... it's an interesting story, good pics but nothing else expected. You know, we're totally not on the same line with our opinions, let's have a look;

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I had to stick with the SAS last minute youth deals which are quite reasonable priced compared to what SAS normally charge for their tickets these days.

Never have problems finding good deals on normal fares on SK so what is the problem? You're on the youthfares, you say it's reasonable priced? I think the prices are just 'the best possible'.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
This came to be a near fatal mistake,

Oh... well you are still alive? What happened to you!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
A quick stop by the Pharmacy at SkyCity to pick up a tube of toothpaste

Sounds like an expensive toothpaste when you have to buy it at the airport, not your style is it?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
C: [Typing on computer] -%u201DDo you have any kind of loyalty card?%u201D

Me: -%u201DLook closer on the screen, and you%u2019ll see it%u201D

Jonas, despite the less personal greeting, it's just a normal question. It happens to me also when I go to the KLM counters for Elites or LH's desks.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I still think they should change the sign to SAS Lounges since it%u2019s not just the Business Lounge.

Not everything is like LX/LH and their lounges

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
As I entered through the glass doors, I was once again met with some rude eyes from the elderly female lounge dragon. Basically she was preparing to send me off,

How do you know... it's not nice to have to have those expectations without anything bad happening.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I was slightly disappointed that they had cleared away the breakfast, and replaced it with that gooey industrial curry chicken pasta thing which they seem to have been serving for the past three months.

That's what you get in these lounges. It's just a small snack before the flight. You won't spend much time in the place anyway so no big deal is it?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I really don%u2019t see why an airline can chose to serve such bad food in the lounge at their 2nd largest hub. The food might perhaps be some of the worst in the whole SAS Lounge network.

Well, again, lounges are no restaurants and have OK food for a short visit before the flight. The food wasn't bad I guess, just not up to your expectations again.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
After one hour or so, a group of chinese gentlemen in their mid 20s filled up the circular armchair arrangement in the room, plugging in their computers while bringing in more food, wine and snacks that they could carry. Their loud conversations were followed by some equally loud noises of chewing and burping (those manners sadly don%u2019t work in Scandinavia). I was left quite disturbed by this, and decided to pack up my schoolbooks, call it a day and move somewhere else.

Why don't you ask them to be more quiet since you're working instead of being the one walking away. Then you'll loose anyway.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Legroom was an acceptable 31%u201D. Any flight longer than two hours, and I will be complaining.

31" is standard on Euro Y-class

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The freebie tea, courtesy of SAS. Quite sufficient for a flight of this duration.

Interesting to hear that you're finding this sufficient. Because other airline will serve more on flights of this duration. Which would be overdone in your opinion then?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Instead she just stood there, looking stone cold. I knew by that moment that she would make this a rather unpleasant flight

Maybe it was cold outside and she was the one to be there to give directions and for your safety upon boarding

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I soon made my way down to seat 8A, where a swedish middle-aged woman was already seated at the aisle seat. She seemed to be in a bad mood, and was not happy with having me over at the window.

So many people are in a bad mood haha

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The takeoff on the MD-87 was interestingly a lot more powerful than on any of the other MD models I’ve flown.

Never noticed this in particular

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Economy Extra on this flight consisted of 7 rows, all in front of the curtain. The viciously rude senior purser did not bother with shutting the curtain,

To be honest, I have never see a curtain between Y Extra and Y on SK. Just the small white indicator sign on the top of the seatback.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The woman in the aisle seat was not happy with me getting up, as she made a very annoyed shrug when I kindly asked her if I could move out. Again, I was in a good mood so I didn’t mind much about this behaviour.

Well, you did mind otherwise you won't have mentioned it is it?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Okay, now this woman was really as viciously rude as she looked. Nevertheless, I didn’t care much for that coffee anyway. However her behaviour was simply unacceptable, especially from an airline like SAS who profiles themselves as a ”friendly airline”. To be honest people like her shouldn’t even be allowed to have jobs that require interaction with customers, maybe she should’ve been better off as a luggage handler or ramper.

If you didn't care about having the coffee, why do you made attempts to get one more? You knew the crew passed by already. So why bothering them and call them back? It's up to the crew if they serve or not. If they are preparing the galleys for landing, then it's a no for you getting more coffee. You can't judge as being a passenger.
Aside from that, you say that rude looking people and people who are in your opinion not customer minded, better are ramp workers etc. Not really friendly from you to say that.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I decided to remain seated until all passengers had left the aircraft, to give me some time to re-arrange the items in my backpack due to the amount of pickpockets and criminals in Brussels. Yes a small padlock was also hung on the zippers to the camera compartment,

You were prepared for 'the big city life' ?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I had done some research about the city, in addition to the warnings I received from my friend Eric who specifically told me that the area where I had chosen my hotel was not a good area.

Well, I told you that the areas around Brussels trainstations (all in particular) are not the best. Noord-station is definitely the poorest neighbourhood afaik. But nothing to be afraid about, but just keep it in mind.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
They can best be described as ghettos, the result of a segregated and socioculturally crippled society. After having read horror stories of people being robbed with pistols and machetes on the very same streets in northern Brussels, I instantly began regretting my choice of weekend destination.

Ah, you did some reading... but didn't experience yourself yet.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
To make matters worse, a lot of those crimes are commited by moroccan immigrants, which of course made me feel even more unwelcome to the country.

Then, don't blame the Belgiums for that. Blame your Moroccan community Jonas.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
One Belgian gentleman in his late 20s looked particularly scared at me, and he even made a harder grip around his messenger bag the moment he saw me, as if I was going to rob him or so.

Hmm,... really? How did you look to him then? I never had problems with Moroccan guys, especially not when they're on themselves (not in a group of them).

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):

The Belgian guy at the row behind must've overheard our conversation, as he had a more of an embarrassed look on his face now, after having made that misconception about me. But I don't blame him.

Well, if it's really like this, you should blame him.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I was feeling very unsafe at that time, especially when carrying a backpack with passport, travel documents, iPhone and €2000 worth of camera equipment. I could be robbed at any second, and I had a feeling that no passer-by would even care or take notice if that were to happen. I was was walking the streets of a no-mans land, a lawless society, a highly segregated sociocultural train crash, one more hour at this dump would mean the end, and I had to get the hell away from there fast!

What a story! Nothing happened. You feel unsafe, but it's city life and you choose for being cheap. Take all the luxury things in life but when it comes down to the hotel, you can't miss a few more Euro's. Jonas, don't complain then. Why didn't you find the hotel btw, probably you walked in the wrong direction? Did you have a printed map with you or ask somebody?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The ride was rather smooth, except for the rude conductor who on purpose stepped on my brand new shoe, leaving a nasty brown mark as I was reaching for my ticket from my pocket. Apparently this jerk must've assumed me for some crooked free-rider.

Again,... you assume his behaviour has to do with you being a crook? If that is your basic assumption towards people, you will get to face a lot of problems in your life.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I'm not a big fan of airport terminals, as I often times find myself either bored, stressed from all the people, or angry over the overpriced food and coffee.

If you get angry on seeing overpriced food prices? Hmm... then things are serious with you.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
In general, Business Class lounges are crap,

What a statement again! Well, you do/did everything to get inside as often as possible...

Well, I think SAS did some very good flights, nice planes, and Brussels is a nice city. But as Marc also said, there are nicer cities around. I like Antwerp, Gent, Brugge more but then you need to purchase a 'overpriced' trainticket  

I really find that your are over reacting on your opinions on Brussels, the people there and the problems they give to you. Nothing happened my friend... and don't see the 'bad side' in all those peoples faces.

It would be interesting if you can come to Amsterdam, and not ask for my guidance at all. Good luck in the city... I think you will have a hard time because there are 'crooks' all over the place, especially more at night of course.
Or Marseille... another great city. Ten times worse (let not start about places in e.g. USA). But also there, not a problem at all.
It's citylife Jonas. If you want to enjoy your life more, grow up and experience it all. I know it's so different from your life in that small Swedish village you life in, but you've to deal with it.

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 4):
Although I am a little nervous now as I'm staying at a hotel in the area of Brussels North station next week! Although it's nearer the main road near Rogier metro so hopefully shouldn't be too bad.

No problem at all. You're in that area to sleep only anyway. Read between the lines here, it's a personal impression from his very short time in the area.

Eric

[Edited 2012-03-16 04:28:07]


"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineplanejamie From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2011, 576 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 13226 times:

Hi Jonas

I remember when I went to Brussels a few years ago that there were one or two "rough" areas however in contrast the good areas were very good   I think you would have been fine but you never know, I wouldn't go into the rough (ironically northern) bit of Blackpool in the evening...

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
and the urinating infant

I remember seeing the urinating infant when I went, apparently they dress him up for special occasions I think (such as sports teams visiting, gay pride, one or two others as well - from memory there was a plaque that told you the days they did it).

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
C: [Stone cold look, reluctant to greet]

Me: -”Hi, I’m flying on SK1421 and I would like to collect my boarding pass, please” [hands over passport]

C: [Typing on computer] -”Do you have any kind of loyalty card?”

Me: -”Look closer on the screen, and you’ll see it”

C: -”Oh yes, there it is! Is there anything else I may assist you with, or are you happy with your seat assignments?” [friendly smile]

Me: -”Those pre-selected seats will do very fine, thanks” [smiling back]

C: -”Okay then, here is your boarding card with both sectors on it, and your passport. Both lounges are open for you today, and security is to your right”

Me: -”Thank you very much. Have a nice day!”

It seems a reoccurring theme that the SAS agents at ARN are a little fierce/snobby until they see you're a *gold - I must say though the CPH lounge looks huge on these photos, maybe I'm used to the BD LHR lounge but on your photos the lounges seem endless!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 1):
The Business Lounge was not much spectacular, although a bit nicer than the one at Arlanda I must say that I preferred the one in Brussels more. I bid the dragons a good evening as I made my way over to the gate for the second and last flight for the day.

I've never experienced any CPH lounge but it seems they offer more than BD do at Manchester (just snacks & drinks) or in their LHR domestic lounge (again, snacks & drinks and pretty dull interiors)

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The ride was rather smooth, except for the rude conductor who on purpose stepped on my brand new shoe, leaving a nasty brown mark as I was reaching for my ticket from my pocket.

They're converse - they look best when a little "worn"   I have about 4 different pairs now, they're awesome - good sense of style there! (I don't have red ones yet though)

Another great trip report - especially catching the MD-87 and MD-82s (I've never got on an MD anything yet!), looking forward to the next one 


User currently offlinewin1290 From Thailand, joined Jan 2012, 280 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 13138 times:

Hi Jonas,

Thanks for the trip report! Amazing photos!!!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The reception was quite expected, i.e the curse of the young playing its part as the staff always shows some sort of reluctant body language the moment I approach the counters, this only to be recovered by a smile and a friendly tone when they realise that I’m indeed at the right counter. It’s quite fun to watch the embarrassment on their faces, but really you can’t blame them for doing their job the correct way.
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
As I entered through the glass doors, I was once again met with some rude eyes from the elderly female lounge dragon. Basically she was preparing to send me off, but after the green ”beep” her face turned slightly surprised as she welcomed me inside the Scandinavian Lounge.

I hope these are one-offs. In all my past travel experiences flying in Economy with *G, I have never been given such a first impression like what you felt, be it at the check-in desk or the lounge (or may be I look older than my age ) . That said, I have never traveled with SAS yet. On the lounge side, I think they look great, clean and with decent snack and refreshments selection.

As for your stay in Brussels, you were not unwise to be cautioned. On our trip to Brussels a few months ago, my father got his wallet nicked in a packed metro.

Thanks for sharing!

Regards

Win


User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27337 posts, RR: 60
Reply 8, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 13094 times:

Hey Jonas great report as usual and always makes me smile with some of your comments   The check in agent needs to learn ''never judge a book by its cover ''  

Erics reply is equally as amusing   Cant wait to read Mr P's lol...

Looking forward to the next one with more lovely photos .

Regards

Philip  


User currently offlineAirPacific747 From Denmark, joined May 2008, 2483 posts, RR: 24
Reply 9, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 13013 times:

Hi Jonas,

Thank you for sharing your experiences with us!

I had a similar feeling as you when I visited Paris last August with my girlfriend. We wanted to see Montmartre and decided to walk up there. Not so far away, we walked through some streets with many suspecious looking people everywhere. I felt very unsafe at that point, but nothing happened to us though. Most areas of Paris are very nice still.

Would also like to see Brussels some day.

Quoting Thai744 (Reply 2):
It's funny - when I see pictures of the SAS lounges in Scandinavia, I always think to myself that they've been fitted-out with their furniture and fittings by IKEA. (Please don't take offence by the comment!) Just an observation.

Not taking any offense.. in fact I tend to agree with you..

[Edited 2012-03-16 06:55:26]

User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1715 posts, RR: 18
Reply 10, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 12868 times:

Hi everyone, thanks for your extensive replies so far! I'm glad you enjoyed reading.

Quoting Thai744 (Reply 2):
It's funny - when I see pictures of the SAS lounges in Scandinavia, I always think to myself that they've been fitted-out with their furniture and fittings by IKEA. (Please don't take offence by the comment!) Just an observation.

Well the Scandinavian design might be the same, but those furniture are NOT IKEA. They're from much better quality brands, such as Marimekko, Ittala, only to name a few. A lot of people make the assumption though that the lounges are like an IKEA showcase.

Quoting Thai744 (Reply 2):
does this mean that he does his announcements in Norwegian, as that is where he is from, or are the crew all fluent in Danish, Swedish and Norwegian? Interesting to know how the in-flight announcements work on SAS!

In general we understand the Scandinavian languages quite well i.e I can have a conversation with somebody from Norway, I address him in Swedish and he responds in Norwegian. So the lingual barriers are not a major issue here, hence why the announcements were made in Norwegian and English.

Quoting Thai744 (Reply 2):
Sorry - but this is NOT doing their job the right way at all! Regardless of how old somebody is, they should show respect and courtesy and ASSUME NOTHING until they find out the full story!

You have a point there, they've no right to be rude in their jobs. However I'm guessing they have more people like me who turn up at the counter only to be told off, rather than those who actually are eligible. But yes if people aren't eligible they don't go there in the first place, so you're right they shouldn't assume things.

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 3):
The lounges look decent enough, even if the food offerings were disappointing.

Hi Roy. Well the lounges were quite good, at least the SAS ones. And yes the food may not have been EK standards it was quite sufficient, at least in CPH.

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 3):
Again it would appear that staff are making judgements on perceptions rather than information.

Yes, as mentioned in the previous comment those lounge staff have probably developed this as a kind of defense mechanism.

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 3):
You were still hungry?  

Haha, thanks for noting my typo  
Quoting Quokkas (Reply 3):
I understand that the MD80s are being phased out. When will this process be complete?

The first ones will leave the fleet later this year, and by the end of 2014 they will all be gone.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 5):
You know, we're totally not on the same line with our opinions, let's have a look;

Hoi there Eric! Now why do you always say this 
Quoting airbuseric (Reply 5):
Never have problems finding good deals on normal fares on SK so what is the problem?

Again it's the curse of the home market. Fares ex Sweden are more expensive than ex Holland. Only during promotions it's possible to find some decent fares, otherwise not.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 5):
Sounds like an expensive toothpaste when you have to buy it at the airport, not your style is it?

Price was the same at the airport as in the city, so standard price.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 5):
Jonas, despite the less personal greeting, it's just a normal question. It happens to me also when I go to the KLM counters for Elites or LH's desks.

True. Since I've not received the card yet I suppose that'll be the case.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 5):
Not everything is like LX/LH and their lounges

Well in CPH they label them as "SAS Lounges"  
Quoting airbuseric (Reply 5):
That's what you get in these lounges. It's just a small snack before the flight. You won't spend much time in the place anyway so no big deal is it?

True, a lounge is not an á la carte restaurant, only lighter food available. However this pasta was of really really poor quality, basically it's the industrial stuff they serve to children in school. You'd at least expect something of slightly better quality for a lounge.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 5):
Why don't you ask them to be more quiet since you're working instead of being the one walking away. Then you'll loose anyway.

Hehe, well in Sweden we don't do that, we just leave. It's Jantelagen   But there were some other quiet places where I could sit also, so no big problem for me this time.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 5):
Because other airline will serve more on flights of this duration. Which would be overdone in your opinion then?

Yes, on LH they would've served a proper salad. But now when there's food in the lounges coffee is pretty fine for me.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 5):
To be honest, I have never see a curtain between Y Extra and Y on SK. Just the small white indicator sign on the top of the seatback.

These days they've actually began placing Y+ in front of the curtain instead, so that passengers don't move seats in-flight.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 5):
If you didn't care about having the coffee, why do you made attempts to get one more? You knew the crew passed by already. So why bothering them and call them back? It's up to the crew if they serve or not. If they are preparing the galleys for landing, then it's a no for you getting more coffee.

Well by the time she was doing the coffee round, I was on my way to the seat, so no possibility for me to then ask for a re-fill. Nevertheless my request for a 2nd cup of coffee was just an attempt to see the crew's willingness to go that extra step, and sadly they failed. Usually they have some sachets of instant coffee they make when you ask for a 2nd cup and they don't have the pot out.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 5):
Ah, you did some reading... but didn't experience yourself yet.

Hehe, yeah I did some research right after I booked that hotel sadly. Otherwise I'd have picked another area.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 5):
Then, don't blame the Belgiums for that. Blame your Moroccan community Jonas.

Well yes the moroccans are to blame, and sadly those were the low-life scumbag kind. Those similar to what you find in the slum quarters of Casablanca, the uneducated ones who many have illegally crossed the border to spain and made their way up Europe. There's difference between Moroccans and Moroccans, and sadly the impression I got from the Belgians was their generalization of the aforementioned kind.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 5):
Take all the luxury things in life but when it comes down to the hotel, you can't miss a few more Euro's. Jonas, don't complain then. Why didn't you find the hotel btw, probably you walked in the wrong direction? Did you have a printed map with you or ask somebody?

Yeah I should've spent those extra 10 EUR for a hotel near the Midi Station, but again I didn't know much about the areas. I may have gone the wrong way yes, but I had the map saved on my iPhone.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 5):
Again,... you assume his behaviour has to do with you being a crook? If that is your basic assumption towards people, you will get to face a lot of problems in your life.

Well back home in my beloved, liberal, friendly, tolerant Sweden I never have this assumption. But sadly given the sociocultural circumstances in Belgium forced me to make that assumption.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 5):
If you get angry on seeing overpriced food prices? Hmm... then things are serious with you.

Hehe, well not literally angry but more annoyed and slightly upset  
Quoting airbuseric (Reply 5):
What a statement again! Well, you do/did everything to get inside as often as possible...

Well now when I've access to the better ones, I can't help but think of them as slightly rubbish. But yes I'd pick a crap lounge over no lounge at all any day of the week!  
Quoting planejamie (Reply 6):
however in contrast the good areas were very good

Hi Jamie! You're right about that the other areas were much nicer, and also the people. For instance in Marc's town people were very friendly.

Quoting planejamie (Reply 6):
It seems a reoccurring theme that the SAS agents at ARN are a little fierce/snobby until they see you're a *gold - I must say though the CPH lounge looks huge on these photos,

That's the impression I've gotten from them also when traveling in C. In general SAS treat all *G pretty well, and I suppose by the time I get the physical card hopefully they'll be able to spot it faster and be nicer in the beginning  
Quoting planejamie (Reply 6):
They're converse - they look best when a little "worn"   I have about 4 different pairs now, they're awesome - good sense of style there! (I don't have red ones yet though)

Oh yes, I'm a big chucks fan. I've worn them for several years now. I always make sure to have a stock of 3 pairs in my closet, sadly they wear out quite fast so I've to replace them with new ones every 4 months or so, but they can be bought cheap from Amazon  (my 2nd pair of read ones btw)

Quoting win1290 (Reply 7):
I hope these are one-offs. In all my past travel experiences flying in Economy with *G, I have never been given such a first impression like what you felt, be it at the check-in desk or the lounge (or may be I look older than my age&nbsp Wink .

Hi Win. Yes I think these will just be one-offs since I don't have the physical card yet. But I think the case may have been different since you're older than me  
Quoting win1290 (Reply 7):
That said, I have never traveled with SAS yet. On the lounge side, I think they look great, clean and with decent snack and refreshments selection.

I'm surprised you haven't! SAS have a pretty large presence in BKK, and their daily A340 from CPH is perhaps the most profitable route in the SAS network.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 8):
Hey Jonas great report as usual and always makes me smile with some of your comments   The check in agent needs to learn ''never judge a book by its cover ''

Hi there Philip. Yes that is true, seems like these agents have too many pre-consceived notions these days. But thankfully their service recovery is good.

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 9):
I had a similar feeling as you when I visited Paris last August with my girlfriend. We wanted to see Montmartre and decided to walk up there. Not so far away, we walked through some streets with many suspecious looking people everywhere. I felt very unsafe at that point, but nothing happened to us though. Most areas of Paris are very nice still.

Hi there. I actually went to Paris as well during that same time. We chose a hotel in the area of La Republique, and despite having heard some nasty stories about the place, we never felt unsafe these walking the streets at night. So my thought was that people exaggerate when they describe these areas, hence why I quite stupidly chose a hotel in Northern Brussels. But in general I'd say Paris is a pretty safe city  



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlinedeltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Reply 11, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 12812 times:

Hej Jonas!

Great report as usual!
Good idea to try to catch the MD87 before it's gone from our skies. I'm glad I flew a City Airline example last summer.
I went to Brussels a couple of years ago, I found it to be a nice town, too bad about your bad experience. I went to the Atomium, which was one of the highlights of the trip, I highly recommend a visit if you ever go to Brussels again!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Following a poor night’s sleep, I woke up at 7.30am by the sound of the Lufthansa anywake alarm clock. The destination guess was sadly wrong this time as well, so no discount voucher for me.

What's that? A smartphone app or something?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Boeing 737-683 LN-RRD

I've done 5 flights on Embla Viking.  
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Only good things have been heard about this place, and I could only agree. This lounge was amazing!

Would love to go there myself some day, seems like a great lounge.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
View of the cabin on this MD-87. Looks pretty much like any other MD.

Unsurprisingly, it looks just like the cabin of the City Airline MD-87 that I flew.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Some streets in Brussels. Really love the old buildings.

Beautiful city centre.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Brussels Airport does for some reason provide an interesting reputation of the city. While the terminal was fresh, new and clean, the place just felt so utterly sterile and dull. Of course not to speak the excessive amounts of stores found right after security.

I quite liked the airport to be honest.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Seriously, this place feels more like a shopping mall than an airport!

Well, i got that feeling in the base of the pier, once you go to the gate area it's much more airport-ish. At Least that's how I experienced it in 2010.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):

View of the main seating area, which was pretty much all this lounge consisted of.

The SAS lounge does seem slightly better.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 5):
To be honest, I have never see a curtain between Y Extra and Y on SK. Just the small white indicator sign on the top of the seatback.
Quoting LH4116 (Reply 10):
These days they've actually began placing Y+ in front of the curtain instead, so that passengers don't move seats in-flight.

If I'm not mistaken the divider is supposed to be between the C and the Y+ cabin, but if the C cabin is to small/to far forward for the curtain to go there, or there is no C cabin at all, they put the curtain between Y and Y+.

Martin


User currently offlineflightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1344 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 12694 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Okay so let's start off with all the rude people you came across on this trip.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I was once again met with some cold looks from the young male SAS agent Carl who was manning it this morning.


C: [Stone cold look, reluctant to greet]
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
As I entered through the glass doors, I was once again met with some rude eyes from the elderly female lounge dragon.
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
At the reception, I was met by the same old woman who a few weeks earlier told me to ”f*ck off”.
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
At the door, a senior danish purser was standing and NOT greeting the passengers. Instead she just stood there, looking stone cold.
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I soon made my way down to seat 8A, where a swedish middle-aged woman was already seated at the aisle seat. She seemed to be in a bad mood, and was not happy with having me over at the window.
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The viciously rude senior purser did not bother with shutting the curtain, and instead she went in the galley and came out with as many of those paper lunch boxes as she could carry.
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
As she served the drinks she cracked a few faux smiles, which really sent me shivers down my spine. Never have a flight attendant made me feel so creeped out before.
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
As I returned to my seat, I noticed that the vicious purser was offering re-fills to the other passengers. Sadly though by the time I sat down in my seat, she had already passed my row. So I hit the call button for her attention. A few minutes later, she came by my seat.


V: -”What do you want”?

Me: -”Can I have some more coffee please”? [hands over empty cup]

V: -”No, I can’t give you that. We’re about to land now” [rips away the cup from my hand]

Me: -”Arrgh, okay. But there’s still some 40 minutes before arrival?!”

V: [angry look] [walks away]


Okay, now this woman was really as viciously rude as she looked. Nevertheless, I didn’t care much for that coffee anyway. However her behaviour was simply unacceptable, especially from an airline like SAS who profiles themselves as a ”friendly airline”. To be honest people like her shouldn’t even be allowed to have jobs that require interaction with customers, maybe she should’ve been better off as a luggage handler or ramper.
Quoting airbuseric (Reply 5):
So many people are in a bad mood haha

Yeah, I have to agree with Eric so many people are in a bad mood? Really!!


Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
.e the curse of the young playing its part as the staff always shows some sort of reluctant body language the moment I approach the counters, this only to be recovered by a smile and a friendly tone when they realise that I’m indeed at the right counter. It’s quite fun to watch the embarrassment on their faces, but really you can’t blame them for doing their job the correct way.

Okay so this has a double meaning here, you are complaining that the agent was rude to you thinking you were a "young person" here being turned away, but then on recognising your status turned friendly. So are you implying that other not so fortunate people of your age, try to pull stunts this way to perhaps gain heaven knows what, which lead this poor agent doing his job to treat you the way he did?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Since mom was still asleep, there would be no breakfast for me this morning.

How old are you? Apparently not old enough to make your own breakfast? lol

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
When I reached the food section I was slightly disappointed that they had cleared away the breakfast, and replaced it with that gooey industrial curry chicken pasta thing which they seem to have been serving for the past three months. Yes it’s even worse than that smoked loin of pork (which was quite good actually). I really don’t see why an airline can chose to serve such bad food in the lounge at their 2nd largest hub.

What is Industrial curry chicken pasta....You obviously don't want to eat it as much as you don't want to visit India!!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Nevertheless to say, they still had some bread and cream cheese on offer so I made myself a few sandwiches of those before settling down at the marble table. After having stuffed myself with rye bread and Philadelphia
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
After one hour or so, a group of chinese gentlemen in their mid 20s filled up the circular armchair arrangement in the room, plugging in their computers while bringing in more food, wine and snacks that they could carry. Their loud conversations were followed by some equally loud noises of chewing and burping (those manners sadly don’t work in Scandinavia). I was left quite disturbed by this, and decided to pack up my schoolbooks, call it a day and move somewhere else.
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The last 30 minutes before the flight would board were spent at the marble table, flicking through a Newsweek while sampling some of that pasta thingy and sipping on a Ginger Ale (cheers Planehunter). The pasta may have tasted slightly better than it looked, but it was still quite bland and of poor quality.

Oh so wait, you blame the Chinese group of men for brining in more food, wine and snacks then they could carry but it's perfecttly alright to "stuff" yourself....A bit of a hypocrite, aren't we!! (The chomping down on food with noisly is another issue)

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The last 30 minutes before the flight would board were spent at the marble table, flicking through a Newsweek while sampling some of that pasta thingy and sipping on a Ginger Ale (cheers Planehunter). The pasta may have tasted slightly better than it looked, but it was still quite bland and of poor quality.

Ah the very same gooey Industrial curry pasta thingy that you obviously did not like, still had some time for your stomach some 30 minutes later, hungry already?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I was quite surprised by the number of passengers turning down the free coffee/tea. I on the other hand gladly accepted a cup of tea, which was handed over with a friendly tone but no smile from the crew. Not that it matters much since the reception was in my zone of tolerance, thankfully.
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Before I even had time to finish my cup of watery bland tea

They probably knew that it tasted bad, and didn't just go for it because it was free.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The chicken and couscous combination was mouthwateringly good, and along with the dressing it all blended in very well. Next up, I decided to try some of the ”räkmacka” minus the bread, which also tasted very good. Don’t recall stuffing myself with that many shrimps before. As you’d imagine, I was feeling very stuffed from all the food, and those wooden chairs would no longer support me as I needed a place to lay down. So I grabbed myself some coffee, Bailey’s and dessert before crashing on one of the comfy sofas in the TV-room.

My aren't we hungry again. I recall you asking for double portions on your Swiss flights and still complaining you weren't full lol

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
As I returned to my seat, I noticed that the vicious purser was offering re-fills to the other passengers. Sadly though by the time I sat down in my seat, she had already passed my row. So I hit the call button for her attention. A few minutes later, she came by my seat.


V: -”What do you want”?

Me: -”Can I have some more coffee please”? [hands over empty cup]

V: -”No, I can’t give you that. We’re about to land now” [rips away the cup from my hand]

Me: -”Arrgh, okay. But there’s still some 40 minutes before arrival?!”

V: [angry look] [walks away]


Okay, now this woman was really as viciously rude as she looked. Nevertheless, I didn’t care much for that coffee anyway. However her behaviour was simply unacceptable, especially from an airline like SAS who profiles themselves as a ”friendly airline”. To be honest people like her shouldn’t even be allowed to have jobs that require interaction with customers, maybe she should’ve been better off as a luggage handler or ramper.

Ah, the sweet free coffee drama again lol As Eric suggested if you didn't care for it so much, why make an issue about it??

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Shoes remained on since I’m wearing chucks now, backpack and jacket in the overhead before making myself comfortable.

Trying putting your shoes that you just walked into the aircraft with in the overhead bin here (without them being in a bag) and you'll get the rudest stares you have ever experienced in all your trips!!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
In the rear galley, I noticed the passenger manifest hanging and I simply couldn’t resist having a peek. As it turned out, the flight was indeed packed to the brim in both classes, and out of the 124 passengers onboard, were 18 ”frequent flyers”. Out of those 8 were EBG, 8 EBS, 1 LH FTV, and then me
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The man in the aisle seat seemed very focused with his work papers, and after having accidentally taken a quick glance at them for a brief second revealed that the man was a lawyer. Well the man didn’t seem to have been happy about that since he looked at me very angrily when I kindly asked to get up from my seat for my usual walk down the aisle and inspection of the loo. I suppose the clicks from my camera may have bothered him too, not that there was much shutter action going on anyways.

A bit of nosey parker, aren't you? lol

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
After taking the picture of the cabin, the woman seated at the adjacent aisle seat seemed very upset about me taking the pictures, and I could see her angrily looking up at me trying to make some eye contact. Presumably this woman must either have been one of those über nervous flyers or maybe she was just looking to pick a fight, nevertheless as she began calling for the crew, I simply ran back to my seat. To my defence I was taking a picture of the cabin and not her…

Ah here again the schizophrenic nature, not on the part of the woman but you!! Always thinking everyone is rude, but this one is classic you thought the woman was looking to pick up a fight....Err...seriously!!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The chicken and couscous combination was mouthwateringly good, and along with the dressing it all blended in very well. Next up, I decided to try some of the ”räkmacka” minus the bread, which also tasted very good. Don’t recall stuffing myself with that many shrimps before. As you’d imagine, I was feeling very stuffed from all the food, and those wooden chairs would no longer support me as I needed a place to lay down. So I grabbed myself some coffee, Bailey’s and dessert before crashing on one of the comfy sofas in the TV-room.

Ah the hearty stuffing sessions of free food!! Luckily no Chinese chomping down on their own food to disgust you here!! Oh yes and wait no Chinese with "rotten eggs" as you mentioned in your Shanghai report. (See I do read your reports)

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I was too lazy and tired to even bother looking for this week’s issue of Newsweek, and besides they wouldn’t have let me keep it anyway.

Truly sad the Newsweek copy was not part of the freebie list of thingies.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I decided to remain seated until all passengers had left the aircraft, to give me some time to re-arrange the items in my backpack due to the amount of pickpockets and criminals in Brussels. Yes a small padlock was also hung on the zippers to the camera compartment, just for that extra safety. I left the plane fairly protected from the pickpockets, and headed up the jetway for the long walk from the A-gates to the terminal.
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Prior to my trip, I had done some research about the city, in addition to the warnings I received from my friend Eric who specifically told me that the area where I had chosen my hotel was not a good area. Well the research brought some chocking results. Turns out that the neighbourhoods surrounding Brussels North Station are the worst in the city. They can best be described as ghettos, the result of a segregated and socioculturally crippled society. After having read horror stories of people being robbed with pistols and machetes on the very same streets in northern Brussels, I instantly began regretting my choice of weekend destination.

So again let me get this right. You knew about this area and yet you decided to stay there in order to be "cheap" and save money. Who is to blame here? Brings to mind, another report where you decided to be "cheap" and stay in a hostel where the couple in your hostel were grunting like pigs in heat while performing copulating acts!


Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
To make matters worse, a lot of those crimes are commited by moroccan immigrants, which of course made me feel even more unwelcome to the country. I expected to be treated very badly by the ethnic population, which sadly turned out to be true as I made my way over to the tourist information counter to ask for info regarding the trains
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The agent behind the counter gave me some very uninviting looks, as I approached him.


Me: -"Hello, can you tell me which trains leave for Brussels North Station"

Agent: -"Brussels have three railway stations"

Me: -"Okay, but which train should I take?"

Agent: -"I've answered your question already, now please walk away!"


As expected, a very poor first impression on the Belgians
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
One Belgian gentleman in his late 20s looked particularly scared at me, and he even made a harder grip around his messenger bag the moment he saw me, as if I was going to rob him or so. For those of you who know me, I am by no means an aggressive nor dangerous looking person, so this naturally had me concerned that they must really have some serious sh*t going on with those immigrants.
Quoting airbuseric (Reply 5):
Then, don't blame the Belgiums for that. Blame your Moroccan community Jonas.
Quoting airbuseric (Reply 5):
Hmm,... really? How did you look to him then? I never had problems with Moroccan guys,

Oh wait, what is this Eric mentions...You are of Morrocan descent yourself....huh!! Do you look Morrocan, as the Information agent who told you to hurry off and the Belgian man clutching his bag apparently seemed to associate you with these poor Morrocan immigrants causing s*it, and "the result of a segregated and socioculturally crippled society" How dreadful for you!! Oh my!!

And because of all this you just begin to believe that "Belgium" is a total write off...huh!! From the pictures you've posted Brussels does look like a nice place to visit. I wonder how many Belgians you have offended here, not to mention the other ethnic groups and other cities that you so freely trash in your reports. And you mention, "as expected" a poor show on the part of the Belgians, yet Marc was kind enough to offer you a stay at his place, even provide you a seperate room for the night!. I'm assuming he is Belgian and extended you complete Belgian hospitality right away.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
My first impressions of the area were as bad as I had expected. Dodgy gangs of crooks were scattered out on every street corner, and making eye contact with any of them even just for a split second could have you robbed or beaten up. According to the map, my hotel was supposed to be located just a few hundred meters south of the financial district. Sadly though, as I penetrated deeper into the ghetto slums of northern Brussels, the hotel was nowhere to be found, and as the sun slowly slowly made its way down the horizon, more dodgy crooks were gathering up on the streets.
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I was feeling very unsafe at that time, especially when carrying a backpack with passport, travel documents, iPhone and €2000 worth of camera equipment. I could be robbed at any second, and I had a feeling that no passer-by would even care or take notice if that were to happen. I was was walking the streets of a no-mans land, a lawless society, a highly segregated sociocultural train crash, one more hour at this dump would mean the end, and I had to get the hell away from there fast!
Quoting airbuseric (Reply 5):
Oh... well you are still alive? What happened to you!

Yeah you are still alive as Eric says!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Those €43 lost on the hotel was a small price to pay considering my personal safety was at stake here.
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The sound from my alarm clock woke me up at 8am in the morning after a very good night's sleep.

You actually managed to get a good night's sleep knowing you lost €43 ...huh!! Oh did all that emotional torment from the night before actually tire you out!!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
often times find myself either bored, stressed from all the people, or angry over the overpriced food and coffee.
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Feeling pretty hungry, I headed over to see what food and beverages were on offer.
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Again there was no proper food offered in this lounge either, only some dry sandwiches, a selection of miniature cheese, diced salami, breads and crackers. The drinks selection was a bit more generous as it included a wider selection of soft drinks included tonic water and bitter lemon, proper juice was offered as well. In addition to this was a basic selection of spirits, including Gordon’s Gin, sadly no Bailey’s. I grabbed myself a bottle of grapefruit juice, some food, and a copy of TIME Magazine before settling down at one of the tables
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Dry sandwiches, cheese, and salami made up my lunch for that day!

Glad you could take care of lunch, and not have to worry about spending a cent at these overpriced food items at airports. Well done!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I instantly headed over to the food section. Choices were the same as the previous day, so I settled with some more of that delicious chicken couscous dish. The dessert was skipped in favour for a large Bailey’s which was savoured in peace and quiet in the relaxing room.

Glad you had the same offerings once again, and the chicken "couscous" was their to whet your appetite.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
On my way down I grabbed a few refreshing wipes to bring home, yes they’re very good for keeping my white computer spotless and clean, also good for wiping off the camera.

Some last minute freebies lol

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 5):
I know it's so different from your life in that small Swedish village you life in, but you've to deal with it.

Ah...I see now...from a small Swedish village, living the jet set life. Go figure!!

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 5):
If that is your basic assumption towards people, you will get to face a lot of problems in your life.

As PH, Eric, Suryo and others on here have told you it's better to change your views on things now, or seriously you will face a lot of problems in life. You are lucky to be here where you are at, as not too many people your age get to do what you do.

Jonas, I wish you all the best.


User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3025 posts, RR: 8
Reply 13, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 12633 times:

Hi Jonas,

great report, entertaining as usual!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
lagom

I notice you use this word a lot - does it mean "large"?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
C: -”Oh yes, there it is! Is there anything else I may assist you with, or are you happy with your seat assignments?” [friendly smile]

As already said, agents really should be polite all the time, even when turning people away, not be stern until realising the passenger is entitled to be there.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
croissant

Good enough for breakfast  
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
This lounge was amazing!

It does look good, though I've only been in 3 lounges before so I've not much to compare it to. (No. 4 is booked in June...)

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I was feeling very unsafe at that time

It's not a great area, but it's not exactly Mogadishu. Would it have been easier to take a taxi from the station?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
So it seems, the hero in every drama always drives a Prius!

Even Brian in Family Guy  
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
And here it is, the pride and joy of the nation: a statue of a small boy taking a piss!

Did you see the corresponding small girl taking a piss statue, Jenneke Pis?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
In general, Business Class lounges are crap

You do seem to be going to a lot of effort to visit them  
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Feeling rather stuffed from all the cheese

There's probably just as much cholesterol in cheese as in the chips you had the previous evening!

Thanks again for the report!

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlineAirPacific747 From Denmark, joined May 2008, 2483 posts, RR: 24
Reply 14, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 12628 times:

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 10):
Hi there. I actually went to Paris as well during that same time. We chose a hotel in the area of La Republique, and despite having heard some nasty stories about the place, we never felt unsafe these walking the streets at night. So my thought was that people exaggerate when they describe these areas, hence why I quite stupidly chose a hotel in Northern Brussels. But in general I'd say Paris is a pretty safe city

Haha maybe we ran into each other without knowing then 

Well, we decided on a hotel close to Gallieni metro station in the eastern part of the city because our original thought was to drive down to Paris and there was free parking there, but in the end, we decided to fly.. a bit of a shame since it was far from the city center but luckily it was pretty quick taking the metro into the city center.
I agree with you in general. Paris seems very safe, but at the time we felt unsafe it was actually during daylight hours, just east of the Mont Martre.. other than that, it was a great trip and I would love to visit Paris again any day. I also would like to see Brussels as well. Only ever been to their airport.


User currently offlinewin1290 From Thailand, joined Jan 2012, 280 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 12488 times:

Hi Jonas

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 10):
I'm surprised you haven't! SAS have a pretty large presence in BKK, and their daily A340 from CPH is perhaps the most profitable route in the SAS network.

I didn't know that CPH - BKK is such a good route for SAS. I just remember I was put into an SAS flight once when my inbound flight was delayed and I missed my TG connection in Singapore, so I was flying SAS from SIN-BKK on Airbus A340 (or A330 I am not sure) that was around 7 years ago when I was 14 which was a year before I got my *G. The plane was so spotlessly clean and very bright and I loved it!

Regards

Win

[Edited 2012-03-16 12:34:30]

User currently offlineLH4532 From Germany, joined Sep 2011, 81 posts, RR: 12
Reply 16, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 12456 times:

Guten Abend Jonas ,

this TR has been interesting for me to read . I was looking forward to this TR . It was very nice of Marc to help you out . I would have done the same .

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
the 900 missing miles

Do you mean the miles from your ZRH-ARN flight ?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Total cost for all four flights was roughly €165

My father paid 131,68€ for my upcoming flights to Sweden . I made him book early , so he would not have to pay more .

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
”Look closer on the screen, and you’ll see it”

I´m sure he would have noticed on his own .

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
her face turned slightly surprised

That might have surprised her very much .

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
1 LH FTV

I am sure you mean LH FTL .

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
those extra minutes could’ve been spent in the lounge

You´ll have enough time to visit the Lounges in the future .

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
At the door, a senior danish purser was standing and NOT greeting the passengers. Instead she just stood there, looking stone cold.

She might have had a bad start into the day .

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
-"I've answered your question already, now please walk away!"

That sure is the best way to treat tourists . He should work somewhere else and not with the tourist information .

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
o. For those of you who know me, I am by no means an aggressive nor dangerous looking person,

You are very friendly person . My parents and I have a very good impression and you are always welcome to our home .

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
We had a good conversation throughout the ride

It is always nice to meet other people .

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
we stayed up for one more hour or so

I remember that we also kept on talking and staying up late after arriving in Ludwigshafen .

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
After swiping my VISA card through the machine

Could you also have used your old FFP card to get your Boarding Pass ?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Those seats behind the galley looked really nice, such a shame they were blocked at OLCI.

I was able to pick my seat behind the galley , when I flew FRA-CPH on December 3rd last year . Remember the photo with me and the charming FRA   ?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
After taking the picture of the cabin, the woman seated at the adjacent aisle seat seemed very upset about me taking the pictures

There are many other things she could have been upset about .

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I settled with some more of that delicious chicken couscous dish

Good choice !!!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
It is however rather unlikely that I will ever visit Belgium again during the near future

Just give Belgium another chance to change the wrong impression , you have of the this very nice country .


I enjoyed reading this TR . The best part are your very nice and clear pictures . Keep up the good work .


Daniel ( LH4532 )


User currently offlineCaptainRed From Germany, joined Oct 2010, 720 posts, RR: 20
Reply 17, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 12454 times:

Hi Jonas,

interesting report you have here. And great to log a MD-87 as long as they are still around. Also solid flights with SK, even though the some of the crew members you have encountered were certainly substandard. Especially that story with the coffee was an absolute no-go, really rude behavior.

As for your experience in Brussels, I think that was a bit dramatic how you described it, after all nothing happened. I know the area around the North station as well, it is indeed not very nice, but I don't think it is particularly dangerous (when compared to some other big cities around Europe). As long as you use a little common-sense and don't show your valuables openly you should be ok. And besides that area Brussels does have some really nice corners and some nice pubs, you just need a bit time to discover it.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The Leffe was indeed a very nice, and genuinely belgian touch.

Nice, Leffe is also my favorite Belgian beer.

Greetings
CaptainRed


User currently offlinephotophil From Germany, joined Apr 2011, 201 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 12425 times:

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Aircraft & Reg: McDonnell Douglas MD-82 SE-DIL

HA .. the same one that brought me CPH_MUC_CPH and also the same one that had an engine failure during takeoff at CPH some weeks ago (you remember ... the one where the norwegian princess was aboard)

PHILIP



300-310-319-320-321-332-342-343-388-717-734-735-736-73H-738-744-74M-752-76E-77W-F70-100-E70-E75-E90-E95-AT4-AT7-CR2-CR9-
User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1715 posts, RR: 18
Reply 19, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 12417 times:

Hello there, thanks for the 2nd round of replies! I'm glad you all enjoyed reading  
Quoting deltamartin (Reply 11):
I went to the Atomium, which was one of the highlights of the trip, I highly recommend a visit if you ever go to Brussels again!
Quoting deltamartin (Reply 11):
What's that? A smartphone app or something?

Yes it's the new LH app, also available for Android. Basically each wake-up signal is sounds from a different city, you guess the city and if you're right you get a discount voucher for a ticket to that particular city. Nice isn't it!?  
Quoting deltamartin (Reply 11):
I've done 5 flights on Embla Viking.  

Well you're the frequent SAS flyer here  
Quoting deltamartin (Reply 11):
Well, i got that feeling in the base of the pier, once you go to the gate area it's much more airport-ish. At Least that's how I experienced it in 2010.

Yes that's true, the Pier base part felt much more like a shopping mall, the rest was just like any airport.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 11):
If I'm not mistaken the divider is supposed to be between the C and the Y+ cabin, but if the C cabin is to small/to far forward for the curtain to go there,

Good that you say so. On the 737 the curtain can only go to row 4, and usually there are less C rows than that, so I suppose that's the reason why they chose to have them all in-front of the same curtain.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 12):
So are you implying that other not so fortunate people of your age, try to pull stunts this way to perhaps gain heaven knows what, which lead this poor agent doing his job to treat you the way he did?

Well yeah, that's pretty much my theory on why the staff behave like they do. For the record I have seen older men get away with free-riding on trains, and nicking cutlery from restaurants. Life's a b*tch, huh? Anyways that's pretty much the Scandinavian mentality, friendly people but with some pre-consceived notions.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 12):
Oh so wait, you blame the Chinese group of men for brining in more food, wine and snacks then they could carry but it's perfecttly alright to "stuff" yourself....A bit of a hypocrite, aren't we!! (The chomping down on food with noisly is another issue)

There's no shame in savoring the foods available in the lounge, however when you visit a lounge there are certain manners you need to follow, e.g not to get drunk, but also not to bring in an array of plates, cups and glasses with food snacks, bread, coffee and wine to be eaten all at once. A lounge is not a restaurant, which these people clearly seemed to make it like. If you're hungry and want to eat you take one thing at the time. It's all about eating in a more discrete and respectful way.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 12):
Ah the very same gooey Industrial curry pasta thingy that you obviously did not like, still had some time for your stomach some 30 minutes later, hungry already?

Well I decided to try some, and while it was edible it did not taste good.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 12):
but this one is classic you thought the woman was looking to pick up a fight....Err...seriously!!

Well I don't know what her intentions were, but she didn't seem pleased with me taking pictures of the cabin.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 12):
Truly sad the Newsweek copy was not part of the freebie list of thingies.

Yeah, well they're usually handed out free in another lounge that I frequently visit, so I'd better just pick them up there instead.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 12):
You knew about this area and yet you decided to stay there in order to be "cheap" and save money. Who is to blame here?

Actually that's the thing, by the time I found out about this dodgy area the hotel was already booked and it was sadly a non-refundable rate. Oh well, my fault and I should make better research in the future and not jump the gun on the cheapest available option.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 12):
And because of all this you just begin to believe that "Belgium" is a total write off...huh!! From the pictures you've posted Brussels does look like a nice place to visit.

No that is not true. I might not have made that clear enough in the text, but my first impressions from Brussels were bad. However the small town on the countryside that I visited later gave a different opinion. People were much more friendly there, excellent hospitality, and so on. It's understandable that the Belgians have those opinions about the Moroccans given what's going on in Brussels. However the central parts of the city were beautiful, the north however was a different story, hence why I didn't take any pictures there.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 12):
Ah...I see now...from a small Swedish village, living the jet set life. Go figure!!

That is a completely irrelevant statement! It's a town of 2000 people (call it village if you want). Anyways living with my parents I don't have to pay rent, etc so a little extra money for travels.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 12):
Jonas, I wish you all the best.

Thank you.

Quoting signol (Reply 13):
I notice you use this word a lot - does it mean "large"?

Hi Signol! Well Lagom is a word that only exist in Swedish, and it can best be translated as "just about adequate"

Quoting signol (Reply 13):
Good enough for breakfast  

Oh yes. A cigarette and I would've had the real french deal 
Quoting signol (Reply 13):
Would it have been easier to take a taxi from the station?

I never considered that actually. I suppose the distance was also so short that it might not have been possible.

Quoting signol (Reply 13):
Did you see the corresponding small girl taking a piss statue, Jenneke Pis?

I didn't see that one, oh well if there will ever bee a next time that's what I will visit  
Quoting signol (Reply 13):
You do seem to be going to a lot of effort to visit them  

Haha yeah that is true. Well they are okay but not spectacular. *G Lounges however are much nicer.

Quoting LH4532 (Reply 16):
I was looking forward to this TR . It was very nice of Marc to help you out . I would have done the same .

Hello Daniel, thanks for reading. Yes it was very nice of Marc to help me out, and he is also welcome to come to my place  
Quoting LH4532 (Reply 16):
Do you mean the miles from your ZRH-ARN flight ?

No those miles never showed up. These were the miles from my TXL trip, that for some reason didn't get registered.

Quoting LH4532 (Reply 16):
My father paid 131,68€ for my upcoming flights to Sweden . I made him book early , so he would not have to pay more .

That's quite an acceptable deal IMHO. SAS Last minute tickets are available also, but I guess you wanted to be sure to have a seat.

Quoting LH4532 (Reply 16):
That might have surprised her very much .

Oh yes, well the status I have is very rare as well  
Quoting LH4532 (Reply 16):
I am sure you mean LH FTL .

Yes thanks for the correction.

Quoting LH4532 (Reply 16):
I remember that we also kept on talking and staying up late after arriving in Ludwigshafen .

We did indeed, it was a very nice evening and thanks for the scnhaps  
Quoting LH4532 (Reply 16):
Could you also have used your old FFP card to get your Boarding Pass ?

I think that would have worked also, but since I had chosen CC as identification I decided to just use that. Also the card was in my pocket already.

Quoting LH4532 (Reply 16):
when I flew FRA-CPH on December 3rd last year . Remember the photo with me and the charming FRA   ?

Ah yes I remember that one very well. You for sure got one of the better seats, and lucky with the crew.

Quoting LH4532 (Reply 16):
Just give Belgium another chance to change the wrong impression , you have of the this very nice country .

Yes, I might go there again in a few years or later this year since I want to log the SN Avro. But overall Belgium was a nice country and Brussels was a good city, apart from the dodgy areas up north, so the town deserves a 2nd chance.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 17):
Also solid flights with SK, even though the some of the crew members you have encountered were certainly substandard. Especially that story with the coffee was an absolute no-go, really rude behavior.

Hi CaptainRed. The SAS flights were rather standard, I much prefer LH over them. Crews were inconsistent as always, and I'm starting to believe that it's better to fly AF since you at least know the crews might be rude there and you step on the plane well prepared. But SAS did fine this time.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 17):
As long as you use a little common-sense and don't show your valuables openly you should be ok.

True, I tried not to take out my phone and the camera was kept safely in the backpack.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 17):
And besides that area Brussels does have some really nice corners and some nice pubs, you just need a bit time to discover it.

The butcher's street looked really nice and inviting, and I would've loved to have gone there for some dinner. Oh well maybe another time  
Quoting photophil (Reply 18):
HA .. the same one that brought me CPH_MUC_CPH and also the same one that had an engine failure during takeoff at CPH some weeks ago (you remember ... the one where the norwegian princess was aboard)

Hey Philip. Thank you for the info, I had no idea that this was the aircraft in question. Thankfully this time the engine didn't fail. However I've heard some rumours that the MDs these days are quite poorly maintained.

"Wheels Up!"
//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlineSultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1789 posts, RR: 30
Reply 20, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 12353 times:

Hallo Jonas,

Nice all MD report. Excellent photography and narrative, well done once again. Sorry we missed out on meeting but sometimes you have to prioritize you know   And I'm sorry as well about your situation in Brussels. While certainly it's not the most attractive area, I also feel things should be seen a bit in perspective. Areas like this exist in almost every (big) city and immigrants and/or people with a different skin tone (whatever descent they are from) are quite often looked at as 'crooks'. But you know as they say: it's not all gold that shines... Thank God, there was Marc! I really believe his hospitaly warrants an all inclusive overnight stay in the Casablanca's residence some day   

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
but really you can’t blame them for doing their job the correct way.

Still I feel they should not have any prejudice...

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Their loud conversations were followed by some equally loud noises of chewing and burping

... and spitting?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Shoes remained on since I’m wearing chucks now,

Because you need someone to tie your laces again 

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
To be honest people like her shouldn’t even be allowed to have jobs that require interaction with customers, maybe she should’ve been better off as a luggage handler or ramper.

Or maybe she just had an off-day? We're human after all you know  

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Coming in for our final approach.

On 25R!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I decided to remain seated until all passengers had left the aircraft, to give me some time to re-arrange the items in my backpack due to the amount of pickpockets and criminals in Brussels.

Brussels sure's not worse than any other Euro or international city. Preventing people from trying to steal your belongings is a good and general travel practice.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Perhaps not the place to visit again when traveling to Belgium, as Marc suggested some nicer places to visit.

Next time, leave SAS for what it is: take BA to LCY and then AF to ANR and I'll be you Antwerp guide!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Reaching the gates really takes a long time as you've to go through several corridors, escalators and walkways before reaching security.

Now you know what I have to go through every time I get off the ground at BRU.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I settled for a Brown Leffe, along with some cold cuts and nibbles.

That's the one and only way to savour this nice beer.

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlineroberts87 From Netherlands, joined Dec 2011, 1033 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 12058 times:

Another great read as usual. Good to hear you can now finally enjoy your status!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I had to stick with the SAS last minute youth deals which are quite reasonable priced compared to what SAS normally charge for their tickets these days.

I was looking into this youth fares the other day as well. Some great fares indeed. Are they available for everyone below 25, or just for Scandinavian citizens?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The only non SAS Star Gold on the flight

What program are you in then?


User currently offlineLoran From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 554 posts, RR: 4
Reply 22, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 11968 times:

Hi Jonas,

I was on the same flight, what a coincidence. I think I saw you, were you the one with the Nikon SLR?
Great report btw, very high quality photos!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Those pre-selected seats will do very fine, thanks

How do you pre-select seats with SAS? I couldn't find a way at booking, just by checking in online I was able to get the seats I want.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
This lounge was amazing!

Indeed this lounge was good, however the food choice was a bit limited. I find LHs and LXs lounges at FRA and ZRH better. We must have crossed our ways there, although I just went there briefly to go online.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
View of the gate area.

I can see myself on this photo left of the sign indicating gate D4, patiently waiting which eventually turned out to be a 40 min delay. I was getting a bit nervous as I had a LX connection flight from BRU to ZRH after only 90 mins transfer time.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Soon though, the flight crew showed up at the gate
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
the senior captain came over the horn jokingly apologising for the delay which was caused by the co-pilot oversleeping

If I remember correctly the crew was late because during their previous flight to NCE their MD-80 went tech and a component had to be swapped. I was getting quite worried, thought there may be a technical problem with OY-KHU. I had only booked the flight to finally log the MD-87, routing BRU-CPH-BRU on one day because on this Saturday BRU was scheduled to receive two MD-87 roundtrips. The first flight turned out to be a CRJ-900 though, so the return flight was my last chance. Luckily this operated per schedule.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
View of the cabin on this MD-87. Looks pretty much like any other MD.

While grabbing this cabin shot, you were standing right next to me. I had seat 24A with the nice engine view.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The issuing carrier of my *G status happened to have a very big presence at Brussels Airport, and were giving their Gold card holders access to the fasttrack security lane. Sadly though my access was denied as I was flying on SAS

Same happened to me, only that in my case there was a ridiculous line of people waiting at the screening area. It started right were the escalator / walkway ended. There was another passenger trying to access the fast lane, he was also denied though holding Star Gold status. So we both decided to break the law and passed the closed door, it easily saved us 20 mins of waiting at the screening area.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The entrance to the SAS Business Lounge BRU
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The place was very bright, clean and fresh.

You were lucky, on the Saturday the Star Alliance lounge was closed for "deep cleaning", that is probably why it felt so fresh   We were asked to use the Skyteam lounge on the right side of the aisle. It was packed and no internet due to maintenance. Food and drinks were also limited....

Great you were able to log more MD-80s on your return flight, fly them while you can.

Cheers,
Loran

PS: Here are some shots from my view:

http://i885.photobucket.com/albums/ac57/chefsalat/Misc/CopyofIMG_4016.jpg

http://i885.photobucket.com/albums/ac57/chefsalat/Misc/CopyofIMG_4022.jpg

http://i885.photobucket.com/albums/ac57/chefsalat/Misc/CopyofIMG_4001.jpg



703 717 727 732-9 747 757 767 777 787 AB2/6 310 318-321 330 340 380 D8M D91/3/5 D1C M11 M81-90 L10 IL8/6/7/W/9/4 TU3/5/2
User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1715 posts, RR: 18
Reply 23, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 11839 times:

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 20):
Nice all MD report.

Hoi There, my Nils man! Well minus the 737 it was, but for once all aircraft were US made  
Quoting Sultanils (Reply 20):
Sorry we missed out on meeting but sometimes you have to prioritize you know

Yeah, well I know there were some more important stuff going on. So I would might have caused some hassle by showing up on such short notice, but next time we will meet!

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 20):
And I'm sorry as well about your situation in Brussels.

Yes, the city didn't leave a good impression. Thankfully Marc and his hometown gave me a very good impression of the rest of the country, very friendly people and beautiful countryside  
Quoting Sultanils (Reply 20):
Thank God, there was Marc! I really believe his hospitaly warrants an all inclusive overnight stay in the Casablanca's residence some day

Oh yes, I told him that he's more than welcome to stay at our house if he ever comes over to Sweden.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 20):
... and spitting?

Hmm don't know. I left quite shortly after they showed up.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 20):
Because you need someone to tie your laces again 

Well I kept them on mostly because they don't eat up all the legroom like those Docs do, also those chucks are light on the feet which is nice.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 20):
Or maybe she just had an off-day? We're human after all you know  

Maybe, but still that doesn't justify her behaviour I'd say. At least she should've brought me some Nescafé.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 20):
Next time, leave SAS for what it is: take BA to LCY and then AF to ANR and I'll be you Antwerp guide!

...Or I can book myself a cheap €80 return on SN to log the Avro, and you arrange that legendary motorcycle pickup that we talked about earlier. Suppose that's a way of showing up to the airport in style 
Quoting roberts87 (Reply 21):
I was looking into this youth fares the other day as well. Some great fares indeed. Are they available for everyone below 25, or just for Scandinavian citizens?

Hoi Robert! I believe those fares are for all people under 25 regardless of nationality.

Quoting Loran (Reply 22):
I was on the same flight, what a coincidence. I think I saw you, were you the one with the Nikon SLR?

Hello there Loran, so nice that you were also on that flight. That's actually my 2nd time flying with another a.netter without knowing it, haha. I was indeed the guy with the Nikon  
Quoting Loran (Reply 22):
How do you pre-select seats with SAS? I couldn't find a way at booking, just by checking in online I was able to get the seats I want.

Well I believe *G are able to pre-select them by calling the SAS customer service line, although in my case those seats were pre-selected from OLCI, so I just went by the counter to pick up the BP's, and get use of the perk hehe.

Quoting Loran (Reply 22):
Indeed this lounge was good, however the food choice was a bit limited. I find LHs and LXs lounges at FRA and ZRH better. We must have crossed our ways there, although I just went there briefly to go online.

I visited the SWISS Lounge in ZRH earlier this year, was not too pleased with it, too dark. I was however at the Business side, and maybe the SEN part is nicer. Didn't look much at the food since I was quite stuffed from my inbound biz flight from Shanghai, but the hot offerings seemed pretty generous. I'll for sure explore them more next time I visit.

Quoting Loran (Reply 22):
There was another passenger trying to access the fast lane, he was also denied though holding Star Gold status. So we both decided to break the law and passed the closed door, it easily saved us 20 mins of waiting at the screening area.

That's very interesting. To be honest I think they should introduce the fasttrack as a tier for all *G members on all *A flights, but then again since there are soo many already I think the fasttrack gates would be equally crowded hence it may be better to keep it as it is now. But if the security was as packed as you described then I would've jumped that gate also  
Quoting Loran (Reply 22):
PS: Here are some shots from my view:

Ah, great! Always nice to see a flight taken from another person's point of view. That seat by the engine looked really nice, and I should definitely pick that on a future MD flight, daytime i.e.

"Wheels Up!"
//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlineadamspotter From Netherlands, joined Feb 2011, 1177 posts, RR: 12
Reply 24, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 11744 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi Jonas,
Nice trip report, even though you are good at exagerating about some things. Like Eric says very nicely: that's city life!

cheers,
adamspotter // Brendan


25 LH4532 : Hello Jonas , I started looking for acceptable flights after you told me the days , which be the best visiting you . I found the flights for 131,68€
26 JL418 : Jonas, an interesting read as usual, thanks for sharing. Congrats for your Gold status and don't get crossed if lounge personnel doesn't, well, quite
27 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Hi Jonas, enjoyable report as usual, well done! Congratulations on finally reaching your goal. How does it feel as an elite flyer being able to access
28 MSS658 : Hi Jonas While the first part of the report was well known to me it was still great to read! I'm glad the area outside of Brussels did impress you a b
29 gabrielchew : Thanks for posting anothiner facinating report You are quite an amusing writer! Thats' not the furthest south - there are a few more soputhery NZ dest
30 Post contains images LH4116 : Hey there, thanks for the 4th round of replies. I'm so glad you all enjoyed reading! Hi Fabrizio! Yeah the status is nice, but really nothing special
31 Post contains images ronerone : Casablancas, What an interesting read i must say! And excellent photos as always, but what happened to the fisheye? i want to see curves and bends hah
32 FlyingFinn76 : Hej Jonas, And here it is - the most controversial report here in quite a while, probably since the time LH747 dissed SQ's economy service... But yes,
33 Post contains images The777Man : Hej Jonas ! Nice report with nice pictures ! Congratulations on reaching your goal of *G. Enjoy your lounge visits which is very easy in Europe since
34 Post contains images LH4116 : Hi Roni, thank you very much for stopping by! I left the Fisheye at home, in case the worst happened. Then at least I'd have something left of my cam
35 Bnclar : Well SKs old women are always bitter and cold. Even if they have higher salary than all their competitors. I divide SK into trans-atlantic flights and
36 deltamartin : I guess it's OSL-LPA. Martin.
37 Post contains images stipica : Hi Jonas ! " ... on dark Brussels streets full of EU bureaucrats "a 12 year old girl who for some reason gave me some really nasty stares" ... provoke
38 The777Man : Not correct; good luck getting to a United Club on a domestic flight with your *G card. The777Man
39 Post contains images LH4116 : Hi Thanks for the replies I've always found the Swedish grannies to be the friendliest. Had a very nice crew on ZRH-ARN in Business a few weeks ago, a
40 The777Man : Well it sounds very odd that they would differentiate between different *G customers. I never work in the Club so don't know how access actually work
41 akhmad : Hi Jonas, High quality pictures as I can always expect from your trip report. Congratulations with your Gold status. Now you can have a lounge visit a
42 Post contains images parton87 : Hello Jonas! Thanks for the great story! PIty to hear you didn´t like Brussels. As you know I was there in August and I enjoyed the city very much. I
43 ROGERBCN : Hola Jonas! Very interesting Trip Report.... let alone all the comments that came after it. Love your pictures, great stuff! SK looks an OK airline to
44 abrelosojos : Interesting report as usual - thanks for writing it up, as I do recognize how long they take, and the hard work involved. = And above, you have summar
45 Post contains images AirAfreak : My very first experience in Brussels was just a few weeks ago and I stayed at The Hilton Brussels City @ Place Rogier. Not even 20 minutes from leavi
46 Post contains images LH4116 : Robert, Suryo, Roger & Alex: Thank you very much for your replies! Well not exactly at any time, but as long as I'm flying with Star Alliance… W
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