Welcome to this another trip report for the LYSflyer (or should I be called MRSflyer from now?) covering a short city break to The Big Apple or New York City, NY, USA as it is named in the books.
Well, my wife and I decided to take advantage of the quite interesting fares to indulge ourselves a city break to this famous city. As I try to stick on the Star Alliance carriers, options were aplenty while not very varied (MRS to MUC/FRA/BRU/LIS or IST). I found an interesting routing MRS-BRU-EWR and return on Brussels Airlines and United and booked this itinerary on misterfly website which is very convenient despite I couldn't enter our M&M card numbers.I received the email confirmation few minutes later containing both a SN and UA booking reference so I can preselect our seats in advance (call me geek) and as soon as the hotel was booked, all was set for an awesome weekend in The Big Apple!
Here is the routing for this trip report :
Courtesy of the Great Circle Mapper
The flight to Brussels departing at 6.45am, it meant that we had to wake-up at an insane hour in order to arrive at MRS before the closure of the check-in. As I work quite far away from Avignon, I decided to spend the night before at the Ibis Marseille Airport hotel so I could be picked-up by my wife at the train station ensuring us a restful night before our journey across the Atlantic. There is not much to tell about this hotel, the only drawback is that my Accorhotel Silver status wasn't recognized during check-in. Anyway, it wasn't a big deal and the hotel is conveniently located for an early flight from MRS.
So, after a rather short night, it was time to park the car and the P1 parking lot which is right next to the Terminal 1 Hall A where SN flights are departing.
This way to the Terminal building
Sure, this is the right way to go
Walkway with nice reproduction of typical paintings from Provence leading to the check-in hall
Finally inside a rather deserted Hall A
Check-in was already done 24hrs before departure on the Brussels Airlines app but we still had to drop-off our luggages. The check-in counters were deserted and dropping-off our luggages was quickly done by a disinterested check-in agent
After dropping-off luggages it was time to head upstairs to the security screening. The terminal still looked pretty deserted as our flight was one of the first of the day
Security screening was done quickly and we still had to go through border passport control
Marseille airside is quite airy and bright. Sorry for the blurriness of my pics, I didn't realize this until I saw them on my laptop screen...Sorry for that...
Boarding gate with the LH flight bound to MUC boarding on the right-hand side
Our belgian sleeping beauty still resting after a frozing night
Flight # : SN3604
Departure airport : Marseille Provence (MRS/LFML)
Arrival airport : Brussels Airport (BRU/EBBR)
ETD : 0645
ATD : 0645
ETA : 0830
ATA : 0845
Scheduled flight time : 01:45
Actual flight time : 02:00
Aircraft type : Airbus A319-100
Reg # : OO-SSO
Seat : 08F
Today's actual flightpath
Boarding was called and soon all the passengers started a short line at the gate. Everything was quite quick and the load factor didn't seem to be very high though...
The best view over a frozen wing
A quick reminder in case you have forgotten where you are going to fly
The cabin is not very fancy while doing the job and the seats looks quite similar to the seats you can find on other Lufthansa group airlines...make sense, SN is part of it!
Reading material provided by SN and starring Marseille
Good legroom...okay I'm rather short (1.67m)
Nice view over the frozen wing
Unusual sight in Marseille...deicing in progress for the Air France A320 bound to Paris
And for us too! Note that there isn't any deicing stand and it is done directly after pushback on the apron
Unfortunately, the window was full of deicing fluid for a good part of the flight meaning that I couldn't take any valuable photo during take-off
Nice views over the Mont Ventoux surrounded by dense low altitude clouds
The more we flew the more cloudier weather was
SN is a hybrid airline meaning that service is LCC-style but you're still able to collect miles and such like Eurowings does. The fares are fair and the quality is here but I deeply regret that LCC-style trend that hits the airline industry...however, this is what I've ordered this morning : the muffin was delicious and big enough
Cruising over cloudy France with a traffic crossing our way
Starting the approach
Nice sunrise light after breaching the cloud layer
Snowy belgian landscape
Beautiful winter morning over Belgium
Wow! Such a bright Red Devils A320 inbound from MAN crossing our way
BRU is a dual military/civilian airport hosting the Air Transport component of the Belgian Air Force
Passing the Cargo apron of BRU
Vacating the runway
Ryanair has invaded main airport and BRU in particular
It seems that we are going to be parked right next to the biggest competitor of SN
Disembarking using stairs meaning a bus ride?
Well no...it seems that SN at its homebase has not a better treatment than FR...Baaad point for both SN and BRU...
This way to the exit...
Where is the building?
Yep...SN passengers are not better treated than FR ones...
Finally we have the terminal in sight
It looks like this area is still under construction
Finally we reached the terminal building after a quite long trek in the cold
Transfer is clearly indicated and the way to reach B non-schengen gates is to go upstairs
We found ourselves in the midst of a shopping mall...sorry...food/shop court of the Terminal A
Cool looking and iconic Tintin rocket
More upstairs to transfer to the B gates
Nice view over the apron in the escalator leading to the B gates
Passport check was like a breeze thanks to the automatic gates. It's interesting to note that we didn't go through another security screening which makes the transfer hassle-free and very quick. Anyway, like the vast majority of european airports, we had to endure the duty free before actually reaching the gates
Cool Smurf plane hanged over the food court
First view over this sharp looking B764 that will fly us to the US
Thank you and I hope I will
The gate next to my flight's gate offered a nice view over this nice looking widebody
My wife had a dreadful SSSS mark on her boarding pass so she had to go through a complementary security screening which was quite fast and done in a very courteous manner by belgian security personnel.
Flight # : UA998
Departure airport : Brussels Airport (BRU/EBBR)
Arrival airport : Newark Liberty International (EWR/KEWR)
ETD : 1000
ATD : 1000
ETA : 1300
ATA : 1300
Scheduled flight time : 09:00
Actual flight time : 09:00
Aircraft type : Boeing 767-400ER
Reg # : N77066
Seat : 38L
Downstairs is the way to go!
Rather bland jet bridge in BRU
I love that feeling before boarding. Passengers were greeted by a nice male FA in the galley that was in the middle of the preparation for some snacks for C class passengers. I have found this odd to mix passengers and food in this way
The cabin looked nice, clean and modern with a cheap pillow and a blanket at each seat
Cargo is still being loaded with some belgian and irish neighbors
Nice legroom and the seat is quite comfortable while not being the most comfortable I ever sat on
Not an inspiring reading material. The inflight magazine was not the most interesting one though
The IFE was already available. Supporting the US winter olympic team and available in many different languages, it has a good selection of entertaining material. Note that power plugs are available between the seats, the IFE screen has a USB port that is useful to load your smartphone and the earphones port is a regular 1-pin socket so you can use easily your own earphones! Good point for UA!
Pushback right on time
A UA B772 and a TG A359 resting on the ramp for their next long-haul flights
An ET B788 waiting for its next flight to ADD via VIE
A blurry UX E190 arriving from MAD
I find this control tower quite impressive
Remember that BRU is also a military airport operated by the Belgian Air Force...
Look what is incoming! A great looking Luftwaffe A400M that is about to land!
Our turn to enter the active runway
Going to the active
Roaring the runway towards EWR
On the right, you can spot a white A330 that has landed few minutes ago probably operating a military charter flight on behalf the Belgian ministry of Defence
Rotating. Does anyone know to whom this A340 belongs to?
Ascending over Brussels suburbs
Flying westwards and gaining altitude
I like the raked wingtips
Crossing an overcasted Channel
Soon a small snack was offered. Pretty tasty but we were offered only by the glass rather than a full can
Overflying the UK
Sky became clearer while over Scotland
Beautiful snowy landscapes
Sky is clear over Edinburgh
Edinburgh Airport (EDI/EGPH)
The snowy covered Highlands are so beautiful
Lunch was served soon after. It was very filling and tasty with another round of drinks
Meanwhile the natural IFE is so amazing and we reach the North Atlantic
Paying a visit to the not so clean lavatories
Dessert was served with this tasty strawberry ice cream and a tiny bottle of water that helps passengers to stay hydrated during the flight
We crossed an overcasted Iceland
Overflying so huge icebergs! Quite impressive!
Can anyone tell me what's that brownish layer on the sea? It doesn't look like the arctic sea ice instead it looks more foamy
The first time I overfly Greenland and it's very impressive to say the least! It looks the pure and fragile. It made feel humble in front of the beauty of the nature
Some glacier diving in the Atlantic ocean
No, it's not a sea of clouds but it looks like central Greenland is covered by a thick layer of snow
Crossing a flightpath of this beautiful AC B788...sad to see that livery going...
The cabin inflight. It's nice that we weren't told to close the window shades!
The Baffin Sea (Am I right?)
Reaching Canadian soil
Strange looking René-Levasseur Island
A very tasty sandwich was served around 1.30hrs before arrival. However the drink service took ages to be served
First view over the St Laurent River
Quebec City in sight
Quebec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB/CYQB)
A nice flight is about to end
We had to go through a thick layer of clouds
Heavily urbanized suburbs
This is NJ
Seconds before touching down
Full brakes on
Vacating the active
Crossing the parallel runway
Guess who's the biggest player in EWR?
Hey B6! Are you lost? Your home is more JFK than EWR
The answer of my previous question : United is the biggest player in EWR! I know it was an easy one!
Disembarking was quite fast
Blind jetbridge in EWR
We had to do a quite long walk to reach the immigration. Anyway, it was pleasant after being seat for almost 9hrs
Last obstructed view over N77066 with a tiny brother UA B763 parked next to her
This way to immigration
Nice touch from UA. It was a pleasure to fly with you
The baggage claim area. It could have been nicer but all I wanted is to pick my luggage and delivering was quite fast
We booked the Airport bus to reach New York City. It wasn't clear indicated and the ride was not pleasant at all...
We stayed at the Andaz Wall Street hotel which was very comfortable and the room...huuuge! However, be aware that having an hotel in the financial district means a loooong journey by subway to reach the most touristically interesting places. Anyway, we had everything we needed right around the corner (restaurant, subway/bus station, grocery,...)
Now, let's have a look at our time in the Big Apple
New York Stock Exchange
Inside the Trinity Church
Impressive One World Trade Center
The 9/11 memorial with the Oculus in the background...it strangely looks like the Lyon St Exupery train station : Lyon St Exupéry TGV
Visiting the One World Trade Center is truly a great experience. I highly recommend it!
The iconic Statue of Liberty
Cool and interesting show
The One World Trade Center is directly linked to the PATH and the mall that is inside the Oculus
Feeling hungry, we ate at Luke's Lobster...amazingly delicious despite the tiny portion and the lobster could have been a bit warmer...anyway, it was truly delicious
Guess where are we going?
The Statue of Liberty for sure
Jersey City skyline on the left. Manhattan's financial district skyline on the right. Ellis Island on the foreground
The world most famous flame!
The ferry to the Statue of Liberty allows you to visit Ellis Island too
NYC subway...I have to say it is not a user-friendly subway network which looks like a total mess! Hopefully, I used a well updated Google Maps app in order to reach where we wanted to go
Do you want to travel with style? Then start your journey at The Grand Central Station
The Chrysler is truly majestuous
A crowded Times Square...truly impressively impressive
Up to the top of the Empire State Building
The weather was terrible but I enjoyed the view with that special feeling
We indulge ourselves a Broadway show : The Lion King which was very entertaining! We had a great time there
The day after we visited the Guggenheim museum. It is a masterpiece of architecture with good pieces of art
Provence is unforgettable
Yes, we are in the USA
After visiting the Guggenheim, we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art
About to enter a Pyramid?
The MET is so big!
Provence is chasing us!
Nice but too crowded Michaelangelo temporary exhibition
David Hockney temporary exhibition...my wife's favorite artist
Reaching the middle eastern and arabic section of the MET. The Mount of Olives
All that impressive art...and the rain, left us quite hungry so we decided to head to the Katz Delicatessen for a huuuuuge pastrami sandwich
The Brooklin bridge and the Brooklin skyline at the early morning
The planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History
Way too soon it was time to go back home. Instead of using the dreaded Airport Express bus I decided to hail a Uber which was way more convenient that the bus
On the highway to EWR
The entrance of EWR Terminal C
This floor is dedicated to F & C passengers...the crowd has to check-in downstairs
Baggage drop-off was not crowded at all! The all process was swift and easy...
...despite we had to do quite everything by ourselves under the supervision of a UA staff at the counter
Going back upstairs to the security screening which was done quite quickly. I have read horror stories about the TSA screenings but I have no complaints about this!
Well...in case you don't know EWR is th United fortress hub..
Clear connector between 2 concourses
Work is ongoing on the UA lounge
Gate C120 is the way to go this time. I like having the FIDS in the alphabetical order
Large and airy place
Today's gate at the very beginning of the concourse
With our long and sleek B764 getting ready for its next flight across the Pond
I decided to visit the rest of the Terminal C with my plane on the background and this B772 about to depart towards MUC in the foreground
Nice views over the Manhattan skyline
This gorgeous Queen of the Skies arriving from FRA...such a beautiful LH B748
Flight # : UA999
Departure airport : Newark Liberty International (EWR/KEWR)
Arrival airport : Brussels Airport (BRU/EBBR)
ETD : 1840
ATD : 1845
ETA : 0805+1
ATA : 0725+1
Scheduled flight time : 07:25
Actual flight time : 6:40
Aircraft type : Boeing 767-400ER
Reg # : N68061
Seat : 38L
Today's flightpath (well some segments are missing..due to lack of ADS-B coverage)
Boarding was called but I could barely hear the annoucement. Anyway, boarding by zone was done in a very effective way.
Another blind jetbridge
It wasn't easy to take a good picture of the plane but I still took one!
The same fresh-looking cabin
Still the same legroom. Enough for such longhaul flight
Proudly supporting the US winter olympics team
The same reading material. This time Wifi was advertised and I could detect a network but I was not able to actually connect on this network...
Feeding the belly of our beast was still ongoing
UA IFE has some Star Wars movies loaded...big big plus for UA!
Pushback few minutes late but not a big deal
Nice safety video with a nice touch that it is subtitled in the language of the destination (in this case : flemish and french)
The FedEx cargo ramp
The huge line up of planes about to land
Stunning views over New York City at night
Can you sport New York La Guardia Airport (LGA/KLGA)?
I guess it's New Haven with Long Island in the background
Boston in sight
Ginger Ale with some pretzels before lunch
Lunch was served shortly after. Tasty and filling (sorry I forgot to take a photo unpacked
With a tasty dessert and the small bottle of water to stay hydrated
Thanks to strong tailwinds, the flight was fast! Around an hour before landing, breakfast was served. Not very filling but honest
Over the UK
Lille in the background
Getting closer to Brussels
Lined up to the runway
Landed on the Old Continent
Taxiing towards the terminal. A deicing spot is settled for departing planes
Parked right next a EY A332 in old colors bound from AUH
Another blind jetbridge
We found ourselves in the B concourse
Where is everyone?
This way to go...it doesn't look inviting
Immigration was quick and easy in a manned both and no further security screening to reach the A concourse. Nice view over the Apron
Mandatory and painful duty free...
I love that display
Except for the FIDS, it doesn't look like an airport AT ALL
It may be not an architectural masterpiece but it's a terminal easy to use
Those russian tiny jets are so good looking. This SN SSJ is landing from NTE (if I remember correctly)
The plane that will operate my upcoming flight arriving from GVA
Our gate getting readied
It was not easy to take a photo of our today's ride
Boarding was called in very orderly way (curious for a France-bound flight ^^)
Flight # : SN3597
Departure airport : Brussels Airport (BRU/EBBR)
Arrival airport : Marseille Provence (MRS/LFML)
ETD : 1025
ATD : 1030
ETA : 1205
ATA : 1205
Scheduled flight time : 01:40
Actual flight time : 01:35
Aircraft type : Airbus A319-100
Reg # : OO-SSQ
Seat : 16F
How I love boarding a plane
Standard seat view
Neighbored by a UX E190 getting prepared to fly back to MAD
Brussels Airlines reading material
Healthy load today
Sun facing T Gates with a bunch of SN A33x getting prepared to their flights to Africa
Reaching the active
Accelerating down the runway
Rocketting the skies
Flaps retracted and gaining speed
The landscapes becomes snowy when reaching the Ardennes
Service low-cost style...a napkin! The bottled water comes from UA
Snow is also there in the Jura mountains
A nuclear plant..this is France! And it means that where are close to Lyon
Lyon at the distance
Top of Descent near Valence
Salon de Provence and Salon AB (LFMY)
The Etang de Berre and Istres in the background
Nice view over the Blue Coast
Airbrakes in action
The approach on MRS is so scenic
Airbus Helicopter FAL
Seconds before landing
Full brakes and quickly decelerating
Vacating the runway
Taxiing towards the terminal
Parked right next to a IB CRK bound to MAD
Upstairs is the way to go
Thank you for the ride OO-SSQ.I started to feel tired. On the right, you can see a bit of a ZI A32x probably going to a destination in Algeria
Bright and clean
A cute AT E190 going to RBA (If I remember well)
After going upstairs you go downstairs..clever isn't it?
To the immigration that was done by an impolite policewoman more interested by chatting with her colleague than actually doing her job...unfortunately, they are in the process of installing new PARAFE checkpoints so immigration had to be done manually...
Baggages were delivered quite quickly on the carrousel
I could spot our ride one last time
Exiting the baggage claim area just to find ourselves in the terminal.
We picked up our car in the parking and 40 minutes later we were at home, tired...
MRS : Convenient and very easy-to-use airport. Their website is good enough and you can buy interesting services on it. I enjoy having MRS has my hometown airport
BRU : Pure example of what should be a hub airport. Easy to navigate, efficient transfers, good ammenities. The only disappointment I have against BRU is the remote stand on the arrival of the flight from MRS where we had to miserabily walk in the cold
EWR : Good airport with short waiting times for check-in and security screening. Good food court and shopping area. I am pleasantly surprised.
New York City : Another enjoyable time in this wonderful town
Thank you so much for reading. Feel free to comment...it's encouraged!!!
See you next time for another trip report of the LYSflyer
Links to my previous TR :
Swiss Economy LYS-ZRH-EWR
Aegean Airlines A3633/A3632-LYS-ATH-LYS-Inaugural
Brussels Airlines SN3588 - LYS-BRU - Economy
Adria Airways JP395 - BRU-LJU - Economy
Adria Airways JP376 - LJU-BRU - Economy
Brussels Airlines SN3591 - BRU-LYS - Economy
TAP By Portugalia Economy LYS-LIS
Air France Economy MRS-ORY
Turkish Airlines MRS-IST Economy
Ryanair MRS-TUF Low-cost
Ethiopian Airlines NIM-ADD-CDG Business
Eurowings MRS-DUS Low-cost
Swiss LYS-ZRH-FCO Business
Alitalia FCO-PMO Economy
Air France MRS-AMS Economy