As announced in the following topic (http://www.airliners.net/discussions/general_aviation/read.main/1204243/), SN Brussels Airlines, Belgian’s International Flag Carrier, was going to keep a big open door on Sunday 5 October.
Jumbolino (Jutta), Sabena332 (Patrick) and ViveAF (Richard) decided to book a flight immediately to join us on the event. You will see their respective trip reports posted somewhere this week.
Anyway, at 8.50am, me and my dad arrived at the airport to pick up Jutta, Rich and Patrick who had spent their night at the Holiday Inn Express. We also met Ben (American767) but he finally decided not to join us on the event, since he had a flight at 12.50 to LHR, and it would be too risky to miss his flight.
We drove to the event via the DHL buildings, were a lot of B727’s, B752’s and A300’s were parked.
At 9.15 we joined the queue which was still small at that moment. The doors were planned to open at 10am, so we had 45 minutes to chat a bit. Ivan arrived about 20 minutes later, and decided to join us in the beginning of the queue, lucky for him since at that moment it was already very long
Spot on time, the doors went open, and we were welcomed by very friendly SN staff. Before we went inside, we got a plann on which we could see where everything was located. After a very short hello to the girlfriend of Md-11er, we ran to the far right corner where we were able to book our flights. About 70 people were in front of us, and after 40 minuts of waiting, it was our turn. We (my dad-Jutta-Patrick-Ivan-Richard and me) booked us on the 12am flight.
After a chat with forum member Pressclub (he is one of the big bosses of SN Brussels Airlines) and a lot of other friends, an announcement was made that everyone flying on the 12am flight had to proceed to the security control in the terminal.
We were scanned, and our bags were opened to see if they contained any explosives or other materials that can damage the aircraft.
Boarding was on time, I waited as long as possible to board because the back of the SNBA hangar gives very very good views for spotting. Aircrafts rotate in front of your nose. Anyway, after spotting a World MD11 and a Gemini Air Cargo MD11, I boarded OO-DWL and proceeded to my seat 10C.
BR / EBMB), Belgium">BRU-BRU
Photo © KARL CORNIL
Photo © Vincent Verlaeken
At 12.10am, we started our taxi (after we spotted the arrival of an SV B742F and MD11F). The pilots explained everything very carefully to us, they even made a joke when they announced that runway 25R was in use (the Belgians will know all about it: he said: “The active runway in use for take off’s is 25R today. Anybody who wants to know more about the runways of BR / EBMB), Belgium">BRU may contact Bert Anciaux, he knows everything about it ). A Volare A320 took off in front of us, and at 12.13, it was our turn.
Take off roll was long, and we climbed quite fast through some clouds. Views were still decent, but unfortunately we first had to climb to 13000ft, and after the clouds were again reaching our flight level, we had to climb to 14000ft. We were asked not to join the cockpit. If we wanted to see the cockpit and ask questions, we had to visit the Avro which was on display in the SN hangar.
A very nice touch about 10 minutes after take off was the chocolate service: they served extremely well tasting Belgian pralines.
About the Avro RJ100 of SNBA: leg room is very decent IMO. Being 1m93, I had enough space. Seats are equipped with footrests, very nice for people a bit less longer than me. The seats themselves are very comfortable leather seats. The only thing I noticed was that the Avro is quite noisy. Of course less than a B732, but more than for example the A319. Ok, maybe it was because the engines were just next to me, because a flight attendant of SN told me afterwards that the noise in the Avro is less than in the A319. Configuration is 2-3 which is very comfortable. I can imagine that 3-3 like BA and LH must be very cramped.
Once we approached the sea, there were thick clouds under is. I saw the sea a few seconds, and afterwards I changed seats with my dad (I went to the window).
A few minutes after we let the sea behind us, the ‘fasten your seatbelt lights’ went on, and the usual safety announcements were made.
Than came a nice surprise (again): the flight attendants handed personalised flight certificates out! This is a scan made by Jutta:
I put this in my archive, together with my boarding pass (with the registration written behind, + the seats I used), inflight magazine, and safetycard. Very nice souvenir!
Landing was a bit bumpy due to turbulence and quite heavy winds. After our landing on 25R (my first ever time I landed NOT on 25L), we taxied to the SNBA hangar, and after us the third SV Cargo of the day landed, again an MD11. This together with the 2 SQC B744F’s, BR MD11, Hydro Air Cargo B742F, World MD11F and GCO MD11F made the cargo apron very nice. A bit later, also an Antonov AN12 of ADB joined the cargo’s.
We said goodbye to Delta Whisky Lima, and entered the SN hangar where we bought SNBA inflight sandwiches which were very tasty. We eat them together with several friends (of which a few were airliners.netters).
Afterwards we joined the queue for the A319. It took 1h40m to enter Sierra Sierra Mike (which was towed in the hangar at about 10.30am after just having completed a flight to Tel Aviv and to CDG), and it was worth the long wait! Very friendly pilots who answered all our questions, the cockpit was very nice with all the lights and screens turned on. Once into the cabin I tested as much seats as possible. First I tested the C-class seats which were extremely comfortable. Than I tested the second row of Y, also very comfortable, the same can be said about the exit row seats. After this, I tested the 6th last row of Y-class, and my feeling seemed to be true! When I flew a BA A319 last July, I found that my seat was very very cramped, much more than the BA B752, B763 and DHC8 I flew earlier that week. It was exactly as cramped in the back of the SN A319. So I asked one of the SN stewards onboard if my feelings were correct, and he confirmed them! Apparently the first half of Y-class has about 3-4 centimeters of more leg room, and it makes a big difference for me!
After a chat with the flight attendant standing behind in the plane, I left SSM and went with our group into the engine shop where we were astonished of the price of an engine/landing gear/ignition/…
At 4pm, we left the SN building after a very enjoyable day. First Ivan put Jutta off at her hotel (she flew back on monday afternoon), afterwards he put me and Patrick off in the airport. I went with Patrick to the LH ticket counter, and he changed to an earlier flight for a 40 Euro penalty, of course you will read more about this in his trip report.
After he checked in for his flights to FRA and DUS via self-check-inn (I followed the process, a very nice touch that you can select your seats!), we went to the ‘Wingtips’ were I wrote the registrations down of the parked aircrafts and had a coke with Patrick.
At 5.50pm, I directed Patrick to the A-Pier, we said goodbye, I proceeded to the station to catch my train and Patrick to the terminal to catch his flight.
I know that the flight report itself is not that long, but I wanted to give you all an impression of the open door, about how nice the SN staff was and about how well organised the event was (a lot of time and efforts were put into it). A big thumbs up to everybody working for SN! Of course also a bit thank you to all who kept me company on Sunday!
Jutta made some nice pics, you can access them via http://hot-server.de/juttaedith/bru_1003/
Any comments are welcome of course