BRU-OSL 6 September 2005
Flight SK 4742
Boeing 737-600 registered LN-RPF (SAS Braathens)
Scheduled/actual time of departure: 15:25/15:25
Scheduled/actual time of arrival: 17:20/17:10
This plane landing in Brussels:
Photo © Tommy Desmet
No queue for checking in at the airport. However, I had to run to the far end of terminal A, where all the Oslo flights are docked. The reason for it is that Norway is in the Schengen area, but not in the EU, and therefore, there is no passport control, but sometimes customs checks at a special customs area in the far end of the terminal.
The plane was a clean recent Boeing 737-600 and the airline operating the flight was the result of the merger between the Norwegian arm of SAS and the domestic Norwegian airline Braathens. The airline magazine (containing among others the information about food and drinks) was only in Norwegian; luckily, it was illustrated and the prices were easy to understand anyway.
Very few passengers in the two business rows arranged 2-3 (2) and in the sole economy-flex row arranged 3-3 (2). Most of the plane was configured for the cheap economy passengers, and even so, the load factor did not exceed 20%. The curtain was behind business (no second curtain behind economy-flex).
After a timely take-off from 25R, the three flight attendants started serving the free meal to the business and economy-flex passengers. Thereafter, they could sell food and drinks to the low-fare passengers. Prices are not cheap: €3 for a beer (€4 on domestic flights, because of the taxes!), €4 for a glass of wine (€5 domestic), €5 for a sandwich. As i had already eaten at home and as I would have a nice dinner later that night, I only took a Baileys (€5). For payments by credit card, the steward was still using an old "ironing machine" (if you see what I mean)!.
Arrival was well ahead of time after a smooth flight. Oslo Gaerdermoen airport is superb. Since it is far away from the city (50 km), there is a nice comfortable express train every 10 minutes, but again the prices are outrageous: €20 one way. Payment of the fare is very easy: you swipe your credit card at the entrance of the platform, and again at the exit of the arrival station: the computer calculates the distance you have done and debits your credit card from the right amount.
OSL-BRU 11 September 2005
Flight SK 4741
Boeing 737-600 registered LN-RPU (SAS Braathens)
Scheduled/actual time of departure: 12:45/12:45
Scheduled/actual time of arrival: 14:40/14:30
This plane in Brussels:
Photo © Vinckbooms Kenny
This time the plane was almost full. Still only a few people in the 2 business rows and the 2 economy-flex rows. But the low-cost economy was pretty loaded, which explains why I had a middle seat (I left the aisle to Terenia). And the middle seat in a Boeing 737 (even NG) is much narrower than in an Airbus A320 family plane. I felt cramped in that seat.
The safety card on my seat was for a B737-800, instead of the B737-600/700 it should have been. Bad point for safety!
After reaching 38,000 ft, I sampled a sandwich, very nice, with a beer and a coffee (free with the sandwich). This time, they had a correct calculator to print credit card receipts.
The rest of the fight was uneventful, and again the arrival was early, after landing on 25R and docking at the far end of terminal A for a possible customs control, which fortunately was not carried out for this particular flight.
P.S. This cheap flight provided only 125 FF miles each way in the Miles & More programme of Lufthansa!