Hi and welcome to my third trip report. This TR will showcase my sole Intra-Europe flight, which was between Barcelona and Venice. For those of you wondering how I got to Europe, feel free to read my previous trip reports.
A Trip Of A Lifetime To Europe, AKL-ICN on KE
A Trip Of A Lifetime To Europe, ICN-LHR on KE
While we were in Europe , I mostly travelled by train (mostly short hops so air travel isn’t particularly convenient) but of course we couldn’t leave without one flight. I wanted to find a flight with an interesting type and airline.
I had a look around and found a flight from BCN to VCE, which was cheap (50 Euros), had an interesting plane type (B717) and had an interesting airline (Spanair) which I had never heard of before I booked this flight (I know, dumb me!). Anyway I decided to book this and was looking forward to this flight.
I booked this flight about 4 months before the trip and of course when you do book early, things sometimes change, firstly the type changed to an A320 (nooooo!) than to an MD-83 ( ) and than on the first day we were in Europe we got an email saying that our flight is cancelled and we were rebooked on the early morning flight (effectively 16.25 Departure to 08.00). Luckily it didn’t hurt our schedules and it also turned out that our type would be the 717 so I guess it was meant to be my destiny .
Before the Flight
It’s an 08.00 departure for me today so that means an early wake up call. I end up dragging myself out of bed at 04.30, which is far too early, but I made it my goal to catch the first Aerobus at 05.30 so I could have a good look around Barcelona Airport. After a quick check to make sure everything is in my bag, I leave the hotel and walk through the deserted streets of Barcelona to Placa Catalunya where the bus would depart.
The bus ended up being packed with people and we had to leave a fair few behind at the bus stop. I guess it’s a good thing they have a bus every 5 minutes. Anyway, the bus ended up taking half an hour and I arrived at BCN at 06.00.
Date: October 2 2010
Routing: Barcelona (BCN) to Venice (VCE)
Fli No: JK 81
Timings (actual): 0800-0945 (0801-0939)
Flying Time (actual): 1hr 45mins (1hr 38mins)
Type: Boeing 717-200
After getting off the bus, we firstly went to the Spanair check-in area. There was a pretty long queue at the counter so I decided to use the kiosk check-in. The first machine didn’t work and judging by the lack of people at the kiosks, I guessed all of them weren’t working but I decided to try one more and it did work. The kiosk was easy to use and it quickly spat out our boarding passes.
After that we needed to drop of our bags (Spanair allows 1 free checked bag). The bag drop had a small queue but in the end it took no less than 5 minutes.
Boarding Pass (Picture taken at home)
After Check-in, I ordered a much needed coffee, than after that I had a look around terminal.
For those of you who don’t know, Spanair operate from Terminal 1 which is a terminal that was opened in June 2009 thus making it just over a year old when I used it. My impressions of the airport are that it is very modern, very clean and easy to use.
Once you go Airside there are plenty of shops to look at and there’s always an adequate amount of seats available. The Airport is also very spotter-friendly with plenty of windows to look out of it though unfortunately it was dark and my camera is awful for any night shots.
I Like the reflection effect on this photo.
After our look around, I bought myself a light brekkie and by then it was nearly time to board. Boarding started at 07.30 and we ended up in a bus. About 10 minutes later the bus left and I was soon in front of the Boeing 717 that would be taking me to Venice.
Photo © Jan Severijns - AirTeamImages
Photo © Rui Miguel
Photo © Pawel Cieplak
Photo © Luc Verkuringen
Our flight today would be operated by EC-KHX. The Aircraft is 11 years old and has previously operated for Olympic Airlines as SX-BOB. According to airfleets.net it is now operating for Blue1 though it doesn’t tell you the reg (Just OH-???). Maybe some finnish a.netters can help clear this up?
Once I stepped off the bus, I took a couple of pics of the aircraft and got in line to get on the flight. At the door, We were greeted by 2 smiling FA’s who helped everyone get on their way. I made my way to the back where I would be sitting today, 22A to be more precise which is behind the wing but in front of the engines.
When you first get to the seat, the first thing you notice is the absolutely abysmal legroom. I am by no means a big person but it was very uncomfortable and it’s got to be the worst legroom I’ve ever experienced. The seat itself is quite comfortable though.
This picture makes the legroom look a lot better than it actually is.
Seats (picture taken in-flight)
Boarding ended up not taking too long and we left pretty much on-time. We taxied past the ATC Tower and had a rolling takeoff on runway 25L.
Load for today’s flight is about 60% which is pretty bad considering they had 2 flights to start with.
Start of Runway
Looks like a nice beach for spotting.
Before the flight, I had learnt that Spanair have taken an LCC style approach and now nothing is free. The BOB cart came around about half an hour after takeoff though I didn’t bother to get anything as I wasn’t hungry. After that I got up went to the lavatory which was clean.
After the crew did a trash-run, the flight was pretty uneventful. The crew retreated to the Galleys and I just stayed in my seat watching the scenery pass by. I also read the in-flight magazine which is a Okayish read, everything was in English which I assume is the standard in Europe?
Contents of Seat Pocket (In-flight magazine & BOB menu)
Safety Card and ad.
Can someone identify the airport at the bottom?
Foothills of the Alps
About 15 minutes before the arrival time, descent started. I was treated to some nice views of the Veneto Region though unfortunately no views of Venice because that was on the other side of the aircraft. Instead I got views of the uglier, industrial cousin of Venice, Mestre which is on the mainland.
The Brenta River
Marshland surrounding Airport
Next to a US 762
Interesting Terminal Design
Disembarking the plane was quick and we made our way to the baggage claim. Our bags ended up being one of the first and we were soon out into the rather crowded arrivals area.
Well Spanair offered an Okayish product but I wouldn’t be in a hurry to try it again. The combination of a poor seat-pitch and the nothing is free (apart from Checked Baggage) approach are the 2 big negatives for Spanair. It sort of sets a double standard for Star Alliance, which is disappointing.
Well of course I can’t forget the main purpose of this flight and that is the 717. It’s definitely a very nice aircraft which you don’t see very often down under (Apart from Western Australia but I highly doubt I’ll be visiting there for a while) and of course it’s a nice change from the usual A320’s and 737’s.
Thank you for reading this TR and if there’s any feedback, don’t hesitate in replying .
Stay Tuned for my next report which will be the return journey from Europe, FCO-ICN-AKL on KE to be more precise.
[Edited 2011-01-15 19:20:03]