sultanils
Topic Author
Posts: 1929
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:37 pm

B-Light = Delight? A Trip On SN To GVA

Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:35 am

Welcome dear readers,

Nearly every country has it’s own flag carrier. For Belgium, this is true as well. In the past we had Sabena,

Société Anonyme Belge d'Exploitation de la Navigation Aérienne (well it’s just a name…)


… the Belgian airline from 1923 until 2001. After the 9/11 catastrophe, things started building up and Sabena sadly went bankrupt. After its bankruptcy in 2001, the newly-formed SN Brussels Airlines took over part of SABENA's assets in February 2002, which then became Brussels Airlines. SN is a subsidiary of Lufthansa and part of the Star Alliance. It is also the largest airline based in Belgium (now would that be difficult?), operating to over 65 destinations in 20 European countries as well as long-haul flights to East, Central and West Africa.
Having flown Sabena once in it’s good old days I was curious to know how the ‘new’ Sabena’ would be performing. Brussels Airlines established itself on the market in Belgium, it is omnipresent in the street, making lots of publicity.
I have never flown on SN before (Virgin Express, yes…) so I tought the moment was there to change this. Searching their easily navigable website I found a more or less acceptable fare in their ‘b-light’ cabin (= the cheapest travel class) to GVA for a dayreturn (about € 114). GVA is operated up until 6x daily on working days and the competition with EZY on this route must be fierce. The question is: does it perform better than EZY, which I have flown to GVA before? I hope it does..

The day before I checked in online and chose my seats (window last row), the BP was sent to my mobile phone. No more paper waste!
After a half day at the office, it was time to head for the airport. I was closely monitoring the BRU airport website and in the morning already I expected a delay. The inbound flight coming from MAD was delayed for an hour. With then panning of schedules that would mean at least a half an hour delay. Not good…
I arrived at the airport, parked the car on the apron and went inside, direction terminal A and straight through security. No problems here although a ring on my finger most probably set the alarm. Has the beeper become more sensitive? Don’t know, but that’s the first time this happens to me. I was frisk searched and allowed to continue.

The car apron (dump…)


The looong walkway to terminal A under the apron (this about to change)


Boarding at gate A48 was normally due at 15h00 but a small delay of 15 min was announced. Now that’s not too bad. I was half an hour early so I made a walk up to gate A72 at the very end of the terminal to see if I can spot some interesting things.

Portugalia to OPO about to leave


Jetairfly to RHO


What it is all about today: SN


SN’s business lounge at the very end, catering for passengers heading to Africa (T-gates)


BRU’s petrol station, shot through the window at gate A72


Etihad just arrived from AUH at terminal B


The much-too-long A concourse, note the dual signage A65/T65


Another charter to the Turkish sun


Helvetic operating for LX to ZRH on it’s way to 7R for takeoff


Brothers in arms


Yep, this is the one for me, coming in 15 mins late from MAD


About 15 mins after deboarding of the inbound passengers, we were allowed on board. My electronic BP was scanned and I was on my way to my first SN flight.

Shot through the glass finger onto the aircraft, Vueling to VLC



Flight: SN2719
Aircraft: A319
STD-STA: 15h30-16h45
Reg: OO-SSD
Seat: 24A, changed to 18C
Load: about 50% over all classes


Upon entering I was greeted by the female purser with a smile, in Dutch, French and English. Nice to be able to speak my own language for once on board an aircraft. The cabin looks nice and clean, new seats are installed it seems. 3 female F/A’s in total on duty on this flight. But oh horror when I came to my seat: no window! Now I have never had this before: no window on a A319 in the last row on the left side. Needless to say I was not happy… I asked the F/A if I could change seats if there was one available. ‘No problem’, she replied. ‘Just wait until the purser announces “boarding complete” and you can choose any free seat with the red mark on it’. ‘Thanks’ I replied and I patiently waited.
‘Boarding complete’ was announced but alas all window seats were taken. Well, bad luck this time so I tried to make the most out of it.

The seats, the new ultrathin ones as experienced on my last LH flight some weeks ago


Another seat view


I sure will


Cabin after boarding, safety demo playing


View to my left 


After a warm welcome from up front , we made our way to 7R for takeoff. Suddenly I noticed an older couple wanted to change seats at the last moment. The F/A asked me if I wanted to change for their aisle seat, more in the middle. ‘Sure’ I said and I took place in 18C. At least now I had some more view, but still no window. I asked the young lady in the window seat (she was reading a book) if she wanted to switch seats but she replied: ‘I like the window’ in broken English. ‘OK, no problem at all’, I replied. I rest my case… (sigh…).


After some minor turbulence on takeoff, the crew sprung into action and started the BOB service. I took a mango smoothie, yummy!

Inflight mag ‘B-there’ on a not-so-interesting page & smoothie


After an hour we were already descending for GVA’s rwy 23.

The only view I had outside…


We arrived at gate 1 and I made my way outside since I had about 1,5h until boarding of the return flight. Let me take you on a discovery tour of GVA:

Bagage claim


EZY checkin zone


General checkin zone


Gate area at A3


All alone under the apron, long walks to do here in GVA


After some wandering around, I went through security and was airside again in minutes. A gate change for BRU was announced meantime: A1 iso A4. That’s fine by me.

On my way to A1


GVA wins hands down: worst spotting airport…


OO-SSD leaving back for BRU


Half an hour before STD of my flight back, the expected Avro RJ85 appeared on the apron. 20 mins later, boarding was called. Some passengers (also me) having scanning issues with electronic BP’s and cause delays in boarding: GVA please fix this! This time I was lucky: window last row indeed had a window, phewww….


Flight: SN2726
Aircraft: BAE Systems Avro RJ85
STD-STA: 18h55-20h15
Reg: OO-DJR
Seat: 17A
Load: 100%


Upon entering I was greeted by male purser Wim into the small clean cabin of the RJ85. In total there was 1 male and 1 female F/A on duty. What a small aircraft this RJ85 is, low ceiling as well and when looking out the window, you realize how low to the ground you are in comparison with other aircraft.

View behind: the galley


View to the right, before my seatmate arrived


Old school leather seats, comfy nevertheless


Acceptable legroom


My first look out of the window today, and a dirty window it is!


Everyone settling in


Pushing back revealing the GVA lineup for tonight


A LOT logo bird


Full cabin on this one today


We made our way to rwy 23, the captain performing his welcome speech, annoucing some turbulence due to thunderstorms around and expecting a 1h flight time to BRU. We were second in line for takeoff and lifted gently off into the hazy Geneva skies.

Taxiing to the active


Allright, you can go first


GVA overview


And again


Geneva city in the background


On climbout


Inflight mag explaining the different cabin classes, I was in ‘b-light’ of course


Must be the thunder cells the cpt was telling us about


Service started and the 2 F/A’s had their hands full in providing the catering for this full flight. I once again took a smoothie, albeit another flavour: strawberry this time.

Strawberry smoothie, very good!


For the remainder of the flight I was glued to the window - 
Islands of clouds


Some more


Turning right


Once we were over Belgium, more clouds came in, announcing not-too-good weather on the ground: rain…

Clouds coming in, how I love these views!


Again


And again


Soon enough and after some twists and turns, we were on finals for BRU’s rwy 02.

Breaking through the thick cloud layer


Just another highway, the E40


Touchdown in a dreary BRU


After a short taxi, I was nearly back from where I started from: terminal A

Terminal A back in sight


The competition for this route


And turning into the gate


Our neighbour comes from somewhat further than GVA  


Upon exiting I took one more cabin shot and asked permission to visit the flight deck: permission granted! After a short chat I bid the pilots farewell as they had to prepare the paperwork for their next assignment: TLS.

Cabin shot of OO-DJR (note the different coloured seat covers)


The office of OO-DJR


My afternoon GVA hop was at an end. My voyage with SN was a most enjoyable one. Except for the not-windowed window seat I cannot fault SN for anything. Flights were on time, planes were clean, service was good. Pricewise it will be difficult to beat EZY on this route but if you want an assigned seat than SN is your carrier of choice on this route. Even more it offers a 6x daily service whereas EZY only flies 2x daily in winter and only daily in summer. It’s up to you to choose but I’d prefer SN again.

So b-light in fact is a bit of a delight  



Thanks for reading and feel free to post you comments, they are greatly appreciated!

   Sultanils
In thrust we trust.
 
RvXKaz
Posts: 189
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:57 am

RE: B-Light = Delight? A Trip On SN To GVA

Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:09 pm

Hi Nils,

What a nice report from you and I am really glad you've had an enjoyable half-day trip to Switzerland!

Its always nice to try something new and I'm glad you've found SN to your liking.

So sorry to hear that you've got a windowless window seat! I know that awful feeling! Kudos on your effort to find another window seat though. Having been assigned windowless seats on more than one occasion, I'd always resign to my fate and stick to my unlucky seat!

Kudos on scoring a cockpit visit (and photos) on your way back!

Ooh, the smoothies sound really refreshing and yummy, especially mango and strawberry flavours!

Nice preview of BRU Airport once again, its really interesting to see what goes on over there.

A nice trip with lovely photos indeed, thanks so much for sharing!

Keep flying!
RvXKaz
They say that I'm a dreamer. But I'd only Dreamt Skyward.
 
Knightsofmalta
Posts: 1665
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

RE: B-Light = Delight? A Trip On SN To GVA

Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:12 pm

Hi Sultanils

Nice trip report. I've never tried SN Brussels, but perhaps I should. They look as though they have a solid product. So what did you think of Geneva airport, did you like it?
 
deltamartin
Posts: 981
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2010 5:48 pm

RE: B-Light = Delight? A Trip On SN To GVA

Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:10 pm

Hi Sultanils!

Nice tripreport, i really enjoyed reading it!
SN seems like a nice airline, and a ride on an Avro is never bad!  
Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
The looong walkway to terminal A under the apron (this about to change)

What are they changing?

Martin
 
PieterBoth
Posts: 121
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:49 pm

RE: B-Light = Delight? A Trip On SN To GVA

Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:24 pm

Nice report! I really like the SN branding onboard such as 'b.tidy' and 'b.cool' on the cups etc.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
But oh horror when I came to my seat: no window!

I had this experience once when I was younger on an AF 747 coming back from MRU, I asked the check-in if I could have a window seat and when I got on the plane, I sure got a window seat, without a window    It was a looooong and boring flight....
 
User avatar
airbuseric
Posts: 3560
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 1:24 am

RE: B-Light = Delight? A Trip On SN To GVA

Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:35 pm

Hi Nils,

really nice report, you have it online pretty quick too!

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
But oh horror when I came to my seat: no window!

Oh yes, that's a risk at the last row. At least SK CR9's also have this problem, as well, LH 733's iirc. Secondlast row is better, plus you have recline also.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
A LOT logo bird

Their latest E90 which was delivered very recently.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Once we were over Belgium, more clouds came in, announcing not-too-good weather on the ground: rain…

Ah, the rain which I got just a few hours later... why didn't you keep it in Belgium?  
Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Pricewise it will be difficult to beat EZY on this route but if you want an assigned seat than SN is your carrier of choice on this route.

Plus, SN have lounges, a mileage program, interline agreements for connections, free luggage (also for b.light?).

I flew SN also once, a good experience and the sandwiches they sell on board were really good and big size also!

Regards
Eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
Knightsofmalta
Posts: 1665
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

RE: B-Light = Delight? A Trip On SN To GVA

Wed Jul 13, 2011 2:39 pm

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 5):
Oh yes, that's a risk at the last row. At least SK CR9's also have this problem, as well, LH 733's iirc. Secondlast row is better, plus you have recline also.

Yeah, on LH's B.737-500 it's row 5 or 6 that has no window. Or rather it has a window that requires you to make the most fantastic contortions with your body to be able to look out. What I don't understand is that this is apparently a preferred seat they assign to Senators. Aren't Senator's supposed to look out the window?
 
sultanils
Topic Author
Posts: 1929
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:37 pm

RE: B-Light = Delight? A Trip On SN To GVA

Wed Jul 13, 2011 2:51 pm

Hi everyone, thanks for your comments to far. I appreciate them very much!

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 1):
What a nice report from you

Hi Gavin! Thanks my friend!

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 1):
I know that awful feeling!

Yep, it is by far my worst nightmare  

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 1):
Kudos on scoring a cockpit visit

Thanks, I always try and until now I haven't been in an RJ85 cockpit before so this was my chance.

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 1):
the smoothies sound really refreshing and yummy

They really were, a bit on the pricey side with € 3,5 but tasty indeed.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 2):
Nice trip report

Hi William, thank you!

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 2):
So what did you think of Geneva airport, did you like it?

I have been there before. I like it to a certain degree: spotting is bad and you have to do long walks sometimes (same as in BRU unfortunately...)

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 3):
Nice tripreport, i really enjoyed reading it!

Hey, thanks deltamartin!

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 3):
a ride on an Avro is never bad!

Nope, it is never bad, especially when you DO have a window  

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 3):
What are they changing?

BRU's 2011-16 development plan will see an extension of its passenger terminal's Pier A, which now is used for flights within the Schengen area and SN's intercontinental flights. Following expansion it will become a fully mixed Schengen/non-Schengen pier, enabling airlines "to concentrate their hub activity largely within the same zone." Also included in the plan is an above-ground link between Pier A and Pier B, dubbed "Connector."

Quoting PieterBoth (Reply 4):
Nice report!

Hello PieterBoth, thanks mate!

Quoting PieterBoth (Reply 4):
I really like the SN branding onboard

Yes me too!

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 5):
really nice report, you have it online pretty quick too!

I tried my best, I had a day off and no laundry or vacuuming to do so I finished my report  

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 5):
Secondlast row is better, plus you have recline also.

You are right, my choice next time!

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 5):
why didn't you keep it in Belgium?

Sorry, couldn't stop it!

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 5):
Plus, SN have lounges, a mileage program, interline agreements for connections, free luggage (also for b.light?)

Indeed and also for b-light passengers. But from my point of view: I only need a proper window seat  



   Sultanils
In thrust we trust.
 
parton87
Posts: 501
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 2:20 pm

RE: B-Light = Delight? A Trip On SN To GVA

Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:48 pm

Hello Nils!

Thanks for a nice story with good pictures  I flew with SN in 2007 BMA-BRU-MAN and back then I received a hot meal with cold and hot drinks for free in economy! I also remember that we get some delicious Belgian chocolate with the coffee. On the meal tray there was also recipe on the meal we were served, I still have it somewhere, it was called "a table with a view"  

it would be nice to fly SN again sometime, even without the free service

Thanks again!

Greetings
Robert
 
PlaneHunter
Posts: 6512
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:17 am

RE: B-Light = Delight? A Trip On SN To GVA

Wed Jul 13, 2011 5:26 pm

Hi Nils,

nice report with good pictures!

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
But oh horror when I came to my seat: no window! Now I have never had this before: no window on a A319 in the last row on the left side. Needless to say I was not happy…

That's why I never choose the last row - you never know what to find there.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
akhmad
Posts: 2491
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 2:20 pm

RE: B-Light = Delight? A Trip On SN To GVA

Wed Jul 13, 2011 5:51 pm

Hi Nils,

What an awesome report! Really enjoyable! I did not expect you to have it posted so soon, but nevertheless I truly appreciate it.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
note the dual signage A65/T65

Is it a division of terminal and bus gate?

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
The seats, the new ultrathin ones as experienced on my last LH flight some weeks ago

Aha, first OS and LH, then SN. I assume LX will follow the example soon?

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
I asked the young lady in the window seat (she was reading a book) if she wanted to switch seats but she replied: ‘I like the window’ in broken English. ‘OK, no problem at all’, I replied. I rest my case… (sigh…).

I would have replied to the lady, “Then get rid of your book and look outside the window!”   

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
you realize how low to the ground you are in comparison with other aircraft.

I know. Is it not thrilling?

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
I once again took a smoothie

Which flavor do you prefer?


Thank you for sharing the insight review of SN. Glad to know SN has met your expectation.

Best wishes,
Suryo
Friends forever
 
CaptainRed
Posts: 784
Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:22 am

RE: B-Light = Delight? A Trip On SN To GVA

Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:25 pm

Hi Nils,

nice report with some interesting pictures. I have never been on SN, so good to read something about them. A shame you didn't get a window on your first flight, but yeah, that can happen at the last row.

Also great you got a cockpit visit after your flight, always nice. Certainly interesting on the Avro RJ, a small plane like this with 4 thrust levers.

Greetings
CaptainRed
 
717Flyer
Posts: 301
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2011 10:41 am

RE: B-Light = Delight? A Trip On SN To GVA

Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:56 pm

Hi Nils!
Your day trip really sounded enjoyable and made up a nice report for sure.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Bagage claim

That looks familiar from my weekend trip to GVA in June this year, arriving to GVA from CPH, though not supporting Brussels Airlines, but travelling with easyJet instead...

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
EZY checkin zone

Nice to see what it looks like. With no luggage to check in and self-printed boarding passes I never visited that area while leaving GVA.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Terminal A back in sight

I feel sorry for you not having a window on the first flight. Nice you got a window on the second flight. And what do I see behind the scratches if not a lovely-looking 717  
Bye the way, when/if you travel on the 717, at least on KF, the last row has no window either. So that's a thing to avoid.

Thanks again
717Flyer
 
FLIEGER67
Posts: 5195
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2003 4:43 am

RE: B-Light = Delight? A Trip On SN To GVA

Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:16 pm

Hi, Nils,

you´re pretty fast. Very good to follow you´re story, well, how to make most of the day for something more enjoyable.
Also nice pictures from a place I´ve been twice last year.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):

The day before I checked in online and chose my seats (window last row),

As usual a good choice, but sometimes difficult with the windows, that´s it.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Has the beeper become more sensitive?

Same happened to me lately.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
This time I was lucky: window last row indeed had a window, phewww…

Well done this time.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)
Tripreporter.net
 
EL-AL
Posts: 1414
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2001 8:29 am

RE: B-Light = Delight? A Trip On SN To GVA

Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:07 pm

Hey Nils,

Nice report! I like both airports very much. I flew with SN when it was still "SN" on RJ100 on the exact same route 8 years ago, unfortunately my last RJ100 flight till now. Those A319s are been operated on the BRU-TLV route, with legroom far from enough on this 4.5 hours flight.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
View to my left

Very annoying!

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Inflight mag explaining the different cabin classes, I was in ‘b-light’ of course

First time I see that different classes within economy cabin are seated on different part of the airplane.

Thx for shearing,
Jonathan
every day is a good day to fly
 
jetblue777
Posts: 1191
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 4:13 pm

RE: B-Light = Delight? A Trip On SN To GVA

Thu Jul 14, 2011 12:40 am

Great trip report! It's always nice to see Intra-European TRs, it's nice to see what flying looks like in Europe! I'll be visiting the good old continent in 2012, so I'm pretty excited to experience these kind of flights.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Boarding complete’ was announced but alas all window seats were taken. Well, bad luck this time so I tried to make the most out of it.

My worst nightmare! (Check my signature!)   

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
‘I like the window’ in broken English. ‘OK, no problem at all’, I replied. I rest my case… (sigh…).

I'm fortunate enough that I always travel with my family, so we're always guaranteed that we get a window seat. Then the fighting begins during boarding 
Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
The only view I had outside…

The horror!

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
My first look out of the window today, and a dirty window it is!

Great, I have a 100% record on sitting on window seats. I almost lost the title when I was assigned on an aisle seat (we were traveling on an inter-island flight in the Philippines in a group of 11 people, so check-in was chaotic and I forgot to ask the agent to assign me on a window seat) When I got to my row, I grabbed the window seat...but to my despair, a guy stopped and looked at me and told me that it was his seat. So I got up, argued with my parents that I needed a window seat, argued with my cousins (weirdly enough my baby cousin was assigned in an exit row, but it was later changed) Finally, my grandfather was nice enough to give up his window seat, so my 100% Record lives on. 
Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Strawberry smoothie, very good!

Looks delicious!
It's a cultural thing.
 
sultanils
Topic Author
Posts: 1929
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:37 pm

RE: B-Light = Delight? A Trip On SN To GVA

Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:35 am

Hi folks, thanks very much for your comments, keep them coming!

Quoting Parton87 (Reply 8):
Thanks for a nice story with good pictures

Hi Robert, you are welcome!

Quoting Parton87 (Reply 8):
back then I received a hot meal with cold and hot drinks for free in economy

The good old days then   Now you have to open the wallet, at least in 'b-light' travel class.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 9):
nice report with good pictures

Hello PH, thanks for your feedback!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 9):
That's why I never choose the last row - you never know what to find there

Well, I might indeed review my policy...

Quoting akhmad (Reply 10):
What an awesome report! Really enjoyable!

Hello Suryo! Thanks very much!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 10):
Is it a division of terminal and bus gate?

No, from about 10h00 they close up the last part of the A-gates and transform them into the T-gates with border control. That's where SN's Africa flights will depart from then. Mainly to keep gates free at the B terminal and to ease the transfer Africa-Europe flights (no building change anymore).

Quoting akhmad (Reply 10):
I assume LX will follow the example soon?

My guess too.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 10):
I know. Is it not thrilling?

Yes, it's just like being in a race car, almost with your bottom on the ground  

Quoting akhmad (Reply 10):
Which flavor do you prefer?

Mango was my favourite   

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 11):
nice report with some interesting pictures

Hello there CaptainRed, thanks for stopping by!

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 11):
that can happen at the last row

Yes indeed...

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 11):
Also great you got a cockpit visit after your flight

That's my goal after every flight, so far so good...

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 12):
and made up a nice report for sure

Thanks 717Flyer!

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 12):
And what do I see behind the scratches if not a lovely-looking 717

Good spotting and a nice colour scheme too.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 12):
Bye the way, when/if you travel on the 717, at least on KF, the last row has no window either

Oh, thanks for the info. The B717 is scheduled for Aug, I am very excited   

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 13):
you´re pretty fast

Hi Markus, I am indeed lightning fast   

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 13):
Very good to follow you´re story, well, how to make most of the day for something more enjoyable.
Also nice pictures from a place I´ve been twice last year.

Hey, thanks!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 13):
As usual a good choice, but sometimes difficult with the windows, that´s it

Like I mentioned already: I might have to review this policy because no window = no can do...

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 14):
Nice report!

Hello Jonathan, thank you!

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 14):
Those A319s are been operated on the BRU-TLV route, with legroom far from enough on this 4.5 hours flight.

With the installation of the new ultrathin seats, legroom has definitely improved but I doubt the comfort will be good on a 4,5h flight.

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 14):
First time I see that different classes within economy cabin are seated on different part of the airplane

Yes, me too, it's a little bit like for exampe SAS or Blue1 where they put a label divider at the seat to separate classes. I do find it a bit stupid that b-light passengers have to take place in the back section of the plane.

Quoting JetBlue777 (Reply 15):
Great trip report!

Hello JetBlue777, thank you very much!

Quoting JetBlue777 (Reply 15):
My worst nightmare! (Check my signature!)

Mine too!

Quoting JetBlue777 (Reply 15):
Great, I have a 100% record on sitting on window seats.

Congrats! Now I don't anymore 



   Sultanils
In thrust we trust.
 
lychemsa
Posts: 1588
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:39 pm

RE: B-Light = Delight? A Trip On SN To GVA

Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:05 am

Wow.

I am impressed by the Smoothie. You can't even buy one on Easyjet.

I wonder if the fares on easyjet are considerably lower than SN and if they offer reasonable one way fares.
 
Tomskii
Posts: 451
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 10:42 am

RE: B-Light = Delight? A Trip On SN To GVA

Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:49 am

Nice TR, a common problem on the Bee-Line fleet seems to be dirty windows like I experienced myself.
Nikon D90 + Nikkor f4.5-5.6 18-105mm + Tamron f4-5.6 70-300mm
 
FlyingFinn76
Posts: 1698
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:10 pm

RE: B-Light = Delight? A Trip On SN To GVA

Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:21 am

Hi Nils,

A nice small appetizer about your quick trip to Geneva and back. A good idea to take one day of work a bit easier and spend the afternoon doing a quick pair of flights. I should do this more often, but unfortunately I have pretty much exhausted all the destinations near Helsinki, well apart from Russia where I refuse to go anyway.

I flew SN BRU-VIE-BRU (plus HEL-BRU-HEL on AY, SN was codesharing on those flights back then) in 2005, and really liked it. The flights were on Avros, one -100 and one -85, very nice. Back then it was still a full service carrier, so there were plenty of drinks (not that I needed any after some hours at the BRU lounge...), a sandwich and of course some delicious Belgian chocolates.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Has the beeper become more sensitive?

Well, they can adjust the sensitivity on it.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Another charter to the Turkish sun

Looking at the weather at BRU I'm pretty sure it is packed full!

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Nice to be able to speak my own language for once on board an aircraft.

You can speak it all you want on any aircraft, but of course it is a completely different question whether anyone will understand you...  
Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
But oh horror when I came to my seat: no window!

My worst nightmare!

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
no window on a A319 in the last row on the left side. Needless to say I was not happy…

Interesting cabin configuration - they seem to have an additional half-row on the left hand side, hence the missing window. Those seats look nice and new, BTW.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
I sure will

I really like their strong branding and the red "b" logo (it is supposed to represent runway landing lights). Very nice.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
I once again took a smoothie, albeit another flavour: strawberry this time.

You really like them, do you?

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Cabin shot of OO-DJR (note the different coloured seat covers)

And the comfortable 3+2 seat layout, now that's what these Avros were designed for, so 3+3 is just an abomination.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
So b-light in fact is a bit of a delight  

Hey, that's a good one! I really liked your puns on this one, from the title to this closing phrase!
 
MSS658
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RE: B-Light = Delight? A Trip On SN To GVA

Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:56 am

Hi, thanks for sharing this trip report. Gives a good insight of SN, sorry to hear you did not get the window on the BRU-GVA leg.
Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
 
sultanils
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RE: B-Light = Delight? A Trip On SN To GVA

Fri Jul 15, 2011 7:18 am

Hello everyone, thanks for commenting!

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 17):
I wonder if the fares on easyjet are considerably lower than SN and if they offer reasonable one way fares.

Fares on EZY are much cheaper than on SN, a return on EZY is possible for as low as € 50, a return on SN costs double. But for that extra amount you have quite some extra services.

Quoting Tomskii (Reply 18):
Nice TR

Thanks Tomskii!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 19):
A good idea to take one day of work a bit easier and spend the afternoon doing a quick pair of flights.

Yes, I found it a good idea too. Having flexible working hours is certainly in my advantage here!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 19):
Back then it was still a full service carrier

Indeed, they used to be full service, however there are more airlines who have the same business model and I can live with it  

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 19):
Looking at the weather at BRU I'm pretty sure it is packed full!

Flights to the Turkish rivièra ex-BRU are always packed.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 19):
Interesting cabin configuration - they seem to have an additional half-row on the left hand side,

Yes, but I did not expect this to happen on their Airbus.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 19):
I really like their strong branding and the red "b" logo

Me too, I think it looks sleek & modern, and it appeals to me.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 19):
Hey, that's a good one! I really liked your puns on this one, from the title to this closing phrase

Thanks Petteri, I had sleepless nights over them  

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 20):
Hi, thanks for sharing this trip report.

Hello MSS658, thanks very much.

   Sultanils
In thrust we trust.
 
infodesk
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RE: B-Light = Delight? A Trip On SN To GVA

Sat Jul 16, 2011 6:13 am

Hi Nils,

You were pretty quick getting this one up. Great quality photographs too. Good to hear that SN offer reasonably priced day returns, is this common pratice or just on certain route to compete with the likes of ezy?

Nice that you god the RJ85 on the way back, I love the Avros, especially with the old leather seats!

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Now I have never had this before: no window on a A319 in the last row on the left

I had it once on Germanwings, last row right. What a disappointment!

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
more it offers a 6x daily service whereas EZY only flies 2x daily in winter and only daily in summer. It’s up to you to choose but I’d prefer SN again.

Wow, I didn't realise they flew that much, pretty impressive.

Happy flying
Infodesk   
"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
 
SabenaA320
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RE: B-Light = Delight? A Trip On SN To GVA

Sat Jul 16, 2011 6:55 am

Hi Nils,

Very nice trip report! It's easy when there are 6 daily flights to make a quick hop. And very good pictures. It seems GVA has an old and small terminal building.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
my first SN flight

Rather strange sometimes that people rather fly another carrier then a home-carrier. I think my first SN-flight was 5 years ago and it was not booked with SN. Normally TV, but that flight was severe delayed and I had to take SN instead. And this year was my 3rd SN flight.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
But oh horror when I came to my seat: no window!

Bummer! And so low load and all windows taken. Kind of Murphy's law 

Keep the reports coming.

Greetings
Ralf
 
sultanils
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RE: B-Light = Delight? A Trip On SN To GVA

Sat Jul 16, 2011 11:54 am

Hi there, thanks for your replies!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 22):
Great quality photographs too

Hello Hannah, thank you!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 22):
Good to hear that SN offer reasonably priced day returns, is this common pratice or just on certain route to compete with the likes of ezy?

This is certainly not common practice. Some years you used to be able to book one-way fares very easy on SN, just like on EZY and for a good price. Ever since the entry of SN in the LH group, prices have gone up and it is now virtually impossible to book a dayreturn at a decent price sadly. However I think with the competition of EZY on the GVA route I was lucky and found an attractive fare. But the difference in price with EZY for the cheapest tickets still is high (50%).

Quoting infodesk (Reply 22):
Wow, I didn't realise they flew that much, pretty impressive.

I think it's the route with the most daily departures in the week on SN.

Quoting SabenaA320 (Reply 23):
Very nice trip report!

Hi Ralf, thank you!

Quoting SabenaA320 (Reply 23):
And very good pictures.

Hey, thanks!

Quoting SabenaA320 (Reply 23):
Rather strange sometimes that people rather fly another carrier then a home-carrier.

For me usually price is more important than carrier, even if that involves a stopover (in fact the more stopovers, the better  )

Quoting SabenaA320 (Reply 23):
And so low load and all windows taken.

Actually the load in b-light was > 90% but you are not allowed to sit in a sit of another booking class (eco and eco+), hence the different colour seat covers.

   Sultanils
In thrust we trust.
 
Quokka
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RE: B-Light = Delight? A Trip On SN To GVA

Sat Jul 16, 2011 1:26 pm

Hi Nils,
Nice to see your trip report. It always makes me slightly envious that people in Europe can just go on little joy rides when you consider how far everything is from where I live.   But I always enjoy coming to the forum and reading reports like yours.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
but alas all window seats were taken

What a shame but at least the crew were happy for you to swap seats to try and get one.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
‘I like the window’ in broken English.

Myabe she needed the extra light but it does seem wierd to insist on a window if you're not going to be using it.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
GVA wins hands down: worst spotting airport

The window with the spots on it seems to confirm that view  
Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Clouds coming in, how I love these views!

What wonderful photos of some very dramatic cloud formations!

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
asked permission to visit the flight deck: permission granted!

Snap: I got to do the same in HAM last Friday, 08 JUL 2011. Only it was a 777-300ER (reg A6-EBJ). It's always nice when the flight crew let you into their domain.

Thanks for sharing Nils, and for posting all the photos of aitlines that never make there way to PER.

Regards,
Quokka
 
LXM83
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RE: B-Light = Delight? A Trip On SN To GVA

Sat Jul 16, 2011 8:20 pm

Hi sultanils

Thanks for your report. You don't see SN covered that often.

You didn't stay in GVA for long! Maybe you'll be back soon - arriving on an A340 maybe?

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
But oh horror when I came to my seat: no window!

I hate when this happens! For me no window in the back of an A319 is unheard of! Usually its somewhere in the first couple of rows on Boeings! (And on seat 22I on the Il-86, as I had to find out rather painfully on a completely sold out flight a couple of years ago...)

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
View to my left

That's funny, thanks for sharing this amazing view!

Best regards,
LXM83
 
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OA260
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RE: B-Light = Delight? A Trip On SN To GVA

Sat Jul 16, 2011 8:32 pm

Nice report and pics , shame you didnt get your window seat on the first leg. Always wanted to try out the new ''Sabena''.  

Wonder what their J class lounge in BRU is like . Have you ever tried it ?


Thanks for the report.

OA260  
 
sultanils
Topic Author
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RE: B-Light = Delight? A Trip On SN To GVA

Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:41 pm

Hi all, very nice to see some more replies.

Quoting Quokka (Reply 25):
Nice to see your trip report

Thanks Roy, I appreciate it!

Quoting Quokka (Reply 25):
But I always enjoy coming to the forum and reading reports like yours

   Thanks for your kind words.

Quoting Quokka (Reply 25):
but at least the crew were happy for you to swap seats

Yes, they did their best but in the end my window problem was not solved unfortunately...

Quoting Quokka (Reply 25):
Myabe she needed the extra light but it does seem wierd to insist on a window if you're not going to be using it.

She was reading a book, but when the aircraft started it's takeoff roll, she put the book away and looked through the window for the remainder of the flight, so I guess her explanation was justified.

Quoting Quokka (Reply 25):
Only it was a 777-300ER

That's even better than an RJ85  

Quoting Quokka (Reply 25):
Thanks for sharing Nils, and for posting all the photos of aitlines that never make there way to PER.

You are most welcome Roy!

Quoting LXM83 (Reply 26):
Maybe you'll be back soon - arriving on an A340 maybe?

How did you guess    My flight indeed is booked for Nov! I am really looking forward to it.

Quoting LXM83 (Reply 26):
For me no window in the back of an A319 is unheard of!

For me too, I'll watch out from now on with reservering 'window last row'!

Quoting LXM83 (Reply 26):
That's funny, thanks for sharing this amazing view!

It was not really an 'amazing' view, it was more an 'annoying' view  

Quoting OA260 (Reply 27):
Nice report and pics

Thanks for your reply OA260!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 27):
Wonder what their J class lounge in BRU is like . Have you ever tried it ?

No I have never tried it nor do I know anyting about it...

   Sultanils
In thrust we trust.
 
SPLTA
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RE: B-Light = Delight? A Trip On SN To GVA

Tue Jul 19, 2011 4:31 pm

Hello Sultanis,

interesting TR and many good pictures.

Great way to spend an enjoyable afternoon.

My sole ARJ ride was WAW-BRU on SN and I liked it a lot.

Thanks for sharing.

Regards,
SPLTA
 
sultanils
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RE: B-Light = Delight? A Trip On SN To GVA

Wed Jul 20, 2011 6:13 am

Hi SPLTA,

Quoting SPLTA (Reply 29):
interesting TR and many good pictures.

Thank you!

Quoting SPLTA (Reply 29):
Great way to spend an enjoyable afternoon.

Exactly my opinion  



   Sultanils
In thrust we trust.
 
LH4116
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RE: B-Light = Delight? A Trip On SN To GVA

Sun Jul 31, 2011 6:26 am

Hello Nils, finally managed to finish reading your report. I must say you've done a pretty good job, a pleasant read with some nice pics! 

It's quite sad how SN Brussels Airlines have gone to become a LCC (Okay not really, but in my world they are!) i.e Brussels Airlines. The old SN used to offer full service on all their flights, hence making a fun ad about it one time. I was very tempted to try them out on BMA-BRU-CMN back on 06, fares were cheap and service seemed good. Sadly however they cut the CMN route and instead made a code-share with AT (operating with a B734 :O ), and to make things worse they turned LCC. So I decided to stick with the usual LH/SK/AF combo for my trips to CMN.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Société Anonyme Belge d'Exploitation de la Navigation Aérienne (well it’s just a name…)

Hmm, that sounds more like a governmental agency, lol.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Yep, this is the one for me, coming in 15 mins late from MAD

A bit surprised that they use the A319 for these short hops, I remember back in the days when they only flew them to destinations far away i.e CMN was one of them.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
The seats, the new ultrathin ones as experienced on my last LH flight some weeks ago

Not surprising with the owners being LH. In fact each kg of shed weight saves 5 tons of fuel annually, so those 400 kilograms in weight reduction will save them quite a bit  
Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
I asked the F/A if I could change seats if there was one available. ‘No problem’, she replied.

Wow, never would I've ever thought F/A's like her existed! Normally the crew is very reluctant to seat changes prior to takeoff = the weight and balance jibberish...

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
I sure will

Uh, the overly frequent usage of the prefix "b" really gets on my nerves.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Half an hour before STD of my flight back, the expected Avro RJ85 appeared on the apron.

Now that's more like it!  
Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Inflight mag explaining the different cabin classes, I was in ‘b-light’ of course

It's quite interesting how they chose to offer 3 classes of service in such a small aircraft on such a small flight. Were b-flex and business even full?

Thanks for sharing!
//Jonas
SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
 
sultanils
Topic Author
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RE: B-Light = Delight? A Trip On SN To GVA

Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:05 am

Hi there Jonas, may thanks for your comments!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 31):
I must say you've done a pretty good job, a pleasant read with some nice pics!

Thanks a lot.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 31):
It's quite sad how SN Brussels Airlines have gone to become a LCC (Okay not really, but in my world they are!) i.e Brussels Airlines.

You could call them RCC (Reducing Costs Carrier)   I think they learned from the past and the SABENA sadly going down. What makes you 'feel' they are a LCC carrier, I'm wondering?

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 31):
Hmm, that sounds more like a governmental agency

Yes, funny and long name in French, isn't it?

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 31):
A bit surprised that they use the A319 for these short hops

I was a bit surprised too. The A319 fleet is still growing at SN, they now even have 2 A320's added recently.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 31):
Uh, the overly frequent usage of the prefix "b" really gets on my nerves.

It's just 'strong' branding and it works.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 31):
It's quite interesting how they chose to offer 3 classes of service in such a small aircraft on such a small flight. Were b-flex and business even full?

Yes it is strange... The aircraft was 100% full in all classes.

   Sultanils
In thrust we trust.
 
TW
Posts: 69
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RE: B-Light = Delight? A Trip On SN To GVA

Tue Aug 02, 2011 11:34 am

About the aircraft being 100% full in all classes:
Are the number of seats in each class pre determined, or do they change the number of seats available in each class depending on reservations made?
When I flew with them, it seemed that they could just move the separation between blight and bflex forward if they needed to.
I went to DME with SN this year and loved it. The new recaro seats are somewhat hard but offer great legroom, and drinks and a meal are served on all classes between BRU and DME. The only downside was the gate from which we left in BRU.

TW
 
BZNPilot
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RE: B-Light = Delight? A Trip On SN To GVA

Tue Aug 02, 2011 4:58 pm

Hi sultanils,

Very nice report, I enjoyed it very much. I know you posted it some time ago already, so my comments are overdue.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
The question is: does it perform better than EZY, which I have flown to GVA before? I hope it does..

Good question. Based on my couple of experiences flying GVA-BRU, SN does beat EZY...I'll post a report soon detailing my strange experience recently on an EZY flight from GVA-BRU (well..that was the planned route, anyway).

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
BP was sent to my mobile phone. No more paper waste!

Very good that the mobile phone boarding pass thing is an option these days. I have yet to try it, but am curious. However, I also like having a home-printed boarding pass in hand, as I often use the back side of them to write notes about my flights, which I then use for writing my trip reports. But I think I'm going to try the mobile phone thing sometime soon, nonetheless.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
The looong walkway to terminal A under the apron (this about to change)

It is a long walkway. What is the change that is coming? I am not up to date with BRU development plans, so would be interested in knowing more about this!

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Upon entering I was greeted by the female purser with a smile, in Dutch, French and English. Nice to be able to speak my own language for once on board an aircraft.

I've always been very impressed with SN in this regard...it is a truly multilingual airline for a truly multilingual country.  
Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
‘Boarding complete’ was announced but alas all window seats were taken. Well, bad luck this time so I tried to make the most out of it.

Now that is not good! Sorry to hear the window seat didn't work out. I usually try to check Seatguru.com to avoid those unpleasant surprises, but unfortunately, Seatguru doesn't include SN aircraft. Too bad.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Another seat view

Wow...those ultra-thin seats are incredibly thin...never seen one of these before.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
I asked the young lady in the window seat (she was reading a book) if she wanted to switch seats but she replied: ‘I like the window’ in broken English. ‘OK, no problem at all’, I replied. I rest my case… (sigh…).

I hate that...sitting next to the window and not even enjoying it!

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
What a small aircraft this RJ85 is, low ceiling as well and when looking out the window, you realize how low to the ground you are in comparison with other aircraft.

Indeed, I had the same realization when flying on one of these birds (also on the GVA-BRU route, actually). The fuselage is so low it's almost like being on a small general aviation aircraft.

Sounds like, all in all, you had a good day trip to Switzerland. Thanks again for posting.

BZNPilot
 
sultanils
Topic Author
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RE: B-Light = Delight? A Trip On SN To GVA

Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:25 am

Hi there, many thanks for your comments!

Quoting TW (Reply 33):
Are the number of seats in each class pre determined, or do they change the number of seats available in each class depending on reservations made?

I'm quite sure the number of seats for the b-light cabin are pre-determined as this is the cheapest booking class. For the other booking classes I'm not sure how they do it. So I can't tell if the 100% load is due to all classes being fully booked or maybe b-light overbooked and some passengers have been upgraded to a higher class. I can't tell what SN's policy is about this...

Quoting TW (Reply 33):
When I flew with them, it seemed that they could just move the separation between blight and bflex forward if they needed to.

Just like for example SAS does.

Quoting TW (Reply 33):
and drinks and a meal are served on all classes between BRU and DME.

BRU-DME is a somewhat different route, having a longer flight time. All passengers are supposed to have a free snack/meal.

Quoting BZNPilot (Reply 34):
Very nice report, I enjoyed it very much.

Hi BZNPilot, thanks!

Quoting BZNPilot (Reply 34):
SN does beat EZY...

Service wise it does for sure.

Quoting BZNPilot (Reply 34):
I'll post a report soon detailing my strange experience recently on an EZY flight from GVA-BRU (well..that was the planned route, anyway).

I have flown this route on EZY as well and was most satisfied so I'm curious to know what went wrong.

Quoting BZNPilot (Reply 34):
as I often use the back side of them to write notes about my flights, which I then use for writing my trip reports.

I try to store all that info in my head meaning I have to make a report very quickly  

Quoting BZNPilot (Reply 34):
What is the change that is coming?

BRU's 2011-16 development plan will see an extension of its passenger terminal's Pier A, which now is used for flights within the Schengen area and SN's intercontinental flights. Following expansion it will become a fully mixed Schengen/non-Schengen pier, enabling airlines "to concentrate their hub activity largely within the same zone." Also included in the plan is an above-ground link between Pier A and Pier B, dubbed "Connector."

Quoting BZNPilot (Reply 34):
it is a truly multilingual airline for a truly multilingual country.

Indeed it is, glad you recognize this assett as a new Belgian resident.

Quoting BZNPilot (Reply 34):
Wow...those ultra-thin seats are incredibly thin...never seen one of these before.

They are gradually being introduced on SN's fleet (at least on the Airbus), LH has them yet as well.

Quoting BZNPilot (Reply 34):
I hate that...sitting next to the window and not even enjoying it!

Actually she put the book away whilst taking off and looked out the window until landing so her explanation was jusitified I guess...

   Sultanils
In thrust we trust.

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