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newbief1yer
Topic Author
Posts: 644
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:35 pm

Norwegian And Air Baltic To ARN And RIX

Fri May 06, 2016 5:20 pm

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR007/TripReport_zpsnhvxxjaf.jpg

Video Reports of this leg of the trip
 
Norwegian D8 2858 - London Gatwick to Stockholm - Boeing 737-800

Air Baltic BT 106 - ARN - RIX - Dash 8

Air Baltic BT653 - RIX - LGW - Boeing 737-300
 

Background

Hello A’netters. Hope you are all doing well. The background to this edition of the trip report is that we had a conference to attend to in Riga. We had been to Riga last year and thought of spending the weekend before that in Stockholm, before heading to Riga.

The trip was going to be on a combination of Norwegian and Air Baltic with the equipment scheduled to be a B737-800, Dash 8 and a B737-300/500 ( A first for me)

Thanks to GCMaps for the map illustrations below:

http://www.gcmap.com/map?P=lgw-arn-rix-lgw&MS=bm&MR=180&MX=720x360&PM=*

Norwegian - D8 2858
Route: LGW - ARN
Flight Reg: EI-FHB ; Delivered Dec 2008; Named Henrik Wergeland. Started as LN-NOE. Re-registered as EI-FHB in Feb 2015
Aircraft Type: Boeing 737-800
Seat: 18 A
Flight time: 19:45 - 23:05 (20:21 - 23:17)
Actual flight time:1Hr 56 min
Distance: 919 Miles
Load: full load.
22nd April 2016
My Log book: 8th Flight on Norwegian / 21st flight on Boeing 737-800 / 112th Total overall flight



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Photo © Tiago Palla - Portugal Spotters
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Photo © N94504



The first leg of the journey was with Norwegian to Stockholm Arlanda from London Gatwick.

Booking Process, website usability and online check in

The normal Norwegian experience. Quick to book flights and the website is very easy to use. No complaints here. also my Norwegian points get used for discounts each time.

Until last time there was no facility for online check in. but since then it seems to have started. checked in the previous night and it was a quick process. opted for the automatic seat selection as I was confident I could amend it at the airport.

Airport service / checking in / Lounge

Reached Gatwick long stay car park with a lot of time to spare. The transfer was easy and seamless. Gatwick seemed a bit quiet for a Friday evening. Used the self-check in kiosks to print boarding pass and baggage tag. as predicted got to amend the seats to a middle and a window seat. the flight seemed quite full.

Bag dropped and headed to security. It was quick and we were at the duty free entrance by 6 pm.

Had a quick bite at Wagamama and headed to our boarding gate

Gatwick South Terminal on a Friday evening
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030682_zpsitlbz5g7.jpg

In case if we were lost
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030683_zpsqnfjnbn6.jpg

Self-check in kiosks
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030684_zpsbmcpynid.jpg

Norwegian baggage drop desks
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030685_zpsud7xb23m.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030689_zpsyaysjx63.jpg

Departures
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030690_zpseql7upf9.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030691_zpsygmjepjn.jpg

Duty free
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030692_zps9wcwp920.jpg

Air side at Gatwick
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030693_zpsgwwzkvnc.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030694_zpstidhqich.jpg

Med-View?
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030695_zpsjtggtswk.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030697_zpsk3hgnupt.jpg


Boarding Process

Boarding commenced on time and we were at our seats by 1830.

Since the flight was full there seemed to be some issues with hand luggage which delayed our departure.

Boarding Gates
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030699_zpsjcpueo1a.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030701_zpsxqjx6eug.jpg


Our ride to Stockholm - a 7 and half year old Boeing 737-800 - EI-FHB (Have Norwegian re-registered all their Gatwick planes to EI?)
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030700_zpskwibozuq.jpg


Will the Wi-Fi work? (Yes it did)
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030702_zpsyjnal83p.jpg

Walking to the aircraft - some great close-up views
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030703_zpsrzfu0hmk.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030704_zpsmld3we30.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030705_zps2hj2ooqh.jpg


First impressions/Hard product/Aircraft Interiors

I liked the fact that there were playing radio one live lounge and felt like the party had already started, while boarding.

The aircraft looked a bit untidy and there were chocolate wrappers around my seat.

On-board Norwegian B737-800
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030709_zpsfwaov680.jpg

Left over chocolate wrappers anyone?
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030710_zpsr0h4jtgx.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030711_zpsghiw79lw.jpg

Neighbours at LGW
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030712_zpslxeducdo.jpg


Seating/Bed

The usual Norwegian seating typical to any other LCC Boeing 737-800. Nothing new to see here.

Cabin Crew/Captain announcements

Flight time of 2 hours announced from the flight deck. which meant a late arrival into Stockholm. would I be able to collect my car from hertz as the office closes at midnight.  

The crew on board looked tired. it seems to be the norm now. most of the recent flights that I've been in, the crew seemed to be over worked. that being said the crew on this flight were cheerful but they were finding it difficult to hide their tiredness. good on them but I'm concerned about safety?

F&B

As soon as we were airborne the crew sprang into action. there seemed to be a decent array of food and beverages. since we just had our dinner we settled in for a very expensive bottle of water (GBP 2 for a 500 ml !)

Entertainment

This is where Norwegian do really well for being a LCC. Free Wi-Fi on board. apart from that there were also entertainment being shown on the overhead screens. great effort by them.

The Norwegian home page, upon logging into their Wi-Fi network also shows the route map which is very handy.

The excellent Entertainment portal on board - easily the most innovative in Europe (probably apart from Estonian Air, who provide chat facility with your neighbours on board!)
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030722_zpsbxxsa4it.jpg

Modern Family X 2
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030721_zpsl8chxelx.jpg

Norwegian Cabin View
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/20160422_203301_zps3gfekvaz.jpg

On time Performance

We departed the gates 20 minutes behind schedule and was airborne by 20:20.

Landed at 23:20 at terminal 5 Stockholm Arlanda airport. 15 minutes behind schedule.

WOW Factor

It has to be the amazing Wi-Fi on board along with the flight map capabilities in your own mobile device - very nifty and useful.

In case if you did not know where you were
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030724_zpsrwfh3nw8.jpg


Neighbours at ARN - Star Livery Turkish Airlines
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030725_zpsex50hdky.jpg

Verdict

Norwegian is one of my favorite LCC's, and they have strengthened their position in my book after this trip.

Good and easy to use website, decent pricing (except for onboard FnB), excellent Wi-Fi and entertainment service and convenient timing. They could however keep an eye out for the cleanliness of the aircrafts and the tired crew as this could be a slippery slope to negate.

On the whole a very satisfactory experience on Norwegian for this leg of the trip.

Arlanda Airport
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030726_zpsdxu0oqpa.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/IMG-20160423-WA0004_zpsywgium27.jpg
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/IMG-20160423-WA0010_zpswy4dxybe.jpg


Arlanda Airport Baggage hall
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/IMG-20160423-WA0000_zpsad1wwowx.jpg


Few Sights and sounds around Stockholm

Our ride in Sweden - in love with the Volvo V40 (with winter tyres)
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR008/20160423_110236_zpsvt8sn1r8.jpg

Stockholm
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR008/20160423_113620_zpsibsb7ckl.jpg

Cobbled streets of Gamla Stan
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR008/IMG_8516_zps8eolucla.jpg

Snacking around Gamla Stan
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR008/20160423_165814_zpsqblbmpgb.jpg

Panaromic view of Mariefred - by lake Malaren
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR008/20160424_145004_zpshgzt3nmh.jpg

Drottningholm Palace - Sveriges Kungahus
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR008/20160424_165506_zpsjhglqk27.jpg

Gripsholm Castle
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR008/20160424_195101_zpses33mc1c.jpg


The weekend swiftly went by, and it was now time to head to Riga. This leg of the trip was on Air Baltic's Dash 8.


Air Baltic - BT106
Route: ARN - RIX
Flight Reg: YL-BAF ; Delivered July 2010 to Air Baltic
Aircraft Type: Dash 8
Seat: 5A
Flight time: 12:50 - 15:00 (13:12 - 15:11)
Actual flight time:59 min
Distance: 290 Miles
Load: 42 of 76.
25th April 2016
My Log book: 2nd Flight on Air Baltic/3rd flight on Dash 8/ 113th Total overall flight



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Photo © Sven Waerder
View Large View Medium
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Photo © RalfB

Booking Process, website usability and online check in

Air Baltic website is easy enough to use. Ticket booking and extra meals ordered. Done in 10 minutes.

Air Baltic have some weird online check in policy. if you've not checked in online they charge you and arm and a leg to check yourself in at the check in counters. Or else you can use the self-check in kiosks at the terminal. not sure what's the fuss about, because you any way have you go to the check in counters to drop the bags and have your boarding pass printed. I fail to see the point of charging passengers euro 30 for someone checking in for you. the agent spends as much time with you if he/she just checked in for you.

In any case online check in opens 72 hours before departure. once again a simple process. and the automatically chosen seats were acceptable.

Car dropped, time to head to Riga
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/20160425_103924_zpsrniiwjvk.jpg


The famous Jumbo Stay at ARN
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/20160425_104134_zpsnnwdzxfy.jpg


Airport service / checking in / Lounge

Stockholm Arlanda airport is a 30 minute drive from central Stockholm. It's an easy drive and we reached the car rental with a lot of time to spare.

Air Baltic use the star alliance check in counters. check in process was quick. out agent was a trainee and she was being monitored be her mentor. she did her job well and very enthusiastic.

Stockholm airport is a very calm and relaxed airport. security and boarding pass checks were done swiftly which takes you to the main duty free area.

Great selection of duty free items although the prices seem to be on a very high side. 79 SEK for a Sweden magnet! probably the most expensive magnets I've ever bought.

Apart from that it's an easy airport to navigate. great opportunities for photo shoots too.

Arlanda Airport Departures
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030730_zpsnr1hgra1.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030732_zpsepneomlz.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030733_zpsltajgouo.jpg

Check in area at Arlanda
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030734_zpsq1bsj6s5.jpg

Self-Check in
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030735_zpsri5vttpj.jpg

Air Baltic use SAS/Star Check in desks
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030738_zpslzylp51k.jpg

Other side of the terminal for all other carriers
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030741_zpspfv1jhex.jpg
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030739_zpsfvyxtrvb.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030744_zpsh4dfbprn.jpg

Security gates
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030745_zpsyqliqtus.jpg

Terminal 5 Airside
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030747_zps8zqfvpwk.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030746_zpsqcwr82jt.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030751_zps33nqc1rn.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030750_zpsmmd9rtla.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030757_zpscrg7t7bw.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030758_zpscnvq3p4x.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030760_zps06u6ssz9.jpg

All over ARN - the Samsung Curved HD
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030772_zpskxvmiwih.jpg

Plane spotting at ARN
SAS B737-600
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030753_zpsa7tutbah.jpg

SAS B737-800
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030752_zpsth2a7ylz.jpg

LH A320-200
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030754_zps9gezcj01.jpg

A brand new (1 month old)Leased from CityJet operated by SAS CRJ-900
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030755_zpsci5qunxh.jpg
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030756_zpsk80s6cb8.jpg

Norwegian DreamL(ner
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030763_zpsta9bsyrm.jpg

Is this good looking or what?
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030766_zpsv9oup6rs.jpg


In love with the Volvo after driving it around Stockholm
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030759_zpsfy5f86h7.jpg


There is our ride to Riga - A nearly 6 year old Dash 8
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030767_zpssv7caojn.jpg

Boarding Process

Boarding began on time and we were in the aircraft with 10 minutes to spare. although there seemed to be some confusion about a no show passenger. Which delayed our departure. departed 10 minutes behind schedule.

Time to board
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030769_zpsca7kx06x.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030773_zpsujaayivm.jpg

A closer look
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030774_zpsjkjcuofc.jpg


First impressions/Hard product/Aircraft Interiors

The Dash 8 Q400 is a sleek looking aircraft. The interiors of this Air Baltic Q400 was very good and looked new. aircraft interiors were clean and looked well maintained.

As experienced previously on the q400, the air vents near your feet make the aircraft feel a lot colder than normal.

On board the Dash 8
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030775_zpsflv6mg9u.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030777_zps8d5jdstl.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030778_zps4wkdqaie.jpg

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User avatar
newbief1yer
Topic Author
Posts: 644
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:35 pm

RE: Norwegian And Air Baltic To ARN And RIX

Fri May 06, 2016 5:22 pm

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030780_zpsuimipjeb.jpg

Generous seat pitch - probably the most I've ever experienced on a turboprop
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030781_zpsmjaqhf2w.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030782_zps32fcokch.jpg


Seating/Bed

Extremely generous leg space on this aircraft. Not sure of the exact dimensions but this surely is greater than the last Q400 we were on, very comfortable for an hour flight.

Part 4:India Domestic-9W, AI, SG On A321,B737,Q400 (by newbief1yer Mar 12 2016 in Trip Reports)

Cabin Crew/Captain announcements

A very smart looking gentleman welcomed us on board.

A flight time of an hour was announced from the flight deck.

F&B

I had pre-ordered meals for us given the time of the flight. both the ham baguette and the salmon salad tasted more than acceptable. the box comes complete with a drink, a chocolate and a yogurt.

Meal En-route to Riga
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/20160425_131807_zpsfc0qlest.jpg

Entertainment

None on board. except for the reading material.

En route to Riga
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030788_zpszgpdlbow.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030789_zps4sfzieee.jpg


On time Performance
Flight landed in Riga 10 minutes behind the scheduled time.

WOW Factor

Perhaps the quickest take off I've ever experienced. better illustrated in my video.

Verdict

A great little service by Air Baltic on this leg of the trip. On time, neat aircrafts, good looking crew and generous seat pitch. Perhaps the only criticism would be the ridiculously overpriced checked in baggage fares.

At Riga Airport - I would like a ride in that
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030792_zpstuylplrd.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030793_zpskzmmxxyb.jpg

A closer look at the Prop
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030794_zpsk09ovvop.jpg

Baggage collection at RIX
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030796_zpsj2axehhd.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030798_zpsp1w69mid.jpg

Exiting Riga Airport
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/20160425_153348_zps7ngvwukj.jpg

3 days at the conference and it was now time to head back to London. Not much of sightseeing around Riga, was at the Hotel most of the time.

View from SkyLine bar at Radisson Latvija, Riga
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR008/20160425_212442_zpsk2ddd4ou.jpg


Air Baltic BT653
Route: RIX - LGW
Flight Reg: YL-BBS ; Delivered Feb 1999; Initial registeration as D-ADBW with Deutsche BA. Then with Fly DBA from Mar 2002 - Feb 2004. Then Flyglobespan until May 2009. Since then as YL-BBS with Air Baltic since May 2009.
Aircraft Type: Boeing 737-300
Seat: 9D
Flight time: 15:55 - 16:45 (16:10 - 16:38)
Actual flight time:2Hr 28 min
Distance:1055 Miles
Load: Around 80%
28th April 2016
My Log book: 3rd Flight on Air Baltic/1st flight on Boeing 737-300/ 114th Total overall flight



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Helmut Bierbaum
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Roland Bergmann-Spotterteam Graz

Booking Process, website usability and online check in

As before, no issues during the booking process. online checked in 2 days before departure. This time the automatic selection of seats gave us an Aisle and a middle seat. hopefully we can amend it at the airport.

Airport service / checking in / Lounge

Reached Riga airport 90 minutes before departure. baggage drop was quick and easy. although window seats together with a middle seat was not available. so had to settle for a middle and an aisle seat.

Security was quick and we were airside with plenty of time to spare.

Riga duty free is concise. good enough to pick up a last minute balszam or few laima chocolates.

Restaurants wise there is a Costa along with the smoking zone as soon as you reach airside. do not jump right in like we did as there are a lot of eating/food options into the terminal.

Check in at Riga
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030801_zpsmw0qhvj5.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030800_zpst2jj4t8q.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030799_zpsuoyxv2oh.jpg

RIX Departures
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030804_zpsrhujil6m.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030806_zpsqx1fwlnh.jpg

Airside at RIX
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030809_zps0ciuzuiy.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030808_zpstitmyrr2.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030812_zpsy39ssgak.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030810_zps6hvi5abo.jpg

PLane spotting at RIX
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030811_zps3yyrka3k.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030818_zpslqmxlggq.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030820_zpswj9gpech.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030819_zpsqchdv3qq.jpg


Boarding Process

There was the immigration check before our gates at D zone.

Boarding began on time and we were bussed to the aircraft. we were on board the aircraft on time but due to some late comers we were delayed by 5 minutes.

Whilst boarding the ground staff seem to be closely monitoring larger hand luggage size and were strict with the sizes. if it didn't fit, they were charging for check in baggage.

Heading to our boarding gates
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030815_zpshq774xx8.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030816_zps2habal5l.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030817_zps6hyynzzb.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030822_zps0sbww0an.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030824_zpsrc1wers5.jpg

Our ride to London - a 17 year old B737-300; Initial registration as D-ADBW with Deutsche BA. Then with Fly DBA from Mar 2002 - Feb 2004. Then Flyglobespan until May 2009. Since then as YL-BBS with Air Baltic since May 2009
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030826_zpsop2vcdm1.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030829_zpsoj8df1se.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030830_zpsobke3rqt.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030831_zpsjppfh5by.jpg


First impressions/Hard product/Aircraft Interiors

My first time on a 737-300. From the exterior It looked a bit fat due to the proportions.

Once inside there were no tell-tale signs that this was a -300. it looked a bit shorter than the 800 but apart from that it looked like any other older single aisle aircraft.

The interiors were not showing its age and Air Baltic seem to be a good job with their maintenance.

On board the B737-300
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030832_zpsikz3cbam.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030833_zpscoby8nsb.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030837_zps7yk77c2o.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030836_zpsptuibvsc.jpg

Neighbours at RIX
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/P1030835_zpsinabaw3i.jpg


Seating/Bed

Decent seat pitch although I feel that the dash Q400 had a better seat pitch. the seat itself was the Slim line Recaro seats that are found in various other aircrafts.

Cabin Crew/Captain announcements

We were greeted courteously by the flight attendants.

Flight time of 2hr 25 min announced from the flight deck.

After take-off the captain tried to announce the route information but was completely inaudible

F&B

Buy or bring your own food. Quite expensive to be honest.

Entertainment

None on board expect for the reading material.

On time Performance

We departed from Riga around 5 minutes behind schedule, Airborne by 16 10. Landed at Gatwick 10 minutes ahead of schedule.

Meal for our flight back to Gatwick
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/20160428_164754_zpsyzmam9l3.jpg

Cabin view of the Boeing 737-300
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/20160428_163639_zpskyxtmarc.jpg


Old Skool interiors of the Boeing 737-300
Galley
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/20160428_163620_zpslzrhnhzg.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/20160428_163630_zpsuix32y0k.jpg

Media Centre
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/20160422_203229_zpsomqze4j8.jpg


WOW Factor

First time on a Boeing 737-300, and probably the last time, given that they may not be here for long and my chances of flying with a carrier that use them seems bleak.

Verdict

The experience of flying Air Baltic is pretty decent. decent crew on board, well maintained aircrafts albeit older aircrafts, and relatively on time.

On the other end of the spectrum, their check in baggage fees is ridiculously high and same goes for their food and beverage on board.

Would I fly air Baltic, perhaps only if I had no other choice. I'm fairly certain if there were any other options (except Wizz air whom i refuse to fly on) air Baltic would be a more expensive option. would I recommend air Baltic. Probably yes. It's a good airline expect for the value for money proposition.

Plane spotting back at Gatwick
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/20160428_165016_zps33msrjth.jpg


In commemoration of the Queens 90th Birthday - Artwork at Gatwick
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/Varun_KR006/20160428_165258_zps2rxbc1fb.jpg



Hope you enjoyed it. Keep the comments and feedback coming, as it would help me improving my future trip reports. As per plan, the next one should be our trip to Japan and China but that’s not unitl End of August, here comes the dry spell of our travels  

Until then, keep the trip reports coming and safe flying.
 
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newbief1yer
Topic Author
Posts: 644
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:35 pm

RE: Norwegian And Air Baltic To ARN And RIX

Fri May 06, 2016 5:23 pm

Adios..!

Previous Trip Reports

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Ideekay
Posts: 277
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:18 pm

RE: Norwegian And Air Baltic To ARN And RIX

Sat May 07, 2016 1:22 pm

Thanks very much for the report!

Do I see that correctly that you used the new pier in Riga for the flight back to London?
 
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newbief1yer
Topic Author
Posts: 644
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:35 pm

RE: Norwegian And Air Baltic To ARN And RIX

Sat May 07, 2016 8:34 pm

Quoting Ideekay (Reply 3):

Thanks very much for the report!
Do I see that correctly that you used the new pier in Riga for the flight back to London?

Pleasure Ideekay.
Oh yes, perhaps could be. Was very different to what it looked like last time we were here. I did not realise that it may have been a new terminal. I thought that they had a different area for Wizz Air, the flight we took the last time.

Baltic Escapades - VNO/TLL/RIX On W6,BT And OV (by newbief1yer May 18 2015 in Trip Reports)
 
debonair
Posts: 3763
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2004 10:50 pm

RE: Norwegian And Air Baltic To ARN And RIX

Sat May 07, 2016 10:17 pm

Quoting newbief1yer (Thread starter):
The excellent Entertainment portal on board - easily the most innovative in Europe (probably apart from Estonian Air, who provide chat facility with your neighbours on board!)

Sadly, ESTONIAN is now to the history books...

Quoting newbief1yer (Thread starter):
The excellent Entertainment portal on board - easily the most innovative in Europe (probably apart from Estonian Air, who provide chat facility with your neighbours on board!)
Quoting newbief1yer (Thread starter):
Air Baltic have some weird online check in policy.

True, but they followed the trend of other airlines in Europe - like FR and W6!

Quoting newbief1yer (Thread starter):
Media Centre

What for? No PTV, no IFE, even no oldschool TV screens over the aisles...
 
EL-AL
Posts: 1476
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2001 8:29 am

RE: Norwegian And Air Baltic To ARN And RIX

Sun May 08, 2016 6:21 am

Hey Buddy,

Thank you for the report. Looks like Baltic offer nice mix of airplanes - Dash 8 & 735 - to fly on, a nice change from the usuall B738/320s we see around Europe all the time.

The airport in Riga also looks nice and modern.

Thank you for shearing, Jonathan
every day is a good day to fly
 
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newbief1yer
Topic Author
Posts: 644
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:35 pm

RE: Norwegian And Air Baltic To ARN And RIX

Sun May 08, 2016 8:31 am

Quoting debonair (Reply 5):
Sadly, ESTONIAN is now to the history books...

Ya i had heard about it. It was a good airline, but i guess it could not compete with the likes of the other LCC growing in the area.

Quoting debonair (Reply 5):
True, but they followed the trend of other airlines in Europe - like FR and W6!

Ya but FR expect you to also print the boarding pass, thus reducing the need for check in personnel, which makes sense, in terms of cost savings. In the case of Air Baltic, i dont see how they save costs, by just asking you to check in online, yet they have the same number of check in agents

Quoting debonair (Reply 5):
What for? No PTV, no IFE, even no oldschool TV screens over the aisles...

Ah! My bad!
Wrong picture in the wrong part of the report. That is the media centre for the Norwegian flight.
Thanks debonair, good spot.
 
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newbief1yer
Topic Author
Posts: 644
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:35 pm

RE: Norwegian And Air Baltic To ARN And RIX

Sun May 08, 2016 8:32 am

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 6):
Thank you for the report. Looks like Baltic offer nice mix of airplanes - Dash 8 & 735 - to fly on, a nice change from the usuall B738/320s we see around Europe all the time.

Thanks for the comments Jonathan, appreciate it.
 
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eurowings
Posts: 574
Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:40 pm

RE: Norwegian And Air Baltic To ARN And RIX

Sun May 08, 2016 8:41 am

Thanks for the interesting report!

Shame you got the old interior on the Norwegian 738, the Sky Interior 738s offer easily the best LCC product in Europe although FR's new 738s aren't far behind.

I have enjoyed flying with Air Baltic, looking forward to when they get the CS300!
"Freddie Laker may be at peace with his Maker, but he is persona non grata with IATA."- HRH Duke of Edinburgh
 
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newbief1yer
Topic Author
Posts: 644
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:35 pm

RE: Norwegian And Air Baltic To ARN And RIX

Sun May 08, 2016 7:51 pm

Quoting eurowings (Reply 9):
Thanks for the interesting report!

My pleasure eurowings, thanks.

Quoting eurowings (Reply 9):
Shame you got the old interior on the Norwegian 738, the Sky Interior 738s offer easily the best LCC product in Europe although FR's new 738s aren't far behind.
I have enjoyed flying with Air Baltic, looking forward to when they get the CS300!

Ya, I've got to try Norweigian's Sky interiors before, it does feel a lot better. FR has improved but still has a long way to go to be as effective as Norwegian for Short haul Intra European flights.
Ya the CS300 seem to be a great fit for Air Baltic's needs and routes.

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