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  • New wings to new horizons

    This weekend I had the chance to trie out the new generation airline, Brussels Airlines as I went on a city trip to Lisbon. I flew it's predecessor SN Brussels Airlines last year to Berlin and was eager to trie out the new concept and compare it to their excellent old product.

    As we had an early morning departure on Sunday we drove over the empty highway to Brussels airport where we manage to find a parking spot in the new Front Park 3 (a rather nice looking building for a parking garage, better than FP 2 imho). after the rather lengthy walk from FP3 to check-in row 5 (where B.light passengers have to heck in, yes I know I'm cheap...)

    My First impression of the newly decorated ticket desk and check-in area of Brussels airlines was very positive, I really liked the colors they used, a very nice combination and surely eye catching. I also liked the small touches like the small orange lamps on every desk to give it a cosier feeling. As we arrived at row 4 they just opened the check-in desks and where served in no-time by a friendly Flightcare agent. We received some o the nice new Brussels airlines boarding passes (which could have been designed better, since the print is higher then the place on the boarding pass itself, printers still need some fine-tuning).

    After that we we continued through the catacombes, past a rather fast security check (for BRU standards that is). My sister hit the jackpot again, the metal detector beeped and she got a manual check once again( happens every time to her in BRU, she just attracts it...). After that ordeal we continued onto our gate, A54, to discover I forgot to recharge the batteries of my digital camera (so no pics of this flight, sorry ... )

    Flight SN3813
    Departure Brussels 07:30
    Arrival Lisbon Portela 09:30
    Seat 5D
    Operated by Boeing 737-3M8 OO-LTM c/n 25070, delivered to TEA - Trans European Airlines on 21/05/1991


    Boarding went rather smooth thanks to the fact they started boarding the back rows first, before continuing with the others. since I was seated in row 5 (with extra legroom but unfortunately an aisle seat) I boarded as one as the last. The cabin of Tango Mike was still in a rather good condition despite it's each, there was some wear and tear visible tho. also the fact that there where no air vents and an older type of seats showed it was an older aircraft. The boarding process and safety demo where the same as on any other flight. We had a a long taxi to runway 07R for take-off, where we had a rolling take-off for our 3 hours flight to Portugal.

    The flight itself was rather smooth, with the exception of a bit of turbulence about halfway. I also tried out the (reasonably priced) bob menu and even though the selection of items for sale was quite small, the quality was good. I tried a cheese sandwich which was very tasty and had a good value for money.

    Descend was a bit bumpy due to the fact that there where some rain clouds over the Lisbon area and we touched down on Portuguese soil with the trademarked 737 bump. after a short taxi we parked at on of the few jetways stands available in LIS (A15 to be exact) after which we had a swift deboarding and managed our way through the maze of arrival corridors and arrival halls in the airport to enjoy our stay in Lisbon.

    After 4 too short days it was time to return home. upon arrival in Lisbon airport we saw that one of the entry doors was out of service, because the door was missing... after that weird first impression we continued into the building to trie and find our check-in desks (people that have been in Lisbon airport will have to agree with me that the layout is everything but logical...) After the usual check-in procedures and security check we arrived at our boarding gate, gate 13, a bus boarding this time. From the lounge we had an excellent view on the departure and arrivals and thus saw our ride arrive 20 mins earlier than scheduled.

    Flight SN3816
    Departure Lisbon Portela 13:10
    Arrival Brussels 17:00
    Seat 8F
    Operated by Boeing 737-36N(WL) OO-VEG c/n 28568, delivered to Virgin Express on 24/02/1998


    At exactly 12:40 boarding started and we where allowed to board one of the yellow busses that would bring us to the aircraft parked somewhere near Porto, on the ride to the plane I managed to take some pics:













    The cabin of Echo Golf was newer and in a better condition than Tango Mike and had newer and better shaped seats. Once again I was lucky enough to have a seat in the extra leg room area but this time a window aswell. The flight is mainly a repetition of the first flight and all the usual standard procedures, so wont go into it all too deep. Just like the flight to Lisbon the flight was packed and had only 2 rows of flex while the rest where light passengers. I also noticed a lot of people bought something from the onboard menu (a lot more than on my Iberia flights) and when it was my turn to order something they only had ham sandwiches left (quite good taste aswell I must add) so that proves they sold well!

    The routing of this flight was Lisbon - Santander - Nantes - Paris - Brussels at 32000 feet with a speed of 700km/h. Arrival was over Brussels and the "zonienwoud" to bump down on Runway 02 at Brussels after which a short taxi to gate A40 followed.

    My opinion: Even tho I was quite sceptical about the new Brussels Airlines, I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by the new product and i think that when developed properly it could become very succesfull and competitive in the european market. Crews where all friendly and efficient on my flights, all proudly wearing their new Brussels Airlines uniforms and trying to assist all passengers in the best way they could. I will definatly fly SN again in the future and will recommend them to other people aswell.




  • #2
    Nice report, thanks for sharing.

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