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Brussels Airlines revisit – the new and the old

Brussels Airlines revisit – the new and the old

Old Aug 27, 11, 9:03 pm
  #1  
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Brussels Airlines revisit – the new and the old

I don’t know what is the reason that seems to draw me towards Brussels Airlines! Maybe it is the service! Maybe it is still sort of a full service airline (well economy is all BOB)! Maybe it is the livery! When it comes to European business class, it is pretty identical with identical seats as in economy – just a blocked middle seat with slightly more legroom. However, Brussels Airlines seems to provide a bit more for its business class passengers, and with often one row of seats, the service is personable, and the F/As are well trained and looked smart. I can’t wait for SN to return to the US in the future.

SN 3734 AGP-BRU Lv1005 Arr1255 Boeing 737-300 Winglet OO-VEH
http://share.shutterfly.com/action/w...8QbNHDNy5bqTlY

SN 2719 BRU-GVA Lv1530 Arr1645 Airbus A319-100 OO-SSQ
http://share.shutterfly.com/action/w...8QbNHDNy5bqTnQ

Booking:
I used my BD points for this ticket – not the best bargain, but is the best way to fly SN without paying the high price. I called SN reservation center to get the seat assignment. I was able to retrieve the reservation at SN website and printed out the e-ticket with no issue.

Check-in:
Malaga Airport’s Terminal Three is another amazing architectural piece with high ceiling and modern architectural design. Similar to Barcelona El Prat International Airport, the Spanish definitely knows how to turn airports into profitable shopping malls. If there are no planes, you will not now that you are at an airport. I like the natural light and high ceiling. The airport looks up to date.

Malaga Airport Terminal Three



Impressive architecture


Rows of check-in desks




Brussels Airlines check-in desks


Priority lane


Logo


It was pretty busy this morning with many Europeans returning home after summer holidays. All the flights look fully booked with additional charter flights. Brussels Airlines has its own check-in counters – one joint priority/baggage drop off lane, and one general lane. The regular line was busy, but priority line was not busy. There was no kiosk for Brussels Airlines, and I guess since most people are in holidays, not people have access to a printer to print boarding passes at home. The flight was definitely full in the back.

Flight Information Display System


Our flight


A very delayed Delta Airlines flight to JFK – possibly due to closure of JFK due to earthquake in the east coast
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Old Aug 27, 11, 9:04 pm
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Airport or shopping mall?




Lounge:
The check-in agent did not tell me any lounge information and I just presumed that it possibly only had a single lounge serving all airlines. I was not far from it and I just followed the sign and reach the SALA VIP Lounge, and the agent happily admitted to the lounge. I saw a sign about a Swiss lounge at non-Schegen Pier B, but was closed till November for renovation. Don’t realize the Swiss loves Malaga that much!

The lounge was very large and it was sparsely occupied due to the morning nature, or simply not many elite passengers using this airport. The food options are typically bread and spread, with cereals, snacks, and saddest looking bananas and kiwis that I have known. There were a few display cases for duty free shops – you can never forget about shopping and spending money at these new Spanish airports.

Entrance to SALA VIP



Lounge




Lots of comfortable sofas




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Old Aug 27, 11, 9:06 pm
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Business Center


TV Room


Conference area


Assorted snacks


Cereals


Food – breads, breads and breads



Meat spreads


Preserves


Saddest Fruit displays

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Old Aug 27, 11, 9:08 pm
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Hard stuff



Juice bars


Soda machines


Gate area:


D42



Writings in the floor


The inbound aircraft from Brussels arrived on time and parked at a surprisingly convenient gate, D42. However I need to go to the other wing to take these pictures.

Beautiful day here at Malaga


OO-VEH at Malaga


Winglet shot


Air-conditioned jetway
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Old Aug 27, 11, 9:10 pm
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I was just happy to finally get a flight on my log with this 737 variant with winglet. As I said in my facebook, a classic bird with a modern touch! Boarding finally began at 9:47am and there was no priority boarding at all. Did not matter much, as business class only had two passengers, and economy flex had eight passengers, and the rest was regular economy with lots of people going home from the holidays. The mood was pretty festive.

The cabin interior was better than expected, and I guess the old Virgin Express stuffs were all gone, or this might be SN from the beginning. Anyway, there were the typical blue leather seats used by SN. The headrest colors determined the cabin class. The first couple rows have a bit more legroom. In this model, 1DEF has slightly more legroom than 1ABC. With all three seats to myself it was very comfortable.

Cabin shot



My seat



The purser immediately offered me a choice of pre-takeoff beverage, which was rare in European airlines, and SN might be the only one offering a full choice.

Water of course for me


Nice b branding


Veuling, s’il vous plait



Newspapers and magazines were offered with ample choices from different languages. Full flex economy passengers also get the newspapers service. I got a copy of the Tribune and Newsweek magazine. We seemed to have a few missing passengers today, and ground staffs were busy looking for them. Anyway boarding was completed at 10:07am, and we pushed back five minutes later. AGP was pretty busy, but taxi was short. We took off from R/W31 at 10:22am.

Leaving Malaga


Winglet shot – that is the reason why I flew an additional leg to AGP


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Old Aug 27, 11, 9:11 pm
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Beautiful coastal line


Malaga Costal Del Sol Airport


Glimpse of galley


The purser was wonderful as usual, and today we had four F/As, as one of them was a trainee. During the safety demo, the purser made sure everyone knows about the newbie, and everyone gave her a loud applaud during the demo. She also helped out in business class. Brussels Airlines crew was always good, especially the purser. With a long flight, he just asked if I wanted to wait a bit before serving me lunch. He started with an apertif service with pretzels.

Champagne and pretzels of course


Then around 11am, he served us lunch, which was a nice beef fillet dish with risotto, carrots and parsnips. There was a small side salad, a Belgian cheese plate and a dessert of Raspberries Flan topped with Meringue. Bread rolls were also available of course – typical SN long white or brown rolls. All served in proper china – no cheap plastic like other airlines! The only sad part was the plastic utensils used.

Full lunch tray



Salad


Sides



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Old Aug 27, 11, 9:12 pm
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Entrée




Cheese plate


Business class logo


Dessert


Then after lunch, there was a separate tea/coffee and chocolate service (Neuhaus’) of course!
Wonderful chocolates



My tea was refreshed throughout the flight, and the F/A always asked if I needed something else prior to taking away of any glasses. It was a nice flight.

Descent soon began at 12:13pm, and we landed on R/W25L at 12:40pm, and quickly parked at gate A46 six minutes later. This aircraft would continue to Nice next. An early arrival of course!

Brussel Airlines’ A330


I had a long layover so I took my time before heading to the Brussels Airlines lounge. Nothing more to add about the lounge, except today’s soup is Cream of Broccoli soup and there is no free WIFI. I think complimentary WIFI is so important these days that a proper lounge should always provide that service. Anyway, the lounge was very quiet during my days. Given the crises at Europe, I presume everyone would rush here but I guess I was wrong.


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Old Aug 27, 11, 9:14 pm
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More shots of the general seating area





Business Center


Today’s food





Cream of Broccoli soup – delicious – Brussels Airlines always has good selection of daily soups

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Old Aug 27, 11, 9:15 pm
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Apron today – Pier B was pretty busy





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Old Aug 27, 11, 9:17 pm
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SN 2719 BRU-GVA Lv1530 Arr1645 Airbus A319-100 OO-SSQ


So why do I call this report the new and the old? Because I got to fly both the oldest and newest seats offered by Brussels Airlines in a day. OO-SSQ is one of the newest A319s delivered to SN, and has fitted with the new generation of slim seats used by Austrian Airlines and Lufthansa, and perhaps all future Star Alliance or LH related airlines partners. Germanwings, a LH related LCC, also features the slim seats.

Priority boarding


OO-SSQ at BRU




Boarding began at 3:13pm at gate A59. The plane was towed from the hangar so no need to wait for cleaners or passengers to deplane. However catering was running a bit late. Even though boarding began and yes there was priority boarding here in Brussels, and there was a separate priority lane. I think that is the only way you can reinforce a boarding system. Nevertheless Europeans travel light and boarding is accomplished within reasonable time without people fighting spaces for their kitchen sinks. Anyway we had to wait in the jetway a bit before catering was completed in the forward galley.

Pre-takeoff beverage



Here was my first cabin shot!





Window shot
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Old Aug 27, 11, 9:20 pm
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Nearby Arkefly 737s


Pretty good cabin and it was all clean with updated interior and seats. The flight was pretty full and only one row of business class seat and I was the only J passenger this afternoon. The purser offered me a drink and newspapers and magazines immediately. There were more economy flex passengers, as expected on this business oriented routes – all suit types, instead of the more shorts and t-shirts crowd on the last flight. Economy flex cabin was full and some of the middle seats were filled.

Door was closed on time at 3:29pm and we pushed back four minutes later. Brussels Airport was a bit busy, but taxi time was still short. Following the departure of BA A319 G-EUPB, we lifted off the cloudy Brussels at 3:42pm.

Brussels Airport



Flying time was an hour and four minutes, and after passing some cloudy layers, seat belt sign was off in five minutes. Cabin service began with hot towel service, and then a cold lunch/light meal/collation. Today’s lunch features a cold plate of pasta salad, green salad, cucumber topped with yogurt dressing and thousand island type dressing, along with crumbled feta cheese and chicken chunks. Of course rolls were offered, along with a Belgian cheese plate and Neuhaus chocolate.

Cold lunch


Entrée






Beverage
Belgian cheese plate


Bread roll


Neuhaus chocolates
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Old Aug 27, 11, 9:21 pm
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Cabin
The new slim seats allow more legroom for sure, and row 1 has more legroom now due to cutouts from the front storage bin, and the magazine pockets move up a bit. You can see from the picture.



Legroom shot for bulkhead seats


First few rows of the cabin definitely have more legroom, but the negative aspect of the slim seat is the lack of lumbar support. I can feel everything in my back, especially when my neighbor puts things into the magazine pocket or putting down the tray table. But for a short flight, it is okay and legroom is at least ample.




My seat 1A


This shows you how thin the seats are


Row 1 again


Overhead panel


Tray table – higher than the old seats


I am surprised that no entertainment system is installed on this new plane. But anyway, most flights are short and I am glad to see these new A319s in various European markets.

Descent soon began at 4:16pm and there was a bit of ATC hold. Not surprised given the single runway configuration at Geneva Cointrin International airport. We landed on R/W23 at 4:46pm and parked at gate A1 at 4:48pm.

Flybaboo DH-4 at one of the satellites


In general another good set of flight with Brussels Airlines, and look forward flying it more often in the future!

Carfield
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Old Aug 28, 11, 1:16 pm
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Love reading about airlines I know I'll prob never travel. Great pics, thanks for sharing
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Old Aug 29, 11, 1:57 am
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I've been curious about Brussels Airlines trans-Atlantic service as they sometimes have some great prices. Your report is encouraging!
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Old Aug 29, 11, 11:43 am
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Originally Posted by falconred View Post
I've been curious about Brussels Airlines trans-Atlantic service as they sometimes have some great prices. Your report is encouraging!
You can stay curious for a while longer, as they currently do not have any transatlantic services
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