Friday, June 26, 2015

Researching New Airlines - Brussels Airlines

Flight #112 - Brussels Airlines 3290
Tel Aviv (TLV) – Brussels (BRU) 
Saturday, June 27, 2015
Depart: 3:55PM / Arrive: 7:45PM
Duration: 4hr 50min
Aircraft: Airbus 320
Seat: 13A, 13B, 13C (Economy)
Earned: 2,022 miles 
Lifetime Miles: 206,861 miles 

Later this afternoon, I'll be flying back from Israel via Belgium. While I've flown several of the Star Alliance Airlines (Aegean, Air Canada, Asiana, Lufthansa, Swiss, Thai, Turkish and United), this will be my first time flying Brussels Airlines.

While the flight is relatively long (almost 5 hours), there aren't many large planes in the Brussels Airline fleet. On this particular flight from Tel Aviv, we're on an A320 aircraft, which runs pretty small (~175 passengers). Normally, we don't really care what kind of plane we're flying on (provided it seats more than 8 passengers), but we did care about what our on board experience might be like.

Specifically, we wanted to see what flight amenities (or lack thereof) we should prepare for, so my father jumped on earlier this week.

Scrolling down, we saw that our Row 13 seats were right behind the exit row in standard Economy seats. No huge red flag so far...

But then we went over to the side to see the In-Flight Amenities and clicked on Video. Uh oh...

1. Video
The small A320 didn't have individual entertainment systems for this 5 hour flight. Apparently, this aircraft still has the "shared video monitor" system that opens from the ceiling.

I'm not a fortune teller, but I'm pretty confident saying that they won't be showing "My Little Pony - Friendship is Magic" on the big screen.

So we'll just have to make sure that all our iPads are fully charged and loaded with a few hours worth of movies/shows for this flight segment.

2. Food
When you click on the Food tab on Seat Guru, we saw that there was only a snack given to Economy passengers. We could have also seen the absence of an on-board meal on the View Reservation page on

So while slightly disappointing, at least we know in advance that we need to (a) try to eat before we board and (b) bring snacks on board in case we get hungry. Ideally, we'll have a big enough lunch where we can hold out for a late dinner in Brussels (~9PM Tel Aviv time), but chances are, my toddler tummy will start grumbling well before that.

3. AC Power Outlet (or lack thereof)
The challenge with not having individual video screens will undoubtedly put pressure on our iPads to keep us entertained for the 5 hours flight. Now, I don't know about you, but my father can only play Bubble Witch for so long before he gets frustrated by Morgana.

I suppose we could download a few full length movies, but chances are, our batteries will not last more than 1 film, so having an AC outlet would be huge. Unfortunately, it would also be unavailable. Nothing worse than getting to the final 15 minutes of a movie, only to have the power cut out.

4. Wifi (or lack thereof)
The other main in-flight amenity that we were looking for was wifi. However, there was no tab for this feature, so we'll just assume the aircraft is not equipped for it. Not a huge deal as there's not that many productive things to do on the internet for 5 straight hours.

So this Brussels Airlines flight will probably be a good reminder to appreciate how spoiled we've been flying on well-equipped United flights and the occaisional premium cabin award flights!

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