One of the main aircraft types that Brussels Airlines uses on its intra-European flights is the Airbus A320. At the beginning of January, I had a chance to fly on it from Berlin to its base in Brussels – marking my first flight with the airline.
Continue reading this review to see what it was like to fly with Brussels Airlines on a short-haul economy class flight.
Boarding a Brussels Airlines Airbus A320
I left Meininger Hotel Berlin Tiergarten around 5AM and got to the airport around 5:30AM – with more than enough time to spare before the flight’s 6:50AM scheduled departure time.
Berlin Tegel airport is constructed in an interesting way as, rather than there being a single shared airside area, each gate has its own small airside area. In other words, the gates are next to their respective check-in counters, and each gate has a separate security (and in case of non-Schengen flights, immigration) checkpoint.
I walked over to gate A07 where the flight was departing from, rechecked myself online through my phone (to get the mobile version of my boarding pass), and headed through security into the waiting area.
Besides metal seats, there were also charging points, toilets, a duty free shop, a refreshments stall, and vending machines.
When I looked out of the window, I was happy to see an A320 in the “Rackham” livery – one of Brussels Airlines’ five Belgian Icons planes – featuring illustrations based on the Belgian comic series The Adventures of Tintin.
At 6:26AM, business class and elite passengers were invited to board, and the rest of us followed just a couple of minutes later. Onboard, I settled in my window seat 21A and waited for departure.
On a side note, just like other airlines’ A320s, the aircraft was equipped in a “3-3” configuration with no “real” business class seats. The one thing that stood out, though, was the wall at the very end of the aircraft which featured an illustration based on Tintin.
Departing Berlin Onboard Brussels Airlines Flight 2592
Boarding was completed at 6:45AM, but at that point, the aisle was still full of people trying to get settled in their seats. The doors were closed at 6:48AM.
A minute later, the purser welcomed us onboard over the PA and mentioned that we were flying on a special Belgian Icons series airplane honoring Tintin. She also mentioned that we were expecting a flight time of one hour.
Once de-icing started at 6:50AM, we were welcomed onboard by the first officer as well who besides repeating the expected flight time also mentioned that we were in the process of being de-iced and that it was clear and cold in Brussels.
While de-icing was in progress, the safety video presented by birds was played on the overhead screens. It was (sometimes too forcibly) funny. Just to give you an idea, below are a couple of quotes from it:
- Be careful when opening the overhead compartments. We’re not flying into space, you know, so gravity will still apply.
- We know you’re really funny when you’re drunk, but thank you. We have our own entertainment systems onboard.
- To unfasten the seatbelt, lift the flap. It’s no rocket science.
- Take a moment to find your nearest emergency exit which, funnily enough, is marked exit.
We were pushed back with a 11-minute delay at 7:01AM, and we took off at 7:14A HM.
Brussels Airlines Short-Haul Economy Class Service
The seatbelt signs were switched off four minutes after take-off at which point the service begun.
Since it was just a short intra-European flight in economy class, there was no free service. A selection of buy-on-board items (including the ones pictured below) was available, though.
Also, while we’re at it, below are the contents of the seat pocket.
More enjoyable than the reading materials, though, was the view out of the window. Throughout the flight, I could enjoy watching the crescent Moon, (I believe) Mars, and the twilight.
Arriving at Brussels Airport
At 7:54AM, the first officer announced that we had begun our descent towards Brussels and that we would be landing in 20 minutes. As he finished speaking, the seatbelt signs were switched back on.
At 8:08AM, the landing gear was lowered, and at 8:10AM, we landed at Brussels airport.
We parked at a remote position next to an easyJet Switzerland A320 at 8:13AM – two minutes ahead of schedule. However, it took another ten minutes for the stairs to arrive.
Once I got off the aircraft, I took some photos of it before walking over to the terminal building and heading out into the city.
Brussels Airlines A320 Economy Class Summary
Brussels Airlines offered what one would expect from a short intra-European flight.
The seats were comfortable enough (much more so than the ones on the much longer Iberia flight I took earlier this year) and the flight was on time.
There was a buy-on-board menu, but it would have been nice if at least soft drinks were served for free like Austrian does for example. At the same time, it wasn’t really a big issue given that it was just a one-hour flight.
While nothing “practical,” as an aviation enthusiast, I enjoyed the fact that I got to fly on the Tintin plane.