As mentioned in a couple of previous posts, I spent the holidays with my family in Slovakia. In fact, as this post goes live, I’m likely sitting onboard an Austrian Airlines flight to Copenhagen which is the first transfer point on my five-stop way back to Tokyo.
Anyways, I will post a separate series of articles about how I made my way from Tokyo to Vienna and back – but first, I’m going to write about a small side trip I did during my stay in Europe.
Are you interested in trying business or first class for the price of economy?
If so, you might want to check out Four Ways to Try Business Class Without Breaking the Bank - a free guide that I put together detailing some of the ways I was able to do so - and experiment with some of the methods mentioned in it.
Booking the Sukhoi Superjet Flight
The idea for the trip was born when I thought it would be nice to do a small trip within Europe (something I used to do a lot ten years ago, but don’t do nowhere in enough these days) and to fly on an aircraft type I hadn’t flown on before.
I considered several options including a flight on a Sunair Dornier Do328, a Budapest Air Service Embraer EMB-120 (which is currently operating in Scandinavia), as well as on a Brussels Airlines (CityJet) Sukhoi Superjet.
In the end – as is obvious from the post title – I settled for a flight on the Superjet because the aircraft were in the process of being retired. In fact, today (the day this post goes live) was the last day of Brussels Airlines (and for that matter, CityJet’s) Sukhoi Superjet operations.
After looking through various itineraries that included the SSJ, I decided to buy a ticket from Berlin to Basel via Brussels for about 100 EUR directly on Brussels Airlines’ website. While the flight to Brussels was operated by an A320 (I was lucky to catch the one in the Tintin livery), the flight to Basel was operated by the SSJ.
Booking Positioning Flights
For a while, I toyed with the idea of trying to incorporate some other interesting aircraft into the trip as well, but in the end – for the sake of saving time and money – I decided to just book Austrian Airlines flights from Vienna to Berlin and from Basel to Vienna. Each of the two one-way tickets cost under 50 EUR.
While the flight to Berlin was operated by an A320 and so I won’t be reviewing it as I reviewed a similar flight before, the flight from Basel was operated by an Embraer EMB-195. Since the latter was my first time flying on an Embraer in about eight years (and I haven’t reviewed an Embraer flight on this site yet), I’ll be writing a post about it.
The Trip’s Accommodation and Lounges
Originally, I was considering doing the whole trip in a single day, but in the end, I decided to stay one night in Berlin before continuing with the rest of the trip.
As such, I booked Meininger Hotel Berlin Tiergarten which, while not marketed as an airport hotel, is just a short 15-minute bus ride from Tegel airport.
I initially booked a refundable rate through Hotels.com for about 65EUR, however, I ended up cancelling that reservation for free the night before my stay, and rebooking the room directly through the hotel’s website for just 45EUR.
Besides the hotel, I will also be reviewing two lounges – Diamond Lounge at Brussels airport and EuroAirport Skyview Lounge at Basel airport – that I had a chance to visit during the trip. I had access to both of those thanks to my Priority Pass membership.
Visiting an Aviation Museum in Brussels
The main purpose of the trip was to fly on the SSJ, but it still gave me enough time in Berlin (full day) and Brussels (half day) to be able to enjoy the destinations as well.
In Berlin, I mostly spent my time in the city, visiting some of the historic sights such as Checkpoint Charlie which used to be one of the crossings between East and West Berlin pictured below.
In Brussels, I visited the great the Museum of Armed Forces and Military History.
As its name suggests, the vast majority of the displayed items were military – ranging from uniforms, through weapons things, all the way to aircraft. However, there were also some aircraft that were interesting for me as a civil aviation enthusiast with the highlight being an ex-Sabena Caravelle.
While I won’t be writing about my time in Berlin, you can expect a detailed review of the aviation part of the museum in Brussels.
I will start posting the articles related to this trip later this week, so stay tuned!