Brussels Airlines 2548
Kraków (KRK) – Brussels (BRU)
27 June 2016
I arrived at Kraków Airport approximately two hours before the flight and relaxed in the Business Lounge, which opened less than a year ago. A new Schengen Business Lounge is supposed to open soon and the existing one will be only available for non-Schengen passengers.
It takes me about two hours to get to Kraków Airport and it isn’t because it is far from where I live, but rather because of the traffic conditions in Poland and around Kraków. This really is the only downside to my travels when I’m in Poland, is the time it takes to get to the airport here. In Seattle, it takes less than fifteen minutes for me to get to the airport.
Anyway, the airport is still a mess as they are constructing some new parts of the terminal and therefore the check-in area is still in the old part of the terminal, while the departures are being handled in the new part of the terminal.
Boarding began about thirty minutes before the scheduled departure time to Brussels. The flight was already delayed by about twenty minutes due to a late inbound arrival, so they wanted to begin boarding as soon as possible and turn the aircraft around. Kraków Airport currently has only one functioning jetway and it is being used almost exclusively for Lufthansa’s flights to Frankfurt and Munich at this point (as Lufthansa is the premium carrier in Kraków).
We were driven to the aircraft by bus, where the bus got a little bit too close to the wing of the aircraft… The flight to Brussels was operated with a Brussels Airlines A319 aircraft, with the flight time being about 1hr30min.
My Economy seat was in row 7. Business Class consisted of two rows and there wasn’t any partition or curtain between Business Class and Economy Class, which I found a bit odd.
We pushed back thirty minutes late and were in the air shortly. The captain announced that we were expecting a slight delay into Brussels and that he hoped it wouldn’t cause too much inconvenience for the passengers.
Once we reached cruising altitude, the service began. I observed Business Class passengers getting a standard Intra-European Business Class meal along with drinks. Then Brussels Airlines Flex&Fast Economy passengers also received some sort of meal and a drink. Then food for purchase was offered to the Economy Class cabin.
I assumed the drinks would be served shortly thereafter to the Economy Class passengers, but after a while, no cart was present. I then found out that Brussels Airlines doesn’t serve free drinks (even water) in Economy Class on European flights. You can however get a free soft drink if you are connecting to/from a long haul flight with Brussels Airlines. Talk about a low-cost carrier move!
Water and all soft drinks are 3 Euro. I asked one of the FAs if I could at least have some free water since I’m a Miles & More elite member, and I was given a blank stare like if I had asked for a free upgrade. Odd.
I didn’t expect Brussels Airlines to be this low-cost, but I guess they are…
We landed in Brussels about fifteen minutes behind schedule. All in all, the flight was uneventful and I found most of the FAs to be friendly and kind (all Brussels Airlines staff are), but the lack of free water and soft drinks in Economy is a terrible decision. They are closely integrated with the Lufthansa Group and the Star Alliance, therefore I don’t understand this strange decision to not offer free non-alcoholic drinks to Economy Class passengers.
I spent the majority of the flight listening to music and trying to sleep for a bit as I didn’t have anything else to do… While Brussels Airlines provides a great overall experience, the lack of free soft drinks in Economy is perhaps going to make me not want to fly with them again soon if I have other options.