Making Brussels Interesting – with TravelMagic and Brussels Airlines
Back to Brussels Airport, Brussels Airlines Lounge
- Travel? TravelMagic!
- Saturday Morning fun and games
- SN2050 Birmingham Airport to Brussels National Airport
- TravelMagic overview
- The Pantone Hotel
- A Day in Brussels
- Back to Brussels Airport, Brussels Airlines Lounge
- SN2047 Brussels National Airport to Birmingham Airport (THIS SECTION)
Brussels Airlines operated by Tyrolean Airways, Bombardier Dash-8 Q400
288 miles flown, 125 miles and more miles earned
I was welcomed the 2nd Dash-8 Q400 of the trip – this time in Austrian colours. Loading was a bit quicker than before; with the flight only half full for this short hop back to Birmingham Airport.
The cabin crew of two were getting everyone settled in, and the safety demonstration and announcements were given in English, Flemish and French.
Now, I do love accents – it’s one of the fun things of travel. The lead flight attendant on this one had an accent so up and down, it couldn’t help but bring a smile to people – this was good for this evening flight.
Whilst B.Lite was occupying most the plane (I was in the top row of B.Lite), B.Economy Plus seemed to be well served. As well as row 1… which had a B.Business Passenger on board.
Yes. Someone actually paid real money for a business class flight between Brussels and Birmingham. I was trying this out in my mind… and failing.
Sorry. Business Class in a Dash-8 does not compute to me. Heck, Business Class in a Regional Jet seems odd to me. But still… each to their own expense accounts.
Readying for departure
The plane taxied out and headed for the runway, where the Dash-8 turned as the turboprops whirled up to takeoff power and bolted down the runway, and climbed into the air.
Lining up for the runway.
The plane climbed out smoothly as it begun the trek back Birmingham, crossing the channel over Dover, across London and down to Birmingham Airport.
Below and across, the evening light played its external symphony as the sun set for the day, which you’ve got to admit, makes some of the best in-flight entertainment in the sky.
(Gotta admit – I like this picture – the sunset above, and the night below)
Well, it beats an iPhone in a sick bag 😉
And if there was any further proof this was an Tyrolean Airways/Austrian flight:
The sunlight continued to fade as the flight progressed. Meanwhile. the cabin crew begun their service for this flight. And since this was a three-class service (remember our friend in Business Class), they had a tray meal with bubbly (which caused a minor issue as the bubbly had to be fetched from the galley). In B.Economy+, it was a sandwich service.
Meanwhile in B.Lite, we actually got something.
Yes, its a pack of crackers with drinks. And it’s still FAR BETTER than what you’d get on Brussels Airlines European Mainline.
I also took the opportunity to talk to the crew in my broken German. Well I needed to practice it anyway to a few giggles of the cabin crew. Bless them.
Moving onto the seat, this actually felt like there was more room leg-room (even though its the same pitch). The seats themselves whilst the same had a nice splash of colour – which compared to the business grey of FlyBe – the green stood out in the cabin.
To quote Star Trek/Star Trek: The Next Generation – It is … it is… it is green: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPpvViI6tgg
Not my first choice seat colour, but still better than nothing – at least an airline makes an effort – which is something I love to see.
Clear down was done as the plane was crossing London, with 20 minutes to landing announced. The crew were smiling and talking throughout, with the Captain even doing a hello speech over London, which was bright in the evening light.
Soon enough, recorded announcements came on in three languages, indicating we were about to land. With that done, the cabin was plunged into darkness for decent.
With a rather sporting landing, our Dash8 landed at Birmingham Airport. Now, remember what I said about the lead flight attendants voice… well it’s in the YouTube video.
Taxing to the terminal was a spritely affair as the plane had a turnaround to meet (as did the crew who were going back to Brussels that night), and soon enough, the little Dash-8 was parked at the gate, where there was no bus, but a stairway to the jetway.
Coming onto stand
I thanked the crew, and headed off.
Overall: Another great performance for a short hop. It proves with the right resources, there can be so much more to a flight than just a seat. Tyrolean Airways performed well, and gave a good impression of Austrian service.
As the plane had come to the terminal, disembarkation would be by foot, and up into Birmingham airport at Gate 59, and through to customs from there. So it is was up the stairs, into the jetway, and a short walk from the “old” part of Birmingham airport to UK Immigration.
UK Immigration. Thataway.
Immigration was a sight to behold with the Non EU lane was packed solid (a flight from Dubai was clearing still), with the E-Gates shut.
I was processed at the UK Border (who were trying to clear the Dubai flight as fast as possible… and had neglected to switch the E-Gates on).
Heading into the luggage claim hall, I had a bag to claim. And this being BHX they post how long luggage takes to arrive.
Except they only unloaded one trolley load of bags. The second load almost headed back to Brussels until someone read the luggage tags – releasing my bag in the process.
Gotta love Swissport Handling. Not.
I exited through the Blue Channel, and was through to arrivals in short order. From there, it was back onto the Airtrain to Birmingham International train station.
A much quieter place now…
£2.20 later, I had in my possession a train ticket Birmingham New Street.
Down to the platform
Class 221 SuperVoyager pulling in for the CrossCountry service to Birmingham and onwards to Manchester
The CrossCountry service was running a bit late – enabling to get down to the platform in time for me watch it arrive, and grab a seat for the 10 minute ride to New Street station.
At New Street, it was up and out – heading through the new concrete building until I reached the taxi rank. A friendly cabbie took me for the final mile and a bit home (as I had realised I 1) had no change and 2) forgot to change my transit pass ticket over).
Within 10 minutes, I was outside my front door, and another adventure brought to a close.