Review of Air Baltic flight Warsaw Riga in Economy

Airline Air Baltic
Flight BT 462
Class Economy
Seat 6D
Flight time 01:20
Take-off 14 Jan 16, 09:00
Arrival at 14 Jan 16, 11:20
BT   #3 out of 24 Low-cost airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 55 reviews
loukas
By SILVER 1459
Published on 19th January 2016
Hi everyone,

I'd like to share my experience of flying to Riga and Tallinn last week with airBaltic. If I'm not wrong this is the first report regarding this airline. My route was: WAW-RIX-TLL-RIX-WAW and here you will find my description of the first WAW-RIX leg.

I always wanted to visit the Baltic countries as we call Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in Poland and finally last week a part of this dream (I plan a trip to Lithuania this summer) has come true. One can say it is strange to go there in the winter but I think winter travelling gives many opportunities you won't have in the summer and - as it was this time luckily - a beautiful winter weather can make your stay a truly wonderful experience.

As it is the first report of a flight with airBaltic I'll write a few words about Latvia's national carrier. Founded in 1995 the airline in 99,8% is owned by the Latvian state. It's fleet consists of 12 Bombardier Q400 aircrafts and 12 Boeing 737-300/500. The airline ordered 13 Bombardier CS300 and is going to be the launch customer of this new plane. Its hub is Riga (RIX) airport but it operates direct flight from Vilnius and Tallinn too.

Here's a picture of the fleet page from airline's magazine

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So the departure day arrives. It's quite cold and it's going to be even colder in Riga and even colder in Tallin so all the warm clothes are on. Our departure is at 9:00 am, we should arrive to Riga at 11:20 (there is a time zone change from 1+ to 2+) and have enough time to visit the city as our flight to Tallin departs at 23:15. It is better to chek - in online because the airline charges 10 euro for a traditional check in at the airport. With boarding passes printed at home we head to the worst part of Chopin Airport that is the security control. A good news is after many complaints and test that prooved the security staff to be rude and uneffective the airport finally decided to replace it and that's hopefully going to happen in the next few months. The security experience was as always unpleasant and disappointing, the staff didn't reply to good morning, didn't even look at us and tried in every way to show how unhappy and frustrated they were. That's so sad. Anyway, having passed the infameous security control we head to our gate 31 trough rather empty and calm terminal.

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Boarding starts even before schedule as there are only 25 pax on this flight. airBaltic operates daily on the WAW-RIX route and from December 2015 some of it's flights as well as some LOT flights are co-shared

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We are taken by bus to our Bombardier Q400

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On board there are two FAs, one female and one male, both young, nice and friendly. There is nobody in the business class section and only 25 pax in the economy.

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After a fast boarding we seem to be ready for taxi and take off.




There is no complimentary service in economy class, snacks and drinks can be purchased and hot meals can be ordered but not later than 72 hours prior to the flight. Some of the prices seem resonable and we decide to take a cup of tea to warm ourselves in this cold winter day. We get a decent cup of tea with lemon and sugar served with a smile by friendly FA named Arkadijs.

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The leg room of the Q400 is ok, I'd say it is the same as in the LOT/Eurolot Q400 aircrafts.

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I spend most of the flight watching beautiful winter landscapes beneath as we pass north eastern Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. It's so snowy!

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Finally we arrive in to even more snowy Riga



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We disembark and walk to the terminal in heavy snowfall

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Another Q400 in winter scenery

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RIX is a small but well organized airport and finding our way to te exit as well as to the baggage storage where we are going to leave our bags isn't difficult.

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Then we head to the Welcome to Riga tourist office where tickets for the bus number 22 and minibus number 222 conntecting the airport with the city centre can be bought in reduced price (1,15 euro one way instead of 1,30). A very friendly lady explains in good English how to get to the bus stop, where to leave in the centre and what to see. A nice welcome to Riga :)

That's gonna be a snowy winter day… :)

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I will post some photos taken in Riga in the second part describing the RIX-TLL flight.

Thanks for reading!



See more

Verdict

Air Baltic

7.4/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Buy-on-board menu6.5

Warsaw - WAW

7.2/10
Efficiency1.5
Access9.0
Services8.5
Cleanliness10.0

Riga - RIX

7.5/10
Efficiency6.5
Access9.0
Services5.0
Cleanliness9.5

Conclusion

My first flight with airBaltic was a very nice experience. Well maintained aircraft, friendly crew, on-time arrival made this trip very pleasant. The only thing I would improve is the service where at least a cup of complimentary water (as LOT does) should be served.

Related

17 Comments

  • Comment 155418 by
    fiftytwo GOLD 847 Comments

    Hi Loukas

    Unfortunately you are not the first one :-(

    Other reports were done but in the french version of flight-report

  • Comment 155425 by
    Chibcha 432 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this FR, I've always wanted to visit the Baltic States, lucky you!

    The Dash interiors look somewhat dated compared with most recent ATR interiors.

  • Comment 155440 by
    loukas SILVER AUTHOR 315 Comments

    Nevermind, let me be the first in English then :)
    I've flown only ATR72-200 and 42-500 and comparing to these models Dash is much better. Are the new ATRs a little bit more quiet?

    • Comment 332806 by
      fiftytwo GOLD 847 Comments

      Yes !

      I hope you enjoyed Tallinn and Riga , baltic coutries are very nice in summer , but winter is fu**in cold there.

      I was there quite often before they all switched to euros , prices were quite high especially in Riga , maybe its worst now

      The good point is that even with snow , their airports are not so crowded so its not a big mess as in SVO

      After collapse of lithuanica air estonian air , air baltic came to fill the gap, so you can even go to VNO or TLL by direct flights

    • Comment 332807 by
      loukas SILVER AUTHOR 315 Comments

      Yes, I did. I always wanted to visit Tallinn and I found Riga very interesting too. I will post some photos describing next parts of my trip. You are right, it is cold there but it is also cheaper than in the summer. Some prices are really high, Riga is even more expensive than Tallinn as far as restaurants are concerned but it's ok for a couple of days.

    • Comment 333031 by
      marathon GOLD 9559 Comments

      When I was in Taiwan, I found the ATR72-500 noisier than the DHC8-300 I often flew on.
      But when I got a chance to fly on a brand new ATR72-600, I found it much quieter than my reference DHC8-300.

  • Comment 155483 by
    Rl 777 810 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this FR with us!

    The cabin looks clean, the seats look alright for short hops.

    Great aerial shots!

    That's a good amount of snow in Riga! It looks worse than Stockholm right now. I hope you had a good stay in Riga and Tallinn!

    Air Baltic got you from point A to point B safely and efficiently. They seem to offer a decent experience on these short flights, it's good to know as I'll fly with them in March.

    Have a good one, see you!

  • Comment 155499 by
    KL651 TEAM 4468 Comments

    Thanks for this FR.

    BT seems to often offer connecting flights with a looong layover, but in this case it's nice as it allows you a day trip to Riga.

  • Comment 155511 by
    NGO85 1622 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this FR.

    I'm surprised BT offers a J product on their Dash8s. I thought BT was considered more of a LCC even though it is a state-owned company. Even AY doesn't offer J on it's ATRs. I find the Dash8s to have a good amount of leg room even if the seats aren't the most state of the art.

    I'm really surprised that they just left that cord laying across the walkway where passengers were deplaning, seems pretty careless by BT groundcrew.

    I was looking at going through RIX and TLL in March, but decided against it because of the weather. From your tarmac shots in RIX, I think maybe the summer/fall is a better time to go.

    • Comment 332889 by
      loukas SILVER AUTHOR 315 Comments

      I've read an interview with BT CEO saying that their aim is to combine businnes class product with a low cost one. It seems strange to offer J on Q400 but they keep on doing this.

      Don't worry about the weather, they seem to be used to dealing with conditions that would stop many big airports while in RIX or TLL nobody even seems to notice anything anusual. You are right, debording in RIX was a joke, the surface was very slippery. At least it wasn't a long walk.

  • Comment 155655 by
    marathon GOLD 9559 Comments

    The snow at RIX makes it look cold, and the attitude of the passengers disembarking makes it look even colder.
    Thanks for this first FR (in English^^) on BT !

  • Comment 155800 by
    Benoit75008 GOLD 7492 Comments

    Thanks so much for this report and those pictures.
    For sure seats and pitch are very similar than what you can enjoy in a LOT Q400.

    Is it cheap to reach Riga?

    Milego dnia!

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