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
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.
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
We are taken by bus to our Bombardier Q400
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.
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.
The leg room of the Q400 is ok, I'd say it is the same as in the LOT/Eurolot Q400 aircrafts.
I spend most of the flight watching beautiful winter landscapes beneath as we pass north eastern Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. It's so snowy!
Finally we arrive in to even more snowy Riga
We disembark and walk to the terminal in heavy snowfall
Another Q400 in winter scenery
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.
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… :)
I will post some photos taken in Riga in the second part describing the RIX-TLL flight.
Thanks for reading!
Warsaw - WAW
Riga - RIX
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.
0 LIKESLIKE TO THANK THE AUTHORTHANKS ! FLIGHT-REPORT LIKED
Flight-Report is a free website hosting more than 500 000 pictures and 17 000 reviews, without ads, this website can't exist. We understand that ads can be annoying, this is why we only display a maximum of 2 non-invasive ads per page.
To continue using Flight-Report, we invite you to add Flight-Report to your blocker's "white list".