Review of Air Baltic flight Riga Warsaw in Economy

Airline Air Baltic
Flight BT 1467
Class Economy
Seat 16a
Flight time 01:30
Take-off 17 Jan 16, 18:40
Arrival at 17 Jan 16, 19:10
BT   #4 out of 21 Low-cost airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 58 reviews
loukas
By 1025
Published on 1st February 2016
Hi again,

This is the report from the last leg of my WAW-RIX-TLL-RIX-WAW trip that was supposed to be a simple RIX-WAW flight and for some reasons became a RIX-VNO-WAW flight.

We arrived to Riga from Tallinn the same day, some minutes after 4 pm and found some place to sit and wait for our flight to WAW that was supposed to leave at 6:40 pm. After a while I checked the departures monitors to see if everything was ok and found a strange flight number and destination change: our flight instead of being BT 467 flight to Warsaw suddenly became a BT 1467 flight to Vilnius/Warsaw. When I checked the Flight Radar it had even worse news: both flights to Vilnius and Warsaw were displayed as CANCELLED. I went to airBaltic transfer point where a very polite young man speaking good English said these two flights have become one and as a result we will make a stopover in VNO without even leaving the plane and then continue to Warsaw. What was the reason, he couldn't or didn't want to tell me. A little bit confused we waited for boarding. Actually we weren't very happy of this situation as it meant a delay of at least 30 minutes in reaching WAW. Nevertheless there wasn't much to do about it and to be honest it was better than arriving next day after the flight being cancelled.

The boarding started on time, we went down to the gate B19. Both destinations were displayed on the same screen.

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As our seats were changed a lady form BT ground service approached me and said my bag seemed a little bit to big for her and asked me to put it into a special "box" every cabin bag should fit. Actually she was right, I put inside a sweater I had on me and that made it look "swollen". I expalined I have already flown three times with this bag and it's only the sweater that makes it look like this but she made me take the sweater out, put the bag into the magic box once again (it fitted with no problem), then I opened the bag, put the sweater back inside, closed the bag and feeling quite angry for the stupid situation headed to the bus. Was it really necessary all this show with putting things out of the suitcase and back again?

After a short bus ride we finally arrived to our Q400

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While boarding the plane my friend asked the purser what time we were going to land in Warsaw. - Warsaw? - she said. - But this is flight to Vilnius! For a split second before we noticed she was joking, we felt really scared we missed something, understood something wrong, boarded the wrong plane. Then she laughed and we laughed too but as the next situation shows joking wasn't the best idea on this flight. Many people haven't even understood this was a combined flight and the invitation made by the cabin crew in Latvian and English said only that it was a flight to Vilnius. Suddenly a man sitting in front of the cabin started to shout he must have boraded the wrong plane as he was flying to Warsaw and not to Vilnius. Other confused passengers started to call the cabin crew saying they were fyling to WAW too. Again the purser started joking: "Oh my god, what are you doing here? This is flight to Vilnius". Bad idea. People became frightened, looked at each other,started looking for their boarding passes and reservations. The the laughter came again: "First we will fly to Vilnius and then to Warsaw" she said what should have been said loudly and clearly at the very beginning of the first announcement. Then she explained that passengers to WAW will stay on their seats when we reach VNO and continue to WAW onboard the same aircraft. Finally! It seemed we finally knew what we were doing.

The cabin after take off from RIX

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And the legroom together with the seat pocket

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The flight to Vilnius took 30 minutes, most of the passengers disembarked and only about 20 pax inclouding us continued their trip to WAW. The crew changed entirely, both the cabin crew with joking purser and the cockpit crew. Then again there was some confusion, we were being counted once and again, the pilot explained there has been a misunderstanding in the paperwork and the delay got bigger. Most of the passengers unlike us continue their trip from WAW and they become anxious about their connecting flight. Finally we took off, the captain apologised for the situation and promised to make some shortcuts to arrive to WAW as fast as possible. It took us one hour. My seat 16A didn't give me many possibilites of taking photos as the only thing I could see was the engine and the landing gear. Finally we arrived almost one hour later than scheduled.

Approaching WAW

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Some photos of the seat pocket content

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The BT European connections from RIX, VNO and TLL

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airBaltic gadgets from the shop on board magazine

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The menu with a 0,33 bottle of water for 2,5 euros… Wow! When I saw the name first I thought they were selling water from the Baltic Sea :)

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Some traditional spirits from the Baltics, very expensive as for these quantities. I've tried both Riga Balsam and Vana Tallinn on ground and must say they had very unique taste.

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The brochure advertising the summer season sales

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That's it :)

Thanks for reading.



See more

Verdict

Air Baltic

6.5/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew5.0
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Buy-on-board menu5.0

Riga - RIX

8.6/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness9.5

Warsaw - WAW

9.0/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

This wasn't the best flight I had with airBaltic. The idea of combining two flights together was rather a money saver as it was much cheaper to put approximately 70 pax in one aircraft than 50 and 20 in two separate. The crew flying to VNO wasn't very professional and the purser's jokes caused only confusion.

Related

1 Comments

  • Comment 156546 by
    NGO85 1622 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this FR!

    I wouldn't be surprised if it was an undersold flight and they just decided to scrap it and combine the legs to save money.

    The bag situation seems very LCC. Anything to find an excuse to charge you more money.

    There is a time and place for joking. In that situation, it probably wasn't appropriate with the sudden change in routing. I've been on flights where there was a mistake by FAs, flying IAD-AUS, the FA accidentally said Welcome to San Antonio on touchdown and everyone starts opening the window shades in panic before the FA correctly corrected her mistake.

    Haha, I'm glad the gift voucher comes in an exquisite envelope. BOB prices are lower than US carriers.

    Not the best of ways to end your trip, but at least BT got you home safely and allowed you to even visit the 3rd and final Baltic country for free ;)

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