Review of Air Baltic flight Riga Prague in Economy

Airline Air Baltic
Flight BT481
Class Economy
Seat 12D
Flight time 02:10
Take-off 01 Mar 16, 12:50
Arrival at 01 Mar 16, 14:00
BT   #2 out of 21 Low-cost airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 98 reviews
Rl 777
By 1479
Published on 31st March 2016
Hello and welcome to the second part of this short series covering my trip to Prague with my sister in early-March! Unfortunately some technical issues with my phone delayed this FR. It was sent for repair a week ago and has now been repaired and I have all of my important stuff at my fingertips again. Without further ado, let's continue with this short series!

Part 1 - BT118 ARN-RIX Airbaltic Bombardier Dash 8 Q400, Reg YL-BAE -
Part 2 - BT481 RIX-PRG Airbaltic Bombardier Dash 8 Q400, Reg YL-BBW - You are here
Part 3 - OK490 PRG-ARN Czech Airlines (SmartLynx) Airbus A320-211, Reg YL-LCM -

The assigned gate for flight BT481 to Prague was B4, connecting to our next flight was a breeze as both Sweden and the Czech Republic is in the Schengen area.
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Walking to gate B4, the terminal was clean.
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All B gates, a few cafés and a small duty-free shop was located here. This area of the terminal wasn't too busy.
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We made it to our gate after 4 minutes of walking at 11:40 AM (UTC +2). Our flight from ARN was scheduled to arrive at RIX at 11:45 so we were pretty early…
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It's time for a little bit of spotting. Aeroflot A320 getting ready for its flight to SVO.
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Our BT Q400 that will take us to PRG. YL-BBW delivered to BT in June 2013.
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Flight information:

Airline: Airbaltic (Styled as airBaltic)

Flight no & route: BT481 RIX-PRG

Scheduled time of departure (actual): 12:50 PM (13:10/01:10 PM) UTC +2

Scheduled time of arrival (actual): 14:00/02:00 PM (14:03/02:03 PM) UTC +1

Scheduled flight time (actual): 2h 10 min (1h 53 min)

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SU A320 pushback.
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There wasn't a lot of action after the SU 320 left, I decided to walk around the terminal and check out a couple of stores to burn some time.
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10 minutes later I see my sister waving at me to come back to B4, I walk to her and then she yells “Look, Wizz Air!“. I turn around and look out of the window to see a W6 A320 pulling in to its gate. I pull my camera out and snap a few shots. There wasn't much to be seen at RIX so I'm thankful my sister notified me of the W6 320 :). Wizz Air has one of the best airline liveries according to my sister, she has flown with them on the NYO-VNO leg.
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This aircraft arrived from Doncaster in case you're wondering :).
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What do you guys think about including a spotting bonus from ARN in the next part? I'm a pretty regular spotter at ARN and have a lot of pictures to share.
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Boarding was announced at 12:20 PM (UTC +2), 30 minutes before our scheduled time of departure. The line wasn't really a line at first, passengers built three lines that connected to one line right before the BP check. Some passengers with large hand bags had to get their hand luggage checked for size before entering the jetbridge while other passengers went straight in.
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Boarding might have commenced on-time but we had to wait in the jetbridge for 5-7 minutes before being allowed to walk to the aircraft.
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Walking to our Q400 after a few minutes of waiting.
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Wizz Air A320 is also visible.
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One of the flight attendants greeted me and then I walked to my seat which was 12D once again. 12D and 12C were the only 'pair' seats left on this flight, we had no other choice but to take these seats again. This will be my seat for the next 2 hours.
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Pretty nice weather in RIX.
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The seat pitch was okay, the seat comfort is bearable for flights up to 1,5 hours in length but worked for this flight too.
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'Life vest under your seat'
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The load was pretty good today, the load factor was at least 95%.
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Overhead bins, the cabin was dimmed for departure.
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Pushback commenced at 01:03 PM local time (UTC +2).
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Announcements were made in Latvian and English, a safety demonstration was also done.
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Some cabin lighting.
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Taxiing to runway 18.

Taking off from runway 18 at 01:10 PM local time. The famous Q400 engine noise was back, we would have to live with it for 2 hours this time.

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Mārupes Siltumnīcas is visible in this shot, apparently it's a major greenhouse where they grow vegetables. The area itself is called Jaunmārupe.

The flight was pretty uneventful, there wasn't much to see or do so I just read the in-flight magazine or slept the majority of the flight.
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The updated spring menu.

Spring/summer edition of the in-flight duty free magazine.
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Spring version of the Baltic outlook magazine.
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Here's something that interested me, the flight schedules! RIX-ARN was served 22 weekly at this time with 2 weekly VNO-ARN flights. Currently they operate 24 weekly flights RIX-ARN and 5 weekly VNO-ARN flights. BT used to have monopoly on the RIX-ARN route but SK recently resumed flights to RIX with 17-18 weekly flights from ARN giving BT a little bit of competition.
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I later went to check out the lavatory which was located at the front.
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This was probably the smallest airplane lavatory I had seen in my life (kind of makes sense, it's the smallest plane I've flown with).

I decided to buy a Twix bar when the FAs walked down the aisle with the cart, I hadn't eaten anything since 05:55 AM (UTC +1). My sister went with the roast beef salad and loved it. The flight attendants on this flight were okay, nothing extraordinary but they got the job done.

We later initiated our descent to PRG 20 minutes prior to arrival.
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Descending through the clouds.
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Well, what do we have here? The outskirts of Prague totally covered in snow! The pilot did give us a few temperature updates during the flight but we had never expected so much snow in PRG.
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The village of Líbeznice on the bottom left.
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A place called Seblec, 50 km from central Prague.
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Landing on runway 24 at Prague.

Taxiing to our stand.

Officially in Prague.
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We came to a final stop at 02:07 PM local time (UTC +1), 7 minutes after our scheduled time of arrival. My sister really wanted to get out of this plane! I'm pretty sure I was tired of this Q400 as well, it was an interesting experience though.
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We were taken by buses to the terminal as in Riga but there was one difference.
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These buses weren't as spotter friendly.
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Anyway, we arrived at the terminal 6 minutes later and headed for the exit.

We made it landside, purchased a pre-paid SIM-card and headed off to our hotel with the help of Google maps.
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Welcome to Skoda land!
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Walking to the bus stop.
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We purchased two 72-hour cards for us.
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A SOR NB 18 articulated city bus, operating line 119. We would take bus 191 to Na Knížecí.
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It was pretty snowy as you can see.
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We arrived at a bus stop called Anděl almost an hour later, which is a bus stop, tram and metro station. Our hotel was pretty close to this station. (This wasn't our bus).
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I guess that's it for this FR! Thank you for taking your time to read it!
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Old town square.
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Prague astronomical clock.
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Rudolfinum, a music auditorium and art gallery.
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View of Prague from the Petrin hill observation tower.

St. Vitus Cathedral.
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Prague Castle (Forgot these pictures at first, thanks to NGO85 for notifying me about that).
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Karlův most (Charles Bridge).
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Tančící dům (Dancing house).

Prague metro.
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Old tram.
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New tram.
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Thank you for taking your time to read this FR (and bonus if you made it so far). I asked this question earlier in the FR but will ask again, do you think I should include a spotting bonus from ARN in the next FR? Any feedback is appreciated!

Security/Immigration left at 7,5 for RIX and PRG

See more


Air Baltic

Cabin crew7.5
Buy-on-board menu7.0

Riga - RIX


Prague - PRG



Another functioning flight with BT, a standard flight IMO. They got us from point A to point C through point B without any hassle.

Cabin comfort - I was skeptical at first about the seat comfort for this flight as it had a scheduled flight time of 2 hours. It did the job in the end but was neither comfortable or horrible. The seat pitch was standard. However, my sister never wants to fly with BT (at least not in their Q400s).

Crew - Standard crew, the FAs did their jobs efficiently and with a few smiles.

BOB - Decent menu for short flights, hot meals could be pre-booked.

Entertainment - Natural IFE was the only IFE offered.

On-time performance - We landed a few minutes late at PRG, nothing substantial.



If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 161026 by
    martin1405 36 Comments
    Thank you for sharing this FR my friend! :)

    It seems that you had a decent experience with BT! Would you fly with them again?

    The pics you took during takeoff and landing are gorgeous. I didn't notice hat it has snowed in Prague when you send me the pics.

    Thanks for the bonus! The pictures are beautiful. You had nice days in Prague!

    Can't wait to read your next flight report! :)
    • Comment 337593 by
      Rl 777 AUTHOR 802 Comments
      Thank you for your nice comment :).

      I would only fly with them if the price was right, otherwise I would stick to other carriers. This was a decent one-time experience with them though.

      Thank you so much :). I was surprised when I saw all that snow, I had expected something like that in a place like Kiruna haha.

      Thank you once again for your feedback, we had a great time in Prague :).

      See you in the next one!
  • Comment 161055 by
    marathon GOLD 10135 Comments
    Not much traffic in RIX, but you made full use of the good lighting conditions… and of your sister’s cooperation, thanks to her too !

    This was not the best window seat, due to the engine cowling, but did you see the landing gear moving in and out of action ?

    Great tourist bonus in Prague, and I vote in favor of an ARN spotting bonus :)
    Thanks for sharing !
    • Comment 337594 by
      Rl 777 AUTHOR 802 Comments
      I think there was some more action on the other side of the terminal but the views weren't as nice there.

      Unfortunately not but these were the only 'pair' seats available upon checking-in. Yes! I did indeed see the landing gear go down and retract :).

      Thank you so much, and thanks for the feedback!

      See you!
    • Comment 337626 by
      Rl 777 AUTHOR 802 Comments
      Btw, thank you so much for your nice comment :).
  • Comment 161101 by
    jetsetpanda 2283 Comments
    I enjoyed reading this great FR with its superb bonus of PRG which gives me a prelude of what to expect when I go there later this year.

    BT has very competitive prices for some routes and it is a no frills type of airline. Nice that you were able to experience this small plane on this route.

    Thanks and see you later.
    • Comment 337627 by
      Rl 777 AUTHOR 802 Comments
      Thank you for your nice comment :).

      Prague is a beautiful and cozy city, I hope you'll have a great time there!

      They got the job done efficiently and safely, it's questionable if I would fly with them on flights longer than 1,5 hours unless it's a 737. It was still an interesting experience to try out a turboprop for the first time.

      See you!

  • Comment 161112 by
    Alosh 28 Comments
    Thanks for sharing this FR

    it is my first time to hear about this airline ! it looks good.

    thanks for the beautiful shots of Prague.

  • Comment 161379 by
    NGO85 SILVER 1972 Comments
    Thanks for sharing this FR!

    Wizz Air has one of the best airline liveries according to my sister
    - It'd be popular in most Asian countries with its cute pink livery.

    This was probably the smallest airplane lavatory I had seen in my life
    - CRJs have even smaller lavatories where you can barely fit your feet in there.

    The outskirts of Prague totally covered in snow!
    - I would have RIX to be covered in snow and not PRG.

    I can't imagine getting stuck on a Dash8 for this long of a flight. They are fairly comfortable, but with the curvature of the cabin the lack of footspace is probably very noticeable.

    Spotting through the propellers is never an easy task ;)

    The downside of PRG is the lack of a metro or train connection. It's definitely not one of the easy airports to get to...

    Excellent bonus of PRG, very good night shots. The city looks beautiful in snow. No bonus of the largest castle in the world?

    As Marathon said, we always vote in favor of bonuses.
    • Comment 337890 by
      Rl 777 AUTHOR 802 Comments
      Thank you for your nice comment :).

      I can't imagine getting stuck on a Dash8 for this long of a flight. They are fairly comfortable, but with the curvature of the cabin the lack of footspace is probably very noticeable. - The Q400 was perfectly fine for the ARN-RIX leg, the same can't be said about this flight...

      That's true, it was convenient for us as we never had to change buses, bus 191 took us directly to our hotel. It would be quite a hassle if you had a large bag and had to take the bus and then connect to the metro just to get to your destination.

      Thank you so much :).

      No bonus of the largest castle in the world? - Oh, I forgot to include some shots of it! Thank you for noticing, I added some pictures now.

      Thank you for your feedback!

      Have a good one, see you!

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