Review of Brussels Airlines flight Manchester Brussels in Economy

Airline Brussels Airlines
Flight SN2174
Class Economy
Seat 20F
Flight time 01:00
Take-off 15 Jul 16, 11:30
Arrival at 15 Jul 16, 13:30
SN   #103 out of 139 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 202 reviews
AviationEagle32
Published on 9th September 2016
Airline: Brussels Airlines (SN/BEL)
Aircraft: Avro RJ100 OO-DWE (18.3 years old)
Flight: SN2174 Manchester Airport (MAN/EGCC) to Brussels Airport (BRU/EBBR)
Date: 15/07/16
Flight time: 1hr
Departed: 11:30 (45 minutes late)
Arrived: 13:30 local time (10 minutes late)

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Our route

Arrived at Manchester Airport an hour and half before scheduled departure. I made my way through to security in Terminal 1. Security was very busy due to peak summer season, taking around 20-30 minutes to clear. I made my way to a quiet part of the terminal - the low cost pier - to do some planespotting. My flight had been delayed by around 20-30 minutes as well.

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View of a busy Terminal 2 apron from Level 13 Terminal 1 Car Park
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Lufthansa A320-214 D-AIZE taxiing in
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Thomas Cook Airlines A330-243 G-MDBD pushing back
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Condor Flugdienst B757-330 D-ABOH about to be moved out from Maintenance
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EasyJet A320-214 G-EZOX '20 years' livery arriving at stand
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Thomas Cook Airlines A330-243 G-OMYT taxiing past Manchester Airport Control Tower
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Air Canada B767-38EER C-GDUZ taxiing in from Toronto Pearson

The outbound flight from Brussels arrived quite late at around 10:40 about 5 minutes before our scheduled departure time. Boarding commenced at 11:00 and finished 10-15 minutes later. We pushed back from stand 7 at 11:23. We taxied to runway 23R with no delays. Takeoff was smooth and rather quiet as the Bae146/Avro RJ is well known for. We climbed out banking left heading south. As we levelled out the engines gave a nice roar. Our cruising altitude was 25,000ft. We continued south along the West Midlands before turning left heading southeast over London. Our course took us over Dover before crossing the English Channel.

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Walking out to RJ100 OO-DWE
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The Avco Lycoming ALF 502R-7 engines
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View from my window seat 14F
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The old Manchester Airport Control Tower
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Cruising at 25,000ft above dense cloud cover over the UK
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Leaving the English Coast

The service onboard was good. Due to the short length of the flight only a non-complimentary drinks service is carried out. Drinks costs onboard are as much as other low cost airlines like EasyJet. Staff are polite, friendly and informative. The cabin was reasonably bright. The seats were very comfortable and had a reasonable amount of legroom. For an aircraft 18 years old, it didn't show it.

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Drinks page 1
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Drinks page 2
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The inflight magazine
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Brussels Airlines fleet
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Brussels Airlines fleet
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Seats onboard
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Cabin inside (apologies for the blur)

Once across the English channel we flew along the Belgian coast and began our descent into Brussels Zaventem Airport. There was some minor turbulence as we approached Brussels. We passed Brussels Airport joining the approach path right of Runway 25L. There was quite a roar as we slowed for final approach. Landing was smooth and we kept up some speed to reduce the taxi time to our stand and the time on the runway. We taxied to a stand at Pier A. Disembarkation took 10 minutes. We were bused to a gate at Pier B.

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Reaching the Belgian Coast
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On final approach to Brussels Airport
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Landing at Brussels Airport
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Taxiing to our stand
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Next to our aircraft was RJ100 OO-DWJ
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Opposite us at Pier B was Qatar Airways B787-8 A7-BCT

Below is a video of the flight
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Verdict

Brussels Airlines

6.6/10
Cabin7.0
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Meal/catering6.5

Manchester - MAN

7.4/10
Efficiency6.0
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness7.5

Brussels - BRU

7.8/10
Efficiency7.0
Access8.0
Services8.5
Cleanliness7.5

Conclusion

Apart from the delays experienced, the overall journey was good.

Manchester Airport Terminal 1 is showing its age and it wasn't surprising that security was busy in the middle of July. The main experience of the trip was the RJ100 which will be retired from Brussels Airlines service by the end of 2017. It was very nice and interesting aircraft. The cost of food and drink on Brussels Airlines was an issue for me as it cost as much as a low cost carrier yet the airline seems to market as a hub legacy carrier. We made up time we had lost due to delays and the crew were very polite so it was a good short flight.

Brussels Airport was good to get through although didn't expect to be bused from our stand. Immigration was relatively quick.

Apologies for some blurred photos

Feedback is always welcome

Thanks for reading

Information on the route Manchester (MAN) Brussels (BRU)

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