As I was required to fly to London on short notice, I decided to fly with VLM via Antwerp to London City Airport. A unique chance to fly one of the last remaining fokker 50's in passenger configuration in Europe, which to me is a unique chance as I am very fond of this type of aircraft.
Arriving at Antwerp Airport a bit too early (traffic could be a pain, but it wasn't today), it was a waiting game for check-in to open. Once it was open, it took only a matter of minutes to check in and pass security checks for another period of waiting to actually start boarding. Secured zone of Antwerp airport was very busy with only one bar available, though a great panorama and strong wifi.
After a wait, boarding was done in a orderly and quick manner and did not take over 15 minutes with a nice refreshing walk on Antwerp's platform to our aircraft. Very quiet place and the cabin itself was very clean for a pretty old aircraft, which was a surprising factor as I've seen three year old planes like a 737 or ATR 72 in a much worser shape. I must say that my legroom wasn't the greatest with a very annoying metal seat leg of the seat in front of me.
Flight was an on-time departure in westerly direction of to London. It was a fairly stable flight from departure to cruise and once settled in a climb cruise, the sole flight attendant started to serve complimentary drinks with a snack included. The pilots did inform us as much as possible about weather en-route and at our destination, the procedure they were suppose to fly in to London and about the actual updates regarding our time of arrival.
The first encounter of turbulence en-route was already in our decent to London, which was quite consistent till landing. Touchdown was firm and a quick taxi to our gate meant that we were arriving ahead of schedule. Deboarding did not take long as the aircraft is only able to carry fifty passengers and it wasn't even close to being full. Border control was very quiet too, which is another big plus for the late flight of VLM as there are not so many incoming flights at that period of time.
The only problem at London City was the very long wait for our luggage to arrive on belt, while being switched several times from belt number without any warning, however this issue I personally do think is related to the airport itself as I have this issue with so many airliners at this airport.
Antwerp - ANR
London - LCY
I was pleasantly surprised with the package VLM was delivering as to date and their Fokker 50 was in an excellent state. The fare they charged was very affordable and beat many other airliners (even low-cost) en-route with free luggage and complimentary snack and drink.
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