Review of SmartWings flight Tel Aviv Prague in Economy

Airline SmartWings
Flight QS1285
Class Economy
Seat 27B
Aircraft Boeing 737-900ER
Flight time 04:15
Take-off 13 Apr 19, 18:30
Arrival at 13 Apr 19, 21:45
QS 6 reviews
Dor
By 481
Published on 31st May 2019
Hello!

Finally I found some free time to write one of my 2 flight reports about my experience with SmartWings!

Since I'm still undergraduate student in the last year, I couldn't fly at February as I wanted.
But then, I realized that I can fly in April, We had more than 2 weeks free!

Pre flight experience - TLV airport


TLV airport entrance, gate 32:
photo 20190413_150602

Ben Gurion statue in the terminal entrance:
photo 20190413_150640

I went to the check in area, since It was Saturday, the queues for the security were short, but since SmartWings doesn't offer web check in for flight from/to TLV, I needed to wait in the queue for the check in and select the seat.
I asked the ground crew to seat in the exit row, row 28, since I traveled with one friend and 2 seats could be nice choice, but they didn't understood me. In fact, We had 2 seats but in row 27… You'll see how bad those seats were.

Of course, the immigration process was fast also, because We have biometric passports.
Since It was Saturday, the hand baggage security check was also very fast.

Here's my boarding pass:
photo 20190413_154639
As You can see, I wrote in the flight report that I sat in seat 27B, because I replaced the seat with my friend.

Some photos during the way to the duty free area:


The entrance to the duty free area:
photo 20190413_155608

Since my last visit in TLV airport in October 2018, the electric store was replaced. In the past there was a shop that called A.L.M. (In Hebrew We pronounce It Alam), now We have touch It, which operated by Office Depot.

Here some photos from the new shop:
photo 20190413_161224photo 20190413_161227

I went to the WC near to the shop:
photo 20190413_161647photo 20190413_161705
As You can see, It was clean, but You can see the rust! I always say It, they must improve the WC in the terminal.

The way to the new gate area, E gates:
photo 20190413_161833

The dining area:
photo 20190413_162820
I was surprised to see that some of the restaurant were open! In my last flight in Saturday, I found only place to eat in the airport.

I wanted to eat something, but I wasn't too hungry, so I went to some coffee shop in the central square, I attached some photos in order to show the prices:
photo 20190413_163302photo 20190413_163314
I bought Croissant with chocolate and coffee, the price was 34 ILS/INS or almost 9 Euro / 10 USD.
In fact, Aroma is better, but they are have kosher branch in the airport, so It was close.

While waiting to my coffee, I took some photos of the duty free area:
photo 20190413_163801photo 20190413_163804

And here's my expensive coffee and Croissant:
photo 20190413_164038

I took some photos of the main square:
photo 20190413_164920photo 20190413_171131

And I even recorded some video!


Some photos from the horrible dotted windows of the terminal:


Photo of another duty free shop:
photo 20190413_171613
I must say that after visiting in 20 airports approximately, in my opinion, TLV airport offers the best duty free.

It was time to go to the gate:
photo 20190413_174611

I received this message while waiting in the boarding area:
photo screenshot_20190413-175957_messages

Austrian A320:
photo dsc01170

Our jet bridge:
photo dsc01171

Some jet bridge controls:
photo dsc01173

Flight experience, TLV to PRG


Aircraft information:
Boeing 737-9GJER
OK-TSI
Sent to SpiceJet in December 2011
Sent to Travel Service in May 2015
The aircraft was 7.5 years old when I traveled

During the boarding I gave to the flight attendant a request to visit in the cockpit, and until now, I'm still waiting for answer… ;)

Cabin view:


My seat, 27B:
photo dsc01182photo dsc01183
The seat couldn't be reclined, and as You can see, the legroom wasn't brilliant as well… (And I'm really short, 1.65 meters)
At least, no one sat next to us.

Strange thing - in any flight I had in the past, there wasn't problem with putting my handbag under the seat in front of me, I don't know why, but the crew insisted that I'll store my bag in the overhead compartment…

Window view:
photo 20190413_181856

Some photos during taxing:

It was very awkward to take photos from the middle seat, but since there wasn't seat in the left hand side, It was possible somehow.

Take off video (4k available):


Shortly after take off, over Tel Aviv:
photo dsc01209

Sunset, over the sea:
photo 20190413_192550

Cabin photos in cruise altitude:
photo dsc01214photo dsc01223
I like the mood light in the new Boeing aircraft, It's very nice.

Flight magazine, safety card and food menu:
photo dsc01227

Approximately one hour after the take off, the crew served glass of water:
photo 20190413_200426

Some time after, the crew offered drinks and food, You can see the prices:
photo 20190413_202218photo 20190413_202239

I bought coke zero:
photo 20190413_211024

I went to the toilets:
photo 20190413_214255photo 20190413_214302
As You can see, It was OK, but the toilets are very tiny and they located under the tail, I found It strange, since in all my flights with Boeing 737NG, the toilets were after the last seat row.

During the flight, I tried to use the streaming application of SmartWings, but It couldn't work:
photo screenshot_20190413-191437_mywingsphoto screenshot_20190413-211433_mywings
There's no entertainment options, no IFE, no overhead screens and no Wifi.

Landing video (4K available):


After landing in PRG airport, waiting in the gate:
photo dsc01235
Another strange thing - The crew requested from the passengers in the back to deboard first. In my opinion, It was just slower than let everyone deboard.

After flight experience - PRG airport


Aircraft view from the terminal:
photo dsc01239

Welcome to Prague!
photo dsc01242photo dsc01244
The queue to the immigration was very slow. I waited almost 30 minutes!

Baggage claim area:
photo dsc01245
Here also I needed to wait some another 10 minutes, even I waited 30 minutes in the immigration queue.
I never experienced such a slow airport in Europe.

Terminal area:
photo dsc01247

Outside view:
photo dsc01248

Thank for reading!
Soon I'll write the flight report for the flight from PRG to TLV.
See more

Verdict

SmartWings

5.6/10
Cabin7.5
Cabin crew7.0
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Buy-on-board menu8.0

Tel Aviv - TLV

9.5/10
Efficiency10.0
Access10.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness8.0

Prague - PRG

9.0/10
Efficiency6.0
Access10.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

I found that flight with SmartWings will be cheaper than flight with Elal, so I went for this option.
However, after I tried SmartWings, I can say that if I'll fly to Prague again, defenitly I'll choose Elal and not SmartWings, even though They are cheaper and using newer aircraft on this route.
If I try to find some positive points for SmartWings over Elal, the terminal will play a role without any doubt. While Elal using Terminal 1 for the flight to PRG (Terminal 3 serves the inbound flights, since isn't possible yet to do so in Terminal 1), SmartWings using Terminal 3, which has jet bridges and better duty free and dining area.
First of all, the service isn't great, I can't say anything bad, but I found Elal crew to be better most of the time. For example, I mentioned the request to visit the cockpit. In any airline I received an answer, whether It was a negative one or a positive one, but at least I received some answer, here I was ignored totally.
In addition, the cabin is very tight, some of the seat rests show It's age, the legroom wasn't good.
The entertainment score is zero, since the application wasn't functioning and there's no other options.
I gave SmartWings 8 in the Meal score, since the prices of the food on board aren't high and reasonable.
I'll mention again that It's not possible to use the web check in when You're flying from/to Israel, so It's another disadvantage.

TLV airport was good as usual, I was happy to see that some restaurant were open in Saturday, and not just one coffee shop. They should improve the clean in the airport, but in any other aspect, the experience was very good, as usual.

On the other hand ,PRG airport isn't so great...
Everything is very slow, each process may take a lot of time, compared to other airports that I visited in the last years like VIE, FRA, etc.
The airport was clean and easy to navigate, You can find some places to eat even in 10PM, there is car rental of course, nothing special but nothing bad to say.
Overall, They lost most of the score due to the inefficiency.

Information on the route Tel Aviv (TLV) Prague (PRG)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 4 reviews of 4 airlines on the route Tel Aviv (TLV) → Prague (PRG).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is UP with 8.1/10.

The average flight time is 4 hours and 22 minutes.

  More information

4 Comments

  • Comment 505397 by
    KL651 TEAM 4433 Comments

    Thanks for this FR.
    The deboarding process with the rer first is sometimes necessary on the 737 900 to prevent the tail from tipping.
    Nothing special, LCC with a free glass of water. I guess the price was cheaper than LY.

    • Comment 505415 by
      Dor AUTHOR 81 Comments

      I never experienced such a deboarding process in any 737-900 in the past.
      And yes, nothing special, It's LCC, but the service could be better.

      It was indeed cheaper than LY, but I really can understand why...

  • Comment 505726 by
    Zadas88 12 Comments

    I am Czech and I would never fly Smartwings. For us, Czechs, they destroyed the ČSA (Czech Airlines) brand... Most have negative feeling for this airline. Personally, I will choose any other.
    Their service is boring and legroom tight...
    Please, choose LY next time :)
    Thanks for sharing your experience though

    • Comment 505778 by
      Dor AUTHOR 81 Comments

      Thank You for your comment.
      In fact, many Israelis also don't like Elal, like You (the Czech people) don't like your local airline...
      After I tried some Star Alliance airlines, I can't understand why They are so hated...
      Yes, I had bad flights with them (You can see flight reports about LY081/082), but most of the flights I flew with them were very good.
      Yes, indeed the fleet was a little bit old, but now Elal receiving 787 aircraft, all the 767 were withdrawn from use and 2 747-400 also (the 4 remained in the fleet will retire probably in the end of 2019), the 737 and 777 fleets will receive new paint (In fact, some aircraft like 4X-EKU and some 777 already received new paint) and new cabin.
      I really can't understand why they are hated...
      People saying that the economy class cabin is tight and the legroom is bad... In fact, I don't know what They actually want... Economy class should be cheap, someone who wants legroom and luxury, need to pay and fly on the premium economy or business class... I also can't find anything wrong with their cabins and the legroom in the economy class. It wasn't bad.

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