Review of Air Europa flight Madrid Paris in Economy

Airline Air Europa
Flight UX1025
Class Economy
Seat 24K
Aircraft Boeing 787-8
Flight time 01:55
Take-off 06 Sep 20, 17:20
Arrival at 06 Sep 20, 19:15
UX   #104 out of 121 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 111 reviews
KL651
By 705
Published on 12th September 2020

After the end of lockdown I was lucky to fly again really soon, on a domestic flight to Toulouse and then to Amsterdam as well as Corsica, but all these flights were on A320/321 or 737, and I really wanted to fly a widebody again.
With almost no long haul flying legally possible with all the restrictions, I had to find a European flight operated by a widebody.
UK adding Spain on Quarantine list again meant IB A350 to LHR was a no go, then I realized Air Europa was using the 787 twice a week on its Madrid to Orly flights.
3 weeks in advance this flight was only 35€, I booked in a second!
I'd do a day trip and to get to Madrid I'd fly IB A321.

The days before the flight were a bit stressful, with Spain's Covid cases going up fast, I was worried about a border closure, but in the end it all worked out OK.

My morning flight on IB was 90% full, which was a pleasant surprise.
Crew was friendlier than usual on Iberia, and you even got a free cup of water in economy!

We landed in Madrid on time and I made my way to the T4S, the satellite of Madrid's T4 which handles widebody aircrafts.
I don't know why the T4 can't handle aircrafts bigger than an A321 as gate space seems to be ample.

Domestic and Schengen flights departing from T4S actually depart from lower level gates.

Here's an A330 boarding for Barcelona


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There were no other flights than this BCN and our ORY, so this part of the terminal was deserted, the only 2 shops were closed.


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Spotting is difficult due to jetways and ground service vehicles/objects blocking the view.
That and the lack of aircrafts…

There was this IB A346 with titles removed. Iberia has retired all its A346 due to Covid, I'm so glad I flew the MAD-LHR flight twice.


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I went back to what I assumed would be my gate, as it was the only UX 787 nearby.

EC-MMX would fly me back home today.
Interestingly this plane had just flown back from Paris CDG the day before, after doing a CDG-Luanda-CDG trip under UX code (so not on AF's behalf).


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The gate area was pretty empty except for the crew who arrived 1 hour before departure and was pretty loud until they boarded.
But once the gate was confirmed people started flooding, it turned out that our 787 would be almost full in Y class (270 pax).
I certainly didn't expect that, I thought the 787 was mostly used for cargo.

2 UX gate agents with a bright blue shirt soon arrived, an older couple was waiting by the desk, just standing, not asking for anything.
One of the agent barked to them in Spanish "We're not boarding, go back in the queue!"
Clearly they were at the very front of the queue, but I guess she just wanted them to back off, away from her.

Not the best first impression of UX…

Boarding started on time with Skypriority invited first and then boarding from back to front.

This IB A332 was waiting in between flights


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Getting closer, I was really excited to fly on this 787.


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Fuselage shot


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The flight attendant welcoming passengers seemed friendly, but it's hard to tell with the facemask.

Sanitizing wipes were handed out.

Everyone was welcomed in Spanish. Just like IB, UX seems to think their passengers all speak spanish.

Cabin looked nice, a soothing blue.


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Legroom wasn't bad.
As there's no magazine or menu in the seatpocket legroom is improved I guess.


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Outside view from the huge 787 windows.


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The seat was farther back than I thought, and the wing blocked most of the views.

Boarding still underway, both seats next to me ended up being occupied.


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Welcome announcements were made in Spanish, French and English and we pushed back on time.


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The safety video was played during taxi.


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Plus Ultra A343 in storage at a gate. I like this livery.


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Other long haul planes, some with engines covered, some not.

A rare Boliviana de Aviacion 767 was there.


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We took off after a pretty long take off roll, plane was rather heavy and it was 34° in Madrid that day.


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Leveling off


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The IFE was started, I only used the moving map so I did not explore much.
There was a limited selection of films and series, and no music at all from what I saw.


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This system is the same used by AF and KL and allows to choose from several views.
The 787 is perfectly depicted.


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The crew made an announcement that no BoB service would be made for our safety, and that health forms to fill out would be distributed and collected at the end of the flight.

When the FA handed me the form I asked if she had a pen, she just answered "No" and moved on.
The crew then disappeared until the end of the flight, to collect garbage one last time and check for seatbelts before landing.

The Atlantic coastline near Arcachon.


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I napped for a short time as there was not much else to do, and soon enough we started our descent, near the city of Tours.


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Getting closer, landscapes are so much greener in France than in Spain.


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Slats and flaps were deployed as we neared Orly


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When landing facing west, Orly offers some nice views of Paris, with the Tour Montparnasse and Tour Eiffel visible. As well as the La Défense district with all the high rise buildings.



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Touch down !


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The airport (which was closed for 3 months between March and April) was really quiet for a summer sunday evening.


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After a short taxi time, we parked at Orly 3, the brand new terminal opened last year. (UX normally operated from Orly 1 but this section is closed with the current reduced trafic).
Orly control tower is pretty iconic, and looks a lot like YUL's.


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Deboarding was a bit chaotic, the crew announced we'd disembark row by row but they did not really enforce it.

A last view of today's plane. I never got a good angle to get a decent picture.


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I'm really glad I flew this 787, especially on UX as the brand will probably disappear if they are taken over by IAG.

Other than that, UX crew was poor, both on the ground and onboard.
I understand why they would suspend BoB service, but at least they could offer a glass of water, just like IB.

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Verdict

Air Europa

4.8/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew1.0
Entertainment/wifi6.0
Meal/catering4.0

Madrid - MAD

5.0/10
Efficiency5.0
Access5.0
Services5.0
Cleanliness5.0

Paris - ORY

5.0/10
Efficiency5.0
Access5.0
Services5.0
Cleanliness5.0

Conclusion

UX crew was poor, both on the ground and onboard.

I understand why they would suspend BoB service, but at least they could offer a glass of water, just like IB.
Without any service they don't even deserve the average of 5/10.

Seat was comfortable, I wouldn't mind 8 hour flight on it.

IFE was nice for a short haul flight. For a long haul I guess it's lacking content.

Information on the route Madrid (MAD) Paris (ORY)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 31 reviews of 3 airlines on the route Madrid (MAD) → Paris (ORY).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Iberia with 6.8/10.

The average flight time is 2 hours and 0 minutes.

  More information

5 Comments

  • Comment 563223 by
    Plainfreak 9 Comments

    Thanks for this report! Impressive the flight was so busy in Y-class.

    Crews on all Spanish airlines (or at least the ones I have experienced, like Vueling, Air Nostrum, Iberia) are generally quite cold, to outright unfriendly..A cultural thing?

    Safe travels,
    Daniel

  • Comment 563254 by
    Esteban TEAM GOLD 12170 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this flight!

    It is amazing to read that most of the agents / crews you dealt with were either barking at people or unfriendly. Doesn't help to try to fly with UX anytime soon :)

  • Comment 563280 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5307 Comments

    On the one hand it’s awesome to get to fly a Dreamliner between Madrid and Paris, on the other hand it’s disappointing to see that no effort was made to offer any service or even a smile. These are difficult times for airlines with very few people flying...these poor attitudes and lack of customer service don’t help people feel more confident to fly.

    P.s. jealous that this is now your third trip since end of lockdown ^^

  • Comment 563331 by
    CounterSurprise 77 Comments

    Thanks for sharing your report. It’s interesting to see how different airlines deal with the pandemic. The service of the aircrew is indeed disappointing. Still, you got to fly a wide body in a intra-European flight!

  • Comment 563450 by
    ThomasDutch GOLD 501 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this report. Not the greatest airline nor the most friendly one, but I sincerely hope that the EU will block the sale of UX by IAG.... IAG will more or less have a monopoly in Spain and I doubt that will be good for Spain.

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