Review of Tarom flight Bucharest Frankfurt in Economy

Airline Tarom
Flight RO305
Class Economy
Seat 13A
Aircraft Airbus A318
Flight time 02:40
Take-off 16 Apr 21, 17:00
Arrival at 16 Apr 21, 18:40
RO 40 reviews
ThomasDutch
By SILVER 774
Published on 17th April 2021

Introduction


Hello everyone,

Given the current pandemic, I am already quite fortunated to be travelling as much as I am currently doing with my company as I do work as a pilot for a cargo airline in Europe. But my first flight as a passenger is an actual fact when my company booked me a flight only a few hours before to position back to home to finish my shift. Given that most countries are lenient towards crew entries without tests (unfortunately my country ''the Netherlands'' is not), they decided to book me a flight to Germany and bring me to my car by taxi as it was the cheapest option for them to do so, so I'll give you a preview of my flight with TAROM on their baby bus to Frankfurt am Main. It is my first ever flight on one of them and the chances of being on one will be reduced drastically as TAROM only announced a few days prior to my flight that they'll be phasing them out soon.


Flight


While my flying duty finished the previous night after a cargo flight from Brno, Czech Republic our airline booked us a room in the RIN Airport Hotel, which for the price they offer is a very good price given to what they offer. A few hours after I woke up, I received a call from my office that I'll be finishing my flying duty and that he booked me a flight back home in about 4 hours from now explaining me the travel advisory he had in mind for me like I explained in the introduction. 


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As the airport is in the vicinity of the airport and provides a free shuttle, I arranged with them to depart to the airport about 2 hours in advance of my departure and was brought so by the driver in a very old and dated caddy.


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The ride itself took over ten minutes given that he had to drive quite a while on the highway before he was able to make an u-turn, but eventually dropped me off in the terminal and I did go straight to one of the check-in kiosks to drop off my bag as online check-in was canceled during Covid-19. Here I was asked to present my PCR test and whether I signed up to the German travel portal. Neither was mandatory for me given that I was crew and after a brief explanation with the stated documents, they accepted me and allowed me to drop off my luggage.


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Security itself had limited waiting times with no respect to Covid-19 protocol, however it did take quite a while as one of the passengers in front of me was very slow and did not understand all regulations, so they found several items in several bags that did need to receive some extra screening.. After 10 minutes, the hassle of that person was finally done and I went straight for passport control, which was very deserted and took no more than a minute to clear.


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The photo below was the far end of the international terminal which was pretty deserted, while it was pretty crowded at the beginning side of the terminal due to the fact that most gates were used over there. I think Bucharest could have been doing a better job by using gates throughout the terminal so to avoid any certain hotspots.


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The terminal itself does have some nice spots to spot aircraft, but I kind of neglected to capture any due to the fact that most of these birds were parked in the crowded part of the terminal. I, however found a good angle in a quiet area of this Airbus A220-300 (HB-JCF) of Swiss who arrived like an hour ago and would not return to Zurich until the following day. A very sleak bird it is and definitely one of my favourite regional airliners to fly on.


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My gate for departure would be 28, which means that we had to go down a level where there is another food court in case you ever feel hungry, but it also meant that we would be departing by bus gate and so far it was still unknown what type of aircraft I would fly as I didn't book this ticket myself and flightradar24 wasn't revealing this data either.


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The only spacing procedures I did find on Bucharest airport was the blockage of the seat next to you when you were awaiting for departure. 


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While seated with a few minutes left prior to boarding, I did manage to capture a photo of this FlyDubai ready for it's departure to Dubai.


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Boarding was engaged about 20 minutes prior to departure and did go pretty smoothly except that the bus was waiting for quite a while due to a few passengers who were late. The ride itself took no more than 3 minutes and it turned out to be an A318 that would bring me to Frankfurt. This variant of the A320-family I had yet to fly on.


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YR-ASB would be the aircraft that would bring us over to Frankfurt. It is an 14.4 year old Airbus A318 and was the 2nd A318 delivered to TAROM. This particularly A318 is configured to carry 113 passengers (14 in J & 99 in Y) and is named after Traian Vuia, which is a Romanian inventor and one of their aviation pioneers known for designing, building and testing the first tractor monoplane.


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Upon entering the cabin, we were kindly greeted by one of the lovely flight attendants on our flight and the cabin itself did give me quite a dated impression, though I've noticed in the past years that it could be favourable too as these seats are often more comfortable than the seats they're using right now.


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Legroom is not great, but it will suffice for a 2.5 hour leg to west Europe. The padding of the seat is indeed pleasant, however the seat is not as clean as it should be and it was especially clear on the table in front of you when opened.


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An impression of the cabin itself with TV displays down showing us the location and the expected route. Those would eventually be stowed prior to departure to be never seen again for the entire flight. Also it seems that this aircraft is with wi-fi equipped, but we will give it a try later.


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The window view from our seat with an Airbus A320 parked next to us of Wizzair.


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The only literature you could find in our seat pocket was the mandatory safety card and a card explaining the regulations of the airline given the pandemic conditions. 


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The seats are equiped with a light, a contact button and an individual air plug which is really appreciated given the conditions where it is mandatory to wear a mask during the entire stay on board of your flight.


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The tv screens were down to welcome us onboard and they disappeared for the entire flight like I previously said  prior to departure.


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I also wonder as to why that safety card was stuck over there. It has not been used nor removed either during our flight.


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Pushback was done about 10 minutes past our original departure time and it did also mean the start sign for the flight attendants to do the safety demonstration which was done by the flight attendants themselves.


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Saw this Boeing 737-700 of Blue Air sitting idle and would eventually perform a flight to Lisbon at around 8pm.


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I managed to catch my plane too. That old cigar tube is still performing surprisingly well for what it is.


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17 minutes past our original departure time, we are airborne for our flight to Frankfurt.


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Upon reaching safe altitude for flight attendants to walk freely, we were given a bottle of water and a sanitarizing wipe.


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The Air-fi of TAROM does connect and maintains a steady connection, but it does only work so that you are able to use TAROM's app with a limited offering of games, films, newspapers and city guides.



Most of the films on TAROM's webpage were short commercialized videos, though there were a few films available to watch and did manage to watch a film via their internet which I just finished shortly before landing.



Though watching the movie, I regularly did enjoy the stunning views of the skies.


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The film I watched was ''official secrets'' and the end credits appeared literally the moment we were on final approach of runway 07R.


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on short final of 07R.


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Eventually the landing was performed real smooth and about 15 minutes ahead of schedule. 


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I simply forgot that Romania wasn't part of the Schengen and realized that shortly when we parked next to this 787 of Air India.


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The aircraft disembarked within a matter of minutes given that it was a smaller plane, but would have expected it to take a bit longer as it did have a payload of approximately 65% or so. It unfortunately did not give me a good view of our aircraft, but it did give me this nice view of the 787 of Air India, which gave me another view as I always thought the livery was white with red, but the white was more like a beige creme colour than true white.


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The walk to passport control took about 5 minutes to reach where I was greeted by a friendly border agent who asked me about my final destination and whether I had a PCR test or not. I only told him that my final destination was the Netherlands and that I'm a flight crew on positioning duty. After hearing that I was part of a flight crew, he did not bother to raise any other question and let me through with ease.


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Another few minutes to baggage claim which was already in the process of unloading luggage and the entire process from disembarking to exiting the airport took no more than 15 minutes in total, which I think is pretty good for an airport of this size.


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Verdict

Tarom

6.6/10
Cabin7.0
Cabin crew8.5
Entertainment/wifi6.5
Meal/catering4.5

Bucharest - OTP

5.9/10
Efficiency5.5
Access6.0
Services6.5
Cleanliness5.5

Frankfurt - FRA

7.1/10
Efficiency7.5
Access7.0
Services6.5
Cleanliness7.5

Conclusion

Despite having a dated cabin, the cabin itself was spacious with well patched seats. Flight attendants were very friendly and the Air-fi was definitely a positive with catering and cleanliness of the aircraft as a negative. Though I thoroughly enjoyed the flight.

Information on the route Bucharest (OTP) Frankfurt (FRA)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 3 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Bucharest (OTP) → Frankfurt (FRA).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Tarom with 7.5/10.

The average flight time is 3 hours and 43 minutes.

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2 Comments

  • Comment 573340 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5399 Comments

    Hey Thomas, nice to see one of your reports again! I'm sure you've been busier as ever flying cargo. It's super interesting to see a TAROM report during pandemic times. The cabins are outdated, but in a way that's a good thing, as you mention, since they are more spacious and seats are better padded than more modern cabins. It's great that TAROM offer Streaming IFE on their A318s and some 737s.

    It's ironic to see a TAROM A318 report just a few days after they announced putting up the entire fleet for sale. Sad to see the baby bus go, but it never was popular! Too heavy of a bird for the size and therefore too high of a CASM/CASK.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Comment 573341 by
      ThomasDutch SILVER AUTHOR 518 Comments

      Hi Kevin,

      Indeed it was a pleasant experience and a surprise to be on one of them shortly after their announcement as I never expected to be on one of them. The cabin itself did feel more spacious if you compare it to an A220 and E-jet, but the shortcoming to these jets was pretty clear too.

      Thanks for stopping by.

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