For those new to my little trip from the end of March 2022 across the Eastern side of Europe, here are the links to the last two flights which feature a Buzz! Boeing 737-8MAX & Wizzair Airbus A321-ceo from Bournemouth to Krakow to Bari, where we pick up!
After arriving on the Wizzair flight into Bari from Krakow, Poland- I had a three hour 10 minute wait for my next flight- Ryanair to Budapest, I would stay in Budapest the night and get a mid-morning flight back to Bournemouth concluding this adventure.
Getting off the plane, we went into the baggage reclaim area without needing to do a passport check, me forgetting during the timing factor I was on an inter-Schengen Flight and not a UK-EUR flight… So that was over in less than 5 minutes, allowing me a chance to place foot officially in Bari and the Puglia region until I make a more substantial visit.
A number of flights from around Eastern Europe and Italy had arrived at the same time as me, so there was a lot of activity outside the Airport Terminal for pick up and drop off.
After a 15-20 minute walk outside the Terminal and going up the multi story car park to grab a photo of the Bari Airport Terminal from the outside, I headed back in just in case the Airport was going to be tight on travel, Italy still takes CV-19 seriously compare to other countries which are now rapidly easing off restrictions and regulations.
Upcoming departures that evening from Bari Airport ranging from within Italy to the UK, France, Poland and Turkey.
Finding the security check point I wondered over and two Italian security guards pointed me to a screen which I saw my visage reflected so I looked at the machine and pulled my mask down thinking it was a Biometric scanner- similar to the ones used at London Heathrow in Terminal 5…. Not the case- quickly being asked to place my mask back on- one of the guards explained in English it was a temperature check to prevent anyone with possible CV-19 symptoms going airside, luckily I was in the clear being 36 degrees- about one degree cooler than the healthy body temperature. The rest of the security experience was uneventful and like 90% of checks I go through flying in & out of the worlds airports.
After going by a Duty Free Shop to acquire some Italian Chocolates, I found a PERONI Bar was open and I figured now would be a good time to grab a cold beer, especially as it was an Italian brand in an Italian Airport, without further ado- I bagged a bottle and sat down to give my GoPro a boost for the up coming night flight to Budapest.
As nice as the beer was, I was still feeling hungry (no pun intended) after finishing it, so I opted to enjoy a small cake and a coffee. Whilst I don't recall the name of the cake, it was quite similar to a British "Bakewell Tart" which features cherry preserve and almonds. It was nice and it kept me going during my wait until I was on the flight to Hungary.
After finishing, I had about 90 minutes before my flight, so I did some exploration of the Terminal. Finding my Gate would be right at the very end, luckily Bari isn't a big Airport, I looked over to see a display of ancient Roman era vases and pottery on display from a local museum in the Italian Puglia region.
Based on my experience I would quite happily use Bari Airport again in the future, whether that be for changing flights or actually staying in the area is something that time will eventually tell. Might not be the most luxurious Airport, but for an Airport serving a region which relies on inter-European Tourism, it came across as one of the nicer Airports you could experience.
My flight on this 70 minute run to Budapest would be operated by a Boeing 737-8AS(WL), registered as SP-RKB and operated by BUZZ! This aircraft was delivered on 22nd/23rd March 2016 to the mainline Ryanair as EI-FOW, meaning it featured the Ryanair theme Boeing Sky Interior. The aircraft had just turned six years old at the time of flying. Back in April 2016 I flew on this aircrafts sister ship EI-FOT, which now operates for the Malta Air subsidiary.
Welcome aboard this Ryanair Boeing 737-800, registered SP-RKB, formerly known as EI-FOW!
Because of the way the Airport gate was set up, I didn't get first glimpse of my aircraft until I walked out onto the tarmac after being cleared, with the check in agent asking to see my vaccination proof, which I was able to provide with ease- something she hadn't asked other passengers, but I assume this would be because of me likely originating from the UK- opposed to Italy or Hungary, and I respect the potential ramifications to people working in her type of job if they get something wrong.
I was seated near the rear of the aircraft for this flight, taking my Seat duly in 27F, which was also a window seat for good measure. Even when flying in the pitch black of night- I always want a window seat. The flight was busy, but quite a few empty seats were remaining. I had a random lady sit in Seat 27D (The Aisle Seat), but once boarding completed- she quickly moved to another seat, so I was graced with having another flight with a whole row to myself. Which would be a benefit as two of the three seats all had faulty seat trays, only the aisle seat had a working tray table….
I really enjoy the new Sky Interior on European Boeing 737-NG & 737-MAX, and this night flight would be absolutely no exception to the rule!
Being one of the last two flights to depart Bari, we pushed back on time and made a quick dart to the runway before buzzing off over the Adriatic Sea and headed in a Northerly routing towards Budapest.
The Mood Lighting was placed on for most of the flight, the only exception was when the crew performed the service, offering passengers goodies from the Getaway Cafe. I opted to go for the basics, a Pringles can with a Coca-Cola.
Shortly after the crew finished the cabin service, the plane began to bounce around. We ran into turbulence which was quite prominent, some people were quite shocked by it. It was probably the worst turbulence I've experienced flying within Europe. Luckily it didn't last more than roughly 10-15 minutes and everyone took heed of the Fasten Seatbelt sign.
The rest of the flight was smooth and uneventful, and it would pass quickly as we started our decent and final approach into Budapest. Our arrival was slightly early, but we still had to taxi over to our arrival point. Budget airlines flying Schengen services use an extension area which is quite basic in structure.
We parked up and I opted to hold back and be one of the last people off the aircraft. It allowed me to get a final shot of the Ryanair seating on this aircraft conveying its leg space and design at a different angle, without disturbing anyone.
I left the aircraft having enjoyed another flight, but with a bit of enthusiasm to get to my airport hotel for a good rest. Especially as I had done the Krakow Aviation Museum, Spotting at Krakow Airport, a Wizzair flight, Bari layover and this BRI-BUD flight all in one day! Not to mention it was only 15 minutes to midnight local time!
For the final flight and a look at the Budapest Airport Hotel- You'll have to check the final Flight Report when it goes up- SOON!
Ryanair was Ryanair- I can't really give them too much credit. All though the flight was fantastic value on the base fare only being £6.50p (7.75EUR)
Bari Airport was a nice place for a connection, I would recommend it under the basic principles of remembering you need to exit and go back via security and allowing enough time (I left 3 hours) as well as ensuring you are up to date on entry requirements. I'm not sure how this place is during the day or during peak summer time, however it was nice enough on this transit.