I'll be flying with Air Europa from Brussels to London via Madrid. This routing may seem crazy (and it kinda is), but this is actually the cheapest option to fly between the two cities. The only direct option is either British Airways or Brussels Airlines (or on the Eurostar if you fancy travelling by train), I was really surprised by the lack of flights between the 2 cities, especially considering the wealth of options available from neighbouring Amsterdam.
For my journey to Brussels, I opted to fly Ryanair to Maastricht in The Netherlands and take a train into Belgium. The base fare for my flight to Maastricht was only £8, crazily cheap even for Ryanair standards! Sadly, the flight only operates twice a week and was unavailable for my chosen date back. Still, I wasn't complaining as it gives me an opportunity to fly on Iberojet and their sole A320.
For my first leg to Madrid, the flight is operated by Iberojet, a Spanish/Portuguese charter airline formerly known as Evelop. The airline mainly operates routes to Latin America using A330s and A350s. They only have one A320, which is used on the Madrid → Brussels route twice a day for Air Europa.
Ryanair|FR530|London Stanstead (STN) → Maastricht (MST)|09/09/2022Not available
Iberojet|UX1174|Brussels (BRU) → Madrid Barajas (MAD)|13/09/2022You are here
Getting a train to Brussels Airport. Train travel in Begium is very convenient and if you're under 26, you can travel to any destination in the country (excluding Brussels Airport) for only €6.60 one way.
Brussels airport (bru)
The main check-in hall. Check-in took around 2 minutes since there was absolutely no queue at the counter.
The departures for the rest of the day. You can find our flight right above the cancelled Stockholm fllght on the left.
I love the look of the split-flap board - so glad they never replaced it!
Security took under 20 minutes, and after that you are greeted with the duty-free area.
The main departures hall offering a very nice selection of restaurants.
The main Schengen departure gates. As you can see, it was fairly crowded. This wasn't helped by the travelators on the left being broken and all the people queueing up for their flight.
View out of the windows, with an ITA Airways A320 heading to Rome Fiumicino.
Brussels Airline A320 in the new livery.
I really like Brussels Airlines' new livery. Although looking online, I seem to be the only one.
And here's our plane for today. EC-LZD, an Airbus A320 that first flew in May 2013, making her 9 years old at the time of the flight.
Our route according to FlightRadar24:
The tray table, headrest and the overhead display, which is used to show the safety video and various other videos during the flight.
Seat back pocket and legroom.
Audio control and headphone jack in the armrest.
First views out of the window looking at a very wet Brussels.
Taxiing out to the runway.
Takeoff! Last views of Belgium before we enter the clouds.
Climbing above the first cloud layer.
It seems that our cruising altitude is below the clouds - this is gonna be a bumpy flight.
In the seatback pocket, you'll find the safety instructions, Air Europa's inflight magazine,
And Air Europa's inflight menu, there was a decent selection of hot and cold food, all at a farly reasonable price. (No complimentary food or drinks served on Air Europa's short and medium-haul routes).
As expected, we had a lot of turbulence during the flight - the seatbelt sign stayed on for pretty much the entire time.
Sadly, we didn't get a great sunset due to the sun being covered by a load of clouds in the distance.
Last bit of daylight as we start our descent into Madrid.
The descent was extremely bumpy, we were actually descending through a thunderstorm, which gave us an awesome light show!
On final approach.
Welcome to Madrid Barajas! We arrived on time.
Madrid Barajas airport (mad)
I now have a few hours in Madrid before my flight to London the next day. I opted to stay airside as my layover was too short to justify a night at a hotel.
I found Madrid to be one of the better airports for a long layover. There are plenty of free charging ports scattered around the terminal as well as unlimited Wi-Fi. However, the seats were incredibly uncomfotable and the automated welcome announcements kept on blaring - so don't expect to get much sleep.
Terminal 2 - The oldest building in the airport.
The much newer Terminal 3. (Photo was taken in the morning, after all the passengers have arrived for their flight; it is much, much quieter during the night.)
Bonus : Click here display hide
With my flight departing in the evening, I can't help but go planespotting at Brussels Airport in the morning. Luckily, the weather held out quite well; it only started raining around 30 minutes before I was supposed to leave.
Here's some of my favourites:
Brussels - BRU
Madrid - MAD
A fairly bumpy flight to Madrid. Service is the same as an Air Europa flight, which I really can't complain. However, I do prefer the Air Europa cabin to Iberojet's, it's more comfortable and more aesthetically pleasing in my opinion. Overall, while I'd say it's a slight downgrade compared to Air Europa's 737 product, it's decent nonetheless.
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Hi Lia, thanks for sharing this exotic report and routing!
"This routing may seem crazy (and it kinda is), but this is actually the cheapest option to fly between the two cities."
- Any self-respecting travel or aviation enthusiast loves a crazy routing every now and then! I've some pretty wild ones too, usually for mileage/status runs...not so much anymore now that I have a kid
Fun to get an Iberojet-operated flight! Not a super exciting cabin, but still exotic.
❤ Love the planespotting bonus! I can't get used to FI's new livery, but then again I haven't seen it in person.
Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for reading Kévin! Yes, I do like to fly some interesting routes, especially if the budget allows; or if the 'normal' way is too boring sometimes.
As for Icelandair's new livery, I do agree it takes some getting used to. Still don't quite get pink/yellow/blue stripe on the tailfin and the rest of the livery feels a bit underwhelming for me.
Hi Lia, thanks for sharing the FR! Unique opportunity to fly E9. As a LCC, it’s interesting that they have IFE in their cabins. What was broadcasted on the overhead monitors? The seats look well padded versus the new slimline ironing board seats.
Hi NGO85, thanks for reading! Yes, the overhead monitors is a nice addition. I wasn't paying too much attention as to what was being played (I think it was some type of documentary?) but I got the feeling the crew either didn't understand how to control it (or it was broken) since it kept turning off and they had to walk inside the cabin to make sure it was working.
As for the seats, they're definitely better than the ironing-board seats, but not too comfortable honestly.
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