This series covers a short trip to Catalunya and Veneto, please refer back to Part 1 for routing information. This report will cover the short hop from Venice to Munich on Air Dolomiti.
Since this flight leaves at 6:30am, I opted to stay at the Courtyard down the street from the airport since this enabled me to drop off my rental car the night before. The only issue is that their shuttle service doesn't start until 5am, which doesn't really work for a 6:30am departure. Instead of forking over 10 EUR for a taxi, I just did the 0.3km walk to the airport at 4am. The terminal is very non-descript landside.
Inside, I head upstairs to the check-in counters.
There was no line in the LH Business Class line so my bag was quickly checked and I was handed my boarding passes. She provided instructions for Fast Track and lounge access with a smile.
Off to the security line which was back logged due to the large number of 6am departures.
Fast Track, however, was quick and after setting off the metal detector and having my bags searched I was airside in ~20 minutes.
After doing the duty free gauntlet, I went upstairs to the lounge. The lounge doesn't open until 5am so there was a long line waiting to enter.
There are just 2 lounges in VCE, Marco Polo Lounge pretty much serves >90% of the passengers across all alliances.
Entering the lounge, everyone piled up in the little seating area by the buffet. I went straight through to my favorite area by the observation deck.
My favorite seating area nestled amongst the bushes.
There are also a number of other areas in the lounge that are usually sparsely populated since they are far from the food/drinks.
I grabbed some breakfast and took a seat amongst the shrubs.
The outdoor observation deck, which overlooks the non-Schengen gates.
At this time of the day, just a BA A320 bathing under the spotlights.
The tail of my EN ERJ-195 was visible at Gate 15 having spent the night at VCE.
Despite all of these flights spending the night at VCE, they still feel it necessary to shroud your gate in mystery until 50 minutes before the departure time.
The bathrooms in the lounge are very gaudy.
At 6am, I left the lounge and headed down to my gate. Our plane today.
Air Dolomiti, EN 8199
Equipment: Embraer ERJ-195 [I-ADJY, delivered July 2009 (ex-IQ)]
Departure: 06:30 (ATD: 06:30)
Arrival: 07:30 (ATA: 07:10)
Flight Time: 0:40
By the time I got to the gate, boarding was completed and I was the last passenger. My boarding pass on my phone flashed red since my seat was changed from 4A to 3A. Apparently they shrunk the J cabin to 3 rows despite the low load on the flight. The agent asked for my paper boarding pass which flashed green noting my new seat and the agent closed the door behind me as I went into the jet bridge.
At this time, Germany still had mask mandates for flights to/from the country so the crew was handing out masks and wet wipes in the galley.
Being the last passenger, no cabin shots, but here is my seat for the flight. Pre placed on the tray table were water bottle and a cookie.
The FAs then walked down the aisles handing out packaged oshibori in both J and Y cabins.
The seat pitch is good, as standard on all ERJs.
The seat back has a coat hook and the literature. EN has WiFi on board to access their free in-flight entertainment (games, magazines, etc.).
Blurry shot of Row 4, which was where I was supposed to sit, but will remain empty.
I think EN has really good branding and I like how they put their logo on the seatbelt.
We pushed back early and taxied out to the runway and took off over a sleepy Veneto..
As soon as we leveled off, the FAs sprung to action. They came down the aisle with a cart and handed out trays with COVID protocol. I like how they unfolded a napkin to serve as a pseudo-tablecloth.
Removing the protective cover. It is a simple cold plate of meats and cheese served with a goldenberry(?). Metal cutlery and another packaged oshibori were included. The tray is actually more substantial than what I received on EN flights pre-pandemic, which used to be a simple duo of small dishes.
Also on the tray were packaged apricot jam, butter, and toast.
The cover served as a nice auxiliary plate for when the warm pastries were offered.
As soon as I finished, the crew cleaned up the trays as we were already well into our final descent. They still offered coffee so I ordered an espresso, which was served with another cookie.
I sipped my espresso as we arrived into a foggy Bavaria.
Since the fog was quite dense, there was not much to see on the final descent.
After touching down 20 minutes early, taxing to the terminal, we cross pass this poor SU A320 that has probably not moved in a long time…
Tail line up at the remote stands as we turn to take our place.
We turn into our row.
Then make a little u-turn showing off some LH A350s.
As soon as we park, 1R opens to let a pair of wheelchair passengers deplane first, then we head out 1L down to our awaiting bus.
One last look at our ERJ before getting into the bus.
We have a short drive over to the terminal and are deposited at the H gates. On the way, I check Flightradar to see that my inbound aircraft for UA195 was diverted to KEF… which is where I will leave off this series.
I like EN, they have a good product in both Y and J that far exceeds what LH offers on the same route. The ERJ cabins are always comfortable and in J, it is nice to get a pair of seats to your self. I have always found EN crews to be very professional and attentive. They primarily operate these short flights between FRA/MUC into Italy and some other European cities, but they offer full service in both cabins complete with oshibori and snacks/drinks. The meal on this flight was sufficient for the flight length (40 min). EN also offers free in-flight entertainment on your device (but no moving map), which is also a distinguishing feature from mainline LH. When given the option between LH/EN, I would always pick EN.