Review of Breeze Airways flight Hartford Nashville in Economy

Airline Breeze Airways
Flight MX520
Class Economy
Seat 23F
Aircraft Airbus A220-300
Flight time 02:06
Take-off 11 Nov 22, 13:49
Arrival at 11 Nov 22, 14:55
MX 3 reviews
Menzenski
By 1925
Published on 24th November 2022

Hello and welcome to another trip report!  For this one, I'm checking off two new experiences: Breeze Airways, and the A220.

This is my first report in quite a while (its amazing to me how flying can be come essentially routine when its the same aircraft and routes all the time).  I took a day trip for this one on a day off of work.


Planning / booking


I'm based in the DC area, typically using DCA as my home airport.  Breeze's closest operation to DC is Richmond, but I was not too enthused about including four hours of driving as part of this journey.  Instead, I searched through Breeze's route map and schedule for an early-afternoon flight somewhere in their east-coast network on the A220 - that would allow me to fly from DCA to the starting point, book a one-way ticket on Breeze, then fly back to DCA in the evening.

The only flight I could find that fit those parameters (on a Friday at least) was BDL - BNA, departing at 1:05.  With that found and booked, I bought a ticket on American DCA - BDL, returning BNA - DCA later that night.  Luckily for me, on both of my American flights I received complementary upgrades.  I allowed myself about four hours between flights on each end, mostly because Breeze isn't exactly known for their operational reliability, especially on their A220 fleet.

Breeze has three fare classes for flights on the A220 - Nicest, Nicer and Nice.  Nicest includes a first-class recliner seat, two checked bags, carry-on bag, and on-board snacks and drinks.  Nicer includes one checked bag, carry-on bag, and an extra legroom seat.  Nice includes nothing by default (no carry-on bag), but you can purchase the elements you want individually.  For my day trip, I didn't need anything extra so the only additional cost on my fare was $10 for a window seat in row 23.


Routing

  • DCA - BDL / American Eagle CRJ-700 / First Not available
  • BDL - BNA / Breeze A220-300 / Nice (Economy) You are here
  • BNA - DCA / American Eagle CRJ-900 / First Not available

bDL airport


I arrived at BDL via American at about 8:30 am.  I stayed behind security so I did not experience the Breeze check-in counters or any land-side operations they have at BDL. 

My inbound CRJ-700 at gate 27. 


photo img_3691

As I had about four hours before my flight on Breeze, I pre-purchased a day pass to the Escape lounge at BDL for $35.  It had snacks, drinks and a quiet atmosphere - it was a nice space to kill a couple hours, but I wasn't quite inspired enough by it to take pictures to include in this report.

Concourse housing gates 1-12


photo img_3693

The post security area, connecting the concourses airside at BDL.


photo img_3690

Boarding


In the lounge, I kept an eye our A220's progress on its morning trip, an out-and-back from Hartford to Jacksonville.  It left BDL that morning on time, and departed JAX on time to return to BDL so my flight to Nashville was likely going to operate close to on-time.

Sure enough, N206BZ arrived from JAX about 10 minutes behind schedule.  The A220 sure is a good-looking plane!



The inbound flight was a bit slow to deplane - coupled with a crew change, boarding started late at 1:00 for our 1:05 scheduled departure time.  As far as I can tell, Breeze's boarding procedure is pretty simple: Zone 1 is passengers in "Nicest" (the "first class" seats), Zone 2 is Nicer / Nice passengers (economy) that have a carry-on bag allowance, and Zone 3 is passengers with only a personal item.  As I was just doing a day trip, I only had my backpack so I was in Zone 3.  I assume this is for agents to easily identify who is supposed to have a carry-on bag and who might need to pay extra at the gate.

Boarding through gate 22.



Breeze a220 cabin


On reaching N206BZ, I was immediately struck at how clean and vibrant the cabin was.  The plane was still less than a year old, delivered in January 2022 to Breeze.  It definitely felt a bit odd to see first-class style recliners on a low-cost carrier, especially since the first-class seats went all the way back to the over-wing exits.  

Nicest seats: 


photo img_3704

Nice seats - standard legroom.  The extra legroom seats have a red highlight color.


photo img_3705

I made my way back to row 23 and squeezed myself into the window seat on the A220's "three" side.


photo img_3708

… I say "squeezed" as I'm 6'3" (~190cm) and Breeze is a low-cost carrier after all.  I knew what I was getting into though, I chose to not purchase a seat with more leg room.  It would've been an additional $70 to purchase a Nicest seat, or ~30 for extra legroom on the day of departure.  That wasn't worth it to me on this two-hour flight.


photo img_2206

Also notice my book in the seat-back pocket - no WiFi yet on the A220 fleet at Breeze, so there are zero entertainment options available.  There is, however, power at every seat - both USB A and C at each economy seat, and the Nicest seats also add a universal AC outlet. 


photo img_2209

I will just note here, before push back, the flight crew came around and asked everyone to make sure that their seat backs were upright and tray tables were stowed, standard stuff.  However on this flight they also added "headrests all the way down" which I don't think I've experienced on another carrier.  For me this was annoying as just sitting in the seat, my shoulders pushed the headrest up.  So I ended up having to lean a bit forward to get the headrest down all the way.  Not a big deal but I was a bit uncomfortable before takeoff. 

Even though the flight was almost completely full, the middle seat next to me remained empty. 


Departure


As expected based on our late boarding, we pushed back about 30 minutes late.  A quick taxi to runway 24 followed and we were off on our way to Nashville.

As this was my first flight on the A220, I was really struck by how loud and obnoxious the engines could be.  I knew there were certain situations that resulted in a whale-like sound, but I swear it shook the entire cabin.  It was most noticeable when the engines came up off idle.  Just making note of that quirk. 

However, once takeoff power was set, the A220 was extremely quite and smooth from a passenger perspective. 



in flight


As always, it was a beautiful day for flying once we got above the cloud layer. 



Breeze offers a fairly extensive buy-on-board menu.  As this was only a two-hour flight, I did not purchase anything.  However, breeze does fly transcontinental flights where getting some snacks would be more in play.  The menu: 


photo img_3724photo img_3725

A few things on Breeze's service: Breeze does not accept cash for in-flight purchases (or Discover cards, interestingly).  Also, there's a small note under the Soda / Juices section saying "complementary cup of water, coffee and tea is available on request."  The service was conducted out of two carts: one with snacks / food packages, and the other with drinks. 

The rest of cruise was smooth and uneventful. 


photo img_3728

Arrival


Before too long, we started our descent towards Nashville.  Approaching from the northeast, I had a good view of the airport on downwind.  We landed on runway 02R about 20 minutes behind schedule.



Touchdown on 02R.



We then had a rather lengthy taxi to gate B13, parking next to an Allegiant A320.



As flight MX520 continues as a "Breeze through" service from Hartford to Tulsa, those who were continuing could stay on the aircraft while passengers terminating at Nashville deplaned.  A handful of people did remain onboard, and the gate area was fairly busy with passengers headed for Tulsa.

As soon as we touched down, I opened up the American app on my phone and switched my flight home to the earlier DCA flight.  I saw there was availability earlier in the day, but was hesitant to make the switch until I was actually in Nashville.  Remember how I said the deplaning in Hartford was slow off the inbound from Jacksonville?  It took more than 20 minutes from parking on stand for me to exit the airplane. In the scheme of things not a huge deal, but I only had about 20 minutes to reclear security and make it to my American flight on Concourse C.  By the time I made it home I was very glad that I switched to the earlier flight.

See more

Verdict

Breeze Airways

6.8/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi2.0
Buy-on-board menu8.0

Hartford - BDL

8.5/10
Efficiency9.0
Access7.5
Services8.5
Cleanliness9.0

Nashville - BNA

7.6/10
Efficiency7.5
Access7.5
Services9.0
Cleanliness6.5

Conclusion

Overall, Breeze left me with a solid impression. My flight operated mostly on time, and met my expectations regarding comfort and amenities. I wish the A220 fleet had WiFi / streaming entertainment - it wasn't a big deal on this two hour flight, but a six-hour flight to SFO would have me feeling differently. Power at every seat was very nice, including high-power USB-C. The crew was efficient, and the buy-on-board snack options were pretty appealing.

Related

2 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 616240 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6858 Comments
    Hi Menzenski, awesome report! Very cool to see a review on the Breeze A220…the first one on the site I believe!

    Definitely an impressive product for an LCC, especially the huge F cabin. Though I guess it’s not surprising from the founders of JetBlue.

    It’s so nice to see USB-C in all cabins. Very practical these days when most new phones and laptop computers charge with USB-C. It is a shame that they still haven’t installed the Wi-Fi and streaming IFE though, which we’re supposed to be there when the A220 entered service.

    I’d love to try them out but they don’t really fly any routes that would be convenient for me either. I lived in Richmond in the mid 2000s and the nice new-ish airport terminal has always been under-utilised, so it’s nice to see RIC get some new service.

    Thanks for sharing!
  • Comment 616243 by
    NGO85 SILVER 2002 Comments
    Thanks for sharing this first look at the MX A220! That’s quite the commitment to try their new product…

    MX indeed has a strange identity for a LCC: offering nice domestic F seats, but then completely omitting any in-flight entertainment. I guess there is a niche market that values the space of the domestic F seats and doesn’t need the high salt meals seen on the US3, so it could be compelling there, but otherwise I don’t see where the Nice package really offers anything more than WN/B6 (which offer free bags, free snacks, and free in-flight entertainment). They are still growing so I guess we’ll see where they end up in terms of fitting in the point-to-point market.

    From your flight, I agree their A220s look great in their livery and the cabins look very clean and comfortable for a LCC. The USB charging is nice, but again there is no entertainment/WiFI offered. The BOB prices are high compared to other carriers (I like Option 6 for the “thirsty” passenger). Thanks again for sharing with us!

Login to post a comment.