Review of Sabena flight Brussels New York in Business

Airline Sabena
Flight SN 551
Class Business
Seat 8C
Aircraft Airbus A330-200
Flight time 08:20
Take-off 28 Jul 01, 10:20
Arrival at 28 Jul 01, 12:40
S1 2 reviews
By 4907
Published on 2nd February 2015
Hello and welcome to this return portion of my vintage SABENA report. Below is my schedule:

JFK-BRU in J -
BRU-JFK in J - you are here.

I found Brussels to be a delightful city that was easy to get around. I stayed at the Novotel Grand Place and enjoyed having the Grand Place square only a couple of meters from my place. It was specially nice to go there at night and watch the light show with classical music.


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Grand Place.

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Can you say that you have been to Brussels without a visit to the Musée de la Bande Dessinée?

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Speaking of bande dessinée….

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Walking through Brussels and turning around the corner can be surprising.

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The day of my return I took the train to the airport which was very convenient. The check-in was smooth and afterwards I paid a visit to the SN lounge. I don't recall seeing a buffet, just some pastries and light snacks. I remember that there were trays stacked up in the lounge for guests to help themselves to the snacks and drinks. Unfortunately I did not take any pictures of the lounge and back then did not place too much importance on this part of the trip experience.

I enjoyed my return flight more than the outbound flight, perhaps because it was a daytime one. FA's were polite and upon being greeted onboard I was offered pre-dept. drinks. Printed menus and amenity kits were passed out just like on the previous flight and hot towels started the meal service. The wine menu was the same as the outbound.

The menu.

Tapas were offered with your choice of beverages.

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The smoked trout and halibut appetizer.

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For the main dish I had a local dish - chicken stew Gent style. There were 4 choices for main dishes on daytime flights. A choice of warm breads were offered by the FA.

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After the meal I had the cheese plate.

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Finally the dessert. I wanted the crème brûlée but by the time the FA reached my row only the lemon meringue was left. Arrgh!

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I don't recall bottles of water being handed out, but remember FA's offering beverages often throughout the flight. Afte a couple of movies and some reading it was time for the second meal.

I chose the Liège style green bean salad with smoked duck slices. My neighbor had the shrimps and they were cold. He asked the FA if there was anything hot but unfortunately both choices were cold.

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We soon arrived in JFK and I had the chance to take a picture of my plane parked at the gate. I thought that the bird flying above the plane was a timely coincidence that reminded me again of Magritte and his work.

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Cabin crew9.0

THE LOFT by Brussels Airlines


Brussels - BRU


New York - JFK



I had a great experience with this carrier and can't think of how fortunate I was in getting to fly it just before its end.

Seats were comfortable for its time and I was able to relax in them. However, there was not much privacy if you had someone sitting next to you.

The meals were nicer on the return than the outbound and we had 2 choices for appetizers and 4 for main dishes. The offering of a tapas dish with the beverage was a great touch that was better than any nuts. Meals seemed well prepared but it was slightly disappointing to not get your first choice for dessert. At the time it did not occur to me to take a pic. of the chocolates, but I believe that they were Neuhaus.

Information on the route Brussels (BRU) New York (JFK)

Les contributeurs de Flight-Report ont posté 16 avis concernant 3 compagnies sur la ligne Brussels (BRU) → New York (JFK).


La compagnie qui obtient la meilleure moyenne est Sabena avec 8.3/10.

La durée moyenne des vols est de 8 heures et 21 minutes.

  More information


If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 128538 by
    Esteban GOLD 20402 Comments
    Thanks for sharing this vintage report. It is always nice to see old reports to remember how it was in the past.
    That's not getting us any younger :(
  • Comment 128548 by
    whitelight44 346 Comments
    Yayyyy very cool. I always loved to see a FR on Sabena. I wish they could still stay around. I always heard their name and saw Sabena's pictures when I were a kid. Thanks so much for the lovely FR :)
  • Comment 128562 by
    02022001 GOLD 4466 Comments
    Ouaww, old pictures of Brussels, ahah, fine ;)
    Good pictures of the Sabena airplane !
    Catering is interresting with belgian food.
    • Comment 309907 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2283 Comments
      I love it when airlines offer a little bit of their home country in their catering. It adds a special feel.

      Brussels is a nice town that I think is often overlooked.

      Thank you for your comments.
  • Comment 128592 by
    SMilano 1284 Comments
    Thanks so much for this report !
    Ow ! Brussels 14 years ago ^^
    Beautiful picture of the Sabena airplane at JFK !
  • Comment 128600 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6896 Comments
    Thanks for another retro-report! You were right, the catering on the return looks much better than on the outbound. Hard to believe 2001 was 14 years ago. Feel like yesterday to me...although I was 19 so a lot's changed since then LOL. These will make great reports to tweet for Throwback Thursday #TBT :-)
  • Comment 128686 by
    SKYTEAMCHC GOLD 10348 Comments
    Thanks for sharing this vintage report. FR has reports that were flown before the site even existed , isn't that great ?
    You flew Sabena a few month before it went bankrupt and was partially replaced by SN Brussels and then Brussels airlines.
    I quite liked this version of the Sabena livery
    Nice to see how it was . Do you remember about IFE ?
    Airlines come and go and on your last pic we can see the defunct Swissair replaced by Swiss after troubles too.
    • Comment 310010 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2283 Comments
      It's always interesting to see how aviation has evolved and see the changes that has taken place in onboard service. At times it seems like a cycle of ups and downs.

      I too loved this livery from SN.

      I don't recall much about the IFE since I always prefer to read a book when I travel (at times back then), but I believe that it was invidual screen with a limited selection of movies.

      Yes, who can forget SR? after all, they were able to dethrone SQ for one year as the best airline in the world in one survey.

      Thanks for your comments.

      Thanks for your comment.
    • Comment 310015 by
      SMilano 1284 Comments
      There was a individual IFE with a limited selection of movies and some games, he was in the armrest :)
  • Comment 373124 by
    thejetflyer BRONZE 149 Comments
    Beautiful trip report.
    Delighted to see a write up which reminds the new generation of Aviation fans of the great airline that was Sabena.
    I really hope that Brussels Airlines will be Sabena again. Or at least paint 1 A330 in the last livery as shown here.
    • Comment 373139 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2283 Comments
      Hi Skylife79.

      i believe that every flight reporter is a bit of a historian whether intentionally or not since a particular report is saved for posterity. It's always good to have a point of reference.

      Thanks for your comments.

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