Making Brussels Interesting – with TravelMagic and Brussels Airlines
Back to Brussels Airport, Brussels Airlines Lounge
- Travel? TravelMagic!
- Saturday Morning fun and games
- SN2050 Birmingham Airport to Brussels National Airport
- TravelMagic overview
- The Pantone Hotel
- A Day in Brussels
- Back to Brussels Airport, Brussels Airlines Lounge
- SN2047 Brussels National Airport to Birmingham Airport
- Magical? (THIS SECTION)
Let’s focus on the real reason why I got in the air – it was a chance to meet other mile collectors and frequent flyers. This was one heck of a good thing. We all talk about online communities and how they connect, but there is nothing like actually meeting people face to face, sharing ideas and learning from each other.
Looking at the airlines, for Brussels Airlines/FlyBe/Tyrolean - Whilst the Brussels Airlines fare engine is “designed for maximum revenue”, there is no doubt that the wet leased services operated by FlyBe and Tyrolean are BETTER than the mainline Brussels Airlines, with a higher level of service (even in B.Lite) – which made up for the noise of a turboprop whirring away.
It seems when someone else is paying, Flybe becomes very acceptable indeed – losing the low cost carrier image and turning into a very solid product. Meanwhile, this was my first encounter with Tyrolean Airways… and if my Star Alliance travels take me towards Austria, I could well be looking at Austrian very carefully as there was definitely a warmth of service there.
As for the Dash8′s themselves? I’m not a fan of them. The Aircraft may have been a Q Series, but I wish I brought some ear plugs. Give me something with (at least) two big turbofans any day of the week. However, for the purpose they served and the route they served, it was the right aircraft for the right route. However, Embraer make a lovely range of aircraft too, which have turbofan engines…
Although 30″ is starting to get too tight aboard a plane – thankfully for a short hop, it isn’t that bad.
The Pantone Hotel has so much potential… but the positioning of the room (which wasn’t ideal) and the broken TV didn’t help to be honest. Still, the bed was comfortable, the climate appropriate and the internet was fast (well fast enough to stream Pokemon episodes). I suspect booking a higher grade room (and not with Expedia) could had yielded a better result.
SNCB/NMBS. There are signs of improvements from the rattletraps they were sending out to Brussels Airport in the past. Maybe that Diabolic Dialobo surcharge is finally having a positive effect. Or maybe I’m less sensitive to expensive train prices (I blame you Heathrow Express for that).
And was Brussels Interesting? TravelMagic made it interesting. The city itself… still needs to win me over (believe it or not, I was seriously considering a day trip to Liege or Bruges on the Sunday if I didn’t wake up so late).
And with that… I’m going to wrap up this trip report.
Coming next: The travels continue for me as I do my autumn audit on the Trans-Atlantic routes, where I’m back in the Windy City… with a Tier Point run in between, with American Airlines and British Airways back under the microscope.
However, this map should scare a lot of people (including yours truly)
Please join me for Chicago XV – Tiers and Dreams – coming (very) soon!