To be able to embark on our Celebrity cruise towards the Greek Isles from Venice we had to make our way over there, the obvious choice beeing the direct flight from Brussels to Venice on Brussels Airlines.
As our flight left Brussels at 10:05 in the morning we arrived at a busy Brussels Airport with Brussels Airlines’ morning departure bank in full swing. This also means that half of the A-gates area normally used for intra-Shengen departures was transformed into the T-gates for the Africa flights departures. Because there wheren’t enough jetway positions available our plane was parked walking distance from the terminal building, and we had to board from the ground level gate A33, located in “Ryanairland”.
Brussels (BRU) 10:05 to Venice (VCE) 11:40
Flight time 1 hour and 35 minutes
Airbus A319-100 OO-SSW
Delivered to Iberia in october 2007, flying for Brussels Airlines since January 2012
I loved beeing able to walk towards our plane, admiring the great flying machine from the ground up. Unlike Timothy who always gets lucky in catching a special livery Bird when Flying Brussels Airlines to Madrid and Tel Aviv, we had a plain boring standard A319 with the typical Lufthansa group short-haul cabin. The flight was also standard, smooth flying over open skies and the obligatory buy on board service from which we did not buy anything.
We landed in Venice with a smooth touchdown and it was immediatly clear that Venice Airport was suffocating in traffic, planes everywhere on the ground. We got another apron position and where bussed to the terminal. The Bags started to arrive pretty fast but when Gillis took his bag from the belt, it stopped “Belt broken down”. After waiting some time as the mechanics intervened, the belt came to life again and I was able to get my own bag aswell.
In true Venice style the transfer from the Airport to the City centre was by boat aswell, from a very clean and organised boat terminal adjacent to the airport terminal Alilaguna operates a number of boat lines to Venice.
After a very nice cruise holiday, the time came to fly back home. Even though we struggled a bit to acquire a ticket for the boat to the airport and waiting for a space on a boat we did manage to arrive way too early for out flight as check-in wasn’t opened yet. Here you could clearly notice Venice Airport could not cope with the vast amount of passengers travalling through the airport. There where people everywhere, and hardly any seats to si ton. Even worse was that there really was only 1 screen on which the departures where clearly incidated.
After we managed to drop off our bags we headed to the even more crowded airside, it was almost like a zoo. Of course this meant that once again our plane would be parked on the apron and we would experience a bus boarding.
After everyone was crammed in the bus, we took a scenic drive over the apron towards our babybus back home.
Venice (VCE) 16:50 to Brussels (BRU) 18:35
Flight time 1 hour and 45 minutes
Airbus A319-100 OO-SSK
Delivered to Sabena in october 2000, flying for Brussels Airlines since February 2003
Even though it was another standard A319, this one was still equipped with fold-down TV screens and a special Red Devils safety video was shown before departure. This time we experienced some light turbulence during the flight, giving us some entertainment.
All in all Brussels Airlines provided a solid product both ways, giving exactly what they promise. The Venice airport could clearly use an expansion as it is not a nice place to use at the moment because of beeing overcrowded.