Not the best, but not the worst

Star Travel Rating

3/5

Review type

Airline

Location

Date of travel

June, 2022

Product name

Brussels Airlines

Product country

Belgium

Product city

Brussels

Travelled with

Couple

Reasons for trip

Culture/Sightseeing

Having originally been due to fly to Entebbe in September 2020 with Kenya Airways, by the time we actually flew 18 months later, our tour operator had secured a better deal with Brussels Airlines, who were new to us.

Our first flight to Brussels was from Heathrow Terminal 2 at 6.50am, so we stayed overnight at the Hilton Garden Inn London Heathrow Terminals 2 and 3.

Check in at the business class desk was quick but thorough with the guy complimenting me on the organisation of my documentation which included Covid vaccine and Yellow Fever certificates and Visa approval forms.

Brussels Airlines uses the Lufthansa lounge which didn’t open until 5am. However, it had fizz, which is obligatory regardless of the time of day. There was full English breakfast available as well as fruit and yoghurt.

For the short flight to Brussels, we were in seats 1a and 1c as business class simply doesn’t use the middle seat.

Despite a flight time of only 45 minutes, breakfast of yoghurt, fruit, warm rolls and croissant with jam and cream cheese and a choice of hot or cold drinks was served.

The next leg from Brussels to Entebbe was delayed as two passengers were missing and so after our first glass of fizz, they served the canape of duck rillette, nuts and more fizz to placate us. Having taken off an hour late, the meal was served immediately. It was very good, and we both opted for marinated salmon with avocado and cous cous and a green salad. There was then a choice of meat, fish or vegetarian mains and we had the meatloaf with dauphinoise potatoes, and tender stem broccoli. This was followed by a light strawberry and balsamic mousse with mascarpone and then cheese with a glass of port. There was a choice of a South African Chenin or a French Burgundy and, although we were going to have one of each to see the difference, the lovely male steward misunderstood and gave us a taster of both and kept us topped up.

The inflight entertainment was slightly disappointing and there were only two films, Belfast and King Richard, which caught our eye.

Business class had an interesting configuration with the rows on the left and middle alternating between 1 and 2 seats, with the right-hand side having single seats. The steward told us they had refurbished during Covid which was apparent, although the seat adjustment button was right at my elbow, which meant frequent, unintended reclines. The flat bed wasn’t perhaps the best, but we could lie out even if from your knees down they were under the seat in front.

Both savoury and sweet snacks from a basket were freely available and a salad nicoise was served just before we landed in Bujumbura, Burundi, where the plane was refuelled, and the cleaners came on. Once again, a passenger was missing and there were several headcounts before either they turned up, or the headcount was revised.

Our overall verdict: not perhaps the best of airlines, but with so many problems, we were just pleased to get away. Unfortunately the uniform of the women is an unflattering red crimplene dress, and the announcements in three languages can get tedious.

Helen Jackson

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