Wednesday newsletters always feature a hotel or flight review.
Today: Review – TUI Embraer E190 from Brussels to Dubrovnik
Early July, I enjoyed a short break at Europe’s newest ultra-luxurious beach resort, One&Only Portonovi in Montenegro (read my review here). The stay was phenomenal, but getting there was less pleasant. I flew with TUI fly from Brussels to Dubrovnik (which is close to Croatia’s border with Montenegro). The flight – which was operated by one of TUI’s 4 Embraer E190 jets – was uneventful. But the check-in at the TUI counters in Brussels Airport was shockingly chaotic and far from corona-proof.
TUI is the largest leisure, travel and tourism company in the world, and it owns travel agencies, hotels, airlines, cruise ships and retail shops. The group owns five European airlines – the largest holiday fleet in Europe: TUI Airways (UK), TUI fly Germany, TUI fly Belgium, TUI fly Netherlands and TUI fly Nordic, serving more than 180 destinations around the world. My flight from Brussels to Dubrovnik was operated by TUI fly Belgium.
Have you ever flown with TUI? If so, what was your experience? Leave a comment.
- Trip: Brussels (BRU) to Dubrovnik (DBV)
- Airline: TUI fly Belgium
- Aircraft type: Embraer E190
- Aircraft registration number: OO-JVA
- On time departure: No (3pm; + 1 hour)
- On time arrival: No (5 pm; + 1 hour)
- Miles: 867 miles
- Flight time: 2 hours
- Seat: 11A
- Class: Economy Class
In this review (there is more information & photos below my YouTube video):
- Price of my ticket
- Check-in chaos at Brussels Airport
- TUI Embraer E190: cabin + seat
- Onboard service
PRICE OF MY TICKET
I paid 35 euros for my one-way ticket from Brussels to Dubrovnik. An addition, I also paid an extra fee of 8 euros to select a window seat. In retrospect, I shouldn’t have paid that extra fee since the flight was only half full and the crew moved me to the exit row anyway.
CHECK-IN CHAOS AT BRUSSELS AIRPORT
I arrived at Brussels Airport 3 hours before my flight’s scheduled departure time (one hour extra above the recommended time, since I preferred to have some extra time just in case things went wrong). To my own surprise, there was a 2 hour queue at the TUI check-in area since only 3 counters were open for hundreds of passengers. Everyone was bunched together and passengers were getting irritated and nervous about the prospect of potentially missing their flight. Given the pandemic situation, the scene was almost surreal and it was appalling that TUI was understaffing its counters, allowing these crowded lines and sanity to form. TUI could have perfectly prevented this situation since they know exactly how many passengers will check in on any given day.
After two hours, I was finally checked in and proceeded to the airport’s security point, where I encountered a similar situation. Only one screening line was open (out of 10), resulting in long queues and another 30 minutes of extra waiting time. I arrived at the gate 3 hours after arriving at the airport and 20 minutes after the scheduled departure time, but I was lucky that my flight was slightly delayed had a minor delay.
TUI EMBRAER 190: CABIN + SEAT
TUI’s Embraer E190 features 112 slim line seats arranged in a single Economy Class configuration. All seats are 17 inches (43 cm) wide and have a pitch of 28 inches (71 cm), with the exception of the seats in the exit row which feature some extra legroom. The E190’s two meter (6.5 ft) high cabin feels airy. In addition, the plane’s near-vertical sidewalls and large eye-level windows add to the sense of spaciousness.
Well, I can be very short about this. TUI’s onboard service is limited to an assortment of snacks & drinks which can be purchased (nothing is offered on a complimentary basis) and duty-free shopping.
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