The new wings of Belgium - Part II

The two companies are now married. The "little red balls" are no longer seen in European skies, and the S logo was dropped in favor of a set of 13 orange dots forming a "b" because it stands for Brussels. A 14th orange dot was added because 13 is an unlucky number. If you see a Boeing 737 of Brussels Airlines, you know right away that it comes from Virgin Express. Besides the 737's, the Avro's, A319's and A330's are still in operation. With the exception of the A330, the only widebody aircraft type at SN, all aircraft are operated on flights within the whole of Europe. The A330's are flown to Africa, but not South Africa. SN doesn't fly to South Africa.
When booking through the internet, customers can choose between two products, either b.light where you pay less but you have restrictions or b.flex where you pay more but you have more privileges like no restrictions, more miles credited to your account, priority check-in, choice of seat and other amenities like free drinks and candies.
I took a trip with SN to Malaga in June 2008, this was my third trip with SN, first after the merger with Virgin. The aircraft was a Boeing 737-300 on both flights. I flew on OO-VEN on the outbound segment where I had a free meal because I had a b.flex fare, and on the return segment I flew on OO-VEX (which is already fitted with winglets on the wingtips as the enclosed picture shows) where I had a b.light fare. The announcements were made in four languages: French, Dutch, English and Spanish. On this trip I experienced the difference between b.flex and b.light.
On the b.flex fare, I had a free hot breakfast, I was seated in the first row and I had the opportunity to change this flight without penalty. I had the aisle seat. The best aisle seat to have, if you are an aviation enthusiast like me, is on the first row, because you can see the cockpit although only for a few seconds each time the flight attendant or the pilot opens the door, it happens several times during the flight. You normally don't get to enter the cockpit unless you are a crew member, a licensed commercial pilot, or even an employee of the airline.
On the b.light fare, I had nothing for free not even a non alcoholic drink. I had to pay for my drink regardless of what it would be as well as anything I wanted to eat. I wanted a tuna sandwich but there wasn't any, all I was left with was a cheese sandwich. The b.light fare is much lower but you don't have any of the privileges that you have with a b.flex fare. Anyway, I had my window seat and I was happy to enjoy the beauty of the sky up at 33000ft high. The most enjoyable part of this flight was spotting other airlines passing by just above us.

Brussels Airlines announced plans by the end of 2008 to be taken over by Lufthansa. As of December of 2009, Brussels Airlines became an official member of Star Alliance. By the spring of 2010 all codeshare agreements with One World airlines including AA were terminated.
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