I recently took a flight from Düsseldorf to Copenhagen on Eurowings, a budget carrier operated by an Air Baltic A220-300 which was leased by Eurowings. The flight was EW 9242, on October 12th, 2022. The aircraft was named "Gulbene" and had the registration YL-AAP. The duration of the flight was 0:59.
Check-in and Seating
I checked in online and reserved a window seat (23F) for 6€. I found the cost of reserving a seat quite expensive, especially compared to other budget carriers. I had booked the cheapest version of economy class, not permitting checked luggage and theoretically none that can be taken into the cabin. However, airlines usually allow a "personal item" to be taken on board the aircraft even in the cheapest tiers of economy. This was enough for a small backpack.
Boarding and Pre-flight
I arrived at Düsseldorf airport 1.5 hours before departure and was at the gate after around 30 minutes. Security in Düsseldorf is usually pretty quick, however baggage drop-off and check-in can usually take a while. Boarding was done via a bus gate, allowing us to get some beautiful views of the airport during sunrise.
During boarding, you are greated by a friendly crew member wishing you a good morning and the calming Air Baltic boarding music, created by Mārcis Auziņš, a musician from the airlines home country, Latvia. This is definitely a nice touch which I really like!
After boarding, I noticed that the aircraft was quite empty. This however definitely helped in terms of comfort, as the cabin was quiet and there was not much movement, except for the flight attendants occasionally checking in on everyone.
The crew was kind and the aircraft was clean and comfortable. The view out of the window was great. Snacks were offered for purchase, but I did not buy any. The flight was calm without turbulence.
There is no real entertainment on the flight, which is to be expected as the A220-300 AirBaltic owns are all used in short to mid range flights. However, there is a small screen next to the air vents, which shows current flight information, such as temperature, distance, and time in English and Latvian.
One of the benefits of flying with a budget carrier like Eurowings is the cost-saving measures that are implemented. For example, many budget airlines charge for additional services such as checked baggage and seat selection. This allows them to offer lower fares to their customers. However, this can also be a downside for some passengers who are used to these services being included in the price of their ticket. If you want to read more about Eurowings, this article might be just for you.
The landing was smooth and done onto runway 22 Left, offering a beautiful view of Copenhagen. We then taxied to gate B6 and deboarded using the gangway. The crew wished every passenger a nice day and we were even able to peek into the cockpit for the second, where the crew was already preparing for the next flight back to Düsseldorf. This flight was definitely fuller than ours, with many passengers having lined up at the gate when we exited.
Why AirBaltic, when I booked Eurowings?
I booked my flight with Eurowings, but flew with an AirBaltic plane with AirBaltic crew. Many airlines of the Lufthansa Group, which Eurowings, Swiss, and Lufthansa itself are part of, worked out a Wet Lease agreement. This means that AirBaltic does all the difficult stuff, while Eurowings just tells them what flights to fly. This is especially useful for them because it offers Eurowings to operate at high capacity in a time where lots of AirBaltics flights could not be flown since their destinations may have been in Russia or Belarus.
One advantage for passengers is that AirBaltic only operates A220-300 aircraft, opposed to the A320 you will usually have operating your Eurowings Flight. Both aircraft are usually configured as short to medium haul aircraft, with special models of the A320 and A321 being able to perform transatlantic flights. The A220, originally called the Bombardier CSeries, was purchased by Airbus who renamed it to the A220. It is one of the most fuel-efficient aircraft in the sky today, even beating the performance of the A320 Neo. It also features large windows, making for a bright cabin, and a 3-2 seating configuration opposed to a 3-3. All of this combined leads to higher passenger satisfaction and comfort - a win-win for everyone.
In conclusion, my flight experience with Eurowings was positive. The aircraft was clean and comfortable, the crew was kind, and the flight was calm without turbulence. The only downside was the cost of reserving a seat which I found quite expensive. Eurowings has a strict baggage policy, so it is important to familiarize yourself with it before booking a flight with them. I would recommend Eurowings for anyone looking for a comfortable and efficient flight experience at a budget-friendly price. If you want to learn about other budget carriers in Europe, you might be interested in this article.
Images in this postOn ground at DUS via findaflight.eu
A220 YL-AAP during boarding via findaflight.eu
Preparing for taxi via findaflight.eu
Decelerating via findaflight.eu
Cabins compared via flight-report.com