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Brussels Airlines Business Class Brussels to Toronto – Airbus A330-200

Brussels Airlines Flight 551
Depart: Brussels (BRU)
Arrive: Toronto (YYZ)
Departure time: 10:30AM (Actual 10:48AM)
Arrival Time: 1:20PM (Actual 12:37PM)
Airbus A330-200
Registration: OO-SFY
Delivered : 26th May 2000 (16.4 Years old)

Seat: 3K
Flight Time 7h 49m
Meal Service: Lunch and Snack

I had just arrived on a short hop from Oslo flying one of Brussels Airlines Avro100 Jets and had just over one hour and thirty minutes to make my connection.

I decided to go and check out the Brussels airlines business class lounge to grab a drink and a snack. Brussels airlines has two business class lounges in the airport.

The first one (The LOFT) is located in Terminal A and the second (THE SUITE) is located in terminal B.

The Loft was the lounge I had really wanted to try.
I spent a few minutes trying to find the lounge, before figuring out that this was for Schengen only flights, which was a bit annoying as this was the flagship lounge with lots of space and it just looked a whole lot better.

The SUITE was the newer of the two lounges though.

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After making my way upstairs I arrived at THE SUITE lounge and it was very busy, I found an area with a few free seats. This lounge was a lot smaller than THE LOFT and was fairly narrow.

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I checked out the food and drink offerings and was pretty disappointed in the options.
Just your usual cold meats and cheese with a side of vegetables.

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In the end I decided to not spend any time or eat in the lounge and just took a wander around the airport.

There was also a computer lounge to use for Business needs

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I went back downstairs and started walking over to my gate, on the way to my gate the information signs had still not changed and were still showing which area to check in for our flight.

I arrived at our gate with plenty of time to spare and initially thought I had the wrong gate, I checked the departure board again and it still said check gate, but to my surprise boarding was in full swing at our gate with about half of the passengers already on.

Out of curiosity I decided to wait right until the last-minute to board the plane and being one of the last on, the departure board only just changed to boarding at the very last-minute, which I found really strange, either way I started my walk to the jet bridge and snapped a picture of today’s aircraft.

Airbus A330-200
Registration: OO-SFY
Delivered : 26th May 2000 (16.4 Years old)

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As I arrived at the aircraft I was greeted with a warm welcome and instructed to turn left after crossing over the cabin.

Brussels airlines has a staggered seat mix layout on its Airbus A330’s.
You get some single throne seats in the mix and also doubles around the center section and also at the windows.

Here is the cabin layout per seat guru.

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I had selected seat 3K in advance and generally prefer the single seats as I like to be able to get up when I want and not have to step over the person in the Aisle, I also like to have a window seat.

Upon entering the cabin and being one of the last to board I was very surprised to see just seven people in the cabin, thinking that there must be a few more people coming, but they never did arrive and the business class cabin had just seven of the twenty-two seats taken.

Seat 3K is a great seat

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Upon sitting down the friendly crew came over almost in an instant to offer me something to drink.
I went with some champagne to start which was Laurent Perrier Brut which tasted pretty good

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 Whilst sipping on my champagne I took a good look around my throne seat

When in the sitting position there is a good amount of leg room in front of you to move you feet around,

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There is also a bottle of water provided and two sleeves to put your personal items.

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The IFE remote was a little dated, but it still worked well.

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The amenity kit was supplied by Mandarina Duck and was a nice bag to keep,

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Though the contents was a bit lacking and I found the actual amenity kit bag to be the only item I wanted to keep.

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There was also some complimentary noise cancelling headphones, but if you have your own it would definitely be better to use them.

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There was a nice feature on the air show map that showed your position at the airport before take off

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The seat itself was very comfortable and I had plenty of space either side of me to put items.
Shortly after checking out the seat the Captain came on to let us know that we would be in for a mostly smooth flight, but would have some turbulence over the normal area’s when crossing the Atlantic.

I have crossed the Atlantic many times and I’ve never been sure on where these exact areas are as it always seems to be different. For example on this trip the entire flight was incredibly smooth all the way across the Atlantic, we hit the real turbulence in the last hour of our flight coming into Canada, but more on that later.

I snapped a picture of the mostly empty cabin before we pushed back

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We pushed back just a few minutes behind schedule and had some scattered clouds over the airport.

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The safety video was rather entertaining and featured two birds flying and had some good animations to go along with it.

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We taxied quickly and soon had to make our final turn onto the active runway for take off.

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Take off was smooth and we just passed through a small cloud layer to begin with and had a few small chops.

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Just as we passed through the initial cloud layer we made a few course changes and just passed around the edge of a rather large cell which can be seen in the video, but we avoided it and continued to have a smooth climb.

About twenty minutes outside of Brussels the lunch time service started.
I took a good look over the menu, Brussels airlines did have a great selection of Belgian beer to try.

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I was then greeted and given a hot towel and asked what I would like to have for lunch today and my drink order was also taken again.

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I decided to go with another glass of champagne to accompany my appetizer

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 I definitely think that Brussels airlines really went overboard with the amount of cutlery they gave me, I had a pretty good selection to pick from

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The appetizer was ok, not the best dish I have ever had on an airplane, but it was ok.

Next up was my starter option and I had gone for the Asparagus salad

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The presentation of the salad was pretty poor, it look fairly dull and uninviting. I was not a big fan of the tiny shrimps so worked my way around them eating the asparagus and egg.

The side salad was also a bit disappointing with a lot of the salad leaves already turning brown and just being floppy.

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Next up I decided to try the lamb ravioli, for me this is not my typical ravioli filling, so I wanted to give it a try to see if it was any good.

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It was ok, the ravioli’s were a bit chewy and the lamb inside them was very dry, so I used most of the sauce and champagne to get through this meal

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I will point out that with the food just being average and nothing special, the crew on this flight were fantastic, they were attentive and chatty and made the flight really enjoyable, so in a way that made up for the food.

After finishing my main course and taking a break I had to try the cheese plate, Even at 38,000 FT and the senses gone, cheese is one of the things I can still taste and really enjoy when flying and there is always a nice red wine to wash it down with.

Today’s three cheeses were Waterloo, Chimay Vieux and Fourme d’Ambert (the last one being my favorite)

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I enjoyed two red wines with my cheese , I went with the Crasto (2014) and Cairanne (2013)
Both made the cheese plate very enjoyable

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After lunch service was completed I took another look around the mostly empty cabin and snapped a few pictures

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And even though I was not sleeping I checked out the bed in the flat-bed position. The seat itself is fine and comfortable enough, but the issue with the throne seats is the really restrictive leg room you get. You almost slide into the space as you put the seat down and can neither turn and pretty much can only be on your back

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At this point we started to just pass over the tip of Greenland,

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I decided to check out the entertainment and ended up watching a few episodes of Law & Order SVU which passed the time.

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I also enjoyed a few snacks during my TV watching time

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The next few hours passed by and the flight had been incredible smooth most of the way. With about one hour and twenty minutes remaining we started to hit some turbulence.

It was definitely clear air turbulence as the skies were blue and we were mostly being pushed sideways and not really having much of an up and down motion, more side to side which made me feel a little bit sick.

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This continued on for the next ten minutes or so and then it was time for our pre arrival snack, which was another salad.

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It was a Feta & Walnut salad and served with a side of fruit. It was served during the swaying and I was not hungry at this point so hardly ate any of it. Once again the salad was very floppy.

With about fifty minutes remaining of flight time the turbulence subsided and we had a smooth rest of our flight.

Before landing the crew came around and thanked everyone for flying with Brussels airlines and gave us all a large box of Belgian chocolates which I though was a great touch.

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Overall this eight out flight was pretty enjoyable, and the crew were very friendly and attentive. Apart from the dull food I would definitely consider flying Brussels airlines again and really enjoyed my flight.

The A330’s are showing their age now and I know that in the next few years they will start to replace them with more modern aircraft.

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