Re: [78attendees] Brussels Airport Experiences?

Randall Gellens <> Tue, 03 August 2010 01:27 UTC

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Date: Mon, 2 Aug 2010 16:37:45 -0700
To: Ben Campbell <>, "" <>
From: Randall Gellens <>
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Subject: Re: [78attendees] Brussels Airport Experiences?
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At 11:02 PM +0200 8/2/10, Ben Campbell wrote:

>  I remember seeing one negative comment about 
> the lead time needed flying out of BRU. Does 
> anyone else have first hand reports from last 
> week? I'm particularly interested in 
> experiences flying back to the States on 
> American Airlines.

I flew from BRU-LHR on BA at 17:20, connecting 
(after an overnight) to LHR-LAX-SAN on AA.  I 
took the 13:09 train from Maastricht, arriving in 
BRU about 15:00.

Following the signs from the train station to the 
departure hall, one arrives in the tour operator 
check-in area (Thomas Cook airlines, and others 
I'd never heard of) which was quite crowded. 
Walking to the other check-in area, it had 
"regular" airlines and was also crowded.  While 
the lines for an agent were quite long, with 
seemingly every passenger pushing a cart loaded 
with four or five massive suitcases, the BA 
check-in kiosk wasn't crowded, and issued my 
boarding passes, including those for the next 
days' flights.

As usual, time in the security line depends a lot 
on those in line ahead.  With the summer tourist 
season going strong, the line was filled with 
people who are not used to flying, and this can 
take a while.  Still, it took me less than 10 
minutes to get my boarding pass, and I was passed 
security and passport control 30 minutes after I 
arrived.  I did not encounter a security checker 
prior to getting my boarding pass.

The BA flight to LHR was oversold in coach, but 
only half-full in business, even after processing 
at least one op-up (he boarded ahead of me which 
is how I know).  The AA flight LHR-LAX was 
massively oversold, with people being rolled 
forward from coach to business, and from business 
to first.  The flight went out with every seat 
full, and about 90 minutes late due to a 
mechanical issue.

To my surprise, customs and security at LAX were 
not bad.  Usually, on a summer weekend LAX T4 has 
massive lines, even for the priority security 
line, but I was lucky, and despite the late 
arrival of the aircraft, made my connection with 
plenty of time.

(The train from Li├Ęge-Guillemins to Brussels-Midi 
had a little drama; it seems the SNCB phone 
booking people had somehow given me a supplement 
fare but no underlying ticket for this segment; 
luckily, after 15 minutes of conferring, the 
conductors decided that it was obviously an SNCB 
error, and let me ride.)

(I'm sorry to hear you are flying from BRU on AA, 
as I assume that means a 757 to JFK.  Not my 
favorite for aircraft, route, connecting airport, 
or flight time, although it is a day flight on 
the return, not a red-eye.)

Randall Gellens
Opinions are personal;    facts are suspect;    I speak for myself only
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