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Brussels Airlines Reviews
Brussels-Vilnius (round trip) NO WAY! I missed the flight to Vilnius and on the way back I discovered my flight back to Brussels was consequently cancelled. This without any communication and no refund. I discovered it in front of check in Vilnius-Brussels that my seat was sold to somebody else. This cost me a lot of money to buy another ticket and a night in the airport. Needless to say, I have tried to contact the company but never answered the phone. Maybe because it was Sunday?? NEVER AGAIN!!
"When boarding a Brussels Airlines, please leave you luggage unattended, at home."
SN Brussels Airlines is a major passenger carrier on Brussels International Airport. Founded in 2002 to take over the commercial void left behind by Sabena dissolution, it is now part of the Lufthansa Group.
Once you get to the bottom of this page you might see the point in avoiding them, but if you fly around Europe as much as we do, you will just be just as surprised as we were to find yourself on board of a low cost carrier after you got Lufthansa tickets.
Well, as long as you get safely to your destination, you wont mind, but it appears there’s a bit more to the trip picture than getting from A to B.
Like a whole 6 day vacation spent at the airport looking for your bags through a collection of tens of thousands of bags that belong to some other happy customers, draining your entire budget on buying clothes for the whole family (from now on, the underwear goes in our hand luggage), getting good feedback on your rights in Flemish, and in Flemish only (je hebt het recht om te zwijgen, blijf rustig en niet de moeite de goede mensen van vlaams-brabant met je waardeloze eigenschap problemen).
If you take all that with a big pack of frites-mayo, you got yourself a heart condition at 33. French fries can kill you, trust me.
First things first: how do you buy a Lufthansa ticket and end up on a SN Brussels Airlines flight? Lufthansa is not what you would call an expensive airline. It would rather qualify as reasonably priced, in line with all other major European operators. Brussels Airlines, however, is not.
The seats are the same, you get biscuits on the plane and their prices are the same as Lufthansa (at least in my case it obviously was). It’s just that, you don’t get priority boarding as a courtesy from the airline if you travel with babies (you get that regularly even on Ryanair or EasyJet, and you can’t get lower cost than that), your plane is separated by little cardboard signs on seats with the back of the plane reserved for passenger who got no rights and they do the “buy a bra or a perfume” act during the flight. Good thing they spared us the bra presentation, no need to scare the kids. Why not buy Lufthansa, fly Emirates?
As you can see, apart from bitching about it, I don’t have a good answer to that question. I guess it’s like stepping into dog shit, it’s life.
Then, just before boarding in Berlin, your luggage peacefully crawling on some conveyer belts from one plane to the other, they explain to you with most admirable sense of empathy that because of the strike of the Brussels luggage handler, Swissport, you wont be able to get your bags back.
When will I get your personal belongings back? We can not tell you, our most sincere apology, it is not our fault, may we offer you a glass of water?
Why wasn’t I told before checking in on my initial flight, so I could’ve done something about it? Your first carrier today wasn’t Brussels Airlines sir, it was Lufthansa, we are sorry, would you like a biscuit with the water?
Let the vacation begin!
Shitty mood on the plane. No happy faces around us. Nobody partied. Nobody bought anything and it made the flight attendants look a bit bitter. They must get a percentage of the sales on board, that would explain it, I’d be curious to know. Our kids got some sleep.
Got safely to the Brussels International Airport in Zaventem.
We got printouts with instructions to follow to get the luggage back. For free, not even a contribution for printer toner or paper. Not quite a low cost, after all. No phone number listed, just a fax and an e-mail address. Low cost. Generally I try to avoid becoming a customer of a company which does not clearly display a phone number to their customer service. But then again, I never planned to become the customer of Brussels Airlines, just like in real life, it happened.
You can look it up on their website – no customer service phone line. If you want to buy things, you get less than 30 seconds of waiting time. If you got a problem after your credit card was billed, you get an e-mail address which is able to deliver an automatic answer that no effort is spared to solve every problem of a valued customer. And then, radio silence. Well they are not the only ones, but they do fancy a Passenger Choice Awards nomination for 2013. Saw it on their very own website. Not funny.
Chaos in Zaventem. Everybody travels light. Folks from Swissport Union wearing green vests facing bravely the passengers telling them basically to bug off. We don’t care if it’s yours, we got it locked up and we’re gonna use your belongings to work less from now on. No need to raise your voice, I don’t speak French, we’re on the Flemish side, power to the working class! private property must be abolished! (well, for the time being, anyway). You send them to hell, and you feel like spitting at your feet as they did in the westerns but it’s not polite anymore, so you have to cross the highway to go speak some French. You just have to. Too much swearing left to do.
If you’re staying at your best friend’s house in Brussels, you can send them to hell in French and go take a shower, borrow toothbrushes (I swear, nobody has friends like ours. They got brand new tooth brushes waiting for you, you can borrow any clothes you like and they will stand patiently letting you complain for hours once they get home tired from work). If you don’t, well… bien venue en Belgique. Stay away from fries w/ mayo.
Strike ended after 5 days. 20 000 bags on the premises. Entire football fields covered with bags. Everything is under control sir.
Brussels Airport issued a statement asking the voyagers to wait calmly for their luggage to be sent to them. “no need to come to the airport”. We went. In fact my wife did, I was determined to follow the recommendations of the man in charge of the airport. I know, I don’t have any authority over my wife, she constantly insists on having her say on things. No control whatsoever.
Came back home a few hours later with a bag…
I mean, the big guy tells you not to go there, the Brussels Airlines website says that there’s no possibility to recover luggage on site, over 20000 bags stored in large, dimly lit hallways… and I married her years ago thinking that she was smart and beautiful, not even knowing that one day, she could go against all odds, and recover matter of factly 50 percent of our luggage, just like that.
Being the man in the house, I went in the next morning, the afternoon, the day after in the morning, and so on and came back frustrated each time.
First time I went I got screamed at by a guard who was not happy with the way we stood in line for luggage identification. I let it go for two rounds, the third time he took himself for an instruction officer I had to explain to him the reasons of our presence on the premises. He got the message.
First time they show you the area where SN Brussels Airlines identified luggage is located. They assured you that once they identified it as being a Brussels Airlines bag, you’d get it sent over to your home/hotel/boat/whatever. Yet, you found it seating peacefully on the floor.
The next day, the young man explains that it’s only natural that you couldn’t find it in the Brussels Airline section, your luggage tags have the LH code for Lufthansa, from you initial boarding, so it should be in the Lufthansa section. Next time, the new colleague sent me over directly to the Brussels Airlines area and left me at it. I went through the Lufthansa luggage, while at it, I was getting quite familiar with the place. Nothing.
Went to Brussels Airlines counter again. Told them their colleague in the luggage storage suggested I look through the unidentified luggage (without tags). Here they told me it didn’t exist. Everything was identified? No, but there’s no unidentified luggage.
And what happens if the tag on my bag got ripped off in the process as you colleague suggested? At that she asked me for a description of the contents of the bag. Well, If you insist. Nobody seemed to care the least. And everybody seamed to have his own particular idea about what was going on. And everybody insisted in assuring you that everything was under control.
Why am I so worked up over a piece of luggage?
Well, first of all because it’s mine, and I find it extremely frustrating to fight against a faceless entity in order to recover my property. That’s the principle of it and it weighs heavily given the fact that the whole action takes place right in the capital of Europe. Think about it.
Second, that bag contains, amongst my best pairs of CK underwear, one of my favourite pairs of shoes, my last 2 pairs of Converse (my ex femme de ménage got my other two pairs, go figure), a coupe of hundreds worth of make up arsenal of my wife etc. Well, it also contains the papers of my car. I know what you think, you should always carry the car papers in you hand luggage, but it was the whole service book, the owner book, the registration, a big heavy folder.
You don’t expect Swissport to mess things up on a regular day, do you. Well you should. I could probably get a copy of the registration from the authorities, but without the service book, I will loose a couple of thousands when I decide to sell the thing.
The last day, they didn’t even let me go in. The Flemish experience with the airport police, the cocky guard boy who would not return my passport. I got sent off to Brussels Airlines desk, order from the Brussels Airlines, mind you.
Over at the counter, the girls were annoyed, they wanted to sell tickets, I bothered them, it’s not their responsibility, no, they cannot call somebody who can give me information, they like to say "thank you for your purchase and have a nice flight", I should go back down and try to get past the Flemish guard and get to lost and found office.
Meanwhile, the telephone number they finally gave us, in order to be able to follow the progression of our baggage claim, didn’t actually exist in the system and every passenger noticed that. No other way to know what is going on. Hundreds of passengers on the premises, none of them happy. The Flemish guard smiled defiantly and kept saying something probably funny.
A couple of hours later my wife, exasperated by my inability, went nonchalantly back to the lost and found office past the security guard, no questions asked. No bag, but she did go through. Everything is organised, stay put and wait, we'll send it over, trust us.
Got back home. In France nobody heard about the Swissport strike. Had to tell the story a couple of times, over and over again. Everybody seems to agree that Belgium is a bad-bad destination and a couple of them jumped at the opportunity to tell me they told me so before going there. They actually did.
Brussels Airlines announced yesterday that all luggage was returned to their owners by their friendly company. They are determined to apply for the Passenger Choice Awards. The web page for baggage claim got shot down. The telephone number too. It’s a joke, there was never any telephone number.
I arrived at Entebbe airport 80 mins to take off time. I had already checked in online and had my boarding pass, and had only a small hand luggage. These people had closed the gate. We pleaded to talk to just one official of the Airlines, and were told they were busy and can't attend to us (their customers!!) We were told to go to their office which was upstairs, but on reaching there it was very closed. One guy later came by talking on phone, and walked out. We were told that a Brussels officer and had now gone to the office. We ran there and he was neither there, nor office open.
After about 30 minutes of fruitless haggling, I heard my name called out on PA to report to the boarding gate asap. And they seemed unbothered by that.
Later, one kind airport worker informed me that the flight was overbooked so we seemed to have fallen victim of the airline's greed.
It is ok to be late, and miss a flight, but the bad, careless and unkind attitude we witnessed with my other colleagues, about 6 others - was so unbelievably bad
We were boarded on to our plane to Copenhagen in Brussels (20-01-13). Then we sat in the chilly cabin of the plane for 5 and a half hour and waited before the plane finally departed.
No free drinks or food were served throughout the waiting period and very little information was given about the reason for the long delay (or for the reason why we couldn't have waited inside the airport terminal instead).
Once we finally departed and eventually landed in Copenhagen, the Cabin crew did not inform us as we left the plane, that they had forgot to put the entire luggage of all the passengers onto the plane (Even though they had more than 5 hours of waiting time to notice this mistake).
Naturally, everybody went to retrieve their luggage at the pickup area with the official information saying that our luggage would be arriving on the belts shortly.
Everybody ended up waiting almost another 2 hours for their luggage to arrive with another plane, with no official information given about the reason. People were in absolute confusion for the first hour until we managed to find out what was going by our self. Some had connecting transport and were in big trouble.
So, in conclusion: Brussels Airline is poorly managed even down to the most basic services, is being cheap with no free drink or coffee when customers are waiting for so long enclosed against their will in a cabin (right next to the terminal!) and they are not informing the customers of what is going on.
I would much rather pay a bit more for my plane ticket next time around to avoid using Brussels Airline.
You should do the same if you want to avoid having a similar experience and avoid being made a fool of.
We have chosen to pay higher price for the tickets comparing to other airlines because SN Brussels had the best time of arrival to final destination.After we have received our e-tickets, I called SN Brussels customer service in Brussels and asked, whether the connection time of 35 min. was enough. I have received positive response and SN Brussels staff told to me, that “35 minutes was a perfect connection”. The day of departure, just after boarding, but before the door was closed, I have contacted the cabin staff on the plane and explained that according to the scheduled departure time, our flight was already 20 min. delayed and I wasn´t sure that we could reach our connection flight in Brussels. In this case, we would not continue our trip and stay at home in order to change the tickets, because we had our little daughter together with us, as we were knew she would be stressed and overtired of a long night journey. SN Brussels cabin staff has ensured us that we will manage to get onboard on our next plane to the final destination and we will “of course get all necessary assistance” in Brussels in order to come to our final destination. One hour later, the same person told us that we cannot catch out next flight (???!!!) and we have to contact SN Brussels information desk. When we came out of the plane, we could see a man in SN Brussels uniform. We contacted him and explained the situation and the fact that the connecting airplane should departure in 20 minutes and if we got some assistance from Air Company, we could manage it. He was totally dismissive with the appearance of that he could not care less and just sent us to the Service Desk.
Unfortunately, us being late to catch the flight and experiencing anything but service minded behavior from the SN Brussels personnel is not the end of this very unfortunate experience. After we have found the Service Desk and stayed in line for almost 30 minutes, we have explained that since our daughter’s problems with flying in the night by means of several connections and because we have informed all about the circumstances, even before our first plane departed from Copenhagen, we would rather like to stay this night in Brussels and continue our trip next day.Staff at the Service Desk categorically rejected our proposal and told us that the only possibility we have is to fly from Brussels to Zurich and than from Zurich to our final destination , ETA 03.30(instead of 00.30)??!! They would not discuss anything with us and didn´t even listen. Every time, we asked these people, they begun to spoke French with the result then we couldn´t understand nothing at all!
We didn´t succeed to get their names either, as they told us they were not allowed to give their names to customers?! Our 17 years daughter should fly to the same destination some days later. and unfortunately by SN Brussels Airlines again.The whole awful story was repeated, only now even worse. Her flight from Copenhagen to Brussels was delayed too! Everything has been repeated, only with that difference that in her case the Service Center would send her to the hotel and let her continue the trip 24 hours later(?!!!!!) She asked of the possibility to continue her trip via some other European airports, so that she could arrive at her final destination on the agreed date, but NO, it wasn’t possible. Being in the very unhappy state of mind, she begun to cry and beg them to send her by any other airline and after 20 minutes, when she was close to lose her consciousness, the “good and service minded” SN Brussels staff has issued new tickets to CSA. She was sent to Prague and then to final destination. We have feared our trip back, but consoled ourselves with that we now have one hour between the flights. Nevertheless, our flight was delayed again (!) of some unknown reason and when we landed in Brussels, we was told by one Belgian passenger, who was sitting next to us that we would not make it due to sitting in the back of the flight, different terminals, pas control etc.
We run as fast as we could and our oldest daughter, who is suffering from asthmatic bronchitis, could not breathe, but when we arrived at the gate, the boarding was not even started even though the time was already overdue! Our chaotic and for our daughter painful run could be prevented, if the boarding staff bothered to inform of the next flight delay, when they anyway informed of the gates for those in transition.
After these two totally disastrous trips, the conclusion is that SN Brussels Airlines is perfectly aware of the fact that the possibility to manage a short connection of 35 minutes in the huge Brussels Airport, especially for destinations between European and non-European countries, is very small. Well knowingly that transit passengers from Copenhagen - it will not surprise if SN Brussels Airlines does the same trick with other connection airports - will be late for their SN Brussels flight, are selling more expensive SN Brussels tickets and are sending passengers from Brussels with by far cheaper airlines/connections, as it has been in our cases.
One can only establish from this that this very unfortunate arrangement significantly reduces the rights and terms of the passengers at the same time enriching the airline. We have of course complained to Brussels Airlines, but the answer was: 35 min is perfect connection etc. etc.
The conclusion is: personally I will never fly by SN Brussels Airlines in my entire life. I will inform the above mentioned all my family members and my business contacts and my best advise - don´t use them.The airline which is cheating people, doesn´t respect European values! As for the extremely low service level in SN Brussels… It cannot remain the same and I am sure that their customers will punish them by simply choosing another airline, which is not something the mother company Lufthansa will be happy about.
"Passengers get ill from In-flight Disinsection.. Brussels Air cares less"
I Flew United Airlines to Africa and it was awesome. Bruseels Airways however BEWARE!!!!! As I boarded the flight from Banjul Gambia, the cabin door closed and the flight attendents made the announcement "ladies and gentlemen due to health concerns we will be spraying the cabin, please remain seated"
Without any PRE NOTICE at time of purchasing tickets it was not made known. We were given NO CHOICE to NOT get sprayed! THE SPRAY IS PESTICIDES that are banned by the US, but other airlines use it! IN the 6 hour flight I became very ill.. When I returned home, I had to see the doctor. I called brussels airways, emailed them, emailed the PSA company in France to FIND THE CONTENTS so I could get TREATED, and EVERYONE BLEW ME OFF.. I found out 2 other ladies on the same flight were HOSPITALIZED...
I Called Poison control and they could do nothing. I contacted Channel 2 news to even WARN PEOPLE of these SPRAYS, and NOTHING...
THIS IS WRONG, WRONG, WRONG for an airline to spray not just 1 can but 4 cans of this spray without PREVIOUS KNOWLEDGE!!
I would love to pursue this, and I WILL NEVER FLY BRUSSELS AIRLINES AGAIN and TELL PEOPLE BEWARE...
Their service is horrible, flight attendants are short with answers and not polite, and they are the smallest tightest seats I have ever flown on!
"Possessions were stolen from baggage while in transit!"
Not only was my baggage delayed but further more, possessions - my camera was stolen from the suitcase while it was in transit! When I rang up Brussels Airlines about this, they were extremely unhelpful and didn't offer to look into it. They didn't even bother to apologize for the theft either! All I would advise here to all is if you wish to travel within Europe, you're better off with KLM, Lufthansa, Swiss Airlines and others as they have all been more reliable and have had no bad experiences with them concerning theft or tampering of peoples baggage.
"Beware the two tier economy class system"
I flew Brussels Airlines for the first time ever on the return journey from Warsaw. I had used Swiss on the way out. I did not realise that Brussels Airlines operate three classes - Business Class, Premier Economy and Economy. More than half the aircraft was Premier Economy where passengers were served alcoholic or soft drinks, food and had newspapers. Sitting in simple economy you are made to feel a bit unwanted as the attendants distribute newspapers and alcoholic drinks and food half way down the aisle then stop. This is not the case with Swiss or KLM so guess who my next return trip from Birmingham will be with. Brussels airport is also a bit of a nightmare. From Warsaw, a Schengen country, we landed at Terminal B and were bussed to Terminal A. From Terminal A transfer passengers to UK and people leaving the airport have to walk BACK to Terminal B via an underground tunnel. Transfer passengers then have to go through security again !!! Luckily it was quiet and our connect was nearly an hour late. They did however serve alcoholic drinks to the poor old economy passengers to compensate for the delay. If they treated all as premier economy passengers their numbers could rocket.
"if no other choice!"
I think Brussels Airlines is acting like a low cost airline but with normal fares. Poor legroom, no snack offered, average customer service, and expensive prices. Easyjet does the job much better with lower fares and actually is a low cost airline!!