This is a trip report about the outbound leg for my trip to Europe. I flew Brussels Airlines’ A330 out of Terminal 1 at JFK.
When I first arrived at the terminal via LIRR and the AirTrain (both of which were very convenient), the line for security was very long and stretched out past the beginning of the queue. After about 5 minutes more walkways were opened up so that all of the passengers could fit within the queue. Now what happened next suprised me a lot and I am curious as to whether of not anyone else has experienced this. Even though there was no TSA PreCheck line open, TSA agents instructed passengers to keep everything in their bags, even phones. Furthermore, shoes didn’t need to be taken off. I found this to be very bizarre, though on the bright side, once these lines opened up it only took another 5 minutes.
After security I was able to access the Korean Air Business Class Lounge with a Priority Pass Membership (free with Chase’s premium credit card). This is unrelated to the Brussels Airlines experience but the lounge was very nice.
The lounge offered a selection of soft drinks, alcohol, pastries, ramen noodles, crackers/oreos, assorted trail mix, and a specialty drink machine (coffee+premium coffee drinks). Korean Air has a partnership with Jeju Pure Water so the only water available was found in small containers.
Here is another picture of some of the items. The ramen noodles and pastries were excellent.
In addition to the food/drink selection, the lounge offered power outlets, magazine/newspapers, Wi-Fi, resting rooms (a private room with a lounge chair), showers, and of course bathrooms 😉.
The KAL lounge also offered some great views. I’ll share a few spotting photos here.
After about 2.5 hours in the lounge, I headed down to the gate (Gate 3) for boarding which was scheduled to start at 5:15pm, with the flight leaving at 6:15 pm.
Boarding started right on time, and was quick and efficient, although this efficiency resulted in sitting on the plane for about 45 minutes before we could pushback, even though the plane was on time. Better than a delay!
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get a picture of the aircraft.
A few weeks before the flights, I reserved an exit row seat for $69 one way (Seat 32E), which was well worth it. Here is a picture of the legroom. (I’m 6’2.)
Our departure was right on time. About 30-45 minutes later, the meal service began. I opted for the pasta over the chicken.
The food was good, nothing too special.
On to the IFE. The IFE had a decent selection of Movies, TV Shows, and Games. I opted to watch The Founder, which I would recommend to anyone. I also watched two episodes of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air towards the end of the flight.
The only complaint I had throughout the whole flight was the bright screen in front of me, that had no real purpose to be on after takeoff, as it just said “Welcome Aboard.” It made it a bit difficult to fall asleep, although I ended up getting about 1.5 hours of sleep.
About an hour before landing, a small breakfast container was given out to everyone, which I appreciated, as other airlines have cut out a second meal/snack (cough cough BA).
We landed (smoothly) 48 minutes early at 06:42 local time.
Customs took about 5 minutes including the line, which was appreciated.
Overall, I enjoyed the flight. Brussels Airlines is a solid airline that I would be glad to fly on again, and recommend to anyone.
Stay tuned for my next trip report, coming up on January 1st (LH). Thanks for reading!