OSLO, RIGA & BERLIN – After a successful weekend of plane spotting in Norway’s capital Oslo, I flew back home to Berlin with Airbaltic.
I choose to fly back to Berlin with Airbaltic via Riga, as the definite highlight for me was the last leg of this trip from Riga to Berlin, I’ll publish this trip report first.
While European business class is usually nothing too exciting, the combination of a carrier that sports the best European business class (in my opinion) with the national carrier of Ukraine during times of war, I was very excited to be on board and to experience the service flow.
I arrived in Riga at 10 am in the morning from Oslo and quickly made my way to the city with a Bolt to check out Riga, which was high on my bucket list. I highly suggest that if you have a long layover, as the lounge is nothing special.
As I arrived back at the airport, I went straight to the Airbaltic check-in area, which was not to be missed.
The business class area had the same size as the economy check-in area and had awesome staff to take care of you.
Check-in was a breeze, and I immediately headed through security.
Using the fast lane, I was in the lounge within no time. While Riga is Airbaltics Hub, they do not have their own lounge, which I found very disappointing.
I went to the contract lounge offered to business class passengers on Airbaltic and grabbed champagne as well as some snacks before heading to the gate.
The gate area was very crowded, and soon after my arrival, the announcements to check in hand luggage started. I was expecting the flight to be delayed as the economy cabin was fully booked, and we’d already gone past the scheduled boarding time.
The ground staff soon started boarding, with priority boarding not existing. I boarded first non less and finally saw the Ukraine International Airlines 737-900 sitting on the tarmac, which was a highlight for me. I never thought I’ll be traveling on a UIA 737-900 in May 2022, what a blast this would be!
I boarded the aircraft and was greeted by two very welcoming and friendly flight attendants, which to my surprise, were wearing a UIA and an Airbaltic uniform.
It was interesting to see a Mixed Crew on a wet-lease flight.
I soon settled into my seat 2A for the ride to Berlin. My seat was a Standard economy seat featuring an empty middle seat. I was happy to see that Seat 1A is missing and enjoyed my infinite legroom.
While seat 2A had the perk of infinite legroom, it was missing a tray table. But since I was the only passenger in the cabin, I could eat wherever I wanted.
Soon after boarding, I was served a menu and a choice of welcome drinks, where I went with an orange juice.
We soon started our taxi to the runway and took off for a short flight to Berlin. Minutes after takeoff, two crew members came to me and asked for my drink choice. I went with champagne and a gin tonic, my go-to choice on every flight upfront!
With the drink service kicking off, I was soon served my meal. There was no choice of main courses available, which didn’t bother me. The appetizer, salted salmon had an intense taste and was nicely presented.
The main course, slow-cooked chicken with potatoes, grilled vegetables, and stew sauce, was also very good.
While the chicken could’ve been a bigger portion, it was the highlight of the meal. It was juicy and had a spicy crust, combined, making it the best chicken I’ve had in the skies.
While the sides haven’t been too special, they perfectly finished the meal. The pineapple coconut cake for dessert was interesting but very tasty. 10/10 for the meal service!
After the meal service, I had a little chat with the crew about the war in Ukraine and how happy they were to still fly. They all had moving stories about their time in Ukraine during the war and their search for refuge in Europe.
It was very moving to see how happy the crew was to be back in the air, though this didn’t last long as this return flight was the last one UIA operated for Airbaltic.
Conclusion: Airbaltic is my favorite airline to fly business class within Europe! The service onboard is just unbeatable. The crew went over the top to fulfill my needs, and the food was awesome. I couldn’t be happier with the flight. Great work, Airbaltic!