Airline Review: Air Baltic (regional Economy)

Air Baltic is officially known as low-cost carrier. However, the airline is neither really cheap nor bad. We had the pleasure to try Air Baltic on four flights in the Bombardier Dash Q-400 and were quite impressed on some flights, while others were less pleasant. A great feature is the possibility to pre-order large meals for a fee. Flying low-cost with a Business Class feeling!

Check out our rating of Air Baltic (regional Economy)!

Air Baltic was our choice for our flights to Vilnius and Riga, the hub of Air Baltic. While three out of four flights were almost fully booked, we were surprised by sharing the whole Bombardier Dash Q-400 with just a single other passenger on our flight from Riga to Vilnius.

  • Airplane: Bombardier Dash Q-400
  • Cabin Class: Economy
  • Daytime: Morning / Evening
  • Food: Pre-ordered meal (Breakfast & Dinner)
  • Seat Pitch: 29 Inch (74 Centimeter)
  • Seat Width: 17 Inch (43 Centimeter)

Something very rare, especially when considering that the Air Baltic Dash Q-400 got 76 seats in total. However, our comfort on board did rarely change due to the low occupancy, making all our flights comparable.

Solid seating with some noise

Something that’s really low-cost is the process of seat selection when flying Air Baltic. You may choose to pay for a seat assignment while booking or any time per-flight.

Air Baltic Seating

Seating configuration in the Air Baltic Dash Q-400

However, if you don’t, you are not even able to choose a seat when checking in. Instead, you are assigned one at some place in the airplane.

Air Baltic Seating

There is a curtain that is seperating Business and Economy Class

At least, people flying together are seated next to each other which meant that we were not bothered by that process of seat selection.

Air Baltic Seating

Seat Pitch in Economy Class

Seating itself is nothing special. We did neither feel very uncomfortable with the quite small seat pitch nor with the small seats.

Air Baltic Seating

The seat width is a little small

The leather seats are clean and in a good shape while being comfortable enough for the short flights Air Baltic operates with the Bombardier Dash Q-400 planes.

The only thing you should be aware of is the fact that the airplane is quite noisy, especially when sitting in the front.

Special dining when flying Air Baltic

On two of our four flights, we decided to pre-order from the extensive menu Air Baltic offers on all regional flights. My choices out of more than 100 dishes offered were the “Sunny Morning Breakfast” and the “Chicken Schnitzel”.

You should be aware that Air Baltic offers no food and no drinks for free, so if you don’t pre-order, you have to deal with the limited menu offered on board. The prices for pre-ordered meals as well as the food purchasable on board are quite fair though.

Air Baltic Meal

Sunny Morning Breakfast with granola, hot bananas, yogurt and a croissant

Talking of the quality, I have to admit that the Sunny Morning Breakfast was a very positive surprise.

I’m not really a breakfast person, but this meal really made me smile on this Saturday morning. Hot bananas and granola served with the porridge style main dish made this meal a real joy.

Air Baltic Meal

The Chicken Schnitzel with salad and chocolate cake in detail

The Chicken Schnitzel which was served with a salad without any dressing in contrast was boring and tasteless. Only the little chocolate cake was delicious.

No entertainment on board

Even though the prices, especially when departing from Germany, are not really low-cost, this motto can be seen when talking of entertainment.

Air Baltic Entertainment

Entertainment offered on board Air Baltic

While most airlines at least offer an onboard magazine, Air Baltic just had the price lists for inflight shopping and dining available. Neither newspapers nor magazines were offered when boarding. In the Dash Q-400 airplanes there is also no television.

Average experience flying Air Baltic

Before we were boarding our four flights, we expected the worst as we were told horror stories of Air Baltic over and over again. I have to admit that flying Air Baltic was a positive surprise.

Air Baltic Restrooms

The restrooms in the planes were small, but clean

The service was not very warmly, but quite efficient. The pre-ordered breakfast was an absolutely positive surprise, while the dinner on the other hand was totally disappointing. The comfort aboard is comparable to what other European airlines offer on regional flights, while the entertainment is not existing.

Air Baltic Restrooms

In contrast to other operators of the Dash Q-400, Air Baltic offers soap and running water

Something strange for us was not having the possibility to choose a seat on our own. If you can deal with these aspects of flying low-cost, Air Baltic definitely isn’t a bad choice!

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5 Comments on “Airline Review: Air Baltic (regional Economy)”

  1. I’m finding it’s more and more about expectations. Having an average experience on a flight where you expected the worst results in good feelings. Having an average experience where one expected something more leaves a bad taste (or at least that was my experience, using Aer Lingus as an example).

    • True words. Due to that, we always try to review airlines / hotels without expectations at all. With Air Baltic for example, I didn’t really get why the carrier is even branded a low-cost carrier. There are not many differences to most modern price system of “flagship” carriers…

    • I heard about that one before flying, too. Interestingly, there was none in my or Sabrinas seat pocket on our flights. Maybe they were exchanging it at the very moment.

      Talking about the service: You are right. Compared to other airlines in Eastern Europe, they offer quite a decent experience!

  2. Pingback: Airline Rating: Air Baltic (regional Economy) | travelux

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