SABENA

Profile picture for user Comet

Member for

20 years

Posts: 1,940

Are there any fans of SABENA out there, I seem to read nothing but insults about them, yet I think they are great - very amusing cabin crew (especially on the Regional Jets) and they serve Belgian beer. Has anyone else had any good experiences with them?

Original post

RE: SABENA

I would just like to say that Sabena is one of the sharpest looking airlines out there. There aren't many airlines that have pulled off the white aircraft body and colored logo scheme, and Sabena is one airline that has a tasteful new color scheme.

RE: SABENA

....after being overhauled by Swissair and dumping one of the most dismal schemes ever with the visually poor "shadow" logo and more stickers than a promotional can of beans in a supermarket.

RE: SABENA

Being a Belgian and having flown more than fifty times with Sabena over the three years, I guess I have some feeling on how good or how bad this carrier is.
To be quiet frankly, it isn't much different from Lufthansa, Air France, BA or any other national carrier. Of course each of them has its own personal touches and it is depending on every passengers own taste what they prefer and what not.
Things I like with Sabena is there good selection of champagne and wine in business class. Food is generally good as well in business as in economy class.
And indeed, the current paint scheme is much more striking then the previous one.
But when it comes down to who should take credit for the big improvements Sabena has seen over the past years I'm afraid that we Belgians can't take much credit for it. We should turn to our Swiss friends for that. I could go in details on just how they managed to turn Sabena in what it is today, but that's maybe outside the scope of this discussion.
Having said all of that, I must admit that my personel favourite airline is British Midland. Great staff, excellent food and service, good performance and when they have a delay they don't lie to you, they just say what's happened and what they are doing. Also the captain (or first officer) still addresses the passengers during flight. That are two things Sabena can improve on. You hardly ever have the cockpit crew informing the passengers on essentials like cruise level, speed, route flown, ... and the reasons they give for delays are always either non-explaining or else highly doubtful.

Member for

20 years

Posts: 21

RE: SABENA

I frequently fly with Sabena from London to the USA and Canada. Although this entails a transit in Brussels, I consider this to be a small inconvenience for the excellent service ( and beer)

The main fault with Sabena is that they use Virgin Express to fly passengers from London Heathrow to Brussels to connect with onward flights. The service and food on Virgin Express is awful and they now rate as one of my worst airlines. Also, many of the 737's are old and the seats uncomfortable.

Sabena on the other hand has aquired new A330s in which the seating and inflight entertainment is excellent.

Perhaps, Airliner World will write a report on Sabena - this might help to persuade other people that Sabena is not as bad as they are portrayed.

Profile picture for user keltic

Member for

20 years

Posts: 1,709

RE: SABENA

I have never flown Sabena, but I find the new colours really smart and the crew uniform quite elegant and discerning.

Profile picture for user Comet

Member for

20 years

Posts: 1,940

RE: SABENA

To go into more detail about this amazing airline - I genuinely enjoyed their Avro RJ, even if a little cramped. The steward on board went out of his way to welcome everyone, and intended to make everyone's flight as enjoyable as possible. He was more like a stand-up comedian than a cabin attendant, and even had the stewardess in fits of hysterics as she was about to run through the safety demonstration. He told jokes in five languages and his English was so perfect, he hardly had a trace of a foreign accent.
The pilot on the return leg (this time a 737-500) also had us in hysterics, but for different reasons. We were delayed over an hour due to missing passengers, the ground crew giving a wrong head count and then a missed take off slot (he thought nothing of telling us how angry Brussels Control were with the airline). Then he told us the company were to be "congratulated for their creativity in securing us a take off slot", an unusual way to put it! The on board food seemed fresher than most in-flight meals I've had, even though it was only sandwiches, and the cabin crew were polite and efficient.
As for the colours, I prefer the new livery with the blue tail, I'm not a fan of all white fuselages, I think a touch of blue works wonders.