Rumble: SN plus VIRGIN equals ABORTION?

Well, the first thing Brussels Airlines did, was to piss off the aircrew by implementing new work schedules without consulting the crew. So the first days, they did several actions, barely avoiding a strike. Now they threaten to actually go on strike. I think there is one coming in the next days. So hey, it seems things did not get much better!

So what did my first hand expert testing of the new airline come up with?Well, I did not want to test the quality of Brussels Airlines.. (imagine a small high pitched voice with corner of the lips curled down and a real real sad face). I merely wanted to book a ticket with my frequent traveler miles!! Boohoo… And I couldn’t Boohhoooo… (hand me a hanky!).

Booking using miles was a breeze at the time of SN, but boy, on the new Privilege website (the frequent flyer program of SN, now Brussels), it seemed EITHER they hid the booking feature real well, or it was not possible anymore to book flight online with miles…

No problem, I thought, I will call them. The number I found on the web was a paying number (charging 0.75 euro per minute), but they also gave a Belgian non-paying number to dial from abroad. I tried that one, and after two minutes of answering multiple choices (questions and options posed by a lady who sounded they were holding a gun to her head or had taken her children hostage), I was put on hold. And on hold. And on hold… Encouraged to remain on line as “I was to be attended to real soon now!” I gave up after 30 minutes. I tried again, and same thing. (I guess those 60 minutes on the paying number would have cost me 45 Euro, about a third of the price for a ticket.. Ah.. this is how they try to reduce the prices of the tickets! (I wish!)

I tried to find other numbers to book with miles via the phone. No go. Old numbers did not work anymore neither..

Hmm.. ok, I thought, I will book a paid ticket then. I went back online. They have a new webpage since the merger.. I booked destination, date, got the price and got… stuck… No way to go onto the last page to pay for the ticket. “OK”, I thought, “Bad luck, let’s try again!”. But same thing. And again…

So… I tried the normal booking telephone number… Got through in a few seconds, no questions asked, and the guy booked me a ticket in two minutes. Paid of course.

Oh, and the price was EUR152.99, about 30-50% more than what I used to pay with either Virgin or SN !

So I wrote them an email (
Customer.Relations(at) and Privilege(at) ) stating how un-impressed I was. Giving my phone number, and stating I was going to publish my opinion and their answer on the Net.

I am still waiting for their answer.

At this point, my impression is: SN Brussels and Virgin Express? They ‘d better had an abortion than giving birth to Brussels Airlines… Now we have one Virgin less in the world and one more average airline…

I write this just as I got off the plane. Despite my rumbling on the problems to book a ticket, the actual check-in was a breeze, as it always was. Despite the fact I booked a low-fare ticket, they did not mind my luggage was 8 kg overweight, and that I had two pieces of hand luggage (each more than 6 kg) rather than the allowed one piece.
So maybe, just maybe, we’re in for a good thing… Some babies are a pain as newborns, but grow up to be loveable individuals… Maybe also so with Brussels Airlines?


vagabondblogger 02 May, 2007 19:42  

As my neighbor said about raising kids, "It doesn't get any easier, it just gets different." And it's true.

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