[Trip report] Brussels-Alicante on AirExplore 737-800 operating for TUIfly

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Early wake-up call for a flight departing at 06:00. Travelling with hand baggage only and having downloaded my boarding pass on my phone, I proceeded immediately to the Baggage and body screening in the Connector. What a crowd at 05:00 am! But fortunately, it moved swiftly.

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My flight: TB3357 to Alicante
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The crowd queueing in the Connector at 5am!

From the day before, I knew through the BRU app that the plane would be unusual: OM-HEX. I looked it up and realised that it is a 15-year old AirExplore Boeing 737-800, all white with a red TUI marking. And indeed, at gate A65:

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Pre-boarding by row
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AirExplore B738 reg. OM-HEX

Flight: TUI Airlines Belgium TB3357
Date: 05 SEP 2018
Aircraft: AirExplore Boeing 737-800 reg. OM-HEX
From-To: Brussels – Alicante (BRU-ALC)
Seat: 5F
Scheduled/Effective Time of Departure: 06:00/06:14 (GMT+2)
Scheduled/Effective Time of Arrival: 08:25/08:28 (GMT+2)
Scheduled/Effective Duration of the flight: 2 hr 25 min/2 hr 14 min

Nice window seat 5F, with sufficient legroom, booked in advance. The load factor was close to 100%. As it was a wet-leased flight, the cockpit was Slovakian, and the cabin crew consisted of two Slovakians and three Belgian flight attendants. And the safety card instructions were in Slovakian first.

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Safety instructions: Slovakian first!

Slightly delayed push-back and take-off from the usual 25R. Due to the early departure, I didn’t have breakfast yet and I was happy to have pre-ordered a meal for 10€. It was served after half an hour and consisted of two (or more) bread rolls with butter, strawberry jam, camembert cheese, a yoghurt with fruit and a bowl of melon. With a drink: coffee for me. All served with a smile.

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Pre-ordered breakfast

The flight was without problems and soon it was time to land at Alicante-Elche, an airport filled mainly with low-cost and charter airlines.

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Descending to Alicante-Elche airport
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Taxiing to the gate at Alicante

Landing on the single runway (10). On-time arrival and very soon I was out of the (rather small) airport.

All in all, a nice flight. Now a full day in Alicante…

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Itinerary TB3357

All pictures © André Orban

Appeared first @ https://www.aviation24.be/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=64333

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