Review: Air Dolomiti Economy Class, Munich-Barcelona (Embraer E195)

Review: Air Dolomiti Economy Class, Munich-Barcelona (Embraer E195)

Like I wrote in my previous post, a cancellation by SAS had me rerouted on Lufthansa and Air Dolomiti through Munich to Barcelona.

It also had me downgraded from SAS Plus to Economy after the rebooking, for which I ended with a compensation of 400 EUR for the cancellation (or 40000 Eurobonus points, which I chose, since I believe I can get plenty more than 400 euros out of value from those) and 300 euros for the downgrade. Not bad for a ticket that cost less than 150 euros to begin with.

The boarding process

After the visit in the Lufthansa Senator lounge, I was actually hoping for a small delay to the Air Dolomiti flight, as we needed to be more than three hours delayed for SAS not to be able to halve our compensation.

We boarded through a bus gate, onto a completely full plane, where quite a few of the passengers obviously were connecting from Oslo.

We ended up sitting in the airplane for about 45 minutes after boarding, which brought us nicely over the delay threshold, which the captain blamed on thunderstorms around Barcelona.

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The Embraer E195 that Air Dolomiti operates, sometimes on its own and sometimes for Lufthansa.

The aircraft

Air Dolomiti is an Italian wholly-owned subsidiary of Lufthansa, and operates some regional flights for the parent company as well, like our flight to Barcelona.

The airplane on our two hour hop was an Embraer E195 jet with a 2-2 configuration. This exact plane (I-ADJV) had Star Alliance livery, and was the last E195 to be added to the Air Dolomiti fleet.

It was far from new, however, having flown for Augsburg Airways and Lufthansa before.

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In-flight entertainment through the wifi system. 

2-2 usually makes for a fairly comfortable flight, especially if you are travelling with a partner, but the low ceiling can be a bit of a hassle if you are taller than the normal person. Individual air nozzles for each seat is nice, however.

The Air Dolomiti E195 has 32 rows of seats, where the three rows in the front of the aircraft are hidden behind a curtain and designated as Business class.

If you are flying Air Dolomiti itself, these seats cost 79 euros each (a so-called Emotion fare), in addition to the base fare, and includes business lounge access. They also include a free seat next to you, but that didn’t seem to be the case on this flight.

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Air Dolomiti pre-packaged towel.

The service

While we were waiting to take off, the crew served water. And not just any kind of water: San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna are not exactly cheap brands, and gave me a good feeling about the rest of the service. I was even willing to let slide that the flight attendant ran out right at my seat, and promised to come back with more. He never did.

After takeoff the crew offered pre-packaged towels, and then a turkey or vegetarian sandwich along with some coconut filled bisquits. They also offered complimentary drinks, including wine and beer.

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Air Dolomiti Economy Class snack. 

The white wine was a tad too sweet for my liking, but it was nice to have the opportunity anyway. And having it served in a proper glassware glass was a nice touch.

Other options were coffee, soft drinks, water and juices, but they only served drinks once, which I found a bit stingy. Legroom was fine for a regional flight, and the seats were also comfortable enough. I didn’t make use of the restrooms.

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Bonus points for lemon with my soft drink.

The crew were professional without being overly friendly, like usually is the case in Europe. There were also in-flight entertainment available through a web portal, but I didn’t make use of it.

According to the Air Dolomiti website, the IFE system contains newspapers, music and games, but seemingly no TV or movies.

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Air Dolomiti drinks and wine. The latter in proper glassware! 

The verdict

We landed in Barcelona about 45 minutes after the scheduled time, and I must say, after all the cost-cutting that has been going on with all the major airlines, a little added service certainly goes a long way.

Air Dolomiti reminded me a bit of Bangkok Airways, which call themselves “Asia’s boutique airline”. Even though the meal wasn’t hot and there was only one drinks service, I had a great time on Air Dolomiti.

I definitely wouldn’t hesitate to fly them again if the price was right.

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Approaching Barcelona on Air Dolomiti for Lufthansa.

All kinds of travel rates Air Dolomiti Economy Class Munich – Barcelona 4 out of 5.

I liked: Complimentary food and drinks even in Economy, 2-2 config is nice for travelling with a partner.

I disliked: The small E195 aircraft can feel somewhat cramped, some wear and tear on the seats.

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