Travel tips | Travel advice

Everything you need to know when flying with Brussels Airlines

2 Feb 2020 | Travel Advice, Travel tips

As you probably know by now, I am working for Brussels Airlines for over four years. My job as a Care Team Officer is very varied and makes every day a new adventure. People often ask me if I like my job or if I don’t just have to communicate bad news.

True, by now I can indeed write books about what can go wrong at an airport because it is such a complex operation and of course there are days where our work is not always easy, but fortunately these days do not outweigh the days where it is such a pleasure to work. By the way, I have the nicest colleagues who support each other through thick and thin!

Some useful facts that I would like to share with you:

The check-in counters of Brussels airlines are located in rows 1, 2 and 3 in the departure hall of Brussels Airport, Zaventem. The first row is only used in the morning for checking in to one of our African destinations, with exception of destinations in Morocco which are handled together with our European flights.

Are you traveling to Africa with Brussels Airlines? Some tips:

The counters open at 7 am and I recommend to be at the airport three hours before departure.

Depending on your ticket and if you travel in economy class, you are entitled to 1 or 2 pieces of luggage, each with an individual weight of max 23 kg. Are you traveling in business class? Then you are entitled to two pieces of baggage, each not exceeding max 32kg.

  • Weigh your baggage at home to avoid unpleasant surprises at check in. You do not want to repack in the airport or worse, having to pay for extra kilos.

  • Lock your luggage, or have it packed with shrink film at the airport.

  • Check in online! You can check in online 24 hours before departure so you can be sure of a good seat on your long-haul flight.

  •  Check your documents! Is your passport still valid? Do you have the necessary visas?

  • Also always check in advance if you had all necessary vaccinations for your travel destination.

On row 2 you can go to all European destinations if you are traveling with children or require assistance. Our self-check in counters for all passengers who have purchased check & go or light & relax tickets are also on this row. 

In row 3 are the check-in counters for passengers flying to the USA. Passengers with a Flex and Fast ticket or a business class ticket can also check in on this row. 

Are you traveling to the United States or Canada?

The check in counters on row 3 open at 7 am and again, I recommend that you arrive at the airport three hours in advance.

  • Check whether your passport is still valid and apply for your Esta or Eta in time.

  • Do you have SSSS on your boarding pass? This means that you can expect an extra security check at the gate. On every flight to the States, 30 passengers are randomly selected for this extra check, following the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York.

General luggage info:

  • You can take a maximum of five pieces of checked in bags with you. Obviously, you can reserve and pay for any extra piece in advance through the website or in person at the airport.

  •  Did you know that any type of luggage can never weigh more than 32kg in Zaventem? This is a general rule at the airport and is respected by every airline. This is mainly to support the baggage handlers because they have to carry the baggage and put it on the plane manually. Anything that weighs more than 32kg must be requested in advance and will be handled by our cargo department.

  • Are you traveling with special sport equipment such as a bicycle or a golf bag. Make sure to always book this in advance together with your ticket.

  • If you travel with children, ask to check in your stroller for free. Did you know, when holding a ticket including luggage, that you can check in a buggy and a car seat on top of your authorized luggage for free at Brussels Airlines? Or, if you need your stroller to cruise through the airport, you can just drop it off in front of the plane entrance, and it will be put back there when you arrive at destination. The cabin crew will even give your kids a little toy to play with on board.

  • Also skis and ski helmets can be checked in for free at Brussels Airlines, when holding a ticket including luggage

at what time do i need to be at the airport

A question often asked, at times accompanied with some frustrations. Everything depends on your destination and the period in which you travel.

Are you traveling to a destination in Europe? Then come to the airport two hours in advance.

Are you traveling outside of Europe?Then I advise you to be at the airport 3 hours in advance. You will have an extra security check for your passport and you never know how busy it is at the airport that day.

Do you dream of traveling in Business class?

Often there are special promotions on the day of departure to upgrade your ticket to Business class. Request this information when checking in at the check in desks.

Traveling with assistance?

There may be several reasons why you need assistance when you travel:

  • First and foremost, there are often disabled people with disabilities who need assistance. But you can also unexpectedly break a bone and find yourself suddenly in need of assistance. Older people who are not able to walk well can also request assistance.

  • Don’t be embarrassed when you need assistance as for most of the airport staff, this is the most normal thing in the world and they will be happy to help you. Please note, only request assistance if you need it! If, as a parent, you travel alone with for example three children, then you are not entitled to assistance solely because you cannot carry your hand luggage and keep an eye on your three children at the same time. We can, however, in consultation with a supervisor, have your hand luggage checked in so that you have your hands free for your children.

  • Assistance is free and is best requested in advance through our website when you book your ticket. If you need unexpected assistance, it is best to call the airline as soon as possible to report this.

General ticket information:

  • You can buy tickets at the airport, but keep in mind that these tickets are usually not the cheapest  – the best price you can always find on the website of the airline

  • Preferably, pay a little more for a ticket that can be changed, because you never know what can happen. For example, you can have traffic problems and arrive late at the airport

  • Did you know that at Brussels Airlines, when holding a ticket that includes luggage, you can always take an earlier flight if, for example, you are earlier than expected out off a meeting?

Star Alliance Lounges at Brussels Airport

My dear sister also works for Brussels Airlines as a lounge host. And in what kind of lounge … By now I have seen a lot of lounges in the world and I can proudly say that “The Loft” is one of the most beautiful and modern lounges in Europe.

The Loft has been nominated for reason for The World Travel Awards for Europe’s Leading Airport Lounge 2019!

  • Opening hours: daily from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Location: Across gate A42
  • Experience a taste of Belgium: premium coffee by Rombouts, pull your own draft beer by AB Inbev or treat yourself to the finest Belgian chocolates by Neuhaus
  • HON circle members even have their own Exclusive VIP area

Access policy for the Loft

Business Class / Bizz&Class: Yes, when departing in Business / Bizz&Class class on Brussels Airlines operated flights the same day or on Star Alliance member operated flights.

HON Circle members : Yes, when departing on Brussels Airlines operated flights the same day or on Star Alliance member operated flight, irrespective of the booking class. Passengers are required to present a valid boarding pass as well as a valid Frequent Traveller Card when entering the lounge. One companion + spouse / partner + children under the age of 18. 

Senator members: Yes, when departing on Brussels Airlines operated flights the same day or on Star Alliance member operated flights, irrespective of the booking class. One companion + spouse / partner + children under the age of 18.

Frequent Traveller: Yes, when departing on Brussels Airlines operated flights the same day or on Star Alliance member operated flights, irrespective of the booking class (only in Brussels Airport)

STAR Alliance Gold: Yes, when departing on Brussels Airlines operated flights the same day or on Star Alliance member operated flights, irrespective of the booking class + 1 companion.

Flex&Fast / Flex (for flights between Europe and Africa): Against a fee of €29. Payment by credit card only and non-refundable.

Do you have any further questions about this article? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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  1. James musk

    I’m travelling economy with BrussellsAir later inthe year. I have an economy ticket . Alicante-Brussells-Prague On my return flight I have a 4 1/2hour wait. Can I pay extra to use the star Alliance lounge ?

    • Stéphanie Beyens

      Hi James, you can buy access against a fee of €39 and only during off peak moments, maximum 3 hours before departure. Payment by credit card only. Fingers crossed that we will be able to travel again later this year!


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