It’s been more than a few years since I flew domestic in Denmark. Today’s flight to Sønderborg (SGD) turned out to be surprising in many ways – and, I haste to say, only in a good way (knocking on wood; I write this first part right after levelling out at flight altitude on the outbound flight). My immediate association was that this felt like flying may have been in its first heydays in the 50s or so.
Checkin times are mercifully short – 30 min before in CPH, 15 in SGD. I actually had to bring a roller that needed to be checked, normally – a load of gear for the talk with demonstrations that the trip was all about. Nothing that clashed with security but rather heavy for carry-on. But Alsie Express as a standard offers “Delivery at Aircraft” – as long as you can wheel the bag through security, you can get a tag at the gate and it’ll travel in the hold but be handed right back to you as you step off the aircraft. If you’re travelling with stuff you absolutely need with you, this is a perfect compromise – and an appreciated offering.
Often, you leave your bag on a cart of sorts and walk on the plane. Not here – two smiling ground crew gentlemen took care of the luggage – and put the bags directly into the hold. Nothing to make you feel more secure about your luggage travelling with you than actually seeing it being loaded!
Next surprise: we boarded by the rear door – and at the foot of the stairs, we were greeted by the pilot. I can count on very few fingers how many times that has happened in 20-some years of regular flying – and our captain today left me with a very sincere impression that he truly enjoyed his job. I commented to him that the matte-black plane looked mean and lean and he actually smiled as if it was his own.
The seating is free – but no need to rush as the seat pitch is more or less business class generous throughout the one-class cabin. A smiling cabin attendant handed out breakfast rolls as we boarded and – despite the short 30 minute flying time – actually managed to serve coffee on the way and clear it all away again, all with a pleasant glimt in her eye.
The captain – with a female pilot next to him on the flight deck, which (as I believe I have mentioned before) always makes me happy about general progress – told us that it’d be fine flying weather all across as soon as we got above the cloud cover. And it was.
On arrival in SGD – a few minutes ahead of schedule, even – deplaning was quick and easy, the stashed-away luggage apperared more or less immediately and I had time to check in for the afternoon flight before heading on.
The return flight in the afternoon? Pretty much rinse and repeat – with the addition of blue skies and sunshine. This captain, on top of the meet and greet – which is actually Alsie Express corporate policy, I found out – was a joking sort of guy: after doing the mandatory departure check walk around the aircraft, he explained on the intercom that walking around like that was not due to an inability to find the door of the aircraft but actually for our safety… 😉
Again, on time and in beautiful flying conditions. I actually cannot think of much to do such a short domestic commuter flight any better. Maybe it’s one notch up on Fridays where the late afternoon flight has a “TGIF” moment – the airline’s partnered with a local brewery in that part of the country to serve a cold beer on those flights. Free of charge…
So the verdict on the general execution must be a solid load of five cobblestones. And when you then add the friendliness, the meet-the-captain thing, the overall complete lack of any hassle, I do not hesitate to add the sixth and present Alsie Express with a full house! A flying job as nice as they come.
And, as always – fly safely out there.
Photos by me.