We had the honor of being the very first people to check in on the maiden flight between TF Green Airport in Rhode Island and the Azores. The plane taxied in between two arcs of water on its way to the gate and we received commemorative pins that marked the start of the flight. A nice surprise since we weren’t expecting anything out of the ordinary. I noticed a local news crew, so it definitely is a big deal for the area and apparently something that has been long awaited by Portuguese locals.
The in flight meal was pleasant enough – your typical airline meal. The potatoes and mushrooms were awesome. After our meal, the attendants passed out tea, coffee and packaged cookies from the Azores. They came back through offering water about 3 hours in. A little less than an hour before the flight ended, they brought around heated towels so passengers could really wash their hands. It is amazing how refreshed and pampered that made everyone feel. I heard people exclaiming that it was “just like that hotel in Switzerland” and “oh, how nice!” from nearby seats.
The crew all stepped to the front of the cabin as the captain made a special announcement in Portuguese. After a few moments of cheering, one of the Portuguese passengers clued us in – Portugal won in a football match against Poland!
The flight attendants were very accommodating. They were happy to repeat anything in English that we didn’t understand in Portuguese. I noticed other passengers requests for blankets, etc. being met quickly and efficiently. (Bonus for families – when a flight attendant saw him sitting there looking a bit bored, the little guy received a coloring book and crayons.)
On the way back eight days later, we also had an enjoyable flight. The flight was earlier in the day, so lunch was a little lighter than our previous meal, but still decent. We had prepackaged wipes instead of heated towels. One flight attendant really took a shine to my younger nephew (I know I’m partial, but he is adorable!) and made the trip a lot of fun for him with a few jokes and conversations.
The flight each way was a bit over 5 hours and I enjoyed every minute. I definitely would fly Azores Airlines (formerly SATA International) again. From my experience, I’d say it is a very nice, budget friendly airline.