“ This is the Latvian national airline and is based in Riga. „
BEWARE!!!!! This is an airline which did absolutely NOTHING in a worse-case scenario. We were to fly Larnaca-Riga-Copenhagen at 04.30 a.m. on July 28th. When we arrived at the airport at 02.00, we found out that the plane from Riga had never arrived, and the ground crew had not received any information about this and knew nothing. As the passengers arrived, the situation became more and more irritated as ALL of the passengers on the plane had to be re-routed and re-booked via other destinations. We, who got to the airport very early, were a bit luckier and only had a six-hour delay, but some poor passengers, even those with small children, had to wait up to a full day to travel on to their final destination.
Even though we had the right to vouchers for meals , drinks and phone calls, the ground staff at the airport could not get in contact with Air Baltic in Riga and only gave us a voucher for Euro3.50 in their cafeteria. This was not even enough to buy a cup of coffee! We also had the right, depending on the distance of our journey, to collect up to Euro400 in cash to cover our expenses, but received nothing except the advice to contact air Baltic!
We were re-routed vid Zürich and even though they said we were booked on a flight to CPH this was not the case, and when we arrived, SAS knew nothing about this and we had to wait until a seat became available on a flight. We had to collect our luggage, go through customs and then wait to check in again. We had to pay for a dinner at the airport in Zurich where a simple club sandwich cost Euro25. ( still no compensation from the airline!).
As you can imagine, we are totally disgusted with the whole thing and most of all the fact that Air Baltic, even though they had our telephone number and e-mail, did not even bother to notify the cancellation. To this day, almost one week later, we have yet to hear from them to explain what had happened.
Please BEWARE when booking with this airline! I have travelled all over the world with low-price airlines, but NONE of them has the same passenger politics as Air Baltic! Their ticket looks very cheap when you see it the first time, but there are a multitude of hidden costs once the ticket is booked. You have to pay a baggage check-in fee for each bag AND for each leg of the journey, so even though your baggage is checked through to your final destination, you will have to pay double or triple the fee! If you want to book your seats in advance you have to pay for them (different fees for each leg of the flight) and each seat has a different value. Otherwise, they do not guarantee that you and the rest of your party will be able to sit together. They even take a Euro10 check-in fee at the airport if you do not check-in on-line or at the self-service machines. This is very difficult for older people who are not so savvy when it comes to on-line check-in. They do not even give you water on the plane without a charge. When adding all the extra fees together, you would be much better off using a reputable airline which caters to their passengers.
As a contrast, the airline (re-routing) that we flew to Zürich, Cyprus Airways, served a complimentary HOT breakfast to all of their passengers and had free coffee, tea and soft drinks for all. (even those who were booked on the flight at the last minute!) THAT is customer service!
We will NEVER fly Air Baltic again!
AirBaltic is the national airline of Latvia and they connect Riga with both the west and east. The service could be better but I personally appreciate the service as it provides some much needed cheap connections from the Baltic countries to Central Asia and The Caucusus, as well as Israel. Kazakhstan & Uzbekistan,. It's not really cheap but it's the best you'll find price wise to these destinations from this region. Expect to pay around £100.
The one time I had a flight booked with this company from Yerevan to Riga, they decided to cancel the connection and re-route me to Vienna with Austrian Airlines. Initially I thought this was going to be a great deal as Austrian Airlines are usually expensive but I was less than impressed when I discovered it was one of the worst airlines in existence with moody frumpy Austrian staff and not enough room to swing a kitten let alone a cat. In comparison Air Baltic's connection from Berlin to Riga seemed quite hassle free and enjoyable but was a typical budget expreience. It seems that their habit of cancelling flights is quite regular during the crisis, so don't plan your life around one of their connections!
The website is perhaps the most annoying thing about it, as it throws up hundreds offers at you and is now a very stripped down service where everything else costs an additional price. Booking the flight, seems fraught with the possibility of ordering something you don't want and most people will find themselves clicking back at some point to delete an unwanted service.
AirBaltic is the national airline of Latvia - it is one of the only ways to get to the country and the region and the owners of the company (the Latvian government) know this.
When AirBaltic first started, it was modelled as a cheap airline with good seats, reasonably priced meals and an easy check in procedure.
Now you go onto their website and you find a RyanAir-esque experience. That is, you have to tick and untick lots of boxes, you get charged for checking in luggage, you get charged for checking in and more. If you want a meal you have to preorder it and it isn't cheap.
Tall or rotund people will have trouble getting comfortable in their tiny seats. Making the 'brace' position will be easy though because the seat in front of you is basically touching your nose.
The one good thing about AirBaltic is that they have a lot of routes going in and out of Riga. This is the only good thing left about the airline. Otherwise, they are just taking advantage of the fact that they are the only functioning airline in the region.
Prices are cheap if you are a Norweigian oil barron or if you manage to get one their good deals that crop up every couple of months.