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Review: Wideroe Embraer E190-E2 Economy (BGO-TOS)

Updated: 2 days ago

For our final flight of the day we flew Wideroe's Embraer E190-E2 from Bergen to Tromsø. Wideroe, or Widerøe, is likely the largest airline you've never heard of. The airline is the largest regional airline in the Nordic countries and has a fleet of more than 40 De Havilland/Bombardier Dash-8 turboprops. In addition they also operate 3 Embraer E190-E2s, for which they were the launch customer, on longer routes.


Booking

This flight was the final of our three legs between from Prague and Tromsø. When working on this itinerary I turned to the always reliable Google Flights and found that there weren't any good options whatsoever. After pouring over all of the equally terrible options, I ended up booking the lesser of all evils which was PRG-AMS-BGO-TOS in a combination of KLM and Widerøe Economy.


I ended up paying $350 per person for our tickets which were issued by KLM. Wideroe operates on a model similar to Southwest where they don't assign seats on their turboprop aircraft though seats are assigned on their Embraer jets. I was unable to select a seat through Wideroe or KLM so I was left at the mercy of the airlines hoping we would at least have seats together.


Pre-Flight

We arrived in Bergen on our KLM flight from Amsterdam and had to exit the secure area, retrieve our bags, and head back to the Wideroe check-in counters. We only had a 50 minute connection in Bergen and made it to the check-in counters 35 minutes before our scheduled departure.


Bergen Flesland Airport Check-In Area
Bergen Airport Check-In Area

I used a kiosk to self tag our bags and dropped them on the belt before heading to security. Unlike Prague, my second round of security for the day was quick and easy using the Fast Track lane and we were airside in under 5 minutes.


A quick check of the departures board showed that our flight to Tromsø was departing from gate B15 which was only a few steps from the security checkpoint.




Boarding

We arrived at our gate with five minutes to go before boarding. As we approached we were paged along with a few other passengers, all of whom were on our KLM flight from Amsterdam. The gate agent was confirming that we had all retrieved and re-checked our bags prior to re-clearing security. While we had, everyone else that was called up had some sort of issue, either missing luggage that didn't make it to Bergen or forgetting to reclaim bags.


Wideroe Boarding Gate B15 at Bergen Airport
Wideroe Boarding Gate at Bergen Airport

Boarding was done by group number. Group A was priority boarding, Group B was general boarding, and Group C was Wideroe's version of Basic Economy. We didn't have a boarding group printed on our boarding passes but, with our Fast Track security access and Sky Priority status, I figured it was a safe assumption that we were in Group A.


Well, I was wrong. Boarding groups were strictly enforced and the gates wouldn't open if you didn't have the right group, which is hard when it isn't printed. Apparently we were in Group B and stood off to the side with a group of fellow confused KLM connecting passengers. Once Group B was invited to board we scanned our boarding passes and headed down the jet bridge.


Widerøe

WF 676

BGO-TOS (Bergen Flesland - Tromsø)

Seat: 22D (Economy)

EMB-190 (LN-WEC)

Scheduled: 2:25p-4:25p

Actual: 2:29p-4:27p



Our flight was departing from one of the gates equipped to handle widebody aircraft so we had to go down one level to board our Embraer E190-E2. Unfortunately, the escalator was out of service so everyone had to carry their bags down the stairs. On the plus side, the glass jet bridge gave us a great view of our ride up to Tromsø.


Wideroe Embraer E190-E2 at Bergen Airport
Next Stop: Tromsø

Seat

We ended up being assigned seats 22D and 22F, a pair of seats on the right hand side towards the rear of the aircraft. Wideroe operates on a low-cost carrier model and the cabin reflects that. The airline has squeezed 114 seats in a single cabin layout on their Embraer E190-E2 aircraft.


Wideroe Airlines Embraer E190-E2 Interior
Wideroe Embraer E190-E2 Interior

Back at our row, behind the wing, the seat pitch was extremely tight and my knees were touching the seat in front of me.



The tray table, a literature pocket, and a secondary storage pocket were located in the seatback, though I couldn't really put anything other than my tablet in the seatback pocket because of the limited legroom.



The tray table was on the smaller side, but still had enough space for my tablet, though I didn't do much work with how tight it was.


Wideroe Embraer E190-E2 Tray Table
Wideroe E190-E2 Tray Table

Power outlets were located underneath the seat and individual air nozzles and reading lights were located overhead. I tried to use the power after takeoff and the outlets weren't working, though they came on later in the flight.



One of the most disappointing aspects of our seats had nothing to do with the seat itself. Our window was mis-aligned which meant we had to strain our necks to see the views on takeoff and landing.


Wideroe E190-E2 Window Seat
Not much of a window there.


Departure

We pushed off the gate a few minutes behind schedule and taxied over to the deicing pad. Rain was falling in Bergen but the temperature was hovering right around freezing.



Ten minutes later, we taxied over to Runway 17 where we were cleared for departure. We had some great views on departure until we went into a heavy layer of clouds.



In-Flight

As we climbed through the clouds I attempted to connect to the streaming entertainment. Instructions were located on the seatback, the instructions at my seat were only in Norwegian though Mrs. ATX's had an English version, and had a QR code you could scan.


Wideroe Inflight Entertainment Instructions on the Embraer E190-E2
Wideroe Inflight Entertainment Instructions

I had a few issues trying to get my phone to allow me to connect but it finally went through after a couple of tries. The selection was extremely limited, with only 10-15 shows and 5 movies, though the airline typically operates shorter routes so this may not be an issue (Bergen to Tromsø being one of the longer routes).



As we continued our climb, the cabin crew started the in-flight service. Wideroe has 4 cabin crew members on their E190-E2s and service is done in pairs. One pair starts at the front while the other starts in the rear and they meet in the middle. Coffee and tea is available at no charge but everything else, including water, must be purchased. The menu read as follows.



I decided to forgo any purchases and just had a cup of coffee.


Wideroe Coffee Service
Wideroe Beverage Service

Up above the clouds, we had blue skies and a smooth ride as we chugged our way north.


Wideroe Embraer E190-E2 Wing
Smooth and Clear Up Above the Clouds

After the beverage service, roughly an hour into the flight, I headed to check out the lavatory. As expected, the lavatory was on the smaller side since this is a regional jet. I had to hunch over a bit in order to fit.


Wideroe Embraer E190-E2 Lavatory
Wideroe E190-E2 Lavatory

The Embraer E190-E2 is a relatively new aircraft type though Wideroe has some of the oldest ones flying. Since the airline was the launch customer of the type back in 2014, their aircraft are starting to show some age. This was evident in the oxidation of the mirror in the lavatory. Otherwise, it was kept very clean throughout the flight.


Wideroe Embraer E190-E2 Lavatory Mirror Oxidation
Wideroe E190-E2 Lavatory Mirror Oxidation

As we made our way North, the clouds cleared and the sun started to set which made for some amazing views of Northern Norway out the window.




Arrival

As we began our descent into Tromsø the Captain came over the speaker to inform us that they expected some bumps on our approach. Tromsø is located in a valley and is surrounded by mountains which made for a beautiful, but bumpy descent. The worst came as we passed between two mountains which tossed the plane to the point that a few of the luggage bins popped open.


View approaching Tromsø on a Wideroe E190
View approaching Tromsø

As we made one last left hand turn to line up for the runway, the city came into view. Nestled in the valley at twilight, it made for a nice welcome to Tromsø.



On the ground, we had a quick taxi over to our arrival gate just as the final bit of light was leaving the sky.


Wideroe De Havilland Dash-8 Aircraft at Tromsø Airport
Welcome to Tromsø!

It took almost 10 minutes for us to deplane after the door opened and we headed towards baggage claim, getting one last look at our plane from the glass jet bridge.


Wideroe Embraer E190-E2 at Tromsø Airport
Wideroe E190-E2 at Tromsø Airport

Off the plane, we followed the signage towards baggage claim, through a partial construction zone. Bags came off 15 minutes after arrival and we hopped in a taxi to head into Tromsø.




Summary

Getting to Tromsø isn't easy and the Wideroe flight worked best with our schedule. At its core, the airline is very much a low cost carrier and this made for a cramped ride due to some of the smallest seat pitch I've ever experienced. If given the option, I'm choosing a full service carrier but would fly with them again if necessary.


In This Trip Report

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