Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to Russia, Ukraine, or the former Soviet Republics.
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I haven't flown on Aeroflot since 1996, and they still wore skirts, too. I was on international (Russia-Germany) flights, and it was pretty calm. There were a lot of Russian mafia-types on board and they were very boorish and rude to the stewardesses. When we were taking off and landing, they were up and walking around and ignoring the stewardesses pleas to take a seat. They also stacked their suitcases on the seats next to them (I guess they bought extra seats for that). The flights themselves were interesting. Inside Russian airspace, the pilots were flying very rough, with erratic ascents and descents, banking extremely sharply for what I think would be normal for a jumbo jet. Once we were outside Russia though, they calmed down and flew "normally", as you would expect. I'm guessing the pilots were former military pilots and were hotdogging it a bit for fun. I can't confirm, but I've been told that internal Aeroflot flights into Central Asian states often includes chickens and other animals in the cabins.
Wow, your bringing back memories. I flew them back in 1995 - London-Moscow-HK-Moscow-London back in 1995 with 3 month stay in HK and an 8 day stay in Moscow on way back.
They used Airbuses for the flights to and from HK. But the aircraft to and from London was an old Russian built IL plane. Here's what I remember for the Russian aircraft.
1. They actually stuffed a bunch of luggage on the back portion of the plane.
2. Take off seemed to be unusually long (to get off ground) and it was so noisy you wouldn't be able to hear much f you had a conversation with your seatmate.
3. Passengers smoked and drank (including bottles of vodka) heavily during flight.
4. There were many passengers who looked quite 'flamboyant'.
5. When we landed, the backs of seats without passengers collapsed forward.
6. Don't remember what stewardesses were wearing, sorry.
All-in-all a surreal experience.
I flew Dubai to SVO return on the 7th and 10th December, so I think I can give you a more recent description. The stewardesses wear knee length skirts, although I think some may have had slacks. Like any other airline, they vary from very young to too old.
I consider Aeroflot as a more economical airline as they regularly undercut Qatar Airways, Etihad, and Emirates by a lot of money. Shorter flights (<6 hours) do not have an onboard entertainment system. SVO to LAX is on a 767 and they have the old style entertainment system where the monitors fold out of the ceiling and about 3-4 rows share each monitor. The food has always been very good, and always seems to include a salad that has more meat in it than the main course! It is has been either smoked salmon or turkey in the salad. On the 10th December, the return flight was on an Ilyushin 96-300, which was my first time on a Russian built plane. It is a 250,000 lb plane, a little bigger than a 767. Outside it looks like any other modern plane, but has 4 engines. The ceiling feels like it is 10-12 feet high! The ventilation system and the emergency oxygen mask boxes are located in the back of the seat in front of you. The seat numbers are on the back of your seat, and not the ceiling, which makes find your seat the first time a challenge. Each seat has an LED reading light on a flexible stalk. Some Russian girls asked me to switch seats with their mother so she could sit with them, so I ended up in the row just behind business class, which had so much legroom that it was a struggle to reach the magazine pocket in front of me.
On this last trip to Moscow, I read in one of the English papers about a bargain rate airline that flies out of Vnukovo crashing, and they talked about the Soviet era Tupolev's being sold to discount airlines, and their reliabliity can be suspect. I think the Ilyushin 96 entered service about 88 or 89.
Also, if you regularly fly business or first class and expect fancy seat units that recline like a dentist's chair, you may be disappointed as I don't think they have them. I too remember reading an article in Conde Nast Traveler or similar, that talked about dogs and chickens in the aisle. I never got to see them! If you have a chance to fly Aeroflot and the price and schedule are right, give it a try.
I first flew Aeroflot from LAX to Moscow in 2000 .
The plane , I believe was a 767. I remember wondering what the Russian maintenance programs might be like , but as it turned out , I had no reason to worry . I'm guessing that Russian aircraft flying in / out of the U.S. must be subject to our maintenance standards .
To my surprise , we didn't fly East to our destination , but up and over the Arctic circle .
My fellow passengers (mostly Russians returning home ) were a "lively" bunch , with plenty of smoking , and drinking . In fact , the young Russian man sitting next to me drank a whole bottle of vodka , and promptly passed out on my shoulder .
The lavatories were broken or inoperable the whole flight , from take-off to landing . Yeah , that's right .
Upon landing , the whole cabin erupted in applause , and cheering .
Later that year , I honeymooned in Sochi , Russia . ( The Russian Riviera ) . We flew on what I believe to be a Tupolev-154 .
I remember it being very loud , and older looking .
Sorry , I don't remember what the stewardesses were wearing .
" I rang'd the world , I cross'd the seas,
in hopes my restless breast to ease,
By pleasures yet unknown :
To all amusements I have run ,
that's found beneath the daily sun;
Till weary I have grown . "
- Samuel Patterson a poor , lowly sailor circa 1800's
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