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Topic: To Japan On A Shoestring: FCO-SVO-NRT And Some
Username: FlyingFinn76
Posted 2012-10-21 04:20:15 and read 15189 times.

Introduction

Fuel surcharges - those nasty little (or these days not so little actually) fees airlines like to add on top of their advertised base fares in an attempt to lure poor customers with promises of really cheap flights. Once upon a time they served a purpose (I won’t go into the history, but they were introduced as a response to the oil prices skyrocketing during the first Gulf War) but in these days of unlimited computing power available at ridiculously low cost they have long ago stopped serving their intended purpose (which was to avoid manual fare hikes when the fuel price suddenly changed) as refaring the thousands of fares offered by any large airline is a nowadays trivial. But the industry seems to love them - mainly because they present a way to mess up the customer’s thinking and hide who collects which money - the airlines absolutely love to bundle the fuel surcharges into the “taxes and fees” bucket which to the average Joe sounds like something imposed by the nasty, greedy socialist government instead of the airline.

Anyway this cloud also has a silver lining - due to the way those fuel surcharges are calculated and applied on top of the base fare they present an excellent way for “fare optimization” via various orthodox and unorthodox ways, which of course is a whole art in itself, but let’s not go into details of that here either.

But what does this all have to do with a report about a trip to the Land of the Rising Sun? Well - one day I got tipped off about some really low fares on Aeroflot (of all carriers) to Tokyo. The catch? One had to book an open jaw ticket with very limited availability. The departure and arrival points in Europe would be CDG, LHR and FCO. After a bit of searching I found something which would work for me and booked FCO-SVO-NRT-SVO-LHR in a jiffy. This was booked for September, over 7 months in advance. And what did it cost? A grand total of 256 EUR.

Q&A Session:

Q: But isn’t that an incredibly low fare?
A: Yes, it is.
Q: Care to elaborate?
A: Not really.
Q: Please, pretty please with sugar on top?
A: Ahh, okay, but only because I like the idea of people pleading on the floor in front of me. See Aeroflot decided to try the game US airlines used to be good at - namely using the same flight number (known as a “through flight number”) for multiple flights with a change of gauges somewhere along the way. Thus both the FCO-SVO and SVO-NRT segment had the flight number SU264 and likewise coming back NRT-SVO and SVO-LHR were both flight SU263. This may sound like a very pointless thing to do, but the point here is to trick reservation systems showing it as a single flight, thus SU264 could be purchased as a FCO-NRT flight and would show up in the systems as a more favorable one than other flights with a connection.

Now when you try to add the fuel surcharge madness into this equation you come up with a very interesting outcome: the system gets confused by the two segments with the same flight number and basically does this:

“Ahh, SU264 - which flight is this?”
“Oh, it’s a short haul flight from Rome to Moscow. Let’s use the short haul fuel surcharge.”
“Ahh, SU264 again?!”
“Oh, it’s a short haul flight from Rome to Moscow. Let’s use the short haul fuel surcharge.”
“But what about the long haul fuel surcharge which is much more than the short haul one?”
“Sorry, SU264 is a short haul flight from Rome to Moscow. I do not know any better.”

Repeat this for the return sectors and there you have it - the anatomy of a cheap fare to Tokyo.

Note that there’s nothing dubious about it, booking such a fare is not illegal in any way nor is the customer trying to work the system. The system simply is flawed and someone at the SU fare department needs to have a chat with their flight planning department in the case the latter is planning on introducing more through flight numbers in the future.

As a.net’s resident Swedish mascot Jonas aka LH4116 cannot resist a good bargain he ended up booking the same Aeroflot flights as me for the same price. Later it turned out that also Bulgarian member Eco had booked the same flights. The more the merrier I guess!

So here’s the first part of my trip to Japan which of course isn’t just a simple roundtrip to Tokyo and back - where’s the fun in that? This first part will cover the following route:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/map.gif

All Flights Lead to Rome

To get myself into Rome I had a pair of flights with LH via FRA - the return segment of an open jaw MRS-HEL-FCO ticket from May.

Not much to say about these flights - two very standard LH shorthaul flights both with A319s. Both flights close to full, and on both flights I had an empty seat next to me. While boarding the FRA-FCO flight I thought I was boarding an Air China flight as some 75% of the passengers were Chinese.

A couple of pictures. Here’s D-AILI, a 15 year old A319 waiting at the gate at HEL:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/Intro_1.jpg

LH’s European catering keeps surprising you. Wonder what culinary delights lie inside this non suspicious cardboard box:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/Intro_2.jpg

Oh dear:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/Intro_3.jpg

This snack was really, really odd. First of all the thing on the left is NOT a Finnish-style meat pie, instead it is a bun made out of pretzel dough. Secondly the balls on the right are NOT fish balls (which their bear an uncannily resemblance to) but instead they are made out of Bratwurst (from now on BB = Bratwurst Balls). Yes, you got that one right, the gray, delicious German sausage with the best examples coming from Nürnberg. Yes, very odd.

The whole snack was served warm which meant that all the fat from the BBs had been absorbed by the bun, making it one sticky fatty bun. Yuck. The BBs themselves weren’t too bad actually, some sweet Bavarian mustard would’ve worked wonders with them though. But the bun was disgusting, I took one bite out of it and almost threw up, much to the amusement of my German seatmate on the aisle seat. He also found it funny that I ordered two beers (well, Warsteiners) at once - weirdo.

Frankfurt was experiencing some thunderstorms and heavy rain - our descent through rather apocalyptic skies took forever and was very bumpy:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/Intro_4.jpg

A quick stop at the Schengen A Senator lounge (which was packed as always - hopefully the A+ pier has relieved the pressure a bit by now) - I guess this is the German version of Mac & Cheese:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/Intro_5.jpg

The FCO flight was operated by D-AILK, another 15 years old bird:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/Intro_6.jpg

Yes, they’re all Chinese:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/Intro_7.jpg

The snack on the FRA-FCO flight - the traditional thick cheese sandwich. I only had one bite which was more than enough:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/Intro_8.jpg

Landing at FCO around 23.30:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/Intro_9.jpg

A Hard Night’s Fiumicino

With the LH flight arriving close to midnight options for hotels to spend the night in were really miserable. Sure, there’s the Hilton right opposite the terminal and another Hilton Garden Inn with a free shuttle (where I’ve stayed once previously). But they certainly know that they are the only convenient options and certainly charge a hefty premium for it! I wasn’t in the mood of paying several hundred euros for a hotel room where I’d spend less than ten hours in, mostly asleep so no dice.

But certainly there are other alternatives? Oh yes, there are dozens of hotel that call themselves “airport hotels”, some even with free airport shuttles. But now comes the catch - none of the hotels I looked at had shuttles running this late at night. And apparently all public transport, including trains and buses shuts down way before my arrival hour, leaving a taxi ride the only viable option for getting anywhere from the airport. Now Italy sits right at the top of my personal “number of times getting ripped off by taxi drivers” list (Poland is a close second) so this option was the last thing I was going to do.

So what then? Oh yes, just rough it at the airport - it’s free, it’s nearby and it’s not too bad. Besides the Alitalia lounges open already at six so it’s only six hours and then I can have another nap and a shower in the lounge. Oh and a short night could also help with adjusting to the upcoming time difference.

So after arriving from FRA I took the escalator marked as “transfers” up to airside instead of following the Chinese Tourist Horde to arrivals. There were plenty of security folks around who saw me doing it but nobody questioned me and my motives which was good. As expected airside was completely deserted so I found a decent place near one of the Alitalia lounges and set up camp. Unfortunately the benches had armrests and thus could not be used as beds so it was the hard cold floor for me, which wasn’t too bad actually as I had enough beer to drink on the way over to make me sleepy.... Good night!

Deserted airside:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/Intro_10.jpg

My chosen corner for the night:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/Intro_11.jpg

Wednesday 19.9.2012

After a rough night I am woken up around 5 AM with the sounds of the airport coming to life. It appears that the dressing room for the cleaners is near my chosen place for crashing and thus various cleaning ladies mosey past me. Nobody bats an eyelid at the sight of someone sleeping on the floor, in fact several of them wish me a cheery Buon giorno!

Good morning - fresh batch of sandwiches (which unfortunately turned out to be rather disgusting) waiting for the lounge to open:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_1.jpg

With more sleep unlikely I get up, gather my trash and head to the toilet to freshen up a bit. Afterwards I just hang around until the lounge opens and then head inside where the cheery attendant has a hard time figuring out why I’m here instead of the non-Schengen lounge, but eventually admits me in after mentioning a few times that I should leave plenty of time for getting to the non-Schengen satellite terminal. Yes ma’am, I will!

Looks like they’ve tried hard to make this lounge look a bit snazzier than the tired old terminal it sits in - and I think they’ve actually managed just fine with these transparent red dividers:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_3.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_4.jpg

I find a comfortable reclining chair in the corner where I drift off for some more sleep:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_2.jpg

Eventually it is time for breakfast, so let’s check out the offerings:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_5.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_6.jpg

And this is where it all starts going downhill. First of all the weird egg-cucumber thingies (which look just like the Spanish tortilla de patatas) are disgusting. Secondly those sugar glazed croissants look sinful, but upon taking a closer look you realize a nasty swarm of flies (of the type we would call “shite flies” in Finnish) has taken a particular liking towards these - yuck!

At least the (staffed) bar provides a couple of nice espressos - something which the Italians certainly know how to do:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_7.jpg

By the way speaking of vermin, there’s also a sparrow flying around the lounge. Yes, very premium. Come to think of it the generic airline lounge opposite which remains one of the worst lounges I’ve ever visited suffered from the very same problem so maybe it is something about the design and architecture of this old pier...

Outside there’s a beautiful sunrise:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_8.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_9.jpg

I watch a movie on my Ipad on the comfortable chair and after finishing it decide that it is time for a shower. The lady at the reception answers that they are still waiting for the cleaning lady to come and clean the two shower cubicles and thus I cannot go in. She says it shouldn’t take too long, but in the end it ends up taking 45 minutes or so. Eventually the business is finished and I get a very nice big box from the attendant:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_10.jpg

Let’s see what’s inside, shall we:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_12.jpg

Wow, quite impressed with Alitalia this time - this is a very nice shower kit. I actually took the box with the shampoo, toothpaste etc. with me on this trip as those things are handy to have with you.

And here’s the shower - quite small but functional and with good air conditioning (so you don’t get uncomfortably sweaty right away like that shower in the BCN lounge...):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_11.jpg

Perfect timing as always - I’m drying myself when gospodin Jonas (who has spent a couple of days in Rome) lets know of himself and the fact that he is already waiting just after the main security checkpoint. Oh well, let waiting guys wait for a little longer - I finish my business, thank the lounge attendant and head outside.

Greetings are exchanged, a lot of crap is talked and somehow we even manage to make our way to the non-Schengen satellite via passport control (gotta love my Finnish passport, never ever does it arouse any suspicion anywhere in the world!) and the automated train thingy.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_13.jpg

In the satellite Jonas gets admitted into his heaven since I guest him into the Alitalia lounge (not that any thank yous are ever said).

Giotto - more like grotto as it is located on the basement with no windows whatsoever (and thus no natural light either!):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_14.jpg

We are happily admitted in, and Jonas gets his bliss. Me, well, I’ve spent half my life (seemingly) at airport lounges so for me it’s not really nothing new. Well, it still looks quite nice and stylish and far, far better than the Schengen one:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_15.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_16.jpg

See what a huge difference a small plastic cover makes - no flies, no sparrows:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_17.jpg

Staffed bar here as well, unfortunately no champagne, heck they don’t even have any prosecco - not very good for Alitalia’s flagship lounge! The bartender suggests some sweet white wine instead and who am I to argue:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_18.jpg

So SU264 goes to Tokyo:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_19.jpg

…or Moscow?!

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_20.jpg

Plenty of Americanos in the lounge which is to be expected since quite a few flights to North America are leaving within the next two hours. It is actually a bit difficult to find a place to sit down - this lounge is quite a maze but eventually we manage.

Some more chat, some more wifi, some more drinks and some more time later it is time to head back upstairs to the gate, but not before stopping to take a photo of our ride-to-be:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_21.jpg

Yes, it is the expected A321 “Sergey Korolev”, named after the Soviet rocket engineer.

Heading over to the gate G13 a familiar face is to be found - Eco is there, traveling with a bunch of his mates. More pleasantries are exchanged while seemingly nothing is happening at the gate.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_22.jpg

Finally, very near to our SDT boarding is called. They even enforce priority boarding and seeing the scrum at the gate I decide to take advantage of this and fight my way to the head of the queue where the gate agent even speaks a few words of Finnish to me, way to go!

Passing a BA heavy while walking down the jetway:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_23.jpg

FCO - SVO
SU264
A321 VQ-BEI “Sergey Korolev”
Seat 29F
12.15 - 17.50

I step onboard what should become my 1300th logged flight and get greeted by a business friendly purser. I had forgotten all about the gorgeous orange uniforms of the SU cabin crew - they look quite nice and refreshing and heck, I’m not even Dutch!

Passing the proper business class cabin:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_24.jpg

Onwards to economy:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_25.jpg

My seat is in the back cabin of the A321 (unlike LH SU still has a proper two cabin layout in economy on their A321s with the cabins divided by toilets - something which is a bit of a pain on the LH planes as there are too few toilets these days). On the other side of the aisle I spot this:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_26.jpg

Looks like we are doing a bit of a medevac role on this flight as well.

Legroom is okay:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_27.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_28.jpg

New style air vents and cabin lights - this bird was delivered new to Aeroflot in 2009:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_29.jpg

En detail like Marcus would say:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_30.jpg

Eventually Jonas arrives and sits down on the window seat in front of me, having requested that seat during check in. OLCI did not work for him although it worked for me so I simply told him my seat number and he tried to get nearby.

Soon a bunch of paramedics appear with the patient on a stretcher and spend quite some time trying get him (or her, not sure actually whether it is a woman or a man) moved over to the other stretcher and strapped in. After managing to do so a privacy curtain is drawn:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_33.jpg

The captain is soon on the horn with a short welcome speech, explaining that we will be somewhat late “because we arrived late” which I refuse to believe, I’m pretty sure most of the time was eaten up by the setting up of that stretcher arrangement. Anyway once under way a flight time of 3h10mins is to be expected.

Load in the back cabin is maybe 50%, with both seats next to me staying empty. Jonas decides to move there after take off. While waiting for pushback I entertain myself by watching the never ending stream of arrivals and departures:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_32.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_31.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_34.jpg

An Airbus 330 in Delta colors still feels so wrong to me, just like an A32x series:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_36.jpg

“The no legroom airline” taking off from 25:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_35.jpg

Eventually everybody’s buckled in and we proceed with our pushback, half an hour late.

This new non-Schengen pier appears to be in exactly the same condition as the last time I saw it back in July 2011 - maybe the financial woes mean they run out of money:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_37.jpg

For all our Irish friends:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_38.jpg

Runway 25 is in use for take offs with a rather long queue, so we spend our sweet time creeping towards the threshold.

Something from LED:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_40.jpg

And KBP:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_41.jpg

They sure need the new pier, quite a few AZ widebodies are parked at remote stands:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_39.jpg

Here’s an interesting subcharter operating for Blu-Express - certain members of this board might find this very familiar:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_42.jpg

Arriving from Tunis:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_45.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_43.jpg

Almost there:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_44.jpg

Finally, 25 minutes after pushing back we enter the active and commence a powerful take off run towards the Tyrrhenian Sea.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_46.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_47.jpg

Over the sea a sharp and long left hand turn follows to point us towards the northeast.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_48.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_49.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_50.jpg

Traffic above Italy - actually it looks just like an AA missile:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_51.jpg

The first two plus hours of the flight are completely overcast:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_52.jpg

The captain is soon on the horn again, explaining our routing as FCO-ZAG-BUD-MSQ-SVO and not much else, at least in the English version. Soon after that one of the FAs, the cutest of the bunch with short faux red hair and eyes that could kill walks through the cabin with the passenger manifest on her hand, stops at me and welcomes me personally onboard this “Aeroflot flight to Moscow Sheremetyevo”. I mutter my thanks in Russian which seems to delight her. Great elite status recognition here with Aeroflot - I’ve heard this happening before as well!

Soon Jonas moves to the aisle seat on my row, but not before taking some lavatorial (of course) shots and more cabin shots which arouse the suspicion of another FA and he gets grilled by the girl, I think she is upset by the fact that he might be taking shots of the cabin crew. Things get sorted out though.

In the meantime the service starts with a drinks round - I decide to splurge 6 EUR at two beers which wasn’t actually terribly good value for money as they are lukewarm at best:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_53.jpg

After quite a long time during which I manage to down the first beer the meal service follows. Little did I know that this would set the standard for all the following Aeroflot flights on this trip. Apparently they used to have a choice between meat (veal!) and fish but have long ago run out of choices so fish it is for us. Well, I’d preferred the fish anyway. Quite a lot of variety on the tray:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_54.png

Let’s see - there’s a lot of stuff here. The appetizer salad comes with various greens (a few days past their prime) and two pieces of salmon, one raw (salted) and one cooked. I let Jonas have the raw piece and eat the cooked one which is quite good actually. Additionally there’s a white bread roll (okay if a bit hard), half (!) a slice of rye bread (didn’t touch), butter, a couple of chocolate pralines (delicious) and mayo:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_56.jpg

I have no idea what I’m supposed to use the mayo on so it is left unused.

But let’s not forget about the main course:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_55.jpg

Underneath that slob of cheesy sauce there are pieces of white fish, pollock methinks. Comes with fried potatoes. Nothing earth shattering in the culinary sense but surprisingly tasty when you are hungry and goes down well. Even Jonas seems to like his. The chocolates go down well with coffee. All in all an okay meal, if a little fishy considering both the appetizer and the main course had fish (stay tuned, this is setting a trend here...).

Somewhere over Eastern Europe the weather starts clearing up:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_59.jpg

Cabin view from a lavatorial visit:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_58.jpg

Lviv airport (LWO) in Ukraine - can’t believe it’s been over three years since I was there:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_57.jpg

Chatting with Herr Jonas and catching up on some of my reading makes this flight just fly past (pun very much intended) and surprisingly soon it is time to commence our descent for SVO. Jonas moves back to his place to get some views from the window.

First sight of the megacity that Moscow is:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_60.jpg

Our approach is quite long winded, initially we fly past SVO at a lagom altitude towards the northeast, quite far away. Some traffic below us:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_61.jpg

And here’s SVO:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_62.jpg

Plenty of lakes and rivers north of Moscow:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_63.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_64.jpg

Plenty of dachas:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_65.jpg

Eventually a 180 degree turn towards the right follows and we line up on the 25s.

Yes, this is a man made waterway:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_66.jpg

Almost there:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_67.jpg

Landing on 25R is very hard 3h10mins after take off, somewhat late.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_68.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_69.jpg

Right after landing some hand clapping follows (as is customary here) plus a number of people getting up while we are still on the taxiway (as is customary here). The FAs manage to get them down though.

A very short taxi from the runway to Terminal D which is good. I had no idea Orenair had any triple sevens - apparently this one is operated for mama Aeroflot:

[Edited 2012-10-21 04:31:11]

Topic: RE: To Japan On A Shoestring: FCO-SVO-NRT And Some
Username: FlyingFinn76
Posted 2012-10-21 04:24:22 and read 15299 times.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_70.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_71.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_72.jpg

Bye, Sergey:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/To_Moscow_73.jpg

Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport

After going through here back in February I’m now familiar with the transit procedure here so off to the transit desk it is. The girl there has some issues with my OLCI boarding passes - the system keeps telling her “Flight coupon required” (which is also printed on my second boarding pass) even though I most certainly do have an e-ticket. The other guys don’t suffer from this problem, having checked in the old fashioned way at FCO. I’m getting some flashbacks from my transfer from hell at NAP a year and change previously, but luckily after some phone calls, lots of rapid fire Russian and headshakes I’m told I’m good to go.

Next we head for the passport control where the matrushka just waves me through and the very cursory security check where nobody cares whether you have liquids in your bag or head nor whether you are carrying a dozen computers in your back bag which is very refreshing after the eurocraziness. Eco seems to have some issues with his bags though.

After the hassle we arrive under the iconic dome of SVO Terminal D:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_1.jpg

With the delay and transfer hassle there’s not much time anymore so I decide against any lounge visit plus I’m lacking any energy to fight with the matrons over the dispute between SU and Flying Dutchman anyway. Even Lounge Lizard Jonas seems to be happy with this decision. We decide to look for someplace to sit down and have a snack. The first choice is TGIF but after taking a look at the horribly inflated prices in the menu and waiting for a waiter to appear (which did not happen) it is quite clear that we should seek alternatives - so to the “Mama Russia” right next to our gate-to-be it is. This place is quite nice - they serve traditional Russian staple at almost traditional Russian prices too. Thanks to Eco for acting as an interpreter!

Some nice pies - also notice my choice of light headgear for this trip:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_2.jpg

Time to check out the plane at the nearby gate:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_4.jpg

The second part of SU264 today is operated by an A333 as SU still hasn’t received their A321SDXRs (Super Duper eXtended Range) models.

So what’s your name:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_3.jpg

“Fyodor Tyutchev”, VQ-BEL - a two and half years old bird named after a Russian romantic poet.

Very soon boarding is called so we gather our stuff and head for the gate where it is time to reboard the flight. I again take advantage of my Gold status and bypass the queues, the guys are left behind.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_5.jpg

Newspapers are offered in the jetway - I grab a copy of Japan Times:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_6.jpg

SVO - NRT
SU264
A330-300 VQ-BEL “Fyodor Tyutchev”
Seat 19K
19.59 - 10.20 (+1)

Not exactly a very happy welcome to this flight, the purser looks like she’d rather be somewhere completely different. After greeting her in Russian and showing my boarding pass she explains something to me in Russian too, I assume it is how to reach my seat but I knew that already, thankyouverymuch.

By the way the OLCI did not allow me to choose my seat for this second leg, the change of gauges confusing the heck out of it I assume. Luckily it did give me a window seat, 19K to be precise. On the aisle seat theres already a Japanese girl, petite and small as only Japanese and the French can be so good news to me.

The seats are orange cloth covered ones:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_8.jpg

Legroom is passable, luckily no ridiculously large IFE boxes under the seats either!

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_7.jpg

A blurry view towards the back, you can see the sexy orange FA uniform here:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_11.jpg

Yes, there are PTVs:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_9.jpg

And even USB and Ethernet sockets. I guess the former can be used to charge your personal devices, not sure what to do with the latter though:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_10.jpg

A moody view over the massive wing:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_12.jpg

The majority, I’d say 70% of passengers on this flight are Japanese, at least in economy. This means very efficient and fast boarding which is good since boarding only started half an hour before SDT. Load is maybe 80%, all the empty seats are unfortunately either on the middle blocks or next to an occupied window seat so no empty two seaters for me to move to. Well as I said my seatmate is okay, small and quiet if a bit weird - she spends over half the flight just staring in front of herself, not sleeping and not even using the IFE at all, just staring. But maybe she has a lot to think about.

The captain announces at flight time as 9h50mins. A safety demo played on the PTVs follows:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_13.jpg

The safety demo is quite stylish, done using rotoscope technique:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_14.jpg

We manage to push back a minute before schedule, well done.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_15.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_16.jpg

The PTVs are advertising some sports event in Kazan - picture dedicated to russophile AYA333 who is that very city as I write this:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_17.jpg

...but luckily soon gets switched over to the forward camera:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_18.jpg

747s are fast disappearing, good to see some still around:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_19.jpg

And here’s something from home for Eco:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_20.jpg

Turning for 25L for the moment we all love and cherish, especially aboard a widebody:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_21.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_22.jpg

Accelerating:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_23.jpg

Rotate:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_24.jpg

Positive rate - gear up:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_25.jpg

Climbing out during dusk:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_26.jpg

Right after take off the IFE gets switched on so it’s time to explore a bit:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_27.jpg

No doubt where I start from:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_28.jpg

I’m quite disappointed that unlike many other IFE systems one cannot have the airshow on while listening to music. All in all the system is a bit sluggish and doesn’t really have that much content available. It is fine for a couple of flights like these, but if you keep flying SU longhaul regularly you will get bored at the selections.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_29.jpg

Nature calls, so it is time to check out the lavatorial facilities:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_30.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_31.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_32.jpg

View of the forward economy cabin:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_33.jpg

Soon after getting back to my seat menu cards are distributed. I am somewhat impressed by this.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_34.jpg

Ahh, in what seems to be the norm with Aeroflot the other choice is fish:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_35.jpg

Oh, I didn’t know they served wine for free. Note the small print - those BKK flights are notorious for drunken behaviour:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_36.jpg

And here are the choices for the breakfast:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_37.jpg

Waiting for the dinner service to commence I decide a movie is on order. The new Farrelly brothers remake of the classic Three Stooges films seems to fit the bill:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_38.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_40.jpg

Service starts with a drinks run - since the wine is free I ask for the red variety which is poured from large 1 litre cartons and is quite disgusting plus some water:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_39.jpg

As I will very soon learn is a norm with SU it takes a really long time between the drinks service and the meal service. More annoyingly they don’t have any drinks on the meal cart nor any water on the tray so if you drank everything they gave to you during the drinks pass you won’t have anything to drink with your meal. Carriers like LH do this better - they clearly mention that the first drinks run is an “aperitiv service” and they have water on the meal tray plus do a drinks run right after the meals are handed out. Oh well, I manage to charm one of the FAs with my pidgin Russian into providing me with extra wine and she definitely keeps me well lubricated for the rest of the night, Спасибо!

I of course go for the fish main course - after all I’m a huge fan of seafood:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_41.jpg

These flimsy plastic utensils are quite silly:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_42.jpg

Again there’s a half slice of rye bread plus another rock hard bun, both wrapped in plastic. The main course - taste was okay but the tilapia was a bit overcooked and dry:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_43.jpg

Didn’t taste much coconut in the sauce though.

The appetizer salad - again a few days past its prime and the cheese was quite dry and fatty too:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_44.jpg

Instead of mayo there’s French Dressing this time which didn’t really help with the salad:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_45.jpg

By the time I’m finishing the meal we are just crossing the Ural Mountains and thus leaving Europe behind:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_46.jpg

The blueberry-chocolate cake is okay, not too dry and not too sweet. Goes down well with some tea:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_47.jpg

By the time I’m finished with the meal I’m also finished with the movie. I decide that I should really try to get some sleep but don’t really feel sleepy at all so I decide to try to find a sleepy movie. An obscure Soviet movie from the 70’s could do it but maybe not:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_48.jpg

I figure out that Forrest Gump could be a good comfort movie to fall asleep to as I’ve seen it dozens of times:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_49.jpg

Unfortunately it fails, I stay awake all throughout the movie (and my pet FA keeps bringing me more wine...). After it finishes I take a look at the beautiful scene outside - we are overflying Siberia and there are dozens of flames from oil wells burning forty thousand feet below us (sorry, no photos) and force myself to sleep...

Thursday 20.9.2012

...of which I manage to do maybe two and half hours. Well, it’s better than nothing but still nowhere near enough. The breakfast service commencing wakes me up - IMHO they do this way, way too early:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_51.jpg

Yes, we still have almost three hours of flight time left. They could easily do it 45 minutes or so later to give people more time to sleep.

We are still flying over Siberia:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_52.jpg

Opening the windowblind I’m greeted with sunshine:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_56.jpg

For breakfast, I opt for the omelet over the crepes as I’ve never been a big fan of eating a shitload of sugar first thing in the morning:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_50.jpg

Again there’s fish on the tray - in the appetizer salad. Actually it is exactly the same dish we got as an appetizer on the FCO-SVO leg the previous day - with raw and cooked salmon and some veggies. I know Russians traditionally eat a lot of fish but this is getting a bit ridiculous...

The omelet and the few potatoes and a sad looking tomato served with it are nothing to write home about either - lukewarm and frankly they don’t have much taste at all. A small bottle of hot sauce would work wonders here:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_53.jpg

The oddest thing on this tray is the dessert (dessert at breakfast?!) - a Chinese fortune cookie:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_54.jpg

...which comes with the requisite good omen:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_55.jpg

Outside we are just leaving the Eurasian continent behind:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_58.jpg

Seeing this got me thinking how huge Russia really is - basically during this almost ten hour flight the only countries we overflew are Russia and Japan! And when you think that there are Russian communities even further east from here you have one helluva large country with 11h domestic flights:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_59.jpg

After breakfast I head to the lavatory to freshen up and brush my teeth. One of the lavatories is inop with a large paper sign saying so. Apparently it is only the locking mechanism that is broken (well actually the whole knob is missing!) and after queuing for the other toilet for far too long I decide to use it anyway. Here’s a novel idea on how to block the missing knob from the inside:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_57.jpg

Back at my seat I check out the music selections of the IFE - they are pitifully inadequate but seeing Nightwish there makes me happy:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_60.jpg

Soon the Japanese landing cards and customs forms are distributed:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_61.jpg

I really like this shot - the orange winglet and the way it reflects off our shiny wing:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_63.jpg

Still having some time to go and feeling rather dizzy from the lack of sleep I’m not into reading and decide to watch something easy - The Simpsons will fit the bill perfectly, thank you:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_62.jpg

I keep hoping for the first iconic glance of The Home Islands but unfortunately Mother Nature seems to have different ideas:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_64.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_65.jpg

This may be the sacred Mt. Fuji (just wait for part 2 of this report...):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_66.jpg

And just like that the captain announces our descent for NRT which indeed is Descent with a capital ‘D’ - we head downwards while banking towards right:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_68.jpg

I decide to get familiar with the local news - the pointless island crisis with China was the hot potato all throughout my visit:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_67.jpg

Finally I get my first glimpse of Japan:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_69.jpg

Looks quite similar to Blaz’s shots:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_70.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_71.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_72.jpg

The city of Narita in the distance - I will be spending my last night in Japan there:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_73.jpg

Just a few more seconds:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_74.jpg

Spotters abound:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_75.jpg

Touchdown on NRT’s runway 16L after nine hours and change of flight time:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_76.jpg

Well well, what do we have here - my next flight in a few hours will be onboard one of these:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_77.jpg

The big brother is already here:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_78.jpg

CX:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_79.jpg

ANA/*A territory:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_80.jpg

This shot is dedicated to AirbusEric:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_81.jpg

And a familiar tail:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_82.jpg

This one is dedicated to Lufthansa747 and anyone else flying F class out of Myanmar anytime soon:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_83.jpg

Aeroflot’s home at NRT is T1 which is quite a taxi from our runway at the best of circumstances and today the circumstances aren’t the best as some kind of apron works are being done which forces us to make quite a detour:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_84.jpg

Well, I’m not complaining at there’s plenty of good stuff to watch outside like these two Star brothers:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_86.jpg

Or this greenish bird:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_85.jpg

I really need to get myself onboard a 77W soon, what a long bird she is:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_87.jpg

T1’s assortment of carriers:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_88.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_90.jpg

Finally pulling at our gate some 15 minutes after landing:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_91.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_92.jpg

Disembarking is surprisingly fast. I manage to take one photo of the messy business class cabin:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_93.jpg

And just like that this flight has come to an end. Bye:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_94.jpg

Walking towards immigration there are some interesting birds to see (not to mention the five DL ones, including three 747s!) - here’s one for Suryo:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_95.jpg

And here’s a dirty AZ 777 dedicated to myself, gabrielchew and all the others flying from Milan to Bari the long way:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_96.jpg

Immigration is my first encounter with the Japanese and it only serves to strengthen the image I already had about these people - really, really efficient, terribly polite with mediocre English skills. I’m through in just a few seconds walking through the sparkling clean luggage hall:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_97.jpg

With no checked in luggage to pick up I head through customs (another quintessentially Japanese experience) and just like that am in Japan. Finally.

It is around thirty degrees and sunshine outside, so the very next thing I do is to head into the loo to change into shorts. Here’s a nice sign to end this report with - yes, I’m very ostomate, thank you very much for asking:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_1/_98.jpg

The next part will pick up from here, with me continuing down to Osaka aboard a new LCC entry to the Japanese aviation market and comparing it with a bit more established LCC on a head to head duel!

Conclusions

Well, Aeroflot longhaul economy was way better than I expected. True, I expected it to be rather awful but it wasn’t - quite a standard long haul product on the A333 actually. The seat was okay, PTV and the IFE system not the best or newest model around but does keep you occupied on a flight like this. Food quantity was good, qualitywise - well, it’s plane food so no great culinary sensations are to be expected but it wasn’t awful either. The abundance of fish, both on long haul and short haul might be off putting to some people though. My biggest pet peeve is the time it takes between the drink run and meal service - they should really offer at least a tub of water on the meal tray! Anyway for this price these flights were fine and of course represented exceptional value for money.

Topic: RE: To Japan On A Shoestring: FCO-SVO-NRT And Some
Username: roberts87
Posted 2012-10-21 04:59:53 and read 15047 times.

Excellent report P!
Glad SU was better then expected; they seemed okay indeed.
And yes, those mistake fares are fascinating phenomen and a treat for us A.nutters.
Looking forward to reading about your adventures in Asia!

Topic: RE: To Japan On A Shoestring: FCO-SVO-NRT And Some
Username: I39OO
Posted 2012-10-21 05:24:02 and read 14944 times.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Once upon a time they served a purpose (I won’t go into the history, but they were introduced as a response to the oil prices skyrocketing during the first Gulf War) but in these days of unlimited computing power available at ridiculously low cost they have long ago stopped serving their intended purpose (which was to avoid manual fare hikes when the fuel price suddenly changed) as refaring the thousands of fares offered by any large airline is a nowadays trivial.

Hello FlyingFinn!

Great read! It was really interesting and funny at times.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Now when you try to add the fuel surcharge madness into this equation you come up with a very interesting outcome: the system gets confused by the two segments with the same flight number and basically does this:

“Ahh, SU264 - which flight is this?”
“Oh, it’s a short haul flight from Rome to Moscow. Let’s use the short haul fuel surcharge.”
“Ahh, SU264 again?!”
“Oh, it’s a short haul flight from Rome to Moscow. Let’s use the short haul fuel surcharge.”
“But what about the long haul fuel surcharge which is much more than the short haul one?”
“Sorry, SU264 is a short haul flight from Rome to Moscow. I do not know any better.”

Repeat this for the return sectors and there you have it - the anatomy of a cheap fare to Tokyo.

If only my AND Irtysh-Avia (Kazakhstan)">IT colleagues could be so clear when they explain me, over the phone, how I managed to mess up my duty travel AND Lotus Notes accounts in a simple click!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
A couple of pictures. Here’s D-AILI, a 15 year old A319 waiting at the gate at HEL:

Oh, that's a sad one. I believe D-AILI was part of the Lufthansa Italia fleet, one of the first to go when Cologne finally decided that it was time to pull the plug on the project.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Now Italy sits right at the top of my personal “number of times getting ripped off by taxi drivers” list (Poland is a close second) so this option was the last thing I was going to do.

100% agree. A bunch of tax evaders, mafioso mobsters they are.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
By the way speaking of vermin, there’s also a sparrow flying around the lounge. Yes, very premium. Come to think of it the generic airline lounge opposite which remains one of the worst lounges I’ve ever visited suffered from the very same problem so maybe it is something about the design and architecture of this old pier...

Well, either that or lack of proper cleaning. Still, better than some parts of LHR's T1 and T3, where rats aren't an uncommon encounter (think of gate 34 area after the evening services to SIN/SYD and BKK have left).

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
We are happily admitted in, and Jonas gets his bliss. Me, well, I’ve spent half my life (seemingly) at airport lounges so for me it’s not really nothing new. Well, it still looks quite nice and stylish and far, far better than the Schengen one:

Yes, I think it's been refurbished some 2 years ago.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Yes, it is the expected A321 “Sergey Korolev”, named after the Soviet rocket engineer.

That's a good omen!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
This new non-Schengen pier appears to be in exactly the same condition as the last time I saw it back in July 2011 - maybe the financial woes mean they run out of money:

Most probably the contractor went bust. It isn't an unlikely event in Italy, for the law allow the tender to be assigned to the lowest bidder regardless of how financially solid the winner might be. I know of hospitals and universities two years behind schedule because the prime contractor, the same company, simply went bust and couldn't pay its employees.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
Next we head for the passport control where the matrushka just waves me through and the very cursory security check where nobody cares whether you have liquids in your bag or head nor whether you are carrying a dozen computers in your back bag which is very refreshing after the eurocraziness.

That's strange because, unlike most part of Europe, Russia has a proven reason to be quite paranoid with security in airports (read Chechnya).

Looking forward to read about your Japanese stay!

Topic: RE: To Japan On A Shoestring: FCO-SVO-NRT And Some
Username: LH4116
Posted 2012-10-21 06:35:40 and read 14709 times.

Hey there FlyingJesus76, my partner in crime! Nice to see the report finally up!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I guess this is the German version of Mac & Cheese:

Now that sounds like quite an interesting dish. I suppose it tasted better than that generic elbow macaroni instant junk, that Kraft makes?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Oh and a short night could also help with adjusting to the upcoming time difference.

Well sounds like you had it all strategically planned.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Good morning - fresh batch of sandwiches (which unfortunately turned out to be rather disgusting) waiting for the lounge to open:

What? How the hell did they get there!? Free food at an airport terminal?! How the hell is even that possible!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
First of all the weird egg-cucumber thingies (which look just like the Spanish tortilla de patatas) are disgusting.

Well I actually thought those tasted quite allright. A bit on the bland side though.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
you realize a nasty swarm of flies (of the type we would call “shite flies” in Finnish)

You sure have a vulgar language. In Sweden we call them "bananflugor", or banana flies.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
(not that any thank yous are ever said).

I did actually thank you for the lounge invitation in London, right before stepping off the bus. Or maybe you were too sleepy to remember that?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The bartender suggests some sweet white wine instead and who am I to argue:

I thought that sweet wine was delicious, like drinking liquid candy. Oh and those San Pellegrino® style miniature bubbles made it even taste more amazing!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Onwards to economy:

Economy wasn't bad at all, heck those seats were way more comfy than those on the A330.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
OLCI did not work for him although it worked for me so I simply told him my seat number and he tried to get nearby.

Actually I got assigned that seat number by coincidence.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
and spend quite some time trying get him (or her, not sure actually whether it is a woman or a man)

I think it was a man. His wife was seated beside him in the aisle seat.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
the cutest of the bunch with short faux red hair and eyes that could kill

I remember her being the blonde one

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
also notice my choice of light headgear for this trip:

You mean your faux hat?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
...of which I manage to do maybe two and half hours.

I managed to sleep roughly the same amount. Thought it was 5 hours until looking at the clock.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Well well, what do we have here - my next flight in a few hours will be onboard one of these:

That's a bugger, I thought you meant the AA plane.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
This one is dedicated to Lufthansa747 and anyone else flying F class out of Myanmar anytime soon:

Wow lucky him that they didn't cancel his ticket!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Well, I’m not complaining at there’s plenty of good stuff to watch outside like these two Star brothers:

Both of whom serving Do&Co Catering.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Or this greenish bird:

And a soon-to-be Star Brother.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
T1’s assortment of carriers:

What the hell are SAS doing there!? I thought their long haul operation was so tiny that it didn't even exist.

Looking forward to the next parts!

"Wheels Up!"
//Jonas

Topic: RE: To Japan On A Shoestring: FCO-SVO-NRT And Some
Username: Widebodyroga
Posted 2012-10-21 06:40:58 and read 14685 times.

Hey Petteri,

Nice to finally get to see more details about your Japan trip. I bet it was fun to be on such a long journey with a bunch of fellow a.netters. I remember the ruckus that happened after this particular fare was discovered.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Q: Care to elaborate?
A: Not really.
Q: Please, pretty please with sugar on top?
A: Ahh, okay, but only because I like the idea of people pleading on the floor in front of me.

Thanks for explaining all of this. I have to admit that I have very little knowledge with regards to how fares are being calculated. I found it quite fascinating.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
This snack was really, really odd. First of all the thing on the left is NOT a Finnish-style meat pie, instead it is a bun made out of pretzel dough. Secondly the balls on the right are NOT fish balls (which their bear an uncannily resemblance to) but instead they are made out of Bratwurst (from now on BB = Bratwurst Balls). Yes, you got that one right, the gray, delicious German sausage with the best examples coming from Nürnberg. Yes, very odd.

Maybe it's the fact that I haven't eaten anything yet today, but this actually looks pretty appetizing to me. Well at least compared to those cheese sandwiches that LH normally hands out.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
Right after landing some hand clapping follows (as is customary here) plus a number of people getting up while we are still on the taxiway (as is customary here).

How cute. You know you are in Eastern Europe when that happens. I hope this tradition (clapping) never dies out.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I’m quite disappointed that unlike many other IFE systems one cannot have the airshow on while listening to music.

Who came up with this idea? I actually laughed out loud when reading this.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
after all I’m a huge fan of seafood:

Actually, "faux" fan of seafood. You're not a real seafood fan unless you're willing to (sometimes) eat it raw. And before you ask, the worms in my gut are doing just fine, thankyouverymuch. 


I'm looking forward reading about your Japanese domestic flights. Did you get the chance to try Peach Airlines after all? OK, I'm getting ahead of myself. I'll just wait and find out.

Thanks for a very entertaining Sunday morning read!

Stojan

Topic: RE: To Japan On A Shoestring: FCO-SVO-NRT And Some
Username: 767747
Posted 2012-10-21 07:35:28 and read 14514 times.

Great report! It was really good to read and see photos of Aeroflot's service in Y on some different flights. I'm impressed by the level of food quantity on the short 3 hour flight, yet the food to NRT from SVO doesn't look as appetizing.

I've heard so many reports where flight crews begin "breakfast" service way too early on in the flight where there is still ample time to sleep. I've witnessed this as well. I wonder why this is !!

Best,

Matthew (767747)

Topic: RE: To Japan On A Shoestring: FCO-SVO-NRT And Some
Username: airbuseric
Posted 2012-10-21 08:01:17 and read 14408 times.

Hi, P.,

good to see the first part of your trip to Japan. I won't quote (sorry, Sunday lazyness), but not a fan of the LH meals you got.
Good to see nice service on SU, greeting for being ST Gold and a nice cabin interior. I would have no problem of sitting there. The meals look ok for me, also the menu and other food options. Really nice and appropriate.
I see the slippers are provided at least in C-class, nice touch especially accepted by passengers on Japan bound flights.
I guess you could ask a specific seat (change) in FCO for the longhaul flight or was that not possible?

Thanks for the JL tails. Yes, it has been a while. Good memories though.

Regards
Eric

Topic: RE: To Japan On A Shoestring: FCO-SVO-NRT And Some
Username: dc9northwest
Posted 2012-10-21 09:24:13 and read 14137 times.

Hey P,

Nice report here, always interesting to see Japan featured, so looking forward to the next parts too.

Aeroflot, what can I say. They seem ok. All that fish is indeed off-putting for me, though, as I don't eat fish... Smell and taste are so closely intertwined that my nose will not allow my mouth to eat fish. Note to myself: if I fly Aeroflot, get a seat to the front of the cabin.

Nice to see the SU F/A came to your seat and welcomed you. That's a nice gesture!

Don't see why you were so excited about Nightwish, Finland has some better bands than that   Then again, those would likely be imprisoned in Russia, not broadcast by the state airline 

Yes--that's weird, serving drinks way ahead and nothing with the meal. DL did the same thing a few times, except they then brought more drinks some minutes later.

Good to see that green and red 777 there  

Thanks a lot for your report, P!

Topic: RE: To Japan On A Shoestring: FCO-SVO-NRT And Some
Username: Knightsofmalta
Posted 2012-10-21 09:44:51 and read 14069 times.

Hi FlyingFinn

Great report with some lovely pictures. I must say, the Aeroflot on board experience looks much better than I would have expected. The quantity of the food is quite impressive but the tray looks kind of chaotic. On the other hand, the second service is a lot more substantial than what you'd get on many other airlines these days.

Thanks for posting!

Cheers,
William

Topic: RE: To Japan On A Shoestring: FCO-SVO-NRT And Some
Username: FlyingFinn76
Posted 2012-10-21 11:30:29 and read 13831 times.

Hi guys, good to see all these comments, thank you!

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 2):
And yes, those mistake fares are fascinating phenomen and a treat for us A.nutters.

Well, there will be plenty reports about them in the next six months...  
Quoting I39OO (Reply 3):
AND Irtysh-Avia (Kazakhstan)">IT colleagues could be so clear when they explain me, over the phone, how I managed to mess up my duty travel AND Lotus Notes accounts in a simple click!

I can be clear: It's Notes. It sucks. A horrible piece of software. Anything you do with it will end up being a major clusterf**k.

Quoting I39OO (Reply 3):
Oh, that's a sad one. I believe D-AILI was part of the Lufthansa Italia fleet, one of the first to go when Cologne finally decided that it was time to pull the plug on the project.

Yes, it was, you are right. That was an interesting episode at LH's history, shame it didn't work out.

Quoting I39OO (Reply 3):
Well, either that or lack of proper cleaning. Still, better than some parts of LHR's T1 and T3, where rats aren't an uncommon encounter (think of gate 34 area after the evening services to SIN/SYD and BKK have left).

Wow, that sounds very bad! I've yet to witness a rat at an airport, lucky me!

Quoting I39OO (Reply 3):
Most probably the contractor went bust. It isn't an unlikely event in Italy, for the law allow the tender to be assigned to the lowest bidder regardless of how financially solid the winner might be.

It's been known to happen in many countries. Just look at what happened with the Chinese contractor the Polish government hired to finish the Berlin - Warsaw autobahn...

Quoting I39OO (Reply 3):
That's strange because, unlike most part of Europe, Russia has a proven reason to be quite paranoid with security in airports (read Chechnya).

Well I'm sure their real security checkpoints are somewhat stricter, after all this is the international transfer security so basically they are rescreening passengers that have already been screened somewhere else (at HEL in my case since I never exited the sterile areas at FRA or FCO  ).

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 4):
Hey there FlyingJesus76, my partner in crime! Nice to see the report finally up!

I don't see yours anywhere around?

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 4):
Now that sounds like quite an interesting dish. I suppose it tasted better than that generic elbow macaroni instant junk, that Kraft makes?

It was surprisingly good if rather heavy.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 4):
Well sounds like you had it all strategically planned.

Trust me I do. Doing this traveling stuff like I do you need to have solid plans.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 4):
What? How the hell did they get there!? Free food at an airport terminal?! How the hell is even that possible!

It's not free unless you want to steal some. These are sandwiches delivered for the lounge, but the lounge wasn't yet open so they were simply left outside in front of the door to wait for its opening. So yes, you can grab some if you want, but that would be stealing.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 4):
you realize a nasty swarm of flies (of the type we would call “shite flies” in Finnish)
You sure have a vulgar language. In Sweden we call them "bananflugor", or banana flies.

No, we have our own banana flies as well. Those are the small nasty buggers that materialize seemingly out of thin air if you leave some fruit well past their consume by date lying around. Shit flies are the large variety that are very common at farms, near livestock, outdoor toilets etc. I'm absolutely sure Sweden has plenty of those.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 4):
I did actually thank you for the lounge invitation in London, right before stepping off the bus. Or maybe you were too sleepy to remember that?

Maybe you did, I was definitely running on fumes by that point. You are welcome anyway.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 4):
I think it was a man. His wife was seated beside him in the aisle seat.

Yes, not that you mention it I think it was like this.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 4):
the cutest of the bunch with short faux red hair and eyes that could kill
I remember her being the blonde one

This is why you should write reports right away when the memories are still fresh. You are right, but for some reason the red haired girl is the most memorable of them..  
Quoting LH4116 (Reply 4):
You mean your faux hat?

It's not faux, it is a genuine Airbus (TM) (R) (C) baseball cap that LH bribed me with.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 4):
What the hell are SAS doing there!? I thought their long haul operation was so tiny that it didn't even exist.

Come on, you have been agitating for me to take this flight to TYO for a long time.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 5):
I bet it was fun to be on such a long journey with a bunch of fellow a.netters. I remember the ruckus that happened after this particular fare was discovered.

Yeah, I think it didn't generate that much interest back in February though. The amazing AZ fares to NRT most certainly did!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 5):
Thanks for explaining all of this. I have to admit that I have very little knowledge with regards to how fares are being calculated. I found it quite fascinating.

Well you could write a book (or actually series of books) about how airline reservation systems and fares work. Being a software engineer I find it very, very interesting.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 5):
Maybe it's the fact that I haven't eaten anything yet today, but this actually looks pretty appetizing to me. Well at least compared to those cheese sandwiches that LH normally hands out.

Ok, those BBs were okay, but the fatty bun was disgusting as was the layer of molten fat on the bottom of the box.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 5):
Actually, "faux" fan of seafood. You're not a real seafood fan unless you're willing to (sometimes) eat it raw. And before you ask, the worms in my gut are doing just fine, thankyouverymuch. 

I'm getting there, slowly but surely.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 5):
I'm looking forward reading about your Japanese domestic flights. Did you get the chance to try Peach Airlines after all? OK, I'm getting ahead of myself. I'll just wait and find out.

Yes, you are getting way ahead. But I now have a Peach A320 model plane on my living room shelf, so do the math  
Quoting 767747 (Reply 6):
I'm impressed by the level of food quantity on the short 3 hour flight, yet the food to NRT from SVO doesn't look as appetizing.

Yes, quantity was very good, quality was a mixed bag!

Quoting 767747 (Reply 6):
I've heard so many reports where flight crews begin "breakfast" service way too early on in the flight where there is still ample time to sleep. I've witnessed this as well. I wonder why this is !!

I wish I knew. I guess they want to be prepared with the cabin well ahead of landing...

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 7):
Good to see nice service on SU, greeting for being ST Gold and a nice cabin interior. I would have no problem of sitting there. The meals look ok for me, also the menu and other food options. Really nice and appropriate.

Yes, quite an okay experience. Had it been one of their ancient 767s I bet the experience would've been vastly different. Oh and stay tuned for the return to see a different cabin interior.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 7):
I see the slippers are provided at least in C-class, nice touch especially accepted by passengers on Japan bound flights.

They provide these slippers even on short haul J. I have a pair here somewhere that I got from my EVN-SVO flight back in February.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 7):
I guess you could ask a specific seat (change) in FCO for the longhaul flight or was that not possible?

I guess it would've been, not that I really minded as I had a window and that was enough for me especially on a night fight like this.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 8):
All that fish is indeed off-putting for me, though, as I don't eat fish...

Yes, SU doesn't cater well for people who are "seafood challenged". I guess you could always order a special meal though.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 8):
Nice to see the SU F/A came to your seat and welcomed you. That's a nice gesture!

Yes I agree with you, although it only happened on one of the four flights. I've heard that even the captain has been known to come and personally greet status passengers on SU flights...

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 8):
Don't see why you were so excited about Nightwish, Finland has some better bands than that  Then again, those would likely be imprisoned in Russia, not broadcast by the state airline 

Haha. You see we Finns have an endless inferiority complex towards every other nation on earth (apart from Sweden and Estonia). Nothing delights a Finn more than seeing something Finnish abroad and doing well. I got very warm and fuzzy inside seeing Marimekko and Moomin stuff for sale in Japan too!  
Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 9):
. On the other hand, the second service is a lot more substantial than what you'd get on many other airlines these days.

Yes, then again it was a 10 hour flight which is about the same as west coast US to Europe.

Topic: RE: To Japan On A Shoestring: FCO-SVO-NRT And Some
Username: sultanils
Posted 2012-10-21 12:28:54 and read 13664 times.

Hello Petteri,

Thanks for this excellent and entertaining report. The Waldorf and Statler of a.net traveling together, that gave some nice firework at times  Heck, you even showed some extensive footage of the onboard lavatorial facilities (I agree: what's there to do on a 10h flight  ) SU doesn't look half bad, although the seats on the A321 look like the FR plastic ones when looked at from the behind. In that aspect, the cabin of the A333 looked much better. And I got a nice preview of NRT, it's getting nearer indeed.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
A grand total of 256 EUR.

With an Alitalia fare, you could do this trip 10 times iso 1 lol!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Repeat this for the return sectors and there you have it - the anatomy of a cheap fare to Tokyo.

Thanks for elaborating, I didn't know.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
All Flights Lead to Rome

Concerning all the crazy Alitalia (again) deals run through here, yes! And pun intended of course  

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
My chosen corner for the night

Good choice. It looks very exquisite.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
not that any thank yous are ever said

said or Said? Pun intended  Note to Jonas: now that's not nice...  

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Looks like we are doing a bit of a medevac role on this flight as well

I wonder how much time it takes to set up such a complicated mess. Must give the ground crew a headache!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Cabin view from a lavatorial visit

Fake plastic trees errr. seats.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Lounge Lizard

Are you refering to that old PC game called 'Leisure Suit Larry In The Land Of The Lounge Lizards'? Except that the guy featured in the game had lots of other 'nasty' plans lol!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
also notice my choice of light headgear for this trip

Don't you dare to wear that on our Boeing flight to NRT  Wow!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Nature calls, so it is time to check out the lavatorial facilities

Oh no, a lavatoryphile in the making. Too much Jonas influence Petteri 

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
after all I’m a huge fan of seafood

Just like me.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
really like this shot - the orange winglet and the way it reflects off our shiny wing

Nice shot. Good for you it didn't feature the 'easyJet' decalls.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
And here’s a dirty AZ 777 dedicated to myself, gabrielchew and all the others flying from Milan to Bari the long way

I don't feel addressed as I'm not continuing all the way to Bari lol!

Sultanils

Topic: RE: To Japan On A Shoestring: FCO-SVO-NRT And Some
Username: debonair
Posted 2012-10-21 12:46:23 and read 13595 times.

Nice TR...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Here’s an interesting subcharter operating for Blu-Express - certain members of this board might find this very familiar:

That's nice...    BTW Welcome to my Respected User List- long overdue!

Can't wait for the TR's of your Japan adventures!

Topic: RE: To Japan On A Shoestring: FCO-SVO-NRT And Some
Username: MSS658
Posted 2012-10-21 14:22:54 and read 13370 times.

Hola Petteri

Great trip report, thanks for taking the time to put it up.
Interesting to see that SU does US-style routings to.
Both sectors on Aeroflot look interesting as well, good food, comfortable seating, good crew...
And the most important that the plane did land in one piece with you and Jonas onboard.

Looking forward to the next part.


Marc

Topic: RE: To Japan On A Shoestring: FCO-SVO-NRT And Some
Username: marcmcg
Posted 2012-10-21 15:33:31 and read 13226 times.

Hi FlyingFinn,

Great report as usual, very interesting insight into the SU longhaul product out of SVO.

I'm planning a trip for next summer to Tokyo and these cheap fares keep popping up but i can't seem to find one that doesn't involve a ridculously long lay over in SVO. The attraction of ANA from FRA is just to great at the moment but if those cheap flights keep up it's definetley something i will try sooner than later.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Well - one day I got tipped off about some really low fares on Aeroflot (of all carriers) to Tokyo. The catch? One had to book an open jaw ticket with very limited availability. The departure and arrival points in Europe would be CDG, LHR and FCO. After a bit of searching I found something which would work for me and booked FCO-SVO-NRT-SVO-LHR in a jiffy. This was booked for September, over 7 months in advance. And what did it cost? A grand total of 256 EUR.

Incredible price. May i be cheeky enough to ask who tipped you off and what search site you used to to book the open jaw ticket?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
My chosen corner for the night:

No nasty draught from that fire exit? I'm a sucker for sleeping in airports, i guess i'm just too tight but there is no way in hell i would shell out on a hotel room at those crazy prices just for a few hours. I once slept at GRO and my flight wasn't till 6pm the next day!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Soon after that one of the FAs, the cutest of the bunch with short faux red hair and eyes that could kill walks through the cabin with the passenger manifest on her hand, stops at me and welcomes me personally onboard this “Aeroflot flight to Moscow Sheremetyevo”

Very nice to hear of this.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
And here’s a dirty AZ 777 dedicated to myself, gabrielchew and all the others flying from Milan to Bari the long way:

The long way? Is it some open jaw wide body route?

Once again great report and a good read on another wise boring Sunday evening! Looking forward to the 2nd part and some shots of the wonderful Tokyo hopefully?

Marc

Topic: RE: To Japan On A Shoestring: FCO-SVO-NRT And Some
Username: gabrielchew
Posted 2012-10-22 02:20:39 and read 12501 times.

Very nice report P...SU looked perfectly acceptable. I trust you had a good time in Japan.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
This snack was really, really odd. First of all the thing on the left is NOT a Finnish-style meat pie, instead it is a bun made out of pretzel dough. Secondly the balls on the right are NOT fish balls (which their bear an uncannily resemblance to) but instead they are made out of Bratwurst (from now on BB = Bratwurst Balls). Yes, you got that one right, the gray, delicious German sausage with the best examples coming from Nürnberg. Yes, very odd.

Hmm, how odd, although in terms's of LH catering, not unexpected (insomuchas they seem to serve anything nowadays)

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Let’s see what’s inside, shall we:

Very nice box from AZ...impressed!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Soon after that one of the FAs, the cutest of the bunch with short faux red hair and eyes that could kill walks through the cabin with the passenger manifest on her hand, stops at me and welcomes me personally onboard this “Aeroflot flight to Moscow Sheremetyevo”. I mutter my thanks in Russian which seems to delight her. Great elite status recognition here with Aeroflot - I’ve heard this happening before as well!

Nice Skyteam cohesion there

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
In the meantime the service starts with a drinks round - I decide to splurge 6 EUR at two beers which wasn’t actually terribly good value for money as they are lukewarm at best:

Oh dear. I though SU had free beer/wine?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The safety demo is quite stylish, done using rotoscope technique:

I like it!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
View of the forward economy cabin:

Looks clean and comfortable, and not in the slightlest bit innovative!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Oh, I didn’t know they served wine for free. Note the small print - those BKK flights are notorious for drunken behaviour:

Ah, so just some free wine. But why is PVG and CAN lumped with riotous BKK, when PEK is not? The Chinese tend to not get rowdy on planes.

Topic: RE: To Japan On A Shoestring: FCO-SVO-NRT And Some
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-10-22 05:33:40 and read 12322 times.

Hi P.,

great first report of your new series! SU's product in general looks decent, including the catering (I really like fish, btw).

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
This snack was really, really odd. First of all the thing on the left is NOT a Finnish-style meat pie, instead it is a bun made out of pretzel dough. Secondly the balls on the right are NOT fish balls (which their bear an uncannily resemblance to) but instead they are made out of Bratwurst (from now on BB = Bratwurst Balls). Yes, you got that one right, the gray, delicious German sausage with the best examples coming from Nürnberg. Yes, very odd.

Nice! But something's seriously missing...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The BBs themselves weren’t too bad actually, some sweet Bavarian mustard would’ve worked wonders with them though.

...exactly, that's it. But it doesn't need to be a sweet one.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
He also found it funny that I ordered two beers (well, Warsteiners) at once - weirdo

Sure, it's really weird that somebody orders two bottles of that "beer" voluntarily. At least from a German point of view.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I guess this is the German version of Mac & Cheese:

Ask Markus about it, that dish is very popular in his state.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
But they certainly know that they are the only convenient options and certainly charge a hefty premium for it! I wasn’t in the mood of paying several hundred euros for a hotel room where I’d spend less than ten hours in, mostly asleep so no dice.

Several hundred? I cannot believe that.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Unfortunately the benches had armrests and thus could not be used as beds so it was the hard cold floor for me, which wasn’t too bad actually as I had enough beer to drink on the way over to make me sleepy.... Good night!

Horrible! I'd prefer staying at home if I were offered a trip involving such a night.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Greetings are exchanged, a lot of crap is talked and somehow we even manage to make our way to the non-Schengen satellite via passport control (gotta love my Finnish passport, never ever does it arouse any suspicion anywhere in the world!) and the automated train thingy.

I have never had any problems with my German passport either.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
New style air vents and cabin lights - this bird was delivered new to Aeroflot in 2009:

Okay, but the dull blue seat backs look really bad IMO.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Some nice pies - also notice my choice of light headgear for this trip:

I hope you also had an appropriate one for your Dreamliner flight.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The seats are orange cloth covered ones:

I'm not sure how to rate that color.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
747s are fast disappearing, good to see some still around:

It's not that bad. Still some 600 747-400s in active service.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Soon after getting back to my seat menu cards are distributed. I am somewhat impressed by this.

Definitely impressive!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
As I will very soon learn is a norm with SU it takes a really long time between the drinks service and the meal service. More annoyingly they don’t have any drinks on the meal cart nor any water on the tray so if you drank everything they gave to you during the drinks pass you won’t have anything to drink with your meal.

On EK, you may get the drink after you have finished your meal...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The main course - taste was okay but the tilapia was a bit overcooked and dry:

Which happens quite often when fish is offered on a plane.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I really like this shot - the orange winglet and the way it reflects off our shiny wing:

Nice shot!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The next part will pick up from here, with me continuing down to Osaka aboard a new LCC entry to the Japanese aviation market and comparing it with a bit more established LCC on a head to head duel!

I'm looking forward to your Peach Aviation report!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 10):
Well, there will be plenty reports about them in the next six months...

I guess the moderators will sooner or later start to delete reports about Alitalia...  



PH

Topic: RE: To Japan On A Shoestring: FCO-SVO-NRT And Some
Username: The777Man
Posted 2012-10-22 10:53:20 and read 11997 times.

Hi FlyingFinn!

Thanks for posting this very interesting report with very nice pictures !

That's very interesting way to spend the night before a long haul flight; I need to be well rested so will try to make sure I get a good sleep. I know what you mean by getting ripped off by taxis at FCO; paid four different amounts for the taxi from the airport to the hotel......

Aeroflot looks okay; legroom seems a bit tight.

Food sounds very good on the menu but doesn't look so great in reality.....good that it tasted okay.

The F/A uniform is great but I always though it looked red....I also think they should get rid of the hammer and sickle and get a new logo.

Very much looking forward to your next report in this series!

The777Man

Topic: RE: To Japan On A Shoestring: FCO-SVO-NRT And Some
Username: CaptainRed
Posted 2012-10-22 11:44:07 and read 11929 times.

Hello P,

good to see your report about your (first) Japanese adventure, really enjoyed it very much. You got a great deal here with SU, interesting to read about these fuel dump fares. I have heard about them of course but actually never really understood how it works, so thanks for the explanation.

SU really seems to offer a nice product here on their long-haul flights. Even though I don't like their menu choices, somehow I am not very keen on having fish on board of a plane, but if you like it, no problem.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
This snack was really, really odd.

That's indeed odd. Even as a German I have never seen Bratwurst in this form, interesting. LH keeps surprising with their inflight snacks obviously.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I guess this is the German version of Mac & Cheese

Yummy, 'Käsespätzle', quite popular in this part of Germany here. And if you add some pepper (or rather lots of it) and some roasted onions it is truly delicious   ...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Looks like we are doing a bit of a medevac role on this flight as well.

Interesting, never seen anything like this. This must really be quite a hassle for the crew to set this up.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I’m quite disappointed that unlike many other IFE systems one cannot have the airshow on while listening to music.

Ouch, that's really bad, nothing beats listening to some nice music while watching the progress of the plane on the map.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The oddest thing on this tray is the dessert (dessert at breakfast?!) - a Chinese fortune cookie:

That's really a strange thing. Just imagine if a somewhat nervous flyer would get a not so positive message   ...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
they are pitifully inadequate but seeing Nightwish there makes me happy:

Ahh, come on, without Tarja it is not really Nightwish anymore   ...

Looking forward to read more about Japan from you  

CaptainRed

Topic: RE: To Japan On A Shoestring: FCO-SVO-NRT And Some
Username: FlyingFinn76
Posted 2012-10-23 11:43:45 and read 11149 times.

Hi guys, good to see so many comments, thank you!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 11):
SU doesn't look half bad, although the seats on the A321 look like the FR plastic ones when looked at from the behind.

Yes, they have similarities. Which is not a good thing at all...

Quoting sultanils (Reply 11):
In that aspect, the cabin of the A333 looked much better.

Yeah, stay tuned for the return to see an entirely different cabin, sadly more Ryanair-style and more uncomfortable seats as well...

Quoting sultanils (Reply 11):
Concerning all the crazy Alitalia (again) deals run through here, yes! And pun intended of course

Hah, next year I'll be flying through FCO quite a few times!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 11):
I wonder how much time it takes to set up such a complicated mess. Must give the ground crew a headache!

Enough to delay a flight half an hour, apparently!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 11):
Are you refering to that old PC game called 'Leisure Suit Larry In The Land Of The Lounge Lizards'? Except that the guy featured in the game had lots of other 'nasty' plans lol!

Yes I am. Used to love those Sierra adventures.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 11):
Don't you dare to wear that on our Boeing flight to NRT  

Nope, it'll be winter so proper winter headgear time! Although I do have an official Boeing cap too.

Quoting debonair (Reply 12):
That's nice...    BTW Welcome to my Respected User List- long overdue!

Hah, yes, I thought about you! Thanks, not that I much care for that rating. BTW I'll send you an email later this week, I'm coming to HAM soon!

Quoting debonair (Reply 12):
Can't wait for the TR's of your Japan adventures!

They are coming, trust me.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 13):
And the most important that the plane did land in one piece with you and Jonas onboard.

Come on, it isn't that bad. The reality if different to what it appears online...

Quoting marcmcg (Reply 14):
I'm planning a trip for next summer to Tokyo and these cheap fares keep popping up but i can't seem to find one that doesn't involve a ridculously long lay over in SVO. The attraction of ANA from FRA is just to great at the moment but if those cheap flights keep up it's definetley something i will try sooner than later.

Yeah, SU's fares seem to be in a constant state of flux. And yes, from many places they only have really sparse flights to SVO forcing you to have really long layovers. It is really bad ex-HEL as they are now down to 1 daily flight on their own metal and the cheapest fares do not allow SU codeshare on AY. A shame as they have some great fares to China and Vietnam but these always involve a 20+ hour layover at SVO...  
Quoting marcmcg (Reply 14):
Incredible price. May i be cheeky enough to ask who tipped you off and what search site you used to to book the open jaw ticket?

It was booked using good old Expedia (the US version), pretty much any booking site would've worked as those were regular published fares. I think I read about it in pelikan.sk (which has been going downhill for a long time these days), although not sure. User eco also mentioned it.

Quoting marcmcg (Reply 14):
No nasty draught from that fire exit? I'm a sucker for sleeping in airports, i guess i'm just too tight but there is no way in hell i would shell out on a hotel room at those crazy prices just for a few hours. I once slept at GRO and my flight wasn't till 6pm the next day!

No, you're too Scottish! Haha. But yeah, I don't think it's that bad every now and then, depending on the airport of course. Airside is usually quite good as it'll be very quiet and only ticketed passengers are allowed on the other side so it keeps the riff raff away.

Quoting marcmcg (Reply 14):
And here’s a dirty AZ 777 dedicated to myself, gabrielchew and all the others flying from Milan to Bari the long way:
The long way? Is it some open jaw wide body route?

Well AZ was selling a one-way fare between MXP and BRI which allowed one to route it via NRT or SIN or several other long haul destinations, at an amazingly low price. Several people here booked it and especially one weekend in January will be quite an a.net party weekend as there is a large bunch of us doing MXP-NRT-FCO-BRI with three and change hours at Narita!  
Quoting marcmcg (Reply 14):
Once again great report and a good read on another wise boring Sunday evening! Looking forward to the 2nd part and some shots of the wonderful Tokyo hopefully?

Not many shots from Tokyo, spent most of my time in other places and the one day I had dedicated for Tokyo it rained non stop  . But I actually liked Osaka way more than Tokyo.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 15):
Very nice report P...SU looked perfectly acceptable. I trust you had a good time in Japan.

Thanks gabs. And yes, Japan was a blast. Can't wait to get back! IT is one of those countries where you hear incredible stories about and when you finally get there you realize all of them were true and it really is as awesome in real life!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 15):
Very nice box from AZ...impressed!

I knew an airport shower expert like you would approve! Luckily I'll be able to take advantage of this several times next year.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 15):
Oh dear. I though SU had free beer/wine?

Well you answered your own question later. But I didn't realize until the return SVO-LHR segment that they have the wine also on the short haul routes. Disgusting it is but hey, it's free and the servings were extremely generous, the paper cup (ugh) filled almost to the brim!  
Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 15):
Ah, so just some free wine. But why is PVG and CAN lumped with riotous BKK, when PEK is not? The Chinese tend to not get rowdy on planes.

Yeah, this confused me as well. No idea really.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 16):
including the catering (I really like fish, btw).

Good boy!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 16):
...exactly, that's it. But it doesn't need to be a sweet one.

Yeah true, any mustard would help.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 16):
Several hundred? I cannot believe that.

Admittedly it was quite late, a month or so before the trip when I looked, but the Hilton itself had prices over 200 EUR. The Garden Inn was around 150 EUR, but to me that is very steep especially for such a short stay.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 16):
Horrible! I'd prefer staying at home if I were offered a trip involving such a night.

Well, I guess I'm more hardcore than you. No problem really doing it every now and then given that there's no guard that comes to wake you up every half hour like at such airports.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 16):
Okay, but the dull blue seat backs look really bad IMO.

As already mentioned they do have a certain Ryanair-feel.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 16):
I hope you also had an appropriate one for your Dreamliner flight.

Unfortunately I committed blasphemy by wearing the same cap. Don't worry, I apologized from Boeing.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 16):
The seats are orange cloth covered ones:
I'm not sure how to rate that color.

Yep, at least it is somewhat different. And on the return flight there were different seats, so stay tuned!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 16):
I'm looking forward to your Peach Aviation report!

It's coming! The most interesting part was their ground operation at KIX actually  .

Quoting The777Man (Reply 17):
That's very interesting way to spend the night before a long haul flight; I need to be well rested so will try to make sure I get a good sleep.

It worked for me. Although thanks to the lack of sleep on the SU flight I was quite knackered the next day.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 17):
The F/A uniform is great but I always though it looked red....I also think they should get rid of the hammer and sickle and get a new logo.

Ok, it is more red than orange, you are right. I think the logo are actually a nice relic from the past.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 18):
interesting to read about these fuel dump fares. I have heard about them of course but actually never really understood how it works, so thanks for the explanation.

Well this is just one way on how it could happen. There are several other tricks to it.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 18):
Yummy, 'Käsespätzle', quite popular in this part of Germany here. And if you add some pepper (or rather lots of it) and some roasted onions it is truly delicious   ...

Oh, interesting to know. Sounds like something to try when I finally get around visiting the Karlsruhe area!  
Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 18):
Ouch, that's really bad, nothing beats listening to some nice music while watching the progress of the plane on the map.

Yep, really stupid IMHO.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 18):
That's really a strange thing. Just imagine if a somewhat nervous flyer would get a not so positive message   ...

Well just like they have plane versions of movies (i.e. they cut out all the potentially disturbing scenes involving plane crashes etc.) I'm sure they also have plane versions of fortune cookies which only say positive things  
Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 18):
Ahh, come on, without Tarja it is not really Nightwish anymore   ...

Come on, Anette was far, far hotter than Tarja ever could be! Unfortunately the Dutch gal with the weirdest name ever looks like a man...

Topic: RE: To Japan On A Shoestring: FCO-SVO-NRT And Some
Username: adamspotter
Posted 2012-10-27 12:40:50 and read 10414 times.

Hi there FlyingFinn,

Great and entertaining part 1 of your Japan trip with many nice pictures!
Aeroflot indeed looks better than expected, although I am not a fan of fish so all that food doesn't attract me at all  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
This was booked for September, over 7 months in advance. And what did it cost? A grand total of 256

Great fare, we sure have been blessed with many cheap fares this year  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
LH’s European catering keeps surprising you

That is an interesting and weird snack!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
A quick stop at the Schengen A Senator lounge (which was packed as always - hopefully the A+ pier has relieved the pressure a bit by now)

Sure hope it will when it opens again as it is under construction at the moment

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The snack on the FRA-FCO flight - the traditional thick cheese sandwich. I only had one bite which was more than enough:

Unfortunately, on my last 8 flights with Lufthansa this bread has been my served snack 7 times

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Eventually the business is finished and I get a very nice big box from the attendant:

That sure is a good looking and generous shower kit

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Soon after that one of the FAs, the cutest of the bunch with short faux red hair and eyes that could kill walks through the cabin with the passenger manifest on her hand, stops at me and welcomes me personally onboard this “Aeroflot flight to Moscow Sheremetyevo”. I mutter my thanks in Russian which seems to delight her. Great elite status recognition here with Aeroflot - I’ve heard this happening before as well!

Very nice touch there Aeroflot, well done!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Quite a lot of variety on the tray:

Quite a full tray, shame it didn't all taste too well

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Some nice pies - also notice my choice of light headgear for this trip:

No hat this time  

Looking forward to part 2!

cheers,

Brendan

Topic: RE: To Japan On A Shoestring: FCO-SVO-NRT And Some
Username: signol
Posted 2012-11-06 13:31:46 and read 9575 times.

Hi FF,

nice report, though I'd expect nothing less from you!
A steal of a price, an interesting route, what more do you ask for?   I know it's though Russia, but hey, you can't blame the man for the sins of his father.
Aeroflot actually look quite acceptable, even more so with the abundance of fish on the menu  

Thanks for the entertainment!

signol

Topic: RE: To Japan On A Shoestring: FCO-SVO-NRT And Some
Username: CYP353
Posted 2012-11-06 15:09:02 and read 9575 times.

What an interesting and great report, thanks a lot!

The explanations about "tricking" the system were very welcome - I hadn't known SU operated such flights with shared flight numbers at all and thought it to be a US-only thing. You sure made the most out of it! I was quite appalled seeing the LH meals, but the Aeroflot part positively surprised me. Seems they are really an option to consider travelling to the far East!

Thanks so much for the time spent writing this detailed report! Having climbed Mt. Fuji a couple of months ago, I'm looking forward to Part 2, too!

Oh, and now you made me crave for a can of Chinotto (which I spotted on your FCO lounge bar shot). How mean!  


Best regards,
Tis

Topic: RE: To Japan On A Shoestring: FCO-SVO-NRT And Some
Username: infodesk
Posted 2012-11-08 02:07:55 and read 9575 times.

Hi P,

Sorry it’s taken me a while to get round to reading this one. Good to see you back doing some long haul trips and at a bargain price as well. Aeroflot seem perfectly ok although it’s funny that the meal on your FCO-SVO leg looks better than what you got on the way to NRT.

Thanks for your detailed explanation of the fuel surcharge policy, made for very interesting reading.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
LH’s European catering keeps surprising you. Wonder what culinary delights lie inside this non suspicious cardboard box:
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I guess this is the German version of Mac & Cheese:
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The snack on the FRA-FCO flight - the traditional thick cheese sandwich. I only had one bite which was more than enough:

Do we see a German culinary trend here? I do, and that’s one bloated stomach!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Eventually the business is finished and I get a very nice big box from the attendant:

That looks super, just like a Christmas hamper.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I step onboard what should become my 1300th logged flight

Impressive.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
A safety demo played on the PTVs follows:

Quite a disturbing image of that floating plane in the sea!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Seeing this got me thinking how huge Russia really is - basically during this almost ten hour flight the only countries we overflew are Russia and Japan! And when you think that there are Russian communities even further east from here you have one helluva large country with 11h domestic flights:

So true. And I thought Australia was big when overflying it!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
is surprisingly fast. I manage to take one photo of the messy business class cabin:

I’m often horrified at the way certain travellers leave their seats when they de-board. Do they all have cleaners at home?

Looking forward to part 2

Happy flying
Infodesk   

Topic: RE: To Japan On A Shoestring: FCO-SVO-NRT And Some
Username: FLIEGER67
Posted 2012-11-08 11:50:25 and read 9575 times.

Hey, P.,

it´s finally time to follow you´re story.
Well done, good value for money here so it seems.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
En detail like Marcus would say:

Definitely.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
On the aisle seat theres already a Japanese girl, petite and small as only Japanese and the French can be so good news to me.

Don´t forget the Taiwanese, I tell you!.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

I really need to get myself onboard a 77W soon, what a long bird she is:

One more is coming up here in January, at least according to schedule.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)

Topic: RE: To Japan On A Shoestring: FCO-SVO-NRT And Some
Username: palmjet
Posted 2012-11-08 12:47:11 and read 9584 times.

Hi P

Very nice - thanks for posting this one. Good to see a SU longhaul report - they aren't that common. Your stopover in FCO made me feel tired just reading about it. You seem pretty good at being able to shack up airside - I am too old and too precious for that these days - I need a proper bed and at least 8 hours of good sleep!

The SU meals looked OK - not so sure I am a fan of all the fishy stuff.

The A330 looks super in SU's colours. Very nice. The winglet shot was especially good.

Thanks again - Palmjet

Topic: RE: To Japan On A Shoestring: FCO-SVO-NRT And Some
Username: deltamartin
Posted 2012-11-09 04:34:57 and read 9587 times.

Hello P!

Great report as usual, I'm glad I finally got around reading it!
Sure a good deal on SU, and their service doesn't look disappointing either. I'm not sure what my opinion on those orange uniforms are though, they're different from the norm anyway so I guess it's good.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
A quick stop at the Schengen A Senator lounge (which was packed as always - hopefully the A+ pier has relieved the pressure a bit by now)

I'm heading through FRA in December so I'm looking forward to see the new pier and lounges.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

Legroom is passable, luckily no ridiculously large IFE boxes under the seats either!

Glad to hear that, I'm allergic to IFE boxes now after my four QR A330 flights.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Note the small print - those BKK flights are notorious for drunken behaviour:

Haha! On a related subject, I've heard that the TG crews usually aren't too keen on flying the ARN flights, I wonder why!  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
An obscure Soviet movie from the 70’s could do it but maybe not:

Why not!? It's "One of the most popular Russian films of all time"!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I really like this shot - the orange winglet and the way it reflects off our shiny wing:

Very nice picture! I love winglet shots!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Or this greenish bird:

Beautiful bird! Surprised to see they use one in their normal livery to NRT though, instead of one of their 5 (soon to be 6 if I'm not mistaken) Hello Kitty birds...

Looking forward to read more about your Japan trip!

Martin

Topic: RE: To Japan On A Shoestring: FCO-SVO-NRT And Some
Username: ba319-131
Posted 2012-11-09 15:16:20 and read 9595 times.

Hi P,

A most enjoyable read!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I found something which would work for me and booked FCO-SVO-NRT-SVO-LHR in a jiffy. This was booked for September, over 7 months in advance. And what did it cost? A grand total of 256 EUR.

- What a steal!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Both flights close to full, and on both flights I had an empty seat next to me

- Always nice to get  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
LH’s European catering keeps surprising you. Wonder what culinary delights lie inside this non suspicious cardboard box:
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Oh dear:
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
his snack was really, really odd. First of all the thing on the left is NOT a Finnish-style meat pie, instead it is a bun made out of pretzel dough. Secondly the balls on the right are NOT fish balls (which their bear an uncannily resemblance to) but instead they are made out of Bratwurst (from now on BB = Bratwurst Balls). Yes, you got that one right, the gray, delicious German sausage with the best examples coming from Nürnberg. Yes, very odd.

The whole snack was served warm which meant that all the fat from the BBs had been absorbed by the bun, making it one sticky fatty bun. Yuck. The BBs themselves weren’t too bad actually, some sweet Bavarian mustard would’ve worked wonders with them though. But the bun was disgusting, I took one bite out of it and almost threw up, much to the amusement of my German seatmate on the aisle seat.

- Look's very yuck!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
He also found it funny that I ordered two beers (well, Warsteiners) at once - weirdo.

- I'm impressed they gave you two.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The snack on the FRA-FCO flight - the traditional thick cheese sandwich. I only had one bite which was more than enough:

- Yes, had one of those before, very dry and tasteless.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Italy sits right at the top of my personal “number of times getting ripped off by taxi drivers” list (Poland is a close second) so this option was the last thing I was going to do.

- I can attest to being ripped off by a Polish taxi driver.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Wow, quite impressed with Alitalia this time - this is a very nice shower kit. I actually took the box with the shampoo, toothpaste etc. with me on this trip as those things are handy to have with you.

- Wow, that's rather nice.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
And here’s the shower - quite small but functional and with good air conditioning (so you don’t get uncomfortably sweaty right away like that shower in the BCN lounge...):

- EK should take note, they could do with these in Dubai!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
unfortunately no champagne, heck they don’t even have any prosecco - not very good for Alitalia’s flagship lounge! T

- Rubbish!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
one of the FAs, the cutest of the bunch with short faux red hair and eyes that could kill walks through the cabin with the passenger manifest on her hand, stops at me and welcomes me personally onboard this “Aeroflot flight to Moscow Sheremetyevo”. I mutter my thanks in Russian which seems to delight her. Great elite status recognition here with Aeroflot - I’ve heard this happening before as well!

- That's pretty impressive!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I decide to splurge 6 EUR at two beers which wasn’t actually terribly good value for money as they are lukewarm at best:

- Ouch!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Quite a lot of variety on the tray:
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Underneath that slob of cheesy sauce there are pieces of white fish, pollock methinks. Comes with fried potatoes. Nothing earth shattering in the culinary sense but surprisingly tasty when you are hungry and goes down well. Even Jonas seems to like his. The chocolates go down well with coffee. All in all an okay meal, if a little fishy considering both the appetizer and the main course had fish

- It's a rather revolting looking meal to be honest.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
the very cursory security check where nobody cares whether you have liquids in your bag or head nor whether you are carrying a dozen computers in your back bag which is very refreshing after the eurocraziness

- Thumbs up!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
As I will very soon learn is a norm with SU it takes a really long time between the drinks service and the meal service. More annoyingly they don’t have any drinks on the meal cart nor any water on the tray so if you drank everything they gave to you during the drinks pass you won’t have anything to drink with your meal.

- Not good, I do like to have a drink with my meal.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I of course go for the fish main course - after all I’m a huge fan of seafood

- Yuck!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
my pet FA keeps bringing me more wine...

- Good girl  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Yes, we still have almost three hours of flight time left. They could easily do it 45 minutes or so later to give people more time to sleep.

- Yes, seems a tad early, they could easily leave it another 45+ minutes before starting the service.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
For breakfast, I opt for the omelet over the crepes

- Hmm, on revolting looking meal.

You know I almost booked a flight to asia with SU, glad I did not, they are just not quite there yet.

Cheers

Mark

Topic: RE: To Japan On A Shoestring: FCO-SVO-NRT And Some
Username: FlyingFinn76
Posted 2012-11-12 10:55:50 and read 9612 times.

Hi all, good to see more comments here. Thank you very much!

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 20):
Aeroflot indeed looks better than expected, although I am not a fan of fish so all that food doesn't attract me at all  

Yeah, judging from some other reports here fish definitely seems to be a trend with SU, so for those who haven't yet seen the light (or are allergic) it is not a good choice.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 20):
Great fare, we sure have been blessed with many cheap fares this year  

...mostly on SkyTeam too  .

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 20):
No hat this time  

Well a baseball cap is still a hat.

Quoting signol (Reply 21):
Aeroflot actually look quite acceptable, even more so with the abundance of fish on the menu  

Ahh, now here's a man who appreciates the good things in life.

Quoting CYP353 (Reply 22):
The explanations about "tricking" the system were very welcome - I hadn't known SU operated such flights with shared flight numbers at all and thought it to be a US-only thing.

Yeah, these days the thru flight numbers with change of gauges along the way aren't that common anymore. I think in the old times they were more of those.

Quoting CYP353 (Reply 22):
Thanks so much for the time spent writing this detailed report! Having climbed Mt. Fuji a couple of months ago, I'm looking forward to Part 2, too!

I'll get around it someday...

Quoting CYP353 (Reply 22):
Oh, and now you made me crave for a can of Chinotto (which I spotted on your FCO lounge bar shot). How mean!  

You really like it? To me it tasted just like Kinnie, another drink I didn't like at all. This was the first time I encountered this drink.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 23):
Do we see a German culinary trend here? I do, and that’s one bloated stomach!

Well, the Germans sure like to eat hearty food!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 23):
That looks super, just like a Christmas hamper.

What's a hamper?

Quoting infodesk (Reply 23):
I’m often horrified at the way certain travellers leave their seats when they de-board. Do they all have cleaners at home?

Yes, this is exactly what I always think when I see similar things. People just don't seem to care at all.

Quoting palmjet (Reply 25):
Your stopover in FCO made me feel tired just reading about it. You seem pretty good at being able to shack up airside - I am too old and too precious for that these days - I need a proper bed and at least 8 hours of good sleep!

It's not too bad actually. Depends on the airport of course, but airside is usually quite okay as there aren't many people around in the middle of the night (unless you are in Dubai). Landside can be rougher since almost any kind of persons can get access there.

Quoting palmjet (Reply 25):
The A330 looks super in SU's colours. Very nice. The winglet shot was especially good.

Yep, a rather good looking plane in that livery.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 26):
I'm heading through FRA in December so I'm looking forward to see the new pier and lounges.

I'm planning to check out this pier next weekend.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 26):
Haha! On a related subject, I've heard that the TG crews usually aren't too keen on flying the ARN flights, I wonder why!  

Doesn't surprise me at all.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 27):
He also found it funny that I ordered two beers (well, Warsteiners) at once - weirdo.
- I'm impressed they gave you two.

That is not usually a problem with Lufthansa, unlike KLM.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 27):
You know I almost booked a flight to asia with SU, glad I did not, they are just not quite there yet.

Their usual fares are somewhat lower as well than the main competitor's so I think on the value for money front they are quite okay.

Topic: RE: To Japan On A Shoestring: FCO-SVO-NRT And Some
Username: flightsimboy
Posted 2012-11-12 17:21:00 and read 9590 times.

Hey FlyingFinn76!!

Had it not to be for Jonas' trip report (though just the opening sequence of this very same trip) I would have somehow never noticed this one of yours. I am glad to read your version, very well written, minus the same trip that might be reported with severe criticism from your fellow traveller lol

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Now when you try to add the fuel surcharge madness into this equation you come up with a very interesting outcome: the system gets confused by the two segments with the same flight number and basically does this:

“Ahh, SU264 - which flight is this?”
“Oh, it’s a short haul flight from Rome to Moscow. Let’s use the short haul fuel surcharge.”
“Ahh, SU264 again?!”
“Oh, it’s a short haul flight from Rome to Moscow. Let’s use the short haul fuel surcharge.”
“But what about the long haul fuel surcharge which is much more than the short haul one?”
“Sorry, SU264 is a short haul flight from Rome to Moscow. I do not know any better.”

Repeat this for the return sectors and there you have it - the anatomy of a cheap fare to Tokyo.

Don't they have regulations against such things....while I understand what you said, it seems all a bit dodgy.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
As a.net’s resident Swedish mascot Jonas aka LH4116

Now that might be your views! Had I to choose Swedish mascot it would be Deltamartin. The really nice polite kid on here. Besides the way you and LH4116 are at each other's throat's arguing whenever and wherever in these threads, I'd have imagined if you two were ever together it wouldn't be a pretty sight...I guess not lol

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
While boarding the FRA-FCO flight I thought I was boarding an Air China flight as some 75% of the passengers were Chinese.

I guess they got a clue to the fares as well and were heading for the bounty as well.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
the traditional thick cheese sandwich. I only had one bite which was more than enough:

Is that deep fried bread?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Secondly those sugar glazed croissants look sinful, but upon taking a closer look you realize a nasty swarm of flies (of the type we would call “shite flies” in Finnish) has taken a particular liking towards these - yuck!
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
By the way speaking of vermin, there’s also a sparrow flying around the lounge. Yes, very premium.
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
See what a huge difference a small plastic cover makes - no flies, no sparrows:

That was pretty nasty, glad you had the covers on these trays.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Wow, quite impressed with Alitalia this time - this is a very nice shower kit. I actually took the box with the shampoo, toothpaste etc. with me on this trip as those things are handy to have with you.

Could you not take those slippers. They come in very handy too.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
(not that any thank yous are ever said).

A bit ungrateful, though I am not sure if you actually meant it the way it was written.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I step onboard what should become my 1300th logged flight

Wow, congrats.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
A blurry view towards the back, you can see the sexy orange FA uniform here:

A bit too orangey....also taking into account the seat headrests are that colour too....very Vitamin C

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
747s are fast disappearing, good to see some still around:

Well these are not going anywhere soon.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I’m quite disappointed that unlike many other IFE systems one cannot have the airshow on while listening to music. All in all the system is a bit sluggish and doesn’t really have that much content available.

I'm a bit surprised. They seem like the Entertainment system that Etihad has, and I could listen to the music while having the airshow on.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Russian communities even further east from here you have one helluva large country with 11h domestic flights:

Seriously never thought of those domestic sectors being so long....very interesting.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I really need to get myself onboard a 77W soon

A couple of European A.netters seem to be in this state of wanting to get on 77Ws. Well I can consider myself in a similar situation with me wanting to get on an A346!!! (Yes I know LH sends them to Toronto in the summer. And there is Hainan to Beijing if I ever wanted to go by that route)

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Immigration is my first encounter with the Japanese and it only serves to strengthen the image I already had about these people - really, really efficient, terribly polite

Ah the Japanese....what a wonderful people!! Hope to someday indeed go to that wonderful country and experience that politness in all it's glory

Topic: RE: To Japan On A Shoestring: FCO-SVO-NRT And Some
Username: SloAir
Posted 2012-11-18 05:28:32 and read 9587 times.

Hi FlyingFinn,

finally found a quite afternoon to read your (and Jonas) Japan trip report. I have been looking forward to reading about it and comparing your Japan experience to mine and of course you have not dissapointed. Anothe brilliantly and funny writen trp report with a great selection of quality pictures.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
This snack was really, really odd.

It looks odd, no wonder it tasted odd!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I find a comfortable reclining chair in the corner where I drift off for some more sleep:

That looks nice. A lot more comfortable than the floor.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Wow, quite impressed with Alitalia this time - this is a very nice shower kit. I actually took the box with the shampoo, toothpaste etc. with me on this trip as those things are handy to have with you.

This looks great! Maybe AZ in business is not that bad of a choice.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I step onboard what should become my 1300th logged flight

Pretty impressive! Not that long to go to 2000 now with the amount of trips you have  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
An Airbus 330 in Delta colors still feels so wrong to me, just like an A32x series:

They don't look that bad. I should have a flight on one of these DL A330 by the end of this year. The one I can't get used to is the 744 with the Continental globe on the tail.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The PTVs are advertising some sports event in Kazan - picture dedicated to russophile AYA333 who is that very city as I write this:

The Universiade 2013 in Kazan. This event was supposed to be held in Maribor, Slovenia, but we had no money to make all the necessary infrastructure (what would the do with a curling hall in Maribor is beyond me) so they cancelled it this year. Still a lot of talks and lawsuits threats about this. I have no idea why they took the project at the first place.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Looks quite similar to Blaz’s shots:

The long taxi time and apron works sound familiar too, no doubt we did the same approach and landing.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Immigration is my first encounter with the Japanese and it only serves to strengthen the image I already had about these people - really, really efficient, terribly polite with mediocre English skills.

Exactly my first experience as well.

Regards,
Blaž

Topic: RE: To Japan On A Shoestring: FCO-SVO-NRT And Some
Username: parton87
Posted 2012-11-27 15:51:56 and read 9188 times.

Hello Petteri!

Thanks for the great stor with many good pictures! SU looks quit good and I get even more tempted to try them after reading your report. All other airlines is getting worse and worse and SU getting better and better compare what they used to back in the good old days 
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
nd what did it cost? A grand total of 256 EUR.

OMG that´s really nothing for these flights. Lucky you and many others that someone find out about this!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
China flight as some 75% of the passengers were Chinese.

LH stealing some pax from AY 
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
but instead they are made out of Bratwurst (from now on BB = Bratwurst Balls). Y

Hahaha Bratwurst balls. LH never fails to surprise you. Had some LH flights this year and the snack served have been all kind of things but nothing like this. The bun looks really strange too and pretzel dough? Sounds strange but makes me want to try it sometime  And what about the anonymous box? They use to be a lot of yellow on them!?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
My chosen corner for the night:

I wouldn´t sleep for a minute there! I will try to find something more comfortable place to sleep at TLL next week!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
ou realize a nasty swarm of flies (of the type we would call “shite flies” in Finnish) has taken a particular liking towards these - yuck!

That´s really disgusting!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
rgotten all about the gorgeous orange uniforms of the SU cabin crew -

Agree, they looking really good and different from all the marine uniforms!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
inally, 25 minutes after pushing back we enter the active and commence a powerful take off run towards the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Nice pictures! I´ve some similar from a couple of weeks before yours 
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I decide to splurge 6 EUR at two beers which wasn’t actually terribly good value for money as they are lukewarm at best:

It feels strange that SU charge for alcohol in economy especially since they serve proper meals on short haul

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Plenty of dachas:

Cool!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
ight after landing some hand clapping follows (as is customary here) plus

You also experience the same on leisure flights. At least on Swedish ones  But I kinda like it 
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
etting up while we are still on the taxiway (as is customary here). The FAs manage to get them down though.

This is on another hand quit annoying.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
After the hassle we arrive under the iconic dome of SVO Terminal D:

Nice!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The seats are orange cloth covered ones:

These seats are quit nice. The cabin looks bright and modern

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
nd here’s something from home for E

That´s also something interesting to catch!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
hose BKK flights are notorious for drunken behaviour:

I can imagine

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
arriers like LH do this better - they clearly mention that the first drinks run is an “aperitiv service” and they have water on the meal tray plus do a drinks run right after the meals

Don´t see the logic here. Many people probably finish their drinks before the meal. If I remember correctly BA did same like LH on my long haul flights with them

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
figure out that Forrest Gump

That´s a good movie, one of my favorites!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
s I’ve never been a big fan of eating a shitload of sugar first thing in the morning:

I agree with you on this one. But that omelette dosn´t look good at all

Thanks again for the report Petter. And sorry for the late reply!

Looking forward reading about your adventures in Japan!

Greetings
Robert

Topic: RE: To Japan On A Shoestring: FCO-SVO-NRT And Some
Username: Carfield
Posted 2012-11-27 22:47:52 and read 9071 times.

Thanks for a great trip report!

The Aeroflot flights look interesting and I agree with you regarding that lounge rules in SVO. Even as J passenger, there is a time limit to how long you can use the lounge, which is ridiculous! Skyteam needs to do a better job in making its fellow members to follow the rules.

Yes three hours prior to landing for breakfast is crazy... and Turkish is also doing the same thing for all cabin classes.

The menu in economy class is nice though. I think most airlines serving the Japanese market have printed menus due to persistent language problems. But since the printed mens have no Japanese translation, they may not be as useful, but at least a nice though!

Look forward to your comparison of Jetstar Japan and Air Asia Japan! I hope you have a chance to try Peach too!

Thanks,
Carfield

Topic: RE: To Japan On A Shoestring: FCO-SVO-NRT And Some
Username: jwhite9185
Posted 2012-11-29 12:17:21 and read 8539 times.

Hi P,

Good report there. Interesting to read it from another point of view! As others have mentioned, SU look pretty good actually with a proper business class on the A321 and hot meals in economy rather than the birdseed you get on most other carriers. Seems like they have come a long way since the Aeroflop days.

I think your suspicions were probably right regarding the stretcher delaying the flight - on my KLM flight back in August there was a stretcher on board and the flight was also delayed due to the late inbound arrival of the aircraft... hmmm. Interesting how they got the patient in while all the passengers were onboard though, as on the flight I was onboard, they got the patient on first so nobody actually saw them.

Looking forward to the next part.


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