RJ100 From Switzerland, joined Nov 2000, 4112 posts, RR: 31 Posted (6 years 5 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 7411 times:
It was about time to visit my girl in Russia and so I was on the way to Basel airport on Friday, July 6th. I booked flights on Lufthansa and Aeroflot Russian Airlines (Basel-Frankfurt-St. Petersburg-Moscow SVO-Munich-Basel). One minute after check-in, my mobile phone rings and on the other end of the line there is a friendly lady from Lufthansa. She informs me that the return flight Moscow-Munich is cancelled and that I will be rerouted via Frankfurt instead. The problem was that this variant takes 5 hours more. But anyway, I stayed cool and accepted (to the surprise of the LH-lady) with a "no problem". I then proceeded to the waiting area of my flight and saw that my flight will be delayed. After more than an hour we received a new departure time to FRA. Another hour later, an announcement was made to inform us that the flight is cancelled and that all passengers need to go back to the LH-counter in the terminal to rebook. On the counter there was a big chaos of course. For me the only acceptable way was to get my bag and go home again. I received a ticket for the next day and needed to get my bag on my own. There were only 2 Lufthansa people around overbusy with finding new flights for the passengers. There was noone to organise the bags and there was noone who cared about the passengers (for instance giving food/drink vouchers, organise trips home etc.). Also I found interesting that the other Star Alliance partners at Basel airport (Swiss, Austrian etc.) did not help LH to rebook passengers as they had absolutely nothing to do at this time. For me it was not so nice, people in Russia looking forward to see me, they organised to pick me up at the airport, were preparing dinner etc.. Also, my new departure time would be 6:05 in the morning, meaning I needed to organise a new way to get to the airport in the morning as LH did not show any interest in paying for a taxi. Also I needed to do several phone calls, needed to spend money on new train tickets to my home and paying for lunch by my own. I guess if the same happens to one of the local LCCs in Basel, media would bring it on front page to bash them...
Finally, my dad had the pleasure to get up in the middle of the night to drive me to the airport. At least EuroAirport was already shining at this time of day!
This time no problem with my flight. A fully booked Eurowings Bae-146 today on the short hop to Frankfurt. I also met a friend at the airport who went on the 6:00 Swiss flight to Zurich and Hamburg.
Service on board was good as usual with Lufthansa. A reason why I still like to fly on Lufthansa. Newspapers for free were distributed.
Followed by a snack.
A short connection in FRA but without problems, an A-321 waiting for the flight to St. Petersburg.
We were overflying the Baltic states.
A breakfast was served.
Already starting our approach into LED.
Finals for Pulkovo airport!
There is a new immigration procedure in Russia since January. Very easy! It took me five minutes to enter Russia with only one form (and finally in English!!). Last time it took me more than an hour... Two thumbs up for Russia for this one!
On the same day it was time to do a nice walk near the Neva river. I really like Russian churches!
Moskovskii vokzal (Moscow train station)
In the city center:
Nevski Prospekt, super shopping street, you can buy there everything you want...
Nevski Prospekt is also full of American fast food restaurants, Sbarro's, KFC, subway, McDonald's etc. However it is recommendable to use the Russian variant called "Teremok". It looks like this for instance:
Some more impressions of Saint-Petersburg, an amazing city!
And of course the Hermitage:
Also we decided to visit the dacha outside of the city. We went to metro and mashrutka (kind of minibusses). Here a typical living quarter of Saint-Petersburg.
Outside of the city, different but very beautiful.
Russian hospitality is great. Once again a full meal was served, lots of potatoes and vegetables, meat, fish etc. Of course a good portion of ikra lososebaya with champanskoje (salmon caviar on bread with butter and champagne ) is a must if you visit Russia.
Back in Saint-Petersburg there was a lot to see...
Moskovskii vokzal again...
Between 10 and 11 in the evening, it was dark only 2-3 hours in the night.
And more sightseeing...
Inside the Hermitage:
Peterhof, outside of the city:
Also, we decided to make an excursion to the sea. We took a train from Finlyandskii vokzal.
Back in town, I saw that my home city is represented on best address on Nevski Prospekt
Some more city impressions:
Too soon it was time to fly home (but with the promise to go back in the very near future). I should have known it, going to Pulkovo-1 in morning traffic and by public transportation was not a good idea. Soon we decided to get a taxi as it was the only way to reach that flight. Taxis are expensive in Russia, 2000 roubles were charges but it was our only way to get to the airport in time. But we took it the funny way as it was really funny to drive in this old Lada with the- of course- smoking taxi driver from Tajikistan. After a police control enroute and a big traffic jam we reached Pulkovo odin (the domestic terminal) "just on time"...
Nice metal standing around...
A bus brought us to our aircraft, a Tupolev-154M of Aeroflot Russian Airlines!!! Pretty as Russian girls is the only thing I can say
View out of the window, simply great.
I received the last row in the aircraft. Great as this means additional leg room...
...and 3 whining Soloviev jet engines to left, above and right to me .
After an Aeroflot-Don aircraft it was our turn to taxi to the runway.
After a landing Orenburg Airlines 737 (from the city of Orenburg) we took off. An amazing sound!
The crew was friendly, fluently in Russian and English and soon served a snack. Today a really fresh croissant filled with chicken and cheese (was really tasty), refreshing towels and drinks (I had tea with lemon and an orange juice).
Here we are already approaching Sheremetievo airport in Moscow.
After a smooth touchdown the pilots started thrust reverse! Amazing sound and feeling which is undescribeable...
Already the next morning it was time to fly home from Sheremetievo's international terminal. Check-in and emigration without problems. Sheremetievo airport again made a good impression to me although we hear the opposite very often.
Here my A-320 is standing which should have flown me to Munich (but as mentioned earlier was cancelled many days ago).
SU line up...
A Lufthansa A-300-600 finally brought me back to Frankfurt.
Breakfast was really good.
My aircraft after landing in FRA:
After a long waiting an Eurowings Bae-146 brought me back to Basel where we landed on time.
Conclusion: Russia once again was great. A place that I only can recommend to visit! Aeroflot was very professional with good service. Lufthansa is an airline I will chose again. Their inflight product is very good but the handling of flight cancellations was poor (and against clear EU regulations).
I will try to add aircraft registrations later as I haven't them with me right now.
I hope you like this trip report. Comments, questions and more of course welcomed as usual.
Semsem From Israel, joined Jul 2005, 1779 posts, RR: 3 Reply 4, posted (6 years 5 months 5 days ago) and read 7124 times:
Why was the flight to from Basel cancelled? I just flew LH from Larnaka and we were delayed both ways. Someone told me LH are often delayed. The service in the air was excellent. Thanks for the great pictures. A place I want to visit one day.
Sabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 8, posted (6 years 5 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 7003 times:
This is a really great report, I liked the pics from Russia and from the TU-154 flight!
Quoting RJ100 (Thread starter): I received a ticket for the next day and needed to get my bag on my own.
Quoting RJ100 (Thread starter): For me it was not so nice, people in Russia looking forward to see me, they organised to pick me up at the airport, were preparing dinner etc..
Did I get this right... they simply booked you on another flight on the next day and you accepted that? I had told them to book me on any other flight, on any other airline, on the very same day! You lost one day of your vacations... I would write them a letter and ask for an adequate compensation.
One reason why I don't fly on this POS airline any longer, way too many incompetent retards with direct customer service there!
And I do not wonder the slightest about the flight cancellation, just another Eurowings BAe-146 which went tech probably.
LTU932 From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 13864 posts, RR: 51 Reply 11, posted (6 years 5 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 6779 times:
Nice TR, Thomas. Just one question:
Quoting RJ100 (Thread starter): Nevski Prospekt is also full of American fast food restaurants, Sbarro's, KFC, subway, McDonald's etc. However it is recommendable to use the Russian variant called "Teremok". It looks like this for instance:
Quoting Semsem (Reply 4): Why was the flight to from Basel cancelled?
No reason for the initial delay and no reason for the cancellation was given. The Swissport agent in the waiting area could not even access the Lufthansa system and could not even print a new ticket for me (I asked for a new ticket since Lufthansa called me to inform me about my cancelled return flight and I was in possession of a wrong ticket). The poor two ladies on the LH ticket desk were too busy to answer any questions as they had 90 more or less angry passengers in line...
Weather was actually ok. All other flights to/from BSL operated normal. First the flight was only delayed, I guess they then simply decided not to operate this flight so that their schedule comes back to normal...the question remains however why they don't have a spare aircraft at a big hub such as FRA to operate this flight... As for the cancelled SVO-MUC flight I think it was for economical reasons (in that case it would be against a few laws too...) as our A-300 to FRA was only about 70% full despite all the additional bookings from the MUC flight.
Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 8): This is a really great report, I liked the pics from Russia and from the TU-154 flight!
Thank you Patrick!
Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 8): Did I get this right... they simply booked you on another flight on the next day and you accepted that?
I had the possibility to take either the evening flight to LED or taking the flight next day. Taking the evening flight however was no option for me as it would have meant a 6 hour waiting time in FRA (without any food and drink vouchers) and an arriving time at 23:00 in LED. It means that you are in LED city center in the early morning. Not so nice to disturb people in the middle of the night...let alone that Pulkovo airport is not really the place to be around midnight...
Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 8): I had told them to book me on any other flight, on any other airline, on the very same day!
I asked for a rebooking to another airline which was denied.
Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 8): I wrote it before and I will write it again: This livery is simply "da bomb", kudos to the guy(s) who came up with this design!
I agree again. One of the best liveries out there!
Quoting Airdolomiti (Reply 9): I remember I too went to "Teremok" right on Nevskij Prospekt, as well as several different ones in Moscow. All very yummy
Cool! The picture was made in the Teremok on Nevski Prospekt!
Quoting Airdolomiti (Reply 9): Do you perhaps have a link to info on the new immigration procedure? I would like to learn more about it
Check out www.waytorussia.net You can even download registration forms there and it has a lot of useful information!
Quoting LTU932 (Reply 11): What's that what they served you at Teremok?
Thanks! They served an omelette with ham and cheese (you can have the same in a lot of variants, with salmon caviar for instance)...in the bowl is a cold soup with eggs, vegetables and ham in (the liquid in the bowl is not water but "kvas", a special drink...i think it is made out of bread?! ). But very tasty!
DALCE From Netherlands, joined Feb 2007, 1635 posts, RR: 7 Reply 13, posted (6 years 5 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 6396 times:
What a great report of what it said to be the most beautiful city in the world.
I truly loved your amazing quantity and quality of your pictures! It was a real pleasure!
Really bad the way LH handled you and your fellow travellers on your cancelled flight.
Also very strange that second to no alternative was given other than wait for another day!
By EU-rules you at least should get a big financial compensation.
I fully agree with you on the best livery in the world! The SU livery ( put on the Tu-154 ) is simply the best!
Joost ( DALCE )
flown on : F50,F70,CR1,CR2,CR9,E75,143,AR8,AR1,733,735,736,73G,738,753,744,319,320,321,333,AB6.
RJ100 From Switzerland, joined Nov 2000, 4112 posts, RR: 31 Reply 17, posted (6 years 5 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 6303 times:
@Joost and TurkishWings: Thanks a lot...glad you enjoy the pics!
@AntonovA330: Thanks. I am currently indeed looking into Rossiya for my next trip as I need to go there again in August. What days are they operating into ZRH? Prices from BSL are not nice at all at the moment. I speak a little Russian and can read without problems but yet I fail to book on Rossiya's website. I think I need to see a travel agency...
Sabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 18, posted (6 years 5 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 6292 times:
Quoting RJ100 (Reply 12): I had the possibility to take either the evening flight to LED or taking the flight next day. Taking the evening flight however was no option for me as it would have meant a 6 hour waiting time in FRA (without any food and drink vouchers)
Quoting RJ100 (Reply 12): I asked for a rebooking to another airline which was denied.
What a joke, reminds me of Ryanair! I hope you get a compensation because you lost one day of your vacations!
Aleksandar From Serbia, joined Jul 2000, 3235 posts, RR: 33 Reply 20, posted (6 years 5 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 6225 times:
Thank you for such a treat. This is an amazing trip reports with great photos. St. Petersburg looks beautiful as well as the countryside.
It seems also that Aeroflot gives a really nice in-flight product. Also, the interior of the aircraft looks very nice.
I was a bit surprised to see what chaos LH made with your flights. As far as their flights here are concerned they work like a Swiss watch so it is interesting to see that they sometimes screw things, too.
Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 8): I wrote it before and I will write it again: This livery is simply "da bomb", kudos to the guy(s) who came up with this design!
I coulfn't possibly agree more with you. Fortunately, SU still uses good-old TU5 on their daily service to BEG and it is always an amazing sight when one of this birds lands here.
TR763 From Brazil, joined Mar 2001, 769 posts, RR: 15 Reply 21, posted (6 years 5 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 6185 times:
WOW RJ100, all I can say is wow!
What a nice report!! I got really impressed with St. Petersburg, seems to be a very nice place!
Flying the TU-154 might have been very fun! It would be a once in a lifetime opportunity for me, as we very rarely see Russian birds in Brazil.
SandroZRH From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 3404 posts, RR: 51 Reply 22, posted (6 years 5 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 6167 times:
Great effort Thomas, wonderful pics! Russia has been on my countries to visit list for a long time now, and i hope it'll finally materialize next year, and thanks to your website. i now know who to fly with on domestic travel
Airbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4125 posts, RR: 51 Reply 24, posted (6 years 5 months 4 days ago) and read 6046 times:
Great report, well written! And the pics from the city are beautiful! I didn't see much about St.Petersburg till now, but I really want to see it with my own eyes in the coming future. And of course, I also would like to try out an Russian airliner if possible
Thanks for posting your report. Really enjoyed reading it!
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
25 LTU932: Sounds nice, but I'd rather take the one with ham and cheese (I'm not a fan of caviar).
26 RJ100: Thanks again to everyone for the kind replies. I have- in the meantime- read the EU regulation about air passengers and came to the conclusion that Lu