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IR Aero IRA 1: JUN/11: IKT-HTA-BQS-VVO: Y Cabin  
User currently onlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5073 posts, RR: 55
Posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 17743 times:

Feedback always appreciated.




I > Background:
Seldom am I intrigued by a flying opportunity that requires a strong lobbying effort to change pre-destined plans with a bunch of friends that had been worked on for ages. Last year, a group of us did the trans-Siberian railways. I had done the loop from Mongolia to Vladivostok via Irkutsk, and the plan was this time around was to go all the way from Moscow to Vladivostok.

A week prior to the flight, an eclectic group of 10 amigos representing 10 countries had met in Moscow, drank a lot of vodka, and stocked up on more (previous experience taught me that it is almost impossible to buy vodka on the Trans-Sib). We had left Moscow and had reached the town of Irkutsk. After a great couple of days which involved a side trip to the beautiful Lake Baikal, it was time to head back on the train and continue our trip to VVO

On the road back from Lake Baikal, I noticed a weird billboard with an Antonov 24. I had never technically flown them (in Cambodia, I once flew the Xian on Phnom Penh Airways) and was intrigued. More importantly, I was keen on flying an airline that I had never heard of ... IR AERO, and was intrigued by where this airline actually flew to.

Señoras y señores, I proudly welcome you to my 125th report on A.Net - the first on IR AERO's milk-run Antonov 24 connecting Irkutsk (IKT) with Vladivostok (VVO) with stops in Chita (HTA) and Blagoveshchensk (BQS). I am pretty sure this is the first of its kind on A.Net.

II > Pre-Flight:

a) Before Airport:
IR AERO is an airline based on Irkutsk. Little is known of the airline except that it has traditionally flown Antonov AN-24's on the most bizarre milk-run network I have encountered in my life. Those little propellers connect pretty much Kaunas in Lithuania all the way to Vladivostok in the Russian Far East. Recently, they acquired some CRJ's ... that must represent a huge leap forward for the airline.

Ir Aero's route map:


Anyways, back to my story  .

After we returned to Irkutsk, all the rest of the group of friends went out to explore some more of the city. My Israeli other-half and I decided to track down the offices of this mysterious airline. Using basic Cyrillic that the Israeli knew, we tracked an address down and found a great taxi driver willing to take us there and wait around. We were nearly convinced we were lost as we ended up in a rather dodgy neighbourhood of Irkutsk. After stopping several times to ask direction, we found a rather innocent looking building which apparently housed the global headquarters of Ir Aero. So off we went to the least secure airline HQ I had been to - and was directed to the "office". Here the Russian agents were all pretty shocked on why we were there. None of them spoke any English so we used hand gestures to understand their route network. After 30 minutes of confusion, I spotted a cigarette smoking man on a old computer and tried o see his screen. Looking at the map on the wall, I pointed to VVO and motioned him to type it on his screen. VOILA! There was a flight leaving tomorrow and there were 10 open seats. Additionally, it stopped at Chita and Blagoveshchensk - a town I had never heard of. I told my Israeli that we had to convince the group of the change in plan - working to my advantage were two things - one, some of them were getting tired of the train. Two, they all kind-of knew I was crazy  . Keeping the Israeli at the office to guard (air force duty has perks), I rushed back to our taxi and told him to take me to the center. Several "urgent" SMS later, I found the rest of the 8 who knew something was up when I excitedly told them what I wanted to do. Mark of great friendship is always when each of them basically gave a resigned sigh, found some more cabs, and headed back to the Ir Aero office. It was quite a sight as 9 of us from different parts of the world walked in back to the "reservation room". A crowd had formed along with us and now we all wanted the 10 seats on the plane. As with all such events, more drama followed. I had initially thought the price was around 100 USD per person - only payable in Rubles of course. However, the screen clearly showed that the booking class had 1 associated seat at that price - the next up (think, last minute Y fare) was around 350 USD and we definitely did not have that money. After a lot of discussion and begging, and offers to put the entire thing on credit card ("nyet"), the cigarette smoking man who I am convinced was a 1970's porn star (complete with the floral shirt) yelled something to the young woman. He said, "OK. 100 USD. Russia great"! WHAT?! For the first time in my life, I had been able to haggle an airline ticket price. It felt absolutely wonderful as the young woman started writing manual tickets (took a while - they had never seen such an eclectic group of passports) and in an hour after a profuse round of "spazeeba's", and my Israeli parting with a bottle of vodka, we left the ticket office.

That evening, over many drinks, I thanked my crazy friend circle, and looked forward to the adventure that was to follow.

b) At Airport:
I could not sleep that night and the group woke up at around 6am to arrive at Irkutsk airport at around 730am. The airport itself had two components - an old Soviet style building - impressive, and reminiscent of Budapest's old terminal, and a much more "modern" generic Ikea-type newer terminal. My SD card failed in this moment and many of my terminal pictures were inadvertently deleted. Oh well. The check-in lady was a little confused with our group of 10 explorers - or maybe, she was confused because we were the only ones making the long trek to VVO. Everyone else was either headed to HTA or BQS. Anyways, boarding passes in hand, and being viewed by the entire Russian community (they don't see much diversity here), we quickly cleared security and went to the security hold room. We clearly stood out and when the door opened, all the pushing and shoving clearly indicated that our flight was boarding. No announcement was made one way or the other.

It seems that all boarding is by staircase at IKT, and a UT Air TU 154 was boarding in front of us for the flight to Moscow. It was an interesting sight to watch as the staircase had been pushed out only to see two passengers run to the aircraft and have it pushed back in. From the airplane door, the crew shouted at them to run faster (well, that is what it seemed). In our case, Ir Aero being not cool enough meant a hidden aircraft in an obscure part of the airport using a 1960's bus. I was actually relatively excited seeing the airfield strewn with various Soviet aircraft of yesteryears.

As I tried to control my sense of excitement, my friends started getting a little nervous at the state of the Antonov and I remember one particular Mexican telling me, "No ma**s Alex". Haha. We were greeted by probably the most stereotypical image of an erstwhile Soviet airhostess. Stern and blonde sans smiles or any pleasantries whatsoever. There was zero exchange of words. I wondered how she would react flying on a Singapore Airlines, Jet Airways, or All Nippon. Y load was around 70%.

Airport - External:

(Irkutsk Airport)

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(More modern current terminal)


Check-in:

NONE



Airport - Internal:


*
(Airport art-work at boarding gate)


(FIDS)
NONE
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(Post Security @ IKT)
NONE
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Scenes of the tarmac:

(UT Air to Moscow)


Lounge

NONE



Boarding:


(Gate Area)
NONE



III> In-Flight:

a) Service Schedule + Impressions:
Nothing distributed while on ground. On the IKT-HTA, I was surprised to receive sweets prior to take-off (done on each leg - guess the noise is rather bad) and a choice of newspapers. Water was served post-take off along with a snack. On HTA-BQS, meal service. Nothing on BQS-VVO.

The highlight of the flight … and the reason I took it was of course the experience of stopping in random places like Chita and Blagoveshchensk. Of course, it did not disappoint. As the pictures would show, each airport was an amazing graveyard of Soviet airplanes. At each stop, we had to get off the plane, go to the terminal, wait, then get bussed back to the plane. I was yelled at several times to not take pictures - but I seem to never learn. Oops. The entire country seemed frozen in time - this was DEFINITELY not Moscow. Some of the people I encountered also were amazingly rude - a few of us got into several mini yelling fights with locals who would push and shove you at the airport - especially during the bus rides. My "darker" Mexican friend especially struggled as people who just give him really mean looks. In fact, a part of me just wanted the experience to be done with.

In terms of terminals, it seemed that Blagoveshchensk had recently undergone a renovation and was significantly more modern than the airport in Chita.

b) Aircraft + Seats:
The main reason for the trip was of course to fly the Antonov - and what an experience it turned out to be. Like the surroundings it served, Ir Aero's AN4 was stuck in a different era. While the seats were comfortable enough and provided decent legroom and recline, the entire aircraft was very poorly maintained. A few highlights included:
+ Garbage literally strewn across the aft galley and near the bathroom
+ Rust on various parts of the aircraft
+ Luggage that was supposed to be "secured" that never was

Also, at frequent interval, the aircraft would dip below 6,000 feet and I am convinced Oxygen was cut off - every one of us got nausea and sick - it was the first flight in my life where I got sick and went to the bathroom to throw up ...

... and of course, speaking of the bathroom was the highlight. The bathroom had "poop" all over it. I kid you not! Check the pictures - it was absolutely disgusting. And, not having any running water did not help. All that there was, was a water bottle with some liquid soap mix. All in all, rounding of an incredible experience, and probably the most bizarre one I have encountered in my life. One, I shall never forget.

Aircraft:
(Our good old Antonov)

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*


Views from Aircraft:

(Irkutsk Airport)

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*

*

*

*

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(Chita Airport)

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(Post take-off from Chita)

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*

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(Blagoveshchensk Airport: Unlike Chita, we were allowed to leave the airport terminal)

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(Near Vladivostok - and, Vladivostok)

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(As I mentioned, the plane flew very low)

*


General Seat Views + Seat Legroom

(Seat)

*
(Front of seat)

*
(Seat controls)

*
(Around Seat)
NONE
*
(Legroom)
NONE



Seat Recline + Angle View:

NO RECLINE
*


Cabin:

(Notice the guy was on his mobile phone, while on air - due to low altitude - who says you need expensive internet?)

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*

*

*

*

(Blanket ++)
NONE

(Bathroom: ready for my favorite pictures?)

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*
(Wait a minute ... is that what I think it is?!?)

*


c) Meal + Beverage:
I was surprised by the sweet and water run after each take-off, and a part of me was looking forward to seeing what is served on each leg. Between IKT and HTA, we were served probably the nastiest sandwich I have EVER had. It was a combination of cheese (gone bad) and meat (gone bad). Two members of my group fell sick immediately. Between HTA and BQS, we were served a snack box that contained a mystery brown meat (see picture) which I first thought was spam. It tasted like (what I'd imagine) was cat food - and one bite and I was in the bathroom. The bread was OK and the café served with it passable - but the chocolate with the haunting face of a child was a little too disturbing for me. On the final leg, between HTA and VVO, nothing was served.

(Pre-takeoff @ IKT)

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(Just disgusting - rotten cheese and meat between IKT and HTA got some sick)

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(And the nasty main meal featuring cat food between HTA and BQS - with the creepy looking kid on chocolate)

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(Highlight was the tea service)


d) Inflight Entertainment:
Ir Aero's Antonov's come equipped with the next generation AVOD IFE - better than 1,000 movies is the ability to do unique things like read a book, chat with your seatmate (if you can hear them over the noise), and enjoy the vistas below. In-flight magazines are not provided as they would be rather bourgeois. I was surprised that they handed newspapers however ... too bad my Russian was nonexistent.

(“In-flight magazines”, Boarding Passes, etc.: No magazine - these were given @ take-off @ IKT)


e) Crew:
I wish I could say much about Olga - our seemingly appropriately named crew member. Olga did not smile during the entire journey. In fact, I don't think I hard Olga ever talk to anyone during the entire journey. Like in the military, she had a routine, and followed the entire thing to the dot. In some strange way, I felt comforted by Olga. If there was a terrorist incident, or safety issue, I have a feeling Olga would do very well. Really don't know what more to say - Olga was part of the whole "exotic" element to this trip, and soon (sadly) became a caricature. I tried not to stereotype her, but my polite conversations were met each time with a blank stare.

Just like I type this and pass judgment on Olga, a part of me wonders what (if?) Olga thought of us. And, if she did, what did she think? Sadly, I will never know.

Olga
IV> Post-Flight:
Arriving into VVO was a much needed relief. A bunch of us were sick and were happy when our bags appeared within minutes of reaching the baggage claim area. We knew it had arrived as they were right behind us unsecured during the entire flight  .



V> Impressions + Scores:
I did not fly Ir Aero to mark its candidacy as a vetted airline for the general public. I took it to experience an exotic carrier and that took me to places I never knew existed. In this respect, Ir Aero (do they even have an IATA code?) did not disappoint. It was an amazing experience that took me back to an age where multi-stop flights were normal, and IFE involved talking to your fellow passengers and observing the scenario out of the window.

Unlike a similar journey on African Express, Ir Aero did not have any form of human interaction that I would look back on fondly. In fact, the standards on board leaving me sick is not something I can recommend for everyday passengers. However, just for the experience ONLY, a two-thumps up.



VI> Other Trip Reports:

PREMIUM:
9.27: JET AIRWAYS **FIRST** (110): LHR-BOM: 10/2010
9.27: THAI AIRWAYS **FIRST** (108): BKK-LHR: 07/2010
8.66: Brussels Airlines (93): FIH-BRU: 01/2010
8.64: Turkish Airlines (59): JFK-IST: 11/2008
8.63: Jet Airways (88): JFK-BRU: 10/2009
8.61: Air Canada (49): YYZ-SCL: 06/2008
8.54: Turkish Airlines (77): GRU-DKR-IST: 04/2009
8.36: Kingfisher (98): BOM-HKG: 01/2010
8.30: Jet Airways (74): KWI-BOM: 04/2009
8.23: United Airlines (72): SFO-SYD: 03/2009
8.11: Aeroflot (33): MOW-DEL: 09/2007
8.05: Air India (80): CCU-JFK: 06/2009
8.04: Korean Air (40): NRT-ICN: 10/2007
8.02: Delta Airlines (24): JFK-CDG: 08/2007
7.82: UNITED AIRLINES **FIRST** (110): SFO-ICN: 10/2010
7.82: Singapore Airlines (06): EWR-SIN: 09/2006
7.66: Sri Lankan (104): DEL-CMB: 07/2010
7.64: Royal Jordanian (91): AMM-YUL: 12/2009
7.61: China Southern (103): LOS-DXB: 04/2010
7.57: Pakistan Airlines (102): ORD-BCN: 06/2010
7.46: LAN (55): YYZ-JFK: 09/2008
7.38: AMERICAN AIRLINES **FIRST** (112): LHR-JFK: 10/2010
7.38: CATHAY PACIFIC **FIRST** (109): HKG-LHR: 10/2010
7.25: Iran Air (88): BOM-IKA: 12/2009
7.23: Air Pacific (120): NAN-APW-HNL: 01/2011
7.23: Virgin Atlantic (81): BOS-LHR: 07/2009
7.14: Swiss (52): SCL-GRU: 06/2008
7.11: Aer Lingus (105): MAD-IAD: 05/2010
7.11: Austrian (79): VIE-JFK: 06/2009
7.07: Privatair (84): BOM-FRA: 08/2009
7.02: Qatar (68): DOH-JFK: 01/2009
6.96: Etihad (61): JFK-AUH: 12/2008
6.93: Delta Airlines (18): SEA-JFK: 11/2006
6.88: Egypt Air (123): LHR-CAI: 03/2011
6.84: ConViasa (65): CCS-DAM: 01/2009
6.82: Air Burkina (106): BKO-OUA: 06/2010
6.81: Air Canada (17): ICN-YYZ: 10/2006
6.75: Afriqiyah + Libyan (113): CAI-TIP: 11/2010
6.70: KLM (32): EBB-AMS: 08/2007
6.52: Emirates (99): LHR-DXB: 02/2010
6.39: South African (97): EZE-JNB: 01/2010
6.36: Privatair (60): MUC-BOS: 12/2008
6.29: TAM Brasil (96): POA-EZE: 02/2010
6.25: Korean Air (45): NAN-ICN: 10/2007
6.21: Iberia (87): BOS-MAD: 10/2009
6.11: A SKY (107): OUA-COO: 06/2010
6.11: TAP Portugal (53): GRU-OPO: 06/2008
6.00: Gulf Air (75): BOM-BAH: 04/2009
5.88: African Express (89): DXB-NBO: 11/2009
5.75: Singapore Airlines (16): CCU-SIN: 10/2006
5.64: SATA Azores (101): BOS-PDL: 04/2010
5.64: NorthWest (46): ICN-NRT-SEA: 10/2007
5.54: Ethiopian Airlines (95): ADD-BOM: 01/2010
5.46: Icelandair (83): KEF-BOS: 08/2009
5.39: LOT (54): WAW-JFK: 06/2008
5.21: Egypt Air (73): CAI-IST: 02/2009
5.11: Tunisair (115): TUN-ORY: 12/2010
5.07: TACA (66): JFK-SAP: 01/2009
4.89: TAAG Angola (117): TMS-LAD: 12/2010
4.42: Air France: CDG-JNB (25): 08/2007

ECONOMY: Long + Medium:
9.26: Air India (48): JFK-DEL: 02/2008
7.38: Avianca (01): BOG-LIM: 07/2006
7.07: Sri Lankan (62): KWI-CMB: 12/2008
7.00: LAN (94): IPC-SCL: 01/2010
6.81: STP Airways/Euro Atlantic (116): LIS-TMS: 12/2010
6.67: Air Malta (124): MLA-FRA: 04/2011
6.41: Avianca (78): JFK-BOG: 05/2009
6.41: American Airlines (58): LHR-BOS: 11/2008
6.39: Condor (85): SEZ-FRA: 09/2009
6.26: Jet Blue (21): CUN-JFK: 02/2007
6.11: Caribbean Airlines (119): POS-FLL: 01/2011
6.06: Air Canada (04): YYZ-YVR: 09/2006
5.89: USA 3000 (19): PUJ-BDL: 01/2007
5.85: Spanair (69): MAD-LPA: 02/2009
5.79: Air New Zealand (42): RAR-NAN: 10/2007
5.52: Aerolineas (86): USH-AEP: 10/2009
5.46: TAP Air Portugal (23): OSL-LIS: 05/2007
5.19: Air Europa (70): LPA-MAD: 02/2009
5.16: Iberia (71): MAD-BOS: 02/2009
5.11: Air China (82): FRA-PEK: 08/2009
4.59: Ir Aero (125): 06/2011

ECONOMY: Short
8.56: Paramount Airways (38): BLR-MAA: 09/2007
8.56: Kingfisher (64): HYD-CCU: 12/2008
8.24: Kingfisher (14): IXA-GAU: 10/2006
7.87: Indian (34): BOM-MAA: 09/2007
7.72: Alliance Air (13): CCU-IXA: 10/2006
7.57: Indian Airlines (10): DEL-CCU: 09/2006
7.23: West Jet (03): YYC-YVR: 09/2006
7.15: JetLite (37): BOM-GOI: 09/2007
6.98: Air Koryo (100): PEK-FNJ: 04/2010
6.70: Spice Jet (09): CCU-DEL: 09/2006
6.63: Air Fiji (44): NAN-SUV: 10/2007
6.63: Jazeera (67): DAM-KWI: 01/2009
6.58: Air Tran (02): EWR-MDW: 08/2006
6.48: Air India Express (63): CMB-MAA: 12/2008
6.44: CO Micronesia (39): ROR-YAP: 10/2007
6.41: Pacific Sun (43): NAN-SUV: 10/2007
6.37: Skybus (47): SWF-CMH: 02/2008
6.33: Kenya Airways (29): NBO-BJM: 08/2007
6.33: Sky Europe (56): LTN-BTS: 10/2008
6.31: Indigo (15): GAU-CCU: 10/2006
6.31: easyJet (57): BUD-LTN: 11/2008
6.22: Air Link Swazi (28): MTS-JNB: 08/2007
6.22: Air India (36): HYD-BOM: 09/2007
6.13: Adam Air (07): SIN-CGK: 09/2006
6.13: Air Rarotonga (41): RAR-AIT: 10/2007
6.04: Suriname Airways (118): PBM-POS: 01/2011
6.00: Transairways (27): INH-MPM: 08/2007
5.95: Air Canada (05): ALB-YYZ: 09/2006
5.85: SAS Norge (22): OSL-AES: 05/2007
5.81: LAM Mozambique (26): JNB-MPM: 08/2007
5.69: Air Deccan (12): IXZ-CCU: 10/2006
5.67: Rwanda Air Exp (30): KGL-NBO: 08/2007
5.52: Sevenair (114): TOE-TUN: 11/2010
5.37: Felix Airways (92): SCT-SAH: 12/2009
5.11: Aero Republica (76): BOG-CCS: 04/2009
5.07: Go Air (35): MAA-HYD: 09/2007
5.04: Biman (121): DAC-CGP: 01/2011
5.00: Sky Airline (51): IQQ-SCL: 06/2008
4.96: United Bangla (122): CGP-DAC: 01/2011
4.96: Valuair (08): CGK-SIN: 09/2006
4.78: Air Comet Chile (50): SCL-IQQ: 06/2008
4.74: Fly 540 (31): MYD-LAU: 08/2007
4.33: Viva Aerobus (20): ELP-MTY: 02/2007
4.11: Air Sahara (11): CCU-BOM: 09/2006

(Note on Codes: Y – Economy, J – Business, F – First :: I/D – International/Domestic :: SR/MR/LR – Short/Medium/Long Haul)
(Note on Date: Dates are modified to be +/- 3 days from actual flight date to not reveal actual flight pattern)

VII> Other Pictures:

(Some pictures from Irkutsk and the beautiful Lake Baikal region)

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(Irkutsk: our hotel - am sure there was ton of real spy action)

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(We all need direction)

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(Mayor candidate)

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Live, and let live.
106 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineparis380 From France, joined Jul 2011, 28 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 17735 times:

This is digusting. You should stop going to these poor countries.

User currently offlinebaje427 From Barbados, joined Jul 2011, 405 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 17709 times:

Interesting report no comment on the bathroom pic you could of given some prior warning I was eating while reading this.

User currently offlineshamrock604 From Ireland, joined Sep 2007, 4158 posts, RR: 13
Reply 3, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 17674 times:

OH.

MY.

GOD.

I'm speechless. That has to be one of the truly unique reports on this site - EVER.

Were you not absolutely pertified flying on that thing??

I really have to admire you for such an interesting journey, and for putting it on here so we can all see!

I'm still in shock though...... 



Flown EI,FR,RE,EIR,VE,SI,TLA,BA,BE,BD,VX,MON,AF,YS,WX,KL,SK,LH,OK,OS,LX,IB,LTU,HLX,4U,SU,CO,DL,UA,AC,PR,MH,SQ,QF, EY, EK
User currently onlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5073 posts, RR: 55
Reply 4, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 17514 times:

Quoting paris380 (Reply 1):
This is digusting. You should stop going to these poor countries.

= Haha. Come on. You gotta see the world.

Quoting baje427 (Reply 2):
Interesting report no comment on the bathroom pic you could of given some prior warning I was eating while reading this.

= Now now ... I spoke about it in the text, and warned that a picture was coming. Sorry to ruin your meal though   ...

Quoting shamrock604 (Reply 3):
OH.

MY.

GOD.

I'm speechless. That has to be one of the truly unique reports on this site - EVER.

Were you not absolutely pertified flying on that thing??

I really have to admire you for such an interesting journey, and for putting it on here so we can all see!

I'm still in shock though...... 

= Thanks mate. Ya - I found the flight/experience to be pretty unique - was a little nervous as we were flying pretty low, but overall crashes can happen at any firm. Why are you in shock though?

Thanks for stopping by.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlinealsberg From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 136 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 17449 times:

I commend you for your persistance to find that airline office, and then take a whole group of friends along for such an experience. And I thank you for sharing it with all of us. I also must say you've got some guts (literally!) for trying that food. All in all great and very rare trip report!

User currently offlineBrusselsSouth From Belgium, joined Aug 2001, 624 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 17394 times:

Alex, this is simply amazing.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
I noticed a weird billboard with an Antonov 24

It seems their marketing was effective since no less than 10pax immediately booked their seats at the simple sight of that billboard...

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
IR AERO's milk-run Antonov 24 connecting Irkutsk (IKT) with Vladivostok (VVO) with stops in Chita (HTA) and Blagoveshchensk (BQS).

Not another milk run report. Wait, did you say Blago...ve...shchensk ?

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Ir Aero's route map:

Interestingly, I can't seem to find Vladivostok on it.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
a little nervous at the state of the Antonov

As much as I'd love to fly on the An-24, I guess that would have been my reaction too.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(Airport art-work at boarding gate)

I've got nothing against art and can take cartoons and humor easily, but seriously, *that* "art" at an airport?

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
After stopping several times to ask direction, we found a rather innocent looking building which apparently housed the global headquarters of Ir Aero
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
a 1970's porn star (complete with the floral shirt) yelled something to the young woman. He said, "OK. 100 USD. Russia great"!
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
the most stereotypical image of an erstwhile Soviet airhostess
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
each airport was an amazing graveyard of Soviet airplanes. At each stop, we had to get off the plane, go to the terminal, wait, then get bussed back to the plane. I was yelled at several times to not take pictures
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
a few of us got into several mini yelling fights with locals who would push and shove you at the airport
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
the entire aircraft was very poorly maintained. A few highlights included:
+ Garbage literally strewn across the aft galley and near the bathroom
+ Rust on various parts of the aircraft
+ Luggage that was supposed to be "secured" that never was
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
at frequent interval, the aircraft would dip below 6,000 feet and I am convinced Oxygen was cut off - every one of us got nausea and sick - it was the first flight in my life where I got sick and went to the bathroom to throw up ...
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
The bathroom had "poop" all over it. I kid you not! Check the pictures - it was absolutely disgusting. And, not having any running water did not help
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
we were served probably the nastiest sandwich I have EVER had. It was a combination of cheese (gone bad) and meat (gone bad). Two members of my group fell sick immediately. Between HTA and BQS, we were served a snack box that contained a mystery brown meat (see picture) which I first thought was spam. It tasted like (what I'd imagine) was cat food - and one bite and I was in the bathroom.
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Olga did not smile during the entire journey. In fact, I don't think I hard Olga ever talk to anyone during the entire journey. Like in the military, she had a routine, and followed the entire thing to the dot

I still haven't stopped laughing. I can't choose between shock, disbelief and amazement. If it was April the 1st, I would immediately think this report is an April's fool joke.

What an out of this world experience!

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
4.59: Ir Aero (125): 06/2011

Wow, a new all time low!

Thank you so much for

a) being brave enough to take that flight
b) sharing the experience with us

The pictures are excellent too, out of this world as I said.

Regards
BrusselsSouth


User currently offlinekiramakora From Argentina, joined Aug 2006, 547 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 17362 times:

Without any doubt Alex, this is the most impressive trip report I have read on Airliners for a very long time. SO many of the reports here deal with the usual flight plan and it seems none of the authors go beyond their comfort zone. With you, it amazes me that you can go from a First class binge to flying Antonov's across Russia to flying to Somaliland.

I am just stumped by the report. I LOVED everything about it, felt disgusted by the poop, and got a little nervous at the state of the aircraft and the sudden descents to 6000 feet.

By the way, I found the picture of the 9-11 attacks tremendously in poor taste. I cannot believe they were at the airport. Imagine what TSA would have said.


User currently onlinethegoldenargosy From United States of America, joined Sep 2010, 361 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 17345 times:

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 4):
I found the flight/experience to be pretty unique - was a little nervous as we were flying pretty low, but overall crashes can happen at any firm. Why are you in shock though?

This trip report has to be the WORST air travel experience ever reported on Airliners.Net. The aircraft was in deplorable conditions (I won't even mention the bathroom...). The cabin crew was mute. The food was so inedible that you became physically ill from having a small bite. Not to mention that the aircraft was flying at weird altitudes. The fact that someone who has flown as much as you have without getting airsick got airsick for the first time says a lot.

All that being said, I totally get why you took this trip. I think I'd take the flight to in heart beat. It seems like such a weird and truly Russian experience. Thank you for sharing this with us! I love your trip reports!

BTW Did your friends hate you for dragging them along? lol


User currently offlineparis380 From France, joined Jul 2011, 28 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 17309 times:

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 4):
Quoting paris380 (Reply 1):
This is digusting. You should stop going to these poor countries.

= Haha. Come on. You gotta see the world.

I don't like using my money to pay for silly things and bad food and poor aircraft that crash all the time.


User currently offlineloubert From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 61 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 17203 times:

Great trip report, as usual. Great as usual, that is. The trip wasn't that usual at all! It's good that there are still adventures to experience in this rapidly shrinking and homogenizing world.

I've long wanted to visit that part of the world. Maybe I should stick to the train, or at least S7.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):

(Airport art-work at boarding gate)

--Funny, but they should swap those out for something a little more current. Then again, you said that part of Russia is a little behind the times.

A few questions:
-Do you think you overflew China on your BQS-VVO sector?
-How did you like the Trans-Siberian Railway?
-Do you think you'll ever be able to haggle over airline tickets again?

Thanks for the great read!


User currently offlineburj From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 901 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 17194 times:

Wow...just WOW....

You have a VERY cool set of friends to let you convince them to get on that plane!

That airport artwork is just surreal! It is almost like a car accident....it is so horrific you just want to turn away and not look, but yet you just can't help but stare in disbelief...


User currently offlinedebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2399 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 17057 times:

WOW, outstanding TR... One of the best TR ever!!!

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
I proudly welcome you to my 125th report on A.Net - the first on IR AERO's milk-run Antonov 24 connecting Irkutsk (IKT) with Vladivostok (VVO) with stops in Chita (HTA) and Blagoveshchensk (BQS).

So, how long was the flying time in total? And how long of this in the air?

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Between IKT and HTA, we were served probably the nastiest sandwich I have EVER had. It was a combination of cheese (gone bad) and meat (gone bad). Two members of my group fell sick immediately.

BE HONEST- I guess you have now 9 friends less...  


User currently offlineQuokkas From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 16679 times:

abrelosojos,

What can I say? After your adventures in Libya where you didn't know whether you would ever see the light of day, could you really go back to the boredom of First Class in Swiss? After this trip "los ojos" would be well and truly open.

Your photos give a clue to another thread: where bag size restrictions for carry-ons come from. See the old-fashioned hat racks?

This is a truly amazing experience and proves that international travel can still be exciting, frightening and unbelievable. Have you considered forwarding a report to FR to see if they can gain any suggestions to improve their service?  

Interesting artwork shown there: not just the dollar twin towers but the chicken-thighed Bush. Who was the artist? I wonder if he/ she would be as free to satirise the local politicians?

More intriguing, what was the bi-plane hidden among the bushes?

Wonderful report. I am almost speechless!


User currently offlinekiramakora From Argentina, joined Aug 2006, 547 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 16593 times:

I just re-read the report, and can I say one more time, "WOW". This is a legend of a report.

User currently offlineglobalflyer From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 924 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 16537 times:

Hey Alex. WOW! What an amazing read. You are, I think, the most adventurous person out there!   Lake Baikal looks beautiful. I too am intrigued by these places that time seems to have forgotten. It really is like another world! That AN-24 does not look like she has much more life left in her! I cannot believe that you all got this for $100! That they caved is amazing! You a re correct. I think that Olga could handle any situation! Yet another wonderful read! Cheers, Will


Landing on every Continent almost on an annual basis!
User currently offlineokapi From France, joined Jun 2006, 209 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 16477 times:

Señor! You never fail to amaze us all! Wonderful. Part of my favourite TR collection, definitely. You have a very funny way to discover the world. For sure, a different airline. Maybe you could find something similar in DR Congo...not sure though. I'm pretty sure you'll be the first one to report on any new flight from North Pole to South Pole!

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(Airport art-work at boarding gate)

What a dark sense of humour. Your pictures will be reviewed by the FBI!

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
I wish I could say much about Olga - our seemingly appropriately named crew member. Olga did not smile during the entire journey. In fact, I don't think I hard Olga ever talk to anyone during the entire journey. Like in the military, she had a routine, and followed the entire thing to the dot. In some strange way, I felt comforted by Olga. If there was a terrorist incident, or safety issue, I have a feeling Olga would do very well. Really don't know what more to say - Olga was part of the whole "exotic" element to this trip, and soon (sadly) became a caricature. I tried not to stereotype her, but my polite conversations were met each time with a blank stare.

Don't worry, the fantastic world of modern airlines is full of Olgas. Every serious airline has their own Olga, in the air or at the counter...

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(And the nasty main meal featuring cat food between HTA and BQS - with the creepy looking kid on chocolate)

By the way, how was your food on board the train?

Quoting paris380 (Reply 1):
This is digusting. You should stop going to these poor countries.


Come on! Poor countries are full of surprises.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
All that there was, was a water bottle with some liquid soap mix. All in all, rounding of an incredible experience, and probably the most bizarre one I have encountered in my life. One, I shall never forget.

After putting so many of your friends and your beloved one, youìve become either a lonely man or a person surrounded by true friendship and love. My money on option nr 2 though!

Congrats for another fantastic trip report.

PS. One question: did you wear the (in)famous brown shoes during that flight?


User currently offlinelucce From Finland, joined Jun 2011, 116 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 16265 times:

Wow, that was a bit more exciting than the standard LH flights on this site! I've always wondered what is it like in that part of the world that is less under public eye than the the most remote parts of Africa. It indeed seems like another world though the landscape could seems almost identical to the Finnish one.
To be honest I would have guts to step on board one of those soviet planes but it's god that someone does.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(Just disgusting - rotten cheese and meat between IKT and HTA got some sick)

By the looks of that galley I guess that has been in the warm a bit too long...

Quoting okapi (Reply 16):
Don't worry, the fantastic world of modern airlines is full of Olgas. Every serious airline has their own Olga, in the air or at the counter...

And yet some of them still don't adhere to appearance standards as well as she did. And in case of emergency it's more likely that she would carry her passengers out the aircraft three at the time than some of her western colleagues  .


User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1710 posts, RR: 14
Reply 18, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 16241 times:

Alex, I am speechless. Perhaps one of the most bizarre trip reports I have ever come across in my entire lifetime. Flying an exotic carrier sure is an experience, but in your case all the unpleasantness experienced really made me wonder whether this flight may have crossed the line from "charmy&authentic" to "a replication of hell taken place from the inside of a metal tube" (= I am never going to refer SAS Economy Class to that again, LOL). You must really have a special bond to your friends, as they agreed to come along on this what I assume to them nightmare trip. The multiple sickness was just awful.

However that goes without saying that this was perhaps one of the most entertaining reports I have ever read from you. You always manage to capture a story in a way that very few people on the forum seem to master, and you always manage to bring up one thing in every report that makes me burst in laughter. Keep up the good work, my friend!

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Keeping the Israeli at the office to guard (air force duty has perks)

It must feel really safe to travel to those vastly remote, and exotic places with an Israeli watching your back  
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
My SD card failed in this moment and many of my terminal pictures were inadvertently deleted.

Perhaps you should consider getting a better camera, like one of those mirrorless DSLR's. Great images, and the same size as a compact… Or just replace that SD card.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(Airport art-work at boarding gate)

Haha, I'm sorry but that was just hilarious. Was the artist from Russia or Venezuela?  
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
it was the first flight in my life where I got sick and went to the bathroom to throw up ...

Now that doesn't sound good at all. Then again, thank god it wasn't an explosive de-compression. I'm assuming your Antonov didn't have oxygen masks?

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
The bathroom had "poop" all over it. I kid you not!

= The part that made me laugh 
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(Our good old Antonov)

By judging the pics, those flight attendants standing by the door look really HOT   

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(Front of seat)

I really don't see a point of this feature found on practically every russian built aircraft. And the lack of recline doesn't make any sense either.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(Highlight was the tea service)

WOW that really look like the dessert cart airlines roll out in Business Class!

Anyways, thanks for this fantastic report.
//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlinereifel From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 1326 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 15990 times:

WHAT CAN I SAY... I still can't stop laughing... this was such a funny read.
The most random airline on a most random route. The plane, the FOOD, the toilet, the reservation office. Absolutely crazy and terribly funny. This report is on the top list of most interesting trip reports this year for sure  

Alex, you made my day!

That said my Antonov in Belarus was even worse. The seats look terribly modern on your Antonov. We had a nice red tone seats with green carpet. and there were no tables. Luckily there was no meal, too. Drink was water out of a 5 liter bottle that was given into the styropor plastic cups they use for coffee in the US. And the f/a was Olga 2 times older with a big fur jacket. I definitely need to write a trip report. Luckily I didn't tried the toilets  


User currently onlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5073 posts, RR: 55
Reply 20, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 15860 times:

Quoting alsberg (Reply 5):

I commend you for your persistance to find that airline office, and then take a whole group of friends along for such an experience. And I thank you for sharing it with all of us. I also must say you've got some guts (literally!) for trying that food. All in all great and very rare trip report!

= Thanks a lot for the kinds words man. Ya - I think I have OCD - when I really want something, it kicks in  .

Quoting BrusselsSouth (Reply 6):

It seems their marketing was effective since no less than 10pax immediately booked their seats at the simple sight of that billboard...

= Absolutely. Quite the return on investment huh  ?

Quoting BrusselsSouth (Reply 6):
Interestingly, I can't seem to find Vladivostok on it.

= That was what was so shady about the whole thing. VVO wasn't on the network, but they had flights to it.

Quoting BrusselsSouth (Reply 6):
I've got nothing against art and can take cartoons and humor easily, but seriously, *that* "art" at an airport?

= Isn't it weird? And it was not like a small town ... this was Irkutsk!

Quoting BrusselsSouth (Reply 6):
I still haven't stopped laughing. I can't choose between shock, disbelief and amazement. If it was April the 1st, I would immediately think this report is an April's fool joke.

What an out of this world experience!

= Haha. It was definitely quite something.

Quoting BrusselsSouth (Reply 6):
Wow, a new all time low!

= Well. To be fair to them, Air France (Business Class) 4,42 and Viva Aerobus (4,33) and Air Sahara (4,11) had poorer scores.

Quoting BrusselsSouth (Reply 6):
a) being brave enough to take that flight
b) sharing the experience with us

The pictures are excellent too, out of this world as I said.

Regards
BrusselsSouth

= Thanks a lot. Are you going to do it next  ?

Quoting kiramakora (Reply 7):
Without any doubt Alex, this is the most impressive trip report I have read on Airliners for a very long time. SO many of the reports here deal with the usual flight plan and it seems none of the authors go beyond their comfort zone. With you, it amazes me that you can go from a First class binge to flying Antonov's across Russia to flying to Somaliland.

= Thanks a lot for the kind words. I am glad you enjoyed - have a few crazy ones planned in 2012.

Quoting kiramakora (Reply 7):
By the way, I found the picture of the 9-11 attacks tremendously in poor taste. I cannot believe they were at the airport. Imagine what TSA would have said.

= Agreed.

Quoting thegoldenargosy (Reply 8):
This trip report has to be the WORST air travel experience ever reported on Airliners.Net. The aircraft was in deplorable conditions (I won't even mention the bathroom...). The cabin crew was mute. The food was so inedible that you became physically ill from having a small bite. Not to mention that the aircraft was flying at weird altitudes. The fact that someone who has flown as much as you have without getting airsick got airsick for the first time says a lot.

= Ya. I have never really got sick - even once when flying completely hangover after a night of debauchery and "activities", I felt better on board.

Quoting thegoldenargosy (Reply 8):
BTW Did your friends hate you for dragging them along? lol

= Let's just say that I had to buy them a lot of drinks - besides, I think they were a little subdued by the fact that it was the first time they had seen me sick after flying, and even I did not want to replicate the experience.

Quoting thegoldenargosy (Reply 8):
Thank you for sharing this with us! I love your trip reports!

= Thanks for reading them.

Quoting paris380 (Reply 9):
Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 4):
Quoting paris380 (Reply 1):
This is digusting. You should stop going to these poor countries.

= Haha. Come on. You gotta see the world.

I don't like using my money to pay for silly things and bad food and poor aircraft that crash all the time.

= Air France has crashed more than Ir Aero - what does that say?

Quoting loubert (Reply 10):
Great trip report, as usual. Great as usual, that is. The trip wasn't that usual at all! It's good that there are still adventures to experience in this rapidly shrinking and homogenizing world.

= Yup. This wasn't an Ikea-type flight for sure.

Quoting loubert (Reply 10):
A few questions:
-Do you think you overflew China on your BQS-VVO sector?
-How did you like the Trans-Siberian Railway?
-Do you think you'll ever be able to haggle over airline tickets again?

= Yes. We overflew China. Trans-Siberian was amazing - have you done it? Do you have any interest? And, no, I don't think I would haggle over airline tickets again - but again, never say never ...

Quoting burj (Reply 11):
You have a VERY cool set of friends to let you convince them to get on that plane!

= I do indeed  .

Quoting burj (Reply 11):
That airport artwork is just surreal! It is almost like a car accident....it is so horrific you just want to turn away and not look, but yet you just can't help but stare in disbelief...

= Ya. I was pretty stunned seeing the art work. It was right in the departure area!

Quoting debonair (Reply 12):
WOW, outstanding TR... One of the best TR ever!!!

= Thanks mate.

Quoting debonair (Reply 12):
So, how long was the flying time in total? And how long of this in the air?

= 6 hours too much  .

Quoting debonair (Reply 12):
BE HONEST- I guess you have now 9 friends less...  

= Haha. Let's just say that my "ideas" are vetted with more scrutiny these days.

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 13):
What can I say? After your adventures in Libya where you didn't know whether you would ever see the light of day, could you really go back to the boredom of First Class in Swiss? After this trip "los ojos" would be well and truly open.

= I am laughing as I type this because I am about to take a LX flight today in FCL from BOS to ZRH.

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 13):
This is a truly amazing experience and proves that international travel can still be exciting, frightening and unbelievable. Have you considered forwarding a report to FR to see if they can gain any suggestions to improve their service?  

= Oh come on. Is FR that bad? I have never flown them.

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 13):
Interesting artwork shown there: not just the dollar twin towers but the chicken-thighed Bush. Who was the artist? I wonder if he/ she would be as free to satirise the local politicians?

= I don't know who the artist was - they were shown all over IKT airport. Thought the 9/11 tower was in poor taste at an airport location.

Quoting globalflyer (Reply 15):
Hey Alex. WOW! What an amazing read. You are, I think, the most adventurous person out there!  Lake Baikal looks beautiful. I too am intrigued by these places that time seems to have forgotten. It really is like another world! That AN-24 does not look like she has much more life left in her! I cannot believe that you all got this for $100! That they caved is amazing! You a re correct. I think that Olga could handle any situation! Yet another wonderful read! Cheers, Will

= Olga might not have been winning any awards, but I do think she would take care of her wards.

Quoting okapi (Reply 16):

Señor! You never fail to amaze us all! Wonderful. Part of my favourite TR collection, definitely. You have a very funny way to discover the world. For sure, a different airline. Maybe you could find something similar in DR Congo...not sure though. I'm pretty sure you'll be the first one to report on any new flight from North Pole to South Pole!

= It is interesting that you mention the North Pole   ... I would love to go back to DRC. One day this year.

Quoting okapi (Reply 16):
What a dark sense of humour. Your pictures will be reviewed by the FBI!

= You are probably right  .

Quoting okapi (Reply 16):
Don't worry, the fantastic world of modern airlines is full of Olgas. Every serious airline has their own Olga, in the air or at the counter...

= Fair enough.

Quoting okapi (Reply 16):
By the way, how was your food on board the train?

= Food on the train itself was crap and REALLY overpriced. However, there was plenty of opportunity to get down at cities and buy yummy stuff from the platform.

Quoting okapi (Reply 16):
Quoting paris380 (Reply 1):
This is digusting. You should stop going to these poor countries.


Come on! Poor countries are full of surprises.

= And, there is plenty of poverty in France. One should just keep their eyes open when taking the train from CDG to downtown  .

Quoting okapi (Reply 16):

After putting so many of your friends and your beloved one, youìve become either a lonely man or a person surrounded by true friendship and love. My money on option nr 2 though!

= Hehe. You're right ... but, barely  .

Quoting okapi (Reply 16):
PS. One question: did you wear the (in)famous brown shoes during that flight?

= No. They were rested.

Quoting lucce (Reply 17):
Wow, that was a bit more exciting than the standard LH flights on this site! I've always wondered what is it like in that part of the world that is less under public eye than the the most remote parts of Africa.

= Haha. Fair enough. Now you understand why I feel writing my daily commute flight from CCS to FRA is such a drag.

Quoting lucce (Reply 17):

And yet some of them still don't adhere to appearance standards as well as she did. And in case of emergency it's more likely that she would carry her passengers out the aircraft three at the time than some of her western colleagues  .

= Absolutely.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 18):
Alex, I am speechless. Perhaps one of the most bizarre trip reports I have ever come across in my entire lifetime.

= Haha. Jonas, I am here to shock you.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 18):
You must really have a special bond to your friends, as they agreed to come along on this what I assume to them nightmare trip. The multiple sickness was just awful.

= I have good friends.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 18):
However that goes without saying that this was perhaps one of the most entertaining reports I have ever read from you. You always manage to capture a story in a way that very few people on the forum seem to master, and you always manage to bring up one thing in every report that makes me burst in laughter. Keep up the good work, my friend!

= Thanks a lot.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 18):
It must feel really safe to travel to those vastly remote, and exotic places with an Israeli watching your back  

= My Israeli serves several purposes in my life  .

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 18):
Haha, I'm sorry but that was just hilarious. Was the artist from Russia or Venezuela?  

= Haha. I don't think the public in VZ would approve.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 18):
Now that doesn't sound good at all. Then again, thank god it wasn't an explosive de-compression. I'm assuming your Antonov didn't have oxygen masks?

= I don't think there were any O2 masks. Can someone confirm?

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 18):
= The part that made me laugh 

=  
Quoting LH4116 (Reply 18):
By judging the pics, those flight attendants standing by the door look really HOT  

= They were not flight attendants - they were ground staff at Chita. The only crew member was Olga.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 18):
WOW that really look like the dessert cart airlines roll out in Business Class!

= Agreed. It kind of felt out of place.

Thanks a lot for reading everyone.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineTupolevTu154 From Germany, joined Aug 2004, 2178 posts, RR: 28
Reply 21, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 15856 times:

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Recently, they acquired some CRJ's ..

I saw one of them in DME when I was out there in November

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(Mayor candidate)

I literally burst out laughing at that and had to show my housemate, who also looked shocked. Reminds me of my old school headmaster! I'm also speechless at the anti-Bush posters!

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
with the creepy looking kid on chocolate)

Ahhh I came across this at some point of my travels, pretty sure it was on board an Alrosa Tu154.

Quoting paris380 (Reply 1):
This is digusting. You should stop going to these poor countries.

How ignorant and narrow minded. Some of the most amazing things to see and do are in "poor" countries.

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 13):
More intriguing, what was the bi-plane hidden among the bushes?

Antonov AN-2, of which there are still a few flying!

What an amazing report, maybe a little out of my comfort zone too, and I'll fly on anything with wings! Amazing.



Atheists - Winning since 33 A.D.
User currently offline9w748capt From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 544 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 15824 times:

Hahahahahaahahahahahahaa - you've done it again, Mr. Abrelosojos. I just cannot stop laughing. Everything is just beyond words. The creepy looking kid on the chocolate - OMG! The mayoral candidate who looks like he's guzzled a few too many liters of Stoli. Olga! It's funny, me and my sis were flying to India a few years ago and randomly assigned names to cute little Indian kids we saw on the flight. There was a little boy playing Grand Theft Auto on portable video game system we named Karthik. Who knows if that was his name, but to us he'll always be Karthik. But Olga is actually Olga. Wow. What an adventure of a lifetime. And the poop in the toilets!!! Good lord, every time I think you can't possibly top this, you prove us wrong. Bravo!!!

User currently offlineEL-AL From Israel, joined Oct 2001, 1290 posts, RR: 5
Reply 23, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 15815 times:

Hey Alex,

Thank you for this extremely rare trip report. Very intersting!

You are braver then me, I don't think I would go so far on such a journey, at least not without a russian speaker on my side.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(Airport art-work at boarding gate)

The cold war is so 1982.

Thx for shearing,
Jonathan



"In our country, those who do not believe in miracles are irrational" - David Ben Gurion.
User currently onlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5073 posts, RR: 55
Reply 24, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 15776 times:

Quoting reifel (Reply 19):
WHAT CAN I SAY... I still can't stop laughing... this was such a funny read.
The most random airline on a most random route. The plane, the FOOD, the toilet, the reservation office. Absolutely crazy and terribly funny. This report is on the top list of most interesting trip reports this year for sure  

= Thanks a lot for the kind words.

Quoting reifel (Reply 19):
Alex, you made my day!

= I am glad I can serve a purpose  .

Quoting reifel (Reply 19):
That said my Antonov in Belarus was even worse. The seats look terribly modern on your Antonov. We had a nice red tone seats with green carpet. and there were no tables. Luckily there was no meal, too. Drink was water out of a 5 liter bottle that was given into the styropor plastic cups they use for coffee in the US. And the f/a was Olga 2 times older with a big fur jacket. I definitely need to write a trip report. Luckily I didn't tried the toilets  

= Wow! What route were you flying? You MUST write a report on it. Where are you based these days?

Quoting TupolevTu154 (Reply 21):
I literally burst out laughing at that and had to show my housemate, who also looked shocked. Reminds me of my old school headmaster! I'm also speechless at the anti-Bush posters!

= Your headmaster in England? I wasn't as speechless at the anti-Bush posters as much as where they were located, and the subject matter of it. I did not understand the chicken part? Also, who is Condi Rice holding?

Quoting TupolevTu154 (Reply 21):
Ahhh I came across this at some point of my travels, pretty sure it was on board an Alrosa Tu154.

= What was your routing?

Quoting TupolevTu154 (Reply 21):
How ignorant and narrow minded. Some of the most amazing things to see and do are in "poor" countries.

= Besides, I would not consider Russia "poor".

Quoting TupolevTu154 (Reply 21):
Antonov AN-2, of which there are still a few flying!

What an amazing report, maybe a little out of my comfort zone too, and I'll fly on anything with wings! Amazing.

= WOW! They still fly? Thoughts on how I can get aboard?

Quoting 9w748capt (Reply 22):
Hahahahahaahahahahahahaa - you've done it again, Mr. Abrelosojos. I just cannot stop laughing. Everything is just beyond words. The creepy looking kid on the chocolate - OMG! The mayoral candidate who looks like he's guzzled a few too many liters of Stoli. Olga! It's funny, me and my sis were flying to India a few years ago and randomly assigned names to cute little Indian kids we saw on the flight. There was a little boy playing Grand Theft Auto on portable video game system we named Karthik. Who knows if that was his name, but to us he'll always be Karthik. But Olga is actually Olga. Wow. What an adventure of a lifetime. And the poop in the toilets!!! Good lord, every time I think you can't possibly top this, you prove us wrong. Bravo!!!

= Haha. Any report coming?

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 23):
Thank you for this extremely rare trip report. Very intersting!

You are braver then me, I don't think I would go so far on such a journey, at least not without a russian speaker on my side.

= Thanks Jonathan. While I agree travelling with someone who speaks Russian is ideal, it is better to travel than not to do so.

Thanks again everyone.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineokapi From France, joined Jun 2006, 209 posts, RR: 0
Reply 25, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 15815 times:

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
= And, there is plenty of poverty in France. One should just keep their eyes open when taking the train from CDG to downtown

What an expert traveller on board RER-B! Now what about a nice trip to Greenland on your way to Central Africa? I don't recall reading any TRs on the magic red Airbus...

Thanks again for sharing!

Wish you the best.


User currently onlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2269 posts, RR: 7
Reply 26, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 15760 times:

Alex,

One of the best reports ever on A.net. Congratulations. Then again, your reports have always been top, you must be used to all the praise by now!

Still a better score than AirFrance on CDG-JNB. Impressive. I do know that it's a bit like apples and oranges, but it's still impressive.

An-24... I must say this aircraft doesn't have the best reputation in Romania after doing Romanian domestic flights for years (decades) until probably around 1995...

But, nowadays, it's hard to even get a Tu-154 for the logbook. An Antonov-24? That takes real skill... Especially without speaking any Russian. The seats look more comfortable than on more modern jets though! In economy class, of course.

Quoting paris380 (Reply 1):
This is digusting. You should stop going to these poor countries.

You seem to have a problem with "poor countries"... which is very arrogant of you (not to mention very stereotypical).

Have you ever been to CDG 2B? Well, I have. The An-24 is sparkling clean compared to 2B circa 2001-2006. That includes the lavatory.


User currently offlineshamrock604 From Ireland, joined Sep 2007, 4158 posts, RR: 13
Reply 27, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 15780 times:

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 4):
= Thanks mate. Ya - I found the flight/experience to be pretty unique - was a little nervous as we were flying pretty low, but overall crashes can happen at any firm. Why are you in shock though?

Thanks for stopping by.

I'm sorry, I did not explain myself so well!

I meant my comments in a humourous way, and was shocked because I did not actually believe that air travel like that actually existed!  



Flown EI,FR,RE,EIR,VE,SI,TLA,BA,BE,BD,VX,MON,AF,YS,WX,KL,SK,LH,OK,OS,LX,IB,LTU,HLX,4U,SU,CO,DL,UA,AC,PR,MH,SQ,QF, EY, EK
User currently offlinewillzzz88 From United States of America, joined May 2011, 150 posts, RR: 0
Reply 28, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 15707 times:

Nothing like Irkutsk...

The UA-CO/CX trans-polar route to HKG from JFK over the airspace seems a bit boring in "luxury" when we're half-way to China from JFK/ORD/YYZ.  

VVO sounds interesting... I may have to take a side-trip to the "Russian" far east.

BTW Vladivostok Air is MUCH BETTER and a REAL AIRLINE.

Oh and they fly VVO/KHV-PEK/ICN/NRT for East Asian and Russian Far East to North America connections (yes some-how that market exists!).

I think that's the worst airline I've ever seen.

And to think I may have been over that airspace in my life...

BTW the Sakhalin oil fields if they still exist and new East Asian business means that somehow VVO-NRT traffic seems to be exploding @ 2x a week last I've seen.

Most North America traffic to Russia Far East connects in East Asia...

Somehow Korean Air has a monopoly on a 2h45m hour ICN-VVO flight (they fly over Chinese airsapce for efficiency purposes) and somehow...

YOU CAN ESCAPE TO TOKYO in 2hours as VVO-NRT somehow is only 2 hours on a A320.

Vladivostok to Narita... 2 hours of change! Ah Russia!


User currently offlinewillzzz88 From United States of America, joined May 2011, 150 posts, RR: 0
Reply 29, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 15699 times:

http://www.vladivostokavia.ru/en/passengers/news/2011-10-21-01317/

VA now flies VVO-HKG-SIN...

Russia is increasingly getting into a transit corridor from East Asia to Eastern and Western Europe so I guess maybe the business is there.


User currently offlinewillzzz88 From United States of America, joined May 2011, 150 posts, RR: 0
Reply 30, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 15685 times:

The next time I'm in Tokyo...

I think I'm going to take a 2-2.5 hour A320 side-trip to the "European" part of "Asia".  


User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 2992 posts, RR: 8
Reply 31, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 15649 times:

Hi Alex,

what a report! Fascinating, to think that flying can still happen in such a way in 2011.

So, given the choice, would your friends have preferred to continue on the train?

I like the way the big sign at Irkutsk just says "Airport". No really?  

I don't know about cat food, even the rats would probably turn their nose up at such food. You really went above and beyond. And even the Swedish way with the lav photos.

Thanks for such a memorable report!

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently onlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5073 posts, RR: 55
Reply 32, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 15619 times:

Quoting okapi (Reply 25):
What an expert traveller on board RER-B!

=  .

Quoting okapi (Reply 25):
Now what about a nice trip to Greenland on your way to Central Africa? I don't recall reading any TRs on the magic red Airbus...

Thanks again for sharing!

Wish you the best.

= I don't understand - what is the magic red Airbus? TAM? Central Africa is very much in the cards VERY soon ... just need to get a visa. Greenland is as well - an ideal itinerary would connect Greenland with Nunavut. I am trying to convince a few friends in Canada to join.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 26):

Alex,

One of the best reports ever on A.net. Congratulations. Then again, your reports have always been top, you must be used to all the praise by now!

= Thanks a lot for the praise mate.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 26):

Still a better score than AirFrance on CDG-JNB. Impressive. I do know that it's a bit like apples and oranges, but it's still impressive.

= Let's not talk about that AF CDG-JNB flight. It ranks as one of the worst flight I have ever taken - unlike Ir Aero which was done from an airline dork perspective, that was a real flight. Along with a few other experiences, it totally turned me into a person who will not fly AF. It is one of the 3 airlines in the world I shall "never" fly. Actually, make that two.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 26):
An-24... I must say this aircraft doesn't have the best reputation in Romania after doing Romanian domestic flights for years (decades) until probably around 1995...

= Did they crash a lot? I don't recall major safety issues with them.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 26):

Have you ever been to CDG 2B? Well, I have. The An-24 is sparkling clean compared to 2B circa 2001-2006. That includes the lavatory.

= LOL.

Quoting shamrock604 (Reply 27):
I meant my comments in a humourous way, and was shocked because I did not actually believe that air travel like that actually existed!  

= Aah.

Quoting willzzz88 (Reply 28):
The UA-CO/CX trans-polar route to HKG from JFK over the airspace seems a bit boring in "luxury" when we're half-way to China from JFK/ORD/YYZ.  

= I don't understand.

Quoting willzzz88 (Reply 28):
BTW Vladivostok Air is MUCH BETTER and a REAL AIRLINE.

= Have you flown them? I might have a surprise for you ...

Quoting willzzz88 (Reply 29):
Russia is increasingly getting into a transit corridor from East Asia to Eastern and Western Europe so I guess maybe the business is there.

= Well, Russia has always played a strong role in the Asia - Europe air corridor and has a history dating all the way back to the 1960's. If I recall correctly, SU even had a TYO-MOW-LON flight with the same flight number. Can someone correct me?

Quoting signol (Reply 31):

what a report! Fascinating, to think that flying can still happen in such a way in 2011.

= Amazing isn't it?

Quoting signol (Reply 31):
So, given the choice, would your friends have preferred to continue on the train?

= Forget my friends ... I might stick to the train next time!

Quoting signol (Reply 31):
You really went above and beyond. And even the Swedish way with the lav photos.

= I don't understand the Swedish way reference?

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 2992 posts, RR: 8
Reply 33, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 15599 times:

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 32):
= I don't understand the Swedish way reference?

A certain Swedish a.netter started the trend for photos in aircraft toilets, or so I believe *cough* Jonas *cough*  
Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 32):
AF CDG-JNB flight. It ranks as one of the worst flight I have ever taken

I did JNB-CDG last month on AF (in Y) and the flight in itself was perfectly ok. It was the connection at CDG that spoilt the experience   My report is in my backlog...

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlineyapple From Singapore, joined Apr 2011, 90 posts, RR: 1
Reply 34, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 15582 times:

What a great TR!

Though i rarely post, I always read your reports, and it's amazing once again. (I'm a big fan of exotic places and airlines) I've never even heard of this carrier (which is one of the top 10 safest Russia airlines?) or HTA and BQS before this trip report. A very interesting route on a interesting airline and aircraft with a interesting interior. Nearly every (non-living) object on board looks pretty bad (the lavatory, the food, etc.), but looks like an amazing experience.

Quoting willzzz88 (Reply 29):
VA now flies VVO-HKG-SIN...

XF does not serve SIN anymore.

Once again, a brilliant trip report. Look forward to more exotic routing, and more TRs.

Yap.


User currently onlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2269 posts, RR: 7
Reply 35, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 15554 times:

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 32):
Let's not talk about that AF CDG-JNB flight. It ranks as one of the worst flight I have ever taken - unlike Ir Aero which was done from an airline dork perspective, that was a real flight. Along with a few other experiences, it totally turned me into a person who will not fly AF. It is one of the 3 airlines in the world I shall "never" fly. Actually, make that two.

Hah, which are (is) the other one(s)? I won't fly Ryanair on general principle, but that's about it for me. I'm still undecided on Spirit, but probably not them either.

Air France... From a customer service perspective I'm not keen to fly them. If something goes wrong I'd rather not be in CDG. AF and UA created the two only truly unhelpful situations with regards to customer service in my 12 years flying, but the UA situation in 2000 was worse IMO. The AF agent was just rude, while the UA agent was truly unhelpful for a good couple of hours.

I have to commend AF for allowing an in-flight flight deck visit on the A380 from IAD to CDG. That was a nice touch.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 32):
Did they crash a lot? I don't recall major safety issues with them.

Well there were about 7-8 crashes in Romania, at least according to the aviation-safety site... Which is about one every 3 years. I'm guessing most weren't due to the aircraft itself, but that record combined with a rather uncomfortable flights, loud props, etc... Meant the An-24 wasn't very popular. A stigma certainly developed.

I remember seeing an An-24 (maybe An-26?) rusting behind the scenes at BBU, in a strange yard with vegetation growing all around, a long time ago, perhaps before my first flight (which was in 1999), and wondering what it looked like inside and where it had been.

You could say the An-24 is one of the few aircraft I wouldn't feel completely safe boarding. It's probably mostly hype, so I'd do it if I had the chance. Another might be the DC-10 (but I've already flown on one). My grandfather had two tech incidents on consecutive days flying on an AZ DC-10 to Lagos in the 70s, and was delayed for a couple of days. He told me the Romanian authorities thought he had fled to the West when he didn't show up in Lagos at the embassy.

[Edited 2012-02-06 22:07:55]

User currently offlineTupolevTu154 From Germany, joined Aug 2004, 2178 posts, RR: 28
Reply 36, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 15369 times:

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 24):
Your headmaster in England?

Yes, surprisingly! Generally a very creepy guy and even the teachers cowered away from him, with a weirder west country accent to match.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 24):
I did not understand the chicken part?

Russian humour at it's best, I suppose!

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 24):
What was your routing?

DME-KRR-DME, here's some shameless promotion of my trip report;

Russian Dream Pt 2: Tu154 From The Flight Deck! (by TupolevTu154 Jan 2 2012 in Trip Reports)

In the second meal photo you can just see the kids face peeking out from beneath some "crusty" bread!

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 24):
WOW! They still fly? Thoughts on how I can get aboard?
http://www.classicwings.de/ have a few flying. I'm pretty sure there was a scheduled flight somewhere within Germany using an Antonov 2 in the past few years too. But here's a trip report on one for you Scenic Flight On The Antonov-2! (EHTE-Teuge) (by CrimsonNL Aug 31 2010 in Trip Reports)



Atheists - Winning since 33 A.D.
User currently offlineCrimsonNL From Netherlands, joined Dec 2007, 1844 posts, RR: 42
Reply 37, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 15345 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CHAT OPERATOR

Hi Alex, this is one of the most entertaining TR's I've ever read! Simply fantastic! You are sure lucky with friends that go through so much trouble to support you 

Thanks for sharing,

Martijn



Fly DC-Jets!
User currently offlinepalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1221 posts, RR: 17
Reply 38, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 15232 times:

What a brilliant report Alex - thanks so much for posting this very rare report. I really enjoyed it.

What an interesting routing as well. The pics speak for themselves and you certainly had an eye opening experience. Thanks for going the extra mile and getting some great shots. I know it must have been tricky to take photos.

That lav shot was certainly gross. Yuk! Not something I expected to see first thing in the morning but thankfully I had already had breakfast by then....

Now where's Sam Chui? I scrolled through the list of comments to see if Sam had dropped by but so far not yet. He was only saying last year how there were no longer any "interesting" trip reports on A.net and how most forum visitors were more interested in A380 trip reports...! This report is definitely a rare one and undoubtedly very interesting.

Cheers and thanks again

Palmjet



Eastern - Number One To The Sun
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6491 posts, RR: 55
Reply 39, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 15100 times:

Hi Alex !

Thanks for an amazingly entertaining report with amazing pictures! WOW ! I'm very happy that you and your friends were brave enough to try this airline and route.

The whole experience seems surreal and the food is truly disgusting. I would never have tried that, don't think I would have drank the water unless it was individual water bottles to each passengers. I might have tried the tea since the water was boiled.

Bathroom is sickening just to look at the picture.

I'm very happy that you were able to do this unique experience and share with us. I don't think I would have been as brave as you.....

Thanks again for an Airliners.net report that's already a Classic!

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently onlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5073 posts, RR: 55
Reply 40, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 14979 times:

Quoting signol (Reply 33):
A certain Swedish a.netter started the trend for photos in aircraft toilets, or so I believe *cough* Jonas *cough*  

= Haha. I did not know that the pictures of the toilets started with Jonas  .

Quoting signol (Reply 33):
I did JNB-CDG last month on AF (in Y) and the flight in itself was perfectly ok. It was the connection at CDG that spoilt the experience   My report is in my backlog...

signol

= What happened @ CDG? Can you give us a preview?

Quoting yapple (Reply 34):
What a great TR!

Though i rarely post, I always read your reports, and it's amazing once again. (I'm a big fan of exotic places and airlines) I've never even heard of this carrier (which is one of the top 10 safest Russia airlines?) or HTA and BQS before this trip report. A very interesting route on a interesting airline and aircraft with a interesting interior. Nearly every (non-living) object on board looks pretty bad (the lavatory, the food, etc.), but looks like an amazing experience.

= First of all, thanks a lot for posting. Second, for your kind words.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 35):
Hah, which are (is) the other one(s)? I won't fly Ryanair on general principle, but that's about it for me. I'm still undecided on Spirit, but probably not them either.

= Curious. What is wrong with FR?

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 35):
The AF agent was just rude,

= Shocking  .

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 35):
Well there were about 7-8 crashes in Romania, at least according to the aviation-safety site... Which is about one every 3 years. I'm guessing most weren't due to the aircraft itself, but that record combined with a rather uncomfortable flights, loud props, etc... Meant the An-24 wasn't very popular. A stigma certainly developed.

= Fair enough. BTW, if I wanted to go off the beaten path in Romania, what would you recommend? It is high on my list of countries to visit ...

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 35):
You could say the An-24 is one of the few aircraft I wouldn't feel completely safe boarding. It's probably mostly hype, so I'd do it if I had the chance. Another might be the DC-10 (but I've already flown on one). My grandfather had two tech incidents on consecutive days flying on an AZ DC-10 to Lagos in the 70s, and was delayed for a couple of days. He told me the Romanian authorities thought he had fled to the West when he didn't show up in Lagos at the embassy.

= Kinda funny. A friend of mine (Denitza) - her dad worked for the Bulgarian authorities during the days of the cold war as an "attache" to Balkan. Once his flight to Africa went tech (via MLA or TIP) AFAIR, and they thought the same thing.

Quoting TupolevTu154 (Reply 36):
Yes, surprisingly! Generally a very creepy guy and even the teachers cowered away from him, with a weirder west country accent to match.

= Haha. What is West Country? And, why is your nickname Tupolev?

Quoting TupolevTu154 (Reply 36):
DME-KRR-DME, here's some shameless promotion of my trip report;

Russian Dream Pt 2: Tu154 From The Flight Deck! (by TupolevTu154 Jan 2 2012 in Trip Reports)

In the second meal photo you can just see the kids face peeking out from beneath some "crusty" bread!

= Great report! And, the kid is creepy!

Quoting TupolevTu154 (Reply 36):
http://www.classicwings.de/ have a few flying. I'm pretty sure there was a scheduled flight somewhere within Germany using an Antonov 2 in the past few years too. But here's a trip report on one for you Scenic Flight On The Antonov-2! (EHTE-Teuge) (by CrimsonNL Aug 31 2010 in Trip Reports)

= Maybe something can be arranged ... wish my schedule had time  .

Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 37):

Hi Alex, this is one of the most entertaining TR's I've ever read! Simply fantastic! You are sure lucky with friends that go through so much trouble to support you 

Thanks for sharing,

Martijn

= Thanks Martijn. I am reading your AN-2 report now ... neat stuff.

Quoting palmjet (Reply 38):
What a brilliant report Alex - thanks so much for posting this very rare report. I really enjoyed it.

= Thanks for stopping by.

Quoting palmjet (Reply 38):
That lav shot was certainly gross. Yuk! Not something I expected to see first thing in the morning but thankfully I had already had breakfast by then....

= Hehe. Hey, I warned you!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 39):
Thanks for an amazingly entertaining report with amazing pictures! WOW ! I'm very happy that you and your friends were brave enough to try this airline and route.

= Thanks Lars. BTW, any update on your part?

Quoting The777Man (Reply 39):
The whole experience seems surreal and the food is truly disgusting. I would never have tried that, don't think I would have drank the water unless it was individual water bottles to each passengers. I might have tried the tea since the water was boiled.

= Let's just say ... no interest in recreating this.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 39):

Thanks again for an Airliners.net report that's already a Classic!

The777Man

= You are too kind. Thanks a lot.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently onlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2269 posts, RR: 7
Reply 41, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 14955 times:

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 40):
Curious. What is wrong with FR?

Nothing major, just personal choice. I don't like their style (ads, local subsidies, 40 Euros per boarding pass) so I won't fly them. I guess they're good for whoever wants the cheapest flight... Furthermore, they have only one route out of Romania so it's not like I have to work hard to avoid them.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 40):
Shocking  .

Right? LOL.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 40):
Fair enough. BTW, if I wanted to go off the beaten path in Romania, what would you recommend? It is high on my list of countries to visit ...

Off the beaten path...
Culture: Well, there are many things to do, but it depends on how much time you have. My first recommendation would be to visit Bukovina. While one of the top destinations in the country, it's under-visited, as the infrastructure isn't great. Still a bit touristy in some places. The city to fly to would be SCV, and only RO flies there. You could probably see everything in a couple of days.

Nature: The Danube Delta is a more unique place, and there's a lot of personal space per visitor, but it's even harder to get there. In summer, driving on two famous mountain roads (Transalpina and Transfagarasan) is popular for Romanians (too popular, lately). One of these roads was featured on Top Gear, and called "the best driving road in the world".

Feel free to PM me whenever you want more info, as the "best" destination varies with your interests and time of year.


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3200 posts, RR: 12
Reply 42, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 14907 times:

Nice report Alex - something a bit different!

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Ir Aero's route map:

Um, isn't VVO missing from that map??

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
"OK. 100 USD. Russia great"!

Great you could haggle the price down. I remember buying a ticket in OSS in Kyrgyzstan (also for the AN24) and had great fun trying to communicate

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(Airport art-work at boarding gate)

Haha, very funny!

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(Highlight was the tea service)

Looks a bit business classeque. Shame about the other aspects of the catering. I haven't found Russian plane food to be very satisfying.



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LHR-GVA-LHR-TXL-LHR-VE-PRN,SPU-OSL-LHR, LGW-DXB-BKK-DXB-LHR
User currently offlineBOACCunard From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 864 posts, RR: 1
Reply 43, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 14881 times:

Wow. Just... Wow.

When I clicked on this I thought it was going to be interesting (after all, it isn't often I see a TR about an airline I've never heard of), but not this interesting.

I've been reading A.net for longer than I can remember. I'm pretty sure I've never read a trip report quite like this one. Of all the dodgy airlines I've seen on here, this one really seems to set new standards.

I often wish I had the opportunity to sample more exotic airlines/aircraft but I have to admit, I think I would have spent this whole flight very seriously second-guessing whether I wanted to be there.

Still, I'm sure it is an experience you will never forget... And neither will your friends, no doubt... You have some really awesome friends if they forgive you for this!  
Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 32):
I don't understand - what is the magic red Airbus? TAM?

Air Greenland I suppose.



Getting There is Half the Fun!
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6491 posts, RR: 55
Reply 44, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 14833 times:

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 40):
any update on your part?

No, nothing new; the guy was on the 787 tour that ended about a week ago. He said he definatly would be in touch but still haven't heard anyting from him.

The777M



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlinelukeyboy95 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 1091 posts, RR: 32
Reply 45, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 14657 times:

Hi Alex,

Particularly enjoyed this report. What an epic trip! Really unique report. . .

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
We had left Moscow and had reached the town of Irkutsk.

It is an excellent, stark part of the world. I loved your non-av photos. Never got to Vostok, but would like to in the future. The airport building in Irkutsk looks quite like the train station in style.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
"OK. 100 USD. Russia great"! WHAT?!

What an excellent price. I always thought it was so cost prohibitive. But that is cracking especially given it is a milk-run.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
we were served probably the nastiest sandwich I have EVER had. It was a combination of cheese (gone bad) and meat (gone bad).

Oh lord, it looks absolutely terrible.

The whole thing seemed perfectly soviet, and played into all the cliches. One wonders what the maintenance of these aircraft are. Suppose you can think about it a bit more now you have done the flight! It just wouldn't have been the same with a cheery little SQ-esque FA!

Thanks

Luke

Quoting kiramakora (Reply 7):
SO many of the reports here deal with the usual flight plan and it seems none of the authors go beyond their comfort zone.

Little unfair, many don't get the opportunity to do such exciting trips.

Quoting paris380 (Reply 1):
This is digusting. You should stop going to these poor countries.

Ridiculous statement



Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
User currently offlineAirGabon From Switzerland, joined Dec 2003, 878 posts, RR: 2
Reply 46, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 14596 times:

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 20):
= Air France has crashed more than Ir Aero - what does that say?

Well compare, with the fleet size and the number of daily flights. In this case AA and many other airlines have also crashed more than Ir Aero.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 32):
It is one of the 3 airlines in the world I shall "never" fly. Actually, make that two.

Which are the 2 other airlines? IB?

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 32):
If I recall correctly, SU even had a TYO-MOW-LON flight with the same flight number. Can someone correct me?

Correct. At least for the NRT-SVO-CDG it is the case, same flight number. Even durring Soviet Union it was the case in il-62M then A310-300.


User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 2992 posts, RR: 8
Reply 47, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 14510 times:

Alex

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 40):
= What happened @ CDG? Can you give us a preview?

Sure... Route was JNB-CDG-AMS-NWI, travelling with wife and 2 children, aged 2 /12 and 3 months. Transfer from 2E to 2F, our pushchair wasn't at gate so had to carry 2 bags and a child each, massice security and passport queues (even with "priority" card), all in a 1h20 connection. Still AMS was so much better, with better staff service made the connection that was reduced to 20 mins Schengen-non Schengen.

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlineokapi From France, joined Jun 2006, 209 posts, RR: 0
Reply 48, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 14450 times:

Hello again.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 32):
= I don't understand - what is the magic red Airbus? TAM? Central Africa is very much in the cards VERY soon ... just need to get a visa. Greenland is as well - an ideal itinerary would connect Greenland with Nunavut. I am trying to convince a few friends in Canada to join.
http://www.airgreenland.com/om_air_greenland/fly_og_helikoptere/

I did not mean The Magic Red Carpet by TAM. If I remember well, you posted something abouth a flight with TAM a couple of years ago. GL is missing from the TR forum I think although it might be wiser to pay a visit during northern hemisphere summertime.
Next destination should be part of a game, just like on your Air Malta trivia, "can you spot me?" thinggie. As you don't like AF (I've only had positive experience so far although not as good as UTA, a loooong time ago), my guess would be a combination of Royal Air Maroc to LBV or BGF. Maybe Cameroon.

No matter wherever you decide to go, I'm confident your next report will be off the beaten tracks, as usual.

Regards. (the french word ?...)


User currently offlineReadyJetGo From United States of America, joined Jun 2011, 18 posts, RR: 0
Reply 49, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 14427 times:

Congratulations on surviving that journey! The sandwich alone would've done me in! Fascinating experience and great photos. Thanks for sharing.

User currently onlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5073 posts, RR: 55
Reply 50, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 14413 times:

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 41):
Nothing major, just personal choice. I don't like their style (ads, local subsidies, 40 Euros per boarding pass) so I won't fly them. I guess they're good for whoever wants the cheapest flight... Furthermore, they have only one route out of Romania so it's not like I have to work hard to avoid them.

= Fair enough. Having competition and choices is a beautiful thing  .

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 41):
Off the beaten path...
Culture: Well, there are many things to do, but it depends on how much time you have. My first recommendation would be to visit Bukovina. While one of the top destinations in the country, it's under-visited, as the infrastructure isn't great. Still a bit touristy in some places. The city to fly to would be SCV, and only RO flies there. You could probably see everything in a couple of days.

Nature: The Danube Delta is a more unique place, and there's a lot of personal space per visitor, but it's even harder to get there. In summer, driving on two famous mountain roads (Transalpina and Transfagarasan) is popular for Romanians (too popular, lately). One of these roads was featured on Top Gear, and called "the best driving road in the world".

Feel free to PM me whenever you want more info, as the "best" destination varies with your interests and time of year.

= Thanks for all the suggestions. I looked through some of the pictures of Transalpina and Transfagarasan, and they look stunning. Are you based in Romania? I might have to reach out to you - it is looking like a June trip.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 42):
Nice report Alex - something a bit different!

= Thanks.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 42):
Um, isn't VVO missing from that map??

= Ya - their entire operation was all over the place.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 42):
Looks a bit business classeque. Shame about the other aspects of the catering. I haven't found Russian plane food to be very satisfying.

= You have flown SU JCL AFAIR - did you not find their food OK? I have had a few international flights on them (none domestic), and have always found the food to be good.

Quoting BOACCunard (Reply 43):
Wow. Just... Wow.

When I clicked on this I thought it was going to be interesting (after all, it isn't often I see a TR about an airline I've never heard of), but not this interesting.

I've been reading A.net for longer than I can remember. I'm pretty sure I've never read a trip report quite like this one. Of all the dodgy airlines I've seen on here, this one really seems to set new standards.

= Haha. Thanks.

Quoting BOACCunard (Reply 43):
Still, I'm sure it is an experience you will never forget... And neither will your friends, no doubt... You have some really awesome friends if they forgive you for this!  

= I think they have (almost) forgiven me ...

Quoting The777Man (Reply 44):
No, nothing new; the guy was on the 787 tour that ended about a week ago. He said he definatly would be in touch but still haven't heard anyting from him.

The777M

= Cool. Keep me posted.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 45):
Particularly enjoyed this report. What an epic trip! Really unique report. . .

= Thanks.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 45):

It is an excellent, stark part of the world. I loved your non-av photos. Never got to Vostok, but would like to in the future. The airport building in Irkutsk looks quite like the train station in style.

= How far did you go? Did you make it to IKT?

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 45):
The whole thing seemed perfectly soviet, and played into all the cliches. One wonders what the maintenance of these aircraft are. Suppose you can think about it a bit more now you have done the flight! It just wouldn't have been the same with a cheery little SQ-esque FA!

Thanks

Luke

= Haha. I just visualized SQ FA's working this flight  .

Quoting AirGabon (Reply 46):
Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 20):
= Air France has crashed more than Ir Aero - what does that say?

Well compare, with the fleet size and the number of daily flights. In this case AA and many other airlines have also crashed more than Ir Aero.

= It was more a snide comment based on some absurd things Paris380 says about any airline that is not AF  .

Quoting AirGabon (Reply 46):
Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 32):
It is one of the 3 airlines in the world I shall "never" fly. Actually, make that two.

Which are the 2 other airlines? IB?

= Iberia is not one of them - I find the service "endearing". Qatar Airways is the other.

Quoting signol (Reply 47):
Sure... Route was JNB-CDG-AMS-NWI, travelling with wife and 2 children, aged 2 /12 and 3 months. Transfer from 2E to 2F, our pushchair wasn't at gate so had to carry 2 bags and a child each, massice security and passport queues (even with "priority" card), all in a 1h20 connection. Still AMS was so much better, with better staff service made the connection that was reduced to 20 mins Schengen-non Schengen.

signol

= Wow. That is horrible. CDG is pretty bad for connections, and I am glad you got "lucky" - your flight terminal and gate did not change randomly. Really poor showing by AF. And you're right ... AMS is miles ahead.

Quoting okapi (Reply 48):
I did not mean The Magic Red Carpet by TAM. If I remember well, you posted something abouth a flight with TAM a couple of years ago. GL is missing from the TR forum I think although it might be wiser to pay a visit during northern hemisphere summertime.
Next destination should be part of a game, just like on your Air Malta trivia, "can you spot me?" thinggie. As you don't like AF (I've only had positive experience so far although not as good as UTA, a loooong time ago), my guess would be a combination of Royal Air Maroc to LBV or BGF. Maybe Cameroon.

No matter wherever you decide to go, I'm confident your next report will be off the beaten tracks, as usual.

Regards. (the french word ?...)

= Haha ... you're getting good mon amie. Well, it is definitely NOT AF   ... next report is closer to Russia ... but Africa and CAF are very high on my places to visit in 2012 list.

Quoting ReadyJetGo (Reply 49):
Congratulations on surviving that journey! The sandwich alone would've done me in! Fascinating experience and great photos. Thanks for sharing.

= Haha. I wish I could capture the spirit of the sandwich to share how truly disgusting it was!

Thanks a lot for reading everyone.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineflightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1228 posts, RR: 5
Reply 51, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 14397 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
The main reason for the trip was of course to fly the Antonov - and what an experience it turned out to be. Like the surroundings it served, Ir Aero's AN4 was stuck in a different era. While the seats were comfortable enough and provided decent legroom and recline, the entire aircraft was very poorly maintained. A few highlights included:
+ Garbage literally strewn across the aft galley and near the bathroom
+ Rust on various parts of the aircraft
+ Luggage that was supposed to be "secured" that never was

Also, at frequent interval, the aircraft would dip below 6,000 feet and I am convinced Oxygen was cut off - every one of us got nausea and sick - it was the first flight in my life where I got sick and went to the bathroom to throw up ...

... and of course, speaking of the bathroom was the highlight. The bathroom had "poop" all over it. I kid you not! Check the pictures - it was absolutely disgusting. And, not having any running water did not help. All that there was, was a water bottle with some liquid soap mix. All in all, rounding of an incredible experience, and probably the most bizarre one I have encountered in my life. One, I shall never forget.

All I can say is you landed up in aviation hell with the way the back of the aircraft and the washroom looked!!! Not to forget the dips the airline took that literally had you throwing up.....You really are a crazy guy as you yourself have expressed, and your friends must know you really well to actually give into your desire to take such a flight.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
I wish I could say much about Olga - our seemingly appropriately named crew member. Olga did not smile during the entire journey. In fact, I don't think I hard Olga ever talk to anyone during the entire journey. Like in the military, she had a routine, and followed the entire thing to the dot. In some strange way, I felt comforted by Olga. If there was a terrorist incident, or safety issue, I have a feeling Olga would do very well. Really don't know what more to say - Olga was part of the whole "exotic" element to this trip, and soon (sadly) became a caricature. I tried not to stereotype her, but my polite conversations were met each time with a blank stare.

Just like I type this and pass judgment on Olga, a part of me wonders what (if?) Olga thought of us. And, if she did, what did she think? Sadly, I will never know.

What I must say I am impressed is with Olga's uniform. Very nice and had she to smile a bit it might have made a difference, but then poor Olga probably does not have the perks her other Russian colleagues at the Middle Eastern carriers have lol. Yeah that pic of the kid on the chocolate wrapper is creepy.


User currently onlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2269 posts, RR: 7
Reply 52, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 14316 times:

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 50):
= Thanks for all the suggestions. I looked through some of the pictures of Transalpina and Transfagarasan, and they look stunning. Are you based in Romania? I might have to reach out to you - it is looking like a June trip.

I will arrive back in Romania on June 10th I think; I'm currently studying in the States. I will likely stay in the country continuously at least until whenever the Euro 2012 football championship is over (July 3rd or so I think). So mid-to-late June is fine. After that I'll take a couple of trips in Europe to be decided.

I do believe that the Transfagarasan might be closed until July 1st, though, if you're thinking about doing that. More than 3 meters of snow each year means it takes a while to melt. I'm guessing there are similar restrictions on the Transalpina.


User currently offlinekiramakora From Argentina, joined Aug 2006, 547 posts, RR: 0
Reply 53, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 14307 times:

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 45):
Little unfair, many don't get the opportunity to do such exciting trips.

Oh come on. Look at some of the trip reports that extol virtues of particular airlines. They are usually staff members of that airline. It is like paid advertisement. Check out Cathay and Emirates for example.


User currently offlineAussie_ From Australia, joined Dec 2000, 1766 posts, RR: 5
Reply 54, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 14217 times:

Hi Alex

I'm always a fan of your trip reports, but as many others have said, this has to be your best yet. I have done some interesting flying in my time, but this is just something else again...

Given your penchant for these trips, are we likely to see you on the North Korea aviation tour this year?

Cheers
Alex


User currently onlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5073 posts, RR: 55
Reply 55, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 14050 times:

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 51):
All I can say is you landed up in aviation hell with the way the back of the aircraft and the washroom looked!!! Not to forget the dips the airline took that literally had you throwing up.....You really are a crazy guy as you yourself have expressed, and your friends must know you really well to actually give into your desire to take such a flight.

= Haha - ya, they think so.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 51):
What I must say I am impressed is with Olga's uniform. Very nice and had she to smile a bit it might have made a difference, but then poor Olga probably does not have the perks her other Russian colleagues at the Middle Eastern carriers have lol. Yeah that pic of the kid on the chocolate wrapper is creepy.

= Fair enough. Though, perhaps Olga is happy where she is?

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 52):
I will arrive back in Romania on June 10th I think; I'm currently studying in the States. I will likely stay in the country continuously at least until whenever the Euro 2012 football championship is over (July 3rd or so I think). So mid-to-late June is fine. After that I'll take a couple of trips in Europe to be decided.

= Cool. I will let you know then. Are we getting a TR on your flight back  ?

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 52):
I do believe that the Transfagarasan might be closed until July 1st, though, if you're thinking about doing that. More than 3 meters of snow each year means it takes a while to melt. I'm guessing there are similar restrictions on the Transalpina.

= That's what I read!

Quoting Aussie_ (Reply 54):
Hi Alex

I'm always a fan of your trip reports, but as many others have said, this has to be your best yet. I have done some interesting flying in my time, but this is just something else again...

Given your penchant for these trips, are we likely to see you on the North Korea aviation tour this year?

Cheers
Alex

= Thanks Alex. So what is the most interesting trip you have done? Also, is the DPRK one led by Simon Cockerel and gang?

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlinelukeyboy95 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 1091 posts, RR: 32
Reply 56, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 14051 times:

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 50):
= How far did you go? Did you make it to IKT?

Beijing, doing stops in Irkutsk, Oklohon Island, Ulan Ude. It is a surreal part of the world. Fully intend to go back with some North Face gear in the winter one year. Keen to explore the far-east parts. Future dream - Kamchatka!



Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
User currently onlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2269 posts, RR: 7
Reply 57, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 14018 times:

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 55):
Cool. I will let you know then. Are we getting a TR on your flight back  ?

Sounds good  

I'll have to see. It's not really a special route (ORD-JFK-FCO-OTP), but I'll take my first flight with JetBlue during this trip, so perhaps I will do a TR. There will definitely be a couple of trip reports this summer though.


User currently offlineAussie_ From Australia, joined Dec 2000, 1766 posts, RR: 5
Reply 58, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 13988 times:

Hi again Alex - the link is for the DPRK tour (it's been discussed elsewhere on this forum) - some spots have come up again on the 12-19 May tour which I am booked on: http://www.juchetravelservices.com/P...20MAY%202012%20ITINERARY%20(1).pdf Price is actually very reasonable given it's all inclusive, not that you can put a price on flying a IL62 and IL18...!

As for some unique trips in the past, one of the highlights must have been the week I spent in Iran, including a jumpseat landing into Mashad on a Saha 707, and some other sectors on TU154 (Iran Air Tours - same aircraft crashed shortly after I flew it...), Iran Air F100 and Mahan TU204.

I've also "enjoyed" AN24 flying on both PMT Air in Cambodia (aircraft crashed a week after I took it...) and also on Uzbekistan Airways. Finally, the other memorable one is a jumpseat landing on a Rossiya YAK42 into Nizhny Novgorod some years back in driving snow... I really should do some more trip reports, but I fear it would be hard to meet your (and others') standards on here!!!

Anyway, congrats again on the trip report and please keep them coming!!


User currently onlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5073 posts, RR: 55
Reply 59, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 13956 times:

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 56):
Beijing, doing stops in Irkutsk, Oklohon Island, Ulan Ude. It is a surreal part of the world. Fully intend to go back with some North Face gear in the winter one year. Keen to explore the far-east parts. Future dream - Kamchatka!

= Wow friend! I had to actually Google Oklohon Island - what made you go there? And, that is one thing that I am not willing to do -- visit these places in the winter. I think I'd become a tad too depressed!

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 57):
Sounds good  

I'll have to see. It's not really a special route (ORD-JFK-FCO-OTP), but I'll take my first flight with JetBlue during this trip, so perhaps I will do a TR. There will definitely be a couple of trip reports this summer though.

= Very cool. Well, JFK/FCO is an interesting TR, and so is your RO flight. Not many RO reports here. Also, any other summer trips?

Quoting Aussie_ (Reply 58):
Hi again Alex - the link is for the DPRK tour (it's been discussed elsewhere on this forum) - some spots have come up again on the 12-19 May tour which I am booked on: http://www.juchetravelservices.com/P...20MAY%202012%20ITINERARY%20(1).pdf Price is actually very reasonable given it's all inclusive, not that you can put a price on flying a IL62 and IL18...!

As for some unique trips in the past, one of the highlights must have been the week I spent in Iran, including a jumpseat landing into Mashad on a Saha 707, and some other sectors on TU154 (Iran Air Tours - same aircraft crashed shortly after I flew it...), Iran Air F100 and Mahan TU204.

I've also "enjoyed" AN24 flying on both PMT Air in Cambodia (aircraft crashed a week after I took it...) and also on Uzbekistan Airways. Finally, the other memorable one is a jumpseat landing on a Rossiya YAK42 into Nizhny Novgorod some years back in driving snow... I really should do some more trip reports, but I fear it would be hard to meet your (and others') standards on here!!!

Anyway, congrats again on the trip report and please keep them coming!!

= What are you talking about? Those are quite an interesting set of trip reports! I am a little worried about sharing a flight with you though given your "record" -- just emailed the DPRK team and heard back from Chae. I have a major shareholder meeting for a "distressed" airline with your "flag" ... let's see what I can do to make an appearance and leave  . I see they do it in September as well. The IL6 and IL8 to look tempting - though, I am holding out on the later for a flight on Expo Air in Sri Lanka - have an open invite to do CMB-TRV with them.

Who did you book your Iran trip with?

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently onlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2269 posts, RR: 7
Reply 60, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 13920 times:

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 59):
= Very cool. Well, JFK/FCO is an interesting TR, and so is your RO flight. Not many RO reports here. Also, any other summer trips?

Hah, we'll see about that JFK experience flyers tend to complain about--I've never connected there before. I think I'm avoiding T3 though.

Other than that, I'm planning a trip to San Francisco and Sacramento in May for the DC-8 flight for aviation nerds, heh. I need to complete my Douglas jetliner collection. A bit expensive but in 5-10 years I know I'll regret if I don't do it.

In Europe... I'm planning a few trips (I have 12 plans 'on file' and each country in Europe is included in at least one), but I'm not sure which ones I'll end up doing this summer. So far, a front runner seems to be OTP-LCA (RO), LCA-MLA (EK), MLA-FCO-AOI/BLQ (AZ), San Marino, and then either VCE-OTP (AirOne) or PMF-OTP (Air Vallee's leased F100 seems interesting).

I wanted to go to Russia, and do MOW-LED-MOW w/ Rossiya's An-148 and the new Aeroflot SSJ and then Vladivostok Avia's Tu-204 to Sochi and an IL-96 back to Moscow. However, the IL-96 has disappeared from that route unfortunately, which is a shame--it was very convenient for me. I'm trying to figure what domestic destinations they're flying, if any.

Are you cooking up any other delectable reports soon (I guess "delectable" isn't the best word for this one given the food offered--awesome works better)? Well, soon or not, I'll keep an eye out.


User currently offlineBOACCunard From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 864 posts, RR: 1
Reply 61, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 13875 times:

Quoting okapi (Reply 48):
GL is missing from the TR forum I think although it might be wiser to pay a visit during northern hemisphere summertime.

Not missing; this TR probably tells you as much about GL as you could want though of course I'd welcome one from Alex too.  
Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 50):
Qatar Airways is the other.

Why QR?



Getting There is Half the Fun!
User currently offlineWidebodyroga From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 613 posts, RR: 16
Reply 62, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 13763 times:

Quite frankly, I don't know where to start with this one.

Some of the things I am about to say have (no doubt) already been told by others before me, so forgive me, but I just can't help it.

1) You are a brave man
2) You are crazy
3) You have really understanding friends
4) Have I mentioned that you are crazy?

How very nice of you to get out of your way to find the HQs of the airline to book with them. I wonder how the locals do it? Were there any (more conveniently located) travel agencies that you could have used instead? But I guess, being a UofC alumnus and a former resident of Hyde Park (I presume) and the Chicago South Side in general there are no neighborhoods that you are unwilling to visit if there was good enough a reason, right?

That bathroom reminds me a little of the public bathrooms in some parts of Bulgaria. Surely one of the highlights of the trip, I bet.

What an interesting experience it must have been.

Thank you for sharing it with us,

WBodyroga



Visit my aviation page: http://widebodyroga.weebly.com/
User currently offlineMH017 From Netherlands, joined Apr 2005, 1684 posts, RR: 31
Reply 63, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 13727 times:

What a fantastic TR, Alex !!!

Great text as well as pictures; it gives you a real insight of flying in rural Russia  

Would be interested to know the flying-time between these cities, as this was not mentioned by you...that makes the USD100 a real bargain IMHO...

Never knew they flew all the way up to Lithuania with these AN-24's

Some nice AN-24 movies of IR Aero by Ivandalavia on Youtube; did you know that ?

Thanks a lot for sharing - this is one of the most exclusive TR I've experienced sofar !!!



don't throw away tomorrow !
User currently onlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5073 posts, RR: 55
Reply 64, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 13692 times:

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 60):
Other than that, I'm planning a trip to San Francisco and Sacramento in May for the DC-8 flight for aviation nerds, heh. I need to complete my Douglas jetliner collection. A bit expensive but in 5-10 years I know I'll regret if I don't do it.

= I just checked the prices for the trip. It is insane - you are going to pay close to 2000 USD! Hey - wanna sponsor me?

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 60):
In Europe... I'm planning a few trips (I have 12 plans 'on file' and each country in Europe is included in at least one), but I'm not sure which ones I'll end up doing this summer. So far, a front runner seems to be OTP-LCA (RO), LCA-MLA (EK), MLA-FCO-AOI/BLQ (AZ), San Marino, and then either VCE-OTP (AirOne) or PMF-OTP (Air Vallee's leased F100 seems interesting).

= I do vote for Malta and San Marino - not a huge fan of Cyprus.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 60):
Are you cooking up any other delectable reports soon (I guess "delectable" isn't the best word for this one given the food offered--awesome works better)? Well, soon or not, I'll keep an eye out.

= Next one continues where this one finished ... after that, I move to the Americas where I went around an interesting and large country  .

Quoting BOACCunard (Reply 61):
Not missing; this TR probably tells you as much about GL as you could want though of course I'd welcome one from Alex too.  

= Ya - that was an awesome read. If I went to Greenland, I'd like to go over on the flight to YFB.

Quoting BOACCunard (Reply 61):
Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 50):
Qatar Airways is the other.

Why QR?

= Never had a good experience with them. I find their crew to be some of the most overrated, am always annoyed by the transfer process in Doha, and am increasingly having moral problems with supporting an airline based in a country that essentially engages in slavery - check out some of the Amnesty / Human Rights reports on human trafficking and work conditions in Qatar.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 62):
Some of the things I am about to say have (no doubt) already been told by others before me, so forgive me, but I just can't help it.

1) You are a brave man
2) You are crazy
3) You have really understanding friends
4) Have I mentioned that you are crazy?

= Haha. Thanks a lot mate  . I will take that as a vote of confidence  .

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 62):
How very nice of you to get out of your way to find the HQs of the airline to book with them. I wonder how the locals do it? Were there any (more conveniently located) travel agencies that you could have used instead? But I guess, being a UofC alumnus and a former resident of Hyde Park (I presume) and the Chicago South Side in general there are no neighborhoods that you are unwilling to visit if there was good enough a reason, right?

= Haha. Though, I never lived in Hyde Park - as a good old MBA student (among others), I was living in South Loop.

Quoting MH017 (Reply 63):
Some nice AN-24 movies of IR Aero by Ivandalavia on Youtube; did you know that ?

= Wow. Those are pretty neat. How did you find it?

Quoting MH017 (Reply 63):
Thanks a lot for sharing - this is one of the most exclusive TR I've experienced sofar !!!

= Thanks mate. I thought it was special too.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently onlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2269 posts, RR: 7
Reply 65, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 13642 times:

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 64):
I just checked the prices for the trip. It is insane - you are going to pay close to 2000 USD! Hey - wanna sponsor me?

You know what's funny--had it been literally anything else than a DC-8 I wouldn't even have thought about it at that price. The way I'm thinking about it now... It's a 21st birthday present for myself--I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't spend excessively on anything but travel... that easily saves me 1600$ a year; I might as well use it. Saving 5$ a day for 1 year... it's worth it for me.

I'm not exactly rolling in cash though, haha.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 64):
I do vote for Malta and San Marino - not a huge fan of Cyprus.

I've heard mixed opinions of Cyprus--but hey, it's an interesting geopolitical situation, and I still want to do an EK flight without going all the way to the UAE. I'll probably stay in Nicosia.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 64):
Next one continues where this one finished ... after that, I move to the Americas where I went around an interesting and large country  .

Sounds good, I'm looking forward to it.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 64):
Never had a good experience with them. I find their crew to be some of the most overrated, am always annoyed by the transfer process in Doha, and am increasingly having moral problems with supporting an airline based in a country that essentially engages in slavery - check out some of the Amnesty / Human Rights reports on human trafficking and work conditions in Qatar.

I've heard DOH airport is quite horrible from many sources, on A.net and otherwise.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 64):
If I went to Greenland, I'd like to go over on the flight to YFB.

Now those prices are also insane, from what I've heard, but a much needed connection time-wise.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 64):
Haha. Though, I never lived in Hyde Park - as a good old MBA student (among others), I was living in South Loop.

UChicago, eh? Cool to see we went/go to the same school (even if in different programs).

Sorry for hijacking your thread; I hope you don't mind, mate.


User currently offlineAussie_ From Australia, joined Dec 2000, 1766 posts, RR: 5
Reply 66, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 13609 times:

Hi again Alex

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 59):
I am a little worried about sharing a flight with you though given your "record" -- just emailed the DPRK team and heard back from Chae. I have a major shareholder meeting for a "distressed" airline with your "flag" ... let's see what I can do to make an appearance and leave . I see they do it in September as well. The IL6 and IL8 to look tempting - though, I am holding out on the later for a flight on Expo Air in Sri Lanka - have an open invite to do CMB-TRV with them.

LOL. With all the flights I have done in my life, my record isn't so bad  

I am now curious about which "distressed" Australian airline you are talking about, but that's not a discussion for the open forum (I can guess perhaps...)!!

I originally asked the DPRK tour people about the option of a shortened trip - the only way to do it was to depart the DPRK on Thursday back to PEK whilst the rest of the group departs on its second charter flight. It does mean missing the IL18 though... But now I am doing the full week's tour. It should hopefully be amazing!! For an enthusiast such as you, I would think it's a must do!

I didn't realise there was an IL18 operating in Sri Lanka... Good to know in the event the Air Koryo flight doesn't come off for whatever reason!

As for Iran, I arranged the trip myself and travelled solo. This was a few years ago, and given the current political situation I'd be a little more nervous about doing the same today, which is a pity given the people right throughout Iran are so lovely.

cheers
Alex

[Edited 2012-02-10 21:26:08]

User currently offlineba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8483 posts, RR: 55
Reply 67, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 13572 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

What a trip Alex, just amazing!

I'm impressed you got your mates to all change their plans to embark on this flight, did they thank you at the other end after the experience?

It certainly looks like a once in a lifetime experience, I'm sure there are few desires to repeat it, but for the experience and the aircraft type, looks worth it to me.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Last year, a group of us did the trans-Siberian railways

- On my wish list of things to do.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Ir Aero's route map

- It's actually quite impressive.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(Irkutsk Airport)

- Very state like in appearance.

Cheers

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333,342
User currently offlineeastafspot From France, joined Jan 2008, 740 posts, RR: 12
Reply 68, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 13512 times:

Hi Alex,

i was a little bit impatient as since the beginning of 2012 you did not report anything reckless. this one is obviously an exception hence I join the crowd, to applause your fabulous 125th TR.

I really like when you highlight remote areas and uncommon carriers. how can you fly F and J class and then try some so-called "dodgy" or "scary" airlines. thumbs up

I cannot believe you've rated IR better than AF.

Again, you are part of the top 5 best TR writers here

Léo



Fly with Air Burundi, Air Tanzania, Air Uganda, Kenya Airways and Rwandair...Jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki
User currently onlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5073 posts, RR: 55
Reply 69, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 13461 times:

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 65):

You know what's funny--had it been literally anything else than a DC-8 I wouldn't even have thought about it at that price. The way I'm thinking about it now... It's a 21st birthday present for myself--I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't spend excessively on anything but travel... that easily saves me 1600$ a year; I might as well use it. Saving 5$ a day for 1 year... it's worth it for me.

= Fair enough. I see that U of C is teaching you the value of money well. I miss the campus.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 65):
I've heard mixed opinions of Cyprus--but hey, it's an interesting geopolitical situation, and I still want to do an EK flight without going all the way to the UAE. I'll probably stay in Nicosia.

= That makes sense - though, I HIGHLY recommend staying in TRNC. The beaches are better, the people are nicer, and there is a feeling of calmness - of course, walking through the no-man-zone is of essence. Hey, maybe you can even fly on Kibris.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 65):
UChicago, eh? Cool to see we went/go to the same school (even if in different programs).

= Haha. What is up with all these people of U of C showing up on this board?!

Quoting Aussie_ (Reply 66):
LOL. With all the flights I have done in my life, my record isn't so bad  

= Fair enough  .

Quoting Aussie_ (Reply 66):
I am now curious about which "distressed" Australian airline you are talking about, but that's not a discussion for the open forum (I can guess perhaps...)!!

= Ya - I cannot talk about it. It has been a fairly interesting project - though, I could deal with less overall "drama"   ...

Quoting Aussie_ (Reply 66):
I originally asked the DPRK tour people about the option of a shortened trip - the only way to do it was to depart the DPRK on Thursday back to PEK whilst the rest of the group departs on its second charter flight. It does mean missing the IL18 though... But now I am doing the full week's tour. It should hopefully be amazing!! For an enthusiast such as you, I would think it's a must do!

= This is funny as I asked the exact same question. It is like 900 Euros to go until Wednesday and I think there is no point to going all the way and not fly the IL8. So let's see - maybe, a summer excursion?

Quoting Aussie_ (Reply 66):
As for Iran, I arranged the trip myself and travelled solo. This was a few years ago, and given the current political situation I'd be a little more nervous about doing the same today, which is a pity given the people right throughout Iran are so lovely.

= You know what ... I am trying to do this now. I am a little worried though as I am thinking it is an Easter trip, but keep reading Israel plans on attacking over that time. My other half (Israeli) is in shock I'd want to go ... but I think it is different to understand if you are Israeli. Thankfully, I have a few passports  .

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 67):
I'm impressed you got your mates to all change their plans to embark on this flight, did they thank you at the other end after the experience?

It certainly looks like a once in a lifetime experience, I'm sure there are few desires to repeat it, but for the experience and the aircraft type, looks worth it to me.

= No regrets for sure - and they are all used to my craziness  . None of us (including me) would want to repeat it though.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 67):
- On my wish list of things to do.

= Mark, you just must do it. And let me know - as I have a zillion recommendations!

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 68):
Hi Alex,

i was a little bit impatient as since the beginning of 2012 you did not report anything reckless. this one is obviously an exception hence I join the crowd, to applause your fabulous 125th TR.

= Thanks a ton Léo.

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 68):
I really like when you highlight remote areas and uncommon carriers. how can you fly F and J class and then try some so-called "dodgy" or "scary" airlines. thumbs up

= Thanks again - I have always maintained that my natural self is all about flying to remote places in "dodgy" self. F and J are well and good, but not something that I can truly enjoy. After a while, service (especially J) tend to blend in my head.

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 68):
I cannot believe you've rated IR better than AF.

= Air France is one of my least favourite things in the world (haha - in case y'all have not figured it out by now). I truly have never had a good experience on them - especially in premium classes. Actually, to be fair, their intra-Europe Y-offering is not bad and the crew are relatively OK. But in the long haul, I have found some of the most arrogant close-minded rude FA's and poor service of my life. To top it off, I find CDG to be a disaster. I rather connect in Kinshasa, Goma, or Karachi! Hehe. I consider myself an open-minded person, and just feel that I cannot with an open-mind pay to be part of that stuff. Now ask me how I really feel   ...

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 68):
Again, you are part of the top 5 best TR writers here

Léo

= Léo, thank you very much. Your and others kind words are very much appreciated and makes me write more of these.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 15
Reply 70, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 13292 times:

Hi Alex

another great trip report you have got there!
Another unheard type, another unheard carrier,... just what we need for a sunday morning read!
Followed by large interest. Sorry to read about the F/A not saying a word.


Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently onlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5073 posts, RR: 55
Reply 71, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 13263 times:

Quoting paris380 (Reply 70):
Maybe because you go to these poor countries and scary airlines, you do not know how to appreciate French sophistication and good service. Air France is the best in the world with best 380 aeroplanes and not like poor country airlines with Antonov.

= You are absolutely right. As a poor peasant from my adopted South America, I can never have the social grace and aptitude to enjoy all the finesse that is required to appreciate Air France.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 71):

Hi Alex

another great trip report you have got there!
Another unheard type, another unheard carrier,... just what we need for a sunday morning read!
Followed by large interest. Sorry to read about the F/A not saying a word.


Greetings
Marc

= Thanks Marc. But then again, I was thinking ... what would the F/A have said to me anyways  .

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently onlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2269 posts, RR: 7
Reply 72, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 13218 times:

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 69):
= Fair enough. I see that U of C is teaching you the value of money well. I miss the campus.

Well, what's money if you can't spend it, after all? Saving's fine too... But doing both is even better  
Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 69):
= Haha. What is up with all these people of U of C showing up on this board?!

I'd say I was surprised... But I'm not. After all, the general UofC population is eclectic. Therefore, we must have more aviation nuts, right? 
Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 69):
= That makes sense - though, I HIGHLY recommend staying in TRNC. The beaches are better, the people are nicer, and there is a feeling of calmness - of course, walking through the no-man-zone is of essence. Hey, maybe you can even fly on Kibris.

Thanks for the advice... Flying into ECN is an interesting choice actually. Has the new Kibris started operating yet? I'm not sure of their status actually. I'm not a big fan of summer resorts/destinations like Ayia Napa or others popular with Romanian tourists which is why I was contemplating Nicosia. The hotel site I usually use doesn't seem to be showing any hotels in the TRNC side of Nicosia for some reason...

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 72):
You are absolutely right. As a poor peasant from my adopted South America, I can never have the social grace and aptitude to enjoy all the finesse that is required to appreciate Air France.

Hahaha!


User currently offlineAirGabon From Switzerland, joined Dec 2003, 878 posts, RR: 2
Reply 73, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 13198 times:

Quoting paris380 (Reply 70):
Air France is the best in the world with best 380 aeroplanes and not like poor country airlines with Antonov.

I think each person has his opinion on which airline is the best according to personal criterias and experiences.

I respect Abrelosojos' opinion on AF, even if I desagree concerning some of his arguments.

On my side, having flown recently AF in C Class between MRU and CDG (B744) I was satisfied by the service, the seat and the friendly crew. But it is my personal appreciation.

Maybe I like more this "latin" touch or approach, where you can have the best of the best serrvice and interact easily with the cabin crew, or sometimes I agree, not such a good service depending of the crew, his mood etc. But I like that. In general I am happy when I fly AF in C Class (recently from MRU and to/from DKR).

For me, I find LH and LX crew to be always good, but maybe too much "automatics", delivering a too much "mechanic" service, giving from time to time, the feeling of being a bit "cold". But I agree, always an excellent and efficient sevice on LH and LX, in particular LX.

For some people it means perfection, and for others like me, not necessary. And at the opposite, I understand very well a passenger paying 3500€ a ticket in C Class and having a bad experience on AF because of a bad crew. and this lack of regularity.

And regarding CDG, now connecting between new Terminals 2E and 2F, as I did MRU-CDG-GVA, is not so difficult if you know to read and to follow signs. I don't understand why people have such horrible stories all the time about CDG. It's a big airport, yes, but not worst than connecting in ATL or even FRA, in my opinion.

Out of topic: congratulations to Air Mauritius an excellent service in both C and Y cabins, always smiling and helpful cabin crew. Will fly with them again for sure!


User currently onlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5073 posts, RR: 55
Reply 74, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 13098 times:

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 72):
'd say I was surprised... But I'm not. After all, the general UofC population is eclectic. Therefore, we must have more aviation nuts, right? 

= Fair enough - but it seems like there is a bunch of people coming out of the wood-works here on A.Net from U of C.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 72):
Thanks for the advice... Flying into ECN is an interesting choice actually. Has the new Kibris started operating yet? I'm not sure of their status actually. I'm not a big fan of summer resorts/destinations like Ayia Napa or others popular with Romanian tourists which is why I was contemplating Nicosia. The hotel site I usually use doesn't seem to be showing any hotels in the TRNC side of Nicosia for some reason...

= Well, TRNC is off-the-path, so I would think there are very few chain hotels. Have you tried TripAdvisor and seen if any B&B were listed?

Also, definitely not a fan of Ayia Napa - just not into the mass tourist sector.

Quoting AirGabon (Reply 73):
I think each person has his opinion on which airline is the best according to personal criterias and experiences.

= Agreed.

Quoting AirGabon (Reply 73):
Maybe I like more this "latin" touch or approach, where you can have the best of the best serrvice and interact easily with the cabin crew, or sometimes I agree, not such a good service depending of the crew, his mood etc. But I like that. In general I am happy when I fly AF in C Class (recently from MRU and to/from DKR).

= Personally, I think, like in other industries, personal mood should be checked at home before coming to work. I would not want to be a fare paying passenger and be hostage to AF crews mood - something that I have found way too often  .

Quoting AirGabon (Reply 73):
And regarding CDG, now connecting between new Terminals 2E and 2F, as I did MRU-CDG-GVA, is not so difficult if you know to read and to follow signs. I don't understand why people have such horrible stories all the time about CDG.

= Hey, as much as I respect you, and agree that service is subjective, I do think you should give me and the rest of the trip writer community who criticizes CDG some credit. Personally, I find the statement below -

"not so difficult if you know to read and to follow signs"

a little insulting to not only myself, but to others who criticize CDG. Just because we think irrational and not well signed does not make us unable to read and follow. While I may not be as travelled as you, I am not a novice traveller and please do not treat me as such.

FINALLY,

A bunch of comments have been deleted in this forum because it moved to an absurd back and forth between several members on Air France, insulting Latins, and concept of service. Ok, how this thread about a random airline in Siberia moved on about France is beyond me   ... but let's stick to Ir Aero please!

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlinestipica From Croatia, joined Feb 2011, 426 posts, RR: 8
Reply 75, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 12804 times:

Hola abre los ojos or Здравствуйте ! ...
lot of fuss around this ... ok I understand 6 hours in that cans raises some attentions ... but ...
75 replies are very interesting reading heheheh ... ok I have some Россия business-travel experience so familiar with the service level and aesthetics but IR Aero ... no way I am too weak ...  
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
The airport itself had two components - an old Soviet style building - impressive, and reminiscent of Budapest's old terminal, and a much more "modern" generic Ikea-type newer terminal.

the old airports buildings in Russia are fascinating and preserved thanks to the limited development ... I do not understand why you are surprised with the Ikea-type terminal ... have you heard of globalization good student of Russian Communism ... uniformity ... heheh

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Highlight was the tea service

no samovar ... hehehe
climate conditions, geography, social and society history all that defines human behavior ... it is not an excuse but sometimes I understand service culture in some nations

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 64):
Hey - wanna sponsor me?

come on Alex you travel like hmmm non-stop and you need sponsor ? ... don't joke with us
don't ask me nothing about the seats ... heheh ... stipica  



Open your eyes and think
User currently onlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5073 posts, RR: 55
Reply 76, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 12773 times:

Quoting stipica (Reply 75):
Hola abre los ojos or Здравствуйте ! ...
lot of fuss around this ... ok I understand 6 hours in that cans raises some attentions ... but ...
75 replies are very interesting reading heheheh ... ok I have some Россия business-travel experience so familiar with the service level and aesthetics but IR Aero ... no way I am too weak ...  

= Haha - where have your travel experiences been in Ma Russia?

Quoting stipica (Reply 75):
the old airports buildings in Russia are fascinating and preserved thanks to the limited development ... I do not understand why you are surprised with the Ikea-type terminal ... have you heard of globalization good student of Russian Communism ... uniformity ... heheh

= Ya - I know - the total embrace of consumerism in ex-Bloc countries continues to fascinate me.

Quoting stipica (Reply 75):
no samovar ... hehehe

= Oh - there was plenty of samovar in the train I was on!

Quoting stipica (Reply 75):
climate conditions, geography, social and society history all that defines human behavior ... it is not an excuse but sometimes I understand service culture in some nations

= Absolutely - and what I found interesting was that people were more friendly/open in the Russian Far East than in inner Russia.

Quoting stipica (Reply 75):
don't ask me nothing about the seats ... heheh ... stipica  

= Hahahahahahaha ... I actually thought of putting that in and asking you for what type of seat it was  .

Thanks for stopping by.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineLonghornmaniac From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 3275 posts, RR: 45
Reply 77, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 12677 times:

Alex,

This report is simply incredible. I am seriously at a loss for words. You had me rolling throughout the entire report. Furthermore, you are simply much braver than I. I could not do a trip like that. So kudos, and thanks a million for sharing.

Beers are still on me next time you get to Austin.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 71):
= You are absolutely right. As a poor peasant from my adopted South America, I can never have the social grace and aptitude to enjoy all the finesse that is required to appreciate Air France.

  

That guy seems like he sucks.

Cheers,
Cameron

[Edited 2012-02-15 12:16:03]

User currently onlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5073 posts, RR: 55
Reply 78, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week ago) and read 12554 times:

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 77):
This report is simply incredible. I am seriously at a loss for words. You had me rolling throughout the entire report. Furthermore, you are simply much braver than I. I could not do a trip like that. So kudos, and thanks a million for sharing.

= Haha - thanks Cameron.

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 77):
Beers are still on me next time you get to Austin.

= You are emphasizing the "s" in Beers I hope   ... and, I am more of a whiskey guy, and I hear there are some great places for it. You know, Austin is the # 1 city I want to visit to in the U.S. I am on this Mexican project which will dictate a bunch of things - the problem is that with the Mexican election coming up, the entire country either wants to rush through projects ... or, delay them. Trying to see which side my project is on.

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 77):
  

That guy seems like he sucks.

Cheers,
Cameron

= No. He (?) just has refined taste   ...

Saludos,
A.

PS: Cameron - I thought you were moving out of TX?



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineLonghornmaniac From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 3275 posts, RR: 45
Reply 79, posted (2 years 5 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 12524 times:

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 78):
You are emphasizing the "s" in Beers I hope

But of course!  
Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 78):
I am more of a whiskey guy, and I hear there are some great places for it.

Beer, whiskey, whatever you want! Austin has it!

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 78):
No. He (?) just has refined taste

Ha! Something like that.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 78):
PS: Cameron - I thought you were moving out of TX?

No sir. I went on my trip, but now that I'm back, I'm looking for full time work.

I do look forward to the day you make it up here! Ask Lee (BMIFlyer) if he enjoyed the Austin by Cameron experience! Naturally, we'd have to throw in a little flying (flying to go get proper Texas BBQ is never a bad idea), and if the season is right, a UT sporting event, perhaps!

Cheers,
Cameron


User currently offlinestipica From Croatia, joined Feb 2011, 426 posts, RR: 8
Reply 80, posted (2 years 5 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 12437 times:

Hi A. !

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 76):
Haha - where have your travel experiences been in Ma Russia?

SVO VKO ASF KJA ... SU (A320,TU154) 7B (IL86) private TU-134(company charter and I am at the bottom of the chain heheheh so no sponsoring hehehe)

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 76):
I know - the total embrace of consumerism in ex-Bloc countries continues to fascinate me.

why ... people are people ... put Centro Sambil in CAR...invest some money into new jobs...issue a couple of credit cards...prominent members of the ruling elite must be the main distributors...and just watch...

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 76):
I actually thought of putting that in and asking you for what type of seat it was

I am not seat expert ... just something that interests me ...

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 76):
Thanks for stopping by.

always a pleasure ... stipica  



Open your eyes and think
User currently onlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5073 posts, RR: 55
Reply 81, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 10983 times:

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 79):
Beer, whiskey, whatever you want! Austin has it!

= Fair enough. You make me sound like an alcoholic.

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 79):
No sir. I went on my trip, but now that I'm back, I'm looking for full time work.

= What kind of work are you looking for?

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 79):
I do look forward to the day you make it up here! Ask Lee (BMIFlyer) if he enjoyed the Austin by Cameron experience! Naturally, we'd have to throw in a little flying (flying to go get proper Texas BBQ is never a bad idea), and if the season is right, a UT sporting event, perhaps!

= What is UT? Univ. of Texas? I am sure Texas and Austin will be great - right now, I officially have become a slave to my company and to a certain Australian airline client who keeps on surprising me with all the "random" strategic directions they want to "explore". Great for my billable hours ... bad for the airline's stability ...

Quoting stipica (Reply 80):

SVO VKO ASF KJA ... SU (A320,TU154) 7B (IL86) private TU-134(company charter and I am at the bottom of the chain heheheh so no sponsoring hehehe)

= Wow. This is very neat. Is the TU3 still flying in scheduled service?

Quoting stipica (Reply 80):
why ... people are people ... put Centro Sambil in CAR...invest some money into new jobs...issue a couple of credit cards...prominent members of the ruling elite must be the main distributors...and just watch...

= Yes, and no. I think a fair bit depends on how the countries are structured - less likely for example in many Asian countries - Philippines being the exception.

Quoting stipica (Reply 80):
I am not seat expert ... just something that interests me ...

= Have you considered it? You never know ...

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineLXM83 From Switzerland, joined May 2005, 610 posts, RR: 5
Reply 82, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 10951 times:

Hello abrelosojos

Amazing report, very interesting and entertaining read!

Great you caught the An-24.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Those little propellers connect pretty much Kaunas in Lithuania all the way to Vladivostok in the Russian Far East. Recently, they acquired some CRJ's ... that must represent a huge leap forward for the airline.

Actually they only flew within Siberia before getting the CRJ's. So no IrAero propellers connecting Lithuania all the way to VVO.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Ir Aero (do they even have an IATA code?)

Yes, they do = IO.

Best regards,
LXM83


User currently offlinelhr380 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 83, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 10753 times:

Only 1 word can describe this TR


EPIC

What a story!!! I bet the HQ staff still talk about the day a random group of friends came to buy tickets...


User currently onlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5073 posts, RR: 55
Reply 84, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 10543 times:

Quoting LXM83 (Reply 82):

Amazing report, very interesting and entertaining read!

= Thanks a lot.

Quoting LXM83 (Reply 82):

Actually they only flew within Siberia before getting the CRJ's. So no IrAero propellers connecting Lithuania all the way to VVO.

= I had NO idea. Was their other destinations that came online after the CR7?

Quoting LXM83 (Reply 82):
Yes, they do = IO.

Best regards,
LXM83

= Wow. How did you find this out? I have been searching several sources - also, do you know their operations?

Quoting lhr380 (Reply 83):

Only 1 word can describe this TR


EPIC

What a story!!! I bet the HQ staff still talk about the day a random group of friends came to buy tickets...

= Thanks a lot. I really appreciate the kind words ... and yes, don't think they have forgotten us @ HQ.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineLXM83 From Switzerland, joined May 2005, 610 posts, RR: 5
Reply 85, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 10223 times:

Hi abrelosojos

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 84):
Wow. How did you find this out?

Their flights show up in the OAG Pocket Flight Guide to which I'm a subscriber.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 84):
also, do you know their operations?

I don't really know more than what's on their website (Russian only). Check the schedules, your IKT-HTA-BQS-VVO flight is now supposed to be on a CRJ: http://iraero.ru/raspisanie

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 84):
Was their other destinations that came online after the CR7?

You mean CR2? Before those they were operating mainly regional routes from IKT, so everything further away such as DME, OMS, UUS, KUF, AER, ROV, KRR, AAQ and KUN is fairly new (or starting only in summer 12).

Looking forward to reading about your future flying adventures!
Cheers, LXM83


User currently offlineairbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4253 posts, RR: 51
Reply 86, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 9945 times:

Alex, mostly fascinating and entertaining read about real Russian aviation, I think. I enjoyed every part of it, including the lavatory pics. No wonder it looks like that keeping in mind the food they serve onboard haha
Great pics, and lake Baikal has also my interest. Not sure if I would ever consider to go all the way you did here though  
Thanks for bringing this up!

Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineMH017 From Netherlands, joined Apr 2005, 1684 posts, RR: 31
Reply 87, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 9895 times:

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 87):
Not sure if I would ever consider to go all the way you did here though

How about a trip from Kaunus to Yuzhno Sakhalinsk on a CRJ, Eric ?  



don't throw away tomorrow !
User currently offlinestipica From Croatia, joined Feb 2011, 426 posts, RR: 8
Reply 88, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 9835 times:

Hi A.!

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 81):
Is the TU3 still flying in scheduled service?

I'm sorry I have no information as far as I know everyone from the first echelons doesn't fly "the beautiful" any more ...you have better sources than me  
Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 81):
Have you considered it? You never know ...

If I decide to change professions I let you know hehehhe
stipica  



Open your eyes and think
User currently onlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5073 posts, RR: 55
Reply 89, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 9823 times:

Quoting LXM83 (Reply 85):
Their flights show up in the OAG Pocket Flight Guide to which I'm a subscriber.

= Hmm. This is interesting as the time I was flying them, they were not in IATA and had no code. Their reservation system was also in-house in computers that looked like it was int he 1970's!

Quoting LXM83 (Reply 85):
I don't really know more than what's on their website (Russian only). Check the schedules, your IKT-HTA-BQS-VVO flight is now supposed to be on a CRJ: http://iraero.ru/raspisanie

= Cool. I am glad I got to do this then!

Quoting LXM83 (Reply 85):
You mean CR2? Before those they were operating mainly regional routes from IKT, so everything further away such as DME, OMS, UUS, KUF, AER, ROV, KRR, AAQ and KUN is fairly new (or starting only in summer 12).

= Yes. I meant CR2 - amazing isn't it that they are celebrating the arrival of the CR2 as a new thing  !



Quoting airbuseric (Reply 87):

Alex, mostly fascinating and entertaining read about real Russian aviation, I think. I enjoyed every part of it, including the lavatory pics. No wonder it looks like that keeping in mind the food they serve onboard haha
Great pics, and lake Baikal has also my interest. Not sure if I would ever consider to go all the way you did here though  
Thanks for bringing this up!

Eric

= Eric, you MUST do it. Have you thought of the trans-Siberian one way, and cool combination of flights on the way back?

Quoting MH017 (Reply 88):
How about a trip from Kaunus to Yuzhno Sakhalinsk on a CRJ, Eric ?  

= And a trip report  .

Quoting stipica (Reply 89):
I'm sorry I have no information as far as I know everyone from the first echelons doesn't fly "the beautiful" any more ...you have better sources than me  

= When did you flu the TU3 last?

Saludos,
A.

[Edited 2012-03-04 16:44:42 by srbmod]


Live, and let live.
User currently offlinestipica From Croatia, joined Feb 2011, 426 posts, RR: 8
Reply 90, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 9799 times:

You really love the ping-pong ...
1998 ... ah I'm really old heheheh ...stipica  



Open your eyes and think
User currently offlineAirIndia From United Arab Emirates, joined Jan 2001, 1633 posts, RR: 1
Reply 91, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 9482 times:

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Ir Aero's Antonov's come equipped with the next generation AVOD IFE

Should be called AVOiD............  

Excellent experience, I would love to do. Thanks for the report......


User currently offlineAirPacific747 From Denmark, joined May 2008, 2373 posts, RR: 21
Reply 92, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 9457 times:

Very cool trip report! Thank you for sharing your experience with a part of the world that is rarely exposed. I have to admit though that you must have some serious c****** to voluntarily fly on those death traps. It is very interesting to read about and see the pics though! Can't believe the condition that lavatory was in!

User currently offlineC8fromONT From United States of America, joined Aug 2009, 70 posts, RR: 0
Reply 93, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 9309 times:

I dig the pics of Bush - classic!!

User currently onlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5073 posts, RR: 55
Reply 94, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 9233 times:

Quoting stipica (Reply 90):
You really love the ping-pong ...
1998 ... ah I'm really old heheheh ...stipica  

= Always fun with you! Oh come on, 1998 is not too old - still have to fly them. Maybe, this year?

Quoting AirIndia (Reply 91):
Should be called AVOiD............  

Excellent experience, I would love to do. Thanks for the report......

= Anytime. Glad you enjoyed!

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 92):
Very cool trip report! Thank you for sharing your experience with a part of the world that is rarely exposed. I have to admit though that you must have some serious c****** to voluntarily fly on those death traps. It is very interesting to read about and see the pics though! Can't believe the condition that lavatory was in!

= Haha ... death can happen anywhere I guess  .

Quoting C8fromONT (Reply 93):

I dig the pics of Bush - classic!!

= I was actually shocked to see that, and the 9-11 one at an airport security queue of a major country.

Thanks a lot for stopping by everyone.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineparis380 From France, joined Jul 2011, 28 posts, RR: 0
Reply 95, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 9198 times:

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 71):

= You are absolutely right. As a poor peasant from my adopted South America, I can never have the social grace and aptitude to enjoy all the finesse that is required to appreciate Air France.

I am happy you admit it. And after the election of Marine, it will only grow stronger.


User currently offlineLonghornmaniac From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 3275 posts, RR: 45
Reply 96, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 9179 times:

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 81):
You make me sound like an alcoholic.

   Not at all, though your "certain Australian airline" may drive you that direction!

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 81):
What kind of work are you looking for?

At this point, anything that pays!    My degrees are in biology and environmental studies, so I've sort of targeted several environmental consulting/engineering firms around Austin.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 81):
What is UT? Univ. of Texas?

   100,000 seat stadium!

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 81):
right now, I officially have become a slave to my company and to a certain Australian airline client who keeps on surprising me with all the "random" strategic directions they want to "explore"

Well keep me posted! I'll also be happy to visit you in Sydney if I can find a way over there. I've got a place to stay and everything!

Cheers,
Cameron


User currently offlinekiramakora From Argentina, joined Aug 2006, 547 posts, RR: 0
Reply 97, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 9174 times:

Alex -

Do you have a copy of the paper ticket? I would love to see if you still have it. I am assuming this was paper?


User currently offlinekiramakora From Argentina, joined Aug 2006, 547 posts, RR: 0
Reply 98, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 9174 times:

Quoting paris380 (Reply 95):
I am happy you admit it. And after the election of Marine, it will only grow stronger.

You do not really believe this, do you?


User currently offlineAirPacific747 From Denmark, joined May 2008, 2373 posts, RR: 21
Reply 99, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 9175 times:

Quoting paris380 (Reply 95):
I am happy you admit it. And after the election of Marine, it will only grow stronger.

You are a bit full of yourself, aren't you?  
Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 94):
= Haha ... death can happen anywhere I guess

True   I really appreciate your cool trip reports! Wish I could go on half the adventures it seems you do.


User currently offlinestipica From Croatia, joined Feb 2011, 426 posts, RR: 8
Reply 100, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 8899 times:

Hi ping !

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 94):
Oh come on, 1998 is not too old - still have to fly them. Maybe, this year?

I am little confused with your comment ... but it doesn't matter ...writing this just to get 100 points hehhehe
good luck with the TU-134 ... stipica  



Open your eyes and think
User currently onlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5073 posts, RR: 55
Reply 101, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 8682 times:

Quoting paris380 (Reply 95):

I am happy you admit it. And after the election of Marine, it will only grow stronger.

= Sure ...

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 96):
Well keep me posted! I'll also be happy to visit you in Sydney if I can find a way over there. I've got a place to stay and everything!

Cheers,
Cameron

= Thanks Cameron. This is one of them most challenging projects I am on with the most stubborn group of executive management I have worked with in a long time ...

Quoting kiramakora (Reply 97):
Alex -

Do you have a copy of the paper ticket? I would love to see if you still have it. I am assuming this was paper?

= Sadly no. Along with the inflight magazines, they have gone missing ...

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 99):
True   I really appreciate your cool trip reports! Wish I could go on half the adventures it seems you do.

= Thank you.

Quoting stipica (Reply 100):
I am little confused with your comment ... but it doesn't matter

= I meant, I have a feeling I will be able to get on the TU3 this year ...

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlinestipica From Croatia, joined Feb 2011, 426 posts, RR: 8
Reply 102, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 8652 times:

hahahahaha I understand that part ... please forget ... stipica  


Open your eyes and think
User currently offline777jaah From Colombia, joined Jan 2006, 1403 posts, RR: 0
Reply 103, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 8391 times:

WOW!!! Talking about a real flying adventure....takes lots of guts to do what you did, unfortunately, it TOOK your guts, literally.

I have to admit I always come to this forum looking for your TR's, but this time, you've just gone ovet the top.

Thank you very much for sharing.


777jaah



Next flights: AV BOG-ADZ-BOG, AV-UA BOG-IAD-ORD-IAD-BOG, BOG-FLL-BOG, LA BOG-MIA-BOG J
User currently onlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5073 posts, RR: 55
Reply 104, posted (2 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 7708 times:

Quoting 777jaah (Reply 103):
I have to admit I always come to this forum looking for your TR's, but this time, you've just gone ovet the top.

Thank you very much for sharing.


777jaah

= You are way too kind. Thanks a lot  .

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineF9Animal From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 28
Reply 105, posted (2 years 3 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 7559 times:

Well, at least you experienced it! Great trip report, and interesting perspective of the aircraft. I suppose it brings appreciation to say Ryanair! The Antonov you flew on must have been a neat experience! Well, you certainly would be a great lunch host!


I Am A Different Animal!!
User currently offlinefidelidade From Brazil, joined Dec 2012, 29 posts, RR: 0
Reply 106, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 4981 times:

I can't believe you saw human waste in the bathroom. This is digusting. I would want to immediately leave the aeroplane! I learnt a lot of geograpy from your reporting, so thank you.

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