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Aeroflot Business Class Experience: EVN-SVO-HEL  
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 27483 times:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Part_4_title.jpg

Introduction

This is the final part of my February trip to the Gulf via Moscow and Yerevan, Armenia. It is a bit overdue, sorry for that buy many things have conspired to require most of my attention and time these days...

For the events leading up to this point, please refer to the earlier two parts:
- Russki Way To Armenia: HEL-SVO-EVN (by FlyingFinn76 Feb 23 2012 in Trip Reports)
- Armenia To Arabia: EVN-DXB-MCT (by FlyingFinn76 Feb 26 2012 in Trip Reports)
- Bling Bling Vs. Low Cost: MCT-DXB-EVN (by FlyingFinn76 Mar 7 2012 in Trip Reports)

Sunday 19.2.2012

So I will pick up right where the previous episode left me - half way up the elevator from the arrivals level to the departures level at Yerevan airport:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Yerevan_Airport_.jpg

Upon reaching the upper level I take a look around - the place looks just as deserted on Sunday early afternoon as it did two days ago early on a Friday morning. The only people I see happen to be queuing in front of the (thankfully already open) Aeroflot check in counters, so that’s where I head to join the small queue.

Supervising the queue is none other than the same guy who warned me about taking photographs to days ago. He looks at me and says: “I can’t believe it! Two days ago you fly to Dubai and now you are back here!” - I just have to crack my usual joke: “It was too sandy there for me, I’ll head north now” which makes him laugh. We have some small talk and in no time at all it is my turn at the counter.

The young guy there is not able to print me a boarding pass for the SVO-HEL leg, explaining that it is operated by another airline (I know, I know - it is Finnair but under an SU codeshare...). Fair enough. After I ask about the lounge and whether I need an invitation there’s a bit of confusion - apparently they’ve never seen a Flying Blue card before. Finally an older, large guy who I think must be the Aeroflot station manager grunts the younger agents something, which cause them to hand my passport, boarding pass and FB card over to him. He mutters something about “Air France” and takes extra time to carefully jot down my details. Eventually he hands me the filled lounge invitation and my documents plus the boarding pass and wishes me “a good flight” - his English seems to be rather limited.

I say good bye to my new friend the supervisor (shaking his hand) and head off towards the security check process. It is just as absurd as the last time with finger prints scanned and multiple document checks, but at least the immigration officers seem all to be awake now. The woman processing me takes a long hard look at my 1-day visa (gee, they must not get many mileage runners here!) but finally stamps my passport and sends me on my merry way. Security check is another mess, but at least we get a bit of a fun for bashing Moscow with the nice girl there.

Again through the duty free store where I buy some Armenian stuff, including the very nice Ararat brandy, although the girls there are a little suspicious whether I can take it through transfer security at SVO (for the record they couldn’t care less there...).

Access to the lounge is interesting - the lift and the stairs are located right in the middle of the duty free store - no doubt another effort to try to increase casual spending by us filthy rich (as the common misconception seems to be) folks flying in premium classes and having lounge access... Upstairs two friendly girls are waiting at the reception - one of them doesn’t seem to speak any English but the other one is very nice and takes my invitation and welcomes me in.

This place is quite large but narrow as it runs pretty much the whole length of the departure hall:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Yerevan_Airport_1.jpg

There are no other guests in the lounge when I enter, half an hour later a Japanese guy (who ends up being on the same flight as me) enters and later a couple of mafioso-looking Russian “biznismen” in suits who spend most of their lounge time having a heated discussion in one of the lounge meeting rooms.

For some reason they have a lot of French papers:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Yerevan_Airport_2.jpg

For Jonas:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Yerevan_Airport_3.jpg

Easy chairs:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Yerevan_Airport_4.jpg

The offerings:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Yerevan_Airport_5.jpg

Drinks selection is good, nice to see some genuine Czech Becherovka on offer:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Yerevan_Airport_6.jpg

The Armenian wine they have is simply horrible, though. Not exactly my cup of wine. These prepackaged sandwiches are quite cheap and very basic - the cheese one has exactly two ingredients, white bread and (dodgy) cheese:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Yerevan_Airport_7.jpg

Vase display:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Yerevan_Airport_8.jpg

The lounge has decent views of the apron as there’s plenty of glass everywhere, unfortunately the multiple layers of glass make photography a bit of a challenge. Here’s the sistership of the bird that flew me to Dubai:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Yerevan_Airport_9.jpg

This sight took me by surprise - a lovely S7 767 arriving from DME:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Yerevan_Airport_10.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Yerevan_Airport_11.jpg

They had this kettle with the lid on top right there on the snacks table - I hoped there might be some sort of nice soup on offer but the truth is a little bit different:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Yerevan_Airport_12.jpg

Wow:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Yerevan_Departure_1.jpg

The whole terminal has free wifi so that, some drinks and plane watching (not to mention an epic luggage repackaging operation!) keep me well entertained until it is time to leave the lounge for the gate. Right then I spot this gorgeous livery arriving - interesting contrast with the white snow:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Yerevan_Departure_2.jpg

Downstairs to the gate I go, plenty of people waiting to go to Moscow:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Yerevan_Departure_3.jpg

Or maybe here:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Yerevan_Departure_4.jpg

Boarding commences as soon as I get to the gate - I board among the first few ones. By the time I’m walking down the jetway the station manager (the guy who wrote me the lounge invitation at check in) comes walking the other way, spots me and asks for my boarding pass. I show it to him and he takes a look, shakes his head and tells me to wait here, heading towards the gate agents with my boarding pass... oh well, I think I know what is about to happen and am pretty happy about it! I actually can’t stop smiling  .

While I wait there’s the perfect opportunity to shoot a pic of my ride-to-be, the expected A320 VP-BRY which of course is a new reg for me:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Yerevan_Departure_5.jpg

Soon the manager comes back, gives me a new boarding pass and says: “Business class” - this is exactly what I expected but it still makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I shake his hand (this seems to be an Armenian way and I’m definitely adapting!) and happily say “спасибо” to him which seems to confuse him a bit and then hop down the jetway with a new lightness on my stride.

EVN - SVO
SU1861
A320 VP-BRY
Seat 4A
16.25 - 19.13

A middle-aged, business-friendly to use Markus’ term female purser is greeting us on the door. There’s also Stanislav, a young guy who sports a very impressive mullet in the best Tampere fashion standing behind him - it turns out they will be serving the business class cabin on this flight, with the guy making some cameo appearances in economy as well.

As I mentioned on the outbound trip report, there are five rows of proper 2-2 business class seats on these birds:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Yerevan_Departure_6.jpg

Legroom is of course excellent (notice the amenity kit in the seat pocket):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Yerevan_Departure_7.jpg

Legrest:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Yerevan_Departure_8.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Yerevan_Departure_9.jpg

Since economy is overbooked (hey, I hold no false assumptions as to the cause of my upgrade, I’m sure the reasons are operational even though they actually did it wrong and I ended up getting the full business class mileage for it, nice!) there’s a steady stream of passengers back there. Out of the 20 J class seats 18 are occupied, most of the pax are apparently upgradees as apart from the Japanese guy and the mafiosos I didn’t see anyone else in the lounge...

I get a seatmate, a young Russian guy who is more interested in his IPad than greeting me, well fine with me.

Predeparture drinks are offered from a tray - only water and OJ are offered (where are the champers?!):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Yerevan_Departure_10.jpg

Push back is right on time, followed by a taxi towards the end of the runway 27, taking us past some nice birds. Here’s the plane that flew me to DXB:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Yerevan_Departure_11.jpg

This US BBJ arrived while I was in the lounge:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Yerevan_Departure_12.jpg

As is expected from any self-respecting ex-Soviet airport there are also some old plane carcasses around:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Yerevan_Departure_13.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Yerevan_Departure_14.jpg

The ugly end of a Russian state IL-62:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Yerevan_Departure_15.jpg

After take off there are quite stunning views of the snowy plain surrounded by the Caucasus mountains:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Yerevan_Departure_16.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Yerevan_Departure_17.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Enroute_to_Moscow_1.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Enroute_to_Moscow_2.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Enroute_to_Moscow_3.jpg

After take off we are offered digiplayers with a selection of movies and TV shows - I decline as I have plenty of reading material with me as always plus the views are far more interesting for me:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Enroute_to_Moscow_4.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Enroute_to_Moscow_5.jpg

My seat mate does accept the player and spends the rest of the flight watching some movie which I don’t recognize.

Town in a valley:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Enroute_to_Moscow_6.jpg

Soon we are offered hot towels by Stanislav:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Enroute_to_Moscow_7.jpg

Next the purser comes to each of us individually, introduces herself as Elena and asks for my name. Since my first name would be too hard for him I use its Russian version and introduce myself as “Pjotr” which she seems to find quite funny. Anyway she asks for my choices for the food on this flight and offers a bowl of nuts and white wine after I request one:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Enroute_to_Moscow_8.jpg

Wait a minute, food choices?! Oh yes, I forgot to introduce the menu card that was placed on the seat pocket. Here are some pictures - these obviously were taken at home (somehow the menu cards found their way to my back bag...):



Russki - that Coca Cola advert looks a bit cheap:



English - ditto for the ad:



Note the calorie count for each dish - an interesting but a very nice touch.

I ask Elena whether they still have the fish available - she seems to be a bit surprised at the thought that they’d run out of a dish and says “Yes, of course” so that’s what I order. Then I’m asked for drink choices. The menu listed wine recommendations for each dish so I try to explain that I’d go along with the selection from there but she doesn’t understand me so I guess I’ll just have to take a look at the wine menu as well:



I’ll spare you most of the details but I settled for some very nice Pfefferer white. Here’s the champagne:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Amenity_Kit_Menu_6.jpg

Soon the appetizer is delivered on a tray:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Enroute_to_Moscow_9.jpg

Notice the salt and pepper shakers - somehow those fell right in my bag and ended up being adopted by me. Here’s another shot of them at home:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Bonus_4.jpg

Well back to the meal - the slices of turkey are quite dodgy to be honest, but I still finish all of them. The other veggies are nice. Plenty of different breads are offered from the basket - the one roll I take is very nice.

Good to see the classic hammer and sickle on the utensils:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Enroute_to_Moscow_10.jpg

Frequent refills for the wine are proactively poured by Elena, no need to request them.

Onwards to the main course:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Enroute_to_Moscow_11.jpg

This dish is absolutely delicious! The halibut is very nicely cooked, soft and moist and the pistachio crust fits the taste perfectly. Likewise the risotto is fabulous - so tasty, enhanced by the nice sauce (which doesn’t really taste like champagne to me but that is okay). A good sized portion as well, it only leaves me yearning for...

...dessert:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Enroute_to_Moscow_12.jpg

It is Russia after all so definitely some nice tea with the chocolate mousse which is sinfully good.

All in all an excellent meal for a three hour flight.

After the meal leftovers are cleared we are asked for any additional drinks - I decide to try the champagne which is a bit of a disappointment and served in such a small glass:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Enroute_to_Moscow_13.jpg

This time refills are not proactively offered, instead I have to ask for them. Anyway I lean back, sip my nectar, listen to some nice tunes from my IDevice and just sort of zone out reflecting on this whirlwind trip I’m finishing and various things in life. Being on the western side of this northbound aircraft of course means that I have some nice views of the setting sun at my disposal as well:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Enroute_to_Moscow_14.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Enroute_to_Moscow_15.jpg

Let’s take a look at the amenity kit (again photos taken at home):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Amenity_Kit_Menu_7.jpg

Inside there’s a shoehorn, a wet wipe, an eye mask, earplugs, a pen and a small notebook (hear that, Mark!), “DND” and “Wake up for food” stickers and a pair of slippers:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Amenity_Kit_Menu_8.jpg

The slippers were the only amenity I used on this flight - quite nice for getting to the loo without my winter boots.

Well, time flies when you’re in business class as the old saying goes and it seems like in no time at all the captain announces our imminent descent for SVO. I shake myself out of my wandering thoughts and take a look outside and am glad that I did as we are overflying VKO airport right at that moment:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Moscow_Approach_1.jpg

From here we fly over the western outskirts of Moscow towards SVO:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Moscow_Approach_2.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Moscow_Approach_3.jpg

More views of the dusk over the western horizon:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Moscow_Approach_4.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Moscow_Approach_5.jpg

We fly almost directly overhead of SVO before turning towards the northwest (and Finland, yay!) - here’s SVO:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Moscow_Approach_6.jpg

We fly a bit away from the airport before turning back over some quintessentially Soviet suburbs:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Moscow_Approach_7.jpg

Stanislav hands out Fast track immigration cards - I take one just in case I might need it at some point in the future:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Moscow_Approach_8.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Moscow_Approach_9.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Moscow_Approach_10.jpg

Landing is on 07L after around 2h45mins of flight time.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Moscow_Approach_11.jpg

That ugly cube is Terminal F, built during the Soviet times (as you can tell from the “functionalist” design):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Moscow_Approach_12.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Moscow_Approach_13.jpg

Quite surprisingly we end up at the very same jetway where my AY flight docked just four and half days prior (although it sure feels like an eternity!).

Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport

I retrace my steps from a few days earlier to the transfer centre. As a matter of fact the whole transfer experience causes a major feeling of deja-vu for me as the guy who hands me my already preprinted boarding pass at the transfer counter is the same one as before and half of the security screeners are the same as well! This time the older woman checking my passport has some issues with it and takes it and my boarding pass, walking back to the transfer counter (but doesn’t mutter a word of explanation to me at all), exchanges a few words with the agent, comes back and hands me the stuff, again without a word and unlocks the door. Gee, thanks.

Another pointless and rather cursory security check (they couldn’t care less about my Ararat brandy) and I’m back at the departure level, again right in the middle of the duty free area. I hit the shop for some dirt cheap, high quality vodka and decide to check out the other Aeroflot lounge, “Blues” this time.

Well another feeling of deja-vu comes when I step out of the dedicated lounge elevator - this place is an exact mirror image of the “Jazz” lounge on the other side of the duty free area! Major lack of imagination by the designers (or maybe they decided to embezzle half the funds somewhere else and simply copied the only design - wouldn’t surprise me at all!). Anyway the front desk agents are kinda confused whether I’m allowed entry or not (they keep asking for an invitation which I of course don’t have), especially as my boarding pass is printed on genuine AY stock - luckily the transfer counter guy had scribbled “Aeroflot” and the SU flight number on top of it and after a couple of phone calls I’m invited in.

Yes, the same cheap and tacky lights are here as well - I told you it is a full mirror image:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Final_1.jpg

I don’t have too much time here - and frankly at this point I’m really getting quite tired and wouldn’t mind being home already! Anyway a couple of drinks and some wifi time later I make an unsuccessful raid of the newspaper stand in the vain (and false, everything is only in Russian) hope that they might be carrying some Finnish papers and then decide to head to the gate.

My eerie feeling of deja-vu only grows stronger as this time the Helsinki flight is departing from the very same gate where I departed for EVN! This is getting downright scary!

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Final_2.jpg

Anyway it is a bit past the designated boarding time but no plane is to be seen. After some time I finally spot the expected Embraer 190 pulling in - looks like a small delay is on the cards today.

Some 25 minutes later boarding commences with the usual scrum - at this point I’m nodding off and am ready to crash while onboard.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Final_3.jpg



SVO - HEL
AY156
E190 OH-LKO
Seat 7A
21.40 - 21.35

From a window in the jetway I’m finally able to spot the registration: “Knock Out” means that this is OH-LKO, luckily a new Embraer to add to my log:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Final_4.jpg

Both the cabin crew girls are rather young this time - a nice change from the usual AY grandmothers (although to be fair they still are some 20 years younger on average than on SAS) - not terribly friendly, they appear to be quite tired actually.

The captain makes the usual welcome speech, explaining the delay by heavy snowfall at HEL which is slowing everything down - and the snowfall is expected to continue well into the night so there might still be some troubles ahead. Anyway should we allowed to go for a straight-in approach the flight time will be around one and half hours.

I think there’s a single passenger in business class, economy being around half full. The outbound flight seemed to have a far healthier passenger load.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Final_6.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Final_5.jpg

Push back is half an hour late, but again there’s quite a long queue for take offs on 07R (more deja-vus...) so I think we take off some 20 minutes later, hard to tell because I think I zonked out during the slow taxi...

Anyway I’m awake for the take off - some nice views of the lights of the northern outskirts of Moscow but not many good pictures - here are a few:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Final_7.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Final_8.jpg

After leaving the sphere of light that is the Moscow Oblast behind it is pretty much complete darkness everywhere - perfect for sleeping. The sounds of the service wake me up - this time there’s a very nice and large ham and cheese sandwich - I ask for some water to go with it:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Final_9.jpg

Cabin view from a toilet run:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Final_10.jpg

Duty free sales are conducted next - surprisingly quite a few people seem to be getting something. I doze on and off for the rest of the flight. Over St. Petersburg the captain announces that we will soon commence our descent for HEL and should be allowed a straight in approach despite the weather conditions still being very snowy.

Landing at a very snowy HEL is on runway 15 after around 1h35mins of flight time, still five minutes earlier than our push back time, thanks to the intricacies of timezones and daylight saving times...

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Final_11.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Final_12.jpg

I’m a little itchy as I actually still have one more flight to go today, to KUO on the “Midnight FlyBE” departing at 23.55 and would very much like to go home, dump most of my stuff there and maybe even take a quick shower - at this point it’s around 40 hours since I last had a proper wash and a complete change of clothes - a good thing I didn’t have a seatmate on this flight! So it is rather frustrating watching our sloooooow

34 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Reply 1, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 27530 times:

So it is rather frustrating watching our sloooooow taxi to the far end of T2.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Final_13.jpg

Here’s CS-TFZ, a Portuguese HiFly A332 operating some long haul leisure flights for Finnair:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Final_15.jpg

A big bird being deiced for another trip to a place where no deicing is ever necessary:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Final_16.jpg

Despite there being plenty of jetways available in the non-Schengen terminal part Finavia has decided to place us on a remote stand - how come I’m not surprised:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Final_17.jpg

Bye, OH-LKO - more snow keeps falling:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Final_18.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Final_19.jpg

Oh well, if there’s one good thing about our remote stand it is the fact that the busride takes you right into the immigration area, sparing the long walk from the long haul terminal extension. No queues at all so I’m through in no time at all. The baggage hall, on the other hand has tons of passengers waiting for their luggage, luckily I’m carry on only as usual so I just head through and luckily Finnish customs doesn’t want to perform a spot check with me (which is good as I’m somewhat over the legal limit on the vodka front...) and luckily it is only two minutes til the next bus home, which despite the heavy snowfall is running perfectly on schedule - this is Finland after all (but let’s not talk about the trains!).

A quick ride home where I have to wade through snow up to my knees to reach the door and another great journey has come to an end!

Bonus Section

So I actually have another flight still to go - I kept hoping that they would cancel it due to the weather - being rebooked to one of the morning flights would’ve been great for me as I could have a proper sleep in my own bed and still be in KUO in time for whatever reasons I need to be there. But alas this is not the case so after a very quick shower, change of clothes, sorting through the mail and some repackaging operations I grab a taxi back to the airport with a very nice and funny Estonian driver.

Whoa, Finavia has invested in some new buses - I have a chat with the driver who says these aren’t too good actually:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Final_20.jpg

And I hit the jackpot on this flight - OH-ATN is one of the new(er) FC... sorry, FlyBE ATRs which are missing from my log:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Bonus_1.jpg

For some reason this bird has always been in this all white livery - maybe they intended to get rid of it but then didn’t for some reason.

The flight is completely full and unfortunately these newer ones with an additional row of seats (72 vs. 68 seats on the older -72s) has a bad legroom:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Bonus_2.jpg

Coupled with another rather burly (but very nice) man as seatmate is makes for one rather uncomfortable flight, but then again I’m so tired that it doesn’t prevent me from spending the whole flight in a coma... Well I am awake enough that I can confirm that “Finnair operated by FlyBE” like this flight is (i.e. with no BE flight number and all tickets have to be bought with the AY flight number) do indeed have BOB service as well - a major scam if you ask me!

An hour later we perform a rare runway 15 landing at KUO, where the weather is quite a bit colder but there’s no snowfall at all and the night is clear:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Yerevan_Dubai_Muscat_02_2012/Part_4/Bonus_3.jpg

One final taxi ride later (ahh, it’s good to be back in Savo where everybody is always good for a chat and very friendly and relaxed) I’m finally at my parent’s place where I crash into a deep sleep, dreaming of future business class upgrades.

Conclusions

I was VERY impressed by Aeroflot’s business class. Now I understand why someone I know keeps raving about it and tries to always fly SU on his forays to Moscow! Proper business class seating instead of the faux curtains in eurobusinessclass, an excellent three course meal, amenity kits, the works. The crew was a bit reserved and quite different to some other airlines, but then again this kind of service is fine for me - after all it is something very Finnish.

Another standard, quite forgettable flight with AY. Nothing bad, but then again nothing outstanding either, although that sandwich was very nice.

All in all it was one hell of a journey from KUO to MCT and back in the course of five days! Lots of interesting places that I visited, some amazing sceneries and sights and two very interesting and completely different cities that I visited. Many nice aviation experiences, a total of four new airlines and four new airports to add to my log plus lots of golden memories!


I’ve been flying a lot since these flights but there’s nothing terribly interesting on these bread and butter flights so not sure whether any reports will come out of those. If nothing else then at least in a couple of weeks it is time to tick off a few new OV routes to some regional Finnish airports, including one inaugural flight - always good for a report! Happy contrails!


User currently offlinefabianbrimfield From Australia, joined Nov 2011, 35 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 27321 times:

I'm impressed their using a non vintage Louis Roederer for their sparkling on short hops like this. It's a very decent champagne, and I wish Australian Airlines would serve something like that domestically.

User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3018 posts, RR: 8
Reply 3, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 27270 times:

Nice conclusion FF!

It surely does pay to be nice to the staff, as your upgrade can attest to!

Good pictures of the snowy landscapes. Will the good business class experience encourage you to visit Russia all the more? Or just transfer at SVO?   Looking more forward to your Tokyo trip now?  

Thanks

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1714 posts, RR: 18
Reply 4, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 27109 times:

Hey there PetteriFinn man, thanks for finally putting this report up. I've really been looking forward to it  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
sorry for that buy many things have conspired to require most of my attention and time these days...

Like those rumours of you becoming the boss of your company?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
For Jonas:

Well, what can I saw. I have a love for the french, haha!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Soon the manager comes back, gives me a new boarding pass and says: “Business class” - this is exactly what I expected but it still makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Hmm are you sure that upgrade was due to overbooking, and not a gesture from your new friend? Also I'm guessing you must've been the only elite on the flight, since normally status members on alliance partners rarely get the op-up.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Predeparture drinks are offered from a tray - only water and OJ are offered (where are the champers?!):

That looks more like Vodka to me.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
All in all an excellent meal for a three hour flight.

Impressive indeed, now that's what I would call a proper Business Class. Now I hope you don't get the op-up on our flights to Japan, haha   (I wouldn't mind to cash-up on those, if SU weren't so reluctant to keep their product "exclusive")

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The sounds of the service wake me up - this time there’s a very nice and large ham and cheese sandwich - I ask for some water to go with it:

Service on Finnair looked very generous. I'd more pictured them to serve a cookie and a glass of water, like they did on my flight with them.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
I’m a little itchy as I actually still have one more flight to go today, to KUO on the “Midnight FlyBE” departing at 23.55 and would very much like to go home

Now why the heck are you flying up there? Due to Business or just because that flight happened to be included in the ticket?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
I’m finally at my parent’s place where I crash into a deep sleep,

Well that spares you from the expensive hotels in Finland. Did your mom and dad still let you keep your old room?  

"Wheels Up!"
//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlineQuokkas From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 26955 times:

Hi Petteri,

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
It is a bit overdue, sorry for that

Five minutes late and you are apologising? But seriously it is good to see this installment posted.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
his English seems to be rather limited.
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
For some reason they have a lot of French papers

A clue maybe? How good is your French? Ah yes, faux seems to be an "in" word.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Czech Becherovka on offer:

Definitely worth knowing.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
interesting contrast with the white snow

Sunflowers and snow. It certainly is unusual and cheerful.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
gives me a new boarding pass and says: “Business class”

Congratulations - the human touch works, it seems. Or perhaps not, reading your later comment.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Legrest:

Sigh: remember the days that they were common in Y?   

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
more interested in his IPad than greeting me

It's the new polite way to ignore people.
Service aboard appears good and friendly enough and the meals OK, especially the proactive top-ups of wine during the meal itself.
It has been a very interesting series and a pleasure to read, Petteri.
Thanks for sharing,
Roy (aka Quokkas)


User currently offlinedeltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 26680 times:

Hello P!

Great report, as usual!
I had a great time reading about your Business flight on SU and your AY flight as well.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
This place is quite large but narrow as it runs pretty much the whole length of the departure hall:

That gray wall, the wooden floors and the glass wall makes it look exactly like the F-pier at ARN.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Soon the manager comes back, gives me a new boarding pass and says: “Business class”

Congrats!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I ended up getting the full business class mileage for it, nice!) there’s a steady stream of passengers back there.

Again, congrats!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I’ll just have to take a look at the wine menu as well:

Did that one fall in to your bag too?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The sounds of the service wake me up - this time there’s a very nice and large ham and cheese sandwich - I ask for some water to go with it:

That does indeed look good, much better than on my HEL-ARN flight...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Well I am awake enough that I can confirm that “Finnair operated by FlyBE” like this flight is (i.e. with no BE flight number and all tickets have to be bought with the AY flight number) do indeed have BOB service as well - a major scam if you ask me!

I totally agree with you here.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The crew was a bit reserved and quite different to some other airlines, but then again this kind of service is fine for me - after all it is something very Finnish.

Not surprisingly, I would be totally fine with this as well.

By the way, thanks for a very well done and very entertaining series of tripreports! I for sure enjoyed them all.

Martin


User currently offlineCaptainRed From Germany, joined Oct 2010, 715 posts, RR: 21
Reply 7, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 26567 times:

Hi P.,

great conclusion to your Caucasus-Gulf-Adventure. Cool to get an upgrade to Business Class on your SU flight. And their service seemed to be quite good. Especially the main meal looked very nice.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
For some reason they have a lot of French papers:

They saw your Flying Blue card, thought Air France, and put out these papers especially for you   ...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Right then I spot this gorgeous livery arriving - interesting contrast with the white snow:

Now that is one cool looking airplane. Never heard of this company before, I think I have to check it out.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
As is expected from any self-respecting ex-Soviet airport there are also some old plane carcasses around:

Interesting, just very sad to see these nice airplanes in such a bad state.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I decline as I have plenty of reading material with me as always plus the views are far more interesting for me:

Who needs inflight entertainment with such amazing views of the snowy mountains?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
Bye, OH-LKO - more snow keeps falling:

Nice pictures, looks very dramatic with the falling snow in this light.

Thanks again for sharing this report, enjoyed the whole series very much...
CaptainRed


User currently offlineburj From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 901 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 26330 times:

Great trip report as always!

Glad to see that you liberated those poor imprisoned service items! I am sure they are much happier with you now!
 

Interesting about the SU codeshare flight...glad to see that it all worked out in terms of lounge invitations!


User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From UK - England, joined Sep 2003, 5177 posts, RR: 55
Reply 9, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 25967 times:

Hi, P.,

well done. A really good read this Saturday evening. Let me say I´am imrpessed about SU´s biz product.
Nice pictures also btw..

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

A middle-aged, business-friendly to use Markus’ term female purser is greeting us on the door.

Not the supercute Russian lady what I´am somewhat looking for when going on SU?.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

Wait a minute, food choices?! Oh yes, I forgot to introduce the menu card that was placed on the seat pocket. Here are some pictures - these obviously were taken at home (somehow the menu cards found their way to my back bag...):

Strange, something like this happened to me with the Safetycards lately.
I really dont know how it find the way in my bag.

Best greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)



Next: London City connections!.
User currently offlineroberts87 From Netherlands, joined Dec 2011, 1014 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 25909 times:

Great report as always!

SU seemed great. I probably have to go to Moscow for work in the fall, let's see if the company's booking department (which is an actual booking department) will put me on KL or SU.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Soon the manager comes back, gives me a new boarding pass and says: “Business class” - this is exactly what I expected but it still makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I shake his hand (this seems to be an Armenian way and I’m definitely adapting!) and happily say “спасибо” to him which seems to confuse him a bit and then hop down the jetway with a new lightness on my stri

Great! Must be a nice treat at the end of far away trip.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
As I mentioned on the outbound trip report, there are five rows of proper 2-2 business class seats on these birds:

Ah, proper business class!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
After take off there are quite stunning views of the snowy plain surrounded by the Caucasus mountains:

Indeed!


User currently offlineSultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1771 posts, RR: 30
Reply 11, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 25759 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hello Petteri!

Seriously good stuff, this last episode of your operation 'desert storm'. For once (or again  ) you ran into the right kind of person to foresee you with a nice upgrade into the higher sphere class. Good job by this man and a good job of SU as well, with you enjoying the pampering. Great photos troughout the report and kudos to you on shooting those last pics to KUO in a state of 'total mind unawereness' (if that kind of thing exists  )

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
(gee, they must not get many mileage runners here!)

By now they most likely will after your excellent and positive destination review!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The Armenian wine they have is simply horrible, though.

I can only imagine. How do Armenian grapes get the chance to ripen proper in that kind of climate?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I hoped there might be some sort of nice soup on offer but the truth is a little bit different:

Still, it's a hygienic way of presenting these salties. I never eat these nuts in a café or so, you don't want to eat the dirt of a waiter's hand...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
gives me a new boarding pass and says: “Business class”

Allright!!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Note the calorie count for each dish - an interesting but a very nice touch.

Did you take into account 

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
utensils:

Or rather untenils? Sorry, I had too... Sleepless nights you know...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
more snow keeps falling:

Apocalypse now!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Proper business class seating instead of the faux curtains in eurobusinessclass

Wonder how long that will last...

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27251 posts, RR: 60
Reply 12, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 25437 times:

Hey P ,

Thanks for this great report. Ive been wanting to see this kind of SU J class report for a while and was really pleased to see you have one. I am impressed also by the 2-2 seats and meals . Love the cutlery too   Nice to see the S&P shakers have a good home  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Bye, OH-LKO - more snow keeps falling:

Love this photo looks so cool.

Thanks again for a detailed insight to SU J class.

Regards

Philip  


User currently offlinevolvair From Germany, joined Oct 2011, 167 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 24611 times:

Hi Пётр   ,

great tripreport! I really had been looking forward to your coverage of SU's business class product after you told me how impressed you were by it. Very nice to see as post-soviet service culture is often conceived as lacking quality and refinement.

The architecture at EVN also looks very impressive, nice to see such a modern gateway in this country - although it seems that the staff and overall infastructure don't yet match the quality of the airport.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 11):
How do Armenian grapes get the chance to ripen proper in that kind of climate?

Well, it is said that in neighboring Georgia wine was firstly produced.


User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Reply 14, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 24118 times:

Hi all,

Good to see so many comments, thank you very much - all are greatly appreciated!

Quoting fabianbrimfield (Reply 2):
I'm impressed their using a non vintage Louis Roederer for their sparkling on short hops like this.

Ahh, thanks for this explanation. I'm not much of a champaign connoisseur (not that I don't savor every opportunity to drink it, of course!) so didn't recognize the brand. It didn't taste too good for me, but maybe my tastes have been screwed by too much Nicholas Feauillatte which seems to be the standard around European J nowadays...

Quoting signol (Reply 3):
Will the good business class experience encourage you to visit Russia all the more? Or just transfer at SVO?  

At least the SVO transfers were fine so no problem doing more of those in the future. As for Russia - well... err.. no real desire to go there.

Quoting signol (Reply 3):
Looking more forward to your Tokyo trip now?

In a way, yes.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 4):
Hmm are you sure that upgrade was due to overbooking, and not a gesture from your new friend? Also I'm guessing you must've been the only elite on the flight, since normally status members on alliance partners rarely get the op-up.

Well I'm pretty sure it was overbooked - looked full to me and most of the passengers weren't exactly the frequent flying type. Remember that there were exactly four guests in the lounge - I'm sure it would've been far more packed if there were more elites around.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 4):
That looks more like Vodka to me.

It is water, I assure you.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 4):
Service on Finnair looked very generous. I'd more pictured them to serve a cookie and a glass of water, like they did on my flight with them.

They have a couple of different service categories depending on the duration of the flight. You got the Scandinavian service - i.e. not much, despite BGO-ARN being only 100 or so miles shorter than my hop. But I think they treat that BGO flight as some sort of semi leisure flight which justifies even crappier service than normally.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 4):
Now why the heck are you flying up there? Due to Business or just because that flight happened to be included in the ticket?

Well that's none of your business really, is it? No it wasn't included in anything, it was a separate KUO-HEL-KUO roundtrip from AY for 50 EUR.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 4):
Well that spares you from the expensive hotels in Finland. Did your mom and dad still let you keep your old room?  

No, because a) it is not my mom but a step mother and b) they have moved out of my childhood house a long time ago.

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 5):
Legrest:
Sigh: remember the days that they were common in Y?   

Yes, I think even SAS had these on the MD-90s.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 6):
That gray wall, the wooden floors and the glass wall makes it look exactly like the F-pier at ARN.

Yes, there are certain similarities here.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 6):
I ended up getting the full business class mileage for it, nice!) there’s a steady stream of passengers back there.
Again, congrats!

Well, nothing to write home about really. I'm not sure my FB miles will ever be that useful, I don't think I'll be flying Skyteam enough to gain any usable amounts of them... But you never know so better to have them banked.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 6):
I’ll just have to take a look at the wine menu as well:
Did that one fall in to your bag too?

Funnily enough it did!

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 7):
They saw your Flying Blue card, thought Air France, and put out these papers especially for you  ...

So that explains the quick phone calls with the word "faux" repeated many times.

Quoting burj (Reply 8):
Interesting about the SU codeshare flight...glad to see that it all worked out in terms of lounge invitations!

I was actually more surprised I was allowed lounge access at HEL just like that - I was ready to go through a complicated discussion especially since my AY OLCI boarding pass had no mention at all of the SU codeshare!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 9):
Not the supercute Russian lady what I´am somewhat looking for when going on SU?.

Nope, none of those on my flights. Although the lounge attendants at SVO were quite okay.

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 10):
SU seemed great. I probably have to go to Moscow for work in the fall, let's see if the company's booking department (which is an actual booking department) will put me on KL or SU.

Do they allow for you to fly in Business? If so then definitely go for SU. In economy it is different - SU seems to have better food (cold meal vs. KLM sandwiches) but then again booze is BOB - with KLM you get free wine & beer if that's important for you.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 11):
in a state of 'total mind unawereness' (if that kind of thing exists &nbsp Wink

It does, trust me Nils, it does!

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 11):
I can only imagine. How do Armenian grapes get the chance to ripen proper in that kind of climate?

Well these countries actually have quite complex an varying climate patterns, thanks to the Caucasus mountains. Summers in Yerevan are hot, plus they get the full four seasons like we Finns do. So yeah, there are plenty of opportunities for cultivating many things, including grapes.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 11):
Or rather untenils? Sorry, I had too... Sleepless nights you know...

Coming from the "master of puns" that one is quite a letdown, I'm sorry to say!

Quoting volvair (Reply 13):
Very nice to see as post-soviet service culture is often conceived as lacking quality and refinement.

Yeah, it is no reserved but oh-so-classy British style or American faux friendliness and bubbling overeagerness and a bit mechanic in many aspects but certainly a big step forward from the Soviet times.


User currently offlineadamspotter From Netherlands, joined Feb 2011, 1169 posts, RR: 12
Reply 15, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 23971 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi FF,
Been looking forward to this report as I read the first 3 parts and enjoyed them very much.
Again nice report, Aeroflot business class sure looks nice indeed!

cheers,
adamspotter // Brendan


User currently onlinemal787 From Australia, joined Jul 2007, 710 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 23871 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Very nice read on a monday morning when I should actually be working. Great pix's and service looks good, this is backed up in the report by Skyslat2. looks like SU needs a closer look at when next up that way

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Notice the salt and pepper shakers - somehow those fell right in my bag and ended up being adopted by me. Here’s another shot of them at home:

They would have fallen into my bag as well along with the knife & fork. 

Happy Travels

mal787



BN2 Metro, 402,404, Conquest, king air, 707,727.200, 732,733,734,735,736,738,757,762,763,742,743,744, MD11, DC9,Westwind
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6903 posts, RR: 77
Reply 17, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 23452 times:

Hi P.

great report with many good pictures! Congratulations on the upgrade, you certainly deserve it (and it was about time for you to get one).

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
It is a bit overdue, sorry for that buy many things have conspired to require most of my attention and time these days...

No worries - there's no need to post a report within a few days after the trip. Life shouldn't consist of aviation only. At least that's my opinion and I'm sure many others here share it.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
As I mentioned on the outbound trip report, there are five rows of proper 2-2 business class seats on these birds:

Good to see proper Business Class seats on these birds.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Predeparture drinks are offered from a tray - only water and OJ are offered (where are the champers?!):

What do you expect? I wouldn't call Aeroflot a premium carrier.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
somehow the menu cards found their way to my back bag...

Interesting, also happened to me on EK and KE some days ago...  

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Russki - that Coca Cola advert looks a bit cheap:

Yeah, that's what I thought, too! I'm wondering how much money SU gets for that?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Notice the salt and pepper shakers - somehow those fell right in my bag and ended up being adopted by me.

Well, that's what definitely didn't happen to me.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3339 posts, RR: 12
Reply 18, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 23180 times:

Very nice final report Petteri Finn! Great that you got an upgrade with SU!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
This place is quite large but narrow as it runs pretty much the whole length of the departure hall:

Looks very nice, a world away from the old airport

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
This sight took me by surprise - a lovely S7 767 arriving from DME:

Shame you weren't on that

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

Soon the manager comes back, gives me a new boarding pass and says: “Business class”

The best feeling in the world (well, one of them!)

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
This dish is absolutely delicious! The halibut is very nicely cooked, soft and moist and the pistachio crust fits the taste perfectly. Likewise the risotto is fabulous - so tasty, enhanced by the nice sauce (which doesn’t really taste like champagne to me but that is okay). A good sized portion as well, it only leaves me yearning for......dessert:

Mmm, catering looks very nice

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Inside there’s a shoehorn, a wet wipe, an eye mask, earplugs, a pen and a small notebook (hear that, Mark!), “DND” and “Wake up for food” stickers and a pair of slippers:

Interesting to see how airlines differ in what they think people might like in their goody bag

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Anyway the front desk agents are kinda confused whether I’m allowed entry or not (they keep asking for an invitation which I of course don’t have), especially as my boarding pass is printed on genuine AY stock - luckily the transfer counter guy had scribbled “Aeroflot” and the SU flight number on top of it and after a couple of phone calls I’m invited in.

Were you actually allowed access? Surely it's based on the operating carrier rather than the codeshare? When I flew SQ on an MH codeshare KUL-SIN I was told I could only use the SQ lounge, not the MH one.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Bye, OH-LKO - more snow keeps falling:

Lovely snowy photos



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently offlineJL418 From Italy, joined Jun 2009, 493 posts, RR: 6
Reply 19, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 22949 times:

Hi Petteri!

what to say, a true gran finale for your Caucasic-Middle Eastern trip report. I have to say that the lounge in Yerevan is looking seriously cool, better than many in more important European airports, kudos to them.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
For some reason they have a lot of French papers:

Well, perhaps it's because of the Armenian diaspora, I remember at least one French rugby player of Armenian descent. Strange, however, that no pictures of System of a Down were on display in public places, I'd have expected Armenia to be boosting them quite a lot .

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Vase display:

Quite odd, are crystal vases the highlight of Armenia's craftmanship? I guess that the airport authority might replace them quite regularly, I can already image myself accidentally knocking one or two down their plinths.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Soon the manager comes back, gives me a new boarding pass and says: %u201CBusiness class%u201D - this is exactly what I expected but it still makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I shake his hand (this seems to be an Armenian way and I%u2019m definitely adapting!) and happily say %u201C%u0441%u043F%u0430%u0441%u0438%u0431%u043E%u201D to him which seems to confuse him a bit and then hop down the jetway with a new lightness on my stride.

Really!? Less than two days in the country and you're already get tangled in a row of blatant nepotism... well done anyway!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
There%u2019s also Stanislav, a young guy who sports a very impressive mullet in the best Tampere fashion standing behind him

Fantastic! If only he had a flourishing pair of moustaches as well we'd have had a winner for the prize "Best airline looks of the year".

Finally, a note on AY: after all the glitter, shiny lights, mullets and extravaganza of Aeroflot I have to say that Finnair's in-flight product looks a little bit, well, boring. And the bad thing is that AY's product is more or less on the same level of all the other premium airlines in the old Continent... I hope that Russian carriers will keep on being different from the other Europeans. Service might be inconsistent and customer care, well, a little bit Gulag-ish but at least they provide good fun and good reports to read from home.

Looking forward to read again from you soon!

F.


User currently offlinelukeyboy95 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 1128 posts, RR: 32
Reply 20, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 22698 times:

HI P.

Congratulations on the conclusion of this series. It was a beautiful end to a beautiful trip.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
It is a bit overdue, sorry for that buy many things have conspired to require most of my attention and time these days...

Ah, but Aviation is timeless, we can wait!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I hoped there might be some sort of nice soup on offer but the truth is a little bit different:

Rather admire the inventiveness of this. Thought the lounge looked pretty nice all things considering; oblong, a little minimalist and rather suave. Good to see.

SU looked spot on. Rather impressed. I'll take your word on the meal, although I would have struggled with those options. Got a phobia of polenta, pistachios and apples.

Really liked the snowy photos on the ground HEL mid-snowing.

Thanks and look forward to future antics.

Luke



Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 16
Reply 21, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 22445 times:

Hi Petteri

Nice trip report, thanks for sharing! SU does look quite impressive. Proper seating, menu (and choices), good legroom... Just something you don't see on the Eurocarriers to much. I like the sunset and the snow pics in HEL as well!

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently onlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6648 posts, RR: 55
Reply 22, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 22233 times:

Hi FlyingFinn!

Thanks for the last installment in this interesting series!

Very nice pictures as usual and great that you got an upgrade on SU! The meal looks really good and very nice seats since indeed it's a proper business class.

Glad you got some rest later; I know what it's like to be exhausted after a long trip like that (very common for me on my 777 trips)

Looking forward to your next report!

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1464 posts, RR: 33
Reply 23, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 21994 times:

Hi P,

What a stylish pic to open your report with!

You certainly know how to make friends - the fact that the guy at EVN remembered you is impressive, I'm hopeless in cases like that, I guess it must have been the hat?! What a treat being upgraded to C on SU, everything looks great, especially those lovely big comfy seats.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
these obviously were taken at home (somehow the menu cards found their way to my back bag...):

The menus and safety cards are being very badly behaved recently, they keep finding their way into bags......

Once again you have some wonderful shots of the Armenian landscape. It must have been interesting packing for that trip, what with such extreme of temperatures.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The sounds of the service wake me up - this time there’s a very nice and large ham and cheese sandwich - I ask for some water to go with it:

Free sandwich on AY? Nice to hear.

Can't believe the amount of snow at HEL, we got off lightly this year.

Happy flying
Infodesk   



"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Reply 24, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 21242 times:

Hi all,

Thanks for the comments, very much appreciated even though my reply is somewhat belated again!

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 15):
Been looking forward to this report as I read the first 3 parts and enjoyed them very much.
Again nice report, Aeroflot business class sure looks nice indeed!

Thank you for the kind words - I'm doing my best. Sure was a very nice upgrade and I was very impressed by SU!

Quoting mal787 (Reply 16):
They would have fallen into my bag as well along with the knife & fork. 

Yeah well since I had a transfer at SVO coming up and another security check I decided not to take my chances with that!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 17):
No worries - there's no need to post a report within a few days after the trip. Life shouldn't consist of aviation only. At least that's my opinion and I'm sure many others here share it.

Sure, that is a good point. I just like to get things done pretty fast - it makes writing easier when the memories are still somewhat fresh in your mind. And especially on a multi part report like this it is nice to have the all parts rather close to each other - just my opinion of course.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 18):
Were you actually allowed access? Surely it's based on the operating carrier rather than the codeshare? When I flew SQ on an MH codeshare KUL-SIN I was told I could only use the SQ lounge, not the MH one.

Err, it is quite a bit more complicated than that. Firstly it depends on how you are accessing the lounge - if flying in business (or first) class it is like you said - you are supposed to access the operating carrier's lounge as that perk comes as part of your ticket. However if you are using status to accept a lounge (like I was) you generally need to go to the lounge your FFP has signed a deal with - in the case of intra-alliance codeshares (like SK flight number on a LH flight) this is generally not a big deal as the lounges tend to be the same anyway and as *G you can access any such designated lounges. But on an oddball cross-alliance codeshare like these SU/AY ones it is more complicated - after all the AY lounge at HEL wouldn't know anything about Skyteam's lounge access rules so getting in with a Skyteam Gold would be a doomed attempt.

Quoting JL418 (Reply 19):
what to say, a true gran finale for your Caucasic-Middle Eastern trip report. I have to say that the lounge in Yerevan is looking seriously cool, better than many in more important European airports, kudos to them.

Interesting that you feel that way - for me it wasn't nothing special and quite a bland lounge. Since the whole terminal is quite new it of course was new and fresh, but I'd wished for some real food there... The drinks selection was excellent, though and since there were only a handful of people there it was nice and private.

Quoting JL418 (Reply 19):
Well, perhaps it's because of the Armenian diaspora, I remember at least one French rugby player of Armenian descent. Strange, however, that no pictures of System of a Down were on display in public places, I'd have expected Armenia to be boosting them quite a lot .

Well you know how Mr. Sarkozy is trying to lobby for the votes of the aforementioned diaspora by his "piss of the Turkish" law (which IMHO is a very nice law - I wish they'd make it an EU-wide law!).

Quoting JL418 (Reply 19):
Fantastic! If only he had a flourishing pair of moustaches as well we'd have had a winner for the prize "Best airline looks of the year".

He must've already shaved his Movember facial hair...

Quoting JL418 (Reply 19):
Looking forward to read again from you soon!

Yeah, plenty of stuff coming up but I've been too busy and too lazy assed recently to write any reports. Hopefully the spring sun will wake me up from my coma soon...

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 20):
SU looked spot on. Rather impressed. I'll take your word on the meal, although I would have struggled with those options. Got a phobia of polenta, pistachios and apples.

Hmm, I'd classify you as a "picky eater" then, kinda like a certain somebody on this board  .

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 21):
I like the sunset and the snow pics in HEL as well!

You're free to come here to experience it yourself! I'll be your guide.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 22):
Very nice pictures as usual and great that you got an upgrade on SU! The meal looks really good and very nice seats since indeed it's a proper business class.

Yep, reminded me of domestic First in the US, although the food was better than most of the junk served there nowadays.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 23):
What a stylish pic to open your report with!

Thanks Hannah, you're the only one who took any notice of it (or at least bothered mentioning it!).

Quoting infodesk (Reply 23):
You certainly know how to make friends - the fact that the guy at EVN remembered you is impressive, I'm hopeless in cases like that, I guess it must have been the hat?!

The hat and the different-than-norm behavior (shooting photos of planes, asking aviation-related questions in English etc.) I guess.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 23):
Once again you have some wonderful shots of the Armenian landscape. It must have been interesting packing for that trip, what with such extreme of temperatures.

...and doing it without checked luggage!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 23):
Free sandwich on AY? Nice to hear.

Err, you shouldn't believe everything people who don't know better post here. There's free service on every mainline (i.e. not operated by BE) AY flight. Depending on the duration of the flight it might just be a cookie or a piece of chocolate or a more substantial sandwich or the like. Sure there's BOB but that is *in addition* to the free stuff, a fact many reporters here have failed to mention and which confuses people off.


25 Post contains images stipica : Hi FlyingFinn76 ! nice artistic opening ... slightly retro-look that evokes the old Aeroflot ... beautiful overture for splendid service of today comp
26 Post contains images LXM83 : Hey FlyingFinn76 Great to read the final part of your epic journey. I guess that's one of the most exotic ways to get from MCT to KUO! Well, we do som
27 Post contains images ba319-131 : Hi P, Good read, enjoyed the pictures too, nice! - No worries, this is where I am pretty much all the time. - Odd! - Fine for reg spotters, nice! - Im
28 airbuseric : Hi P,. what a flights you made here hehe... congrats, good result! Love the a/c pics from EVN, nice scenery with the snow etc. SU business class, real
29 Post contains images parton87 : Hello Petteri! Thanks for the nice story! A great final part of your Emirates adventures! Nice with the upgrade. SU looks really impressive! Now I kno
30 Post contains images FlyingFinn76 : HI guys, thanks for more comments! Oh, that sounds cool. Did the Tupolev had real business class seats as well? Well I can think of many more exotic w
31 parton87 : Hello again Petteri! Yes, she always do. I think the price for a business class ticket on SU to BKK is the same as a economy ticket on TG. It´s the s
32 Checo77 : Hello FlyingFinn76, very nice to see a Becherovka in the EVN lounge. I had no idea the spirit was popular down there. Excelent report, as usual. I rea
33 Post contains images stipica : Hi P. ! yes so cool and for me like winning lottery because the ticket are very expensive and not paid from my modest budget ... yes real business cla
34 akhmad : Hi P(jotr), You made friends with the supervisor and look what you got in return. An upgrade! Definitely a stylish way to end your Emirati adventure.
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