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Moldovan Adventure: Chisinau And 9U From VCE To OT  
User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2302 posts, RR: 7
Posted (2 years 4 months 4 hours ago) and read 9787 times:

Introduction:

Hi there everyone, welcome to my new trip report. First, in case you missed the first part, I will detail the effective flights of the entire trip.

RO251, OTP-LCA, B733, 08:10-10:20, Day 1, YR-BGB
EK107, LCA-MLA, A332, 12:15-14:10, Day 2, A6-EAP
AZ887, MLA-FCO, A321, 14:00-15:25, Day 3, I-BIXE
AZ1317, FCO-BLQ, A319, 17:50-18:55, Day 3, EI-IMT
9U881, VCE-VRN-KIV, A320, 20:20-00:35, Day 5, ER-AXT
9U857, KIV-OTP, E120, 18:30-19:30, Day 6, ER-EMA

Now, this might sound like a bizarre itinerary, right? How did I ever come up with that? Well, it's a long story, but here are the main points:
1. I want to have stepped foot in every European country as soon as possible
2. I noticed EK offers a 5th freedom LCA-MLA-LCA on an A332
3. AirOne cancelled my direct VCE-OTP flight
4. Air Moldova just launched their northeastern Italian flights this summer
5. Air Moldova has an E120 operating the Bucharest flights.


Moldovan Adventure: Chisinau and 9U from VCE to OTP

So... I left off the previous part in my hotel room, checking my e-mail. Why in such a strange location? Well, let's just say that I found something from Air Moldova in my inbox. What did it say? “Your flight from Chisinau to Verona will now operate on a different schedule”.

My flight from Chisinau to Verona? WTF Air Moldova! I'm flying from Venice to Chisinau, what does Verona have to do with this anyway? Since the e-mail was not very descriptive I proceeded to their website to check my booking. Still there... 9U882, VCE 14:20 KIV 17:20... “not confirmed”. 9U881 VCE 20:20 VRN 20:50 KIV 00:35 “confirmed”. Oh, really, now I got to get to Chisinau in the middle of the night? When there's no more public transportation? That really didn't tickle my fancy. I have no idea how taxi drivers in Chisinau are, but if they're anything like the ones at OTP, I wasn't looking forward to it.

If the delay would've been announced say even 2 weeks in advance, that would've been something else. I'd already gotten my 9 Euro ticket to Venezia in the morning. I'd planned getting to Chisinau and take the bus or micro-bus they have there, both of which passed right by my hotel. Everything suddenly got screwed.

I e-mailed the Chisinau hotel and got a very nice reply confirming my reservation. I got myself an airport transfer service in Chisinau—which ended up being a taxi, but at least I didn't fear getting ripped off or taken to some different location at 1 in the morning...

Anyway, not to mention Vaslui's loss to Fenerbahce, after missing a penalty at 1-1, in the CL prelims... A rather bad night all in all and I was up late trying to solve this problem. This seemed like the trip from hell, even though the destinations were alright.

Next morning I got up early (grrr Air Moldova), had some breakfast (very light) and a cappuccino, checked-out, and asked the front desk attendant to print the voucher for the airport transfer. Very nice, no problems, I paid for the room and checked-out. Oh, and of course, the lady who was responsible for making the cappuccino spoke Romanian... not a surprise in Italy at all.

Anyway, after breakfast I headed to the train station and waited for my frecciargento (Silver Arrow) train to Venezia. This train also had a delay (hmmm Trenitalia, is it the heat?), but only 10 minutes, I think. I boarded the train and my seat was occupied—another reason for which I prefer a train leaving from the station I'm leaving from but I found a seat next to a sleeping Korean guy so I took that instead. Now I had to decide whether I'd get off in Mestre to go the airport or in Santa Lucia and visit the city. I can safely say I made the wrong choice in going to the airport, as the ladies there couldn't do anything with regard to EU261/2004 and Air Moldova's “rescheduling”, which in fact, they did not tell me about. Chisinau-Verona and Venice-Chisinau don't look like the same thing to me.

However, I did not leave the airport, since I was feeling both pissed off and a bit depressed—not a combination I enjoy and I wouldn't've enjoyed Venice either in this state of mind. But then, I remembered something—expedia never cancelled my flight as I'd asked them to (but hadn't insisted on—I had a feeling Air Moldova might do something like this), so I had a ticket on VCE-FCO-OTP on Alitalia, which used to be a direct VCE-OTP on AirOne that got cancelled (Jesus H. Christ, can you say trip from hell?). That means, lounge access! And free internet. Possibly the most expensive lounge visit ever, at 77 USD, but I also had an escape option in case Air Moldova would have seriously pissed me off. Well, that didn't happen, and I still took the flight to Chisinau, and in some part due to this report. Of course, I also wanted to see Chisinau since I'd never been there.

So what next... Hmmm, nothing, just lazing about being miserable in the lounge. I got something to eat and drink, worth probably 4 USD in all, if that. But the free internet was valuable, not that VCE has expensive internet—cheap, but not free, at 2 EUR/hour. There are also daily passes I think. By the way, Venice airport is pretty nice... actually, very nice, by Italian standards; too bad about the masses of people landside!

Pictures taken from the lounge:

EK A343:


View over VCE:


A343 and runway:


Well, I still hadn't checked-in for the Air Moldova... Well, that in effect, wasn't a problem, as I easily got landside after showing my boarding pass. Now, the wait for the opening of the desks. After receiving the wrong information, I was waiting in the wrong side of the terminal. I headed to the right location once the screens were updated with the information, and I was about in the middle of the queue. Well, that didn't matter, as seats were pre-assigned. 9U, were you doing everything in your power to piss me off? At least I didn't get a middle seat—18C it was. It's not like you could see much outside anyway since the airports were dead at the time I was flying.

Oh, and I told the lounge agent I'd be going back landside. When I came back into the terminal, the AZ flight was boarding... and they didn't call my name, so either AZ don't do name-calling, or the AZ lounge agent understood I wouldn't be taking the flight. I was unsure whether he'd understood, and I didn't want to cause a delay. No such thing happened—the AZ A320 left perfectly on time. Phew.

Here are some general VCE views:

Jet2.com:


A320 take-off:


VCE jetways... quite classy:


Upper level:


Departures level:


Well, I decided to finally pass passport control, since it was 19:30 and my flight would be departing at 20:20. I was thinking that if the flight would not have left KIV yet, they'd update the screens. Nope! Should know better than to trust Italians to update this information. Soon, the delay was posted 21:50. They should've known even at check-in. No one said shit. Really bad, Air Moldova.

Delayed partenze:


I went down to the bus gates and got on the internet anyway—no more free access now (grrr Air Moldova). I only took one picture while wasting down due to the delay. Another EK A343 had arrived!

Another EK A343:



Flight: Air Moldova 881
Route: VCE-VRN-KIV
STD/STA: 2020-2050/2130-0035
Actual: VCE ~2200, KIV 0217
Aircraft: A320-200   with IAE engines  
Reg: ER-AXT (1991 vintage )
Seat: 18C

Well, at 21:25 we boarded. I was among the last on the bus, and 2nd to last on the air-stairs. Surprisingly, no one said anything at my picture taking on the apron—thanks, guys! Well, I had a few decent pictures of this beautiful A320, even though it had started to rain, and it was quite dark outside. The F/As actually smiled during boarding. Well, that's better. I asked the F/A at the emergency exits whether I could sit there (they remained empty on the short flight to VRN, btw). She said, while smiling, that no, I had to sit on my assigned seat. Ah, some good old Soviet lack of flexibility. Although, she was smiling—very un-Soviet-like. Well, OK, let's see the in-flight service then... but that would have to wait! No service on the 20 minute hop to Verona (my shortest ever flight!).

Air Moldova A320:


Engine view:


Air Moldova, close to boarding:


On-board... no entertainment, as expected. The magazine was very pro-Russian, as expected. However, it featured an interesting article on Nicosia. Hey, what a coincidence. The seats very uncomfortable, don't think they've been changed since 1991. Well, maybe I was unlucky but you could feel the tray-table through the foam when sitting down. Here's a view of the on-board activity:

Safety card:


Cabin view—not much light:


9U magazine—Open Skies:


The flight to Verona was very turbulent, and very short. Not even 20 minutes later we arrived in VRN, no clue about the runway, sorry. I'm assuming it was 04, however, due to prevailing winds at VCE, and the short distance between the two airports. The Verona passengers disembarked and were replaced by Chisinau passengers. Oh, and a safety procedure was enacted in VRN—everyone had to get their bags from the overhead bins so the F/As could check no bags were left behind. Only afterwards could the VRN passengers board the aircraft. Flight seemed pretty full, unlike on VCE-VRN. I remember a long taxi, which reinforces my notion of runway 04, but I was so sleepy that I can't be certain of what I was experiencing.

Well, we took-off and after a while... 30 minutes or so, maybe... The 9U F/As reached my row and served what seems to be a home-made sandwich with some meat (my guess is pork) and cheese. I had a Fanta and some tea to drink. You know, this sandwich tasted better than most—and no mystery sauce or mystery meat. What you see is what you get. I liked that. Good service so far, in the air. Afterwards, the duty-free service came through and seemingly everyone but me got one or more bottles of booze. LOL. They aren't kidding when they say Moldovans are heavy drinkers!

Air Moldova service:


Well, the rest of the flight passed by decently quickly. I visited the little boys' room once, the only advantage of an aisle seat for me, so I decided to take it. Anyway, then we landed in KIV, and as soon as the plane stopped everyone got up and celebrated. No, that's not it, everyone got up and tried to be the first off the plane. I wasn't exactly in the mood for pushing and shoving, but unfortunately the lady next to me asked me “shi fashi, b'ieti, di shi lashi pi totzi s' triac'?” in her Moldovan accent, translated roughly as “what are you doing, boy, why are you letting everyone go ahead of you?” The guy in the window seat wasn't getting up, relaxed by his window position. I gave the lady her bag and entered the ring. I mean, the aisle. I was off to the bus which took us to arrivals. Next up, queueing for passport control. It wasn't too bad. No bags, so I exited the baggage claim. No issues by customs.

Then I went to the ATM (well, one of them), and withdrew 400 lei. A police officer was nearby, asking me to hurry up—maybe thinking I'd forget my money or my card?--anyway, that didn't happen, but I did hurry up a bit, so as to not piss him off. You never know with these Moldovan policemen.

Then I had to find the guy who was supposed to meet me—as I had no idea even what company the Airport Transfer company had sent, I went to the information desk. Of course they had no idea—but nearby was the taxi driver sent to pick me up. Good. We went outside and entered his Dacia Logan (what else?). Probably 10 minutes later we arrived at the Cosmos and I gave him a 30 lei tip. I hope that's enough since he waited almost 2 hours for me. As I said, I have no idea about Moldovan taxis, but I do know that a micro-bus to the city is 3 lei.

I checked-in to the hotel, and they said it was fine to pay in the morning, since it was 3 am by this point. Half an hour or so later I fell asleep. After roughly 7 hours of sleep, I woke up, ready to take on Chisinau. I'd read that it was not good to take many pictures of government buildings, etc... Didn't seem that way to me. I had no problems taking pictures anywhere in the city—though they do tax it in museums—an EE thing.

Chisinau Hotel—the Cosmos:


View from my hotel room:


Chisinau—“poorest capital in Europe”--this is right by the Cosmos:


After asking the lady at reception where the microbus station for the airport was—they're very nice at the Cosmos, btw. The comfort isn't much, but the service is really good—I headed “downtown” and saw the main sights, or at least some of them. Indeed, Chisinau is a pretty green city, very good for Romanian standards—but unlike our poorer brothers, we Romanians generally don't give a shit a green spaces  

Among the sights were the Cathedral, the Triumphal Arch, the main government buildings, some Parks, a couple of National Museums—one of which was closed while the other didn't have power—Botanical gardens and bird and reptile zoo, buildings alongside Stefan cel Mare boulevard, Stefan's statue, Teodor Tiron Monastery. Not bad to fill a day—power in the Museum would've been nice as they had a basement which was rendered inaccessible by this turn of events. BTW, the people were nice at the Museum which didn't have power as well—tried to help me find the other museum, showed me a map, asked me return someday, and hopefully they'd have power, apologized, etc. Nice people in Moldova. I expected a bit of a more closed society given the regime 20+ years ago. Romanian/Russian split... about 50% in the capital, but I think pretty much everyone spoke the other language as well. Romanian (Moldovan and Romanian are essentially the same language—it's at most a dialect as some word use is different and sounds strange in Bucharest-Romanian) seemed to be primary in inter-people communication, and was the first language used on AirMoldova as well, even though almost everyone at the airline seemed to native Russian speakers (either that or Russian is spoken much faster than Romanian—could be as I always felt Romanians talk slowly compared to others).

Anyway, here are some sights:

Triumphal Arch:


Bell-tower:


Wanna play chess?


Orthodox Cathedral—quite a few weddings today:




Chisinau Park:


Stefan cel Mare/Steven the Great:


Moldovans can take care of their plants, unlike us:


I like this shot:


More park:


Palace of the Republic:




National Museum of Natural History:


Moldovan party:


Inside—no electricity:


Nicely patterned ceiling:


Outside:


Crocodiles:


Silly ostrich:


National Museum of History and Archaeology:






National Library and Vasile Alecsandri:


Typical town square:


Cathedral yet again:


Government building:


Along the main street:


Cute building:


Main street:


National Hotel and a statue:


Academy of Science:


Church:


Green City:


Church:


Renovated buildings:


Monastery entrance:


The Cosmos:




Well, I had some dessert and a tea in a mall which featured a few Transnistrian cars in the parking lot... I wondered where those cars were from when I saw a weird flag on the license plates—then it dawned on me, not Belarus! Transnistria! Then, just a few meters away was the bus stop. 10 minutes later, the 165 minibus came around and I boarded and gave 3 lei to the driver, and off we were. An important sight from the minibus:

Gates of the city from a “rutiera”:


It took about 35 minutes, but I finally arrived. Here's the airport from the bus.

Aeroport:


The Chisinau airport features a Sbarro Pizzeria in the departure hall. Haven't tried, but at least there's something to eat if you're hungry—some other bars and/or restaurants also existed. I waited until the check-in opened and got my boarding pass for the E120 flight to OTP-window this time (well, I guess I had a 19/30 chance, didn't I?   ) and then proceeded to the viewing terrace outside KIV's terminal. Hehe, well, that was quite nice. I got a Fanta for 15 lei and enjoyed the view... Pictures aren't great, but I encountered no problems in taking any.

Departures hall; sorry about the shitty picture:


Outside yet again:


ER-AXT, the craft that brought me from VCE:


Carpatair 733:


Russia lime-green Airbus:


An-24s, Il-18 and An-12 if I'm not mistaken:




Tu-134 guarding the airport:


Flight: Air Moldova 857
Route: KIV-OTP
STD/STA: 1830-1930
Actual: On Time
Aircraft: Embraer 120
Reg: ER-EMA (1990 vintage)
Seat: 09A (moved from 06A)

Well, with less than 60 minutes left until departure, I passed through security control, and then passport control. No problems at all and I was airside. KIV features 4 bus gates and a duty-free shop and a restaurant. Also, there's a business lounge, not that I'd use it today. Not even 30 minutes later, we were asked to board the bus to take us to the Embraer. Surprisingly, KIV used 2 buses for this boarding, quite strange if you ask me.

Old terminal:


KIV terminal:


Better view of the aircraft:


FIDS:


More natural colors:


Maybe the prettiest craft in the air:


An-24 and Tu-134 in the distance:


Close-up:


Little Embraer, how are you?


ER-EMA:


Some of you might be familiar with this picture:


Boarding:

When I got on the bus, I asked the F/A to use the lavatory. One of the points of this was to test just how much they respect rules—she passed my test—at first she said only after take-off but she soon relented. Good! I'll put that in the report then. It's not all bad with Air Moldova, in fact they are quite OK in the air.

My seat, 6A was already occupied, so I just moved to 9A since the view is better anyway 

View from 9A:


Legroom:


They like their 134s here:


Planes:


Taxiing to runway 08:


Such a small aircraft:


Take-off occurred roughly at 18:35, which is on-time, from runway 08. We proceeded to turn left and then head south-east towards Bucharest. I was curious what Air Moldova would offer on such a short flight. My expectations were not very high. However, I was pleasantly surprised—full service on a flight that would be around 50 minutes in length. Do you copy, Delta?

Lots of interesting aircraft:


And some more... I spy an An-72, I believe.


Tandem Aero safety card:


Here's what we received. Another sandwich similar to the one on VRN-KIV, a soft drink (or wine, if you prefer, for that matter) and some tea (or coffee). Well done Air Moldova! An interesting facet: the tray table for seats 08B and 08C in the exit row are in... the overhead bin. The F/A will attach these tray tables to the seats during the meal service and remove them afterwards. Interesting procedure!

Meal:


Details:


While we were approaching OTP, I noticed more and more heavy clouds in the area... Would I have some serious turbulence to look forward to? Indeed I would. Maybe even more than expected—at some points I thought a missed approach would be performed—but luckily the pilot, probably a former pilot in the Soviet Air Force had no issues on approach. After two rather sharp turns close to the runway markings, we lined up and landed on runway 08L here in OTP.

Weather near OTP:


Pics suck as the turbulence was something else:


A bit rainy:


Touchdown:


Omni Air 767:


OTP terminal, through a lot of rain:


Arrivals FIDS:


Upon disembarkation, I told the F/A “thank you, the service was impeccable”. I'm not sure exactly what her reaction was (a bit of a smile never hurt anyone... not always, just when someone greets you), and she said “goodbye”. Well, the Romanian equivalent, of course. I don't have a good disembarkation pic as the rain might've been enough to damage my camera and I didn't want that, especially now. I proceeded to the bus and soon, we were at arrivals.

Two-second passport control as usual, and off to the bus station—RATB introduced a ticket controller on all 780 and 783 runs, as apparently many people liked to travel without a ticket... So make sure to buy a ticket before boarding! Don't use the automatic machines since those are for recharging travel cards only. If you need to buy a card (multiplu, they're called), you must do so at the manned kiosk. The 783 took me to Universitate square in 41 minutes and a few minutes later I was back home. Well, that's it, and I hope you've enjoyed.

Impressions:

Air Moldova: “If you don't care when you'll be over, please do fly on Air Moldova”. In air service is actually quite good, but unfortunately they seem to be plagued with delays, rescheduled flights et al. On the other hand, the E-120 to Bucharest seems to usually be on time. Technically it's operated by Tandem Aero, so a different company.

Chisinau: A nice and green little city. Not that much to do, but a nice strolling city. Yeah, it's a bit poorer than Romania, and 20 years behind in some aspects (don't have electricity all the time), but it's nice for a visit, a couple of days or so. The people are very nice.

KIV: decent and functional—I guess that's all that's needed in Chisinau. I like the viewing terrace myself  


Previous Trip Reports:
AZ, MLA-FCO-BLQ, And San Marino (by dc9northwest Aug 26 2012 in Trip Reports)
To Malta On Emirates' A330-200 (LCA-MLA) (by dc9northwest Aug 25 2012 in Trip Reports)
TAROM, OTP-LCA, B737-300, And Nicosia (by dc9northwest Aug 23 2012 in Trip Reports)
Norway, Part V: LYR-OTP, SK/OS, 73G/100 (by dc9northwest Aug 18 2012 in Trip Reports)
Norway, Part IV: Tromsø Og Svalbard (by dc9northwest Aug 4 2012 in Trip Reports)
Part III: Bodø, And A Widerøe Dash 8 To Tromsø (by dc9northwest Jul 29 2012 in Trip Reports)
Norway, Part II: Bergen/Trondheim (by dc9northwest Jul 25 2012 in Trip Reports)
Norway, Part I: OTP-FRA-OSL, LH, A320 (by dc9northwest Jul 22 2012 in Trip Reports)
Delta's 757-300, FLL-ATL, 22MAY12 (by dc9northwest Jun 20 2012 in Trip Reports)
ORD-JFK-FCO-OTP, B6/DL/AZ, June 2012 (by dc9northwest Jun 16 2012 in Trip Reports)
Bahamasair's 737-200, UP205, 21MAY12 (by dc9northwest May 24 2012 in Trip Reports)
March 2012, ORD-CDG, Delta, 763 (by dc9northwest Apr 8 2012 in Trip Reports)
March 2012, FCO-JFK-ORD, Delta, 333/CR7 (by dc9northwest Apr 1 2012 in Trip Reports)
March 2012, OTP-FCO, Alitalia, A319 (by dc9northwest Mar 28 2012 in Trip Reports)
MCI-OTP: Three Upgrades And A380 Flight Deck Visit (by dc9northwest Feb 13 2012 in Trip Reports)
The Baltic States In 6 Easy Flights (by dc9northwest Dec 26 2010 in Trip Reports)
Romanian TR: Bucuresti-Suceava Via Timisoara (by dc9northwest Dec 24 2010 in Trip Reports)
Connecting In ATL, Right Before The Snowstorm (by dc9northwest Mar 1 2010 in Trip Reports)
MCI-ATL-AMS-OTP With DL And KL (60+pics And Vids) (by Dc9northwest Jun 14 2007 in Trip Reports)

23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6675 posts, RR: 55
Reply 1, posted (2 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 9248 times:

Hi Alex !

Very nice report with nice pictures ! Good to see you try another carrier and country. Too bad with the late schedule change and no notification.

Chisinau looks nice although a bit old-fashioned. Would love to visit one day.

Looking forward to your next report !

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlinereifel From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 1384 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (2 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 9206 times:

Wow, what a final report on your travel! Love the exotic city you visited...

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):

Anyway, not to mention Vaslui's loss to Fenerbahce, after missing a penalty at 1-1, in the CL prelims... A rather bad night all in all and I was up late trying to solve this problem. This seemed like the trip from hell, even though the destinations were alright.

I can understand that at some point one can get completely depressed with these things. A few days later you would probably think that it wasn't all that bad, but during the situation it's difficult. Had such situations in air travel a few times and in the end it was always the best choice to move on with what was planned.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
I can safely say I made the wrong choice in going to the airport, as the ladies there couldn't do anything with regard to EU261/2004 and Air Moldova's “rescheduling”, which in fact, they did not tell me about. Chisinau-Verona and Venice-Chisinau don't look like the same thing to me.

They're probably some random ground agents of a third party which can't do a lot in the name of Air Moldova. That said, this is not the passengers problem.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
That means, lounge access! And free internet. Possibly the most expensive lounge visit ever, at 77 USD, but I also had an escape option in case Air Moldova would have seriously pissed me off. Well, that didn't happen, and I still took the flight to Chisinau, and in some part due to this report. Of course, I also wanted to see Chisinau since I'd never been there.

Is AZ using a own lounge? I was at the third party lounge in VCE, and while acceptably nice, I found it very strange that nothing was self service and even for a cup of water the "waiter" behind the desk had to give it to you. Food options were a joke, too. However this lounge had is own terrace overlooking the apron and great views in general.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
So what next... Hmmm, nothing, just lazing about being miserable in the lounge. I got something to eat and drink, worth probably 4 USD in all, if that. But the free internet was valuable, not that VCE has expensive internet—cheap, but not free, at 2 EUR/hour. There are also daily passes I think. By the way, Venice airport is pretty nice... actually, very nice, by Italian standards; too bad about the masses of people landside!

Yes, the airport is nice, but can be very crowded, especially with high season and with all the cruise ships. You can't check earlier than 3 hours before your flights and cruise passengers are urged not to get to the airport earlier than that. Why they have no bag storage lockers in VCE is beyond me, they could do a lot of business with that (just ask the Trenitalia guys at Santa Lucia station if the luguage storage works well   )

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Oh, and I told the lounge agent I'd be going back landside. When I came back into the terminal, the AZ flight was boarding... and they didn't call my name, so either AZ don't do name-calling, or the AZ lounge agent understood I wouldn't be taking the flight. I was unsure whether he'd understood, and I didn't want to cause a delay. No such thing happened—the AZ A320 left perfectly on time

That's interesting. I would thought they would call you and if I were you I would have asked to be checked out anyway again. I do not believe the lounge agent checked you out before making sure that this was your plan.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Well, that's better. I asked the F/A at the emergency exits whether I could sit there (they remained empty on the short flight to VRN, btw). She said, while smiling, that no,

Maybe because someone boarding in VRN would have possibly boarding passes for these seats? Better don't mess with seat assignements on multi stop flights...

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Oh, and a safety procedure was enacted in VRN—everyone had to get their bags from the overhead bins so the F/As could check no bags were left behind.

This is standard procedure with all airlines I took which had an intermediate stop with passengers remaining on board, no matter where in the world actually.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Chisinau Hotel—the Cosmos:

Wow, that is retro   Next time you should try the Hotel Kyiv in Bratislava (or the Hotel Bratislava in Kyiev, too). Similar retro standard  
Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
then it dawned on me, not Belarus! Transnistria!

This could have been actually an interesting trip and if you travel by bus it's not far and you're usually not subject to bribes... I was trying to do this from Odessa back in July, but then Malev got bankrupt, my tickets lost, and new tickets too expensive. I believe Moldova and Transnistria will be done another time then.



I really appreciate your travel series. Especially visiting Chisinau, as I appreciate when visiting cities that are not on the regular touristic path. Let's say Minsk, let's say Bosnia, Montenegro, Kosovo,... or Chisinau. This is usually really exciting and you will see a lot of things you wouldn't see somewhere else.


User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2302 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (2 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 9156 times:

Quoting The777Man (Reply 1):
Hi Alex !

Very nice report with nice pictures ! Good to see you try another carrier and country. Too bad with the late schedule change and no notification.

Chisinau looks nice although a bit old-fashioned. Would love to visit one day.

Looking forward to your next report !

Hi L.!

Thanks very much for your comments--I really wanted to try AirMoldova ever since I saw their livery and this gave me the perfect excuse.

Oh, Chisinau is very nice, but they are 20 years back, poor guys... They do try their best to compensate  
Quoting reifel (Reply 2):
Wow, what a final report on your travel! Love the exotic city you visited...

Thanks reifel! I loved my trip too  
Quoting reifel (Reply 2):
I can understand that at some point one can get completely depressed with these things. A few days later you would probably think that it wasn't all that bad, but during the situation it's difficult. Had such situations in air travel a few times and in the end it was always the best choice to move on with what was planned.

Indeed, you're right--as you can see, I didn't give up, and I'm glad I didn't, even if the thought crossed my mind a couple of times.

Quoting reifel (Reply 2):
They're probably some random ground agents of a third party which can't do a lot in the name of Air Moldova. That said, this is not the passengers problem.

Yeah, VCE ground handling... SAVE or something like that. I asked for an AirMoldova ticketing office but of course they don't have one.

Quoting reifel (Reply 2):
Is AZ using a own lounge? I was at the third party lounge in VCE, and while acceptably nice, I found it very strange that nothing was self service and even for a cup of water the "waiter" behind the desk had to give it to you. Food options were a joke, too. However this lounge had is own terrace overlooking the apron and great views in general.

Yes--AZ has its own lounge, along with its partners of course. It has some apron views as well, but no terrace. Hah, yeah, I much prefer getting everything myself.... they have these waiters in their Rome lounges...

Quoting reifel (Reply 2):
Yes, the airport is nice, but can be very crowded, especially with high season and with all the cruise ships. You can't check earlier than 3 hours before your flights and cruise passengers are urged not to get to the airport earlier than that. Why they have no bag storage lockers in VCE is beyond me, they could do a lot of business with that (just ask the Trenitalia guys at Santa Lucia station if the luguage storage works well   )

Oh I'm sure there's serious money to be made in luggage storage--but while they don't have luggage lockers, they do have luggage storage on the lower floor, with security checks and all.

Oh cruise ships--I don't really get that either, but that's a rant for another thread. In fact, they might be useful in the Caribbean, in stepping foot in a lot of countries in a short time. But they sound so boring--including their options for "fun".

Quoting reifel (Reply 2):
That's interesting. I would thought they would call you and if I were you I would have asked to be checked out anyway again. I do not believe the lounge agent checked you out before making sure that this was your plan.

Yes--I should've been more precise when talking to the agent. I'll say, in my defense, that I was tired already and not in the best mood.

Quoting reifel (Reply 2):
Maybe because someone boarding in VRN would have possibly boarding passes for these seats? Better don't mess with seat assignements on multi stop flights...

Yeah, that's why I didn't insist.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
This is standard procedure with all airlines I took which had an intermediate stop with passengers remaining on board, no matter where in the world actually.

Good to know--never had a triangle flight before, myself. What if the pax step off? Do they have to take their bags with them? Because I don't remember what happened on some other flights (to/from Hawaii via LAX)...

Quoting reifel (Reply 2):
Wow, that is retro   Next time you should try the Hotel Kyiv in Bratislava (or the Hotel Bratislava in Kyiev, too). Similar retro standard  

Really retro---but the bathroom was new (and quite spartan, still). Oh, btw, the price was 39 Euros (600 MDL). Forgot to mention that.

Hmmm I'm going to Bratislava this week for a few hours, but staying in Vienna... Will see when (not if   ) going to Kyiv.

Quoting reifel (Reply 2):
This could have been actually an interesting trip and if you travel by bus it's not far and you're usually not subject to bribes... I was trying to do this from Odessa back in July, but then Malev got bankrupt, my tickets lost, and new tickets too expensive. I believe Moldova and Transnistria will be done another time then.

I have a Romanian passport. I may be more subject to bribes than you. They don't like Romanians in Transnistria, usually. Secessionist movement and all that... I also have an US passport, but that makes it worse than average too, since all Americans must be filthy rich 

Shame you got your tickets lost...   Never get insurance myself, I'm sure I'll get bitten eventually...

Quoting reifel (Reply 2):
I really appreciate your travel series. Especially visiting Chisinau, as I appreciate when visiting cities that are not on the regular touristic path. Let's say Minsk, let's say Bosnia, Montenegro, Kosovo,... or Chisinau. This is usually really exciting and you will see a lot of things you wouldn't see somewhere else.

Thanks very much, reifel!

Indeed, these places bring you something else. Although, Montenegro isn't that off the beaten path anymore (or is that strictly for Russian charters?). Albania is more so IMO. I hear Bosnia is beautiful!

Minsk is a larger Chisinau and even more Soviet in style, I suppose... Interesting destination, shame about the visa policy.


User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6675 posts, RR: 55
Reply 4, posted (2 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 8866 times:

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 3):
Because I don't remember what happened on some other flights (to/from Hawaii via LAX)...

Everyone gets off with their bags since there's a change of crew and the aircraft needs to be serviced as well.

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6944 posts, RR: 77
Reply 5, posted (2 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 8774 times:

Hi Alex,

and yet anther great report - this one is my favorite in your current series. Very nice pictures from Moldova, a rarely covered destination.

It's too bad what happened with your flights, I still remember your updates on FB. But you finally made it to the destination. And yes, Air Moldova's livery is great indeed.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
EK A343:

Those should be avoided like the A332s, btw. The A343s with their outdated interiors are also used on low-yield routes.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
The seats very uncomfortable, don't think they've been changed since 1991.

Do you really think they still use the SAA seats?

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
The 9U F/As reached my row and served what seems to be a home-made sandwich with some meat (my guess is pork) and cheese. I had a Fanta and some tea to drink. You know, this sandwich tasted better than most—and no mystery sauce or mystery meat. What you see is what you get. I liked that. Good service so far, in the air.

Not bad at all!

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Maybe the prettiest craft in the air:

Pretty yes, but prettiest? I'd say no...

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Another sandwich similar to the one on VRN-KIV, a soft drink (or wine, if you prefer, for that matter) and some tea (or coffee). Well done Air Moldova!

Hopefully they didn't serve leftovers...  



PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinesultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1789 posts, RR: 30
Reply 6, posted (2 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 8723 times:

Hello Alex,

Tnx for this conclusive part of this journey. Good to see a report on this exotic carrier Air Moldova. So any idea yet if you will be compensated. Very good to have logged that tiny E-120 jet, a nice bonus.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
“Your flight from Chisinau to Verona will now operate on a different schedule”

 Wow! That's an email you certainly don't like in your inbox.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
An interesting facet: the tray table for seats 08B and 08C in the exit row are in... the overhead bin. The F/A will attach these tray tables to the seats during the meal service and remove them afterwards. Interesting procedure!

That's interesting to say the least. Is that common procedure on this little aircraft?

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Air Moldova: “If you don't care when you'll be over, please do fly on Air Moldova”.

Is that your tagline or the airline's 

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlineRobMEL From Australia, joined Feb 2010, 82 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 8700 times:

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):

Silly ostrich:

That's not an Ostrich, that's an Australian Emu!  


User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2302 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (2 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 8660 times:

Quoting The777Man (Reply 4):
Everyone gets off with their bags since there's a change of crew and the aircraft needs to be serviced as well.

Ah--yeah, I remember now, I got off in SFO and LAX, this must have been the case.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 5):
Hi Alex,

and yet anther great report - this one is my favorite in your current series. Very nice pictures from Moldova, a rarely covered destination.

It's too bad what happened with your flights, I still remember your updates on FB. But you finally made it to the destination. And yes, Air Moldova's livery is great indeed.

Hi PH!

Thanks very much--indeed it's the most special of the four  

Hah, yeah, I gotta say, I was very struck by the fact that they announced me one day in advance... I almost expected something like this, but a two-week notice would've been nice.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 5):
Those should be avoided like the A332s, btw. The A343s with their outdated interiors are also used on low-yield routes.

Good to know. I'll try to avoid them next time.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 5):
Do you really think they still use the SAA seats?

Well, no, but they felt really uncomfortable...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 5):
Not bad at all!

Indeed, much better than expected...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 5):
Pretty yes, but prettiest? I'd say no...

I like Oman Air's livery as well--is that your absolute favorite, or just one of?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 5):
Hopefully they didn't serve leftovers...  

No, no, different meat  

Thanks for your comments PH!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 6):
Tnx for this conclusive part of this journey. Good to see a report on this exotic carrier Air Moldova. So any idea yet if you will be compensated. Very good to have logged that tiny E-120 jet, a nice bonus.

Hi Nils!

Thanks for your comments!

Yeah, the E-120 is quite rare... Air Moldova, Air Turks and Caicos and Skywest, I know... And probably very few other choices.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 6):
That's an email you certainly don't like in your inbox.

No, I hate that kind of e-mail :|

Quoting sultanils (Reply 6):
That's interesting to say the least. Is that common procedure on this little aircraft?

I believe so--something to do with the evacuation procedure, no doubt.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 6):
Is that your tagline or the airline's 

I made that up 

Thanks for your comments, Nils!

Quoting RobMEL (Reply 7):
That's not an Ostrich, that's an Australian Emu!

Ah, fair enough, my bad--although we can call it "silly ostrich"... or do you prefer ostriches to be called "silly Emus"?  

I'm not a bird expert sorry--well, not that kind of bird, anyway. 


User currently offlineairbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4277 posts, RR: 51
Reply 9, posted (2 years 3 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 8586 times:

Hey Alex,

really cool to see this report. And great to see that cute little Embraer 120! I really need to fly on it... Maybe I need to go to Moldova. Since Malev is gone... (they used to operate the EM2 also)

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Venice airport is pretty nice... actually, very nice, by Italian standards

It is! Also my impression. Good shopping too!

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
I asked the F/A at the emergency exits whether I could sit there (they remained empty on the short flight to VRN, btw)

Hmm... completely empty? I think that is not according the regulations. Even on short flights with passengers. Not 100% sure about this though

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
I wasn't exactly in the mood for pushing and shoving, but unfortunately the lady next to me asked me “shi fashi, b'ieti, di shi lashi pi totzi s' triac'?” in her Moldovan accent, translated roughly as “what are you doing, boy, why are you letting everyone go ahead of you?”

:D

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Silly ostrich:

That ostrich thinks you are the silly one here  

Nice report with interesting pics of Chisinau too... an unknown city for most of us.

Regards
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 16
Reply 10, posted (2 years 3 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 8446 times:

Hello


Great report on Moldovian, the EMB120 is a nice treat.
Air Moldova seems to have a pretty decent product.
Chisinau seems to be a nice place as well.

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2302 posts, RR: 7
Reply 11, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 8367 times:

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 9):

Hey Alex,

really cool to see this report. And great to see that cute little Embraer 120! I really need to fly on it... Maybe I need to go to Moldova. Since Malev is gone... (they used to operate the EM2 also)

Hi there Eric!

Thanks for reading, first of all! Yeah, it's a nice little plane. I'm not sure how much longer it'll be in service--but it appears in good enough shape so it should be a few more years.

Moldova does seem like the easiest way to get it for your log. I believe VIE, KBP and OTP are the destinations they're flying this Embraer to...

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 9):
Hmm... completely empty? I think that is not according the regulations. Even on short flights with passengers. Not 100% sure about this though

Yes--I've heard this before and that's why I was surprised. No passengers for sure, and no F/As sitting in the row either.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 9):
That ostrich thinks you are the silly one here  

Nice report with interesting pics of Chisinau too... an unknown city for most of us.

Hmm... I bet it did, kept trying to get a picture of it doing something interesting--it was sort of following me around, haha.

Thanks again, Eric... Chisinau is a decent city, not touristy at all.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 10):
Great report on Moldovian, the EMB120 is a nice treat.
Air Moldova seems to have a pretty decent product.
Chisinau seems to be a nice place as well.

Hey Marc,

Thanks--my thoughts exactly on Air Moldova and the 120. Yeah, Chisinau is nice--but if you're looking into typical tourist sights--you're not gonna find (m)any.

Thanks for reading!


User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5130 posts, RR: 55
Reply 12, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 8314 times:

Wow. Very cool. I think this has to be the highlight of all the reports. Had no idea Molovan and Romanian were that close. Thanks again for taking us on the journey with you!

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlinedeltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Reply 13, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 8049 times:

Hi Alex!

Nice final to your series, as enjoyable as usual.
9U seemed decent enough, as you said; good in the air but not so good on the ground.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
By the way, Venice airport is pretty nice... actually, very nice, by Italian standards; too bad about the masses of people landside!

As you saw in my Italy report, that's pretty much my opinion on the airport as well.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
I asked the F/A at the emergency exits whether I could sit there (they remained empty on the short flight to VRN, btw). She said, while smiling, that no, I had to sit on my assigned seat. Ah, some good old Soviet lack of flexibility. Although, she was smiling—very un-Soviet-like.

Hah, that was quite funny to read! 
Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Oh, and a safety procedure was enacted in VRN—everyone had to get their bags from the overhead bins so the F/As could check no bags were left behind.

There was something similar in KRF when I flew Nextjet GEV-KRF-ARN, but not all the times I have flown SAS from ARN via LLA or UME to KRN.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Maybe the prettiest craft in the air:

That is indeed a very good looking bird.

Martin


User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2302 posts, RR: 7
Reply 14, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 7938 times:

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 12):

Wow. Very cool. I think this has to be the highlight of all the reports. Had no idea Molovan and Romanian were that close. Thanks again for taking us on the journey with you!

Saludos,
A.

Hola (again)!

Yeah--this part is the one I'm most partial to--a nice little destination, Chisinau.

Indeed, aside from a bit of vocabulary, everything else is identical. The communists want to call it Moldovan, everyone else calls it Romanian  

As always, thanks for reading.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 13):
Hi Alex!

Nice final to your series, as enjoyable as usual.
9U seemed decent enough, as you said; good in the air but not so good on the ground.

Hey Martin  

Thanks very much for your comments. Yeah, those would be my conclusions.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 13):
Hah, that was quite funny to read! 

Well, 9U used to be Aeroflot Moldova...  
Quoting deltamartin (Reply 13):
There was something similar in KRF when I flew Nextjet GEV-KRF-ARN, but not all the times I have flown SAS from ARN via LLA or UME to KRN.

Hmm, interesting to note. I've never seen it before... Or, I don't remember it. I flew MCI-MKE-LGA on Midwest once (w/o leaving the aircraft), but I don't remember anything like this...

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 13):
That is indeed a very good looking bird.

I'm glad you agree  

Thanks for reading, guys!


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6944 posts, RR: 77
Reply 15, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 7847 times:

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 8):
I like Oman Air's livery as well--is that your absolute favorite, or just one of?

I don't have an absolutely favorite - but WY is in the top three.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 8):
No, no, different meat

Good!  




PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27337 posts, RR: 60
Reply 16, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 7814 times:

Hi Alex  

Very nice report and love their livery . Seen them at FRA and wondered what they were like to fly. Really interesting pics from Moldova too. Not something you get to see that often .

Thanks for the insight .

Regards

Philip  


User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Reply 17, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 7775 times:

Hi Alex,

Good to read the final part. Some excitement with the shenanigans of Air Moldova, but maybe they had a good reason for this funky arrangement, like a plane going mech or whatever. But then again they should've really communicated that to the passengers, I find it deeply insulting to underestimate your customers and not giving them proper information. I fully understand delays and shite happens, but please be open about it and tell me what it is about. Then I'll understand. And please, don't lie about it, I hate lying. Simple as that, doesn't cost anything but gains a lot of good karma. Thank you.

Congratulations on catching a somewhat exotic airline (well two actually) and of course the cute little Embraer. I've been planning to pay Moldova a second visit sometime just for these reasons, to log a flight on the EMB-120 and to log Air Moldova (and now it looks like I need to do two flights as there are two carriers...).

Also great for you to visit Chisinau, Moldova is such a cute little country that is relatively unknown to most people. I think any publicity about it is good publicity. I found Chisinau to be a very odd city - yes, it is poor but at the same time it had the friendliest people around (just like you noticed) and some excellent, very high quality restaurants which was really, really odd.

I can tell that your attitude towards the Moldavians is like what we Finns thought of our "little brothers", the Estonians some 15 years ago. I think your attitude will change like ours when the little brother shows its teeth and actually builds a modern society that is a far more advanced and better than your own which you thought was the bee's knees. This is exactly what happened here....

Don't be mad at Air Moldova, after all they gave you two (well three) flights for the price of one (two) and even your shortest flight to date, that's very generous of them  .

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
, so I had a ticket on VCE-FCO-OTP on Alitalia, which used to be a direct VCE-OTP on AirOne that got cancelled (Jesus H. Christ, can you say trip from hell?).

Did they can the whole Bucharest route or was it just your flight that got canceled? I'm asking because I'm planning on booking VCE-WAW for next year as the price is dirt cheap and it fits my plans rather nicely, but the route sounds somewhat odd and I'm afraid they will just can it which will cause some problems with my onward plans to HEL.

Anyway very nice for you to be able to use that lost ticket for something in the form of a lounge visit! I've sometimes been on doing something similar when faced with a loooong layover ay an airport where I don't normally have lounge access, but never really found a suitably cheap throwaway ticket yet  .

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
By the way, Venice airport is pretty nice... actually, very nice, by Italian standards; too bad about the masses of people landside!

So far I've only flown there twice, never departed, but from what I've seen it looks quite nice indeed. Just horribly packed whenever there's a cruise ship in town.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
. Soon, the delay was posted 21:50. They should've known even at check-in. No one said shit. Really bad, Air Moldova.

Ok, I know the answer already but was there no food/refreshment voucher as per the EU rules? Did you even ask for one?

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Air Moldova A320:

I love that livery.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
9U magazine—Open Skies:

Hmm, a weird name for a company like Air Moldova.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Air Moldova service:

Hey, that sandwich looks excellent! Indeed like it's home made, like you said.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Good service so far, in the air. Afterwards, the duty-free service came through and seemingly everyone but me got one or more bottles of booze. LOL. They aren't kidding when they say Moldovans are heavy drinkers!

How were the prices? Considering how cheap booze is in Moldova anyway they must have some really low prices to entice buyers. Or maybe they just don't trust the booze at home - in certain countries (cough*Rus*cough*sia*cough) counterfeit alcohol is quite a commonplace and can cause you to loose your eyesight (methanol) or even kill you.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
After asking the lady at reception where the microbus station for the airport was—they're very nice at the Cosmos, btw. The comfort isn't much, but the service is really good—

I stayed at the Cosmos too. And yes, the staff was great, even spoke good English. For whatever reason I got upgraded to a huge suite, it came with a full conference/dining table for 8 people plus all the utensils and dishware needed to serve an exquisite dinner for them. I was really impressed, especially considering I paid less than 50 EUR for my (supposedly) single room.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Chisinau—“poorest capital in Europe”--this is right by the Cosmos:

Well it is the poorest country in Europe. Ok, I guess Transdniestr is probably even poorer but then again it is not a real country but a Russian puppet state instead.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Surprisingly, KIV used 2 buses for this boarding, quite strange if you ask me.

Maybe the first one was a dedicated bus for business class passengers?

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Maybe the prettiest craft in the air:

I agree with you.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
That really didn't tickle my fancy. I have no idea how taxi drivers in Chisinau are, but if they're anything like the ones at OTP, I wasn't looking forward to it.

I found the Chisinau taxi drivers to be very nice. Both to and from the airport they didn't try to rip me off at all, well there was no meter but then again the fare was perfectly reasonable.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
. I was curious what Air Moldova would offer on such a short flight. My expectations were not very high. However, I was pleasantly surprised—full service on a flight that would be around 50 minutes in length. Do you copy, Delta?

Hey, quite impressed by the service on this short hop! Really nice.

Also very interesting with the tray table  .

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Technically it's operated by Tandem Aero, so a different company.

Nice, there's the potential for scoring two new airlines for the good old log!


User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2302 posts, RR: 7
Reply 18, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 7527 times:

Quoting OA260 (Reply 16):
Very nice report and love their livery . Seen them at FRA and wondered what they were like to fly. Really interesting pics from Moldova too. Not something you get to see that often .

Thanks for the insight .

Hi Philip  

Thanks very much for reading!

As you saw, Air Moldova were very alright in the air, but a bit off on the ground--not their employees, though, it would seem, so not sure if I should fault them.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 17):
Good to read the final part. Some excitement with the shenanigans of Air Moldova, but maybe they had a good reason for this funky arrangement, like a plane going mech or whatever. But then again they should've really communicated that to the passengers, I find it deeply insulting to underestimate your customers and not giving them proper information. I fully understand delays and shite happens, but please be open about it and tell me what it is about. Then I'll understand. And please, don't lie about it, I hate lying. Simple as that, doesn't cost anything but gains a lot of good karma. Thank you.

Hi there, P, thanks very much for your comments!

Yes--quite the shenanigans, but I'm not sure they even had a good reason. "Fuel is expensive" is probably the *real* reason for this arrangement... Then another 1h 30' delay. Which they really should've known about at check-in--after all, the plane had yet to leave Chisinau! So no, no proper information given... As for the rest, I agree with you. I don't know why honesty isn't more widespread.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 17):
Congratulations on catching a somewhat exotic airline (well two actually) and of course the cute little Embraer. I've been planning to pay Moldova a second visit sometime just for these reasons, to log a flight on the EMB-120 and to log Air Moldova (and now it looks like I need to do two flights as there are two carriers...).

Yeah, thank you very much! Not a bad deal all in all.

Yes, there are indeed two carriers--Tandem Aero owns the E-120 and operates it on behalf of Air Moldova. Tandem Aero also has the Moldova-Israel bilateral rights, I believe, but that's operated on "mainline" aircraft...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 17):
Also great for you to visit Chisinau, Moldova is such a cute little country that is relatively unknown to most people. I think any publicity about it is good publicity. I found Chisinau to be a very odd city - yes, it is poor but at the same time it had the friendliest people around (just like you noticed) and some excellent, very high quality restaurants which was really, really odd.

Indeed--hardly anyone knows it's there... Everyone asked me "how is Chisinau?" when I got back, haha. I guess that was the highlight! Have to agree with you here as well. Restaurants--well, I guess the rich people have to eat somewhere  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 17):
I can tell that your attitude towards the Moldavians is like what we Finns thought of our "little brothers", the Estonians some 15 years ago. I think your attitude will change like ours when the little brother shows its teeth and actually builds a modern society that is a far more advanced and better than your own which you thought was the bee's knees. This is exactly what happened here...

Well, not sure of the particulars of the Finnish-Estonian situation but it sounds about right, about my attitude. About Romanian society--it's not exactly the bees' knees. I wouldn't be surprised if Moldova constructed a better society in a few years' time. I really wouldn't. They're not yet a completely free country but if the communists continue to lose influence, I'm sure they'll get there.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 17):
Don't be mad at Air Moldova, after all they gave you two (well three) flights for the price of one (two) and even your shortest flight to date, that's very generous of them  .

I'm not too upset anymore. They're struggling to get by.... but that doesn't mean this should happen on a regular basis. Frankly I don't care if they give me any cash, I just don't want this to happen to other passengers.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 17):
Did they can the whole Bucharest route or was it just your flight that got canceled? I'm asking because I'm planning on booking VCE-WAW for next year as the price is dirt cheap and it fits my plans rather nicely, but the route sounds somewhat odd and I'm afraid they will just can it which will cause some problems with my onward plans to HEL.

The whole route was canned--which is kinda odd--since the Blue Air flight that evening was literally sold out. There's a lot of demand between Italy and Romania, at least seasonally... They might can the WAW route--they'd rebook you via AZ, I guess, but if your schedule is tight, it might not be recommended.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 17):
Anyway very nice for you to be able to use that lost ticket for something in the form of a lounge visit! I've sometimes been on doing something similar when faced with a loooong layover ay an airport where I don't normally have lounge access, but never really found a suitably cheap throwaway ticket yet  .

Yes--at least it was good for something--you know, it wasn't too bad thinking back--but on the spot, it wasn't that nice, haha. Well, for a lounge visit, it wasn't that cheap, unfortunately. Had Air Moldova changed the day of the VCE-KIV flight, it would've been really useful, though.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 17):
Ok, I know the answer already but was there no food/refreshment voucher as per the EU rules? Did you even ask for one?

I asked (a few times) when I got to the airport since the flight was now at 20:20 instead of 14:00. Nope! Then, it was just 1.5 hours delay, was pretty sure that they wouldn't give me anything being a sub 2-hour delay.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 17):
Hmm, a weird name for a company like Air Moldova.
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 17):
Hey, that sandwich looks excellent! Indeed like it's home made, like you said.

My thoughts exactly.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 17):
How were the prices? Considering how cheap booze is in Moldova anyway they must have some really low prices to entice buyers. Or maybe they just don't trust the booze at home - in certain countries (cough*Rus*cough*sia*cough) counterfeit alcohol is quite a commonplace and can cause you to loose your eyesight (methanol) or even kill you.

The prices? I don't actually remember, unfortunately. Not sure how big a problem methanol poisoning is in Moldova but of course that might be a possibility too...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 17):
I stayed at the Cosmos too. And yes, the staff was great, even spoke good English. For whatever reason I got upgraded to a huge suite, it came with a full conference/dining table for 8 people plus all the utensils and dishware needed to serve an exquisite dinner for them. I was really impressed, especially considering I paid less than 50 EUR for my (supposedly) single room.

No upgrade for me, unfortunately. However, I really can't complain about the Cosmos. It's part of the quintessential Chisinau experience, haha.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 17):
Maybe the first one was a dedicated bus for business class passengers?

Business class--sure, on the Embraer 120   But, no, I was in the first bus... So, maybe the 2nd one, then? Though I'm not sure who'd pay for Business class on this route, although I'm sure it's offered for sale.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 17):
I found the Chisinau taxi drivers to be very nice. Both to and from the airport they didn't try to rip me off at all, well there was no meter but then again the fare was perfectly reasonable.

Ah, good to know. I could've saved some money, but I didn't have the time to spend too much, anyway. So no big deal.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 17):
Hey, quite impressed by the service on this short hop! Really nice.

Also very interesting with the tray table  .

Yes--I was also impressed  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 17):
Nice, there's the potential for scoring two new airlines for the good old log!

Indeed--do it, P. You won't regret it. Just leave yourself some time in KIV!

Thanks for your comments, again!


User currently offlineroberts87 From Netherlands, joined Dec 2011, 1033 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 7432 times:

Another great report on a rare airline, so thanks for posting! Also nice to see some pictures from Chisinau! The Embraer 120 is a pretty cool plane too, so nice that you got a ride on one of those!

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
When I came back into the terminal, the AZ flight was boarding... and they didn't call my name, so either AZ don't do name-calling, or the AZ lounge agent understood I wouldn't be taking the flight. I was unsure whether he'd understood, and I didn't want to cause a delau

Now that's interesting. I dropped a leg of a trip once, but never actually went to the airport, checked in, went to a lounge for a flight I wasn't planning on taking. I wonder what the agent was thinking about it  


User currently offlineLXM83 From Switzerland, joined May 2005, 610 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 7183 times:

Hello dc9northwest

Very nice report, Chisinau looks like a place I'd like to see, too.

Look at the rescheduling from the bright side: You got an extra flight for free on a route you cannot book. Too bad it messed up your plans on using public transport. Personally I try to avoid taxis myself, too.

The Embraer 120 look great. Nice catch!

Best regards,
LXM83


User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2302 posts, RR: 7
Reply 21, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 6893 times:

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 19):
Another great report on a rare airline, so thanks for posting! Also nice to see some pictures from Chisinau! The Embraer 120 is a pretty cool plane too, so nice that you got a ride on one of those!

Thanks Robert!

Chisinau surpassed my expectations, really--but some of our members here gave it good reviews before I got there, so... Glad to say they were right  

Yeah, the E-120 is getting very rare, luckily there's still this example in Europe. They wanted to move the OTP flights to an E-190 when they first received that machine... I'm glad they didn't  
Quoting roberts87 (Reply 19):
Now that's interesting. I dropped a leg of a trip once, but never actually went to the airport, checked in, went to a lounge for a flight I wasn't planning on taking. I wonder what the agent was thinking about it

Hmmm... I don't know, but if Alitalia didn't fancy cancelling my itinerary (expedia blamed it on AZ--which in a way is fair, it was non-refundable...), I might as well use it for something!

Quoting LXM83 (Reply 20):
Hello dc9northwest

Very nice report, Chisinau looks like a place I'd like to see, too.

Look at the rescheduling from the bright side: You got an extra flight for free on a route you cannot book. Too bad it messed up your plans on using public transport. Personally I try to avoid taxis myself, too.

The Embraer 120 look great. Nice catch!

Best regards,
LXM83

Hi there LXM83!

Thanks a lot--Chisinau is surprisingly nice (sure, it is still poor) and I think a fair number of our members can confirm that!

Indeed--who else flew on VCE-VRN--on an A320 no less! Well, the other people in my situation, but they didn't take that as a reward, haha! Well, I avoid taxis only because I was raised in Bucharest in the 1990s haha. Not a fan of Bucharest taxi drivers since I still hear stories... I can't know what to expect in other places! Obviously in Norway they should be safe, but 250 Euros to the airport? No thanks!

Thanks, LXM83! The E-120 was a fun ride.


User currently onlineadamspotter From Netherlands, joined Feb 2011, 1177 posts, RR: 12
Reply 22, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 6724 times:
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Hi Alex,

Nice to be able to read your last part on this great series you have made.
Once again a great report with some nice pictures, really enjoyed it!
Air Moldova's service looks quite nice in the air. On the ground not so much, just terrible! Glad to see you made it to your hotel in Chisinau without too much trouble!
Love your pictures of Chisinau too, nice stuff. A destination we dont see too often here  
Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Another EK A343:

Didn''t know they operated 2 flights to VCE

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Maybe the prettiest craft in the air

Sure looks quite nice!

Now its off to the Norway series, hopefully sooner then later  

cheers,

Brendan

P.S. Will you be around in Chicago on 9/10 November? Will be passing through Chicago then..


User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2302 posts, RR: 7
Reply 23, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 6419 times:

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 22):

Hi Alex,

Nice to be able to read your last part on this great series you have made.
Once again a great report with some nice pictures, really enjoyed it!
Air Moldova's service looks quite nice in the air. On the ground not so much, just terrible! Glad to see you made it to your hotel in Chisinau without too much trouble!
Love your pictures of Chisinau too, nice stuff. A destination we dont see too often here  

Hey Brendan... Greetings from AMS!

Thanks very much for reading  

Yeah--Air Moldova was reasonable once I actually got on the plane, haha. It would've been nice to be given a bit more notice of that rescheduling... Oh, and arriving in Chisinau from KIV at night is creepy--10 km or so without many streetlights (if at all)  

Indeed--Moldova's not bad... cheap and it's improving each day AFAIK.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 22):
Now its off to the Norway series, hopefully sooner then later  

Good to know, Brendan   Last few weeks have been a bit hectic and I still haven't gotten a chance to comment on many reports, sorry!

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 22):
Will you be around in Chicago on 9/10 November? Will be passing through Chicago then..

Yes--I should be in Chicago... and hopefully not too busy. There's a very low chance of a booking appearing during that time. Anyway, feel free to contact me and perhaps we can manage a little meeting  


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