Photo © Senior
Route: LED – SVO
Flightnumber: FV 159 codeshare SU 1420
Date: 25 december 2009
Ticket price (inc. Taxes): 41 euros
So this is my first trip report here so please provide as much feedback as possible so I can learn what you (dis)like from the report. Please keep in mind English is not my native language, so if there are any grammatical errors, excusez-moi.
After I picked up my fiancée at her office in the center of Saint Petersburg around 17:00 it was time for us to go to the airport. Students & budget travellers we are we opted to take a usual bus to the airport which takes roughly 30 mins, this time traffic was not so heavy so we arrived good in time at the airport.
FV doesn’t offer, as far as we’re aware of at least, online check-in, so we first sat down for approximately an hour at the restaurant of Pulkovo-1 observing some aircraft movements. Some of the most interesting were: the rather new A321 (VQ-BDA) from Ural Airlines, a three-hour delayed Yak-42 of Airlines of Kuban and the usual traffic from FV, SU and 5N.
The check-in desks in the departure hall of terminal one.
After having finished our teas we proceeded at 18:30 to the check-in desks. At LED-1 the dedicated check-in desks and gates for the Moscow Flights of FV & SU are at the far right part of the terminal, far away from the queues of other destinations. It has no sense to arrive way early at the check in as they will send you away. We gave our tickets to the friendly woman at the check-in desk and were told that the paper she needs for baggage-labels was out of stock and she had just ordered a new one which would arrive in 5 mins. She didn’t care about the fact we did not have checked baggage with us, so we were friendly send to her neighbour which checked us in in less than a minute.
Our flight was this day one of the 17 flights on LED-SVO. There were also 13 flights to DME and 7 to VKO.
We did some small shopping further and then went to security control. We, as usual on the LED-MOW flights, had the choice of taking shoes/belts/coats off, or taking the body-scanner. We opted for the last option as it safes a considerable amount of time and is just plain easier The body scanner is identified with ‘Homo Scan’ (at least that’s what’s written on it) which is rather funny for people knowing the some Germanic languages like Dutch. But we passed without hassle.
The gate for today was gate 12, a gate where the bus arrives and brings you to the aircraft. That’s something I always love as I feel it’s the proper way of entering an aircraft.
Our aircraft for the flight.
The CFM engine.
When we arrived at the aircraft I saw it was VQ-BAS, an Airbus A319 built in 2002 and arrived last summer at FV after having served at Frontier in the US. Secretly I had hoped for a last minute equipment change as I knew one of these days the AN-148 would be brought into revenue service, but this beautiful bird was parked next to our A319.
The AN-148, this one being the first for FV, currently they have two in ops.
Boarding was completed in 10 minutes with a very light load, around 40 people. One of the F/A came around with a pre-flight candy which I think is always a nice gesture.
The pre-flight candy.
Safety instructions were uneventful and soon after we taxied to the runway where we had to hold for 2 arrivals, a Rossiya (however still in Pulkovo paint) 735 from DME as well as FV 320 from I guess AER. Takeoff roll was speedy and we were airborne very quickly.
The flight was uneventful, soon after fasten-seatbelts sign was off the cabin crew started their service and landing lights were switched off so my outside light was gone as well as the landing lights were pretty bright in the thick cloud base.
Today’s ‘menu’ was a bread roll with turkey, actually quite tasty. I chose as well a coffee and a coke.
The descent was uneventful and during approach it started to snow again very hard, but hey it’s Russia and here we’re not so impressed by the snow so landing was smooth. I think we landed on 07R but i’m never good with runways so if it was 07L it could be true as well.
The end of the runway we landed on.
The aircraft was parked on a remote stand between three Nordavia (the former Aeroflot-Nord) planes.
De-boarding was quick and a short bus ride to the arrivals hall was done in a breeze.
The nice thing of FV is that when buying a ticket LED-MOW your plane ticket is also valid on the AeroExpress, an express train, which runs from all three Moscovian airports to the center. My fiancée and I opted however to take a marshrutka to our destination in Moscow.
Summarizing, I think FV’s product on the LED-MOW is pretty good in Y. A snack & drinks are for free, as well as luggage.
The way back to Petersburg we took the new Sapsan high speed train service, which was in operation for 5 days when we took it, reducing the travel time by train to 3 hours and 45 minutes.
Thanks for reading this trip report and I hope to be back with some other trip reports someday.