SQueeze
Topic Author
Posts: 235
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:33 pm

Comfort with Aeroflot: HKG-SVO-LHR (in PEY and Y class)

Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:36 pm

This trip report covers two segments on Aeroflot, something that I have always wanted to try as I have always been intrigued by Russia and USSR since a long time, yet never had the chance to visit.

It is not always the first choice airline for most people esp when it relates to its quality of service. And to a lot of people, they also wouldn't imagine that it has its entire fleet now consisting of state-of-the western models (familiar 777s, and 330s) except for the new Sukhoi superjets. Of course, to aviation nuts like me, I could only wish that they still fly some Ilyushins but these are all gone from the fleet.

When suddenly the opportunity arose when I needed to get from Hong Kong to London recently, I jumped into it and booked myself on its Comfort Class for a reasonable S$850 or so for a one-way flight. This was also my first ever trip on Premium Economy. Naturally I was excited about this trip.

Part 1: HKG-SVO

Aircraft: 777-300ER
Reg: VQ-BQD (Anton Chekhov)
Class: Premium Economy (Comfort)
Seat: 16K
Load: 18/48 (37.5%)


My journey started at HKG airport Terminal 1 where I arrived by using the airport express train. I had earlier checked-in my luggage at Kowloon Station. It was a seamless experience.

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The Aeroflot counters at the airport were quiet at 90 min prior to departure.

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But that was deceptive because at the boarding gate, it was soon obvious that it's a fully-packed flight. It's actually doing very well on this route!

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I took a snapshot of my expertflyer screen about this flight. And it looks like business class on this flight did okay at 50%, Comfort (Premium Economy) was dismal at 37.5%, and Economy did really well at almost 100%! It's popular.

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And the 77W which would flew us to Moscow today

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Boarding started half an hour before the flight and it was orderly but long queue on the economy side, I boarded from the SkyPriority line which had nobody. I am not even sure if Comfort Class is entitled to use that line or not.

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Reached onboard and I was pleasantly surprised by the cheeriness of the cabin.

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Economy is in tight 3-4-3 configuration.

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My seat at the last row of the Comfort Class cabin. I am happy about it. It exceeds my expectation. But then, I am a Premium Economy class virgin and I am not sure how it compares to the other airlines. I thought this felt like SQ's regional business class except that it doesn't recline flat. Good enough for a trip of this length. I don't think I even mind it overnight.

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As can be seen here, the seat doesn't recline much but it slides forward. There is calf rest. All in all I thought everything is comfortable and ergonomically I thought it's perfect, I am really happy about this design.

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Checking out more features of the seat, there are no compartments but there are open storage such as these.

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Amenity kit is stored at the handrest.

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Just sandals and eye shades. The sandals are thin and not worth keeping. But The eye shade is nice and tight.

The fold-out table is the largest I have ever seen! Just wonder if this is a common feature to most premium economy products out there.

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IFE screen is huge and is a touch screen and is responsive.

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I had earlier read that the movie selection is mostly not for western taste. But I found there is a good range of western movies. I am definitely happy about it.

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Crew - definitely good looking :D. And I am in love with their uniform. Totally stylish, bright, and cheery. I think they nail it with this image.

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Service started with a choice of cold or warm towel and I picked the cold one. The earplugs are of this type.

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Preflight drink, I just requested for water. The other option was a strangely-coloured juice. It was served in a nice glass. Definitely one grade above economy class.

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Once we were airborne, another round of drinks was offered. I notice the cart goes to economy after that so I guess it's the same for both classes. Not so nice cup...

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Menu cart for this flight. 2 service. In both, it's either chicken or fish.

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The first meal for me was fish with rice. It sounded nice: Halibut with rice and herbs, roasted sweet pepper and beans served with tomato concasse. But goodness, it tasted bland and disappointing. The salad was really good though. The smoked fish appetiser was just ok for me but I think it is more of an acquired taste issue. The bread was the worst - dry like cardboard. Overall, I thought the meal was disappointing.

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After the meal service, I checked out the many magazines and reading materials in the seat pocket. Very generous but most of it (80%) is in Russian!

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I only understood this bit. The fleet is entirely modernised.

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And also the network map. They fly everywhere and has quite a good presence in Asia except noticeably Singapore. I wonder why. They fly to Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Phuket, Bangkok, HCMC, Hanoi, Male, and Delhi.

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Inflight Map is similar to Etihad which has various view angles.

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And my entertainment inflight is usually looking out the windows mostly. So we flew over the flat barren Gobi desert, and then the untouched pristine wilderness near the Altai region, then over the Siberian industrial cities, the Urals, and then the northern tundra with its many lakes before touching down in Moscow.

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Just before reaching Moscow, the cabin is prepared for second meal service. It started with multi coloured ambient lighting.

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And then a round of towels: hot or cold to one's preference.

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And then a cup of coffee or tea.

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I checked out the toilet. It's basic relative to business class but not too bad. There is hand cream, facial mist. Only the soap bottle I thought looks like something that comes from USSR-era.

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Second meal service was fish again for me. It was the same issue with bland taste and dry bread. And again the salads were the best part of the meal. This time it was smoked salmon and smoked chicken. So meal service is definitely not Aeroflot's forte.

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On approach to Moscow, we flew over some really beautiful landscapes!

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And we landed on time at Sheremetyevo airport under a gorgeous sunny sky and a temperature of 15 degrees. My kind of perfect weather for sure. Cool and sunny.

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We first taxied pastTerminal D which is newest.

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But we finally disembarked from Terminal F which is the older Soviet-era terminal.

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On disembarkation, passed by the business class cabin which was arranged in angled 2-2-2 layout.

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SQueeze
Topic Author
Posts: 235
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:33 pm

Re: Comfort with Aeroflot: HKG-SVO-LHR (in PEY and Y class)

Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:37 pm

Part 2: Transit in Moscow Sheremetyevo.

Transit in Moscow was an interesting experience of me especially in the Soviet-era Terminal F (built in 1980). I like the bulbous lamps!

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Aeroflot is definitely a popular connecting airline. I think half of the passengers are connecting to onward destinations. Moscow is also enroute to all European points from Asia without backtracking. If is definitely capitalising on its geographically advantageous location.

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Passport check is required even for transit passengers.

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And then security point after that. Look at these plastic stuff! looks like I am back in USSR.

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Terminal F is definitely recently renovated but the soviet flavour still remains.

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There are many lounges in Sheremetyevo and I was checking on each one of them as my mission during my 3-hour transit. I will use only one of them eventually courtesy of Priority Pass. Luckily, all the attendants allow me to check on their lounges for free.

One aptly-called Classic Lounge in Terminal F which match the overall vintage theme.

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And then I proceeded to Terminal E which is more modern and spacious, built post-Soviet era.

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Out from the Soviet-era, one finds Burger King!

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And then I proceeded to Terminal D which is the newest and most modern where my flight to London would depart from.

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Here I scouted for more lounges and checked on 3 of them.

Jazz lounge is a modern and hip one. But there is no windows.

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Blues lounge is another modern and hip one. But again there is no windows. And it's Super crowded with noisy families at the time.

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So I asked the attendant which lounge has windows since all the three I had checked have no windows.

So I was directed to the Gallery lounge which apparently just opened this year. It's a two-level lounge and yes, it looks more or less at par with most other international lounges. So here I shall set my base.

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Food and beer from the buffet to kill time.

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And caviar is for sale. That Beluga one has a price tag of about S$4,000! It's in a locked refrigerated cabinet.

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SQueeze
Topic Author
Posts: 235
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:33 pm

Re: Comfort with Aeroflot: HKG-SVO-LHR (in PEY and Y class)

Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:39 pm

Part 3: LHR-SVO

Aircraft: A330-300
Reg: VQ-BEK (Aleksandr Tvardovsky)
Class: Economy
Seat: 29K
Load: 80%


Moving through Terminal D towards Gate 28 where we are departing from. It's quite a busy airport and not a very huge one in relation to the number of people around.

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Looking out the large glazed windows. It's Skyteam territory for sure.

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And our 330-300 which would fly us to London.

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There is no Comfort Class on the 333. Expertflyer showed a full business class cabin except for 1 and economy was also very packed. There is definitely a lot of traffic between the 2 major cities.

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The cabin is in standard 2-4-2 layout and it's also bright and cheery. I love it.

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Not my seat. I was seated on the emergency row but I took a few snapshots of another standard seat.

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It's new and modern. Definitely a good product I wouldn't complain about.

Then we took off on time in dusky Moscow (8pm in early September).

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Sky cafe menu.... Hmmm I began to wonder if meals are not free Intra-Europe.

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But it is free. And except the dry bread, this one actually tasted good! Much better than those served ex-HKG.

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After this point in the journey, it was already late in Asia and I dozed off.

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Conclusion:

Well, at the end of it, I think I pretty enjoyed the Aeroflot experience and I would not hesitate to fly with them again. With Comfort Class, and at these prices. The hardware is good. The service is not Asian carriers' warmth and intimacy but is comparable to other Europeans. Only the F&B I think is a bit lacking.
 
767747
Posts: 2147
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:08 am

Re: Comfort with Aeroflot: HKG-SVO-LHR (in PEY and Y class)

Sun Oct 02, 2016 2:41 pm

Thank you for sharing. It looks like you had two good flights with Aeroflot. The Y+ cabin on Aeroflot looks nice, and the food definitely looks like it's a step up from regular Economy. I'm amazed at the amount of food that was served; that tray looks huge and much more like a business class offering.

Looking forward to your next report.
I love to fly!
 
KLDC10
Posts: 629
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2016 8:15 pm

Re: Comfort with Aeroflot: HKG-SVO-LHR (in PEY and Y class)

Sun Oct 02, 2016 4:53 pm

Thanks for the report, it's great to read something about Aeroflot - not one of the more documented airlines on A.Net! They seem like a very solid airline, although it is a shame that the food does not taste quite as good as it looks in the picture. The 777 Economy Plus product looks comfortable and worth the extra money compared to economy.

Great detail of every aspect of the trip by the way - thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
DC9/MD90/MD11/F70/BAE146/Q400/737/738/739/752/763/772/A320/A332/A333/E190
 
toby25
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 1:28 pm

Re: Comfort with Aeroflot: HKG-SVO-LHR (in PEY and Y class)

Mon Oct 03, 2016 9:56 am

Very nice TR I really enjoyed it! I have never flown with Aeroflot although they do seem to come up near the top for the cheapest between HKG and LHR whenever I have checked. I think like most people they have misconceptions about Russia and I would rather avoid transiting there. The Y+ product however looks amazing! Trust me I have flown Y+ on both CX and BA and looking at your pictures in terms of food, storage and amenities seems above those of CX and BA. BA Y+ is terrible and will never pay the extra to sit there. CX is ok. One thing Aeroflot seems to lack are noise cancelling headphones which you do get on BA and CX in Y+.\

This Expertflyer can it show you seat availability for a flight? i checked out their website and it seems legit. Can you search for any flights or only certain ones? For example I am curous to see seat availability for an upcoming CA flight that I have booked.

Thank you and nice TR
Toby
Seriously dude! I swear!
 
caleb1
Posts: 522
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2008 1:51 am

Re: Comfort with Aeroflot: HKG-SVO-LHR (in PEY and Y class)

Sat Oct 08, 2016 3:54 pm

This is a great TR. I enjoyed the details and photos very much. I think Aeroflot offers a great product in the PE and regular Y class. I have always wanted to fly SV and this report just strengthens my resolve to do so.
 
caleb1
Posts: 522
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2008 1:51 am

Re: Comfort with Aeroflot: HKG-SVO-LHR (in PEY and Y class)

Sat Oct 08, 2016 3:56 pm

Sorry. I meant SU.
 
SQueeze
Topic Author
Posts: 235
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:33 pm

Re: Comfort with Aeroflot: HKG-SVO-LHR (in PEY and Y class)

Fri Oct 21, 2016 1:56 pm

Thank You all for the wonderful comments.

Aeroflot has indeed come a Long way and I would not hesitate to fly with them again considering their value-for-money prices.

As for the food, I think I have had too high expectation because I have been flying mostly business class lately and it's a first world problem. The quantity is indeed huge and more than satisfactory. But the taste of the main course was a little bland. The salads and starters were quite good though. I suspect the catering out of the home base of Moscow seems better too. May be better QC there.
 
SonOfABeech
Posts: 150
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2016 9:51 pm

Re: Comfort with Aeroflot: HKG-SVO-LHR (in PEY and Y class)

Fri Oct 21, 2016 5:22 pm

SQueeze wrote:


Out from the Soviet-era, one finds Burger King!

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Wouldn't that be Burger Tzar? :)

Thanks for the report, very enjoyable.
 
aozora
Posts: 72
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:07 am

Re: Comfort with Aeroflot: HKG-SVO-LHR (in PEY and Y class)

Sat Nov 05, 2016 4:45 am

Really enjoyed your report! Living in HKG, I've seen how good SU fares are to Europe, even business class, but have chosen Finnair due to their Oneworld membership.
How did you find the shell seat in premium economy? I flew JAL premium economy recently and their seat is similar. Really uncomfortable for me after a while. I guess you either love or hate those seats.

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