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Experience with Aeroflot? Good, Bad and Ugly

Experience with Aeroflot? Good, Bad and Ugly

Old Jun 13, 12, 3:26 pm
  #1  
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Experience with Aeroflot? Good, Bad and Ugly

Hello everyone!

I have never flown Aeroflot before and am considering flying from New York to India later this year. Their fares seem to be extremely competitive and are in alliance with Delta - which are both a huge plus for me.

Their reviews however are somewhat mixed online and I was hoping to get some testimonials/personal experiences people had, not necessarily just the really bad or the really great ones but even if you took them and they did what any standard airlines did.

Do let me know if this information is already detailed in an existing post and I will look there.

Cheers,

TG

PS: How conducive is the Moscow airport for non Russian speakers?
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Old Jun 13, 12, 4:30 pm
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Experience with Aeroflot? Good, Bad and Ugly

I had flown the same route on Aeroflot economy a few years ago. Being a student back then, their rates did seem pretty attractive. But I was also concerned due to the (mostly) negative reviews I found online.

My personal experience wasn't bad or ugly, but not great either. Biggest con I thought was - no personal entertainment system, instead just a common TV for the cabin. So we didn't have a choice for entertainment at all. Apart from that, the service was ok, the veg meal that I had requested was decent, and there was the usual choice of drinks. Nothing major to complain about in terms of getting from point A to B.

SVO was ok for me as an English speaking person. Also, the airport itself was more functional, nothing too flashy

Hope this helps
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Old Jun 14, 12, 8:02 am
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Appreciate the quick and detailed response. If you don't mind me asking, what year did you fly with them?

I was looking at their newer Airbus reviews and seems like some of them do have the personal screens but I'm glad you mentioned that some of them don't so I can be prepared with a bunch of movies loaded on my tablet

I will also be SkyTeam Elite by the time I make my trip so I am hoping that I can spend the longer layover times at the lounges in the Moscow airport (one of my main reasons for picking Aeroflot over say Virgin etc)
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Old Jun 14, 12, 8:28 am
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All their A330 longhaul birds have personal AVOD in economy, pretty good one actually - big screen and plenty of films to choose from.

If the flight is operated by B767, then you have mainscreen video and 8 audio channels only.

Catering is decent.

As Skyteam Elite you do not have lounge access - you need to be Elite Plus for that.

I flew then twice to China last year and was very satisfied for the price paid (actually even got two long-haul op-ups to C, which made the deal even better).

If you check in on the website early enough, you might also get the bulkhead rows

Moscow terminal D is also nice, free wireless and new building.
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Old Jun 14, 12, 9:01 am
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Thanks Fims! That's very good to hear. I actually meant to say Elite Plus*. Any experience with the lounges?

Useful note about checking in early, I will certainly ensure to do that.

Why are there so many dubious reviews of the airline? I can't imagine it being any better or worse than any other airline. Is it because back in the day they used to use Russian made aircrafts that somehow led to people mistrusting them?

Just feels like there are some perception issues with Aeroflot.
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Old Jun 14, 12, 10:26 am
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Experience with Aeroflot? Good, Bad and Ugly

Sorry, I should have mentioned, my trip was 3 years ago IIRC. So my review is a bit out of date. (One of the legs was on a Russian made Ilyushin) Fims' response should definitely be more helpful for you, now that they have newer aircraft. You could be right about it being a perception issue about Aeroflot in general
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Old Jun 14, 12, 11:48 am
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I have no issues flying SU. Equipment is fine. Food is Russian and so is the service, but you pretty much get what you expect, so no surprises

You will arrive in one terminal and leave from the other in each direction, but they are connected.

As for the lounges. They are nice enough and have free WiFi, computers as well as a fair choice of food and drink. D lounge they want a copy of your BP AND your card, so make sure you have it. F lounge wants a voucher that you pick up from the Sky Team transfer desk/office.

That said, you are going to have a very very long layover (7-11hrs!) during the day as the US flights arrive in the morning and the Delhi flight is in in the evening. There is nothing good to eat in the airport (my opinion) so I usually stock up on the so-so offerings in the lounge, which is free at least. For 7 hours though, that might be a little tough.

Getting a visa and going to town for a while (take the train) will of course negate any savings on the flight.
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Old Jun 14, 12, 3:33 pm
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I recently flew Europe to Japan via SVO on SU. No complaints. It's not mind-blowingly fantastic, but nor is it hell on earth! My flight to NRT was on a A330 which looks to be like the plane to DEL. Individual screens in economy, reasonable AVOD offer (I've had a better range of choice elsewhere, but enough to while away the time), meals were OK - some uninspiring, though the ones back from NRT were great! Crew were fine, polite and helpful (though I can speak Russian, so maybe my impression would be different if I didn't). Alcoholic drinks you had to pay for, but it wasn't extortionate and at least to NRT we did get offered free wine with the meal. SVO has everything bilingual in terms of signage, transfer desk all spoke English, security a bit surly but no more or less than anywhere else really! Not used the lounges, but even outside of them there is free wifi. Cafes and bars at SVO are ridiculously expensive to be honest, so make the most of the lounge. In my experience, I've had long haul flights on Delta than were less fun than long haul flights on Aeroflot!
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Old Jun 14, 12, 11:18 pm
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I flew Novosibirsk to Vnukovo in 1989. The flight had flies on board.

The catering was poor - a cold leg of chicken (served in a brown plastic bowl with teeth marks around the edge) and a tin of fruit juice. To the cabin crew's surprise I had a can opener which did the round of the plane - so the crew presumably had fewer tins of juice to give out on the return flight. They also had to work out what to do with a plane load of opened and unwanted rancid juice.

The flight crew spent much of the flight looking at a stream of vapourising fuel leaking out of the right hand wing.
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Old Jun 15, 12, 5:41 am
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Originally Posted by targuitar View Post
Thanks Fims! That's very good to hear. I actually meant to say Elite Plus*. Any experience with the lounges?

Useful note about checking in early, I will certainly ensure to do that.

Why are there so many dubious reviews of the airline? I can't imagine it being any better or worse than any other airline. Is it because back in the day they used to use Russian made aircrafts that somehow led to people mistrusting them?

Just feels like there are some perception issues with Aeroflot.
The D lounges also have showers (one per lounge). The towels are a bit strange (very thin), but it worked and I was happy.

Food wise they have yoghurt, sandwiches with salami and cheese, different pastries (sweet and salty). And there are drinks too, of course.

The image of Aeroflot - yes, in the past they were not that attractive with old TU planes and so, but with renewed fleet and facilities, they are all good.

And in fact, in European C class, they are basically the best - with proper C seats and good food even on A320 routes (if to exclude LA's MAD-FRA on A340 and SQ's MUC-MAN on B77W and times when TK swaps some better planes on LHR routes).
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Old Jun 15, 12, 7:31 am
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Originally Posted by Mr H View Post
I flew Novosibirsk to Vnukovo in 1989. The flight had flies on board.

The catering was poor - a cold leg of chicken (served in a brown plastic bowl with teeth marks around the edge) and a tin of fruit juice. To the cabin crew's surprise I had a can opener which did the round of the plane - so the crew presumably had fewer tins of juice to give out on the return flight. They also had to work out what to do with a plane load of opened and unwanted rancid juice.

The flight crew spent much of the flight looking at a stream of vapourising fuel leaking out of the right hand wing.
1989? Not sure that's germane to the discussion.

I've done 70k on SU this year. I love 'em. I guess it really depends on what you expect and how long you've been with them. From my start in 92 I see so much improvement all the way around I feel like I'm flying in luxury every time now. You won't get Southeastern USA kind of sweetness from the on board staff but they'll be competent and professional. If you get a smile, it's probably because you really do deserve it.

Newest fleet among all European carriers or so I've heard on FT (must be true) and best Business Class product among all European carriers (heard it and experienced it myself).

I do LAX to SVO to OVB a lot and love the A330's out of LAX. AVOD is top notch and I find the catering on all flights to be above what I get on Delta domestically or internationally. As a Gold Elite I get greeted by 2 or 3 pursers on each flight and thanked for my loyalty.

Lounge access at SVO D/E is quite nice in my book. Free wifi, tons to drink, not as much to eat but hydration is more important, yes?

The new SVO is a jewel compared to old SVO/DME/VKO. It's spacious, well lit, well signed, and offers lots of dining options though all are typically airport quality. TGI Friday's is TGI Friday's but 3x as expensive as it should be. Starbucks is in the AeroExpress terminal should you have time/desire to venture outside the airport via the walkway (covered, indoor and lined with shops) from between D/E.

I'm betting you'll be pleased with this choice. Either way, report back and enjoy your trip!
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Old Jun 15, 12, 9:01 am
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All - Responses have been extremely helpful.

Mr H - That's actually a lot of what I hear from my relatives that flew Aeroflot in that decade, though sounds like they've improved

Woody125 - Appreciate the detailed response. The trip's not till December but I'll respond with my experiences once I make it. I have a ~7 hr layover to kill anyway
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Old Jun 17, 12, 10:47 pm
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Just got back from a Asia-EU round trip where I used Aeroflot for the 1st time. It is better than any US airline as far as comfort and service. The airbus 330 is very nice and the 767 is not all that bad if you have you own entertainment. Moscow airport is quirky but easy to navigate. Aeroflot's awesome fares make them tough to beat when flying to or thru Europe.
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Old Jul 2, 12, 8:13 am
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Quick update to all - Aeroflot flight officially booked. Will post a review once the trip is complete
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Old Jul 2, 12, 7:05 pm
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I flew them in business from Moscow to Beijing almost 10 years ago. I had a good experience and was impressed with the plane and the service. I can only imagine that it's even better now.
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