HKG (Hong Kong) to DME (Moscow), DME (Moscow) to LHR (London). This is one of the standard routes from Asia to Europe provided by Aeroflot, a Russian airline. This can be a very long flight — 13 hours, not including the layover.
I recently took this flight, which was a derivation to my usual carrier, and was pleasantly surprised: the flight was on time, the transfer was quick (as well as punctual), and the entertainment system was better than in a couple of the flights I’ve recently taken with some of their competitors. This is not a rave, nor does it reflect a heightened bar, but in terms of getting from A to Z at a reasonable price and with a no-frills/no dramas experience, Aeroflot delivers.
Aeorflot is actually one of the world’s oldest airlines, dating back to 1923 when plans were approved for the expansion of the Red Air Fleet and regular flights commenced. Aeroflot became the national airline during the Soviet era, carrying millions of passengers over a large domestic route. The post-Soviet era saw Aeroflot become semi-privatized, while the new millennium has seen the company invest in an image overhaul and modernization efforts. The aircraft are now primarily Western-built jets, including air busses, and have modern entertainment systems with personal monitors that contain 160 foreign and domestic recently releases, including movies, TV series, news, sports, music and games.
- Entertainment system
- Reasonably-sized seats
- Modern, clean cabin
- Cost efficient
- Transfers that are easily navigated
- Efficient service
- Meals leave a lot to be desired, consider bringing your own
- The booze cart supply dwindles very rapidly, so be quick
- No easy smiles from airline crew, there is no advertisement about friendly skies here
- Some transfers require a bus service, so bring a scarf or coat with you
There were no bells and whistles during the flight or in the airport in Moscow, but I feel like that’s generally true recently even when you pay more for a flight with one of the more popular international airlines unless you’re in business or first classes – especially if you get transferred to a partner airline at the last minute. And, they seem committed to moving forward into the future. All in all, it Aeroflot does what it says on the tin.
Aeroflot Rating (one out of five whistles, five being the best): 3.5 Whistles
Other Rated Airlines:
Hong Kong Airlines
As a career sommelier, Kimberley Drake has overseen some of the finest wine programs and operations in America and Asia. Her accomplishments range from working as a sommelier at Jean Georges in NYC to opening Hong Kong’s Café Gray Deluxe as their chef sommelier.
Have a good wine or travel story? Contact Kimberley at Kimberley@NewsWhistle.com.