Review: Aeroflot Business Class 777-300ER Los Angeles To Moscow

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Our flight from Los Angeles to Moscow was departing shortly before 5PM, so we arrived at the airport at around 3PM. I was very pleasantly surprised to find a deserted Tom Bradley International Terminal. The terminal is usually packed around noon and then packed again late at night, so I was happy to be checked in and through security within about 10 minutes, which has to be a new record for departing that terminal.

Aeroflot uses the Korean Air Lounge at LAX. I’ve reviewed that lounge before, so won’t be doing so again with this report, other than to say that I’m not a fan of it. It’s typically way overcrowded and has a limited food selection, especially compared to the Star Alliance Lounge and oneworld Lounge at LAX. It’s my second least favorite lounge in the entire terminal.

We were departing from gate 130, which was just a short walk from the center of the terminal. As we arrived the plane was still being catered, though the gate area was quickly filling up.

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Aeroflot 777-300ER LAX Airport

Boarding was scheduled to begin at 4:15PM, though was delayed slightly, and actually began at 4:25PM.

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Aeroflot departure gate LAX

Upon presenting my boarding pass and passport I was excited for my first Aeroflot experience!

Aeroflot 107
Los Angeles (LAX) – Moscow (SVO)
Tuesday, October 25
Depart: 4:55PM
Arrive: 2:45PM (+1 day)
Duration: 11hr50min
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Seat: 5C (Business Class)

We boarded through door L2, and upon presenting our boarding passes were directed left into the business class cabin. Aeroflot’s 777-300ER business class cabin consists of a total of 30 seats, spread across five rows in a 2-2-2 configuration.

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Aeroflot 777 business class cabin

Aeroflot has standard B/E Aerospace Diamond seats in business classs, the same you’ll find on Aeromexico, Air China, Saudia, United, etc. These are far from my favorite business class seats out there, though they’re not bad either.

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Aeroflot 777 business class cabin

More or less all the seats in this configuration are identical. The advantage of sitting in the center section is that you have direct aisle access from both seats.

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Aeroflot 777 business class seats

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Aeroflot 777 business class seats

In our case we selected seats 5A & 5C, which were the window and aisle seats in the last row on the left. It’s worth noting that there’s a missing window in row five — while there’s one exactly where your face would be in the window seat, the window that would naturally be in front of it is missing.

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Aeroflot 777 business class, seats 5A & 5C

These seats have personal televisions mounted to the seats in front of them, as well as small foot cubbies and storage “racks.”

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Aeroflot 777 business class, seats 5A & 5C

There’s perhaps marginally more room for your feet if you’re in the window seat, as the foot space opens up to the fuselage.

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Aeroflot business class legroom in window seat

It’s a little bit tighter if you’re in the aisle seat.

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Aeroflot business class legroom in aisle seat

Regardless, personally I really struggle with fitting my feet in the cubbies, so I usually just curl up in this seat and angle my feet.

The seat controls were located on the center armrest, and were easy to use.

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Aeroflot business class seat controls

Underneath the center armest were two power adapters.

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Aeroflot business class power outlets

The entertainment controller could be removed from the center section below the seat, and was the type where you could select what you wanted to watch without even using the entertainment screen.

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Aeroflot business class entertainment controls

The tray table could also be removed from the center armrest, and folded over.

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Aeroflot business class tray table

This type of seat also has a storage compartment on the back corner of the seat, which is also where the headphones and amenity kit were located.

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Aeroflot business class seat storage

In the center section in front of the seats were two small storage compartments, as well as USB outlets.

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Aeroflot business class seat storage

Already waiting at my seat on boarding was a pillow, blanket, and a mattress sheet. The pillow was nice and thick, as was the blanket, though I was a bit confused by the mattress sheet. Perhaps it was intended more in terms of having a clean surface on which to sleep, since it didn’t add much padding? I’m not sure.

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Aeroflot business class pillow & blanket

There were also headphones waiting at my seat, which were decent quality, though I still used my own, as usual.

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Aeroflot business class headphones

The amenity kit was Salvatore Ferragamo branded, and was pretty nice. It featured slipper socks of sorts, eyeshades, a pen, toothpaste and a toothbrush, a shoehorn, a comb, lip balm, and body lotion.

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Aeroflot business class Salvatore Ferragamo amenity kits

Moments after settling in, one of the absolutely lovely flight attendants, Liubov, came by our seat to offer us drinks. The choice was between water, sparkling wine, and orange juice. We both had sparkling wine, and I loved the Aeroflot-branded glassware. As we were handed our drinks the flight attendant said “enjoy your flight.”

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Aeroflot business class pre-departure champagne

Moments later we were offered hot towels.

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Aeroflot business class pre-departure hot towel

I’m not sure if I was more impressed by the friendliness or apperance of the flight attendants. I’m not talking about them being attractive (though they were), but rather how immaculately put together they looked. Aeroflot must have the sharpest uniforms I’ve ever seen, as it felt like flying in a different era. The male flight attendants even had hats during boarding, similar to what you’d usually see pilots wearing.

At 4:55PM, right at departure time, the captain came on the PA to add his welcome aboard. He advised us of our 11hr25min flight, and expected it to be mostly smooth. He finished the announcement by saying “I assure you that you will enjoy your flight with Aeroflot.”

Just as the pilot made the announcement the jet bridge was also pulled, at which point the purser made her welcome aboard announcement. I was so impressed that the purser stood facing the cabin while she made the announcement, and she knew the entire announcement in both languages from memory. By departure time, 22 of the 30 business class seats were taken (though it seemed to me like we were among the few non-Russian passengers).

At that point the safety video screened, which can really only be described as seductive. Here it is (though oddly the uniforms shown in the video aren’t the ones worn by flight attendants):

Once the safety video finished we were still parked at the gate, and it became clear that we were waiting for the Singapore 777 next to us to push back first.

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Awaiting pushback at LAX

At this point the flight attendants distributed the menus for the flight.

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Aeroflot business class menu & wine list

Finally at 5:20PM we began our pushback, shortly after the 777 next to us pushed back.

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Singapore Airlines 777 pushing back LAX

A few minutes later we began our taxi, which was quick. We turned left to taxi towards the north side of the airport, and then turned right to taxi towards runway 24L.

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Taxiing LAX

By 5:30PM we were cleared for takeoff on runway 24L, as there was no plane ahead of us. Our takeoff roll was long, and our initial climb out was gradual.

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Taking off runway 24L LAX

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View after takeoff from LAX

The views on departure were gorgeous, though at times difficult to photograph, given the glare from the setting sun.

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Climbing out over the Pacific

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Sun setting over the Pacific

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Climbing out over California

As we climbed out I browsed the entertainment system, which was a bit problematic. While the selection itself was decent, I found the system to be highly unresponsive, and even glitchy. It’s almost as if there was some big software update for the system that they didn’t install.

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Aeroflot entertainment selection

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Aeroflot entertainment selection

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Aeroflot entertainment selection

As you can see below, there were some real issues with the screen, and even resetting the system didn’t solve those problems.

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Aeroflot entertainment selection

So in the end I decided just to watch the airshow for most of the flight.

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Airshow enroute to Moscow

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Airshow enroute to Moscow

Aeroflot has wifi on their 777s, which is cool in theory. I say “in theory” because the system is powered by OnAir, which is notoriously overpriced.

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Aeroflot wifi offerings

Aeroflot’s wifi in particular must be one of the most expensive versions of OnAir I’ve seen. 30MB of data costs $15, and then it’s 10 cents per 100KB of data over that. After Singapore Airlines’ A380 wifi, it’s one of the priciest I’ve seen. So as much as I value wifi as an amenity, at that pricing I didn’t use it.

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Aeroflot wifi pricing

Finally about 25 minutes after takeoff the seatbelt sign was turned off, which was a surprisingly long wait for a non-US airline.

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Aeroflot business class cabin after takeoff

At this point the crew came through the cabin to take dinner others.

The dinner menu read as follows:

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And the wine list read as follows:

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I was impressed by how meal orders were taken. The flight attendant came by our seat and kneeled, and said “My name is Liubov and I will take care of you today. How may I address you during the flight?” Personally I like when flight attendants do that, as I’d much rather be called “Ben” than by my last name. Sure enough, at almost every interaction for the rest of the flight she addressed me by name.

We placed our orders, though Liubov returned a few minutes later to apologize that they were out of fish, and asked if there was anything else I wouldn’t mind having instead.

One hour after takeoff hot towels were distributed (service was incredible, but if I had one criticism it would be that it took them too long to start the initial service… perhaps that was because the seatbelt sign was turned off only 25 minutes after takeoff).

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Aeroflot business class warm towel

75 minutes after takeoff drinks were served, along with canapés. I ordered a glass of champagne, which in this case was Ayala. I recognized that champagne, because I had received it as a welcome amenity at the Park Hyatt Vienna last year. I was impressed that whenever they served wine they’d bring an empty glass and the bottle to the seat, and then pour it in front of the passenger. Very classy.

In addition to drinks we were offered turkey roulade and boursin cheese on toast as a canape.

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Aeroflot business class dinner — champagne, turkey roulade, and boursin cheese

15 minutes later tables were set. This was done individually at each seat. They brought out everything they needed to set a table on a tray, and then placed it on a tablecloth. At no point was a cart rolled down the aisle. There aren’t many airlines that have that kind of service in business class.

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Aeroflot business class dinner appetizer

I also loved that they had actual salt & pepper shakers, proper butter in a ramekin, toothpicks, etc.

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Aeroflot business class dinner salt & pepper shakers

The appetizer consisted of quail breast and smoked duck. While that’s not my favorite food, it was good for what it was.

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Aeroflot business class dinner appetizer — quail breast and smoked duck

I was also offered a selection of bread from the breadbasket.

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Aeroflot business class dinner bread selection

Once the appetizer was cleared the salad was brought out. In this case it was a delicious mozzarella and sundried tomato salad. Yum yum yum.

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Aeroflot business class dinner salad — mozzarella and sundried tomato salad

After that we were served green pea soup with croutons, which was also very good. It was flavorful without being overpowering, and was the perfect temperature.

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Aeroflot business class dinner soup — green pea soup with croutons

For the main course I ended up ordering the grilled beef fillet. While it wasn’t my first choice, it was still very good for beef on a plane. I was initially concerned about the rosemary demiglace, but it tasted better than it looked.

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Aeroflot business class dinner main course — grilled beef fillet

Tiffany enjoyed her chicken dish as well.

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Aeroflot business class dinner main course — herb roasted chicken breast

Once main courses were cleared the desserts were brought out. I ordered the chocolate mousse gateau, which was gone-with-the-wind fabulous.

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Aeroflot business class dessert — chocolate mousse gateau

Meanwhile Tiffany had the vanilla ice cream with chocolate shavings and mango sauce.

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Aeroflot business class dessert — vanilla ice cream with chocolate shavings and mango sauce

I finished off the meal with a coffee, which was served with some chocolate in Aeroflot packaging.

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Aeroflot business class coffee with chocolates

We were also offered bottled water.

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Aeroflot business class bottled water

The view throughout dinner was beautiful, as we watched the sun slowly set (given that we were flying more north than east due to our polar routing).

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Sunset enroute to Moscow

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Airshow enroute to Moscow

I have nothing but great things to say about the service throughout the flight. The crew was incredible. They were charming, engaging, attentive, and had an eye for detail. I would have never expected service to be so good on Aeroflot.

After dinner I quickly headed to the lavatory, which is one of my other complaints about Aeroflot’s 777 business class. There’s only one lavatory in front of the business class cabin, which really isn’t enough for 30 seats. In theory there’s also a single lavatory behind business class, but in reality it’s reserved for passengers in premium economy. The lavatory was pretty basic, though it did have proper towels, which you don’t often see in business class.

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Aeroflot business class lavatory

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Aeroflot business class lavatory amenities

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Aeroflot business class lavatory amenities

Once back at my seat I saw that they had placed earplugs at each seat.

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Aeroflot business class earplugs

I reclined my seat and tried to get some shut eye. While this isn’t my favorite business class hard product, I slept extremely well for nearly six hours, waking up just over three hours out of Moscow, as we were passing Greenland.

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Airshow enroute to Moscow

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Airshow enroute to Moscow

Within moments of waking up a flight attendant appeared at my seat with a snack basket, including things like pretzels and a fruit bar. She also said “maybe I could get you a coffee?” I was so impressed by how proactive the crew was.

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Aeroflot business class snacks

I worked for a bit, and then 30 minutes later the flight attendant appeared and said “maybe you’d like the pre-landing snack, or a cheese plate?” I was a bit confused by the whole pre-landing snack, though for the time being I asked for a cheese plate, which was very good.

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Aeroflot business class snack — cheese plate

But I figured I might as well finish the meal since my tray had already been set, so ordered the whole thing.

The menu read as follows:

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It’s a bit odd that Aeroflot doesn’t serve breakfast before landing on this flight. I guess that makes sense based on local time in Moscow, though based on your body clock and that you’re waking up from a night of sleep, it’s certainly a bit odd.

But the pre-landing meal, which was a combination of several different things, was excellent.

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Aeroflot business class snack — stuffed crepe, turkey sandwich, chocolate cake

There was a plate with a turkey sandwich, a salmon tartare crepe, chocolate cake, etc.

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Aeroflot business class snack

Then there was a separate bowl with chicken tangine.

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Aeroflot business class snack — chicken tangine

It was very good, and I continued to be impressed by how proactive the crew was. They watched carefully to see when people were waking up, so rather than turning all the lights on at once and doing a single service, they offered the pre-landing snack to passengers at their own pace.

I spent the next hour or so getting caught up on work, until about 40 minutes out when the captain announced that we’d shortly be initiating our descent.

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Airshow enroute to Moscow

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Airshow enroute to Moscow

Minutes later Svetlana, the purser, came through the cabin to individually thank each passenger for flying Aeroflot, and she offered everyone a small parting gift of tea. I was impressed that she didn’t just thank people for flying Aeroflot, but actually asked what they thought of the experience — “thank you so much for flying with Aeroflot today, did you enjoy this flight?”

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Aeroflot business class pre-landing gift

At 2:35PM Moscow time the captain came on the PA to provide us with updated information, at which point he turned on the seatbelt sign (it had been a smooth flight throughout).

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View approaching Moscow

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View approaching Moscow

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View on final approach into Moscow Airport

Our descent was smooth, and at 3PM we had a gorgeously smooth touchdown at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport.

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View on final approach into Moscow Airport

This was my first time flying into SVO Airport (I had flown into DME Airport), so naturally my eyes were glued out the window, as the traffic was fascinating.

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Cargo 747s in Moscow

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Crossing runway in Moscow

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Planes parked at Moscow Airport

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Aeroflot 777 Moscow Airport

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Aeroflot planes at Moscow Airport

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SVO Airport terminal

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Planes parked at terminal at SVO

We finally pulled into our arrival gate at 3:10PM, and from there cleared transit security and headed to the lounge for our layover, before continuing to Belgrade.

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Aeroflot 777 upon arrival in Moscow

Aeroflot business class bottom line

Before flying Aeroflot my assumption was that they wouldn’t be good. Boy, was I wrong. The service was flawless, and when I initially reported back on this, every single commenter who had flown Aeroflot’s business class claimed they had a similar experience, so this seems to be the norm and not the exception.

The food was excellent as well, in terms of the quality, quantity, and how everything was presented. There were no trays or carts, bottles were brought out when champagne was served, and the pace was incredibly personalized.

Aeroflot’s business class hard product is solid, though not my favorite. I don’t love these types of seats, but they’re among my favorite forward facing fully flat seats.

I appreciate that Aeroflot has wifi, though do wish it was more reasonably priced. My entertainment was glitchy, though I’m not sure if that was due to issues with my specific seat or even the specific plane, or if it’s a widespread problem.

Regardless, Aeroflot business class was terrific, and greatly exceeded my expectations. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them, and given their very reasonable business class fares, would fly them again in a heartbeat.

Enjoy this review? Check out hundreds of other reports on airlines, hotels, and airport lounges worldwide!

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. Aeroflot has a winter and a summer uniform, thats why the uniform is different, fly more often with them and you know it 😉

  2. Well shit…often when you search transatlantic flights under SkyTeam they’re the cheapest, but I’ve always avoided. Won’t do so from now on.

  3. I would have thought that the JAL/Oman business class and Singapore business class seats, all forward facing, would be preferred. I’m guessing you mean among those without aisle access at every seat?

  4. The uniform depends on the season. During fall and winter, you’ll see them wearing dark uniforms.
    I’m not sure when they change uniforms, but one handy date could be at the switch from summer to winter schedule.

  5. My grandparents flew Aeroflot back in 90s when they were still operating Soviet planes and hated it. I sent the 10 pictures post and they thought it was an ad. Another item of concern would be how Premium and Economy are

  6. I am glad that you enjoyed Aeroflot. As an American who lives and works in the Far East of Russia, I fly them very regularly. I had the same low expectations the first time I flew with them, but now I would prefer to fly Aeroflot over any U.S. carrier. I have yet to have a bad experience with them, even after more than 100 segments flown.

  7. @ Hugh B: Aeroflot’s Premium economy and economy are quite decent. I have flown in all 3 classes. The negative point is that they only offer premium economy on their 777’s. But, as far as catering, service and entertainment, the product is fine. In premium economy they even serve meals from the business class menu.

  8. Hi Ben (&Tiffany), I am glad that you finally experienced the service from Aeroflot. I already knew that you will most probably not be dissapointed as from my experience flying with them (the last 2 years ago) every time it was near perfection with (surprisingly) friendly and efficient flight attendants.
    I noticed that they have even notched up their inflight service (both soft and hard products). Makes me want to fly with them again (though these days because I credit to DL SM program, I get less medallion miles, so I try and avoid them and stick with the Tier 1 ST members).
    Their flights within Europe in Business is also an experience by itself – great service from both soft and hard product.

  9. Great trip report, but I am curious about something you wrote:

    “15 minutes later tables were set. This was done individually at each seat. They brought out everything they needed to set a table on a tray, and then placed it on a tablecloth. At no point was a cart rolled down the aisle. There aren’t many airlines that have that kind of service in business class.”

    How does whether they brought the stuff from the galley or took it off a cart reflect a service level? Putting it another way: If I saw one FA setting tables from a cart on one aisle, and one FA walking back and forth from the galley to set tables on the other aisle, what makes the service on one aisle superior to the other? The fact that the FA had to walk more? Less efficient? It was more work?

    Same as if they served me a plate off of a cart or from the galley. How does one reflect higher service than the other? Why do I care how many steps it took to get me the food? Just curious.

  10. I’ve always heard good things about Аэрофло́т, at least from the 2000s onward. I’m not surprised at all.

    @Mark F.: I could make the same argument for serving food in aluminium tins covered in foil. After all, they’ve given you the same quality food, who cares about how much more/less efficient it is than actually plating it on china. So.. what’s the difference? The experience. In a good restaurant you’re not going to have the waitress bringing your food to the table in a trolley, unless you’re at Lawry’s where such a thing is tradition and expected.

    It’s similar to Motel 6 vs. Mandarin Oriental. Both accomplish the same basic function of providing overnight accommodation. Both have beds, both have bathrooms with tubs, sinks, and toilets. The difference is the experience, and that’s what you pay the extra $ (or points) for. For some people, the difference in experience isn’t worth the price difference. For others, it’s a bargain.

  11. Glad they have good service, and the quality of the food is good, too. The English part of their menu needs a good edit, though. For example, I always thought it was tagine, not tangine. Or are both acceptable?

  12. very nice Review.
    Thanks for the Report. there is a small typo – its called chicken tagine – not chicken tangine.

  13. Fantastic product!

    Did you happen to notice how many crew they had working in Business Class? I imagine they must have a greater crew:passenger ratio than most of the european/US carriers do to offer a no-cart service.

    I think this is where many of the other legacy carriers fail – they just cannot further enhance their service as this would require extra crew which means more ££$$

  14. For example when you fly BA on a 777-200 they only have four crew for 48 Business Class passengers and one of those four is the Chief Purser whom often seems to be called away to deal with other issues. When I flew Qatar in Business they had EIGHT cabin crew dedicated to 42 Business Class passengers. I guess labour is much cheaper in Qatar that in the UK (or US).

  15. @AlexS: Thanks for the response. To be fair though, last time I was in KLM biz class, they brought me a nice bowl of stew in a china dish and set it down. They brought it from a cart that was in the middle of the Biz Class section in the front of a 747 Combi instead of from the galley. I don’t think that is as big of a difference as that between Motel 6 and the Mandarin, but YMMV.

  16. @Mark F. A practical consideration is that the cart doesn’t block the aisle, so if someone needs to get up, they have that ability. The carts are also noisy. They are often not fully stocked, so if someone has a slightly unique drink request, or they run out of water, the attendant has to go back to the galley anyway. But tray service also gives the feel of individualized service, rather than cafeteria-style, 30 meals in a stack, which is probably why people choose to fly business class rather than coach in the first place.

  17. Well, that may be the world’s first erotic safety video. I’m still cooling off!

    They really have come a long way from what were likely Soviet military uniforms and shots of cheap vodka.

  18. Indeed, we had excellent service and decent seats in Business Class on Aeroflot LAX-SVO, even when they were angled flat. Service and food quality were very good, and IFE was also surprisingly good…and looks like it’s gotten only better from there.

    That being said, my experience also has United and American premium service and food greatly improving on international long haul flights. United soon will introduce its fabulous Polaris experience. And American has been retrofitting its seating, though they will continue to offer different Business Class seat types across the fleet. Those who claim that United and American are so far behind in service haven’t flown United or American recently in premium classes. They’ve been so good, I’ve not flown a single Delta international long haul flight now in over a year–a first for me.

  19. Not really a big fan of Aeroflot. Just took them on their A330 Moscow to Tel Aviv flight. The food was just horrible. The service was good I guess, they were attentive. Also for some reason on my 4 hour flight I was given an orange bag with Aeroflot’s logo on it. Kind of sucked but that’s my impression.
    Regardless, Moscow’s airport is just plain horrible. I wouldn’t pass there again.

    More than welcome to download my app which lets you book award travel here:
    itunes.apple.com/il/app/vol-the-travel-app/id1080190529?mt=8
    (Vol-Travel.com is the official website)
    I’m letting it out for you guys to try it out as we are trying to market it in the US.
    First & last comment for me regarding my app as I am waiting for OMAT to write me about what he thinks about it.

    Doing Etihad AUH-LHR F tomorrow on their A380 if anyone’s on board that one departing Monday 220am

  20. nice report, makes me want to give aeroflot a try. war i find weird is Cathay serving Breakfast on their CX 846 @ 9:30 pm before final approach into JFK. I just arrived back home yesterday and breakfast is not what i wanted when landing @ 10:30 pm. Cathay just don’t get it.

  21. I wouldn’t mind being the little blonde boy who ran his toy car up the leg of the sexy flight attendant. Damn. I’m getting all hot thinking of those Russian babes without their uniforms on … you know they’re wearing nice lace lingerie.

  22. …..my comments didn’t post. Lol: I hate that editing is not available

    Of course ….. I never have watched porn 🙂

  23. Huge fan of Aeroflot, even for economy. The first time I flew with them, the first thing I did when I got to the hotel was to search youtube for that unreasonably arousing flight safety video, it really is special.

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