My 7 Favorite Airlines I Flew For The First Time In 2016


One of my big focuses of 2016 was reviewing as many new airlines as possible. Given that I’ve flown most of the world’s best first class products, this came primarily in the form of trying more business class products. Furthermore, with so many airlines having devalued their award charts, often the sweet spot for award redemptions is shifting from first class to business class.

At first I figured I’d miss products like Cathay Pacific first class, Emirates first class, Lufthansa first class, etc., which almost began to feel like second homes.

However, I’ve found it so enjoyable to try new airlines. In many ways, airlines reflect the cultures of their respective homes, so even if you’re not visiting a country, flying a country’s airline gives you a good taste of that destination. I’ve enjoyed flying new airlines so much, and my goal for 2017 is to review even more new airlines than I did this year.

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Review: Aeroflot Business Class 737 Moscow To Belgrade


I was immediately impressed upon boarding to find a “proper” business class cabin. Business class on a vast majority of airlines operating within Europe is simply economy with a blocked middle seat, so this was a huge upgrade over that.

Aeroflot’s 737s have a total of 20 seats, spread across five rows in a 2-2 configuration.

We reserved seats 5A & 5C, located in the last row on the left side of the plane.

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Review: Aeroflot Lounge Moscow Airport


We arrived from Los Angeles at around 3:10PM, and found ourselves in a long hallway. At the end of the hall you could either turn left towards immigration or right towards international transfers. Since we were connecting to Serbia, we turned right.

At the end of the hall was an immigration officer who checked our passports and confirmed our onwards boarding passes, and after a stamp we were let through. Then there was a quick security checkpoint, where there was no queue.

Less than 10 minutes after being off the plane we found ourselves in the departures hall, so the process was painless, and significantly easier than a transfer at any other major European airport.

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


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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Introduction: Transatlantic Insanity


My biggest blog goal for the year has been to review as many new premium cabin airline products as possible. While I started off the year with what I thought was an aspirational list at the time, I’ve found reviewing new airlines to be so fun that I ended up expanding it significantly.

Earlier in the year I managed to review a lot of mainstream business class products for the first time, though all along there have been some seemingly random airlines on the list (at least from a US perspective) that I’ve wanted to try.

Tiffany and I hadn’t yet taken a big trip together this year, so since we both love flying and visiting random places, we crafted an itinerary that would allow us to try four transatlantic products over the course of about 10 days.

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Aeroflot 737 Business Class In 10 Pictures


As I wrote about yesterday, my Aeroflot flight from Los Angeles to Moscow was such a pleasant surprise. The flight attendants were friendly and the food was delicious. I came in with very low expectations, and left with a very favorable impression.

From there it was time to connect from Moscow to Belgrade, a 2hr30min flight operated by one of Aeroflot’s 737s.

Let me start by saying that generally intra-Europe business class is my least favorite premium cabin product in the world. On airlines like Air France, British Airways, Lufthansa, etc., business class within Europe is simply an economy seat with a blocked middle seat and better food and service.

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Aeroflot 777 Business Class In 10 Pictures


Good morning from Moscow! Tiffany and I have spent the past 12 hours in Aeroflot’s 777 business class, flying between Los Angeles and Moscow. As usual I’ll share my initial impressions below, though expect a much more detailed trip report soon.

I was so excited about this flight for many reasons. For one, there’s a lot of conflicting information out there about Aeroflot. When I told people I was flying Aeroflot, the reaction was almost universally “good luck” or “ew, why?”

But at the same time the airline has a lot going for them. Aeroflot has one of the youngest fleet in the world, they’re a Skytrax 4-star airline, and I had read a couple of good reviews about them from the past couple of years.

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BOOKED: Aeroflot, Air Serbia, AZAL Azerbaijan, And Ukraine!


My obsession this year has been reviewing new airlines, and it’s something I’ve found to be indescribably enjoyable. We all have weird hobbies, and trying new airlines has become my latest obsession.

I’ve reviewed a lot of new airlines so far this year, and on Sunday shared the next 13 airlines I want to review.

Well, Tiffany and I have been working on planning a trip, and I’m happy to report that we’ve now ticketed one that will check four of those airlines off the list.

Are you ready to hear about some craziness? To start, here’s the trip on a map:

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Aeroflot Awards Now Bookable On


A couple of weeks back Delta announced some positive changes to the SkyMiles program, including that they’ve added more partner airlines to their online award search tool. This is great news, given how challenging it can be to ticket SkyMiles awards on partner airlines by phone. And this comes after Delta added a functional award calendar late last year, which has been awesome.

But adding partner award availability online has actually been a process over the past several months:

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