Saturday, October 15, 2011

Domodedovo airport, Moscow, Russia

The boarding gate for my flight TP 593 scheduled to depart at 18:30 of 2011/10/15 has been changed 2 times already, and the plane is announced as delayed ...

The zone A (international flights) is overcrowded, you need to wait for at least 10 minutes for a vacant seat in the waiting halls, both male and female toilets and shops have queues.

The last drop was that the boarding gate 13 where we finally boarded from had October 14 indicated on its announcement board as the date of today, instead of October 15.

Though they do have free Wifi from one of the Russian providers in the airport ...

Getting a shower at the Irkutsk airport

Boarding today on October 15th, 2011 for the S7 #777 flight to Moscow at the Irkutsk International Airport, we the passengers were let out of the bus in front of the A320 plane, under rain, and had to stay there for some 5 minutes, exposed to the elements. Our clothing got quite wet, while we were waiting for the ground crew to leave the plane and our colleagues walk up the staircase, in small groups, probably to avoid the staircase collapsing. Some of the ground crew staff also got pretty wet, probably to keep us company.

The airport has no boarding bridges, while the boarding staircases offer no protection from elements either.

Thus, be prepared for a free shower when it rains in Irkutsk ... 

Incompetence and disrespect at Hotel Irkutsk

Nights spent at this hotel: October 13-14 and 14-15, 2011.

Being a non-smoker, I have been assigned a smoking room, without my knowledge or consent, where I had difficulties sleeping during my first night in the city of Irkutsk. Upon my inquiry at the administrator's desk next morning, I was informed that such room category as a non-smoking room does not exist in this hotel, at all.

However, when later the same day one of my Russian friends talked to them, they apparently managed to find a non-smoking room for me - there was a card on the table promising a fine of 5000 roubles for smoking there ...

Therefore, it is a case of disrespect to the client, aggravated by incompetence of the personnel ...

Their ID: Irkutsk (former Intourist) Hotel, 44 Gagarina Boulevard, 664055 Irkutsk, Russia

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Smokers' only lobby | Siberia / Azimut hotel | Novosibirsk Russia

These guys have never heard of special smokers' areas, therefore be prepared to achieve the state of a smoked herring in the common areas of this hotel. The wide-open windows letting in cold air from the outside into the lobby and corridors equally contribute to deleterious effects on your health.

Their ID: Azimut hotel Siberia, 21 Lenin Street, Novosibirsk, 630004, Russia,

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Get desiccated in Pulkovo

The Pulkovo airport (Terminal 2), St. Petersburg, Russia, managed to elevate to the unattainable heights of sheer idiocy the simple security requirement of liquids exceeding 100 ml in volume not being allowed onto the airplane: they have no vending machines, at all, and no toilets, in the secure waiting area where you stay after you pass the security check. Quite surprisingly, they have managed to furnish a fairly large number of sitting places there. Still, the air traveller should drink and pee before entering the security check, or else be prepared to take off his/her shoes and (possibly) belts/suspenders (this was the first time I had been required to take off my suspenders, ever) more than once when going back out of the water-tight secure area for drinking or to the toilets ...

I had a similar experience in Pulkovo some 10 years ago, but had reasons to believe they managed to overcome this. Not in all of the boarding gates, obviously. Today I have been caught off-guard by the Boarding Gate 6, on the first floor, boarding to Munich very early in the morning.

They have obviously taken away my water bottle - no-one has cared to do the same on the two internal flights I had in Russia in August this year.

They do have free wifi internet in the water-tight area, thanks God!

Posted at 5 am local time.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Blinking cabin lights

On my flight 2241 (Aeroflot/Rossiya Airlines) from St. Petersburg to Novosibirsk the cabin lights were blinking for the last 30 mins of the flight when the captain announced we stared descent, with some of the lamps being completely off. It looks that there may be some problem with either power supply of power distribution in the particular A319 plane, as all of these lights came on when we were on the ground in the parking position. Blinking lights are quite annoying, in any case.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sandwiches served by TAP

Details: The sandwiches served on the Portuguese national carrier TAP (Transportes Aéreos Portugueses) flights - they are not serving any other meals on European flights, as far as I can tell - are usually made with some cheese, which melts when the sandwich is warmed before serving, gluing itself permanently to the aluminized paper bag the sandwich is packed into.

Pros: The passengers are thus getting some free entertainment in trying to extract the sandwich from the bag.

Cons: The result is frequently not exactly appetizing or hygienically safe.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Makedonia airport - Thessaloniki

Pros: Free WiFi internet connection.

Cons: Hopelessly unsatisfactory passenger information system.

Details: My flight Thessaloniki - Frankfurt (Aegean Airlines flight A3 530, April 18, 2011, departure at 15:30 local time) from the Makedonia airport (code: SKG) had its boarding gate changed. This event had never been announced on the electronic board, which continued showing Boarding Gate 13 for Frankfurt (meanwhile used to board a flight to Milan, departing at the same time as the flight to Frankfurt). They were apparently  announcing the change on the radio (which was not sufficiently loud), in Greek, and in a Greek remake of English. These announcements left uninformed myself and at least 3 more German-speaking passengers, all of us unable to understand Greek. Finally, a lady came to a nearby Gate 12, and called out "Frankfurt" in her own unaided voice, which we were able to hear and understand, and therefore got on board in time not to miss our flight ... Apparently, this was the same lady who previously was making announcements on the radio, in what she believed was proper English. She also noted that she had requested the change to be made on the electronic announcement board, but for reasons to her unknown such change had never been made.