Rowdy Russian Flight

December 11, 2009

in Airplane Stories

Years ago on a flight from Chicago to Moscow, I flew the Russian airline in an attempt for not only cost savings, but to have the ill-thought thorough “authenticity” of my Russian experience. Over the next 12 hours I settled in at the back of the plane to try to get some sleep to try to dwindle down the time sitting in cramped quarters with sweaty non-deodorant wearing Europeans.

Apparently, while all if not most other airlines are now smoke-free, this was a “Smoke em if you got em” flight and most passengers had bought the duty-free cartons at the airport. If the smoke, vodka drinking, drunken sex by strangers (in the seat directly in front of me), vomiting, loud talking and dirty diapers weren’t enough to make this a flight from hell, then the near crash landing with fire engines and ambulances was sure to make this a memorable flight. Apparently Aeroflot Airlines runs with bald tires so every successful landing is a miracle – which explains why everyone was drunk and clapped like we had just survived a near death experience.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Kad December 15, 2009 at 4:06 pm

LOL!!! Sounds like you got the full Russian experience my friend.

I didn't really like your comment about non-deordorant-wearing Europeans though. My experience has introduced me to many non-Europeans (read: Americans) who had plenty of time to slap on some smell-nice and didn't seem to know that everyone around them was being bathed in their stench.


Mick December 16, 2009 at 2:40 am

yeah, but for smells, europeans take the cake, dude.


Kad December 16, 2009 at 3:44 am

Not sure about that Mick.

BO is one smell. That sour, stale smell that exists because someone can't physically reach around to wipe their own ass is altogether something different. After an 8-10 hour flight, it's acceptable that we aren't all going to be fresh smelling, but when someone brings that shit-smell, that pre-stunk-up smell, as though the stench of stale milk spilled all over the double-wide trailer carpet followed them…..The smell of blankets and sheets not cleaned since Ronnie was President…..It's really an epic staleness that pervades the air around it with pathogens.

It is disgusting, and far more than just BO.

Sorry, there are indeed classes of smell. I will grant you that everyone has access to smell-right stuff, even if it's just the samples at the hotel, and everyone should know how to use them. A surprisingly large number of people don't know how badly they stink. At least we can agree on that.


cg December 22, 2009 at 2:43 pm

Reminds me of my one and only Aeroflot flight (Moscow to St. Petersburg). End of December landing with some ice patches. The plane first hit with a thud and all the plastic window coverings slammed shut. The plane's brakes came on and empty seats in front of us flapped forward. The plane skidded hither and yon and we stopped in a small mountain of snow courtesy of a snow plow. To this day that Aeroflot flight is referred to as the Acrobat Flight.


ps December 23, 2009 at 7:47 am

Yeah, tender memories of flying Russian style…. the best is when they passed the ban on carrying liquids… In Berlin they were guzzling their purchases before security….then on to the plane….maybe an old Ilyushin 88 with the rivets on the skin and the porthole windows….those were the days….


Michael February 1, 2010 at 9:54 am


Guess those stories were back in the 90s.. as now Aeroflot has the youngest fleet in Europe (check it on
I've been flying with them since 2005, and ever they joined skyteam they are progressing.. recently they launched their own new terminal in Moscow in order to get rid of the old terminal reputation that was operated by another company.

Never saw drunk or whatever within my weekly flights from Heathrow to Moscow..

Bottomline, do recommend them as a successfully rebranded company..

BTW.. They phased out the last Russian made planes (27 of them) last december..
<a href="http://” target=”_blank”>http:// <a href="…” target=”_blank”>


Kad February 1, 2010 at 3:27 pm

That's a good story Michael. Let's see how well they follow maintenance plans for those jets…Russia seems to be creaking toward a modern business culture, where skills-based employment, rather than nepotism, is the norm.


cg February 1, 2010 at 10:38 am

The Aeroflot flight, aka the Acrobat Flight, I endured from Moscow to St. Petersburg was in December 2004. I can't comment on what kind of service Aeroflot provided in the 1990's, but I will never forget the Aeroflot Acrobat Flight from about 5 years ago.


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