The flight attendants were very polite and cheerful. While demonstrating safety procedures, one flight attendant was obviously doing her best not to burst out laughing. Probably some inside joke of the crew's. When I asked for juice--twice during the flight--my request was attended to immediately. The only thing that didn't make sense to me was that we were instructed to take off our earphones during takeoff and landing, which I've never encountered on any other flight. Perhaps it was to make sure everyone heard the cabin crew's instructions?
It so happened that all of my previous flights from Moscow had left from either Sheremetyevo or Domodedovo airports. This was the first time I was leaving from Vnukovo airport. Transaero uses Vnukovo's terminal A, which is still under construction. I liked the terminal, it only took me about 10 minutes to get there from Odintsovo. I breezed through check-in and security, but the place was pretty deserted so I don't know what it's when there's more traffic. There was only one Duty-Free shop, but it was more than adequate.
When I was buying the tickets, the plane was listed as a 737-500, but I then read on the Transaero website that they had recently obtained some 737-700s, and some of them were flying my route. I had my fingers crossed, as I'd heard lots of negative reviews about the -500 model. I got my tickets off the website onetwotrip, which I found through this excellent website.
I lucked out! Docked at my gate was this beauty:
I had plenty of time to kill, so I decided to document the entire process as the plane was made ready for its flight. My plane was already in position when I got there, but I had the chance to snap this shot of another plane being led up to the terminal:
I used to think that these aircraft tractors were operated by one operator, but apparently there are two?
About two hours before the scheduled takeoff time, a 737-700 with the tail number EI-EUZ landed.
The ramp was extended to the plane and secured.
Perhaps someone can tell me, is this the human waste pump?
The fuel truck pulled up. Meanwhile, the cargo hold in the back was restocked with supplies. Luggage went into the front cargo hold.
If it weren't for one or two members of the airport staff in the background, this could've been a picture straight out of Stephen King's The Langoliers - a deserted airport.
This is how the crew is brought on and off the airfield.
Crew members from the planes docked at the terminal preferred to walk.
They stopped to chat with the next shift, which was preparing to board.
The cleaning crew arrived.
The captain boards.
Just behind him, his first officer.
The captain personally inspected the aircraft. It was very touching to see how he affectionately patted the side of the plane. Unfortunately, I didn't get a snap of that.
The cleaning is done.
The cabin looked clean and fresh. Nothing was broken or out of order. The flight took 3.5 hours, but at my height of 5' 9", I didn't feel at all cramped or tired. The cabin was divided into business class and economy class.
On each seat there was a plastic bag with a blanket, a pillow and a sleep mask.
Apologies everyone, but I didn't take many photos of the cabin.
Before lunch we got an appetizer in the form of salted peanuts and a drink.
After that, we had lunch. I was pleased to learn that Transaero serves wine even to economy class passengers.
I wasn't planning to make a trip to the restroom because I didn't want to disturb anyone sitting next to me, but luckily one of my neighbors had to get up anyway and I took advantage of the opportunity. Though this was the second half of the flight, everything was perfectly clean.
I didn't see any winglets on this Next Generation Boeing.
A video of the landing in Ben Gurion Airport:
A peculiarity of Ben Gurion airport is that you always travel downwards. The arrivals area is located down the stairs from the boarding gate, while the check-in area is located upstairs from the boarding gate. So passengers getting off a plane have to walk downstairs to get to customs, and passengers getting on a plane have to walk downstairs from the check-in area and the security checkpoint. Interesting.
I apologize for any technical mistakes I made in my description. I'm an amateur when it comes to aviation -- though I do enjoy using it!
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