Last year, I got to fly with several Russian airlines that were new to me. This one is going to hopefully be the first of several reviews. In this one, I flew with S7 Airlines from Moscow (Domodedovo Airport
) to Krasnoyarsk.
The flight took place in September 2012. Flight number S7-073. Departure from Domodedovo was at 10:15 AM, with arrival in Krasnoyarsk at 6:50 PM, local time.
1. Departure from Domodedovo
The fastest way to get to Domodedovo Airport is the Aeroexpress train, which leaves from Paveletsky station every 30 minutes.
The train was modern and comfortable. If it wasn't for the rather expensive fare, this would be the best way to get to the Moscow airports.
The S7 Airlines check-in stands were located in the right wing of the terminal (as seen from the front of the terminal). Total walking time from the Aeroexpress platform to the stands was about 2 minutes.
Next came the security checkpoint and the long trek to the gate.
In the past 10 years, Domodedovo has been undergoing expansion and renovation pretty much continuously. So it's not surprising at all to see parts of the terminal concealed by scaffolding.
Departure was right on schedule. Boarding in progress:
S7 planes have their own parking area on the apron, to the right of the terminal. There were no other companies in this area, only the bright green beauties of the S7 fleet.
2. Boeing 737-800
The daytime flights from Moscow to Krasnoyarsk, described in this review, take place aboard Boeing 737-800s belonging to the Globus airline - a daughter company that operates flights to Siberia. The division is purely administrative, as Globus doesn't have a company logo or livery of its own, and its planes look like the planes of its parent company in every respect.
The passenger cabin is separated by a divider into business and economy class. All of the seats had dark brown leather upholstery.
Business class seats (there were 8 of them in total, in two rows of 4 seats):
Economy class seats:
The seat spacing was a very pleasant surprise. There was more than enough leg room.
The divider at the end of the cabin had an interesting take on the S7 logo:
In terms of everything else, the plane's interior was typical of late-1990s, early-2000s Boeing-737s. The plane isn't new, and shows some honest wear. However, it is well kept and I was left with an overall positive impression.
3. In-flight Service
S7 Airlines provides all the standard services during flights, but without any sort of frills.
Newspapers were distributed before takeoff (Rossiyskaya Gazeta was the only option). There were also blankets available on request. Each seat pocket contained a flight magazine, already well-worn.
I liked the safety card. It was very colorful, with the diagrams done in a cartoony style that's very atypical for Russian airlines who like such things to be formal.
At some point, the plane had been equipped with an entertainment system. On my flight, this was no longer hooked up.
The meals were pretty typical. They started us off with drinksЕ
Е followed by hot food. It was a choice of chicken and rice, or fish and vegetables, accompanied by the usual salad, bread, dessert, etc.
4. In-flight Advertising
What really surprised me on this S7 Airlines flight was the active advertising onboard the plane. The company obviously has no qualms about making an extra buck here and there. I've never seen anything like it on any other Russian airline. Ads for things as different as Tonus juice, the Zambezi animated movie, Jubilee cookies and so on could be found in all sorts of unlikely places: on elbow rests, in the flight magazine, on cups and on meal boxes.
The flight was a little over 4 hours long. Here's our plane being serviced at Krasnoyarsk Emelyanovo Airport