I had the chance to experience Transaero service firsthand in May 2011. The charter flight, from Moscow to Antalya, was aboard a Boeing 747-300 with tail number VP-BGY, departing from Terminal F of Sheremetyevo International Airport and docking at Terminal 2 in Antalya.
The plane used on the flight (picture taken by Jens Breuer, of Airliners.net)
The Boeing-747-300 has two decks. On the upper deck are the cockpit and the first- and business-class seats. The entire lower deck is dedicated to the economy class. The passenger area is divided into several sections, so it is impossible to look down the entire length of the plane.
It’s especially engaging to sit in the very front of the plane, where the hull abruptly narrows towards the nose, allowing you to see almost straight ahead through the windows.
This Transaero airliner is far from new. It has seen many flights and even more passengers. Judging by the logos on some of the luggage containers, it was previously used by Japanese Airlines. (Editor’s note: A search of the tail number confirms this: the plane came off the assembly line in 1987 and was in service with Japan Airlines until 2007.)
The plane is equipped with several projectors, presumably for passengers to watch movies during the flight, but the system was not used during the trip.
The economy class has 7 seats per row, arranged 3-4-3, with spacious carry-on compartments overhead.
The wall panels in the cabin are painted with soft pastel colors which are pleasing to the eyes.
The seats themselves are simple and old-fashioned in design, dating back to the 1980s. There is quite a bit of leg room, plenty to stay comfortable through the entire flight.
The plane has many restrooms, spaced evenly throughout the cabin. As a result, there were no lines, unlike what usually happens on narrow-body airliners. The restrooms are kept very clean.
Perhaps the most welcome part of the flight was the frequency with which the captain would address the passengers. During the trip (which was only 2 hours 40 minutes long) he used the PA several times, keeping us up-to-date on where we were and when we’d be arriving, and called attention to various cities and interesting vistas as we passed them. Such care and devotion deserves respect.
Flying over Turkey. Half an hour before landing.
Food served on the plane included mints, drinks and hot meals. A selection of duty-free merchandise, including perfumes, liquor, etc, was available for purchase. In the back of each seat you could also find Transaero’s official magazines, containing articles on various topics and factoids about the company.
The selection of drinks is standard for any flight: mineral water, soft drinks and juices. The food is likewise nothing fancy: various baked goods (bread rolls and slices, crackers, muffins), butter, jam, slices of fruits, and a couple of hot food options – we were offered a choice between goulash soup with pasta and chocolate pancakes. In addition to this there were also various hot drinks, like tea and coffee, with lemon and milk available on request.
The touchdown in Antalya was smooth. The weather was excellent.
Our plane in Antalya after the flight.
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