You Know You’re Flying Russian Airlines When…

4 02 2009

You Know You’re Flying Russian Airlines When…

You hear these priceless gems from flight attendants:

Vi ne v restorane, rebiata. Vse, obsluzhivanije zakoncheno.” (Translation from Russian: “You’re not in a restaurant, guys. That’s it – service is over.”) — in response to passengers asking for water.

Tualet zakrit. Che ulibaehsia… idi na mesto.” (Translation from Russian: “Bathroom is closed. What are you smiling about? Go sit in your place.”) — when one guy tried to go to the bathroom right after take off. Flight attendant did not appreciate it.

… and unusual requests from passengers:

Devushka… a u vas kefira net?” (Translation from Russian: “Lady, do you have any kefir”) —in response to when the flight attendants were passing out the drinks.

Of course, if you get to be the lucky one sitting in the last row right next to the bathroom, you’ll also get the honor of dealing with the never-ending stream of passengers going to the bathroom. I flew dozens of times before, but never have I ever seen anything like this.

It was as if all 180 passengers have been holding going to the bathroom for the last two weeks and have finally got their first opportunity to do so. The huge line of people only dispersed when the flight attendants wheeled out their food carts, but quickly came back together afterwards.

The bathrooms were certainly tested to the limits. I’m not exactly sure what happened, but midway through the flight, the bathroom and, subsequently, the flight attendants actually ran out of water. Unfortunately, it happened right after they served a spicy chicken meal, so if there was anything bigger than the line to the bathroom, it was the line of people with their paper cubs snaking their way to the back to ask for any remnants of water that remained. The reason they had to carry their own cups was because the flight attendants ran out of cups, too.

But hey – all of this would be small potatoes. After all, after going through a 20 hours of flight time and seeing your baggage make through successfully, you already have this feeling of victory inside of you and small issues like this are not significant. You made it. Just a little more and you’ll be out of the airport and on your way with the real life.

But not in the Dushanbe airport. Upon landing, I tried to get a visa in the airport from the 24-hour-a-day consular representative, but was disappointed to find the agent missing. “Not to worry”, the customs patrol guy – “come to our office and we’ll call him up right now and get you your visa.” It was 3am.

By 5am, they said that the consul should be getting started at around 6 (which is odd, as he’s supposed to be there 24/7). By 6am, they said that he’s already in his office and will come down in a few. By 8am, they admitted that they couldn’t get in touch with him in the first place. As fun as it was to spend 5 hours at the customs patrol office (they actually have bunk beds where they sleep between the arrivals… and sometimes during), it was starting to get somewhat annoying.

Fortunately, my contact at the organization I’ll be working for was able to reach the consular and by 10am – 7 hours after arriving – I had my visa and was on my way to my apartment for the next couple of months.


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11 responses

5 02 2009

God bless Aeroflot

5 02 2009

It’s so funny:) I will forward it to my friend that is flying to Russia today.

5 02 2009

No water, no cups… that’s nothing… at least you had the crew on the plane by the time you were supposed to take off… :))

5 02 2009

hey cuz! Hope u have safe travels and an awesome adventure! I lol’d at the unusual request… Reminds me the awesome Russian bus my mom and I travelled on to brooklyn and the lady beside us started eating smitana/ sour cream!!!

5 02 2009

Aeroflot hasn’t changed at all:)
As for Dushanbe…I think u got lucky:) Usually it takes about a day to find anyone:) Welcome to Tajikistan! Keep us updated:)

5 02 2009

Good luck with all your new ventures! Take care and enjoy the trip, I wish you the best!!!

12 02 2009

I had a terrible experience with Aeroflot. And I promised to myself that I will never fly with Aeroflot again. I almost cried when my mom, offered to fly with Aeroflot again. Negative things were: I had waited at Sheremetyevo for 10 hours for transit. Service was weak and flight attendants were rude. They didn’t have student discounts. On the air the plane was shaking, I was getting ready for the worse to happen. On my way back home, custom officers took my passport and asked me stupid question: ” Tebe vsego 16, chto ty delala v shtatah, takaya molodaya!?” hahaha… The worst part was,when they took away my passport and didn’t want to give it back, they went to office, told me to wait outside. They didn’t let me to ask any questions, I had no idea why they didn’t want to give my document. After one hour I was relieved thanks to one women captain who helped me.

4 03 2009

Last time my dad flew aeroflot, as soon as the plane started moving, the wheels of the plane fell off. So they kept them in the plane for aboout 12 hours until they fixed it, with no food or water… so it could be worse. Unfortunately aeroflot is probably your only option there.. so hang in there!

13 03 2009

Boris, the bit about the bathroom is so funny! 🙂
I am sorry it took you that long at the airport, I will talk to them!

14 03 2009

Please do.

Can you also please ask them why did they have to lose all of my documents last week when I applied for my visa renewal? 🙂

14 03 2009

I promise I will… 🙂

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