I had the pleasure of flying on Aeroflot three times in late 2008 and have become a big fan of the airline that many bypass simply because of its Soviet-era reputation.
Aeroflot understands it still has some work to do on its brand image and has taken steps to refresh its cabins, enhance meal service, and retrain its cabin attendants.
Last year, the company sent 50 flight attendants to Mil-Com Aerospace Group in Singapore for training. Eight of those cabin-crew members now serve as trainers for Aeroflot workers with the goal of instructing the entire staff of more than 2,000 attendants.
“It goes without saying that Asian companies, including Singapore Airlines, feature top service,” said Savelyev, 56. “We consider them to be a benchmark for our work.”
Aeroflot has a lot going for it:
- They’ve shed most of their Soviet-era aircraft and transitioned to a young Boeing/Airbus fleet.
- They have "proper" (U.S. domestic first class) seating in business class on most aircraft, giving them a competitive advantage over their European counterparts who only offer economy seating with a blocked middle seat.
- Their meal service, in both economy and business class, is tasty. All my meals were great in 2008, but in particular my dinner from Moscow to Hong Kong was on the level of international first class.
I can’t see myself going back to Russia anytime soon, but I can see myself using my Skypesos (Delta miles) for a trip to Europe with a transit through SVO on Aeroflot. Their product is that good.
Whatever horror stories you’ve heard about Aeroflot in the past should not deter you from considering them now. My experience and this article suggest that they have come a long way.