In this review, we will take an Aeroflot business class flight from Moscow to Paris Charles de Gaulle on the Airbus A320.
Fourth Aeroflot flight
After visiting two of the business class lounges at Moscow Sheremetyevo Terminal D it was time to head to my boarding gate for my fourth and last Aeroflot flight of this trip.
Only my Irkutsk to Moscow flight was mediocre due to the bad quality meals being catered in Siberia. Yet all three flights combined it still left me with a very positive image of the Russian flag carrier. Given that I reviewed the previous three flights in depth I will keep this fourth Aeroflot review a bit shorter.
Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO) to Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) on Aeroflot
Flight SU2462 (booked as AF4855) – Airbus A320-200 – Business class, seat 3F
Departure: 1.05pm – Arrival: 3pm
Flight time: 3h55m – Distance: 1,529 miles
Costs: 800 EUR, as part of a ticket including 12 flights in business class
Boarding commenced on time with business class passenger as well as Aeroflot and Sky Team frequent flyer elites being asked to come forward for priority boarding.
I was again the first person to walk on board. The load for the flight to Paris seemed again to be relatively light, with economy perhaps being two thirds booked while there were only three or four other passengers in business class. Needless to say, that means that again I lucked out and did not have a seatmate next to me.
The aeroplane (Airbus A320-200) had exactly the same configuration as on my previous flight in the other direction (Paris to Mosow). The seats are comfortable leather recliner seats in a 2-2 configuration with ample leg space and shoulder room.
Although the seats do have power sockets and USB ports to charge your electrical devices, there is no in-seat entertainment device and no WiFi on board.
Overall it is an excellent seat and a comfortable way to fly a medium-haul route of about three hours in length, especially given that business class of almost all European competitors consist out of standard economy seats with the middle seat blocked.
As soon as I took my seat, a friendly FA introduced herself to me and handed out an amenity kit – which was exactly the same as on all my three previous Aeroflot flights.
Even though the amenity kit itself does not contain anything noteworthy to write home about, it did contain all the essentials such as a small toothbrush and an eye mask. A pair of slippers was also handed out.
What makes it more noteworthy is that Aeroflot hands out such its on a flight of three hours in length – as most other airlines in the world only hand out amenity kits on longer or overnight flights.
While handing out the amenity kit, the lovely flight attendant asked whether she could bring a pre-departure beverage. Naturally, I went for the champagne (Ayala) which was served in a nice Aeroflot-branded glass.
Moments later, the same flight attendant also distributed the food and drinks menu. I will only post the picture of the food menu here as the drinks list was exactly the same as on my previous flight (see the Paris-Moscow flight review if you are curious about the entire list).
There were some decent plane spotting opportunities again on departure, although I could not see much else besides lots of other Aeroflot planes and a few aeroplanes of Russian leisure and charter airline Nordwind.
We took off on time from Sheremetyevo and were quickly above the clouds on this gloomy winter day.
Once we reached cruising altitude the crew jumped into action. One flight attendant went through the business class cabin handing out tablets and headphones.
I was a bit surprised by this as we didn’t get them on my inbound flight from Paris to Moscow for whatever reason. This was again a reminder that at times the service on Aeroflot can be a bit inconsistent and there is room for streamlining and improvement even though my impressions so far have been overwhelmingly positive.
The quality of the headphones was certainly acceptable. The tablets were easy to operate and were loaded with a decent amount of films, series, music and documentaries – although the quantity certainly wasn’t exhaustive. Being a geography freak I did however miss an airshow function on the tablet to follow the course of the plane!
After distributing the headphones and tablets a flight attendant walked by to ask if I would like something to drink and also asked about my dining preferences.
Having sampled the baked beef starter and pastrami beef main on the Moscow to Irkutsk flight (both were excellent) and not finding the baked carrots dish anywhere appealing by the sound of it, I wanted to try out the trout gravlax as starter and fried salmon as a main.
Unfortunately, all other passengers apparently had the same food preference. As I was the last passenger served in business class being seated most towards the back of the cabin, I was told that they ran out of both the trout and salmon.
Not wanting to go vegetarian and eat carrots (I’m not a horse!), I therefore had no other option than ordering the beef dishes again. As silver lining I however knew that at least both dishes would be tasty though. One for the category ‘First World Problems’, I assume!
Before the meal was served the flight attendant first put a white table cloth on my fold-out table, only to come back to bring another glass of champagne as well as a ramekin of nuts.
After my freezing Siberian adventure I only found it natural to re-watch the three latest Game of Thrones episodes which were loaded on the tablets. Winter is coming!
The baked beef and white bean hummus starter was still as good as it was on my previous Aeroflot flight. Just seconds after the dish was put on my table, the flight attendant came back with a bread basket, from which I selected some pretzel rolls.
With the main dish of beef being served next, I decided to switch from drinking champagne to red wine. Having tasted both reds on my previous flight, I found the Italian red slightly better (and mostly more suitable for high altitude plane environs in which our taste buds do not function as good) than the one from Bordeaux.
The beef pastrami was again very good – although the meat was this time not as succulent as it was when I tasted the same meal on my Moscow to Irkutsk flight.
After dinner, vanilla ice cream with chocolate flakes was served. It was a simple dessert, but it being ice cream of course always tasty. After clearing my table, the flight attendant asked if would like to have some coffee or tea. Naturally, I couldn’t resist a coffee and a cognac, which was again served with a cool-looking Aeroflot-branded chocolate.
The entire meal service was completed in around two hours after departure. The crew seemed flexible in the meal service depending on the passengers’ requests. Being seated in the back of the business class cabin, I could notice that one passenger completed his meal within an hour as he seemed to prefer to work for most of the flight.
Given it was a daytime flight and I was purely flying for leisure, I didn’t mind a drawn-out meal service at all – and the crew seemed to perfectly notice this, taking their time to serve the separate courses and making sure my glass always remained topped off.
Even the few times when the flight attendants did not pro-actively come to my seat to check if I was doing fine and might want another drink they immediately responded when I rang the call button.
Although I still preferred the amazingly welcoming and friendly crew of my first Aeroflot flight from Paris to Moscow, the crew on this flight was certainly friendly too and arguably much more polished – doing an overall excellent job.
Remainder of the flight
When clearing the plates, the flight attendant was surprised when I only asked for another glass of water and asked if I really did not want some more booze.
It being my last Aeroflot flight of the trip and flying to France, I thought that another glass of champagne wouldn’t do much harm at all if she really wants to persist. Somehow the stewardess could read my mind as just like during my last flight, the remainder of the bottle was just left at my seat instead of pouring in a single glass and taking the bottle away. I’m definitely not complaining here 🙂
It might have been an effect of the champagne, but at this point I was really starting to enjoy my flight quite a bit more. I might have also ordered a G&T when the flight attendant asked if I would like a last drink before the final approach into Paris to end my final Aeroflot flight of this trip.
When the captain announced that we would soon be descending into Paris, the flight attendants cleared all the glasses from our tray tables and collected the tablets and headphones.
Like on previous flights, all business class passengers were given a small package of green tea as a thank you for flying Aeroflot – which I think is a really nice touch on behalf of the airline.
The descent into Paris was fairly choppy due to the bad weather on the ground. There wasn’t too much of views around at all due to the cloud cover, unfortunately.
After what seemed again to be some eternal taxiing across Charles de Gaulle Airport, we finally arrived at our gate at terminal 2C.
Having sampled Aeroflot’s business class product now on four consecutive flights, I can only say that the overall experience has been a very pleasant surprise.
Aeroflot has proper, comfortable leather recliner business class seats, a great soft product when it comes to the on-board meal service and drinks, and an eager-to-please crew on most of their flights. When it comes to these aspects, only Turkish Airlines offers a similar experience on all fronts.
The only negatives I have to mention that the service on board can be a bit more streamlined. Even though service on this flight was great and I really don’t have any major complaints about any of the Aeroflot crews which I had, there were some service inconsistencies over the four flights, such as four example not being given a tablet on my first flight.
The biggest improvement Aeroflot can make is at its Moscow hub as the Aeroflot business class lounges are subpar compared to (most) of its European rivals. In-flight Aeroflot has however an excellent product and surely doesn’t deserve it’s negative stereotype some people might still have from the old days of the Soviet Union.
Overall I cannot recommend Aeroflot enough for such short to mid-haul flight in Europe and the Near East – I had a blast on my four business class flights and would love to try out the airline once as well one its long-haul flights operated by a wide-body plane.
Trip report index
This article is part of the ‘Siberian Shuffle – A Crazy Winter Trip Around Eurasia‘ trip report, which consists of the following chapters:
1. Review: Wizz Air economy class from Bucharest to Oslo Sandefjord Torp (Airbus A321)
2. A day in the Norwegian capital of Oslo
3. Review: Norwegian Railways night train from Oslo to Stavanger in a private sleeper
4. Review: Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Stavanger
5. A day in the city of Stavanger, Norway
6. Review: Stavanger Airport North Sea Lounge
7. Review: KLM Cityhopper business class Stavanger to Amsterdam (Embraer RJ-175)
8. Celebrating carnival in the Netherlands
9. Review: KLM Crown Lounge (Schengen) Amsterdam Airport
10. Review: Air France business class Amsterdam to Paris (Airbus A319)
11. Review: ‘Salon Paris’ business class lounge Paris CDG Terminal 2C
12. Review: Aeroflot business class Paris to Moscow (Airbus A320)
13. Review: Aeroflot domestic business class lounge Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport
14. Review: Aeroflot business class Moscow to Irkutsk (Boeing 737-800)
15. Review: Matreshka Hotel, Irkutsk
16. Exploring the Siberian city of Irkutsk
17. Review: Mayak Hotel, Listvyanka, Lake Baikal
18. A Winter Trip to the Frozen Wonderland of Lake Baikal
19. Review: Ibis Irkutsk Center Hotel
20. Review: Domestic business class lounge Irkutsk Airport
21. Review: Aeroflot business class Irkutsk to Moscow (Boeing 737-800)
22. Review: Pushkin Hotel, Moscow
23. A 24-hour stopover in the Russian capital of Moscow
24. Review: ‘Moscow’ and ‘Jazz’ business class lounges Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport
25. Review: Aeroflot business class (Airbus A320) Moscow to Paris (current chapter)
26. Review: TAROM business class Paris to Bucharest (Airbus A318)
27. Review: TAROM business class lounge Bucharest Otopeni Airport
27. Review: Air France business class Bucharest to Paris (Airbus A320)
28. A short stopover in Paris
29. Review: ‘Sheltair’ business class lounge Paris CDG Terminal 2D
30. Review: Azerbaijan Airlines business class Paris to Baku (Airbus A320)
31. Review: Old City Hotel & Apartments, Baku
32. Baku: a captivating mix between old and new
33. Review: Azerbaijan Railways night train from Baku to Sheki in a private sleeper
34. Sheki and the Caucasus foothills
35. Visiting Azerbaijan’s second-biggest city of Ganja
36. Review: Shah Palace Hotel, Baku
37. Review: Azerbaijan Airlines business class lounge Baku Airport
38. Review: Azerbaijan Airlines business class Baku to Paris (Airbus A320)
39. Review: Air France business class lounge Paris CDG Terminal 2F
40. Review: KLM business class Paris to Amsterdam (Boeing 737-800)
41. Review: KLM business class Amsterdam to Bergen (Boeing 737-800)
42. Review: First Marin Hotel, Bergen
43. Visiting the Norwegian city of Bergen
44. The Bergen Railway from Bergen to Oslo
45. The scenic Flam Railway from Myrdal to Flam
46. Review: Saga Hotel Oslo Central
47. Review: SAS economy class Oslo to Brussels (Boeing 737-600)
48. Review: Diamond Lounge (non-Schengen) Brussels Airport
49. Review: TAROM economy class Brussels to Bucharest (Boeing 737-800)