I've flown international business class with Ukraine International (I used to get free upgrades with them :) and they were very good. The thing I like about these 'eastern' airlines is they still do things the old fashioned way, hot meals rather than a cold snack, a 500ml beer rather than 250ml etc.
You can't compare to flying domestically within Ukraine.
AeroSvit Business Class: New York (JFK) - Kiev
by Adam Rodriguez
FIRST IMPRESSIONS I arrived at New York JFK two hours early, and walked right up to the AeroSvit counter. Check-in was quite painless, with no wait at all. I handed over my passport and within a few minutes they were tagging my bags with priority stickers, I was given a pass for the lounge, and I was on my way.
AeroSvit shares the SWISS Lounge at JFK, which has computer terminals, free wireless Internet, two well-stocked bar areas with self-service juices, coffees, soft drinks, and liquors, as well as a multitude of snacks to choose from. There was also a hot buffet with manicotti, catfish, pot roast, mixed veggies and salad. I was not hungry at all, but it looked so good I had to try it. This is definitely one of the better clubrooms I have been to, the only drawback being that it is outside security.
BOARDING I arrived at the gate before boarding, so I made a phone call. I had just clicked off when I heard the announcement for business-class passengers to begin boarding. I was assigned a seat in Row 3, which turned out to be the first row. As I was directed to my seat the flight attendant offered to help me stow my laptop bag in the overhead compartment.
THE SEAT This Boeing 767-300 had a 2-2-2 staggered configuration in the business class cabin with four rows. The seat was comfortable, with an adjustable footrest and a seat recline of 130 degrees, plus a power outlet. We were each given an amenity kit that looked like a mini gym bag; I thought it was a clever idea.
THE FLIGHT While we were taxiing, a flight attendant walked through the business-class cabin asking each passenger if the temperature of the cabin was OK, too hot or cold. I am happy to say that we all agreed the temperature was just right. The captain made an announcement that we would be delayed about 20 minutes, as the rainy night had caused a bit of a traffic jam. A few days prior to this trip, I had developed a cough. Although I had cough drops with me to ease my scratchy throat, the flight attendant noticed during the departure delay. He came over, knelt down by my seat and quietly asked if I would like a hot tea. Of course I said, "Yes!" He soon came back with a tray holding a cup of tea, a pat of butter and cream. He said the combination should help my cough. I was not quite sure about putting butter in my tea, so I just ate the butter (I know, it sounds gross), drank the tea, then had a cream chaser. A few moments later my cough stopped. As he picked up my tray, he asked whether I was feeling better and added, "Just let me know if you need anything else." After takeoff, the flight attendants came out to take drink orders from everyone and asked each passenger if they had flown with AeroSvit before. When I said, "No," he proceeded to pull out my footrest, then showed me how to operate the lights, call button and how to recline the seat. Then he was off to get me another hot tea—this time without the butter. The dinner menu was quite extensive, and I chose the filet mignon with herb crust, served with green peppercorn sauce, chateau potato, spinach, mushrooms and carrots. I must say, this was restaurant-quality food, with each course tasting better than the previous. After the meal, passengers selected from a choice of special blends of coffees and teas presented in a wooden box. As I had already had enough tea and food, I opted to go right to the entertainment. I was given a Samsung personal DVD player complete with Bose headphones. I had already chosen my movie ("Kiss Kiss Bang Bang"), so the flight attendant brought the DVD, showed me how the player worked, and I was set for the flight. About an hour into the movie the flight attendants were back offering drinks and snacks—everything from fresh fruits to sandwiches. As I fell asleep, it seemed that the service never stopped.
ARRIVAL Even with the short takeoff delay in NYC, we arrived in Kiev, Ukraine on time. The immigration line took no longer than 15 minutes, and when I got to baggage claim, I waited about 10 minutes before my priority-tagged luggage came out.
Overall This is the first flight I have taken where the flight attendant actually asked people if the cabin temperature was OK, and I was very impressed with the special attention I got due to my cough—not to mention the personal DVD player and the Bose headset. While I've always said there's no such thing as a perfect flight, this one came pretty close.
great review Adam, just one question what was your seat number and where would you recommend to seat Im flying with the for the first time from Toronto to Dubai via Kiew, and I only hope that my experience will be as good as yours.
Going to Kiev is best on Air France. Ive still had the best service and amenities of any flight.
And YES, YES, YES, International on Aerosvit is far and away better than domestic as business class...isnt.
Last year I travelled on a Frog Air (Air France) B777, in economy the seating was 10 across, my return trip was on a KLM (KLM is the same company as Air France) B777 and the economy seating was only 9 across, i.e. we had a significantly wider and more comfortable seat with KL as opposed to AF.
Will I fly on an AF B777 again? Perhaps but only as a last resort!
I stand to be corrected on that last one ... both KL & AF are 10 seats across on the B777-300 and 9 seats across on the B777-200, I particularly chose a day to return on a B777-200 because, in my opinion, the B777-300 is too big a monster for a mere 2 engines!
I already do my best to avoid long haul 2 engined aircraft, I'm old school and prefer a minimum of 3 engines, so I'll continue doing so and particularly avoid the B777-300.
ivor....I had to look it up but I did fly on that AF777-300 aircraft. I didn't remember if it was 10 or 9 seats BUT it was the best flight I had ever had(other than an aeroflot flight I had where I laid down and slept on 3 seats)since time just 'flew' by...shortest 10.5 hour flight I have had....a big plus is your own personnal TV so you can watch movies/shows/news....whatever you wanted. Oh, I forgot about the return flight where an idiotic frenchman that insisted on pulling out my carry on bag in overhead storage so HE can put his in.......and then squeshed mine back in.....of course, I got up and took his out and left it on the ground.....hmmmmmm, I do now remember our flight was slightly delayed!!! ;-))
I'm old school, flying oceanic on two engines is unsafe, there have been a number of single engine failures on these two engined biggies but, I think, only British Airways, so far, have managed to land (crash) a B777 (-200 variety) with both engines out however there they were circa only a mile from the airport perimeter when both engines failed ... and still they didn't make it to the runway.
I don't know if it is general but 10 seats across in a B777 is most definately uncomfortable, the 9 seats across flight was a 14 hour flight and, as boring as it was, I cannot complain about the seat, fortunately KLM have more -200's than they have -300's whereas Air France seem to favour 'mega aircraft' such as -300's and those darn A380's!
A window seat on the AF A380 lower deck has incredible room. I like AF for the amenities(your own TV) and excellent service and good food. Delta, OTOH, sucks loudly, never leaves on time, and the food is...well...food. Delta is
Rick .. Ever queued in a supermarket, or at a cashpoint, behind a woman farting around with her cards, her mobile, her handbag or whatever? Imagine trying to evacuate an aircraft in an amergency situation behind several hundreds of that same dumb bitch!
They weren't stairs for getting on or off and as I recall it was quite large. All I remember is that when I went to use the restroom I was surprised to find stairs. Went down the stairs and there was a small open area with several restroom doors. I chose one - used it - and climbed the stairs again to get back to my seat.
But I can't recall what kind of plane.
I always fly the least expensive/most convenient way which has varied widely in my 16 or so trips, so its hard to recall. I've flown Delta, Northwest, Air France, Lot, British Air, Austrian Air, American, United, Lufthansa and probably a few others so its hard to recall.
Any reports on a step up in security in Borispol/SVO etc since the attack at DOM ??
We came through Moscow’s SVO 2 nights before the DOM attack - but now have to go back this coming week and suppose there will be a big lift in scanning and all the other annoying antics like – scanning you accessing Transit Zone when you have just come off a 10 hour international flight. Has there been cases of weapons made or collected off the bloody plane or something – don’t make any sense to me !!!
This happened from a off street attack - nothing to do with current security failures/breaches
But - the powers to be will make it more painful for all the travelers just to save their own political arses and justify their positions of power/authority