It really is miraculous that there are now four direct flights daily between Moscow and Tel Aviv. I had my choice of airlines to fly to and from Tel Aviv including El Al, the Israeli airline, and Aeroflot, the Russian airline. I chose Aeroflot because they had better flight times and I have miles through them. When I booked my ticket, the Aeroflot website stated the plane would be an Airbus.
Lo and behold, I board the plane and it is no Airbus: it is a Soviet plane – an Ilyushin! As soon as you walk on board it is very clear. The first sign you are on a Soviet plane is that the middle aisle has no baggage space overhead, it is just the ceiling of the plane. Second sign, the seat numbers are on the back of the seats so you can’t see them until you’re past them and have to fight your way back. Even the Russians don’t seem to understand this. Third sign, the fan and light are on the seat in front of you, not overhead. Fourth sign, if the person in front of you is reclining you cannot open your tray. Fifth sign, the bathrooms are only in the back of the plane. The first one I went into didn’t even have a working light. Luckily, the next one I tried had a functioning light.
The way back to Moscow, I also flew an Ilyushin. However, I was so exhausted, I was too tired to worry that I was flying in a Soviet plane (though I’m told the most reliable one)!
See below for some pictures of the plane.
From Russia with Love,