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Meal services, passengers calm and dressed slightly formal, sounds a bit like nostalgia of flying yesteryear.
Russia is not known for good service, however I found my recent flights on Rossiya and S7 to be quite pleasant.
Passengers have few carry-ons and board quickly. They take things in stride without much drama, so much so that I did not realize when one of my flights was diverted to another city.
Flight attendants are gruffly professional.
Meals or snacks are served on flights, even those under an hour. Compared to United that has cut whole cashews for it its business passengers in favor of scraps, the two lemon slices in Rossiya’s tea is lavish.
The downsides are seats can be really tight and constant use of bus gates.
Tickets are often relatively cheap. Some airlines, like Rossiya, are very difficult to book outside Russia and do not show up on many search engines. I used OneTravel to book.
For mile collectors S7 is a good option to use British Airways Avios with minimal fees, though many point to point trips require a connection in Moscow that add to the cost in their distance per segment model. In contrast Delta partner AeroFlot has huge surcharges on tickets so that the award often only covers a small part of the comparable ticket price. Star Alliance has nothing in Russia, and with the hassles of Russian immigration, even with multiple-entry visas, connecting outside Russia on an airline like Lufthansa makes little sense.
So don’t worry about miserable flights if you go to Russia, and hope that the capitalists don’t teach them how to squeeze an airline.
The quaintest part of the flights? Applause on safe landing (preceded by the old ladies fervently crossing themselves on the descent).