This is a review of my overnight flight on Aeroflot’s SU212 business class on a B777-300ER from Moscow Sheremetyevo to Hong Kong International, a flight time of eight hours and fifty minutes.
For passengers transferring from a London flight, you have to make your way from Terminal D through Terminal E to Terminal F. The way is well signposted, and assuming you have a few hours you have a choice of lounges. All of them are similar size, and all can get busy. I chose one in terminal D called Blues.
See review of the Blues Lounge.
The gate was F44 and by the time I arrived most passengers were on board.
I was sitting in seat 1K, a window seat. The configuration on the B777-300ER is 2-2-2 with 5 rows of 6 seats and a final sixth row of just four seats. Already at the seat were an amenity bag and I was quickly offered water, sparkling wine or orange juice, and had my jacket hung. Staff switched effortlessly between Russian and English.
This seat is fully flat, unlike that of the A330-300 which is lie flat. It has power (EU, UK or US) in the seat, and USB power next to the IFE screen. The seats are at a slight angle – so not facing directly down the aircraft.
The seats had light blue cushions with red/ orange covers over a blue leather headrest.
There is a storage area under the IFE screen, though not for take off and landing, and then a footrest for effectively extending the seat so it becomes fully flat, something I was intending to make use of on this long-haul flight down to Hong Kong.
The amenity bag was an upgraded one from the shorter A330-300 Aeroflot flight I had taken a few days earlier to Moscow, and was Salvatore Ferragamo branded, with Ferregamo products inside as well as useful things like a shoehorn, toothbrush and toothpaste, and eye mask. Ear plugs were distributed separately.
Which seat to choose?
If you want unimpeded access to the aisle, then all seats offer this apart from the window seat. Luckily although the flight was quite busy, the seat next to me was unoccupied. That said, the toilets are at the front, and the service comes from the front, so further back from row 1 would be best.
The menus were presented pre-take off and orders were taken after we were at cruising altitude. In the meantime I worked using the laptop power and also investigated the inflight entertainment system, which had a wide range of entertainment onboard including new-release movies, though I watched The Shining again, since I stay in so many hotels that remind me of The Overlook Hotel. The system is more modern than that of the A330 with a handset with screen that allowed you to watch one thing on the handset and another on the larger screen.
The flight has wifi access with OnAir, but it is very expensive, being US$40 for the whole flight, but only for 150MB. I’m sure there are some who pay this, but I didn’t see them doing so on this night flight.
Service was friendly, but quite slow. Orders for drinks were taken with the food order, and so it was 75 minutes before the drink arrived along with the starter, and before that the flight attendants brought around hot towels (around 70 minutes into the flight). I asked for a bottle of water since I was thirsty. Each seat also received a rose in a plastic tube. This remained with us for the duration of the flight.
Appetizer was a tartlet with eggplant caviar and duck prosciutto followed by a cold starter of salmon with dill, beetroot jelly, radish and salad greens, served with orange and lemon slices. The salad was fresh vegetables with olive oil and lemon dressing and there was also the option of a cabbage soup with porcini mushrooms and sour cream.
Main courses were a choice of chicken thigh, Orzo pasta with tomatoes and greens, broccoli, swerved with cherry sauce; baked halibut with black rice, served with bell pepper mustard sauce (Vitaly Istomin); and roasted cauliflower, served with hollandaise sauce with anchovy and mint (by Evgeny Vikentiev).
There was also a Chinese set menu with dishes such as Asian-style beef salad and cherry tomato; eggplants with tomatoes, garlic and spicy red pepper; soup with shrimp wonton, chicken with sweet and sour sauce and baked pineapple and Jasmine rice. I chose this because I had spent the previous three days eating delicious Russian (and Georgian) food in Moscow and wanted something different. I’m glad I did because it was very filling and had lots of interesting flavours.
The wines were Ayala Brut Majeur Champagne, Langhe Arneis Blange, Cerruto, Piemont, Italy; Domaine Sainte-Claire Chablis, Jean-Marc Brocard, France; Chateau Valentin Larmande, Bordeaux, France; La Montessa, Alvaro Palacios, Spain.
Other options included Grahams 10 year old Tawny Port, Delamin Pale and Dry XO or Chivas Regal 12 year old whisky. Cocktails included Sky Tea, which was described as “sometimes plenty of different components, combined together, create a unique alliance of taste and unity”. Which is true, but doesn’t tell you what’s in it.
Other options were Russian standard original vodka, Beefeater gin, Baileys Irish cream and Zhiguli Barnoe Beer.
After eating I reclined the bed and went to sleep. As well as the pillow, which is already at the seat, there is a mattress cover (not a topper, really, since it has no cushioning in it) and a duvet. The seat reclines to meet the foot rest in front, and though the seat is fully flat, you are aware of the bed being made up of separate cushions (back rest, seat, leg rest and then the final ottoman under the IFE). I slept pretty well for about five hours, although the cabin was too hot for me, though of course that’s always a subjective thing.
There were periods of turbulence in the night, and then a prolonged period of it during the breakfast service, which was a shame since all I wanted for breakfast was a cup of tea, so while the cabin was served breakfast around me and passengers were permitted to use the washrooms, I was told, apologetically, that no hot drinks could be served. The full choice for breakfast was a selection of fruit juices, plain yoghurt, assorted cheese, pancakes with strawberries and cream cheese with blackcurrant.
We landed on time and without further incident.
Another excellent flight. If you didn’t fancy eating you could easily have slept right the way through this night flight (many passengers did). The seat is lie-flat, and though not the most comfortable business class seat currently flying, it’s more than adequate for a good night’s sleep.
- PRICE Internet rates for a return business class flight from Moscow to Hong Kong in February 2018 ranged between £900 and £2,450.
- FLIGHT TIME 9 hours 25 minutes
- CONFIGURATION 2-2-2
- SEAT WIDTH 20.9in/53cm
- SEAT RECLINE 180 degrees
- CONTACT aeroflot.com