Trip Report: Air France and KLM to Moscow

Dear readers,

welcome to another trip report! This time I will cover my journey from Strasbourg to Amsterdam on Air France HOP! and further on KLM to Moscow.

To get to Entzheim airport in Strasbourg I needed to catch a couple of trains, but the french local trains are comfortable enough.

After a quick drive tot he nearest station in France, it was only 5mins until my train departed to Strasbourg Main Station. It was an interesting train, which can run on diesel as well as electric. It only took a bit more than 1h15 and we were in Strasbourg, where I had 15mins to wait for my next train, which brought me in 9mins to SXB airport.

I arrived a bit too early there, but the friendly agent already checked me in and even 1.5kg over the limit was not a problem.

After check in I checked out (pun intended) the small terminal and after settled in a landside café to pass the time while having a tasty café au lait (3.20 EUR for a very big cup were rather reasonable, at least for airport prices). Around one hour before departure I went airside. As always in such small airports, security was a breeze and I quickly found myself airside. There is a small duty free shop, a café and that is it pretty much. Interesting to note that in SXB now also Schengen flights need to go through passport control. This evening there was an interesting mix of flights departing from SXB. There were two Tunisair flights to Tunisia, a Ryanair flight to Porto, another AF to Nice and some Volotea flights on the 717.

Not long after settling down in the gate area, boarding was already announced and we took the bus for the short ride to the airplane.

Today on schedule was the small Embraer 145.

Boarding was finished quickly with a load of about 60%. Soon after the captain announced that there would be a 15mins delay due to ATC restrictions.

But soon enough we were on our way and departed into the beautiful evening sky.

 

After the seatbelt sign has been switched off the single FA started with the service, which consisted of a drink and either a sweet or salty snack. I opted for the sweet waffle, which was very tasty.

After around 45mins the decent already started and we got amazing views of the sea on approach to AMS airport, where we landed after 1h05.

Today the walk to my next gate was quite a hike away, but I didn’t mind to walk a bit.

Good to see that AMS also has electronic immigration gates, so that was done within seconds and I was in the gate area of my next flight to Moscow Sheremetyevo. It seemed like nearly everyone was connecting from other flights, including many from an Aer Lingus flight from Dublin.

5mins after the crew went on the plane, the boarding started at 20:47 sharp, exactly like stated on the boarding pass.

As it would be a full flight the gate agents offered to gate-check small suitcases, but not too many took that offer.

Soon enough I was onboard and took my seat 8F. Boarding soon finished and thanks to some passengers missconnecting the seat next to me stayed empty. The additional space was very much welcomed on this 2h45 ride to Moscow.

 

The captain came on the PA and explained detailed the route going over Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Latvia and into Russia.

After the safety presentation we departed at around 21:30 while the sun was setting.

 

About 30mins later the crew sprang into action and started the service, which tonight consisted of a pizza and a drink as well as later a small cake and coffee/tea.

I expected a bit more on that route cause SU serves still a full tray on the same route,but for the evening departure it was fine.

 

After that I mostly relaxed and soon enough it was already time for landing in Sheremetyevo.

After arriving there in Terminal E, I went to the completely deserted immigration and within a minute was stamped into the country. Some meters further my suitcase was already waiting. From airplane to the street in 6mins; a new record which I am sure is hard to beat!

Conclusion

I was positively surprised of the service on KLM as the FA all were very friendly and frequently did drink runs. The hop on AF also was fine and I can’t complain about anything.

 

Thanks a lot for reading! Please feel free to ask questions and comment and I will be glad to answer!

 

Johannes

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