Review: Aeroflot A321 Economy Class from Moscow to Vienna

Review: Aeroflot A321 Economy Class from Moscow to Vienna

After a flight on Aeroflot’s Airbus A330-300 from Tokyo to Moscow, a not-so-pleasant transfer experience at Sheremetyevo airport, and a quick visit to All Star Lounge, it was time to fly to Vienna.

While originally, the flight was scheduled to be operated by a Boeing 737-800, it was actually operated by one of Aeroflot’s Airbus A321s.

Read this review to see what the economy class flight was like.

Boarding the Aeroflot Airbus A321

My girlfriend and I left the lounge around 7:50PM and headed to gate 51 where the flight was departing from. As the gate was right across from the lounge, we were there in no time.

As there was almost no seating around the gate other than a pair of benches seating a total of six people – and there was a gate right next to it with a different flight departing around the same time – the gate area was quite a mess.

Even more so given that there was very limited space in general as most of the area was taken up by duty free stores.

Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport
Moscow Sheremetyevo airport.
Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport Gate Area
An ideal setup to maximize revenue per square foot.

The flight started boarding just after 8PM, and while we were technically eligible for priority boarding thanks to my Delta Gold Medallion status, it was practically impossible to get onboard early since the gate area was so crowded and unorganized.

Nonetheless, we got onboard fairly soon and walked down to our economy class seats which offered decent legroom and were comfortable enough for the two-and-a-half-hour flight.

On a side note, unlike most European airlines which configure their short-haul aircraft with economy class seats only and call an economy class seat with an empty seat next to it a business class seat, Aeroflot has true business class seats (similar to what you would find in first class in the US) on their A321s.

Aeroflot Airbus A321 Seats
Eonomy class seats with Aeroflot 95th anniversary headrest covers.
Aeroflot Airbus A321 Cabin
There was a lot of blue in the cabin.

Departing Moscow Bound for Vienna

At 8:23PM, the captain made his welcome onboard announcement and mentioned that we were expecting a flight time of 2 hours and 35 minutes.

Ten minutes later, the aircraft doors were closed, and a manual safety demonstration was performed.

We were pushed back at 8:34PM – one minute ahead of schedule – but it wasn’t until 9:11PM that we took off and set our course for Vienna.

Aeroflot Short-Haul Economy Class Service

The seatbelt signs were switched off less than ten minutes after take-off, and from there it took another twenty minutes until the cabin crew started the in-flight service.

While in the past, Aeroflot used to serve a full hot meal on this flight, the last time I took this flight and this time, only a light snack was served. This time, it was a not-so-appetizing sandwich.

A selection of soft drinks that included juices, tea, coffee, and soda was offered with the sandwich as well. I decided to have a cup of apple juice.

Aeroflot Short-Haul Economy Class Service
Aeroflot Short-Haul Economy Class Snack
The sandwich was dry but edible.

Arriving at Vienna Airport

Around 9PM Austria time (11PM Moscow time), the cockpit crew made an announcement that we would be starting our descend in fifteen minutes.

At that time, I decided to take a quick peek into the seat pocket. Besides the usual in-flight magazine and safety card, there was also a duty free shopping catalog and a flyer promoting some concert.

Aeroflot In-Flight Magazine and Safety Card
Contents of the seat pocket.

The actual descent started a bit earlier than announced – at 9:14PM – and less than fifteen minutes later, the landing gear was lowered.

We landed at Vienna airport where it was minus three degrees Celsius at 9:39PM.

Eight minutes later, at 9:47PM, we reached our parking spot – arriving just seven minutes behind schedule in spite of the slight delay after push back in Moscow.

Aeroflot Airbus A321 Economy Class Summary

While it’s unfortunate that Aeroflot doesn’t offer full meal on flights between Moscow and Vienna anymore, it’s also in line with the overall trends in the industry. On a positive note, business class flyers can still enjoy actual business class seats on the route.

Overall, the flight on Aeroflot’s Airbus A321 was perfectly fine, but at the same time I wouldn’t go out of my way to fly Aeroflot compared to other airlines. Especially so on shorter intra-European flights where alternatives like Pobeda might be cheaper.

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