Archive for the Aeroflot Category

5 airports, 4 planes, 3 trains, 2 continents away from home, 1 long-haul bus

Posted in Aeroflot, Airlines, Delta with tags , , , , , , on June 16, 2011 by getgowing

I finally made it to my destination in Handa City, Japan.  I will be writing up a full report of all my travels but I’ll discuss some highlights that I can’t wait to talk about.

Besides the free points I already told you about on my previous post, I sat next to a German guy from Frankfurt was heading home after a few days in Monterrey.  He is a hairdresser, but also he does clinics around the world.  This time, he was teaching other hairdressing teachers how to teach cutting hair.  Pretty cool way to travel.  But we kept talking, and he said that when I am back in town in July, he’ll show me around, get some beer and schnitzel or whatever, and just have a good time.  (Has a wife and 11 year old daughter, by the way.)  Sweet.  Trips are always better when you have a local to guide you around.

I was flying from FRA-NRT with a layover in SVO.  Originally, the connection was only 55 minutes, if everything was on time.  But my flight to SVO was told to hold because of VIP usage of the airport.  So now the 55 minutes is down to 40, in an airport I’m unfamiliar with.  Great.  That airline only flies SVO-NRT once a day, so if I miss it, I’m screwed.  As we are deplaning, they decide to use two jetways, one for business class, and one for economy (I was in economy on this trip).  Because it took so long, the economy jetway took an additional 5 minutes out of my layover.  I strapped my backpack down as much as it could, and held on to my duffel tightly, and ran like I had a herd of bulls chasing me through the terminal.  Life or Death.  That’s what was going through my mind.  Sprinting, I had to stop at the transfer desk and get my boarding pass validated or something, then had to go through security AGAIN.  Thankfully, there was nobody on line, and the longest part of security was taking off and putting my belt back on.  I again started running, as luck would have it, my gate was at the very end of the terminal.  At least I didn’t have to change terminals, or else I probably wouldn’t have made it.  I make it to the gate, with 20 minutes to spare!  Needless to say, I was dripping in sweat when I was in line to board.

The silver lining in all this running, was that I knew the shorter the connection, the less likely my bag would be waiting for me at my destination.  While most people despise the airlines for delayed/lost luggage, my new travel backpack no less, I was pushing for it to happen.  I knew that my connection was short to begin with, and Aeroflot is usually delayed, so I took out a separate insurance policy for $50 saying if my bags are delayed 3 hrs or more, I can file a claim and spend up to $500 to rectify the situation.

Lo and behold, my bag wasn’t at Tokyo.  I basically paid $50 to get $450 worth of clothes.  (The day before I left, I was shopping for a new pair of sneakers, but held off buying partly knowing I would probably be able to benefit from this insurance claim.)  I already do some ethically questionable things in the name of miles or gaming the system, but this situation is clearly their fault.  If I were the insurance underwriter, I would have checked the insured’s itinerary before insuring.  I say its their fault for insuring me.  Whatever.  Daddy needs a new pair of shoes.

Not only do I now get to go on a shopping spree, but my commuting from Tokyo Narita airport to Handa City via express train, subway, long-haul bus, and local train was made a whole lot lighter not having a 40lbs. backpack on my back.  Aeroflot even said they would deliver it.  Almost free money, and my bag shipped to my destination without me carrying it.  What more could I ask for?

(I’m actually going to see if its possible to double dip.  Maybe Aeroflot has compensation available for delayed baggage, too.  I guess I can ask for more.  This would definitely be morally questionable, and I might not do it even if I can.)

More pics and stories to come soon!

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