Surreal Russia

So after spending a painstaking day at the airport, thank goodness they had wifi, and remember this is not Heathrow, but a tiny airport with only 3 gates. So finally we get to board the plane, and I notice it’s not the same one which had duct taped their seats together, phew. I also notice (like the other plane) this is a tiny plane 3 seats each side, no leg room or anything remotely comfortable and we have a 6 hour flight ahead of us. My knees touch the seats in front of me I cannot image how painful this must be for very tall people. BUT we’re on we’re ready to go.

Next minute we hear this screaming and shouting from business class, 3 rows in front of me and separated by a small curtain. We see tow uniformed police men guns and all arguing with some woman. the man next to me explains that this plane  has 120 seats the last had 160, they have found seats for everyone since the last plane was not full but there is one passenger with no seat. The lady got to her seat first and the police man says it’s his seat.

Then we find out it’s not police but 2 government couriers who are going crazy at the lady because they are carrying government  documents and must get to Moscow so need the seat. She is in the right and not budging. But as the man next to me says it’s a citizen against   a uniform who do you think will win. The airline staff are trying to sort things out. The pilot not once comes out to help the poor air hostess’s. The bottom line is the uniforms are not budging and the lady must voluntarily get off the flight and she is not budging either. Things escalate when the uniform tries to physically move her and she kicks screams and goes ballistic. The real police arrive and tell the uniform to back off but not to leave the plane they now join in trying to get the lady off.

She jumps up and runs to the economy side and stands in an emergency exit. I  WISH I could understand Russian to know why she did that and everything else going on. The guy next to me in broken English is keeping me up to date. This  has now wasted an hour of our time so the other passengers are staring top go nuts at her to. One woman climbs into her and hits her over the head, they start having  a cat fight in the emergency exit row half on top of ht e3 passengers sitting there who now start shouting too. The police pull the tow woman apart. People are filming this so I am sure it’s on you tube somewhere.

THE old lady at the end of our row tells the air hostess if the airline flies her business class tomorrow she will get off. They are agree and we all clap for her and she gets off the plane. OH no the government uniforms are not happy. They say the lady filmed them and they want her off the plane and they want her mobile. She is on the phone to her lawyer by now.

I turn to the guy next to me and say how crazy is this and he says ‘Its Russia’ (I restrain myself from punching him, he is a nice man and in fact when we get dinner on the flight gives me his chocolate and says form Russia with love)

The lady finally after 1hr and 45min I kid you not I was watching the time like a hawk, decides that the passengers all 120 of us are going to lynch her and gets off the plane voluntarily. I hope she sues the airline and WINS BIG, but this is Russia not America so probably no chance. NEVER fight a uniform.

WOW I am stunned but we take off and the flight is thereafter uneventful until we get to Moscow and I have to deal with my transfer…

Absolutely exhausted I arrive in Moscow collect my baggage and go to the transfer desk to find out about the connecting flight I have now obviously missed. They tell me to go to Ural airlines desk. They tell me ‘”not our problem the connecting flight is with  a different airline””. I go to Transaro desk, they say not our problem you missed yr flight go to Ural air desk. I go back sad very politely say “When I was in Irkutsk I went to the Ural air desk and booked a flight to Almaty the only flight I could get before my visa runs out was this one via Moscow. I did not know it was a differ airline or choose to take a different airline but I book at the Ural desk” Sorry not our problem you can get a  official stamp stating the flight was delayed and then go back to Transaro, but you must go to the information desk to get this which I do. I do this the lady at Transaro says no, but I tell you what if you get an official letter emailed to us then I will book you on another flight but this as a favour I should not do it as it’s not our policy. Ok I’m about to loose it I know a number of impatient people with bad tempers that would have gone postal by now. However I know that going postal will not help me so I take a deep breath..the problem with being sleep deprived is that you start feeling really nauseous and get a headache, so ready to upchuck with  pounding head I return to the Ural air desk. I look this guy in the eye and say “Please sir, Please can you help me, I need a letter emailed to Transaro and then they will book a new flight” hmmm perhaps it was the red rage starting to boil behind my eyeballs, or the green I’m going to upchuck look on my face, but he says “ok give ma 15 minutes and you can come to my office and get the letter” 45 minutes later we’re in his office he writes a letter and prints it for me. I ask if he can email it… I can see where this will go if I turn up with  a printed letter  ” NO absolutely not I cannot do that now get out my office” wow ok no need to be rude.

I return to the Transaro desk, we need it electronically on email.. OK please PLEASE the man was very angry he will not email me the letter here it is all office on company paper with a stamp PLEEEEEAAASE .. hmm OK just this once… OMG give me strength I get my ticket holly molly I’m a happy lady.

Best bit of luck is that they check me in give me my boarding pass and let me check in my extremely heavy (30kms of bike stuff helmet, boots, jacket, tools, spare parts, camping equipment) AND did not charge me excess baggage like Ural air did. I like Transaro and am now even more happy. I just need a hotel and need to sleep it has now been 27 hours since I slept (I cannot ever sleep on a plane) I am shattered ready to pass out and / or upchuck. When I hit the hotel bed I fell asleep in an instant and slept for 6 hours straight not stirring once (a record for me) I woke up feeling great,  it’s a new dawn a new day and I’m feeeeeling guuuud 🙂

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