23 Responses

  1. lopere
    lopere at |


    Best blogger on BA by far.

  2. Lorna
    Lorna at |

    Interesting. Thanks.

  3. Yamalishka
    Yamalishka at |

    Had the “pleasure” of flying it in 1994 Moscow-Shannon-Miami-Orlando: 18 hours in the back of the plane (back then they allowed smoking, too). In 94, they didn’t even have the overhead entertainment but because the seat in front of me was broken, it folded forward, and I used it as a luxurious footrest. It was a memorable experience for sure.

  4. brteacher
    brteacher at |

    Wow. Thanks so much for doing this and sharing. Just amazing.

  5. James K.
    James K. at |


  6. Pat+
    Pat+ at |

    This was a fantastic report, thank you. I absolutely loved it. What an awesome experience! I am dying to know what hides in the “forbidden” section of the aircraft…

  7. JohnB
    JohnB at |

    I flew an IL62 in China in 1996. Short 90 minute flight. The plane didn’t feel awful and the Chinese food was actually good. Even the Chinese passengers said the food was decent. But, I just kept my fingers crossed that it would land safely. On a transatlantic flight, I think my nerves would get me on this plane.

  8. Gene Kaskiw
    Gene Kaskiw at |

    Very cool!!

  9. Mike Denoff
    Mike Denoff at |

    By far the best trip report I have read in a very long time. Most get kind of mundane, this had different content and was enjoyable to read.

  10. Ryan
    Ryan at |

    Sweet trip report! It’s so rare to get on anything quirky or unusual anymore. I’ll likely never get a chance to fly anything like this so this was quite fun to read!

  11. A thread for extraordinary blog posts with original content - Page 3 - FlyerTalk Forums

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  12. Tom
    Tom at |

    Now THIS is adventure! Bravo! More! More!

  13. Nathan
    Nathan at |

    870 km = 470 nautical miles = 540 miles. They were giving the speed in knots (nautical miles per hour, abbreviated as “kn”) not mph. It’s a standard unit of measure in aviation and maritime navigation, though airlines typically don’t publish it on IFE for passengers.

  14. KJ van Woerkom
    KJ van Woerkom at |

    Great story, as usual! Reminds me of flying the Il-96 on KrasAir from Moscow to Siberia. Same experience, only the lack of overhead bins in Economy prompted lots of passengers to put whatever luggage and boxes thet were hauling right in the aisle. Also, cabin crew did not mind getting drunk passengers even more drunk by continuously pouring drinks. Opted to get a jumpseat ride on a cargo plane back…

  15. Garrett Hartsuyker
    Garrett Hartsuyker at |

    You have brass balls Seth; and you companion!

  16. Darius Jijina
    Darius Jijina at |

    Thank you for an awesome once-in-a-lifetime trip report..

  17. Marty R. Paz
    Marty R. Paz at |

    I have been waiting months for this article. Bravo.

  18. Maarten Van Den Driessche
    Maarten Van Den Driessche at |

    Can you book the ticket online?

    1. Seth Miller
      Seth Miller at |

      I booked online through an OTA, http://alternativeairlines.com/.

  19. 3 Links I Love: Extending the Security Perimeter, Microbursts, Flying Russian Aircraft | Cranky Flier

    […] I flew on North Korea’s rarest Russian airliners – CNN In flight: Cubana’s Ilyushin IL-96 across the Atlantic – Wandering Aramean We have a two-fer here since both deal with flying Russian aircraft. This […]

  20. Rami
    Rami at |

    Que cojones. I would never fly an old Russian plane by a Cuban airline over an ocean (or land for that matter). This was a great report. Arigato gozaimas

  21. Glen Towler
    Glen Towler at |

    Very interesting and I wouldn’t want to fly with them anytime soon.

  22. Dr Norman L Wherrett Jr Neuroproctologist - Retired
    Dr Norman L Wherrett Jr Neuroproctologist - Retired at |

    One summer years ago, Aeroflop[sic] flew IL-96s Moscow > Seattle > Moscow. For fun, I drove the crews to/from Seattle’s Crown Plaza. Every Moscow-bound crew shopped ‘big-time’ at COSTCO; 4-tire sets, Weber grills, OTC remedies, etc, etc….You name it, they bought it, and I loaded it!

    I got to know 30-something F/A “Marina” [her husband, she said, was a “music composer”]. Marina very thoughtfully brought my 2-year old daughter a traditional Russian doll.

    One day, Marina deplaned the inbound IL-96 terribly battered/bruised. I asked….she said “the galley floor collapsed” pitching her into the pressurized cargo area below. Marina would say nothing further.

    I never saw Marina again, and NO, I shall not board a Russian airliners of any age/design. If it ain’t a Boeing, I ain’t going!!!