Flying Today is Worse Than Sitting in a Lada

The Lada is the Soviet’s answer as a cheap car for the masses. It a typically Russian product that is badly designed, has uncomfortable small seats, with no headroom and bad heating. It is especially designed for Soviet roads that are full of ruts and mud – another feature of Russian design.

But travelling by air today is a worse experience. Airlines have badly designed and uncomfortable seats with no foot-room and terrible air-conditioning. The airports give priority to selling you expensive booze and sweets and give the lowest priority for passenger comfort. Try finding a seat or a clean toilet at the airport…

Your correspondent was in Spain last week and travelled from Helsinki’s building site they call an airport, to Madrid’s airport where hiking has a new meaning! You can walk for hours before reaching the gate or the exit!

Finnair were happy to sell us tickets for the trip on the internet, great food that any fool could buy for half the price at Alepa, extra leg space, and storage for large suitcases! The flight tickets were almost cheaper than the compulsory accessories! When you came to pay for the final price, after signing away all consumer rights and promising not to be carrying guns and bombs, you would have thought that renting a private jet would have been cheaper…

But the fun started when boarding the plane, which was not one of Finnair shiny new planes but a rather worn and stripped-down Iberian jet that had seen better days. Overhead baggage compartments were already full because passengers did not want to pay any extras and carried at least too large rucksacks. We were forbidden from carrying more than one carry-on bag but nobody at the gate bothered to check. The luggage compartments above our Tourist Class seats on rows 5, 6 and 7 where marked “Reserved for Business Class”! The cabin attendant ordered us to put our bags in rows 8, 9 or 10, all of which were full, and the crowds of newly boarding passengers were jamming the passage. The solution was easy but dangerous – with great determination we bravely placed our single rucksacks above our seats and sat down. The joke was on us the Business Class was almost empty when all were boarded!

Travelling with Finnair you get the opportunity to have a free drink of juice and buy a sandwich, but on this 4.5-hour flight the only available food was a cold half-cup of instant coffee with powdered milk and a soft, sticky muffin that must have been packed in tough plastic a year ago. But who needs food when tightly packed up in a small seat without legroom, with face masks and no elbow room…

… and if that is not enough negatives, then try the toilets – the floor was wet with urine, as was the seat – there was no hot water, no soap and no hand cleansing antiseptic, and the used hand towels were strewn on the floor and bulging out of the rubbish bin…

The flight was a long 4.5 hours with an additional 35 minutes to get late-arriving passengers on board. In our minds this was a long-haul flight, especially when we had to wait for the last passengers who arrived late from a connecting flight…

So just remember that travelling in a Lada is great compared to today’s ordinary flying experience because you can always stop the car and stretch your legs at any time, eat your own homemade tasty sandwiches, relieve yourself sustainably behind any tree, without ever having to spend any time in any airport!

Site Footer