However, this annoying "misunderstanding", for which no one apologized, not to mention compensation for the material damage, turned out to be just the first step on the way back - to the soviet past...
The disgusting impressions of the Moscow-Gelendzhik-Moscow flight at the end of July 2020 reminded the author of this article of the first trip abroad 20 years ago: a return to Vnukovo airport resulted in a new imported suitcase with a broken lock, opened and plundered. No one answered for this, no one paid for it - it was almost a normal occurrence for "Sovok" (USSR)...
What has changed at Vnukovo airport over the past two decades?
On July 25, UTair took off from Vnukovo to Gelendzhik at 10:30 am. Not long before this, the suitcase of one of the passengers on this flight was checked in with the retractable handle unclosed - as luck would have it, at the very last moment, she "refused" to return inside the suitcase.
Two hours later, the plane landed at the airport of the resort town of Gelendzhik, but there was no suitcase with an open retractable handle on the luggage strap, and the representative of the airline told the passenger that he would be able to get his things ... a day later, that this time he would be engaged in delivery another airline is Pobeda.
The representative of UTair could not explain why such an overlap occurred, and there was no apology on behalf of the airline either. The dear lady only said that no one would deliver the luggage lost to him to the hotel by a non-passenger: “this is not the company's rules”, - the girl said.
Our hero did not have any other luggage, so he had to spend a day without a toothbrush, shorts, swimming trunks and everything else that they take with them during a trip to the sea...
A day later, the suitcase was nevertheless delivered to the Gelendzhik airport, but without the same retractable handle - it was broken either by the loaders of the Vnukovo airport, or by the loaders of the Gelendzhik airport.
Neither compensation for a broken suitcase, nor compensation for an "extra" trip to and from the airport, nor in the end an apology was again followed, apparently, "this is not in the rules" of either the airline or the airports.
The second of August, the day of departure, left much more impressions of Gelendzhik airport; unfortunately, the flight with UTair and Vnukovo airport left more negative impressions.
Gelendzhik airport is a three-room "apartment" converted into an air harbor: sanitary standards, and simply the ability to breathe freely in the summer heat, are completely absent here.
Another thing is the waiting room for boarding a plane - a cage fenced in the open air with benches and even a toilet.
As soon as the author of this article closed, as required by the announcement on the front door, the door, from one of the booths came a menacing male voice: "Open the door!" The door had to be opened, and a voice explained: "The light bulb burned out here, nothing is visible when the door is closed." They had to relieve themselves according to the rules of their formidable colleague in airport service - with the door open.
The second attraction of the departure area of the Gelendzhik airport is wooden benches on which no one sits - an announcement above each of them warned of the danger:
The most striking thing about this story with the benches is not that no one thought to fix the benches before the start of the summer season, no, not at all. The most striking thing is how carefully the sign with the announcement was attached: each corner of it was tightly screwed to the cage with a metal wire, which indicated that the hazard announcement would hang for a long, very long time - just as long as benches would pose a danger to passengers.
The boarding of passengers of the Gelendzhik-Moscow flight on the bus began at exactly 13:35 - that is, twenty minutes before the departure promised by UTair. At 13:37 all the passengers on this flight were already crowded at the plane's ramp.
A third of the passengers were minors, very young children. The temperature on the runway that day reached 35 degrees Celsius. The waiting time for boarding was about half an hour.
The children either fell asleep from fatigue, or lost consciousness from heatstroke, and the author of this article decided to find out from a representative of Utair what is the reason for such abuse of people, of small children, and this is what he had a conversation with Yelena Fedorenko:
- 5 minutes remain before departure. Why are people with babies kept outside in 35-degree heat, what happened?
- There is a landing of a low-mobility passenger on an ambulift, he - first of all.
- Why was the passenger with limited mobility taken to the plane so late?
- This is not a question for me.
- And to whom?
- To the airport.
- But you are a representative of the company, and you should have taken care of other passengers, after all, they are with children...
We have specially anticipated the response of a representative of Utair to the claim that caring for one person turned into mockery of hundreds of other people, including very young children, so that the reader could take a breath.
The fact is that Yelena Fedorenko has formulated the airline's internal policy towards its passengers in such a way that even in the 35-degree heat, the NI correspondent's blood simply froze in his veins.
“I don’t see anything wrong: they have been fried at sea for hours under the sun, and here they will be tolerated!”, - said Yelena Fedorenko.
As a result, the flight was delayed by 20 minutes, but, as it turned out, had to endure during the long-awaited flight, this time had to endure hunger and humiliation.
The flight attendant refused to give out the lunch paid by them to the passengers occupying seats 4A and 4B.
“I paid for lunch for myself and my son, I’m not lying, I’m a prosecutor, I want to eat, and such an attitude towards passengers is simply outrageous, distrust for me is an unacceptable and humiliating thing!” The prosecutor said to the passenger who took the seat 4C, - to the correspondent of "NO".
As it turned out, in the complaint book there was more than one such complaint about the refusal to issue a prepaid lunch.
The most interesting thing is that after the distribution of paid meals, which did not arouse suspicions among the flight attendants, the sale of meals began - that is, there was food left on the aircraft - more than enough, but none of the flight attendants even thought of offering food to the starving passengers 4A and 4B.
"After all, you understand, if we were still offered to eat, and then the flight attendant reported to her superiors that she did this out of humane considerations, well, what would happen? She could, after all, be awarded for an exemplary attitude to her duties, because she has no information in her on-board list that I paid for two lunches - for myself and for my son, but the airline definitely has this information, do you understand?", - an employee of the Moscow prosecutor's office said in an interview with NI.
We understand something, but it is very likely that the management of the airline does not teach its flight attendants such human "tricks"...
Long-awaited landing at Vnukovo airport.
Here, in Moscow, the attitude towards sedentary citizens is completely different: logically, such a passenger should be dropped off, as well as put on a plane, - first! But, no - at Vnukovo airport everything is done the other way around: first, everyone will be dropped off, and then - the sedentary passenger. The conversation with the representative of the airport, more precisely, the UTG company, which operates flights, did not go well from the very beginning:
- Why was the sedentary passenger not the first to get off the plane? Do you have not enough ambulifts at Vnukovo, or what?
- Leave the take-off field, you cannot be here!
The disembarkation of sedentary passengers at the Vnukovo airport of the Nazran-Moscow flight took place at the very time when all the passengers of the Gelendzhik-Moscow flight were already receiving their luggage, everyone except the sedentary passenger of this flight...
And finally, the icing on the cake for this story of a crippled journey:
The long-suffering suitcase in Moscow has finally lost its strength, value and purpose - it received three huge cracks. Together with the torn off retractable handle, this is no longer a suitcase.