Flying between Vienna and Moscow today I had the misfortune to be sitting behind two annoying travellers. I first noticed them on the way to the gate. We had tried to go to the gate as soon as the sign to do this appeared on the board as we knew that we had to go through security just before the gate. When we arrived there was a really long security queue for around 40 gates. We stood in line and watched as our flight status changed from “go to gate” to “boarding” and wondered if we would actually make the flight. Most people around us were looking at watches and shuffling impatiently. But then I noticed two men making their way through the crowd. They paid no attention to anyone else and just pushed their way to the front of the queue. I remembered glancing over and thinking “why do they think they are more important than anyone else?” When we boarded the plane the same two men were sitting in the row in front of us.
I really dislike sitting behind someone who puts their chair back before the food is served. Given the cramped space on most planes it makes it very hard to eat. But these passengers put their seats back before the plane had left the stand! And the staff didn’t complain or do anything about it. Instead they brought them over a bottle of whiskey and tucked it into their seat pocket. And this wasn’t one of those miniature bottles you sometimes get on airplanes. I thought that most airlines had restrictions on the amount of alcohol that they would allow their customers to consume during a flight. But on top of the whiskey they served wine and other beverages. I wasn’t really paying that much attention but I did notice when the empty bottle of whiskey was taken away.
I managed to ignore them for most of the flight and thankfully I hadn’t planned to sleep but as soon as the announcement was made about the plane descending they became noticeable again – mainly because they were moving about the cabin and making quite a bit of noise. By this stage it was obvious that they were drunk. The announcement was made about putting chairs in an upright position and storing tray tables etc but again this was all ignored. In fact they continued to drink until the plane jerked and the glasses they weren’t holding in their hands smashed onto the floor. Not learning from this they managed to smash more glasses when the plane wheels hit the ground on landing.
The only time the staff told them off was when they started to move about the cabin as the plane was taxiing to the stand. I wasn’t surprised to see them push people out of the way to get off the plane and was really glad to see them disappear off towards immigration whilst we went towards transit. Travelling with Aeroflot has been a strange experience and their lacsidaisical attitude towards the behaviour of the passengers seems to be another quirk I have to look forward to on my flight from Moscow to Tokyo.