Air Astana Business Class Flight 922 Frankfurt-Astana, Kazakhstan – Review

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IN-FLIGHT SERVICE

With only 16 seats in business class, service is efficient and polite, and flight attendants speak exceptional English. IMG_1088Once in the air, the crew made their rounds delivering mixed nuts along with drinks from a multi-level cart displaying all of the bottles of wine and champagne, a variety of spirits in large bottles, various canned soft drinks, juices, and bottled water.

While one crewmember attended to drink orders, another distributed iPads that had been preloaded with music, movies, TV shows, and games to each passenger. The moving map display was playing on the overhead screens. It is an improvement to recline one’s seat and watch a movie without having to lean forward to see a built-in screen. Padded headphones, distributed to be used with the iPad, provided exceptional sound quality and noise isolation.

Drink refills arrived with a smile while table cloths were laid out. The first course was presented on one tray with a seafood appetizer, warm bread, and side salad. IMG_1090Quantities were not large but the menu promised plenty more to come. A delicious mushroom soup served in a glass bowl after the appetizer plates were collected was a nice intermission between the starter and main course. Soup while in flight is always a fun experience for this traveler, if only for the novelty of it. Four entrée options were proferred, one a vegetarian dish, another two were a pan-seared salmon or beef tenderloin with vegetables but I opted for the lamb and it arrived piping hot and well done, which is my preference.

Dessert soon followed with coffee, tea, and cordials. Ice cream offered after the meal was delicious and rounded out an impressive service. Many U.S. airlines do not even feature this many courses on their long-haul routes and I was soon thinking that it was too bad  that Air Astana does not fly to the United States!

ARRIVAL

It was still pre-dawn at the scheduled landing time but IMG_1054there was no breakfast service offered considering the short flight duration. The lights of Astana soon appeared on the right side of the plane as we descended through the clouds, and it was clear that the snow blanketing the ground meant it would be frigid. Touchdown was smooth, but the runway and taxiways were extremely icy. The captain had to skip three of the turnoffs because it was too difficult to maneuver. Once we were at the gate, the glass jetway welcomed us to the ninth largest country in the world.

BOTTOM LINE

Air Astana is central Asia’s most impressive airline based on fleet, inflight product, and airport facilities. With a network that includes London, Frankfurt, and almost every major Central Asian capital, Air Astana is a formidable competitor for the larger network airlines.

 

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