Flight check-in: Ukraine International Airlines from Copenhagen to Kiev and Bangkok af Jacob Jørgensen
It's been a long time since I've flown in business class. But this time it should succeed, so why not choose an airline where it is actually to pay, and that is it with Ukraine International Airlines (UIA).
UIA has an excellent connection to Bangkok by Kiev, so I downloaded their app a week before, and checked in and chose completely uncomplicated seats. In economy class, you have to remember to check in before you get to the airport, while in business you can wait, but I personally think it's cool to have control of plane check-in before.
On a cold Thursday morning in March, I took off at the airport, and with a business boarding pass, there was access to the Primeclass Lounge, which is located after the extra passport control at the airport. That is, if you are going to shop big, do it before going to the lounge. It is a small and cozy lounge with a bit to chew on, and then it was nicely close to the gate.
We got on a nice Boeing 737-800, where business means that there is a seat folded up between two seats and there is extra legroom. There was now no one but me sitting in my row, so I had three good leather seats to myself. Immediately after we had planted ourselves in the seats, a couple of extremely service-minded stewardesses came with a selection of cold drinks, and not long after we were in the air (for the time being, by the way), they came with menu cards so we could choose lunch. There were three different options for appetizers and entrees, and I ended up with salmon and pasta and a good but rather sweet cake. The chef had left his business card on the tray, and when I inquired about it, it turned out that it is a famous chef who, as they said, is “world famous in Ukraine ”. It was absolutely tasty, and very appropriately sized for a lunch.
The entertainment consisted primarily of a travel magazine, and the two hours quickly disappeared.
Fly check-in in Kiev
Kiev is every transit passenger's dream. At least that day. When there was a queue, several booths immediately opened for security checks, and I seriously think it did not take more than 5 minutes from the time I landed until I was through, and that applied to all passengers, including those on economy.
We went straight to a large bright lounge overlooking the planes. Really nice lounge, actually. The shopping opportunities are to be overlooked at the airport, but there were the obligatory shops with booze and gift ideas.
Kiev - Bangkok
Next plane was a 767-300, one of my favorite planes. There was direct access to business class (and economy flex) from check-in and they have the seats that can be folded down completely. I had booked 1H, and of course had to immediately test all the chair settings. And to see how much space there was, I stretched out completely, and still could not reach the wall in front of me.
There is full steam on the entertainment with a lot of really good movies, both new and slightly older classics. And then there were newspapers and magazines, and I read a new National Geographic Magazine - it's been a long time since I last did. Here too we got the choice between a number of different starters and main courses and I chose a nice combination with fish, vegetables and meat.
The plane was stuffed on economy class, i.a. due to the very attractive price campaigns they run to Asia, but only half full on business and economy flex, which are next to each other, so there was so much space. Here, too, the stewardesses were smiling and attentive, and they offered to tidy up when dinner was in the house, so that a bed mat was put on and the chair was made into a bed. That's smart.
I was eventually lulled to sleep by the deep hum of the plane, waking up to the smell of coffee and bacon a few hours before we landed in Bangkok.
For some reason, they turn off movies half an hour before landing, so I did not manage to finish the 3rd movie, but now it did not do much, because I saw it on the way home instead.
We landed a little ahead of time in Bangkok, and got through the passport control very quickly because we could use one fast track, and directly out in 34 degree humid heat. I still have nightmares about once I was half-sick standing in line for 1,5 hours to get to the passport control right here, but it generally seems as if the entire airport has now been geared to the many new travelers, and on business you can iron right through .
On the way back I flew on Economy flex, where I sat on 4C, and had really a lot of legroom. The service is almost identical to business otherwise, ie. quite good, but the price difference is not very big. We took a night in Kiev, and luckily the old center is quite close to the airport, and there are both trains, uber and cheap taxis, so in 20 minutes we stood at the new boutique hotel Aloft on the street Esplanada, which is largely an address as fine as the Esplanade is in Copenhagen. Then we could reach a little sightseeing on foot, and grab a cocktail in the trendy bar at the bottom of the hotel.
I chose IUA for their excellent business class. Others choose them for their cheap campaign tickets for e.g. Asia og Israel, and some choose them because they want to experience Kiev, which is an underrated city for a city break.
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