Could Transaero Imperial Class Awards Finally Become a Reality? Aeroflot Buys Them for One Ruble

Aeroflot is buying Russian carrier Transaero… for one ruble. My great hope is that this will mean a combined airline or at least Transaero as a member of Skyteam and thus the ability to use Air France KLM Flying Blue miles or Korean Skypass points to book Transaero first class.

Transareo faced over a billion dollars of debt, a falling currency, and a struggling local economy that’s very much tied to the price of oil.

My interest though is personal. This is the one first class (“Imperial Class”) product that has long been truly out of reach. You simply cannot redeem miles that are readily available to US consumers in any reasonable way for their first class product.

Transaero used to be a partner of british midland, and while you could redeem bmi miles for Transaero flights (and I had lots of those!) the partnership limited redemptions to economy and business class.

And their product just seems so absurdly over the top even if I wouldn’t rank it among the world’s best.

Two years ago three cabin 737s with fully flat first class and catering by Café Pushkin for medium and short haul routes.

Two years ago I parodied them in an April Fools post suggesting they had introduced first class hot tubs (no photos, given the Russian oligarchs frolicking in them at the time) and caviar selection.

Who knew that I could buy the entire airline (and not just a first class ticket) for one ruble?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. you say “this is the one first class product truly belong reach”? How about Garuda? or do you view the cash ticket AMS-LHR to resolve that?

  2. @marcus, Garuda is a transfer partner of Citi Thank You points so it is possible to fly Garuda First through points.

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