The Only Tourist Flying To Russia Captures Post-Apocalyptic Vibe Of Being Alone On The Plane

There are large numbers of people seeking their exit from Russia – not least of which are military-age men. But there aren’t many people looking to fly into Russia right now. Planes are full in one direction, and empty the other.

With sanctions and closed airspace, the scope of international air service to and from Russia is mostly limited to flights with Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, the UAE, Tajikistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan. For instance,

  • Temporarily-suspended SkyTeam member Aeroflot is flying routes like Sochi to Istanbul, Dubai, Yerevan plus Krasnoyarsk to Almaty, Bishkek.

  • Suspended oneworld member S7 airlines for its part operates service like once-weekly flights Bukhara, Uzbekistan to Moscow and to Novosibirsk on board Boeing 737-800s.

Here a passenger films himself traveling alone with a child on board an S7 flight to Russia. Normally traveling alone on a plane carries a whole different connotation, creating a special feeling of finally private with the crew looking after no one but you. This video is different entirely – much more post-apocalyptic.

Skift publisher Rafat Ali comments that “no one is having a worst World Tourism Day today than…Russia” though liberal commentator Josh Marshall suggests that isn’t quite the case.

Marshall isn’t wrong – just look at all the outbound tourism by people who have hit the roads.

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. Cute kid on the plane. Like President Johnson, Vladimir seems to be rerunning World War 2 in his head. But like LBJ he may be discovering that in a modern country it’s not easy to draft people into an unpopular war that has no clear reason or widely accepted goal.

  2. Both of them will be given honorary citizenship of Russia for daring to travel there just like Snowden so that the next step will be to be drafted!

  3. I just want to gently point out that no one can travel alone on a plane if there is someone else on the same aircraft, even if “only” a child.

    Personally, I’m trying to decide if I had the option to sit anyone on a plane, which seat would I choose? Aisle/Window? Bulkhead? Emergency exit row? Other?

  4. Yikesss given the sanctions I’d be scared shitless to get on a Russian-owned plane right now. How could you trust it’s being properly maintained with the lack of access to parts?

  5. Re: the video at the Georgia border, I recently explained the phrase “voting with your feet” to a younger person. Now can see it in action again.

  6. We (USA) have been sanctioning North Korea for decades and we are still scared of them. USSR was completely blocked from the western world and we were still scared of them. Not sure why we think sanctioning the Russians this time around will be much different – plus they still have nukes. I say let them have the few regions of Ukraine they have already turned into a wasteland and millions of people have left, rather than allow tens of thousands of more people and billions more in infrastructure be destroyed and risk a nuclear bomb in europe. Not sure what the end point is here and my guess is none of the ukraine flag wavers do either.
    Before Trump, no one ever mentioned Ukraine and probably didn’t even know where it was, and now the last 4 years its all we see and hear about in the news and we have an ex president impeached because of some phone call with someone from Ukraine. Seems like someone or some people who are powerful have a vested interest in Ukraine and the US has no other excuse except to spend billions and bend over for it. Regardless, something weird is happening there that goes way beyond “support the Ukrainians” that the US government uses as justification for spending 10s of billions there.
    And yes, I am a real person, not some Russian troll. Putin can go F#$* himself but trying to think logically here.

  7. Ukraine can’t just give up the land because the policy of appeasement historically hasn’t worked and is likely not to work again.

    It might be a wasteland at the moment but the same could be said of most of Europe post WWII. Also, it was someone’s home, someone’s farm, someone’s country. I don’t think there is any nation on earth that wouldn’t fight for their piece of land

  8. @Vijay said: “Before Trump, no one ever mentioned Ukraine and probably didn’t even know where it was, and now the last 4 years its all we see and hear about in the news…”
    Did you sleep thru 2004 Orange Revolution? Did you miss 2014 invasion of Crimea, with subsequent “referendum” and “annexation” of it”?
    Just because you or people around you don’t “even know where it was”, doesn’t mean the rest of the people are just as ignorant.
    And I LOVE the conspiracy theory: “someone or some people who are powerful have a vested interest in Ukraine and the US has no other excuse except to spend billions and bend over for it”.
    Yep, man! You nailed it 🙂

  9. @Gennady
    LOL, Your answer perfectly sums up the arrogance of the elite and government class of America, and pretty much proves my point. Didn’t see any Ukraine flags in twitter handles or flying in front of peoples houses in the suburbs during those events.
    And of course, questioning anything about the US government and corruption and its foreign policy is “conspiracy theory”. Because everything the US does is never corrupt and always the right thing to do and no one ever benefits or gets rich from the actions they choose to take. Your spouting of government propaganda is fooling less and less people. I feel sorry that you are unable to think independently. Easy to say things and think things sitting in your government office when you are probably benefitting from the tens of billions of Americans tax money being spent on a war 5000 miles away from the US and millions of peoples lives are being destroyed.

  10. @RyanB
    I thought the point was to prevent war from ever happening? Pretty sure someone could have negotiated with Russia to see what they wanted. Everything has a price. But Trump gets annhilated in the media for even trying to talk to Putin. Well, Putin didn’t invade when he was in office.
    Once the war starts and your cities get bombed and destroyed and tens of thousands of people get killed, you’ve kind of already started losing??

  11. @Vijay: “Pretty sure someone could have negotiated with Russia to see what they wanted”
    Beware of fools who are “pretty sure”. As Mark Twain said, “Never argue with a fool; onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”

  12. @Vijay good one going immediately to the intellectually lazy “you’re an elite you are therefore an unreliable source of knowledge or opinion.” The real people to watch out for are the Vijays of the world, spouting opprobrium (“appeasement is good!”) wrapped in aw shucks I’m just a regular guy language.

  13. @elsbeth
    Yep better watch out for us regular speaking guys. We better just shut up and listen to the all knowlegable and highly educated whites who love telling people what to do and what to think. And as far as you being an unreliable source? Nah you just spout off whatever your think tank or government agency tells you to because it will benefit you in the end- nevermimd the loss of life or long term consequences. Whatever makes you feel good about yourself!

  14. @Vijay Trump was not in office when Putin invaded Ukraine because he held off until he left office. Remember that Trump did NOTHING when Putin invaded Crimea. Dictators like to hang out together. Hitler and Mussolini were best friends.

    How many Americans went to Canada to avoid the Vietnam war?

  15. @Vijay

    Perhaps you can provide your home address? Some people may want to take advantage of your generous nature. It will just be one or two rooms they will occupy and maybe kill a few of family. But after that they will gladly discuss making the arrangement permanent in exchange for peace. And don’t go calling the police, that would be a waste of tax payer dollars.

    Oh, and most Americans can’t point to Indiana on a map. Doesn’t mean it’s up for grabs.

  16. @Ryan
    I’m not sure about you but if someone came to my house pointing guns at me and my family, I’m out of there. My house isn’t worth my familys life. Does it suck? Yes. Would I expect my neighbor to do anything about it? No. Why is the US expected to be world police. Ukraine can build up their Army. I don’t see Japan or Mexico or Brazil getting involved. Why do we? Not sure what point you’re trying to prove there.

    Yes, Putin did not invade while trump was in office. Maybe coincidence, maybe diplomacy. Again, kind of proving my point. Ukraine was fine and nobody was getting killed. I take that as a good thing. Now half the country is a wasteland. Thats a bad thing. Yes Hitler, Mussolini, putin are dictators. Nice history lesson.
    Americans to Canada during Vietnam? Good for them-it was a stupid war that the US lost. Never should have been involved in. Seems like Ukraine could be heading in that direction.

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