My last report ended in Kiev Boryspil airport where I was supposed to spend 2 hours and 20 minutes waiting for my final flight to Warsaw. I've heard a lot of stories of how much time it takes to pass the security and passport control in Kiev so I was quite anxious about it. In reality the worst thing was to find out where I should go once I got to the terminal. At first there were only 2 possibilities: ARRIVALS or TRANSFER DESK both in the same direction, so let's say there was no choice. Once I took the stairs from the ground floor to the first one a 3rd one appeared: GATES. But where the hell is this infameous control and where should I go? Normally I would have gone to the gates without thinking but this wasn't a Schengen to Schengen flight so I was a little bit scared not to make myself any trouble. An old Polish proverb says: should you not know what to do, ask. So I did and was instructed by a friendly young girl from the UIA staff to go towards the GATES. Once I turned left I found myself in a small glass corridor where my passport was checked and my hand luggage scanned within 30 seconds. So what was it all about? It was faster than anywhere I have been. Once I left the control desk and got to a place there was just one way: up the stairs, this lady that should have been standing 100 meters before appeared. Oh really? Where else can I go now? Back?
Funny, but the first thing I saw once I got to the final GATES level was LOT E175 departing to Warsaw.
The Terminal D in Kiev is huge, full of expensive shops (no, the prices here are not the Ukrainian ones and definitely not the ones I saw in Lviv in January) and not so many places to sit or eat. When you finally find one you discover all the prices are in hryvnas and the ones given to you in euro have nothing to do with the official currency rate. Welllll…………
My plan was to do some spotting first as it was getting darker and darker. KBP is mostly an UIA land.
UIA 767-300 to BKK
I saw many times they offer really cheap fares to Thailand but spending 9 hours in a 767 with 8 seats in row (2-4-2) and without modern IFE is not what I dream of.
I made a walk through the shops to discover that a very good beer I bought in LWO for 0,70 euro for 0,5 l here costed more than 2 euro. Prices in KBP are definitely the western European ones.
In several shops I found some nice UIA aircraft models on specially designed shelves but the prices were crazy. I usually buy the cheap plastic ones onboard for approximately 10 euros so I decided to see what's in the duty free catalogue that was missing in my seat pocket in the first flight.
There was nowhere to seat near my gate so most of the passengers stood waiting for the boarding to begin while a boarding staff guy stamped everyone's boarding pass and checked the IDs. I remeber a similar situation only from my flight from FRA to LHR.
Once I got to the jetbridge I saw the 737 standing in the end of it not sure if it was a -800 or -300/-500 as it wasn't specified before. Getting closer I saw two overwing exits so it was a 737-800 again but as soon as I made my first steps inside I saw a different interior than the one from my first flight. The seats seemed new and all the aircraft quite fresh even though (as I discovered later) it was 15 years old. The seats in emergency rows had a special sticker saying they had an extra legroom (and can be prebooked for 10 euros if I'm not mistaken).
The seats looked really nice
They were comfortable but what was very strange they had no lower seat pocket and the upper one was so thin its content hardly made it no to fall out.
Anyway the legroom onboard this one was far better than on my previous 737-800
Once again the cabin crew was female only, young and very nice. The cabin once boarding was completed and we were heading to the runway
Actually there wasn't much to do during this one hour flight in total darkness outside and an aisle seat. I had a plan to move to the emergency row as it was empty but finally I stayed in my seat. The complimentary service on this flight was just a cup of water and unwilling to take anything from the BOB I went to the souvenir section in the duty free magazine to discover a simple plastic 737 model I wanted to join my collection costed 19 euro. No, that's too much for this quality.
UIA route map. No flights to or over Russia that's why a flight from KIEV to Astana lasts almost 6 hours.
A little bit old fashioned safety card both sides
The flight lasted one hour and was completely uneventful. The only strange thing was the duty free ended while we were already on short finals and the crew was instructed by the captain to take their seats.
After a little bit hard landing with hard breaking I was back to WAW.
My aircraft seen from the jetbridge
The bad thing about flying from a non-Schengen country to WAW is that you need to spend more than 10 minutes walking until you reach the passport control desks and then usually another 10-15 minutes waiting for your turn. That doesn't unfortunately mean your luggage will already be delivered once you make it to the belt, so it may take even 30-40 minutes in total to leave the airport.
That's all for now. Many thanks for reading.
Kiev - KBP
Warsaw - WAW
KBP transfer is quick and easy once you find your way. Having 1 hour between the flights should be enough to make it. UIA seems to offer different interiors on their 737-800 fleet so you never know what you gonna get. This particular aircraft was much better than the previous one. Anyway for short eastern European flights I would fully recommend it but for longer routes as TSE or BKK I would definitely choose other option.
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