Flights was 12 hours late due to their rickety old airplane being deemed unfit to fly. That's just the way it is, they said. Backstory: Needed to make an important afternoon meeting in St. Petersburg and bit the bullet and bought the ticket on the morning flight that cost twice as much as all the others flying later in the day. We boarded. The plane looked ancient and terrifying, but ok, whatever. It goes out to the runway, and then some men come out and start fiddling around under the wing, open up the engine. We sit there for an hour on the runway watching them. Then they inform us the plane cannot fly. We're brought back to the terminal to wait for another 5 hours while they find a plane that can fly. Then, due to missing all earlier connection flights in Minsk, another 5 hours in the airport there. End result: spent twice as much on a ticket only to be 12 hours late. No compensation offered. Rude staff. They don't have numbers (except ticket offices that don't provide any information except for ticket purchases) outside of Belarus, so if you want to call you have to pay through the nose to call to Minsk. If you want to complain, you have to send a regular letter to Minsk. In my case, they then sent a letter to my home address saying "oh well so sorry, looking forward to your business next time." I didn't even have it so bad--I just lost a couple hundred dollars and 12 hours. Others on the flight had connecting flights in Moscow to Central Asia on different airlines that they missed. I can't even imagine how much time, money and grief Belavia's rickety old planes and abysmal customer service cost them. Beyond that, the airline is mediocre in all ways--the seats, the food, the whole experience. From what I can tell, they make most of their money based on the fact that there are no direct flights between Russian and Ukraine right now and know they can do whatever they want. The whole experience is similar to a very cheap discount airline in the EU except without EU passenger protections and at the price of a regular airline. I'm avoiding them at all costs in the future, even if it means paying a bit more or a slightly longer flight time.
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