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Best airlines - Germany to Latvia and Russia

Sydney, Australia
posts: 296
reviews: 1
Best airlines - Germany to Latvia and Russia

Dear TAs, I am in the process of determining our itinerary and preferred airlines for our trip in 2013 and request your advice.

We plan on flying:

1. from either Munich or Frankfurt to Riga,

2. from Riga to St Petersburg,

3. from Moscow to either Munich or Frankfurt.

I have looked at Skyscanner and Kayak to see what airlines cover these routes, but would like some advice as to what are the best (and why) airlines for these routes.

Your assistance is much appreciated, thank you in advance!

14 replies to this topic
posts: 3,307
reviews: 13
1. Re: Best airlines - Germany to Latvia and Russia

I don't know what kayak etc. came up with. But if you have a choice of LH, Austrian, SAS, Swiss, Finnair I would pick one those. There may be other well known carriers mentioned. I personally never pick a Russian or Eastern European carrier. Reason is that I know them from the 'old' days. Of course they may have improved. Check out skytrax or similar sites for rants/praises.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
posts: 45,563
reviews: 14
2. Re: Best airlines - Germany to Latvia and Russia

Have a look at Air Baltic, an airline based in Latvia that covers much of that part of central Europe. If Finnair cover the routes they would be my first choice, but I think I'd be willing to give Air Baltic a go if need be.

Lufhansa, Air Berlin and S7 (who are now a member of oneWorld) fly from DME to MUC; Lufty and S7 fly from DME and SVO to FRA.

Sydney, Australia
posts: 296
reviews: 1
3. Re: Best airlines - Germany to Latvia and Russia

Thank you NomadicForever and TravellerPlus!

posts: 2,541
reviews: 72
4. Re: Best airlines - Germany to Latvia and Russia

Personally I would always rather take a direct flight than have to connect just to stick with a particular airline, especially given the short distances you are looking to cover here, connecting will add significantly to the overall journey time.

I have flown AirBaltic several times without complaint.

Legacy Russian carriers are really not as bad as people make out (although my experience is admittedly limited to Aeroflot and S7 both internally and internationally).

I would have no issues with recommending S7 in particular if they fly the routes your are interested in.

Ottawa, Canada
posts: 1,247
reviews: 3
5. Re: Best airlines - Germany to Latvia and Russia

Have flown Lufthansa, Austrian, Finnair and Air Baltic to RIX. I found all to be more than satisfactory. (also flew CSA - which I found less than satisfactory). I agree a direct flight , i.e. lufthansa or air baltic probably better.

Sydney, Australia
posts: 296
reviews: 1
6. Re: Best airlines - Germany to Latvia and Russia

Thank you, too, Geordie and 001traveler, for your recommendations! Much appreciated!

Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Berlin
posts: 11,977
reviews: 33
7. Re: Best airlines - Germany to Latvia and Russia

I've just flown on Air Baltic from Berlin TXL to Riga RIX and then on to Vilnius VIL and back and I have to say it was just fine. The aircraft from TXL to RIX were Bombardier Dash 8 turboprops which were very comfortable with lots of leg room. From RIX to VIL we were on Fokkers which are smaller and more cramped, but perfectly acceptable for the short hop. Cabin staff were very efficient and pleasant (and several of the young women were stunning). On the ground, they allowed us to carry 2 medium backpacks (sort of day-pack size) plus a big camera case onto the aircraft for both outbound flights despite stern warnings on the web check-in form that only one carry-on was allowed. In Vilnius Airport for the return flight, they were much tougher and we had to check in one backpack and leave the other as hold luggage to be picked up at the aircraft upon landing. In actual fact, there would have been plenty of room in the overhead locker, just as there was on the outgoing flights. Web check-in both ways functioned flawlessly and I would highly recommend it.

Cologne, Germany
posts: 18
reviews: 1
8. Re: Best airlines - Germany to Latvia and Russia

I have flown from Germany to Riga a few times, sometimes on the Dash 8 aircraft with Air Baltic. They are a good airline, nice food to buy on board, clean aircraft and their cabin crew are good. They also offer some seriously good deals sometimes, much cheaper than the "big" guys... let us know how u go!

Sydney, Australia
posts: 296
reviews: 1
9. Re: Best airlines - Germany to Latvia and Russia

Thank you, Bill and Nikos, for your feedback. We will need flights for June and July 2013, so have not booked anything yet. Is there an optimum time out from an intended flight for best prices?

(I promise to report back!)

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 78
reviews: 21
10. Re: Best airlines - Germany to Latvia and Russia

Another +1 for AirBaltic if you're flying to the Baltic region, I say ignore the people who whinge about them on Skytrax and so on! I flew on them Vienna-Tallinn via Riga and they compared well to my (many) other flight experiences. Snacks/drinks onboard are relatively cheap by airline standards (meals not so much). As for when to buy: it varies. They have a thing called "Cherry Tuesdays" every Tues (Riga time), when they post specials valid for 24hrs, so keep an eye on that. Otherwise, keep checking the site for sales - I watched prices for a while, then I booked 4 months out when my route suddenly went on sale, and saved 20 Euros.

Lufthansa, SAS, Air Berlin and Finnair have also served me well on many intra-Europe flights.

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