S7 (Siberia) Airlines: A Review

Mediocre customer service and lack of comfort (and space) make S7 airlines one I recommend avoiding. For more details on why you might want to avoid S7 airlines, read this review.

Check-in Experience and Customer Service: 3
In-Flight Service: 2
Comfort: 1
Overall: 2
Ranking System 1 – 6 (6 is the best)

Route: Novosibirsk, Russia to Vladivostok, Russia
Flight Duration: 4h 40m

I used to do what I could to avoid flying Aeroflot, which years ago, was one of my least favorite airlines. S7 Airlines (or Siberia Airlines) has taken over as one of my new least favorite airline (ranking closely, but for different reasons with Ukraine International). I don’t mind flying on Aeroflot at all now and would choose Aeroflot over S7 Airlines.

S7 is a major server of domestic flights in Russia.  Its headquarters is in Novosibirsk, the administrative center of Siberia. If you are traveling domestically in Siberia, it will be hard to avoid this airline.

S7 airlines is part of the Oneworld Alliance. That means you can transfer points you earn from any qualifying S7 flights to an airline that you more frequently fly on. Their partners include Emirates, American Airlines, British Airways and more!

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Check-in Experience and Customer Service
S7 offers online check-in and decent customer service at the airport. They are strict about luggage weight limits so be ready for them to be hard-lined about that. Economy Basic only allows a free 10KG carry-on. Checked luggage is not free. Paying online for a checked bag of up to 23kg will cost about $40 versus $50 at the airport. An Economy Flex ticket allows you a free checked bag.

The agents at the airport do not seem empowered and are not problem solvers. They follow the rules closely and seem unable to deviate from them. If you don’t have any weight problems or questions, the check-in process will be quick.

In-Flight Service
The flight attendants were friendly and provided good service.

Meals are offered on flights more than 3 hours long. The food they served was basic and low quality. I would recommend buying food or snacks before flying.

For shorter flights, S7 airlines offer a-la-carte options which can help you keep costs to a minimum.

They also offer special meals for anyone with dietary restrictions. Special meals need to be ordered in advance.

I went with standard seating and declined an upgrade during check-in. If you can afford to pay a little more ($10-$15) for a seat with extra space, I recommend it.

The standard seats have a seat pitch of about 29 inches. I am 5’3,” it was tight for me. The girl sitting next to me was probably 5’8,” and her legs were pushing against the seat in front of her. American Airlines and Delta have seat pitches of about 31 inches, Emirates 33 inches, and even Aeroflot is usually 30 or above.

Those few inches make a huge difference in comfort! The flights are also very crowded and do not have the best air circulation. It’s stressful when every seat is full, and there is no overhead space to store your carry-on. If you have to put your carry-on under the seat (if it fits) you are losing even more space. Sitting in these cramped conditions for more than 4 hours is stressful.

The departure time was delayed several times for unknown reasons. The flight itself was smooth and there were no major issues. However, mediocre customer service and a complete lack of comfort (and space) make this an airline I recommend avoiding.

If possible, choose Ural Airlines or Aeroflot. Check out CheapOair to see what your options are and use code AIR50 to get up to $50 off your next flight!

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