I tried to arrange a group trip with SyrianAir from London to Aleppo via Damascus and back. Initially all was fine until they cancelled the first leg of the journey to Damascus a week prior to us leaving. The next flight was 2 days later but there was no immediate plane to Aleppo once we had arrived at Damascus which meant we would have to take a bus up instead a journey we weren't too keen on. While friendly the staff are fairly useless and I sat for MANY hours trying to sort things out. We changed the flights to stay the same number of days but decided to go to Aleppo at the tail end of the trip under our own steam and the fly Allepo to London (again via Damascus) on the same ticket. Unfortunately the staff didn't really get the 'group' concept and kept issuing tickets for the wrong dates for different members of the group. It took too many visits to their offices in Baker Street to finally get everyone on the same flights at the same time. The flight to Syria was fine (late) and we managed to get up to Aleppo ourselves but the day before we were to fly out again we went into the Syrian air offices to confirm everything was ok. IT WAS NOT. They had cancelled the flight to Damascus without informing any of us and we had to arrange a midnight bus from Aleppo to Damascus Airport to make the correct flight back to London. Luckily this one hadn't been cancelled. But it was late. My advice: Don't Fly SyrianAir and if you do check on your flights constantly.
Daytrip to Aleppo on day one outbound was a domestic leg of an international flight that continued to Stockholm. Aircraft was filthy but on time. Was quite concerned when airline staff took our passports to be returned in Aleppo - to identify domestic passengers or give us an incentive not to stay onboard for the long flight to Sweden (and civilisation). Return was on decades-old Tupolev 134 although this aircraft was very clean. Day two was a round trip on the same aircraft to Deirezzor and back to fly on a Yak 40 (very unusual old Russian commuter jetliner gone from service everywhere else in the world). While the Yak was a novelty I am sure for a regular airline passenger it would be quite scary as the plane was in fairly poor condition. Our flight unlike the previous day's ALP/ARN service left from the domestic terminal a real third world mess with puddles of water and ash on the floor no signs or shops or anything. Smoking was encouraged though. On arrival at Deirezzor my travel partner and I were arrested because (we assume) it was unusual for pax to fly-and-return in the same morning. Released and allowed to rejoin the flight back to Damascus but on arrival back at DAM were arrested again and spent the entire day being interviewed by scary "security" officials who were not only sinister but also incompetent eg: photocopied our passports but inadvertently gave us the photocopy then searching their own paperwork for the photocopies etc. Perhaps our travel plans were out of the ordinary but if it was an itinerary unfavourable to Syrian security concerns why sell us the ticket in the first place? Eventually released shaken. Day three was a day trip to Latakia beach resort. Old Yak 40 again shabby service smoking cabin crew smoking refuellers etc. Waiting at small Latakia airport for return to DAM many plainclothes cops pacing like circling sharks due to a VIP passenger. Same at international departures (TK to IST and on to LHR) - circling security agents in shiny suits everywhere hanging ceiling panels frayed wires broken luggage belts broken destination indicators with hand-written signs taped over them (complete with spelling mistakes! our flight was to Astanbul). Never been so happy to leave a country. Some of this doesn't relate to Syrianair but our troubles revolved around the Deirezzor flights which again Syrianair were quite happy to sell us. Avoid this country and it's deluded joke of a national airline.
Brussels-Aleppo Damascus-Brussels. Cheapest tickets to Syria direct flights from Brussels to Aleppo and Damascus friendly crew adequate food. Although older Airbus they were clean and looked well maintained and a lot of legspace.
DXB to DAM delayed for 10 hours SyrianAir Reps fled the scene and there was no one there to tell us what was happening. After 10 hours of waiting we starting boarding by buses then we waited another 3 hours while a mechanic tried to get the baggage door shut - a total of 13 hour delay. We weren't put up in hotels no one apologized except for the Dubai airport officials who where also trying to get a hold of the Syrian ir Staff. After arriving at Damascus Airport a lot of baggage was left behind - we were forced to stand in line to report the lost luggage.!
Syrian Arab Airlines LHR-Damascus-LHR. Flights departed on-time aircraft an A320. The crew were helpful and efficient and we were supplied with one main meal which was fine. We were also given a drink during the flight. Haven't used them for an internal flight but would be happy to use them again on an international flight.
LHR-Damascus return and and an internal flight from ALP to DAM. The prices were good as was the outward journey food but other aspects of the service leave a lot to be desired. The cabin staff on the way out smoked behind the curtain and when my husband challenged them about this they actually offered him a cigarette. The flights were all on time however although immigration is tricky as no-one seems to know exactly what to do if you are from abroad. On the internal flight my suitcase handle was wrenched from the case Didn't try and complain as it was hard enough to get into Damascus airport main terminal let alone explain the suitcase had been broken. Staff seemed astonished that we had taken an internal flight. Finally there was a beetle in my salad in the in- flight meal on the way home. The cabin crew were very apologetic telling us as best they could in poor English that this had happened several times before. We were offered extra nuts and coffee as was the man sitting next to us.All in all it was an interesting experience. We wanted to support Syrian Air but I'm not sure I would use them next time although I would definitely visit Syria again.
Tehran - Damascus. Very poor from the start to the finish. Checking in the man was very poor in his manners. On the plane the service very poor food poor service poor. I could even smell the flight attendant smoking prior to take off since I was seated at the back of the plane. I was very disappointed with Syrianair.
DAM-ALP-DAM. Booked with a travel agent in Damascus. Outbound was total confusion as they kept thinking I was going to Athens (plane goes onward there). It wasn't a big deal as the airport was essentially empty and was resolved. Onboard I think this is the oldest plane I've ever flown on. There were no overhead bins just elastic netting like you'd find on a train or bus. I think it was a DC-4. The flight was under an hour and went fast. The return was cosmic. The plane never showed and there was no one around. Aleppo airport is rather small and it seemed like everyone must have known the plane wasn't coming except me. I never got a refund explanation or anything. I wound up taking a bus back to Damascus.
RB411 1 Oct 2007- this was merged with a flight to Amsterdam so that instead of a 4/5 hour flight from Damascus to London this was an 8 hour hike. Check in staff denied this was happening. Cabin staff were surly and unhelpful and we were only told of the change once we had taken off. There was no explanation offered and no apology. No information was forthcoming about the new expected arrival time in London. One cabin crew in the end said it was due to a breakdown on another plane but it seems odd there were exactly the right number of passengers. The aircraft was tatty - springs sticking up in the seat and flies buzzing about. At least one person had smoked in the toilet and not all food trays were collected before landing. Passengers walked around when seat belt signs were on. The worst issue is the lack of information and surliness of the crew - certainly no concept of customer service.
London - Damascus in Business/First. Rather a traumatic experience! The aircraft was an ancient 747; with business class (they call it First) upstairs. First shock - nowhere to store your hand luggage. So the bags just sit on the floor around you - able to hurtle towards passengers as soon as there is any turbulence. Late take off with absolutely no explanation - apparently this is a frequent occurrence. The meal service was OK but not very sophisticated. Food laid out on one large trolley and served by reasonably friendly staff. Mix of western and Arab dishes. Poached salmon which was fine. No desserts but plenty of fresh fruit. Seats were well past their sell-by dates. Reasonable recline but nothing like a flat bed. No IFE. And I mean none - not even a big screen movie. No reading material either. So if you have to go to Damascus and want some cheap leg room it's fine but don't expect any bells and whistles.
Allepo to Damascus return. Apart from slightly erratic departure times I could find no major fault with this inexpensive service. They give you a snack and tea and the staff are very helpful. A good way to get around.
Brussels - Damascus - Brussels. A positive experience. Planes left a little bit late but arrived on time because they make some stops in Beirut and/or Aleppo where they can catch in the lost time of leaving with a small delay. Planes clean crew friendly. Food was adequate. And prices are very competitive.
Syrianair is cheap safe relatively efficient the staff is often courteous and - typically Syrian - kind and hospitable. Staff very nice with kids - a rare commodity. Food isn't gourmet planes often old seating or queues sometimes random and the flights sometimes not on time. They should certainly improve but are a good airline in that region. And they have even started the Frequent Flyer now!
A quick one day domestic return flight from Damascus to Aleppo and back. Both flights on A320 were on time. The first aircraft was nice but the other had a rundown cabin that really required maintenance. No assigned seating on the return flight. Drinks and cakes were distributed fair enough for such short flights. Check-in and ground service improving compared to the extreme chaos I saw when I flew with them in 2003.
Damascus to Tunis on a plane dating back to 1965. It was quite a 'retro- experience' with oversized seats in orange and brown hippie-style. Crew could only speak Arabic. Fine with me but a woman from Britain could not get what she wanted. Security advice short and only in Arabic. Plane in a very poor condition extremely noisy thought the first mountain is ours. Never had a flight experience like this but would not consider this a proper or professional airline performance. They might be better on the non-arab-country-flights?
I was transiting through Damascus Airport. I had to stay for about 8 hours at that airport before going out to my final destination on Syrian Airlines. I had a business class ticket so I approached the business class lounge to have some rest there until my departure. Astonishingly the employee supervising the lounge told me that I can use that lounge only two hours before the flight time! When I inquired why his answer was that these were the instructions of his Director General! From that time on I decided never to go on board Syrianair again.
I flew Syrianair last February 2004 from Damascus to Aleppo. It was the worst experience I ever had. The flight was 8 hours delayed staff ground didn't know why the flight was late (it was Hajj) I bought the ticket in Brazil thinking that I could go to Aleppo in the morning and return to Damascus at night. How stupid I was !!!. Boarding a Syrian plane is everything but easy. They retain your passport for a domestic flight. I recommend everyone to never board a Syrianair flight.
I flew Syrianair to Vienna as a part of my flight to Montreal with Austrian Airlines. I had a very good experience during the 3 and a half hour flight. The leg room on this airbus plane was much better than that on any other airlines I flew before. The food was good and the staff were courteous. The landing was very smooth. I hope Syrianair would consider flying to Canada so flying home would be more convenient for Syrians living in North America.
Have also flown on the Delhi-London services indeed the story I always tell people involved people getting up and walking around during take off and landing! Good to hear that the 747-SP's are being retired as they scared me - all the shaking etc on take-off!
I flew Syrianair London to Delhi. It was the cheapest available ticket. It involved a change at Damascus and a stopover. Overall I was fairly impressed. The cabin crew were the friendliest I've flown with - nothing seemed to much trouble and smiles everywhere. For an Islamic operator it had a relaxed attitude to alcohol and whisky was served from the inflight bar. The food was okay consisting of curry and rice with meat type dishes. Puddings were good. We seemed to be served food quite often and large portions. Inflight entertainment is non existent. There's nothing maybe a newspaper when you are boarding if you are lucky. Plane was comfortable seats reclined nicely and were in good condition. Cabin staff didn't seem to mind people standing up and closing luggage containers as the plane took off (and I do mean the point in time as the airplane careered down the runway just as it left the ground). Similarly people would get up when landing even though we were still doing 200mph down the runway. If it had decent entertainment it would be a competitor for BA and Virgin.