Almaty to Dushanbe. My hand baggage was scanned by 4 x-ray machines and went through with no trouble probably because no one was manning the monitors. Boarding time was a stampede across the runway to reach the plane. Rather than use the hold the baggage was then loaded into the plane and piled by the emergency exit door.
Dushanbe to Khujand return and can honestly say it was the most terrifying experience of my life. The check-in was fine we were the last on and despite the seats at the front being available and reserved for us they had three bolts holding two seats to the floor and only half of one seatbelt! The Tupolev took an age to take off then sat at not much altitude as the poor little engines screamed in protest. It took forever going around and around to gain the altitude needed to get over the mountains and on landing we were greeted to the sight of what appeared to be burned out wrecks of other aircraft - I was contemplating walking back to Dushanbe! Never again but what an incredible experience.
Tajik Air from Moscow DME to Khujand. Well apart from the fact that the plane was really very old (Tupolev 154B-2)and the staff - quite rude and depressed there was a seating problem as the seats were not marked in the cabin so 'first come first served'. There was even scotch tape on the windows! During the entire flight I felt a bit scared as I honestly thought we were going to have major problems with the aircraft. However after a troublesome 4 hour flight we landed safely in Khujand. On my way back - almost the same story. This time the plane was a bit better taken care of but still it seemed as though I returned back to the time I was a kid when Tupolev 154 B-2 series was at the peak of popularity with Aeroflot. The security check at Khujand airport was terrible and we had to let all the Tajiks pass through before we were finally let in. Consequently we were the last to enter the cabin. Upon entering it we realized the plane was full and there seemed to be no seats for us. A very 'helpful' cabin attendant said (I am not joking here) You should have come earlier! We hardly managed to find seats for us and were very happy to eventually land in Moscow after a 4 hour turmoil. What an experience!! A really lifetime impressions!!
I travelled with Tajikistan Airlines from Istanbul to Dushanbe and have no desire to ever travel with this airline. Service was the worst of all the airlines I have travelled with and food was not an exception. Language is another problem as they can't understand English at all. Inside the aeroplane there are no numbers on seating and you can sit wherever you like same as cheap budget airline. The whole plane was as smelly - in brief the worst of all airlines.