On my next couple of blogs, I will be reviewing hotels, airports and highlights of my trip to Europe. I hope it will be helpful to those who would be going to those destination. My first review in my European trip is Moscow-Sheremetyevo Airport Terminal 2. When I was searching for reviews about this airport, all I got were bad reviews. I dread the stopover on my way back to Beijing as it’s longer than going to Paris.
Moscow-Sheremetyevo Terminal 2 serves Aeroflot Russian airlines’ international flights. It’s an old terminal built for the 1980 Moscow Olympics. Terminal 1 which is several miles away serves their domestic flights. If you plan to transfer between those two terminals, you would need at least 4 hours of connecting time.
Our flight from Beijing arrived late in Moscow. The transfer desk was just outside the gate where we arrived. At least 30 of the passengers in our flight will be connecting to other flights in Moscow. The transfer desk has 3 agents. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to breeze through smoothly. We didn’t know what time it was already as the Russian accent of the pilot was thick. Luckily, I was able to zone in to one of the clocks in the waiting lounge and saw that we’re supposed to be boarding already for our flight to Paris.
The agent in the transfer desk said we are now boarding and we have to hurry. After him, another booth will check our boarding pass and passport. Afterwards, we need to find our gate and go through another security check. This security check was quite stupid. They only have two x-ray machine for 3 flights flying out 5 minutes apart of each other. Thus, the line was so long as people need to remove all their belongings in their body and put it in the blue tray. Shoes must also be removed and put in the black tray. They’re considerate enough to provide a blue plastic to protect your socks. Note: no liquids allowed unless bought and packed inside the duty-free shopping plastic bag. So there goes the bottled water and coke in can I bought in Beijing airport. *sigh* When we got on board, we had to wait for like half an hour in order for all passengers to go through that security check. Thus, flight got delayed again.
On our way back to Beijing from Rome, we had a chance to stay for a few hours at the airport. I was able to go around and check out all the shops. If you plan to do duty-free shopping and you have time to kill, I suggest scout each shop for prices as they’re from different companies and have different prices. Booze is cheapest at the Duty Free shop beside Gate 21. I wasn’t able to find an internet cafe but they have several nondescript restaurants, amber lounge and an Irish pub. At the amber lounge, you’re free to use the internet, eat some snacks and relax for a price of 900 rubles for 2 hours. The duty free shop accept rubles, dollar or euro. The restaurant and some small shops accept rubles or credit card only.
The airport is quite small and old, you can go around the place in less than an hour. Seats are scarce that people have to resort to lying in the hallway or stairs. Russian souvenirs are ridiculously expensive (eg. cap with Russia on it cost 35 euros). It’s a gloomy place with not much lighting. Smoking is allowed in certain places and the place is in need of cleaning and cheering up. If you’re stuck in this airport, make sure you bring some reading material.