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AirHelp's Guide to the Airport Experience in Russia

By Lorne St. Clair | Last updated on

russia airport experience

Between 14th June – 15th July 2018, Russian cities will welcome thousands of football fans from across the world.

If you’re a supporter heading out to the games in Russia this summer, you’ll likely travel through one of the country’s airports.

Now, traveling through airports in Russia might feel like a daunting prospect, even for the most experienced travelers.

The language is confusing and Russians are often characterized as blunt and serious by many foreigners.

You don’t want to be treated any differently just because you are a football fan.

AirHelp wants to help make the airport experience for football fans in Russia as relaxed and stress-free as possible.

So, here are our top tips for handling flight disruptions in Russia, our guide to the host cities, how to get to and from the airport, and plane etiquette.

What to do if you experience a flight disruption in Russia

With Russian airports set to handle 3.5 million additional passengers, chances are that some fans will experience flight disruptions.

If you’re unfortunate enough to experience a flight delay, cancellation, or overbooking in Russia, you don’t need to know the language to get the money you’re owed.

Do you know what to do if your flight is disrupted? We’ve created a step by step guide for how to file a claim for compensation.

You can also click straight on the link below, fill out your flight information, and learn how much you’re owed instantly.

Tap Here: File Your Compensation Claim Today –>>

What are the Russian host city airports?

There are a total of 13 airports that link the 11 football host cities, and many airports offer both international and domestic flights.

So which are the host city airports? Innately, Russia’s major cities. Moscow has a share of three airports, Moscow Vnukovo Airport, Moscow Domodedovo, and Sheremetyevo International while St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo Airport serves international passengers.

For cities in the south of the country, Sochi City is served by Sochi International Airport, Rostov by Rostov-on-Don International Airport, and Volgograd by Volgograd International airport.

The eastern cities are served by Kazan International Airport, Saransk Airport, and Kurumoch International Airport located just outside Saransk.

The central city of Nizhny Novgorod is reached by Strigino International Airport. The western province of Kaliningrad has Khrabrovo Airport only carries domestic passengers.

So which airports make it into AirHelp Score? Moscow Sheremetyevo International Airport ranked 23rd in our worldwide ranking.

Getting to the airport in Russia

So, once you’ve established which airport you will be traveling through, it’s a good idea to prepare yourself for the airport experience itself.

Before you set out from home, it might be a good idea to pack a few smarter things. Reports of fans being told to smarten up and bans on sleeping in the airport are already making headlines.

It might be advantageous to check out our article with top tips on strategic packing, so you can fit more into your bag.

Russian Lingo and Documentation

As Russian can be a tricky language, getting to and from the airport might need a bit of planning.

Looking for some useful words? We recommend checking out the AirHelp Survival Phrasebook for some vital vocabulary for your trip.

So you’re on the way to the airport in Russia and for starters, security is expected to be stringent. To avoid any issues, be sure to arrive at the airport at least 3 hours before departure.

Remember, electronic boarding passes are not valid in Russia.

Make sure you check in online and always print out boarding passes.

That’s right, any electronic boarding passes on an app or email will be turned away and will significantly slow down your progress through any airport.

But for your records, always keep an electronic version too because it might come in handy in cases of flight delays, cancellations, and overbookings.

Download the AirHelp app, and learn about our smart boarding pass scanner feature.

Don’t be alarmed, but your luggage might be searched on your way out of the airport, so make sure your bag doesn’t contain restricted items.

On the plane in Russia

Once you’ve made it through security and are about to board the plane, it’s a good idea to double check that you have your fan ID.

The fan ID is an identification document issued to fans that plan on attending any football events. This is required by the Russian authorities. Thus, traveling fans need to have their visas and fan ID’s on them at all times when traveling in Russia.

Because you’ve already been through a lot, getting a drink might be your first thought after arriving at the airport. However, keep in mind that it’s strictly forbidden to bring alcohol onto domestic flights in Russia.

Pro AirHelp Travel Tip: Be aware that you can’t buy any alcohol onboard your flight in Russia.

Now that you’re fully equipped with all the best tips, it’s time to start enjoying some football!

Flight delays happen, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept them. You may be entitled to as much as €600 in compensation. If your flight was delayed, canceled, or overbooked within the last three years.

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