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A business trip with a bad start and a bad ending

Driving to the terminal in my private bus at Moscow airport

Sunday night around midnight I arrived home after an exhausting business trip that took me to Russia, Cyprus and Amsterdam. The start of the trip was not the best one you can have, first missing my flight and then an adventurous stay in a Moscow hotel room. I was not too happy with Moscow airport and the way they treat their customers there, but after flying back through Moscow on Sunday my dislike of the place turned to hating it.

What happened? Well, actually during the stop over most things went well. In the lounge the employees were rude and not service oriented as usual: they were sitting in the leather chairs eating and drinking the lounge food and drinks, and trying to ignore the few customers. When I turned on the light in the hallway to the toilets they screamed something to me in Russian, and when I came back they had turned the light off again. Not sure why, but I didn’t ask and just ignored them as well.

First class lounge "Klassik" at Moscow Sheremetyevo airport

Boarding the flight was also uneventful. Everybody was trying to get on board as soon as possible, there were no boarding privileges for business class but that’s just Aeroflot I guess (in Shanghai airport while checking in they didn’t even open the biz class counters, so I just went to the front of the economy line). On board the flight attendants could not find my coat anymore upon landing, and just told me that they didn’t know where it was, instead of looking for it. So then I had to look for it myself – and I found it in between their coats in a compartment with flight attendant coats… I have to assume it was an honest mistake.

But the thing that really pissed me off about the airport and Aeroflot is when I came home and realized the lock of my suitcase was broken. When I opened it I realized someone had broken into my luggage and stolen things! Among others I am missing 2 bottles of wine that I bought in Amsterdam and a lot of Sinterklaas candy for the kids. I am not sure if other things were missing as well, but because I never put valuables in my suitcase probably nothing expensive. This sucks and makes me really angry, and of course I shared my feelings on social media.

It turns out that this is quite normal in Moscow, several of my Facebook and Twitter followers had had the same experience there. A journalist gave me the contact details of the Aeroflot CEO, so I contacted him. I also mentioned what happened to the airline itself on Twitter, but of course no reaction from either the CEO or Aeroflot (Note: Aeroflot checks Twitter, because when I said something nice about them a few days ago they immediately thanked me). The terminal where it happened (Terminal F) is only in use by Aeroflot, and I am sure they are aware of this but just don’t care. The same attitude that all the Aeroflot staff has, from the transit desk people to the lounge staff, and from the ground stewardesses during boarding to the flight attendants. Not sure whether Aeroflot is still a state-owned company, but if it’s not the staff still acts like it. Service oriented? What’s that?

Leaving grey and snowy Moscow, happy to be back home in Shanghai in 12 hours

This won’t be the last time I fly to Moscow because I am doing business there, but from now on I will avoid Aeroflot and Moscow as much as possible. A company and an airport like this don’t deserve my money. I prefer to pay more money and fly a different route from now on. And as for my kids, I will bring them extra candy next time I’ll be in Holland.

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  1. That service really sucks! But I have to say thank you because I might fly to Moscow next year and I will make sure to not take Aeroflot flights.

  2. Hi Marc, got similar experiences on Terminal F, guess it’s just the Russian attitude that doesn’t really fit us, or almost the rest of the world 😉
    Shame I read this post just a little late, as i had could of gotten you (your kids actually) some good old Pepernoten that a friend brought.

  3. A couple if yrs ago, after i landed in Shg after yet another flught w Aeriflot fron EU, the first thing i did was i threw the ticket for the return flight into first bin i found in Pudong Airport. I bought return ticket w another airline and never looked back. The experiences of friends and customers who were more daring than me have been proving consistently it was the right decision.

  4. Told you never try Russia! dont know about the airport but my car is stolen by russians!