in post

Aeroflot and Sheremetyevo Airport

There's an interesting fact that I hadn't considered before traveling: airlines are not necessarily responsible for getting us to our destination. I had a connection at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport with a bit more than 2 hours between, both flights being Aeroflot. But the airport was a madhouse. Thousands of Chinese travelers were there making connections between Europe and China. The airport's scant few security scanners were crazily overloaded, with everyone crowded into a narrow space and attempting to squeeze through to security. Pushing, shoving, crying out that their plane was now boarding... By the time I got through that mess, it was the final call for my flight. But Sheremetyevo is huge - and there are no skytrains or walkways. I ran and fast-walked as quickly as I could between terminal D and F, with a heavy bag. But by the time I got there it was too late. Boarding was closed. So they escorted me with 3 other passengers who had also missed the flight to the transit desk. They got re-ticketed (for the next day), but I was told that my connection time had been sufficient and I would have to buy a new ticket. They sent me from the transit desk to the Aeroflot counter where I waited there for hours with many other passengers in the same plight having missed their connections to many other places, and from there I had to wait in another long line at the ticket counter, because it was no use arguing with them.

I do not underestimate the inconvenience to passengers' who were able to get re-ticketed, on flights leaving the next day, but buying a new ticket when clearly the airport and its flagship carrier were responsible seems a bit much. I decided to buy a ticket back home, as this was cheaper than the onward connection. Fortunately I got home the same night, and my ordeal had lasted less than 24 hours.

My conclusion: from now on, where possible, only direct flights. It may be more expensive, but it's better for the environment and for one's sanity. As for Aeroflot or Sheremetyevo - never again, though I've been through this airport 4 times previously, without incident.

(The photo is someone else's from the same airport - I didn't have the presence of mind to take any)