Introduction: Transatlantic Insanity
Review: Aeroflot Business Class 777-300ER Los Angeles To Moscow
Review: Aeroflot Lounge Moscow Airport
Review: Aeroflot Business Class 737 Moscow To Belgrade
Review: Metropol Palace Hotel Belgrade
Review: Belgrade Food Tour
Review: Air Serbia Lounge Belgrade Airport
Review: Air Serbia Business Class A330 Belgrade To New York
Review: Air France Lounge New York JFK
Review: Azerbaijan Airlines Business Class 787 New York To Baku
Review: Hyatt Regency Baku
Review: Baku Airport Lounge
Review: Ukraine International Airlines Business Class 737 Baku To Kiev
Review: Kiev Airport Lounge
Review: Ukraine International Airlines Business Class 767 Kiev To New York
We arrived from Los Angeles at around 3:10PM, and found ourselves in a long hallway. At the end of the hall you could either turn left towards immigration or right towards international transfers. Since we were connecting to Serbia, we turned right.
At the end of the hall was an immigration officer who checked our passports and confirmed our onwards boarding passes, and after a stamp we were let through. Then there was a quick security checkpoint, where there was no queue.
Less than 10 minutes after being off the plane we found ourselves in the departures hall, so the process was painless, and significantly easier than a transfer at any other major European airport.
Once through security we decided to follow the signage towards the closest lounge, which was the Jazz Business Class Lounge. Upon presenting our boarding passes, the associate informed us that our flight was departing from Terminal F, and suggested we use a lounge over there, which we did.
It quickly became apparent that this airport has a lot of lounges. For example, in Terminal D (where we arrived) alone, there was the Persey Lounge, Blues Business Lounge, Classica Lounge, Gallery Lounge, Jazz Business Lounge, and Matryoshka Lounge (all of which belong to Priority Pass).
So we followed the signage in the direction of our departure gate (#53), which indicated that the walk could be up to 25 minutes.
The signage for Terminal F suggested a similar amount of walking time.
It was indeed quite a haul, and I’d say the walk took us about 20 minutes. Nonetheless I’d take this transfer experience any day over Heathrow or Frankfurt. Being able to clear security within a few minutes and then just walk for a while feels sort of good after a longhaul flight. Also keep in mind that our connection was about the furthest amount of walking that would ever be needed when connecting.
It was a nice enough walk, and I loved watching the traffic on the taxiways.
Finally we made it to Terminal F, where we spotted the Classic Lounge. It was up a set of stairs, or otherwise you could take the elevator up.
I still don’t actually get the branding of all the lounges at the airport, as they all seem to be open to Priority Pass and Aeroflot customers.
Upon entering the lounge our boarding passes were scanned and we were promptly admitted.
The lounge itself was okay. The lounge had one main room, though furniture was arranged in different ways so that there were several “zones.”
In the front half of the lounge near the entrance were mostly leather chairs facing small coffee tables.
Then in the back half of the lounge was more of a cafe area, with dining tables and cloth seats.
Then in the very back of the lounge was an area that looked a bit more like a cigar bar, with comfortable leather couches and lots of oaky finishes.
The bathroom was located right next to the cigar bar-looking area, and was very basic. Apparently the lounge had showers as well, though I didn’t see them.
There were several food and drink stations. There were a few fridges with soft drinks and beer near the cafe area.
Then in the far corner of the lounge was the main buffet area.
It had an espresso machine, beer machine, liquor, wine, and juice.
The food selection was pretty basic, and featured all kinds of carbs, from toast to croissants to other things I couldn’t quite identify.
Then there was a refrigerated area with cold cuts, cheese, salad, and more.
Then on the opposite side of the room was some soup and all kinds of small snacks, like chips, nuts, etc.
I think the signage speaks for itself…
One of the funnier aspects of the lounge had to be the fridge with all kinds of caviar for purchase. Throughout our long stay in the lounge I never saw anyone touch it, but I guess it’s nice to have the option. 😉
Classic Lounge Moscow Airport caviar
Wifi in the lounge was high speed, with a catch. Every 15 minutes the wifi cut out, and you had to reconnect. I’m not sure what’s more annoying — having to reconnect every 15 minutes, or having slow wifi to begin with. So I was happy that it was at least fast when it did work.
Our layover was from 3:10PM until 8:10PM. The lounge was tranquil when we arrived, while at around 5PM it got super busy for about 90 minutes, and then it emptied out again. As you can see below, at one point almost every seat was taken.
We spent the layover getting caught up on work given that it was a weekday and we’d only have a few hours of wifi.
Boarding for our flight was scheduled to start at 7:30PM, so we headed to the gate at around 7:15PM. The lounge was already packed at that point, probably largely because there wasn’t much seating in the gate area. So everyone started lining up for the actual gate.
Boarding started at 7:35PM, though there was no announcement for priority boarding. So instead everyone just pushed themselves to the front of the line.
Moscow Airport Lounge bottom line
Let’s start with the transit experience. Overall the transit experience at Moscow Airport was super easy. The passport check and security process took just a few minutes, and then it was a 20 minute walk to the furthest possible gate from where we arrived. Transiting Moscow Airport is painless, especially in comparison to London Heathrow, etc.
The lounge was of course nothing special. I’m not sure if there was a better lounge we could have used, but ultimately the priority was getting caught up on work, and the lounge allowed us to do that. It certainly wasn’t as bad as some other contract lounges I’ve visited.
So I wouldn’t plan a longer layover than I had to at Moscow Airport, but at the same time if you have a long layover it won’t be too horrible, assuming you can keep yourself busy on your laptop.
But overall this was a much easier transit experience than I was expecting.