The Amazing Race, Moscow Shower Edition

40 transit passengers. One shower. The race is on. I’m sharing this because I suspect quite a few of you are booked on SQ61/62 over the comings months, and I want you to win the Amazing (Shower) Race as well.

Yesterday I flew from Houston to Singapore via Moscow on Singapore Airlines, which is nearly a 24 hour journey. There’s almost nothing I like more than spending 24 hours on a plane, though for everyone’s sake a shower halfway through the journey certainly is nice.

The funny thing about this “race” is that I didn’t actually realize just how competitive it would be. I knew I wanted to shower, and I knew there were roughly 40 first and business class transit passengers making the journey from Houston to Singapore, and I assumed a good number of them would want a shower.

So once off the plane I walked as fast as I could without getting arrested. Moscow Airport is pretty odd in that I had to show about a dozen different people my documents, though in most of the cases it wasn’t clearly marked that I actually had to stop and talk to them. So in more than one instance I walked past the agents/officers, only to be yelled at and called back. Enroute I saw more mullets and daisy dukes (in most cases not on the same person, fortunately) than I’ve seen in the rest of my life combined.

I got to the lounge and requested a shower. The agent gave me a towel and toiletries. “Where is the shower please?” Her response was “yes.” I gestured with my hands trying to get her to tell me where the shower was, but there was an obvious language barrier. In the meantime the two passengers behind me also requested a shower, and were also given towels and toiletries.

Okay, this is getting weird. Usually you get a key for a specific room. Is this one big communal shower or something? We’re all getting towels, but no one’s getting keys.

I decided to walk towards the bathrooms, where I saw the shower room. Yes, that’s “room,” not “rooms.” Check this beauty out:

I was able to shower and then my friend was able to shower, though by the time he was done boarding was called for the continuation of the flight. Sorry to the other dozen or so people I saw with towels.

So the moral of the story is this — if you’re transiting Moscow and want to shower, do whatever you have to do (without being arrested) to be the first person in the lounge.

While I’ll start the full trip report next week, I’ll have a quick comparison of my two Singapore Airlines flights shortly, one of which was with a perfectly good crew, and one of which was with a perfectly perfect crew.

Comments

  1. Do you need a transit visa for this connecting flight? I assume no but someone told me otherwise, so just to make sure…

  2. Interesting… what were they checking in your docs? And why so? Is that like clearing immigration for going to the lounge? And what lounge was this one?

  3. @ Andras — No visa required for transit.

    @ Mark — Everyone has to get off. We had about 75 minutes total.

    @ Gene — I booked this only a couple of weeks ago and didn’t reasonably have time to get a Russian visa, which I hear is a real pain. Also have two other places I’m already visiting on this trip, so couldn’t add another one.

    @ Apu — Just verifying boarding passes, passports, etc. Not like clearing immigration, more like transit security. The lounge is a contract business class lounge which is decent enough for a quick layover, but nothing special.

    @ Lantean — Did you see the size of that shower?!

  4. @ Danray — Nope, on neither segment. Book the Cook isn’t available out of Houston or Moscow.

  5. Lucky – I had no trouble getting a tourist Russian visa through Travisa last year. (It is true you need to have a sponsor. I think hotels are set up to sponsor you once you have a reservation in place. In my case, I was with an organized group, so the outfitter provided the needed info.)

  6. @ UAPhil — Good to know for next time, thanks!

    @ danray — Yeah, that shouldn’t be an issue.

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