Flying S7 Airlines Through Novosibirsk…

I’m having a bit of a crisis at the moment. There are simply so many airlines I want to try that it leads to indecision, and then I end up not booking anything.

While roaming around Hong Kong International Airport’s gorgeous midfield concourse a couple of weeks ago, I saw a lot of beautiful widebody planes.

However, there’s one plane that captivated me more than any other — an S7 Airlines Boeing 737.

How could I be so interested in a random 737?

Ever since seeing the S7 plane at Hong Kong Airport I’ve been looking at itineraries on them. Business class award availability on them is excellent, and there are no carrier imposed surcharges. For example you could fly from Beijing to Prague via Novosibirsk for 57,500 Avios one-way in business class.

Since they’re in oneworld, I’ve also been looking at the possibility of just booking a revenue ticket. A one-way business class ticket between Beijing and Prague or Minsk is typically $1,200 or less, which is pretty good when you consider that you could earn miles for it (with AAdvantage you’d earn 125% redeemable miles, 150% elite qualifying miles, and EQDs for 25% of the distance flown).

S7 Airlines seems to have recliner seats in business class, similar to what you’d find in first class on domestic US flights. While that’s not ideal, it’s also not surprising, given that they don’t operate any real longhaul flights.

Given the process required for getting a Russian visa (which I imagine has only gotten tougher the past couple of years) I figured transiting would be the only option. However, then I realized that I had visited Moscow and St. Petersburg a couple of years ago, and that my visa was actually valid for three years, through next summer (for whatever reason I thought it was a single entry visa).

That means I could actually visit Novosibirsk for those same 57,500 Avios, and have a stopover for as long as I wanted. Novosibirsk even seems to have a nice-looking (and cheap) Marriott.

I had an incredible time visiting Moscow and St. Petersburg. Though I have to be honest, Russia outside of the major cities scares me a bit. Maybe I’ve just been watching too many dashcam videos, but…

Novosibirsk is Russia’s third largest city, after Moscow and St. Petersburg, so perhaps my concern is unfounded, and it’s actually a pleasant place.

I feel like I also need to visit Novosibirsk for their interesting selection of Priority Pass lounges, including “Movie Hour.” I still have no clue what that actually is.

Has anyone been to Novosibirsk, or flown S7 Airlines? Should I just connect there, or is it worth visiting?

If it’s worth visiting, I figure I should do so while I still have my current visa. It would be especially cool to fly to Minsk, since that’s a place I’ve been wanting to visit as well.

Comments

  1. I stopped In Novosibirsk on the transiberian rail. Didn’t find much of interest there. Interesting train station and a railway museum. My strategy generally to take advantage of 23 hour stopovers especially in places I’ve never been. So might as well?? I as a gay male had no issues in any of the places we stopped along the transiberian. The other stops I made were far more memorable than Novosibirsk.

  2. Siberia is nice, the women are nice but you will not be able to use their services like our god emporer DJT and his stooges that golden showered the monkey prez’ bed a few years back.

  3. I am flying S7 next month during the World Cup between Moscow and St Petersburg – same thing with me – last OW airline to fly. Looking forward to your review – curious to their treatment of OW Emerald – if this is anything like Brazil in 2014 I expect general madness at the airports

  4. I flew S7 a number of years ago, DME-UUD. I honestly can’t remember the plane type, but it was 3-3 in economy. I was towards the back, in a middle seat. Although it wasn’t a true middle seat, since instead of a window seat next to me, there was a plastic barrel filled with rope. Not joking. We had a long delay on the taxi-way, and it was sweltering, at least 85 degrees in the plane. Then we took off, and the temperature dropped to at most 60 degrees. I finally fell asleep (it was a red eye), only to be awoken for the “meal service,” which consisted of a piping hotel round cutlet wrapped in tin foil being tossed into my lap. I’ve heard things have gotten better…

  5. Lucky, I’ll be in Novosibirsk in mid-July on a Trans-Siberian rail trip and will be staying at the Marriott. If you stay there before then (in June as your screenshot suggests) it would be awesome to read your review. Or if you find yourself travelling in July it would be sick to meet you in Siberia of all places

  6. Ural Airlines operates a similar routing structure, though it is out of Yekaterinburg. That would make for an interesting review.

  7. I flew S7 from Moscow to Krasnoyarsk round trip in business class. It was absolutely nothing special. Seating similar to domestic first in the U.S. Food was generally terrible and service was very Russian.. cold and unfriendly. There wasn’t much English spoken either. In fact, the agents on the ground in Krasnoyarsk spoke ZERO English. Fun times!

  8. If you do this, you could fly Air Algerie from ALG-PEK on their A330…but a one way flight this August is ~$2000 in J

  9. Would be really cool if you somehow managed to sneak into this itinerary a flight on one of Rossiyas 747/777 and try their Super Space class (former Transaero first class). For some reason I’ve always been curious about it

  10. Never been to Russia, but I did just get back from a trip to Belarus aka the last dictatorship in Europe. I’d encourage you to take a trip to Minsk, if only to say you’ve done it. They now offer a 5-day visa free travel scheme, but you must use MSQ as your international gateway.

    Not a huge number of options to get there, but AY is starting its HEL-MSQ service next month. SU was a natural choice, but you can only fly them to MSQ if you have a Russian visa (SVO-MSQ is considered a domestic flight). Otherwise, flying good old Belavia is always an option. I ended up flying B2 on VNO-MSQ-RIX with an overnight stop in Minsk, which is operated by ex-UA CRJ-100/200 metal.

    Whatever you do, either order an Uber from the airport or take the bus ($2) if you arrive during the day. Or you can order a flat rate taxi for $20 USD ($40 BYN). Don’t use the taxi stand; it’s a rip off.

    As far as hotels, I’d recommend the Doubletree Minsk. Very nice hotel and the rate was dirt cheap, at about $100 per night, which included a buffet breakfast. The buffet was quite good (surprisingly); not quite on par with the Island Shang in HK or GH in TPE, but pretty impressive nonetheless.

    The city itself is enormous, thrice the size of Paris, so walking around is not a good option. The driving is quite easy there, but I hired a guide for the day who took me to see the (generally ugly) sights of Minsk.

  11. @ Ben Holz — I NEED to add that into the itinerary. Anyone know which routes those planes are flying now?

  12. I flew S7 from Bishkek to Hong Kong with a stop in Novosibirsk and it wasn’t too bad. It was about a 4 hour layover and the airport was basic by Western standards. But I would love it if you did a post on how you get a Russian visa and also Uzbekistan visa.

  13. The fact that its the one oneworld airline you’ve never flown speaks volumes about them.

    I’ve NEVER understood why they are a oneworld member.

  14. @Lucky – S7’s run brand new A320NEO’s out of Bangkok. Saw one the other week and fares out of Bangkok might be significantly less. I’d look into that.

  15. Hey, Lucky. Sounds fun but don’t kill yourself trying to arrange it. I see it as in the TAAG class. Interesting to read but not very useful for the reader. Maybe you should have a quota of reviews of common trips, new products, weird stuff. S7 is weird stuff.

  16. @James – because SkyTeam got Aeroflot. Or at least that’s what I understood the reason to be; they needed that global brand recognition/association. I could be entirely wrong though.

  17. Flew them 2 years ago . Moscow to Volgograd in Economy and Vladivostok to Tokyo in Business class.Being BA gold i was allowed in their Moscow lounge wich was OK. I found the service very good and friendly. I could not book the award tickets online but I had to call BA.

  18. Lucky, I just returned to the states after spending 8 months in Novosibirsk teaching English at a University there. The city itself is certainly not nearly as beautiful as Moscow or St. Pete, but the people are extremely friendly. It’s probably not worth more than 24-48 hours, but I think it would definitely be interesting for you to see a very different part of Russia.

    Ovb is a clean, functional airport which is pretty easy to transit, and my dozens of flights on S7 have always been pleasant and punctual.

    Also, the Marriott is great! Staff is friendly and attentive, the building is brand new, and probably the nicest building in town!
    Happy to answer anymore questions

  19. We flew S7 LED-DME a couple years ago on an Avio redemption. Our BPs beeped at the gate, turned out they upgraded us to business class. Instead of putting both of us in same row (there were empty seats) we were put to window seats. I gather they wanted us to have some good views over the flight. I had a gentleman as my seatmate, my husband sat alone. They served a 3-course lunch on that flight, and bought out each course separately. We were utterly impressed.
    Based on comments posted above, I guess we totally lucked out.

  20. I’ve flown with S7 once last year, on a MUC-OVB-BKK trip when they still have those 25-year-old 767s. Unless you really wanna visit Novosibirsk, I wouldn’t recommend on flying with them. With its largest base in OVB, S7 is pretty much a domestic airline with very limited service catered to O&D, and mostly leisure, Russian travelers. That results in the following:

    1. If you don’t really speak Russian, there would be a hard time flying with them, as their flight attendants don’t really speak any English, and would try to avoid you as much as possible over the required service. You will definitely find a totally different attitude towards you and other Russian speakers if you don’t have someone to translate for you.

    2. Their only lounge at OVB is on the domestic side. On the international side you wouldn’t see anything: a bunch of benches, three to four eateries, one duty free shop, bathrooms with United Club designs and that’s all about it. Unless you bring your own entertainment, it would be super boring staying their for over 30 minutes.

    3. Their onboard product…Well, when they still have those 767s, those UIA-style recliners (but definitely wider than UIA’s) are the only way you can make yourself at least not too uncomfortable. Now on their 737s and 320s, there’s only the very basic Recaro seating which will be a suffering over 3 hours.

    4. Entertainment wise, they have no IFE and no Wi-Fi, and their inflight magazine and newspaper are all in Russian. So bring your own entertainment if you could, and make sure you have enough battery for your whole trip. Unfortunately my laptop and iPad ran out of battery after the first flight, and all the portals at OVB were unusable, so it was as boring as you could imagine having nothing to do on the 7-hour OVB-BKK flight.

    5. If you purchased their discounted biz fare (or biz promo or something), you will not get lounge access at your departure place, unless you are Oneworld Sapphire or Emerald, or have one of those cards that will get you into a lounge.

    6. They don’t really care about all priorities, being it biz class or oneworld members. Both at OVB and at MUC, I don’t recall any priority boarding calls from them. Everyone was boarding in a endless queue.

    Flying with them is quite of an experience I’d say, but it is mostly from regretting of flying with them and human-gazing. Unless you really don’t have other options, I’d suggest you avoid them at all cost.

  21. Ben:
    https://www.google.de/flights?q=sochi+magadan+flights&client=ms-android-huawei&prmd=tmivn&source=lnms&impression_in_search=true&mode_promoted=true&tbm=flm&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj2mr2_2YrbAhWF-aQKHTYnA_0Q_AUIESgB#flt=AER,SIP.VVO.2018-05-27.SIPVKO0SU6144~VKOVVO0SU6281;c:EUR;e:1;a:SU;sc:b;sd:1;t:f;tt:o;sp:.EUR.107320

    They fly to Simferopol, Sochi, Vladivostok and a couple of other places. While 1000€ is quite a lot of money, that’s as cheap as I’ve found it, considering that you get the chance to fly both 777+747. You will have to add another 250€ or so as there’s an additional cost to upgrade from business to super space. May sound weird but have been eying the prices for quite a while now

  22. @James

    Why not? b/c ppl don’t fly within Russia? Skyteam has Aeroflot, so what’s wrong with getting the biggest domestic airline in russia (at least at the time S7 joined) to get some Russian and CIS coverage added to the oneworld network?

    @Lucky

    Are you mostly worried about gay rights outside of Moscow and St Petersburg? or state of tourist infrastructure? Not sure what the cause of your concerns is?

  23. @James I’m also wondering how Adria and Croatia got into Star Alliance… seeing them in the same alliance as ANA and EVA just doesn’t seem right for me

  24. @ Ben Holz — Hmmm, that link doesn’t work for me. Could you double check? Very intrigued!

  25. @Lucky – link is working for me, you need to add in that last portion (:.EUR.107320) manually

  26. I flew a single, really short segment with S7 in December, DME-LED. Flew it in economy, though, but I’ll just say that the experience was mostly unremarkable. Only two things that stood out at all:

    1. A really miserable and unfriendly check in agent who gave us lots of attitude and then almost made me check my carry on because it was less than 0.5 kg over the limit.

    2. A horrid boarding process. The flight was delayed ~30 minutes, and not only did they not announce the delay in any way (even all the Russians around were confused and annoyed), the gate agent didn’t even show up until they started the late boarding. There was no call for priority boarding, no actual boarding process at all to speak of, just a giant mass of people shoving their way to the front of the line.

    The S7 lounge in DME was fairly basic, crowded, and had limited and disappointing food. I don’t remember anything in particular about the flight, as there was nothing great nor terrible about it.

  27. Can’t seem to get the link to work… It seems to work on sundays during summer (june onwards) from Simferopol to Vladivostok. Pricing on google flights comes to EUR1,074

  28. I connected through Novosibirsk airport last year from Bishkek to Beijing.
    Nightmare as my Russian’s limited (read: non-existent) and few people at the airport spoke English. The transit counter was closed and a large number of us were waiting to connect to places like Beijing, Seoul, and beyond.

    Eventually, an S7 rep (not the airport agents) opened up the counter and pushed us through (with boarding cards, thankfully).

    The flights themselves were fine. Stewardesses were exceptionally polite.

  29. One other word… if you can somehow add Kazan to your itinerary… much more interesting and the city boasts a tupolev 144 on display. I was so excited to see that bird. You really should just do the transiberian one day.

  30. I thought OK GO filmed that video, not S7.
    Yes, they used an S7 airplane but the video is all OK GO.

  31. I’ve been keeping track of the Rossiya 777’s. They mainly fly out of Vnukovo. I’ve seen them fly to Vladivostok, and Magadan, the easternmost city accessible by road.

  32. I’m an AA Plat, and flew S7 domestically from Irkutsk – Moscow (DME) after a trip on the Trans-Siberian last summer. Didn’t even realize it was OW when I booked it, but was able to add my AAdvantage number at the check-in counter in Irkutsk.

    I was actually very pleasantly surprised. I flew coach, but got a free checked bag due to the OW status and priority boarding (in theory, though in Russia nobody listens to anybody when it comes to lines).

    Service was friendly and warm despite the language barrier, the FAs were gorgeous, young, and happy to be there, and they served a full meal in coach. The 737 seemed new enough and we were very punctual. All in all a hell of a lot better than the MIA-LGA flight I just got off…

  33. Could you fly them BGY to MSQ? You’d have a long journey from Milan to Minsk.

  34. AAdvantage also has a ‘within Russia’ award price of just 17,500 miles in business. I’ve wondered if you could use this on s7 as a cheap but long way to get between say, Vladivostok and Moscow.. or if you really wanted to maximise distance, Vladivostok and KGD (Kaliningrad).

  35. Lucky, Novosibirk is not an interesting place to visit at all. So I would strongly recommend you to fly S7 via Irkustk instead. Irkutsk has a much better historic city center, but, more importantly it is very-very close to Baikal lake, which is simlpy amazing and defenetly worth visit!

  36. Lucky, given you have a valid visa for Russia, I’d advise to visit a few more and perhaps more interesting cities. This would also allow you to experience some other interesting airlines/planes, in addition to S7.

  37. June 2017 I was in Antalya, and saw a Rossiyas 747…I believe it was headed to St. Pete but I could be mistaken.

  38. Forget Novosibirsk, visit Lake Baikal instead (google for photos/info). I’ve flown S7 several times (in both Y and J. Y is pretty awful and one flight (4 hours) all toilets ended up being out of order by the end. J is ok for a regional product, the food is above average, standard old school recliner seats. They are pretty good with upgrades (I ended up with an accidental BA Silver status after a few deeply discounted (sale + AARP $400 off) JFK-LHR J trips, and getting S7 upgrades and lounge access at DME was probably the best (if not only) benefit of that. Flying with them again in early Jul PEK-KJA and back in J. Don’t think of Novosibirsk as the only place you can get to on S7 in Russia (KJA – Krasnoyarsk – has great natural reserves I’d pick over Novosibirsk. But Irkutsk/Lake Baikal would really be my reco). If you by any chance end up in Krasnoyarsk the first week of July though I’d be happy to be a tour guide (I only visit for about a week every year though, so the guiding might be far from expert, but I did grow up there).

  39. Interesting. I had no idea about S7’s business model to connect Europe and Asia via Novosibirsk. This reminds me of COPA and Icelandair’s business model, using narrow-body aircraft to connect people on long-haul journeys via a centrally located hub.

  40. It’s cool thinking that I’ve flown a company you haven’t, given the huge difference in trips lol.
    I flew S7 from Moscow to St Petersburg, and to be honest I was a bit “scared” because I was bringing two pieces of hand luggage, as I usually do without any problem with BA. On their website it seems you could only bring one, then I asked on the facebook chat and a first operator just confirmed that, though a second one explained it a bit better and eventually everything was fine with it; just let me say that they check the weight (max 10kg) of the bigger one at check in before giving the “approved” tag. Choosing the seat when buying the ticket was also not possible (I’m BA silver), and I had to ask again to the support to have it assigned, and waiting till the check in to see it, because on their app/website it didn’t show up till then… it was also nice to check the luggage at the airport with S7 personal not speaking english at all, and the cabin crew also spoke a very little english. The lounge in at Moscow DME had quite nice food and a great view, though they only give beer as free drink…anyway, the view of the tarmac with many of those green planes was lovely! 😀

  41. Lived in Russia and flew S7 50+ times over the last few years as I frequently go back. Honestly it’s great for a domestic carrier, super punctual and free food and drink on every route. Lucky – you should visit Vladivostok, it’s really beautiful and kind of a unique city given how Far East it is. S7 does fly to VVO from PEK.
    Also, even as a QFF Gold / One World Sapphire I received from memory 3 operational upgrades to business with S7.
    Chain hotels in Russia are also really good with recognizing loyalty too, so I think you would find it interesting to stay in the Marriot at Novosibirsk, or one of my favourites is a relatively new DoubleTree by Hilton in Ekaterinburg which is really beautiful.
    Good luck!

  42. @Lucky
    Flew S7 DME — EVN rtn front row economy only 3-3 configuration, then DME — LED at the time (summer 2017) brand new J (purple leather seats – better than they sound!) in what I *think* was a 737-800, last-minute aircraft change, like another reader, OW Emerald status appeared to be recognised as upgraded on an avios booking.

    Staff spoke enough English for us to get by, which I was grateful for since I can say only ‘yes, no, thank you’ in Russian.

    J was wonderful compared to intra-EU business, seat is better than CX or BA premium economy – wider and better recline.

    Food was great, including Russian chocolate as part of dessert. DME lounge was undergoing renovations so not at its best but staff were friendly and enthusiastically helped me connect to WiFi when I had trouble trying by myself.

    Economy-only short red eye to EVN was standard OW economy experience. You may have to insist if you want priority boarding, like on LATAM domestic flights in S America.

    I had to use call centre and email to book seats I wanted and take advantage of OW status, but this was efficient and call centre staff spoke English. I think I called on WhatsApp or maybe even the S7 app?

  43. Ben, I have done over 100 flights on S7. Despite having tried many “real” airlines first and business class products, I can still say that S7 is actually good in business class. When you compare things, do it with at least some logic in mind – it’s supposed to be a DOMESTIC carrier with some shorhaul international destinations, and it is doing good this way. The service in business is mostly warm and attentive, better than US3 for sure – I have flown a lot inside of the US and inside Russia on S7 and Aeroflot and can compare properly. I wish you good luck with your seat though – sometimes it can be just too old and some features not working. Novosibirsk is also good at this time of the year and until autumn. Let aside all this anti-russian hatred and paranoia – people are good if you don’t hit them, being gay in Russia is totally fine until you start kissing random men right on the streets, and service can be better than US. It’s all crew-dependent.
    Wish you good luck and a pleasant experience.

  44. I flew S7 892 in June 2017 between Barcelona and Moscow in business in a 737. Business is really more like Premium Economy. Mind you that puts it way ahead of any other intra-Europe carrier other than Aeroflot.

    Service was good, food was reasonable, flight attendants were professional and spoke serviceable English. While perfectly pleasant for a flight of 4.5 hours, I’m not sure I would want to do 10 hours plus in this aircraft and in those seats. I would definitely not do anything that involved other than daylight hours.

  45. Indeed you are in a crisis. 57,500 points are a complete waste on S7 Business Class considering the fact that their J seats look like domestic first seats… they don’t even have leg rests.

  46. @lucky
    The idea of trying out Rossiya is a great idea, I think. In recent months, they have used the 747 regularly on flights from Moscow to Khabarovsk, and the 777 from Moscow to Vladivostok. Of course, they’ll occasionally schedule the 747 on the Vladivostok route. I would highly recommend visiting Vladivostok. It’s a beautiful city that has a very different feel than any other place I have visited in Russia, due to its proximity to Asian countries and its location on the sea. I have lived here 5(!) years and it’s a charming place.
    You can also take the opportunity to fly Aurora, another Aeroflot subsidiary. They fly from Vladivostok to Seoul and Tokyo, for example, and it’s a short hop to those places from Vladivostok. Of course, if you are feeling very adventurous, I would recommend flying them to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatka. Kamchatka is utterly beautiful and otherworldly.
    Feel free to write if you want to visit Vladivostok, as I can give pointers on where to stay, what to do, how to easily get a taxi without worries, etc.

  47. @Lucky, Rossiya flies 777-200 from UUS to Moscow 5x a week. A good way to get to UUS is a twice weekly flight from NRT on Yakutia airlines (Superjet) or Aurora Airlines from NRT (Dash8) or ICN (A319). The fares on the Rossiya flight are very doable as they compete with Aeroflot 777-300ER on the same right which has vastly superior service.

  48. They fly once a week through the summer to Dublin, could use that to position on a Norwegian 737 transatlantic and do one long 737-only trip, would certainly be something different!

  49. @Jesse, which hotel/s would you recommend in Vladivostok? I’ve been searching and aside from the “Villa Arte” the rest of the hotels don’t look really appealing.

  50. I live in Novosibirsk, so I’m mostly flying S7 🙂 Its normal, nothing special, but nothing special. Catering is bad.
    Priority pass you’ve mentioned (movie hour) is in the domestic terminal.
    Now they have a bussinees lounge in the international terminal, although its pretty simple.
    If you have any additional questions about tolmachevo, S7 or Novosibirsk – feel free to ask.

    Best wishes. Alex

  51. @Ben Holz Let me begin by saying that you’re not going to find anything on par with an international standard luxury hotel in Vladivostok. There are two half-completed hotels that are Hyatt branded, but they were never completed, unfortunately. There are no international hotel chains here. That being said, I have a few recommendations. By far the most popular among foreigners, including diplomats and other dignitaries, is the Hyundai Hotel. It’s location is perfect, as it is in the center of the city within easy walking distance of the central square. It is quite nice, with excellent security and amenities. It’s a great balance of comfort and location. The Villa Arte is quite nice, the closest thing to “luxury” that you will find here, but the location sucks. It’s outside of the city, but on the bright side it is much closer to the airport. You certainly will need to call a taxi to get to and from the hotel, as public transport there is notoriously unreliable. These are the only two close to western standards in Vladivostok. There are a plethora of perfectly acceptable hotels in the center, such as Azimut and Equator, that are clean and cozy, but very Russian. It’s hard to explain. For an average Russian, it’s comparable to how an American may view a Holiday Inn. Decent but no frills. If you are willing to stay near the airport and commute to Vladivostok, there’s the Tigre de Cristal casino. It’s about an hour from Vladivostok, but only about 15 from the airport. It’s fairly new, but be warned that a vast majority of their clients are Chinese, so it’s geared to cater to them. Overall, most hotels here are below western standards but in their own way fascinating.

  52. Thanks @Jesse! The Hyundai looks nice though for my dates the prices are more than double than the Villa Arte :s Nonetheless, I was thinking about the option of renting a car to have the flexibility of going around without being fully dependent on taxis/public transport, do you think it’s a good idea? Would you consider the roads to be in good state? Sorry for bombarding you with questions, but I kind of want to string everything together before buying anything 🙂

  53. @Ben Holz The roads in the Far East aren’t ideal. There are lots of potholes, and to make matters worse, the traffic is awful. Vladivostok is legendary for its traffic jams. The main road between the Airport, the city center and Russky Island is in good shape, but most of the city streets are in need of repair. Parking is also a nightmare. In the city center, it’s very difficult to find and parking violations are enforced vigorously. The traffic pattern schemes are also confusing, as there are many one-way streets. An interesting side-note is that the overwhelming majority of cars are used cars from Japan, meaning most cars have right-hand drive while driving on the right side of the road. Still, I recommend visiting Vladivostok for its unique style and scenery. If you plan to visit the national parks, which are stunning, or the tiger preserves, you will need a car. Just avoid Fokina, as it’s a closed city and you don’t want to explain to MP’s why you are there 😉 If you plan to visit the heart of Primorye, definitely rent a vehicle with some ground clearance.

  54. @James – Maybe they’re in Oneworld because they have a comprehensive Russian network and, believe it or not, Russians do actually fly (and some people visit Russia) on the odd occasion!

  55. @lucky I found a really good for the old Transaero Business class.
    $2000 from Moscow to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, and it is on both the 747 and 777. You can find it on Aeroflot’s website.

  56. I think it’s absolutely tragic that as I read this and started to see you mentioning getting a visa I thought “You got a three year one”.

    The storage bank that is my mind scares me sometimes.

    Why not get the train back from Minsk to Moscow or Warsaw?

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