First flight to Moscow
The first flight to Moscow was mostly smooth.
TPA to JFK was no problem. Easy 2.5 hr flight. At JFK I transferred to Intl Term 1, received my Aeroflot boarding pass, passed through security, and hung out at the KAL lounge. I had about 2 hours to kill. That time was spent on the phone with last minute changes. Things like changing my cell phone plan, last minute calls to US friends/clients/family and adding skype credit consumed my time.
The Aeroflot flight was delayed boarding by 1 hour. ATC then held the flight for about 2 hours. I was famished by this point. Last time I had eaten was noon-ish. Aeroflot is known to have good Russian cuisine on board and I was ready to taste it! Finally, we got airborne.
Food? Not yet. It was quite turbulent leaving JFK and meal service was delayed. Around midnight we finally ate.
Aeroflot service was quite good. The meal began with some pastry appetizers. One was a spinach based pastry. The other, not quite sure – but still it was good. A salad was next, followed by a beef stew. Lamb, sole and an Italian pasta could be chosen as the en tree. I choose the sole stuffed with lobster and crab. Tasty! Desert was a rum cake and ice cream garnished with fresh berries. Not a bad meal!
Handheld digi-players are provided to biz-class passengers. This little device stores music and videos. Nothing was worth watching except an episode of the Flintstones cartoon. I was exhausted by this point. Laid the seat out and I slept peacefully until awoken for breakfast.
We landed in Moscow about 3 hours later than scheduled due to the JFK holds. Travel tip: be first in line at passport control! It takes forever. And speaking of taking forever, baggage arrival at SVO II takes forever!
I cleared customs (green zone) and found my driver. He was still waiting. Yes, quite perturbed at being held for 3 hours (he was getting paid by the minute to wait so why he was perturbed I don’t know). And he didn’t speak English 🙂 We communicated enough and I arrived downtown at the apartment safely.