I did take Swissair to Moscow, and also had to go from Philly to Chicago first (Swiss air is partners with AA, and you can use your miles that way). I understand that you are not crazy about changing airports in Moscow, and I am worried about missing my connection there and having to find a hotel on short notice. As for transfer, intourist could certainly arrange that for you. I would thing you should be able to fly to Chicago and from there on to Europe with your miles, though. Good luck with your travel, when are you going to Ekaterinburg? And how's your Russian language skills coming along?
I thought I had this thing put together and then yesterday one phone call blew it out of the water. American Airlines doesn't have any reciprocal agreement with any other American airline. Seems only the internationals are valid. Might have to go through London using AA and BA to Frankfurt. I'll figure it out but it sure is tricky. Don't want to miss my flight to Ekaterinburg and it is easy to do.
I am thinking of starting on 6th march to arrive back on 20th march.
As for language skills they are zero. I will rely on my lady. She speaks pretty good English and has been to America for an extended period and is familiar with a lot of colloquialism, which makes life easier. I am afraid I just can't get the hang of Russian.
That does seem like a long trip indeed, I wish you good luck with it. I will Arrive late on the 19th in Ekaterinburg, and my lady will meet me there, sounds like we will just miss each other there. As for language, it takes time and patience, and if your lady is pretty fluent in English that helps a lot. I still want to learn though because there will be moments where she is not around to do the talking for me, and then I'll have to be able to rely on myself. I have been at it now for about 3 months and know a few hundred words and can put together simple sentences, by March it should be better. I had her 9 year old daughter on the phone now twice when she wasn't home, and it's kind of funny that I can actually talk to her a bit. Also I am planning on meeting the parents, and want to be able to talk, or at least know what they say.
you know I can get a direct flight from Miami or Ft Lauderdale to London then another direct to Ekaterinburg and i am thinking of doing this and to hell with the expense. BA has a direct flight to Ekat from London. 3 time as as much though.
just been looking on British Airways website for your flight.....what price have been quoted?
Showing here is a direct flight from London (return) for just over £500 GBP.
Link to the site on http://www.britishairways.com/travel/fx/public/en_gb?eId=111011×tamp=112807 5456&source=original
That is about what I was quoted - roughly $830. From a European city such as Prague, Frankfurt or Munich it is $330. Then a free flight to europe using frequent flyer miles. I am trying to make the money stretch but for the sake of convienience I am thinking of just forking out the dosh and using BA. The other factor is when the plane arrives in Ekat. I think it is midnight. They isn't a great time to be dealing with taxis and hotels and similar even with a guide. Anyway I feel funny about asking my lady to meet me at the airport in the middle of the night it just seems wrong somehow. It seems like an imposition.
Double checked it. The flight times have improved so this is a go with BA. It will be a brutal journey but it will work our best thanks for your input. I will end up leaving Ekaterinburg on Sunday the 20th March and arriving in Fort Lauderdale on 20th March in the evening. I will be able to somewhat decompress and function on the Monday for work. This is going to be interesting. I'll fudge through the Monday somehow :):)I have a good feeling about this and I will give a complete and thorough report here when I return as I hope jj will too.
My flight will arrive 10:30 or so, I figured by the time I am through customs and immigratin it'll be 11, and I asked my lady to meet me at the hotel - she said she'll be at the airport though. I know it seems like an imposition to ask, but I suspect she'll want to meet you at the airport anyway. I think it's pretty cool. Good luck to you, Iz, and I'll certainly give an update again when I get back.
Didn't realise how strong the pound was against the dollar. Back to square one. I finally got a flight for the same in dollars as BA wanted in pounds. Czeck Airlines cost $572. The trip to London is on frequent flyer miles. A diabolical trip but I'd sooner spend the rest of my money on accomodation and fun. I expect she will meet me at the airport also, otherwise it is going to be interesting ! She also said she won't let me freeze and I hope that means what I think it means. Best of luck jj and we will compare notes. :)
Finally got this damn thing straightened out. Miami to Frankfurt then Ekaterinburg. She agreed with the dates so I bought the ticket. Also booked a nice hotel in Frankfurt for the connecting delay on the way back. I am so glad this is put to bed. OK now I have to sort out the invitation letter, visa and apartment booking. Right now I need a drink.
I have made the trip from Ft Myers to Rostov on Don several times and have had great luck using Delta. The price and the connections are great. FL to New York, then Delta direct to Moscow. Easy terminal change (same airport, just a different terminal across the runway. 75 cent mini bus ride) about a 2 1/2 or 3 hour lay over in Moscow then on to Rostov. Flight to Ekaterinburg leaves about the same time as the flight to Rostov. Get yourself a VISA credit card as all others are worthless, and even the VISA card is not always accepted....they will tell you their machine isn't working!! It will probably take more than a month for your girl to get the invitation from her local OVIR, and then she will have to send it to you, and I would not trust the mail...another month at least....if it makes it. About $60 to send it DHL. I just use Russia-visa.com and they take care of invitation and visa for one fee. Now I have enough Delta sky miles for two round trips to Moscow, and working on my third!
I'm headed over Dec 29th and will spend 12 days in the cold and snow. I should know better as I have been living in southwest FL for 18 years now! I must be crazy...
Thanks for all that info really useful. I am flying direct to Frankfurt from Miami. Change to Ekaterinburg. 2 planes each way. 18 hour layover returning hence the hotel in Frankfurt. free shuttle to and from hotel.
Cost $1051 via orbitz.
About $30 charge by Orbitz.
Hotel another $96.
I normally use VISA so I have that covered. I will take a combination of money, travelers checks and credit cards. That should cover it. I had the same problem with credit cards in Italy last year. VISA definitely seems to be living up to its name though. I will visit Russia-visa.com because I don't want any cockups. That would be great if I have gone to all this trouble and I don't get a visa on time. That is why I have been planning this in late November. I have 3 months to sort this out. Unfortunately Christmas is in the middle. Should work out all I need to do now is become fluent in Russian by then and I am set.
using frequent flyer miles was ridiculous. I gave up. A simple flight to London using AA means a flight all over the USA. I will use them some other time. meanwhile my Capital One miles are building. You can use those for anything anytime. If you can buy it you can use 'em. Problem is you need a lot more of them.
Good luck with learning the language! I have been working at it for some time and....maybe I am too old to become fluent. Forget the travelers checks for use in Russia. They will be pretty much useless. I sent for my visa just a week and a half ago, and I expect it will be back to me next week. I tried to use my Delta sky miles for my trip, but they had me going thru Amsterdam and a long trip coming home. I decided to wait and ues them later as my normal route to Moscow that I mentioned above was less than $700 round trip. Made my flight to Rostov from Moscow on expedia (one way). Funny, but I will make the trip up to Moscow with my girl to spend the last few days with her site seeing and going to our favorite places, and it is much cheaper to book the return trip over there.
Oh yes, the thing I like about taking the Delta route is I have no long layovers, nothing more than 3 hours in Moscow. Once I get started I don't want to take any extra time with a layover and a hotel. I just want to get there as fast as possible, and back home quickly also. I am able to sleep just fine on the plane thanks to 2 tablets of benedryl!
Ive had good luck with Delta, and KLM. I fly from Ft myers to NYC, Amsterdam to St Pete. Minimal layovers but overall its a gruelling trip. Going there is not so bad but coming back sucks. I prefer Delta, KLM is second choice for me.