I decided to use frequent flyer miles for a trip to Russia in June. The only days that were available included the maiden voyage of Delta flight 46 from Atlanta to Moscow nonstop on June 1st. I used Infinity.ru to book the tickets for Samara – $120 roundtrip.
Like most Americans, the amount of vacation time I have is small; I only get 96 hours a year for vacation (10 days + 2 floating holidays). To augment my time off, I decide to lie to my employer and call in sick the day before my vacation time at work officially starts. I have never called in sick so I figure I deserve to do it once.
I am feeling a little guilty about calling sick when I go to the airport. I hate lying but I hate having such little vacation. I have worked on some weekends so I don’t feel so bad about sneaking an extra day off. The Atlanta airport is a zoo and I am grateful that I am a silver medallion so my check-in wasn’t that painful. I proceeded to the international concourse and noticed a mob of people at my gate. All of the local TV stations are here to report on the first flight from Atlanta to Moscow. There are balloons, Russian music, Russian snacks, and a podium set up.
I called all of my friends and told them to watch the news. I am going to be on Television!! After I finished calling everyone I suddenly realized the flaw in my plan: I had called into work sick. If anyone at my work watched the evening news they would have seen me. I must now hide from the cameras. This now sucks.
In the hour before boarding, there is a big hubbub at the podium. In attendance: the mayor of Atlanta, the CEO of Delta Airlines, The Russian ambassador to the US and other bigwigs. The ribbon cutting, etc ended and they started boarding the plane. The TV stations packed up before the boarding. I was so relieved because I thought I was going to have to put a towel over my head like that runaway bride.
The CEO of Delta and the Russian ambassador were on my flight so I knew if we went down in the ocean I would be famous. The flight was uneventful and all of the people sitting around me were Russians and a little confused why the big deal at the airport. I told them how I was dreading passport control and that the Red passport holders had it easy at SVO2.
I sat in coach near the front of the airplane so I did not purchase the VIP Lite service to expedite me through passport control. When we arrived, there was a champagne reception at gate 1. It seemed that all of the people in first class stopped and had snack cakes and champagne. I cruised right by and headed for passport control. When I arrived there were about eight people in line at one booth. I noticed another booth was open and was out of passport control in record time. A few minutes later the Russians that sat near me in the airplane joined me at baggage claim. I actually beat the Ruskies through passport control. Of course since I was the first one through my suitcase was the last piece of baggage on the belt. I noticed some baggage on the belt with “KUF” tags. There were a couple other people on my flight going to Samara too.
I was a little worried about going through customs because I had two laptop computers with me: one in my backpack and one in my suitcase. My worries were quickly quelled when I walked through the green line and nobody was there. I proceeded outside without stopping. The taxi drivers converged on me like buzzards to roadkill but I wasn’t dead and I quickly shunned them away. I began to look for the bus to Sheremeytevo1 when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I lifted my arm and turned around ready to confront another taxi driver but this person wasn’t a taxi driver. It was a beautiful girl that I had never seen before…………
The story continues at Russian Ukrainian Russian Women Discussion Forums