Tourists and locals in any city of the world rarely intersect: the first walks on beaten paths and "right" places, stands in queues to museums, and eats questionable food for a lot of money. Residents avoid all this, always knowing a short way and "right" places. The airport is also, in fact, a small city, the little tricks of which are known to every frequent flyer. Today we will talk about the secrets of Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport.
Where is Sheremetyevo International airport?
It is situated 29 km northwest of the city center, in Khimki, Moscow Oblast. Sheremetyevo International Airport is one of four worldwide airports that serve the city of Moscow. It is the busiest air terminal in Russia, just as the fifth-busiest one in Europe. Initially built as a military airbase, Sheremetyevo was switched into a civilian airport in 1959, and in 2019 was named after Russian poet Alexander Pushkin (Sheremetyevo - A.S. Pushkin international airport).
The airport contains six terminals: four international terminals (one under development), one domestic terminal, and one private terminal.
As you can imagine, it's quite easy to get confused in all these terminals, so follow our guide to enjoy your transit flight the best way possible!
How to get there?
Aeroexpress from Belorusskiy railway station or "Okruzhnaya" is certainly the fastest way to get to the airport and back (although taxis may be cheaper if you are not alone). Still, it is most convenient if you fly through terminals D, E, and F, and in the city, you need to get to the center. (By the way, it is quicker to get to the Aeroexpress from the arrival area of domestic flights D through the international transfer corridor by simply turning back to the passport control booths). If your departure or destination point in Moscow is in the northern part of the city, it may be more convenient to travel by bus - and for someone, it will be a plus that it is cheaper by more than 10 times.
As for Terminal B, it is rather long and inconvenient to walk from the Aeroexpress to it, going down to the underground inter-terminal passage, which is quite far from the station, so there is a better way. From Savyolovsky station for 92 rubles, you get by train (they walk several times per hour) to Lobnya station (and from "Okruzhnaya" even cheaper). Here you can take bus 21, which goes directly to the airport (another 34 rubles), and usually without traffic jams (stop right off the exit from the platform). As a result, an hour after departure from Savelovsky, you are at Terminal B.
An important note: the bus does not go to the terminal itself, but to the multi-story parking lot (this is the final stop). Go directly to the parking lot and follow the signs to the escalator to the 4th floor. From here, you will reach the third floor of the terminal through a covered passage to the registration area. At the time, it is comparable to the Aeroexpress, but more than 3 times cheaper. You go into the city in reverse order.
As for buses 817 and 851 to and from the metro, you should consider the risk of losing a lot of time in traffic jams on the Leningradskoe highway. Remember: from terminals D, E, F the 851st bus (to the metro station "Rechnoy Vokzal") goes straight to the city, and in the city, it is better not to go there to the final stop, but to get off earlier at the metro station "Belomorskaya", opened in December 2018, in order not to stand in a traffic jam.
817th to "Planernaya" from D, E, F on the way to the subway makes a circle of honor past Terminal B so you will be much later at the subway. On the contrary, you will get to these terminals faster from "Planernaya", because bus 851 from "River Station" will first go to Terminal B (but the bus from the same subway station will not). At night you can also get to the airport and back by night bus H1, which goes from the metro station "Kitay-Gorod" with intermediate stops on Leningradsky prospect and highway. Another way - bus 62K (suburban on the map "Strelka") from/to the station "Khimki", from where you can take the train to the Leningradsky station, you only need to remember about the day shifts in their schedule (but in the morning and evening you can get there without problems). This bus never stands in traffic jams, as it doesn't pass the Leningradskoe highway.
You could once try to put your car under the Aeroxpress overpass or leave it on the side of the road - now you won't be able to do it, small free parking is available only at Terminal A, and in other places, tow trucks do the work. However, there is quite a lot of paid parking in the airport area from 100 rubles a day: the farther from the terminal, the cheaper, but from the long-distance parking (the cheapest - P12) there is a free transfer to the airport.
It's more convenient to book a carsharing service: in the multi-story parking of Terminal D, you can leave cars "Delimobil", "Belki", and "Yandex. Drive", and in the parking of Terminal B - "Yandex. Drive" and "Matryoshki". Keep in mind: in the parking of Terminal B the networks of mobile operators are intensely working quite poorly, you may have to open the booked car or finish the rent by connecting to Wi-Fi (it is there, but with authorization by mobile number, so think it over in advance). To leave, you need to go to the cash desk in the central part of the building by the elevators (look for a pole B1-6), at the exit barriers of the cash desk is not! But in D, it is just at the exit.
Without traffic jams, you can get to the airport on the toll highway M11; it costs 400 rubles; a traffic jam in Khimki can "eat" about the same amount of money when using the per-minute carsharing tariff.
If you go to the Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport by Aeroexpress, the first thing that awaits you is the crowd and queue at the terminal entrance. The wait may take up to 20 minutes, but it can be avoided if you go down the stairs or the ground floor elevator to Burger King. Here in the corner, there is another inspection point, which nobody knows about, and people are never there. After the inspection, you can go right and take the escalator to Terminals E and F or leave the elevator to the gallery that leads to Terminal D.
The connection between terminals
Terminals D (international part), E and F, are connected by pedestrian galleries and in the clean zone. That is, after passing passport control and inspection in one terminal, you can fly away from the other. This is convenient because, in different terminals, both of these "cordons" are organized differently: the biggest queues in F, the least number of people, usually in E, so you can also save some time by passing through the control in the other terminal. However, this lifehack doesn't always work: sometimes, when the border guard sees you leaving the other terminal, he sends you there. Besides, your luggage (if it is there) will have to be checked in any way in your "own" terminal at the check-in desk or Drop-Off.
How to change terminals at Sheremetyevo airport? When you change from Terminal B to Terminals D, E and F, you drive in a separate, underground inter-terminal train car and climb from there directly into the "clear area" between Terminal D and E. To get into it, go through the baggage claim area to the end: there will be passport control and pre-flight inspection, followed by a descent to the terminal. It does not work the other way around; you need to go in a common line with departing passengers from Terminal B.
Keep in mind: if you have a transfer between terminals, it may take longer than you expect. If you wait in queues at passport control, underground train, and pre-flight inspection, you may not have time to get to the gate. At the same time, Aeroflot fundamentally closes the door in front of you exactly 20 minutes before departure. Even if you had a transfer ticket, the airline would take you out of the second segment without any compensation, explaining that once such a ticket is sold, then the time of the connection is calculated, and you are late. So do not buy tickets with less than 2 hours between terminals: this is fraught with risks.
Electronic device chargers
The socket situation in the Sheremetyevo International Airport is not ideal; unfortunately: single not always working power supplies are available in the clean area around the columns (always take a T-piece, because, in 99% of cases, the socket will already be busy with someone). Also, in the clean zone, there are charging stands with sockets for different phone models. Unfortunately, there is nowhere to sit near these booths.
Airport apps are the real lifesavers, and of course, Sheremetyevo has one as well, available both for Android and IOS. Thanks to the app, you can always stay updated with the latest information, arrivals, departures, delays, and, most importantly, have the whole airport map on your phone in case you get lost.
As for the gastronomical experience, you can eat anywhere at traditionally high "airport" prices (however, in Terminal F there is a relatively low-budget "Burger King".)
In Terminal F on the first floor (arrival) on the right, you can buy quite a decent Americano for 55 rubles and water at regular city prices in the common area.
However, it's not as interesting as the establishments on the 4th floor of Terminal F (before the inspection): the special place is a restaurant "Fifth Ocean" with a panoramic view of the flying field (but you can't take pictures there), where you'll be the only visitor in most cases, as well as a wonderful dining room "stolovaya" for employees with trays, and typical food like sour cream in glasses and eggs under mayonnaise and, most importantly, "stolovaya" prices. The good news is that not only employees are allowed there, but also everyone who wants to. By the way, before in this dining room you could have a great night's sleep (for those who are comfortable sleeping on chairs), now, according to the latest information, it has moved to a round-the-clock mode. The main thing is to take the right elevator with the inscription "For employees" (it is on the right), because the one on the left, on the 4th floor, does not stop.
However, it is better to sleep on couches in the clean area of Terminal B. There is also an excellent food court in this terminal: expensive, of course, but the food there is high quality and decorated beautifully: it will be a pleasure to visit it.
The airport during Covid-19
When organizing passenger transportation at Sheremetyevo International Airport, special attention is paid to customers, guests, and employees' safety and health protection. To this end, a set of measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection is fully implemented in Sheremetyevo following the instructions and recommendations of government agencies and medical institutions.
Per restrictions imposed by the Moscow Region Government regulations, visitors, including passengers and accompanying persons, are obliged to use the respiratory and hand protection equipment (masks and gloves) to be admitted to the territory of Sheremetyevo International Airport terminals. Simultaneously, body temperature measurement is performed for all the people entering the terminals (employees, airport guests, passengers, etc.).
Also, Sheremetyevo International Airport has implemented some preventive measures to ensure the safety of passengers and staff.
Monitoring the health of those arriving at the airport.
Non-contact thermometry of arriving passengers is performed at all Sheremetyevo - A.S. Pushkin International Airport terminals; 23 stationary thermal imaging cameras are used to identify potentially coronavirus patients.
Disinfection of all premises has been strengthened, the frequency of wet cleaning has been increased, periodic checks of ventilation system performance are carried out, cleaning companies have provided disinfection of all contact surfaces with the frequency of treatment at least every 2-4 hours.
Automatic contactless hand disinfectants have been installed in all the passing points to guarantee constant personal disinfection.
Informing the passengers
Bright floor markings are applied in places where passengers may congregate to maintain social distance.
The airport has organized full-scale information for passengers on preventing the spread of coronavirus infection; sound announcements are broadcast, information with recommendations of Rospotrebnadzor is placed on information counters and monitors in airport terminals. There are info-books on how to remotely declare a sick leave without violating the self-isolation regime in the arrival areas.
Sale of personal protective equipment
The sale of masks, gloves, and antiseptics in pharmacies and vending machines is running effectively.
Protection and control of personnel health condition
The airport personnel involved in passenger service is provided with personal protective equipment.
Before starting work, airport staff undergoes a mandatory body temperature measurement procedure in 10 specialized service health centers.
Ability to undergo testing for COVID-19
Testing for COVID-19 is organized by the requirements of the decree of the Chief State Sanitary Doctor of Russia.
Hoping these hacks will be useful during your trip to Russia in a completely safe and secure atmosphere!