We searched for tickets for a full 48 hours of on/off fare shopping, mileage rewards charts, frequent flyer credit cards, and TripAdvisor reviews before we finally settled on three one-way tickets on Singapore Airlines. We flew from Houston (IAH) to Moscow (DME), and then on to Singapore (SIN). We stayed in Singapore for a few nights because I figured we would all need a break at that point and it didn’t add anything to our airfare. Then we flew on to Phuket (HKT).
Apparently Singapore Airlines SQ61 is a popular flight. When I searched for reviews, I found posts from 2005. Unfortunately, no one would tell us what to expect when we arrived in Moscow. I thought I would fill everyone in…
You do NOT have to pick up your bags and go through security again when you land in Moscow. However you DO have to depart the plane and go through a checkpoint. They didn’t stamp our passports and I don’t think it was immigration… it was just a “secured” area of the airport. We were given a plastic pass as we got off the plane and were released into a dismal part of the airport to wait in line (with no services at all). All of the departing passengers were in one line with two security personnel checking our plastic passes/passports before we were released into the main area of the airport.
By the time we were allowed into the regular terminal the people who were going on to Singapore had to walk immediately to the departing gate. There wasn’t time to change money and there absolutely wasn’t time to shop for anything. I’m not a big shopper, but I thought it was ridiculous of the airport to keep all those people from buying a ton of things while they waited for their flight… instead of waiting in the “security” area. But hey, they didn’t ask me. I wasn’t intending on changing money anyway. I’ve heard that they will only change $100 USD or more, and they won’t buy back their own rubles. So you’re stuck with a cheap souvenir and a bunch of rubles that they won’t take back. Not my idea of a good stop.
Hope this helps the next traveler who wants to know what happens at DME airport.