Everything was smooth, even though we had a delay in JFK for some sort of plane check. (I mean the jokes write themselves...the 'random' plane check that delayed the flight to Moscow is as random as the guy with a turban getting flagged for extra security checks...)
Delta's Economy Comfort was defiantly worth it...for the close to 10 hour flight it was $120. For that you get to board first, after business of course, and you get extra leg room. I also choose an exit row, which meant that I could stretch out my legs and barely touch my backpack under the seat in front of me!!! Now, legit considering purchasing it for the way back too....but that way at least I have a window and not an aisle. Delta is not as stingy as Virgin with the food, but you only get one big meal, then a sand which, and a granola bar.
Getting through customs was easy. However, they had a 'for Russian citizens' line and a 'for diplomats' line. It felt silly to go in the diplomats line, but the other didn't make any sense either. Eventually the nice agent people just said go wherever, it doesn't matter. They were looking at the passport and visa for a long time, but it appears they are doing that to ALL Americans.
Luggage pick up was easy as well. However, figuring out where to go for a connecting flight? Or the capsule hotel I had heard about? Guessing is as good as the signs. I did eventually find the ticket counter and sat down to wait, but I was exhausted. I was trying to figure out how weird it would be in Russia to just sleep on the floor, when I heard an announcement for the 'Baikail Lounge' where for 2,000 RUB you can sleep for three hours, shower, get free coffee and tea, and I was sold. I was starting to get that dizzy you haven't slept enough yet feeling.
After the nap, I felt like a human again. Then the shower really helped!
I am currently awaiting my next flight. It's almost 7 local time and my flight leaves around 10:15pm. It's another red eye....we get into Irkutsk about 9 am local time (it's a 13 hour time diff to EDT, so about 8pm EDT). There will be two others in my program on the flight, but I don't know them, so we will see each other there!
See you around the globe!!