Every year, more and more people use Moscow's airports for transit. However, there are is a slight problem with this: Russians don’t speak English!
Of course, you can see English text on some signs, but in most situations this isn’t enough. This is especially true when you have a connecting flight or documentation issues when going through customs.
Thus, in this article, I'll explain what to say in some of the most common situations that can occur in Russian airports using three examples:
- Arriving at the Moscow airport.
- Departing from the Moscow airport.
- Making a connecting flight via the Moscow airport.
Let’s get started!
Here is some vocabulary that you may need when going to an airport in Russia:
- место у прохода (aisle seat)
- прибытие (arrivals)
- багаж (baggage)
- посадочный талон (boarding pass)
- салон (cabin)
- отправление (departure)
- экономический класс (economy class)
- садиться/ посадка (land/landing)
- взлетать/взлет (take-off)
- терминал (terminal)
- паспорт (passport)
- взлетная полоса (runway)
- турбулентность (turbulence)
- место у окна (window seat)
Imagine that you are arriving at Domodedovo (the Moscow airport). You leave the plane… and enter hell. Nobody speaks English anymore and the Russian language is everywhere. Here is the first phrase that you will need:
- Извините, Вы не знаете где находится паспортный контроль? (Sorry, do you know where the passport control is?)
So, now you’ve been shown the way to passport control, and you are currently standing in front of the customs officer. He asks you something in Russian (or tries to speak English and fails). Your response? Speak Russian!
He will be shocked that you can speak Russian, and you will probably go through passport control much faster than other people!
- Здравствуйте! Цель поездки в Россию? (Hi, why are you coming in Russia?)
- Я турист, хочу посмотреть Москву! (I'm a tourist, I want to see Moscow!)
- Паспорт, пожалуйста. (Passport, please.)
- Добро пожаловать в Россию! (Welcome to Russia!)
Now, you have successfully crossed the border and entered Russia; you just need to get your luggage. Usually, you won't have any problems here. However, just in case, let’s look at some useful expressions:
- Где выдача багажа? (Where is the baggage reclaim?)
- Я не получил свой багаж на ленте, думаю, он не прилетел! (I didn't find my baggage on the conveyor belt, I think it didn't arrive!)
- Покажите, пожалуйста, Ваш посадочный талон и багажную бирку. (Show me your boarding pass and baggage tag please.)
Hopefully, you’ve been able to get all your stuff without any problems and are inside the airport now! There’s just one thing left to do: go to the city!
- Где находится аэроэкспресс? (Where is the Aeroexpress?)
- Где находится автобусная остановка? (Where is the bus station?)
- Где находится такси? (Where is a taxi?)
Everything here is the same as before, just in a different order. So now you will find your terminal, find your check-in desk, go to your gate and then, board the plane.
- Где терминал F? (Where is terminal F?)
- Где 134-ая стойка регистрации? (Where is the 134th check-in desk?)
- У Вас есть ручная кладь? (Do you have hand luggage?)
- Где 15-ый выход на посадку? (Where is gate #15?)
- Посадочный талон, пожалуйста. (Boarding pass, please.)
You can always get further information from the cabin crew; they will usually be able to speak English.
If you need to make a connecting flight, there isn't much new vocabulary that you’ll need to learn. Here, however, are a few useful phrases:
- Где мой коридор для трансфера? (Where is the corridor for my connection?)
- У меня транзит, что мне нужно делать? (I have a connection, what do I need to do?)
- Мне нужна виза для транзита? (Do I need visa for transit?)
When it comes to finding a particular place, you can do so very simply in Russian. All you need is the word Где (where), plus the place. For example:
- Где туалет/вход? (Where is the toilet?)
- кафе (cafe)
- выход (exit)
- вход (entrance)
And now, the most important question of all for many people:
- Где Duty-Free? (Where is the Duty-Free shop?)
This uses the same word as in English, but is said with a Russian accent (Дьюти Фри).
So, Russian airports aren’t as complicated as they seem! And this is especially true if you learn a few Russian phrases.
As we say in Russian: Можешь сразу убить двух зайцев! (You can kill two hares at the same time!). These two “hares” would be:
- You will be able to get through a Russian airport without any problems.
- Everybody will be shocked that a foreigner can speak Russian! This is really unusual. Therefore, you will find that people are very willing to help you and speak to you.
I hope you enjoy your time in Russia and that you don't need any more expressions than the ones listed above; they are definitely important for your vocabulary! Also, Google Translator recently created an offline Russian version, so don't forget about offline translators.
Take care of yourself and travel as much as you can!