Moscow Airport Stopover – Feeling Like Tom Hanks In The Terminal Movie!

I try and avoid long stopovers with a passion, unless you get a hotel included with the flight like with Qatar Airways in Doha. Or at least have a really good airport such as Dubai and Singapore.

But sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and ride with that really cheap airfare and take the long stopover. Such is the case now as I sit in a Burger King in Moscow International Airport having a cheap lunch and writing this.

I couldn’t help not writing this. I’m amused and tired all at the same time. This is a roughly 16 hour stopover on the way from Amsterdam to Tokyo and I’m not staying in a hotel.

Coming from 4 days of partying in Amsterdam and little sleep I arrived here quite fucking tired, but all that awaited me was uncomfortable chairs with armrests so you can’t get lye down properly and get a comfy sleep in.

I searched for 30 minutes and found a broken armrest that came off easily and yes, managed to get as comfy as I could. Sleep time, thank fuck I thought.

But noooooo! Of course it couldn’t be that easy. You see it’s the day after Jewish passover and Moscow Airport feels like an Israeli convention going on, with orthodox jews everywhere dressed in robes and chanting. Yep, after barely 1 hour napping I awoke to around 20 of them all around my chairs chanting (or whatever it is) away.


It was a very surreal wake up, but I thought “fuck it” they will go away eventually and i didn’t want to give up the broken armrest chair. But fate had conspired against once again as I was told to move as they needed the area to check in passengers heading to Tel Aviv.

Awww fuck.


Waking up to the chanting.

By this time the airport was seriously busy where I was in terminal D, compared to a few hours earlier when I arrived at 4 in the morning.

So I gave up and decided to watch a movie on my laptop. Interstellar if you’re curious. Well the last 1 hour or so anyway, as I had watched the beginning on the flight before.

Of course after that my battery decided to go low on me after a lot of previous use, so of I went in search of a plug socket. Now I searched for 30 minutes and there are no fucking plug sockets anywhere in this bloody airport.

But plenty of orthodox jews still roaming around in groups chanting like no tomorrow.

Fuck terminal D! Time to move on and see if terminal E was an improvement. It was. It still had the crappy armrest chairs, but finally a few, very few plug sockets could be found. Although they were all naturally being used.

But the one great thing was that it’s not a busy terminal so you get a lot more peace and quiet. Damn I even saw a man camping in his tent to get some sleep. Made me giggle.


I just wandered about trying to figure out what to do. Couldn’t watch a movie, couldn’t get a comfy sleep. Well there really isn’t anything to do at Moscow airport. There isn’t even free wifi. Not that it mattered as the battery was dead.

I tried talking to a few people to pass the time but no-one really was up for a chat. Oh well, the cheapest place I could see to eat was a Burger King, but the real thing was that they have plug sockets in there.

So I ordered a whopper (riveting stuff this post is) 😛

Then sat down to charge the laptop, where I currently am when I decided to right this rather quickish post. Partly to kill time to be honest, and maybe so someone can know what to expect on a long layover here.

I have 8 hours still to go and am very sleepy. I have explored this airport fully and started to wander what it would be like to be trapped in a international airport like Tom Hanks in the movie The Terminal. Maybe that’s what the man camping in his tent actually is…

Anymore that 8 hours and I will start to go nuts.

The things we do for a cheap flight ticket huh?

BTW Aeroflot is not the best airline in the world but they certainly have very good airfares a lot of the time, especially from Europe to Asia, so keep an eye out for them. Just be prepared for a possible killer stopover at a rather non-exciting airport.

They could at least get some powering plug socket stations installed in the bloody place!

5 Hours Later…

Well after managing to charge the laptop up more at Burger King I went for a walk again and found a new broken armrest chair, where I managed a 2 hour very disturbed nap waking up with a slightly sore back. But sleep was well needed.

Then I discoverd a coffeehouse with free wifi and plug sockets. So ordered a coffee (no surprise there), chatted to the waitress a bit and got on the internet to pass the time and help keep me awake until I can sleep on the plane.

That’s where I am now – dreaming of a soft bed…

But I’ve been in way worse airports (looking at you there Dushanbe in Tajikistan), so apart from being super sleepy and having to buy drinks and food to find a plug to use, it’s not a disaster. I can only imagine the nightmare of a long stopover at Dushanbe…

Anyway, rant over 😛

Maybe I should have lived in a van



Jonny Duncan is a travel blogger and freelance photographer. He specialises in adventure and budget travel with over 20 years of experience. He started blogging in 2013 to give advice for other travellers. He has lived in Japan, Amsterdam, Kiev, and more.

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