Afternoon Delight

St. Petersburg Russia

There were two desks with KLM at the St. Petersburg airport, so we molded ourselves into one and “pushed” through (as josh would say) to ensure no space was given to be taken. Somehow, after an hour of waiting, and hardly moving, with the staff not helping an ounce or giving any sort direction or signage, one desk disappears into another airline and we have to merge with the other pushy line. Awesome. Brows are drenched with sweat, ceilings are low, lunch wasn’t had, and we’re not the only grumpy ones in the vicinity. we’re close to the front now, and we hear them say to a lady that she must check in at the self check station first. No, I will not, she says. And that was the end of that. We stayed put also and got our tickets, well, after a few business class passengers poked in at the very front into the very same single check in desk as everyone else.

I’m pretty sure that by the end of this first stupid line my eyes and stare could have shot daggers, especially at the line pusher going neck and neck with Josh. (Who had the passports so I just cut in with him after he won). Of course the guy ended up sitting right behind us on the plane.

Then, to “exit customs”. The line had dividers! What a thought! 5 or 6 winding back and forth rows packed with people, no A/C, and after an already long annoying wait. This line took about another hour. Ironically, security, was a mere 5 minutes wait more at the next station through.

Two hours after arrival, we waited at one of 9 gates in the whole airport, in a city of 5 million people, in a space with about 30 chairs, some overpriced dry sandwiches and warm drinks, while waiting for the loading bus to move us to the plane at boarding time. Three hours in now, still sweaty, still getting over this latest airport experience, but the dry sandwich hit the spot, plus we beat the crowd to a hard seat.

Josh and I played our favorite airport game of “let’s be the last ones on the plane”, squeezing into the bus nearly last and standing on the tarmac until the rest of these goof balls rushed to get on so they can sit and wait some more.

Reading back over the page here, it seems like less of a big deal than it was at the time, and tomorrow we will laugh at it….but I will not be flying from there again. Ever.

We just found it amazing the lack of organization and efficiency of an airport in a city of this size…. The waits were super frustrating, not to mention hot, and no one communicated the plans or any sort of direction. Less people get frustrated at a place like Heathrow… Still really long lines but at least there is direction, organization and people directing traffic. You expect to wait in lines at airports, but at least you know you’re in the right one!!