Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Russian jet-set

SIR – I read your article on Russia's airports while sitting in a grotty bar at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport (“Kama Sutra and feral cats”, December 23rd). I had missed my connecting flight and myself and other passengers, having no Russian visas, were escorted by two KGB-looking gorillas to a side exit and driven to a third-rate hotel to spend the night. I was not allowed to leave the room, which I shared with a huge, snoring Lithuanian, for 15 hours. Only the next day, was I “freed” and delivered back to the 1980s spectacle that is Terminal 2 of the airport. What amazed me about the ordeal is that none of the staff at the airport or the hotel expressed even the briefest of smiles. For those who think the Soviet empire died years ago, I can attest it is alive and well, and flourishing at Sheremetyevo airport.

John Ordovas



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