I was trapped in ROV
for close to 9 hours in Dec 2005. I had my Russian colleague and two suppliers from Germany with us.
Originally, we were scheduled on Aeroflot-Don to VKO
dep scheduled for 8.15am. Being Russia, we arrived with two hours to spare at the airport = no breakfast at the hotel. Arrived, checked in (hand-luggage only), and were advised that departure was delayed till around 11 am. No troubles, we decided to return to the hotel for b'fast.
Returned to the airport - flights were delayed all over the place. In fact, the departures board was still showing flights from 24 hours ago as not having left. Reason: dense fog. Russian domestic carriers don't have any gear allowing for landing in such conditions. So we trundled off to the only cafe at the airport. Ordered beers. Ordered coffee. Ordered salmon sandwiches, in fact, we ordered pretty much everything they had. Time kept ticking over. No word on revised departures - the time jsut got pushed back. So I started to kick up a fuss - we had meetings in Moscow planned. We had to reschedule them - which became a problem since our German suppliers' visa would expire. Luckily, I always add an extra day to the inviation = extra day in case of contingencies.
Time is now 2pm, still no word, though the fog had started to lift. ROV
Airport is a grim place, old-school soviet-style airport and no 'evro-remont'. Toilets downstairs were so indescribably bad that one of the Germans actually took a picture. Old-fashioned squat toilet. Filthy, smelly, and in true russian style, no toilet paper, soap was floating in a puddle on the sink, and no hand towels either. Oh, and only three lights worked. And this airport also handles international flights!
We gave up on Aeroflot-Nord and cashed our tickets in. Spotted an S7
flight that was scheduled a few hours before the revised Aeroflot-Don flight departure. Headed over to S7
counter and got seats on their ex-UA 735 to DME
instead. We even had time to leave the airport again, head to the OS
downtown office to change OS
return flights ex-SVO
for our German friends.
let us down also. Their flight was pushed back also. As pax got more agitated, rude ground staff then chased everyone out of the office, slammed the door, locked it, and lowered the blinds. So much for customer service.
Much to our disappointment, the Aeroflot-Don flight we originally booked on actually departed prior to our new S7
flight. Still, we eventually made it on. Arrived at DME
some 14 hours after we were supposed to. For me, that's a record for spending time at an airport - from 6.20am till 18.00 or so