A Question for Readers: How Would You Fly to Moscow (In Coach)?

I’m (very likely) going to Moscow in June for a short work trip, and for reasons that aren’t important here that trip will have to be in Coach. Let’s assume for the moment that I cannot use my own miles to fly Business class. My question is this:

If you had to fly New York – Moscow in Coach, what would your carrier of preference be? A United/Lufthansa combo is twice the price, so my preferred carrier is out of the question.

I’m leaning toward a connection on Delta (Delta to Paris, then onward on AF; or Delta/KLM to Amsterdam and onward on KLM) because I can at least buy up to Economy Comfort.

Aeroflot and Transaero are the cheapest, followed by the Delta options above.

Can someone buy up to Business or Premium Economy on Aeroflot using cash or miles?

I’m kinda flummoxed here…help?


  1. Does flying nonstop have no benefits in your view? saving three hours out and five hours back seems the best option to me. Yes it will be on commie air, but werent there stories that aeroflot is pretty nice? The price of a nonstop Delta flight is shocking. I assume you are not bound by ‘fly america’?

    • Yeah – Delta is something like $2500 vs. $700 on Aeroflot. I actually have no issue at all with Aeroflot, except I prefer the extra legroom in Economy Comfort.

  2. moscow!? lolz

  3. If you can’t do the non-stop on DL or SU, I think that I would go for DL/KL/AF, preferably connecting through AMS. If possible, book a 3 hour layover so you can go to the lounge and grab a shower. I’ve flown connecting flights to Europe more times than I remember. A shower after flying cattle class helps me feel refreshed and seems to make dealing with the jet lag a little easier. Plus you just feel more human. If you don’t have status, AMS has public showers available for 15 euro, see http://www.schiphol.nl/Travellers/FoodRelax/AfterPassportControl/Relax/FreshenUp.htm.

    I heard KLM was introducing Economy Comfort, maybe that option is available to you?

    • KLM Economy Comfort is an option — I’d gladly pay the extra $100 or so for the legroom. I’d certainly prefer the nonstop if there were any way to get a bit more space on Aeroflot. But I may just go w/KLM thru AMS…thanks!

  4. Does Transaero work? They often have good fares in Premium Economy…

  5. You should book a consolidator fare on Finn Air. There’s a lot of Russian travel agencies in NYC who can do this.

    • I’ve flown Finnair business class from NY to Helsinki. It’s OK, they have lie-flat-at-an-angle seats. Food and service were fine, nothing particularly memorable. Certainly better than coach. If your company allows you to purchase a consolidator biz fare that is the same price as coach, that would be the way to go. Finnair was actually running some $1500 biz class advance purchase specials a few months ago.

      Another option that I just thought about: Singapore Air has a flight from NY to Frankfurt that continues on to Singapore. The fare on the NY->FRA segment is often very cheap. I’ve booked biz class fares for around $2500 or less. Coach is likely cheap as well and you know you’ll get a good product. The trick is, you have to book 2 separate tickets. One ticket from NY->FRA and then another ticket on a different carrier from FRA to wherever you’re going. Again, give yourself 3 hours connection time just in case there are delays leaving NY.

  6. I have flown IAH-DME-SIN on Singapore economy last year. The price was reasonable but they do not seem to have any direct flights to Moscow from NYC.

  7. For anyone with Oneworld miles, use S7 airline. Of course, never fly on BA or IB with extortionate fuel surcharges.