To Russia with Love

September 11, 2008
Fares from Washington DC:

    While the world once again seems to teeter on the precarious cusp of a Cold War, a genuine Russian-American fare war has already broken out. Aeroflot turned up the heat on the foreign competition and fired the first shot yesterday by offering some drastic deals to Moscow that finally bring the cost of transatlantic travel below the magical $500 mark.

    Nonstop flights are going for as little as $490 from New York and $650 from Los Angeles, and so should you. At least think about it, and for the sake of both savings and international relations consider packing a little goodwill in your suitcase, to show our formidable former foes that we can still be friends and encourage Prime Minister Putin to put a little love in his heart.

    Pacifist motives and musings aside, according to the Wall Street Journal hotels in Moscow are now the most expensive in the world, so unless you come equipped with an expense account or a trust fund be sure to pick your accomodations wisely and take some comfort in the fact that the dollar is making a strong comeback, up over 10% against the rouble in the past couple of months.

    As for that so-called competition, their efforts so far are lukewarm at best. Delta and American offer decent fares nonstop from or connecting through their respective New York, Atlanta, and Chicago hubs, while Singapore joins the fray with their new nonstop route from Houston. United, on the other hand, has decided to cop out completely for now, postponing the launch of their new service from Washington until next year.

    Whatever you do, remember to check fares to both Sheremetyevo and Domodedovo airports.

    9/12 Update: The fare from New York has now gone up by $100, but as of this writing the $650 fare from Los Angeles is still available and we suggest you act fast to get it while it lasts.