Travelers Slam Sheremetyevo's Service

Foreign businessmen traveling through Sheremetyevo II airport say they are growing increasingly frustrated at massive passport control delays and a range of infrastructure problems. Many rate Moscow's No. 1 airport as the worst in Europe, pointing to dirtiness, poor lighting and general shabbiness on top of passport control problems. Some are even suggesting the problems may be due to corruption. Sheremetyevo II is the worst possible thing for the image of Russia," said Andrew Somers, President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia, adding that first-time visitors get the impression that nothing has changed in Russia since Soviet times. Foreign businessmen based in Moscow, many of whom travel to and from Russia every week, point out that of five or six passport control booths at Sheremetyevo II more than two or three are seldom open, and, as a result, it may take a passenger an hour and a half to pass through passport control alone, which results in flight delays. Some suggest that this situation can be explained by corruption and hint that airport officials deliberately refuse to open more passport control booths in order to extort money from passengers for speedy processing, Russia Journal wrote.