BA to Moscow

Old Jan 10, 20, 2:47 am
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BA to Moscow

Never been so I must! Have realised this route could be a fantastic use of mine and my wifeís final Lloys upgrade vouchers.

Am I right in thinking this route has the A321 with funny flat beds? If so, I think I can pay Y avios and £50 and get the best part of 8 hours in horizontal J.

Iíll be looking to take my trip mid January 2021 so will be looking to snag Avios availability when it comes out in a couple off weeks. Iíll be staying at the Hilton near the city centre. Is there a better airport to fly too? Any flight that less likely to get a sub to a CE config?
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Old Jan 10, 20, 2:55 am
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on most occasions yes, it has the "mid haul" A321s

Occasionally these are swapped out for a regular A321 or A320, and occasionally to a 777

Operating aircraft over the last month can be found here :

Route Tracker | The BA Source

You can monitor this to see if either airport is, in your opinion, more likely to have a swap out
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Old Jan 10, 20, 3:01 am
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Originally Posted by kingcole974 View Post
Am I right in thinking this route has the A321 with funny flat beds? If so, I think I can pay Y avios and £50 and get the best part of 8 hours in horizontal J.
It's not a route where you necessarily need to book well in advance, usually Avios availability to MOW is fairly good. The problem with booking well in advance is the risk of equipment change is high, and if they do any equipment changes / overhauls then the relatively quiet early months of year are a soft target. On any route this is a risk, and MOW has a lot of equipment options. The A321 midhaul is
a good product in CW. So by all means go to Moscow and use your Avios/certificate accordingly, but be aware that things can change. And allow a few weeks for getting the visa without having to rush it.

Note that BEY, AMM and sometimes CAI, TLV can also be WT + CW via the A321 and these locations all have their merits too.
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Old Jan 10, 20, 3:18 am
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Originally Posted by kingcole974 View Post
Am I right in thinking this route has the A321 with funny flat beds? If so, I think I can pay Y avios and £50 and get the best part of 8 hours in horizontal J.

I’ll be looking to take my trip mid January 2021 so will be looking to snag Avios availability when it comes out in a couple off weeks. I’ll be staying at the Hilton near the city centre. Is there a better airport to fly too? Any flight that less likely to get a sub to a CE config?
The Winter timetable has x3 daily midhaul A321s with the funny (and often broken) air-filled seats that do go lie flat (but inches off the ground, with feet rammed in a narrow hole, unless in row 7 which has more room).

The Summer timetable has the morning BA233/2 operated by a 4 class 777 or 787. So if you want to truly maximise the experience, go before the end of October 2020 and go first class,

Midhaul A321 equipment changes to shorthaul aircraft happen rarely (although there are a lot this month), they rarely affect the BA233/2 first morning rotation. It's usually the late morning or overnight flights which are subbed or canned altogether. Bear in mind that the BA233 has breakfast service which is a nothing special. Take the later BA235 if you want a nice lunch on board. Avoid the BA237 unless you like not sleeping at night (lands at 1.30am UK time, you will reach the hotel around 6am local time). The inbound BA236 is ok if you don't mind waking up at 2.30am, you do get arrivals lounge access at LHR.

Either airport is fine for the Hilton. SVO is around 40 minutes in a taxi, DME is around 1:10. Traffic can add up to an hour extra at busy times.
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Old Jan 10, 20, 3:26 am
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Originally Posted by scottishpoet View Post
on most occasions yes, it has the "mid haul" A321s

Occasionally these are swapped out for a regular A321 or A320, and occasionally to a 777

Operating aircraft over the last month can be found here :

Route Tracker | The BA Source

You can monitor this to see if either airport is, in your opinion, more likely to have a swap out
Thanks - Looking at that I think I would be very unlucky to end up on a CE config.

My dates are pretty much fixed. a long weekend over 28,29,30 Jan 2021 is the plan, for a birthday. We are actually planning to celebrate New Year in TIA. I see the Visa's are 20 days. If I get the necessary off on 3rd Jan, am I likely to have any issues getting my bits back in time? I see there is an express service but the already costly fee becomes eye watering!
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Old Jan 10, 20, 3:27 am
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Originally Posted by MrSimonR View Post
The Winter timetable has x3 daily midhaul A321s with the funny (and often broken) air-filled seats that do go lie flat (but inches off the ground, with feet rammed in a narrow hole, unless in row 7 which has more room).

The Summer timetable has the morning BA233/2 operated by a 4 class 777 or 787. So if you want to truly maximise the experience, go before the end of October 2020 and go first class,

Midhaul A321 equipment changes to shorthaul aircraft happen rarely (although there are a lot this month), they rarely affect the BA233/2 first morning rotation. It's usually the late morning or overnight flights which are subbed or canned altogether. Bear in mind that the BA233 has breakfast service which is a nothing special. Take the later BA235 if you want a nice lunch on board. Avoid the BA237 unless you like not sleeping at night (lands at 1.30am UK time, you will reach the hotel around 6am local time). The inbound BA236 is ok if you don't mind waking up at 2.30am, you do get arrivals lounge access at LHR.

Either airport is fine for the Hilton. SVO is around 40 minutes in a taxi, DME is around 1:10. Traffic can add up to an hour extra at busy times.
As far as I am aware you cannot use the Lloyds vouchers for first class but I could be wrong.

Another thing to note is that if you do book in advance on an a321 flat bad by booking Y and upgrading to J that if your aircraft is swapped you will already be in J so if it goes to a 777 or a 789 which it is most of the summer season this year then you are moved to proper Club World.

If you are moved to a non flat bad aircraft you can swap flights to the proper Club World missing out WT+ completely

Pros and Cons.
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Old Jan 10, 20, 3:37 am
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Originally Posted by cgtechuk View Post
As far as I am aware you cannot use the Lloyds vouchers for first class but I could be wrong.

Another thing to note is that if you do book in advance on an a321 flat bad by booking Y and upgrading to J that if your aircraft is swapped you will already be in J so if it goes to a 777 or a 789 which it is most of the summer season this year then you are moved to proper Club World.

If you are moved to a non flat bad aircraft you can swap flights to the proper Club World missing out WT+ completely

Pros and Cons.
Yes, you are dead right about the Lloyds voucher not allowing upgrades from J to F but that wasn't my intention. It's good to know that if there is a sub for a non flat bed then I can ask to move. With both Moscow airports there will likely be favourable options if I am unlucky.

I have actually had experience of the A321 mid haul to BEY ;last year. My initial excitement about the 'throne seat' in 1A was soon tempered and had me appreciating our tradition J seats a lot more!
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Old Jan 10, 20, 3:47 am
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Originally Posted by kingcole974 View Post
Yes, you are dead right about the Lloyds voucher not allowing upgrades from J to F but that wasn't my intention. It's good to know that if there is a sub for a non flat bed then I can ask to move. With both Moscow airports there will likely be favourable options if I am unlucky.

I have actually had experience of the A321 mid haul to BEY ;last year. My initial excitement about the 'throne seat' in 1A was soon tempered and had me appreciating our tradition J seats a lot more!
I would recommend booking the late morning BA235 out, so you get a nice lunch, and an easy arrival into SVO terminal E. It's a small mini-terminal (basically a corridor linking the larger terminals D and F). Immigration is usually quiet, you will be through in minutes. A cab to the Hilton will take 40 minutes. And then depart on the BA232 out of DME, half an hour longer cab ride, but a nice departure experience with fast track security and a huge lounge.

Last edited by MrSimonR; Jan 10, 20 at 5:57 am
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Old Jan 10, 20, 3:55 am
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Originally Posted by MrSimonR View Post
I would recommend booking the late morning BA235 out, so you get a nice lunch, and an easy arrival into SVO terminal E. It's a small mini-terminal (basically a corridor linking the larger terminals D and F). Immigration is usually quiet, you will be through in minutes. A cab to the Hilton will take 40 minutes. And then depart on the BA232 out of DME, half an hour longer cab ride, but a nice departure experience with track track security and a huge lounge.
Great tips - thanks
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Old Jan 10, 20, 3:56 am
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I would go for the flights into DME.. on the summer timetable, they're showing as 777 or 787.. and, we just did a redemption where the return showed the Club Suites seat map. The 321, yes, the seats are different, they are comfy but nothing to write home about.

The visas.. now that is the only pain. It's working days, so almost a month. There is an 'express' service of a few days, but the cost is high. You can apply several months before you go (this varies).. we're going in July, so I'll go sort my next one in May.
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Old Jan 10, 20, 4:01 am
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Originally Posted by kingcole974 View Post
I see the Visa's are 20 days. If I get the necessary off on 3rd Jan, am I likely to have any issues getting my bits back in time? I see there is an express service but the already costly fee becomes eye watering!
Why leave it so late before applying for visa's. You can apply upto 6 month in advance of the trip.
Don't forget that you have to attend, in person, at one of the visa processing centres (London, Manschester or Edinburgh). We'll be attending on 3rd Feb for our trip late June.
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Old Jan 10, 20, 4:10 am
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Originally Posted by bakera View Post
Why leave it so late before applying for visa's. You can apply upto 6 month in advance of the trip.
Don't forget that you have to attend, in person, at one of the visa processing centres (London, Manschester or Edinburgh). We'll be attending on 3rd Feb for our trip late June.
I didnít realise I needed to attend, not that this is a problem. I can certainly find a different time prior to my trip to arrange this. During the application process, how long might I be without a passport for, if at all?
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Old Jan 10, 20, 4:12 am
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Originally Posted by kingcole974 View Post
I didnít realise I needed to attend, not that this is a problem. I can certainly find a different time prior to my trip to arrange this. During the application process, how long might I be without a passport for, if at all?
Fast track = 3 days
Normal = 4 weeks
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Old Jan 10, 20, 4:48 am
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It's a CW route, It's extremely unlikely an A321 with CW seats would get swapped for a CE set up. They sell the route as CW with lie flat beds.

January will likely be bitterly cold. I'd recommend a spring visit if possible You could also then go on the 787 / 777
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Old Jan 10, 20, 5:30 am
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When Iíve done tourist visas, Iíve used the 3 day fast track and it costs £180 from memory. If youíre London based, there is a centre at Barbican as well as the embassy in west London, so you can pick which is most convenient. Take some cash with you Incase you need to pay to print the form again due to mistakes

Never arrived at SVO, but as already pointed out, the DME departure experience is much better. I use the aero express to get to and from DME, itís generally very efficient and you can pre book online and get the passes on your iPhone.

Be very aware of the risk of aircraft change Iíve noticed SVO has a few A320 NEO days coming up. The other rumour is that DME is going to get a club suite 777 with 8F as more become available, but Iím assuming that will just be a summer thing, like it is at the moment.

Enjoy Moscow, even if it is a slight tourist trap, me and my colleague like this place for dinner, it provides quite an authentic Russian experience in a great location Our restaurant

Get around town on the metro, very efficient and easy map to follow, it beats the traffic and the stations are stunning.
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