St. Petersburg Pulkovo Airport Arrival & Departure Changes
GaryM
Posted 2011-12-26 7:59 PM (#48753)
Subject: St. Petersburg Pulkovo Airport Arrival & Departure Changes
Expert

Posts: 2086
2000252525
Location: South Oxfordshire, UK & St. Petersburg, Russia
Well that wasn't confusing then. It would probably have helped if I'd actually checked our flight itinerary rather than just make assumptions

We arrived at Pulkovo Airport this evening as per usual to find we didn't recognise any of the surroundings at all. First thoughts were a complete overhaul of the arrivals area but it seemed to big a change in the 4 months since we were last here. Arriving in the dark didn't help matters either. Then we discovered we were actually in the Pulkovo-1 terminal which has always previously been used for domestic flights only. In the past 6 years I've been travelling here, I've always come into and left from Pulkovo-2 which is for international flights.

It appears that Pulkovo-1 is now also being used for some international flights and Rossiya airlines in particular are now arriving and departing from Pulkovo-1 instead of Pulkovo-2. Our booked taxi was waiting for us outside Pulkovo-2 (our fault)

Just a heads up for any other regulars travelling to SPb who haven't done so for a few months.
simon
Posted 2011-12-27 5:00 AM (#48754 - in reply to #48753)
Subject: Re: St. Petersburg Pulkovo Airport Arrival & Departure Changes
Extreme Veteran

Posts: 398
100100100252525
Location: Kent
It was like that 3 months back to. Although when we landed, the pilot spoke like it was a change that had just happened en route.
GaryM
Posted 2011-12-27 12:27 PM (#48755 - in reply to #48754)
Subject: Re: St. Petersburg Pulkovo Airport Arrival & Departure Changes
Expert

Posts: 2086
2000252525
Location: South Oxfordshire, UK & St. Petersburg, Russia
The last time we flew back from SPb (with Rossiya) was in September and at that time they were still flying in and out of Pulkovo-2 so from what you say it looks like they must have changed very soon after that.

I've never been to Pulkovo-1 before but it has lots of newish looking "international flights" signage around so it looks like it's been permanently upgraded to accept flights which are no longer just domestic ones. I don't recall seeing any carriers other than Russian ones there though so maybe all other international airlines still fly in and out of Pulkovo-2 and Pulkovo-1 is just used by the Russian airline carriers only.

I know Pulkovo-2 like the back of my hand so being in a "foreign" terminal unexpectedly that we didn't know the layout for threw us somewhat It's a good job we had an understanding taxi driver

Also, couldn't believe how dark it still was at 10am this morning. Not putting the clocks back an hour for winter really has had quite an effect. Apparently that many people have complained that they're considering reverting to putting the clocks back an hour again next year.

Edited by GaryM 2011-12-27 12:31 PM
simon
Posted 2011-12-27 1:14 PM (#48756 - in reply to #48753)
Subject: Re: St. Petersburg Pulkovo Airport Arrival & Departure Changes
Extreme Veteran

Posts: 398
100100100252525
Location: Kent
Its dark alright. I work on the assumption that if the sky looks like 3.30 - 4.00 in the UK, its 10.00 - 10.30 here. Im still getting used to it. If you arrived last night, the rain yesterday washed the snow away.
Pulkovo-2 is like an old friend. I too was very surprised when we landed at 1. The plane after us was from Italy so I guessed something was going on at 2. Im going back to the UK end of Jan, Rossiya Pulkovo 2 to Gatwick. If your off before then, can you let me know if you end up out of 1 or not.
Thanks Gary. Enjoy your break !
GaryM
Posted 2011-12-27 2:20 PM (#48757 - in reply to #48756)
Subject: Re: St. Petersburg Pulkovo Airport Arrival & Departure Changes
Expert

Posts: 2086
2000252525
Location: South Oxfordshire, UK & St. Petersburg, Russia
Our e-tickets say our return trip will be from Pulkovo terminal 1. We're flying back on 11th Jan. it's strange that the same flight uses different terminals. Maybe it depends on the day of the week (?)

Shame about the snow. It's unusual not to see any here over new year. I gather there was quite a storm (all street lights still out where we're staying) with another due in a day or two. It's certainly not particularly nice at the moment and we've been stuck couped up in the flat all day because of the nasty wind and rain
simon
Posted 2011-12-27 3:52 PM (#48758 - in reply to #48753)
Subject: Re: St. Petersburg Pulkovo Airport Arrival & Departure Changes
Extreme Veteran

Posts: 398
100100100252525
Location: Kent
It was quite windy yesterday and dark most of the day. Although cold, it is quite mild for here all things considered. My wife and wifes friends are all talking about how mild it is at the moment. I seem to be the only one saying Its cold. Anna says I need to toughen up. Think she might be right.
My return ticket says Pulkovo 2. Im beginning to wonder though. Waste of money to get a cab from 2 to 1, but too far to walk. I can't say Im keen on Pulkovo-1.
GaryM
Posted 2012-01-11 9:21 PM (#48876 - in reply to #48758)
Subject: Re: St. Petersburg Pulkovo Airport Arrival & Departure Changes
Expert

Posts: 2086
2000252525
Location: South Oxfordshire, UK & St. Petersburg, Russia
We flew back today and I have to say having now experienced the departure area of Pulkovo-1 terminal it is much better laid out than Pulkovo-2 and is far bigger with better shops/facilities. I always though it was a bit odd at Pulkovo-2 having to go through security BEFORE checking in, but Pulkovo-1 is like most other airports where you check-in before then going through security.

Had a bit of a shock with the plane though. In the 6 years I've been flying to SPb with both Rossiya Airlines (formerly Pulkovo Airlines) and BA it has always been on either an Airbus A320 or a Boeing 737. Today we got on the transfer bus and which proceeded out to the standing area passing a few Rossiya Airbus A320's before finally stopping next to a Rossiya Anotonov AH-148-100B. Initially we thought it must be a misake or we must have got on the wrong transfer bus but it seemed not. The plane was tiny in comparison to the usual Airbus/Boeing and it really did look like a small private jet with it's own built in steps to the door. Inside was also pretty small with only 15 rows of seats consisting of 12 standard class rows with 5 seats per row (3 one side and 2 the other) and 3 business class rows with 4 seats per row (2 each side), so a total of 72 seats. As a result it turned out to be quite a packed flight with not many spare seats left spare and I have to say the leg room seemed to be pretty poor too (and I'm not a very tall person). It was quite a turbulant ride most of the way which I can only assume was down to the small size of the plane or the fact the wings are on top.





Edited by GaryM 2012-01-11 9:25 PM
simon
Posted 2012-01-12 9:18 AM (#48879 - in reply to #48753)
Subject: Re: St. Petersburg Pulkovo Airport Arrival & Departure Changes
Extreme Veteran

Posts: 398
100100100252525
Location: Kent
I fly back on the 25th Jan out of Pulkovo-1. I'll let you know if its a "proper" plane or not lol. Looks kinda tiny though, but I guess it makes sense even if it does'nt suit us.
johnsharkey
Posted 2012-01-12 9:38 AM (#48880 - in reply to #48753)
Subject: Re: St. Petersburg Pulkovo Airport Arrival & Departure Changes
Expert

Posts: 1319
1000100100100
Location: Penryn,Cornwall
Looks pretty neat Gary....Helicopters with 18 troops in them with bergens is far more cramped( I now believe me)anyway nice to see you posting..hope the time with wifes family was good..welcome back to blighty...
GaryM
Posted 2012-01-12 11:41 AM (#48881 - in reply to #48879)
Subject: Re: St. Petersburg Pulkovo Airport Arrival & Departure Changes
Expert

Posts: 2086
2000252525
Location: South Oxfordshire, UK & St. Petersburg, Russia
With our experience of half empty planes since Rossiya started flying the London route again last year (not sure why when their prices can be almost half that of BA flights doing the same route), maybe these are the planes that Rossiya are intending to start using for the London route going forward, especially during periods when demand is low. Who knows. I guess we'll find out as time goes on. It just felt a bit wierd being in such a small plane for a 3.5 hour flight. I guess I should just be grateful we weren't put on a Tupolev

Wouldn't have been so bad if we hadn't had a toddler on our laps who didn't want to sit still for most of the journey. That and the lack of room made trying to eat the onboard meal and stopping our hot coffee being kicked everywhere a very interesting exercise We're now also professional jugglers

On the A320's, in all but one trip we've previously been lucky enough to get a row (or been able to move to another row) with a free seat we can put our daughter in but no chance on the not-so-roomy and packed Anotonov we were in yesterday. It won't really be an issue next time we fly though as she'll be over 2 so we'll have to pay for her own seat anyway.
Michael
Posted 2012-01-13 8:55 PM (#48895 - in reply to #48881)
Subject: Re: St. Petersburg Pulkovo Airport Arrival & Departure Changes
Extreme Veteran

Posts: 412
100100100100
Location: West London
For what it's worth, Lufthansa are still using Pulkovo 2 - which was remarkably empty yesterday. From getting off the 13 bus to being airside, after passport checks, I reckon took me 6 minutes. Interestingly, though, the boarding card I printed the day before didn't say which terminal, and I just assumed the flight would go from 2 since I came in at 2 the week before.

But it plainly isn't on the way to a shut-down - there is work going on, including on the ground floor, stopping access to the bar on the left (the one so few people knew about that it was always empty), and creating a new duty-free shop upstairs (not the same Irish collaboration, but a German one), and putting new shops along that 1st floor corridor - you know, where you used to be able to sit and wait. I suppose they think we will now shop and wait.

And there are also of course plans for a new Terminal 3, discussed in the recent/current Pulkovo magazine.

By the way, Lufthansa are now also flying to/from Gatwick as well as Heathrow, so do check if you are using them from the South. AND with cheap prices - my return fare was £176.

Michael
GaryM
Posted 2012-01-13 10:14 PM (#48899 - in reply to #48895)
Subject: Re: St. Petersburg Pulkovo Airport Arrival & Departure Changes
Expert

Posts: 2086
2000252525
Location: South Oxfordshire, UK & St. Petersburg, Russia
That must be what all the building work going on next to Pulkovo-1 is all about then. It does look like another terminal building is going up right next door. I just thought it was probably an expansion of Pulkovo-1 but it may well be the new terminal 3 you've just mentioned.

The departure board in Pulkovo-1 was full of Russian carrier flight numbers only so it does appear that it's only the Russian airlines that have been designated to use Pulkovo-1.

We paid a little over £400 return between us for our tickets with Rossiya which we didn't think was too bad for direct flights (BA wanted nearly £700 for the same dates) but maybe that was just the time of year because we have paid more than that in the past with Rossiya.
GaryM
Posted 2012-02-24 9:59 PM (#49394 - in reply to #48753)
Subject: RE: St. Petersburg Pulkovo Airport Arrival & Departure Changes
Expert

Posts: 2086
2000252525
Location: South Oxfordshire, UK & St. Petersburg, Russia
Oh dear...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17157863



Probably best I don't show my wife this story.