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Airline recommendations

Aeroflot Russian International Airline: while many are turned off by the idea of flying on a Russian airline, this carrier comes highly recommended by many American adoptive parents flew it to Moscow. Aeroflot flies the new Boeing-777 from New York to Moscow and tries extra hard to impress American travelers. Adoptive parents we talked to loved Aeroflot’s food service, in-flight service, non-stop flights, and the price. Aeroflot is often cheaper than their competition. Recently, Aeroflot has banned smoking on all of it’s international fleet. Aeroflot operates daily non-stop flights between New York and Moscow, several flights a week from Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle to Moscow with connecting service to most CIS cities.

Lufthansa German Airlines: partners with United. If you pick Lufthansa, you will end up connecting through Frankfurt on flights to Moscow, Kiev, Ekaterinburg, Samara, Nizhny Novgorod, St. Petersburg or Almaty. Lufthansa is a very solid airline, and has good reputation with adopting parents. They fly from about 10 American hubs and connect through United to most North American cities. Go To Russia staff often uses Lufthansa for our personal travel needs.

Northwest/KLM: this airline has an official adoption fare policy in place. We like Northwest/KLM overall, but unfortunately, unless you’re flying back to NYC, this airline has a forced overnight stay in Amsterdam on the way back. This means more hotel expense and more time spent away from home. Children usually can get transit visas on the spot right at airport. Just like Lufthansa, all Northwest/KLM flights to Eastern Europe/Asia connect through their hub – Amsterdam.

Delta: direct daily flights between New York City, Atlanta and Moscow. Connections through JFK from other cities. Delta often has good specials to Moscow, but it’s usually the hardest to get seats on, since there is only one daily flight to Moscow. It offers convenient connections, but does not like to waive the penalty for changing return dates. Fly it if this is your choice of airline, but beware of limitations.

Austrian Airlines: flights to Moscow, Kiev, Warsaw and other cities with connection in Vienna. Austrian operates flights out of New York, Washington and Chicago. Although a great airline, just like Northwest/KLM, it doesn’t always have a direct connections flying back home – you will have to spend a night in Vienna.

Other airlines you may end up flying: Swiss (connection in Zurich), Air France (connection in Paris) and British Airways (connection in London, and visa is required for Russian children to leave the airport!), LOT Polish Airlines (connection in Warsaw), FinnAir (connection in Helsinki). These are all good airlines, but they often require an overnight stay in their European hubs on the way back home.

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