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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Businessmen Lounge in Luxury

MTDark wood and leather dominate at Sheremetyevo's Classic lounge, one of three located in the airport's international terminal.
Sitting back in a plush red couch watching a 125-centimeter plasma television screen and sipping a double espresso, Chelyabinsk native Valery Efros scoffed at the idea that Russia's business lounges are worse than those in the West.

"They're better in a way, because they're newer -- the technology is better," he said, while waiting in Sibir's brightly colored business lounge at Domodedovo Airport's domestic terminal.

Across the city at Sheremetyevo Airport, LG executive Chris Yi was less impressed at what Russia's terminals had to offer business travelers, complaining of the size and range facilities at the Date lounge, founded by Delta and Aeroflot at the site where the Soviet Union's first business lounge opened in 1985.

"The quality does not compare with other international cities," he said, listing the lack of a shower as the biggest problem. "And I would expect some hot food."

Twenty years after the country's first business-class lounge opened, not every international business traveler looks forward to spending time in Russian airports. But they can't really complain about a lack of choice.

Moscow's two main airports, Domodedovo and Sheremetyevo, now have 12 business lounges between them -- all offering comfortable chairs, Internet access, satellite television and a free buffet. Depending on the lounge, travelers may even come across such luxuries as fresh international newspapers, a shower and a plasma television with their own remote control.

Some of these are even available to non-business-class travelers. At Domodedovo a couple of hours of luxury would set an economy-class traveler back 1,100 rubles ($39). Vouchers for both the domestic and international lounges can be purchased in the departure hall. Sheremetyevo's modern CIP lounge offers its services for 50 euros ($60) -- the only problem is you have to get to 12 Tverskaya Ulitsa in central Moscow to buy the voucher.

The simple but spacious international business-class lounge of recently renovated Vnukovo, Moscow's third airport, offers access to all for a flat rate of 650 rubles, while the airport's veteran domestic lounge charges 850 rubles.

Only Domodedovo offers showers: in Sibir and British Airway's lounges, and in the airport's own spacious international lounge. A selection of fresh British and international papers are available at British Airway's lounge when the company's first flight arrives at 3:45 p.m. The CIP lounge offers several international papers when the first Lufthansa flight arrives at 1:15 p.m.

But once the business day comes to an end, the coolest place to lounge is Sibir's six-month-old lounge at Domodedovo. At 7 p.m., the lights go down, the menu changes and a pianist plays jazz and classical pieces on a grand piano.