World Cup 2018: Football fans told to smarten up at Russian airports or face on-the-spot fines

Passengers may be fined for wearing dirty or smelly clothes, or for sleeping in airports

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Friday 27 April 2018 17:28
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World Cup 2018: Football fans told to smarten up at Russian airports or face on-the-spot fines

Travellers using Moscow’s main airports face fines for “violation of rules of conduct”, including sleeping in the terminal or wearing “odour-laden” or stained clothing.

Five weeks before fans start travelling to Russia for the 2018 World Cup, the Duma (parliament) for the Moscow Region has published laws “to regulate passenger behaviour”.

Passengers behaving badly face on-the-spot fines.

With rates at hotels and guest houses soaring, many fans may be contemplating sleeping at the airport. Sheremetyevo, the main hub for Aeroflot, Russia’s biggest airlines, is handy for the capital’s Spartak stadium.

The website SleepingAtAirports.net says Sheremetyevo is “cold and bright”, adding: “The floor is mostly tiled, so bring something to lie on for warmth.”

However, “using the airport for accommodation” is now also illegal at the Russian capital’s two main gateways, Domodedovo and Sheremetyevo.

During the day, passengers must not “clog the airport” by sitting on the floor, use lifts or escalators in inappropriate ways, or listen to music without headphones.

Other rules are aimed at the illegal taxi touts who prey on newly arrived travellers, particularly foreigners. The Duma said that the scammers, who have become a prominent feature at big Russian airports since the collapse of communism, “created difficulties”.

Oleg Grigoriev, chairman of the Duma’s Committee for Transport Infrastructure, said the rules were intended to strengthen security ahead of the World Cup: “There are uncontrolled zones where non-passengers have free access. This fact contributes to the vulnerability of the transport infrastructure.

“The issue of providing security at airports located on the territory of the Moscow Region is particularly significant and will positively affect the image of the region.”

In 2011, 37 passengers and staff died at Domodedovo airport when a suicide bomber blew himself up at baggage reclaim. It is believed the perpetrator simply walked in.

Following the new laws, multilingual notice boards are being put up to warn passengers and anyone conducting “business activities without the permission of the airport” about their behaviour.

But the level of fines is not likely to prove much of a deterrent for passengers and “illegal entrepreneurs”. The maximum fine for an individual is 500 roubles, less than £6.

Airport officials who break the rules face penalties four times higher.

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