I’ve talked to the Russian Consular in Seattle, United Airlines, and a Russian man in Moscow with decent English.
I have a confirmed (but not booked) flight from Seattle to Dulles (UA916) to Moscow (UA964) leaving at 7:30am on June 2nd and arriving at 10:45am on June 3rd…15 travel hours later.
I also have the return leg booked (a la “Open Jaw” magic) from Frankfurt to Chicago (UA945) to Seattle (UA929) leaving at 8:25am August 3rd and arriving at 2:24pm August 3rd…13.5 travel hours later.
All for the low, low cost of $95.00 plus 105k airline miles 🙂
As for actually getting into Russia, the process goes something like this:
- Figure out dates to be in Russia
- Find hostel that will issue you a tourist voucher and confirmation
- Book hostel and acquire tourist voucher
- Fill out Russian Visa application form
- Turn in original passport, a xerox-copy of it’s vital pages, the original tourist invitation voucher, one passport size picture of applicant (that would be me), a cover letter explaining who is going, where to, when, and with what purpose
- Pay $131.00 for 6 day processing (cheapest)
I currently still think it’s worth it to go to Russia. But there sure are a lot of hoops to jump through. I currently have an email into the HM Hostel Moscow (US$36.05/night) in Moscow and I may end up contacting the Olimpia Hostel (US$17.35/night).