FWIW We arrived in Moscow yesterday and it took 90 minutes to get through passport control. We had booked a car into the hotel; train would have been better and cheaper but we are old and have too much luggage to do this. Just one medium suitcase each and heavy messenger bags with the electronics and a camera bag for me; for ten weeks two climates. The car took two hours to get to our hotel; the traffic was incredible -- a parking lot coming into town. So we landed at 1:30 and didn't get to the hotel till neary 5.
We were in St. Petersburg a year ago. Getting through passport control is not much fun--with big, stern Russian lady customs agents controlling the lines.
Russia just doesn't have many controlled access highways. St. Pete was like pedestrian vs. traffic--dangerous place to walk with many aggressive drivers and few 4 lane highways.
I can see where Moscow traffic could be a nightmare.
Have a great trip.
We went through immigration and customs in St. Petersburg Pulkovo Airport and it was a breeze. Nothing compared to Seattle. But traffic in Moscow was horrendous. Traffic jam in Seattle is nothing. I was in Moscow before, in 1983 when it was under iron fist of Andropov. Those enormously wide boulevards were then almost empty. Few government limousines, trucks and trolleybuses. I never imagined that those boulevards would ever get filled. Thank God for their Metro although stations are far apart and you have to walk a lot but still faster than a car.
We got through Passport Control in St. Petersburg fairly quickly last year -- nothing like Moscow yesterday. But the people ahead of us, a couple of young men, tied up the line for about 20 minutes when first the agent spent a lot of time with them, then men in uniforms were summoned, then men in different uniforms were summoned and then a couple of guys in suits were summoned and the two young men were hauled off somewhere. Officious uniformed woman assigning lines would not allow us to change to one of the many other lines going quickly.
Are you flying out of DME airport? If so, train to the airport is rather fast and has lots of room for luggage. Perhaps you could cab from your hotel to the train station. We took the metro to the train station- not recommended with lots of luggage- many transfers and steps. Moscow traffic is horrible
We are flying out of Petersburg later this week and will arrange transport with the hotel -- I recall it being easy last year -- we will see. I would definitely take the train in Moscow even with luggage -- the traffic is horrendous and our two hour trip in convinced me not to risk that on exit if taking a plane from there.