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'Nerves can not stand': the ordeal of Russians at the airport in New York continues

On the night of Tuesday, March 31, the Russian airline Aeroflot unexpectedly canceled several dozen flights planned for the period from March 30 to April 2, against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic. As a result of the cancellation of flights to the United States, several dozen Russians “stuck” who are unable to return to their homeland.

Photo: Shutterstock

Как already reported ForumDaily New York, most travelers who are in trouble are tourists who are temporarily in the United States. Many of them do not have the means to stay in the country, and some are already running out of visas.

The battle for the hotel

For passengers who are not able to independently find an overnight stay in New York, the Russian consulate paid the cost of the hotel for 3 days, checking them in pairs in double rooms. The Russians were informed that on April 3 they would be able to return to their homeland. However, these hopes did not materialize. Moreover, on the night of April 4, the Russian authorities completely suspended international flights, including all flights that were stopped for the return of Russians and foreigners. Among them was the New York-Moscow plane, which, according to diplomats, was supposed to remove at least 250 Russians from the United States.

“On April 3, we released the hotel and went to the airport to wait for the consul general. As a result, he told us that he knew nothing and could not do anything. For an hour and a half, he was telling us something unintelligible, having previously recommended flying to Geneva at his own expense on the principle: "maybe you can get there." For those who are running out of vital medications, he advised contacting American doctors. As a result, people with young children were resettled into some kind of Russian family. A couple of hours later, when the most desperate people remained at the airport, who really had nowhere to go, an Aeroflot representative came to us and said that he would call the ambassador for an overnight stay. Only in the late evening we were taken to a hotel on Long Beach - again for three nights. The embassy paid for the accommodation, but the meal is at its own expense, ”says one of the passengers, Marina Astvatsaturian.

On the subject: 'It's a terrible disease': a doctor from New York spoke about life in the midst of a pandemic

Initially, Marina’s flight was scheduled for March 30, but the date of the actual departure is still unknown to her. A woman flew to America to help her daughter with a newborn baby in Virginia. Now, having visited New York, which has become the center of the coronavirus epidemic in the United States, and having spent many hours in an airport filled with people, she can no longer return to her daughter's family - pediatricians believe that the risk of exposing possible infants to small children in this case is too high. Like other passengers, Marina filled out a form with her details on the Gosuslug portal and is now waiting for information on an available flight. According to preliminary data, it can take place on April 7 or 8. Meanwhile, the hotel’s payment deadline ended on Monday.

“I know that many are seeking the embassy to extend the payment deadline for the hotel, but to be honest, I don’t even know if they succeeded. This nightmare has been going on for the eighth day, and, to be honest, my nerves could not stand it - I rented a room in the same hotel at my own expense. I don’t know if they will compensate me, but at least now I can rest in it alone. My neighbor was a beautiful woman, but you must admit that it’s still difficult to live in the same room as a stranger. In addition, journalists from Russia constantly asked us for an interview, and, given the time difference, communication with them took place at night. We just did not have the opportunity to get enough sleep. I know that some also rented rooms at their own expense, ”Marina shares.

Awaiting Flight

According to the Russians who remained in New York, some of their unfortunate comrades took a chance and took expensive tickets at their own expense through Amsterdam to Minsk, from where they hoped to get to Moscow by train. Passengers note that such a strategy could have worked a few days ago, but now Minsk’s communication with Moscow has also been suspended, and people who have chosen this option at their own risk (and sometimes spent their last savings on it) are forced to hand over tickets and wait for a central evacuation from Moscow.

Ulyana Ptashkina luckier than that. how previously wrote ForumDaily New York, her flight was originally scheduled for April 3, and the girl, seeing what was happening, did not prematurely move out of the apartment she rented in New York.

“Once, believing the promises, I almost left her, and the owners even found another tenant. But I informed in time that I did not plan to go anywhere. They had no right to expel me. But I really sympathize with those who were homeless, especially in the midst of a pandemic, ”she notes.

Read more on ForumDaily New York.

Miscellaneous Russians New York coronavirus

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