Friday, August 31, 2007

The joys of AOPA membership

OK, so I know there's a lot in the GA community (certainly this side of the pond) on the benefits of being an AOPA member, assuming there are of course any.

Well, I've now found one.

Picture this.....I'm flying back from Minsk (Belarus for those geographically challenged) back to Kiev (Ukraine for same said folks) yesterday and I'm first off the plane into, what I hope, is a small queue at Immigration.

To my horror there's hundreds waiting in line for Passport Control, and from past experiences, this is at least an hour long wait.

Having waited for my flight which was delayed by two hours, I wasn't in any mood to hang around for Immigration. But I remembered two things....

1. They have a special lane for "Air Crew", and
2. I have my AOPA Air Crew card on my which has my photo and "Air Crew" written on it.

"Dare I do it?" I ask myself. Well, they can only say "yes" or "no". So when I go to the desk the Immigration Officer isn't there. "Fear not" I say to myself....I can see the office where they all congregate. So I walk up, knock on the door, produce my AOPA card and explain that I'm "Air Crew" and that there's nobody at the air crew desk. The guys looks at my card and says "No Problem"....and marches me to the front of the queue.....SWEEEETTTTT!!!

I handed my passport, quick review, stamp in the passport and I'm whisked through. Has to be the fastest I've EVER been through an Immigration line anywhere.

I must add however that I'd never have the balls to try this in the EU or US because I know they're more stricter/savvy, plus they can read English, unlike here in the CIS (ex-Soviet Union)....but I'm defo trying it wherever I go in the CIS.

Probably the best €30 I've ever spent :-)

No comments: