The most likely scenario, it seems, is that Edward Snowden may try to fly to Venezuela to seek asylum from prosecution in the United States. Getting to Venezuela, however, may prove tricky and leave Snowden at risk of capture.
Snowden might be wishing, right about now, that he’d consulted some frequent flyers before choosing Russia as his hide-out. As it turns out, getting to Venezuela (or any of the countries that have reportedly offered him asylum deals) might be a challenge for Snowden.
To get from Russia to Venezuela, Snowden would have to make a stop-over somewhere in Europe, Africa or Cuba or perhaps hire a charter flight. So, what are his options?
Europe: If he flies through Europe, he’d have to pick a country without extradition or the US would likely make a deal to have him held in transit. Iberia Airlines and Air Europa make stops in Spain. Lufthansa stops in Frankfurt. He could take Aeroflot to another Russian airport and connect on Air France through Paris. He could take Alitalia through Rome. He could make two stops going first to Zurich and then to Portugal. He could go through Copenhagen and then onto Cuba. Almost all of his European options seem very risky.
Cuba: If he goes through Cuba, he faces flying over US Air Space. Many experts have speculated that depending on the airline he flies, a deal could be made behind-the-scenes to have the flight stop in the US.
North America: He could fly through Toronto, but that seems highly unlikely.
What other options does he have? Countries without extradition treaties w/the US are limited and of those on the list, even fewer have direct flight from Moscow to Venezuela. A few countries he may have to consider flying through include: Croatia, Kazakhstan, Dubai, Bhutan, Iran or North Korea. But again, the problem is getting from any of those countries to Venezuela.
Private flight: Apparently there are a few charter options that would be able to avoid the US or countries with extradition, but that option, according to a report on CNN would run Snowden somewhere in the range of $200,000++. A pricey flight to avoid facing charges.
When Snowden left Hong Kong, he should have considered his positioning city a little better – any frequent flyer could tell you that.
I guess we’ll all just have to wait and see where he ends up going and if he gets caught.