TRIP REPORT: Air Serbia, Podgorica


Written by Tomislav Ivanovic


Montenegro hosted a national wine competition for the first time, so I was invited to judge it as part of an international jury. It was a good opportunity to spend a few days by the sea after the competition, so I planned to spend another 3 days in Petrovac after the competition.

On October 3rd it was time to return home. I took the bus from Petrovac to Budva (outside the summer season there are no direct buses from Petrovac to Podgorica). Apparently, the Montenegrins also suffer from the lack of bus and truck drivers, since the bus driver seems to have retired a long time ago… But he still drove the bus despite his old age.

In Budva I took a connecting bus to Podgorica. The bus ticket from Budva to Podgorica costs 5.5 EUR and the journey goes through Cetinje. It took me almost an hour and a half to get to the central bus station in Podgorica.

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From the bus station I took a taxi to the airport which cost 7 EUR. With such affordable taxi fares, it’s no wonder no one in Podgorica uses public transport to get to the airport.

I entered the airport hall. Check-in counters were open for Air Montenegro flight to Belgrade and Austrian flight to Vienna. Although check-in for my flight hadn’t started yet, there were already a number of people waiting at counters 3 and 4, assuming that Air Serbia check-in would start soon. After about 15 minutes two girls came and started checking in. Although the signs indicated economy and business class check-in counters, in reality no one paid attention, so all economy passengers checked in at the business class counter as well. I could hear the Russian language around me. I could also see Serbian and Montenegrin passports in the hands of the passengers. The woman in front of me flew to Lyon via Belgrade.

The girl at the check-in desk was very polite and helpful. She offered me a seat with extra legroom, which I gladly accepted.

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Passport and security control at Podgorica Airport was smooth and hassle-free. After about 40 minutes, the Air Serbia YU-APA (Airbus A319) plane arrived. This was a good sign that the flight would not be delayed. In fact, boarding began as advertised. Flight JU173 was full. The flight was uneventful. Flight attendants distributed water and biscuits and a bag of magnesium granules. I sat next to an old lady, she was Montenegrin but lived in Denmark for many years. She flew to Copenhagen.

We landed in Belgrade on time. A long walk through Belgrade Airport and we reached the baggage claim area. Wow. What a scene… The place was crammed with suitcases everywhere. Wherever you look, suitcases are piled up. I couldn’t understand what was happening. I examined suitcases nearby with all sorts of labels: Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa, Air Serbia. It seems that these were lost or delayed suitcases that finally arrived at their destination… Incredible scene… I thought about the owners of all these suitcases. You will be happy to finally receive it.

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