TRIP REPORT: Skopje - Vancouver and back


Submitted by Atanas Alkov

Includes: Austrian Airlines, Air Canada and Lufthansa

This trip report will cover six flights from Skopje to Vancouver and back. My initial plan to travel to Vancouver was for June 2019, but then I found a ticket for travel in October 2018 for only 570 euros and with a chance to fly on B788 and A359. I think this price was a real bargain having in mind that I bought the ticket one month prior my travel date.


My first flight was from Skopje to Vienna on board E195 reg .OE-LWP. This is an early morning flight out of Skopje at 04:30. Load factor was great - 100% in business and 95% in economy, with a mix of passengers for European or North American connections out of VIE. On all my flights on Austrian to/from Skopje there is a special breed of passengers: young people from NGO or government services, they behave like they are the most travelled people on earth, they speak loud how they are tired of all those travels and conferences ,usually they know everything about aircraft and delays and...

Connection in VIE was fast with very little time to spare. Second flight OS121 to FRA was A320 reg. OE-LBR and it was fully booked in both classes .For this flight, I pre ordered a warm breakfast from DO&CO. It was great value for the fifteen euros paid. This was my third time ordering a meal from DO&CO, and I really recommend it, but only if you can cope with the jealous looks of other passengers.

After going from concourse A to concourse B at Frankfurt, I made my pre-boarding check, meaning a visa and purpose of travel check by a gate agent. At this part of Frankfurt Airport, Air Canada departs with flights to Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and my AC841 flight to Vancouver.


My first impression on board was that it looked very modern but when I took my window seat I was surprised by how narrow it was in the shoulder area since the wall was leaning towards the seat. Luckily, the middle seat remained empty, so it was comfortable for the ten hour flight.

Economy and premium economy were almost full but I don't know about business class. IFE was great and I really liked the window dimming feature. The flight attendants were very polite, but aren't all Canadians polite?. We were served lunch, mid-flight snack and pre-arrival warm snack. After ten hours and two movies, C-GHPX, a Dreamliner in the old "ice white" livery landed safely in Vancouver.

A week later I was on Canada Line metro train from Vancouver city centre to the airport. Vancouver Airport check-in and departure area is very spacious with natural green space. International flights to/from Vancouver include many Asian destinations, three Australian cities and the rest is in Europe. Vancouver is a very seasonal destination from Europe. During the summer there are daily flights to Frankfurt on Air Canada, daily to Munich and to Frankfurt on Lufthansa and three weekly on Condor. During the winter, there are only Lufthansa flights to Frankfurt.


My fourth flight was on D-AIXA, a Lufthansa A359 in the old colour scheme. The A359 is considerably bigger than the B788 and is more spacious inside. There was about a 60% load in economy, which meant three seats for myself.

IFE on Lufthansa was even better than Air Canada and you can chose between three cameras but the one on the tail is the best.

Dinner and proper breakfast were served by a very nice cabin crew and snacks and drinks were available during the flight in the galley. Although I slept during the flight, the nine hour time difference meant a five hour layover in Munich would be very long.

The fifth flight from Munich to Vienna was a Lufthansa flight operated by Austrian Airlines aircraft and no, it was not a codeshare. The A320 was full to the last seat and from takeoff to landing it took 44 minutes.

My sixth and last flight was Vienna - Skopje on an A319 reg. OE-LDE. Load was around 80% in economy and only three passengers in business class. We were in Skopje right on time.

And to compare the B788 and A359: they are both very modern, From the outside I like the Dreamliner better. However, on the inside it is better on the bus. So they are both great planes to fly on and I really enjoyed this experience.

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  1. Anonymous09:07

    The meal on your VIE-FRA flight looks amazing. Do&Co are definitely the best caterers in the sky.

  2. Anonymous09:08

    Nice report. Enjoyed reading it.

  3. Those Do&co meals are delicious. I always order them when flying on Austrian!

  4. Anonymous10:04

    thx for the report

  5. I flew AC last month ZRH to YYZ. I was very disappointed with the food onboard. Very tasteless and dull. Flying on their new Dreamliner and their preferred seats were a dream tho

  6. Anonymous10:37

    Gosh, 2 stops to reach Vancouver. What a hassle

    1. Anonymous10:50

      That is way he payed 570.

    2. Regardless of price SKP-YVR is almost always 2 stops.only 1 option with 1 stop is edelweiss via ZRH but only in summer and I think only on friday

  7. Anonymous11:44

    good to see OS improved the catering on SKP-VIE. no more salzstangen it seems

    1. Don't worry.the evenig flight to SKP,it was salzstangen or chocolate bar))

  8. Anonymous12:15

    Nice report. Thanx. I also prefer A350 over B787. It feels like already being at home when boarding Lufthansa, I don't rely know why :)

    1. Yet,the feeling on A380 is unbeatable

  9. Anonymous22:20

    The comment about the young passengers is priceless :D I know just the kind since you get them at BEG as well - full of EU funds' money, very short on intellect.

  10. Anonymous18:27

    Austrian airlines je veoma dobra aviokompanija i aposlutno ne stedi se na nista plus dobro odrzavanje aviona,imali su veoma kvalitetni Fokker 100 flotu.


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