TRIP REPORT: Wizz Air, Belgrade - Heraklion and back


Written by Veljko Marinković

Flight: W6 4003/4004, Belgrade-Heraklion-Belgrade
Aircraft: Airbus A321-231, HA-LTI
Age: 1.8 years

Last week I flew on Wizz Air’s flight from Belgrade to Heraklion, and back. This was my first flight after one and half years, my first time on Wizz Air, first time on the Airbus A321, and the first time with just a backpack. New times require new strategies. I used to fly on this route on charter flights with Jat Airways, and several years back with Ellinair and Aegean. This year Ellinair had flights in the middle of the night, which was not suitable for me, so I decided to try Wizz Air and that was a good decision, since Ellinair canceled all flights to Belgrade because of financial problems of its parent company, Mouzenidis Travel.

Wizz Air A321 and Aegean Airlines A320 at Heraklion Airport

I bought tickets for this flight some 10 days before, and it really was a low fare ticket. I like the possibility, which Wizz Air offers, that according to your own preferences and with basic, low cost fare, you can buy extra luggage, priority boarding, automatic check-in, seats (from 'normal' one at a price of 7 euros to emergency exit for almost 20 euros), transfer to the airport, and even the possibility of getting information on the status of the flight on your mobile phone, for a little less than 1 euro.

I arrived at Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport with high expectations concerning all the activities that are in progress regarding airport modernisation and future development. Although I checked-in for the flight online, I had to go back to the check in desk and get a printed boarding pass. I realised that this was a new procedure, in order to check if you had the necessary documents for entering Greece, but I think they should coordinate with the company, because I received more emails from Wizz Air urging me to do everything online, to have a boarding pass on the phone etc. to reduce contacts.

New space, cafe shops and duty-free at Belgrade Airport

The airport was not busy at the time. There were only a few flights to mostly charter and leisure destination, so passport control went pretty fast. Construction work at the airport is practically at every step. In addition to the new building being built in extension of Terminal 2 C gates, the A1-A4 gates are closed and as far as I could conclude a new floor is being added, right above them. I like how the space behind the passport control at T1 was upgraded, a very spacious part with very modern cafe shops, with a lot places to sit, and of course the Tesla Square. As I said, I may have higher expectations, but I really expected that in addition to the board, at Tesla Square would have some information about Tesla himself, or about his work, and since Tesla holds more than 300 patents, I think that there is a space for cooperation with Tesla Museum in Belgrade, for mutual benefit.

Boarding for this flight started at Terminal 1 gate A9. As I previously mentioned, construction work is in progress so it is quite normal and understandable to lose a certain level of comfort at the airport. However, the air conditioning literally does not exist in the lobby in front of the A8-10 gates. It was busy at the gate and I can say A9 gate is in a pretty bad shape. I personally used it last time about 20 years ago, on a, then, domestic flight to Tivat and nothing much has changed since then. When boarding began, literally all passengers rushed to the exit, rules for children or Wizz Air priority boarding were not respected and not to mention some epidemiological rules. My seat was in the back of the plane, so boarding was at the back door, so it was necessary to get off the gate onto the platform and walk up the stairs, and I liked it, because it reminded me of one boarding a JAT DC-9 via the tail stairs.

Chaotic boarding at Gate A9 at Belgrade Airport

The plane was almost 2 years old, so I could say brand new, and was is in excellent condition. Like I said, this was my first flight on an A321, although I had flown on smaller family members, and I am really surprised by the number of seats and rows on the plane. The capacity of the aircraft is 230 passengers in 39 rows, which is equivalent to the number of passengers in economy class of some wide-body aircraft. Even the cabin crew member were sitting on the emergency exits on the right side of the aircraft, opposite the passengers in the next row, which was an unknown fact for me, until now.

Boarding Wizz Air A321 at Belgrade Airport

Wizz Air Abu Dhabi A321neo

New apron E at Belgrade Airport with Cargo Air B737-400F classic jet 

Construction work at Belgrade Airport

On both flights I had the whole row to myself, so I may be a bit subjective, but the seat pitch was good, with enough legroom and the seats are very comfortable. Interestingly, the seatback is not possible to recline into any position. We took off on time, and both flights were very pleasant. There were 159 passangers on the flight to Heraklion ( I did not count, I asked), and return flight had more passengers, I would say with load factor of 80%, were most of the passengers were Wizz Air priority. Most of the passengers were Serbian citizens, but there were also a few passengers from Greece.

On board service consists of the possibility to buy hot and cold beverages, sandwiches and soup. For some reason a lot of passengers chose the soup. It was possible to pay in euros, Serbian dinars, and with cards, but only if you had offline mode available. After on board service, crew offered perfumes, cosmetics and some other products, including Wizz Air gifts. The crew was professional, and also made several announcements for people to wear their masks constantly and properly, over the mouth and nose. There were a couple of passengers who didn't quite realise it, but the crew didn't take any action either.

We landed some 15 minutes before schedule, and since Heraklion International Airport ‘Nikos Kazantzakis’ was pretty empty at the time, which is not common in June as it is the country's second busiest airport after Athens, the passport control went pretty fast and smooth. Police offices were checking for PLF document and also for proof of vaccination or negative PCR test.

Some 10 days before my return, Wizz Air made a scheduling change and brought forward my flight by about two and a half hours. OK, it was not a big deal, but in this circumstances when there are limited options for connecting flights, I have found this very stressful especially because I have waited the whole day to find out what are the changes in booking.

In contrast to the day of arrival, this time Heraklion Airport was very busy, I would say close to pre pandemic levels. Part of the airport, the departure area was modernised back in 2018, with very large and modern duty-free shop, and also with a great overview of the parking position and runway. In some parts, the airport was very hot and boarding was pretty exhausting. This time not because of the small gate and lack of rules, but because ground staff was checking if all cabin luggage are according to Wizz Air standards.

Regional Greek carrier Sky Express introduced narrow-body jets and is expanding over Europe

Interesting and very creative idea by Heraklion Airport - Let the knowledge fly with you

The flight was pleasant, and we arrived ahead of schedule in Belgrade, with a great sunset.

Overall, enjoyable experience with Wizz Air.

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  1. Anonymous09:27

    Few weeks ago I looked up their fares for September, tickets were arleady greater than charter.
    Two years ago I took my family to vacation on a scheduled JU flight to Athens. It cost 400 eur for 2 adults and one small but oaying kid, and one tickedžt topped up wuth luggage. Only 1 month in advance.
    'Low cost' no longer exists for most cases.

    1. Anonymous10:03

      I took return ticket for September maybe 20 days ago, for less than 50 euro, just backpack. OK, that day was some promo for Greek islands, 15% off

  2. Anonymous10:19

    Brilliant trip report, thank you. What was the load like on the flight back?

    With Heraklion doing so well, I wonder if they might add more destinations next summer like Athens or Rhodes.

    Anyone know if they are carrying passengers from tour operators or just solo passengers?

    1. Anonymous10:43

      ' and return flight had more passengers, I would say with load factor of 80%,'
      Wizz introduced Rhodes and Corfu back than, I think it was 2012, but just with one weekly flight, with terrible schedule and I think it was quite expensive, and I think that they were selling also tickets to the tour operators.

  3. Anonymous10:22

    Thank you for great report and cool photos.

  4. Anonymous10:39

    very detailed, good and interesting trip report. Good job. I hope that Wizz will continue to fly to the islands next year and introduce some new ones. And not only Wizz, it would be good for JU to move to some seasonal lines to leisure destinations, without just waiting for a charter, which is safe money, but still it is 21st century, we need options to go to some seaside for just a weekend, or 7 days, not just 10/11 days. It can sell seats to agencies, and if necessary, add additional charter flights...

    1. Anonymous10:58

      Don't count on JU. Look at this year, they have minimal flights to Crete and Rhodes once competition showed up.

  5. Anonymous12:22

    Wow, didn't expect the boarding to be that chaotic. Looks like some resort airport. Many airports organise the lines quite efficiently.
    Otherwise, W6 is and always been a great and reliable airline. Have been flying with them since 2005 and literally never had a major issue with them except for a huge delay, where I was even compensated.

    1. Anonymous13:53

      Wizz will do quite ok in Belgrade this summer, I think around 370 flights or so.Only two destinations are moved to September: Malta and Hannover.

    2. Anonymous13:55

      Sorry 360 flights in July alone which is impressive, that's almost 6 departures per day.

    3. Anonymous14:02

      And still postponing Oslo several times. Regarding the LF of this flight maybe better will be a320, but since this is just the beginning of season we will how will be in July and August.
      Inače dobar bedž Jatove desetke, gde može da se kupi������

    4. Anonymous14:38

      They only upgraded the flight from A320 to A321 a few weeks ago. Extra capacity was added only recently.

  6. Anonymous16:25

    20 EUR surcharge for exit row (40 EUR for both ways) is very expensive. For comparison, Air Serbia charged me only 12 EUR for longer flight BEG-LHR.

    Chaotic boarding is a reflection of how an airline treats their passengers. If I feel treated as cattle it sends a message that I am not a valued guest airline wants to see as a repeated customer.

    1. Anonymous17:42

      No, it just means that Wizz knows who their customers are. They are the ones who don't care about comfort otherwise they wouldn't be flying to a place like Luton on a plane with 28 inch seat pitch.

    2. Anonymous17:56

      No. If Wizz knows their customers are the ones who don't care about comfort as you said, Wizz wouldn't be offering 20 EUR exit row comfort upgrade.

      It means Wizz doesn't care if customers feel treated like cattle as long as they can squeeze more revenue from their pockets. Sometimes customers feel the only way to get better treatment is to buy upgrades: "We treat customers badly to force them to pay more".

    3. Anonymous18:50

      The only flaw in your reasoning is that people have a choice and very rarely is Wizz Air the only option when travelling. Why were legacies the ones to adapt to LCCs and not the other way around? Why was it that standards have gone down and not up if people aren't only looking for the best deal out there?

      As for those exit rows, well you might have a very fat or very tall person that might appreciate some more space. If they can afford it then why not. Why is LO offering business class to its passengers? For the same reason, because there are those that can or must pay more to get extra space.

    4. Anonymous19:05

      The flaw is with your reasoning: in most cases people don't have a choice. Majority of Wizz routes have NO competitor for identical airport pairs. Read this again: for identical airport pairs. Wizz does not like direct competition and consequently doesn't like customers to have a choice.

      Seat width is identical for exit rows. Very fat people would be looking for wider seats such as premium economy or business class, not exit row. But someone with Wizz background would not know that.

    5. Anonymous19:36

      We are talking about fat people flying on Wizz, all seats in their planes have the same seat but the only difference is the seat pitch. Someone with common sense would know that.

      Doesn't matter my friend, a city can be served by one or more airports and the fact is that many people chose the cheaper alternative like NYO vs ARN or LTN via LHR or even EIN over AMS o BRU. Just because someone is flying into Vienna doesn't mean he has to fly into VIE when there is BTS right next door.

      Just ask our Slovenian friends on here.

    6. Anonymous20:06

      Topic was this trip report and two surprising facts about Wizz: exit row fee is 67% higher than at Air Serbia; and chaotic boarding documented in the photo.

      Based on responses, Wizz supporters obviously can't take any criticism and would rather switch topics than to admit any W6 errors.

    7. Anonymous20:40

      Why is charging exit row fee by an lcc an error, if some people are willing to pay? And if they are willing to pay more than on other airlines, why not charge them more?

      Why is it an error of an lcc that people cannot properly stand in the line?

    8. Anonymous21:47

      Wizz, not just any lcc. People can't properly stand in line in Tokyo or Vancouver yet real airlines organize boarding process so they do stand in lines and board in orderly fashion. It's not people at fault, it's Wizz service attitude.

      Why not charge them more? You are a real customer advocate, are you? No wonder people are getting tired of Wizz.

    9. Anonymous22:26

      It is good to mention that price of seats and all other services on Wizz air depends a lot on time of buying it. So if time of flight is very close, the prices are rocketing

    10. Anonymous22:32

      Of course Wizz can charge more for exit row when their average fare is much lower than that of the legacy carriers. It's all relative.

      Also have any of you ever been in the gate A9? How exactly can you organize it when the box is tiny. You can't even line them up outside because it would take too long until they clear security.

      If Wizz was using one of the newer gates then it would be a whole different story.

    11. Anonymous22:52

      I have been at A gates. Big EU legacy made boarding organized even there. Blaming customers for not self-organizing and for comments about high fees? What's next, blaming customers for flying Wizz?

    12. Anonymous22:57

      >of course Wizz can charge more for exit row when their average fare is much lower

      What happened to "our business is reducing costs so we can pass the savings to our customers"? Wizz turned it into "we are reducing costs so we can charge you even more". LOL!

    13. Anonymous07:35

      They are not charging them more because this is something they don't have to get. Exit row fee is only for those who want it so passengers are not at a disadvantage. Sorry but your comment makes no sense.

      A gates are more spacious and they have lines set up which is something you can't do at A6-A9 because the gate area is tiny. When the plan is full you can't even stand properly yet you want special lines to bet set up? Like I said, you should first experience these gates before speaking.

    14. Anonymous09:28

      Passengers don't have to pay for exit row at Air Serbia too. Your reasoning makes no sense.
      I have used A6-A9 many times with other airlines and it wasn't this chaotic. What needs to happen for Wizz to say Customer is right?

    15. Anonymous09:36

      I flew on Lufthansa from A8 before covid and boarding was in the same manner. Only difference is that they didn't let everyone in so the flight was late because passengers had to clear security before boarding.
      In the past, Wizz Air used to line up priority passengers in the airbridge where they would wait before boarding the plane.

      Like someone wrote above, A gates are chaotic and outdated. When Wizz used A5 gate during covid such things didn't happen.

      Exactly which means your initial comment on Wizz charging more for exit row makes no sense. It's dictated by market trends. People flying Wizz are willing to pay more for extra perks since their initial fare is quite low. Meanwhile people flying on JU have to pay more for the basic fare so they don't see a value in paying more for exit row even if it costs less than on Wizz.

      Wizz is doing something right otherwise they wouldn't be expanding left and right as we speak. They are adding a fifth plane to their Tirana base.

    16. Anonymous09:48

      I wonder if Wizz HQ has offices lined with slogan Customer is never right?

  7. Balkan boy07:58

    You guys with your seat pitch debate ruined a perfectly good discussion on a great trip report.
    In the future please try to respect the topic.

    1. Anonymous08:12

      Huh? Topic was on Wizz Air and the product it offers on a trip report on Wizz Air. What are you going on about? Also whole discussion started because it was linked to the comment the author made on the boarding process. How about you don't pollute this thread with your quasi-morality.

    2. Anonymous08:58

      This is indeed a well structured and very detailed report with a great images of flight, cabin, airport. Well done

  8. Anonymous08:58

    This is indeed a well structured and very detailed report with a great images of flight, cabin, airport. Well done

  9. Anonymous15:54

    Great. I really enjoyed reading your report. Thank you.


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