TRIP REPORT: Air Serbia, Madrid - Belgrade - Valencia


Written by Sr. Oliver


I’ve been a huge fan of Exyuaviation since its early days and always intended to write a flight review, especially because I had the opportunity to fly some rare airlines such are: Mongolia Air, Boliviana de Aviacion, Cubana among others but somehow, I would lack the action. Actually, I started writing a review on one of the very last Alitalia flights I took last year, but I failed to finish it up. Anyway, promise to contribute more to the blog in the future.

The other day I flew Air Serbia from MAD to BEG. As soon as I hit the airport I went to Air Serbia designated check-in desks, given that it’s still not possible to check in online flying out of MAD and I was surprised to find a hundred of people standing in a kilometre-long queue. I flew Air Serbia a few times on this route before the pandemic but never saw so many people heading to BEG. I decided to kill my time in a nearby coffee shop waiting for the line to get shorter but even after an hour or so the line was still kinda long. Three check-in desks were open, the agents were doing their best to have us all checked-in as fast as possible but it seemed that the whole process was slowed down by so many transfer passengers who needed to have their visas /entry requirements checked before they were issued their boarding passes. Standing in the line, I was able to hear some Greek, Russian, Mexican, Spanish, Castellano, American English, Hindu and Serbian among other languages…

I checked-in, crossed migration after having a word with the immigration officer who asked me about recommendation on what to see in BEG if he makes it down there and I headed to the A1 gate which is the furthest point at Terminal 2. When I reached the gate, boarding had already started so, I saw myself on the plane in no time. As I could guess, the plane was fully booked. I think I just spotted one or two available seats - the LF must have stood at 99%. I am so glad that Air Serbia is doing great on this route. Actually, I suggested to all my Spanish friends who are planning on spending their vacations in Montenegro or Croatia to fly with Air Serbia and I’m happy that many of them did so. 

The flight went smoothly. Cabin crew was very kind. A few minutes after taking off we were served classic Air Serbia snack pack consisting of water & chips. The ground service provided by Belgrade was very fast and effective. In general, the whole trip experience was highly satisfactory until the point you reach the official taxi booth, you book a taxi to take you somewhere for x amount of 
money and then you realise that no taxi driver wants to drive unless you are willing to pay double the official price. I do travel a lot and nowhere have I been scammed by the taxi drivers but in Belgrade and Moscow, not even in African countries. 

Overall experience: 5 out of 5.

A friend form Valencia came to visit so, getting back to Spain we decided to book a direct Air Serbia flight to VLC. We checked-in online and traveling carry-on only, we got to the airport an hour prior to scheduled flight departure and in a matter of minutes we passed through airport security. Although I didn’t particularly like design of the new centralized security screening check point (which I hope is temporary), I loved the fact that we do not have to take our tablets and liquids out any longer!

 Boarding started with a 30 min delay. Judging by languages I was able to hear in the line, there were lots of national travellers (Serbs), Spaniards and French among others. 

Based on my estimate, the LF was around 85 - 90%. This flight also went smoothly. Cabin crew was kind and smiley at all times. After 2 hours and 40 minutes we arrived at Manises Airport in Valencia.

Overall experience: 5 out of 5

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  1. Anonymous09:45

    Nice trip report, I wish there were more pics though. Spain has been such a successful market for JU and I hope they keep on adding frequencies to existing destinations before they add more cities. MAD could easily go to 4 per week as JU only holds roughly 30% of the Belgrade-Madrid market. More nonstop capacity is needed by JU especially since IB is ignoring this market.

  2. Vlad11:30

    Taxis have become a HUGE problem at BEG and it seems to be getting worse each time I land. First you need to ward off touts that don't even have a taxi licence immediately at the exit. Then you have to go PAST the "unofficial" taxi station where absolutely no one wants to accept the voucher nor use the taximeter. Then when you haul your luggage all the way up to the departures level and the "official" taxi station, they roll their eyes when you offer them a voucher. A few weeks ago, one "official" taxi driver literally told me "speak to the colleagues behind, I'm waiting for foreigners". The communal police, which are plentiful at the terminal, seem to ignore the problem or even have a deal with the bastards. It's a terrible first impression for visitors and deeply shameful for the country.

    1. Anonymous11:53

      True dat.

    2. Anonymous13:21

      I recently arrived back to Belgrade, and actually had no issues with the taxis. I took a voucher at the booth immediatelly outside the baggage claim lady asked which part of town i was going to, gave me a voucher, and i just followed the signage to the taxis parked bellow the old ATC tower. Asked if they were the voucher guys, got in, paid regular price. Was my experience an exception?

    3. Anonymous14:15

      Of course not, that's how things regularly work, its just that some people here like to brag about wild taxis as if it was exclusively a BEG problem

    4. Vlad14:44

      No one said it was exclusive to BEG, but as a former resident of the city I happen to care more about BEG than random airports around the world. And since neither BEG nor the authorities seem to have any intention to fix or regulate the problem, that pisses me off. As does the Serbs' traditional whataboutism.

    5. Nemjee18:19

      I just came back from the airport and I found their system to be rather well organized. You have the taxi booth at arrivals where you take a ticket. You proceed by a new walkway up to the arrivals where taxis are parked one behind the other and they have to take up everyone because otherwise they would be holding up the line.

      What I found interesting is that there were large groups of tourists that arrived and they went to the city with Bosnian and North Macedonian buses. I guess there is a real shortage of buses and drivers here in Belgrade.

  3. Anonymous11:45

    Air Serbia are fine once the plane is airborne, otherwise they suck as far as I'm concerned.

    1. Anonymous11:56

      You can't just say the suck without substantiating what you mean. Otherwise it sounds empty and vengeful.

  4. Anonymous13:48


  5. Anonymous17:34

    Thank you for interesting trip report! Glad Air Serbia is doing well on its Spanish routes.

  6. Anonymous17:36

    Pretty much same experience on the MAD-BEG-MAD route. Usually, they are fairly on time. I never had any issues with that, but a friend of mine was unlucky enough to have 2+ hours delays both ways. I guess this year was very hectic in Europe anyway, so overall I am satisfied with the punctuality. Regarding taxies, if at all possible, see that a friend/family pick you up. Taxis are a nightmare. If you are just visiting, not staying too long and coming back the same way, have a rent-a-car organised at the airport and do not worry about the transportation. You can get a car for as low as €25/day with full insurance (maybe even less for a small car), so not worth the hassle with the predators at the airport.

    1. Anonymous18:19

      Fairly on time for JU means about 40-60 min delay every fliight I took. Nema problema attitude prevails))


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