TRIP REPORT: Wizz Air, Belgrade - Baden Baden


Written by Veljko Marinković

Flight: W6 4109/4110, Belgrade - Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden
Aircraft: Airbus A321-200, HA-LXM/LXV
Age: 5 years

In July I flew with Wizz Air from Belgrade to Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden (FKB) airport in Germany. Watching the current situation in aviation, a lot of canceled flights, and poor on-time Wizz Air performance I was stressed about the upcoming trip, but somehow both of my flights were on time, and we even arrived at our destinations ahead of schedule. I was traveling only with a backpack, the lowest possible fare, where the return ticket cost close to 40 euros. What surprised me was that the standard window/aisle seat price was 2.000 rsd (close to 18 euros) per flight, while the standard middle seat was 100 rsd cheaper. I know that these services are a source of extra income for low cost carriers, but Wizz Air also charges seats with extra legroom (emergency exit seats) 4.000 rsd per flight. On my previous flight with Wizz, last year to Heraklion, these fares were a lot cheaper, between 750 and 950 rsd (6 and 8 euros), depending on the time when booking the seats, so I do not know what is influencing those fares: destination, ticket fares, the structure of the passengers or something else.

Although I had already checked-in online, I did not get my boarding card, so I had to arrive at Belgrade Airport some two and half hours earlier, to get a printed boarding card at the check-in desk. Luckily, all check-in, security, and passport procedures were fast and completed in a couple of minutes. The biggest change since my last visit to the airport, in June, was that gate C3 became Air Serbia’s designated gate for flights to New York, which differ from other gates in the sense that it is not an open space and that there is an additional security check. My flight boarded at gate A4, boarding, as usual, was pretty chaotic. Only one airport officer was working, he was giving his best, but the lack of air conditioning intensified the mess. The part of the airport after gate A4 is currently being overhauled.

There were 178 passengers on board Airbus A321 (LF 77%), which was in pretty good condition and the legroom was fair enough for the flight time of less than two hours. The crew was very friendly and relaxed. On-board service included paid items like water (2,5 euros), sandwiches with Coca-Cola and peanuts (9,5 euros), noodle soup, etc. After onboard service crew offered perfumes, cosmetics, and some other products. Like I said, we arrived some 20 minutes ahead of schedule, just behind the Ryanair flight from Zagreb, so there was a big queue at passport control, and considering that the German border police officers were more than detailed, I spent close to two hours in the queue, so in total, almost 5 hours at the airport that day. Airports are becoming the bottleneck of today’s aviation.

Airport Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden is a small airport next to the French border, mainly used by low cost carriers flying from EX-YU and the Balkans, and also has flights to leisure destinations. It is well connected with bus lines to the closest railway stations where it is possible to catch city and regional trains. Since German Railway introduced this summer 9 euro fare per month for all public transportation and regional trains in terms of savings and pollution reduction, this airport can be a good starting point to visit Germany. It also reminds me a lot of Tivat Airport since you walk to the plane from the terminal building and the terminal space and service are pretty similar to Tivat’s. Interestingly, next to the terminal building there is some spotting area, or better to say spotting hill, from where you can watch all airport operations.

On the way back I got a mobile boarding pass without any problem, but only a couple of us were with carry-on bags in a travel light fare and most of the passengers had check-in luggage. Boarding was much better organized and faster than in Belgrade, but the major problem occurred during security control, where we were required to separate all liquids into a transparent bag and take them out of the luggage. Passengers from my flight were not the type of passengers that had that type of luggage, but at the same time, the Ryanair flight was boarding to Zadar, so people were passing the same bag back and back, so a big queue was created. After passport control, there is a duty-free shop, but I would not call it like that, because some of the shelves were almost empty.

The return flight had 222 passengers on board, which means only eight empty seats, with a load factor of 97%. Most of the passengers were Serbian citizens living in Germany, but I have seen a couple of Germans going for a city break to Belgrade. The flight was pretty much the same in terms of service, crew, and in-flight service.

I can say that I am generally satisfied with Wizz Air’s service, considering that the flights were on time and the ticket was low cost.

During my stay in Germany, I got the chance to visit Technick Museum Speyer& Sinsheim, or better to call it, avgeek haven, where it is possible to see and enter planes like Air France Concorde, Aeroflot Tupolev Tu-144, Lufthansa Boeing 747-200, Antonov An-22, DC-3, Dassault Mercure 100 (first time to here, Airbus A320 predecessor) and many others. Considering that I could write several reports on this subject, I will stop now, and share a couple of images.

Air France Concorde

Air France Concorde, Aeroflot Tupolev Tu-144 and MALEV Tupolev Tu-134A

Inside Air France Concorde

Cockpit of Aeroflot’s Tupolev Tu-144

Aeroflot Tupolev Tu-144 lights switcher panel

Four Concorde Rolls-Royce/Snecma Olympus 593 consuming 25.629 liters of fuel per hour and Concorde landing gears

Lufthansa Boeing 747-200 Jumbo jet

Inside Lufthansa Boeing 747-200 – cabin and cargo department

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  1. Nemjee09:10

    Very nice and detailed trip report. How was your experience at BEG on the way back?

    I think this market will be interesting to follow with Wizz Air, Air Serbia and Eurowings all fighting for it. EW doesn't seem to be backing down and they plan 4 weekly BEG-STR for this winter which I think is extremely ambitious of them.

    1. Anonymous12:51

      Hope that the prices will go down. But I am not relying on EW, their strategy toward Belgrade flights is that they do not have a strategy. Introducing flights, then canceling after just a few months of operation, changing destination. Real mess

    2. Nemjee15:00

      Well let's hope that this time around they do better. Even though they reduced them or suspended for a brief period of time, they always brought them back. I think competition is needed in this regard as JU goes crazy with their pricing when they are left unchecked.

  2. Anonymous09:36

    Great trip report. Good to hear you were ahead of schedule which doesn't happen too often with LCC's nowadays. And love those pictures from the museum you included!

    1. Anonymous09:40

      Yes, he was really lucky. My recent morning flight to Eindhoven was delayed for 2 hours, without any explanation. What I see that all W6 flights are delayed just under 3 hours, so they do not have to pay fees

  3. Anonymous09:53

    Nice report and explanation of various options with Wizzz. BTW. Pictures of the plane are not made by regular passenger.

    1. Anonymous12:46

      What do you mean regular passenger?

  4. Anonymous10:10

    Excellent report. These prices for the seats are really extreme, I am not sure will anyone accept to pay this, so it is not odd that Wizz is in bad financial situation and cancelling flights

    1. Anonymous11:23

      Well to be honest Lufthansa and Swiss charges are crazy... 16€ front seat - with light tariff. If you don't wanna pay for preferable seat, you will be assign auto random seat which again if you wanna change you have to pay... there is no anymore free seats

    2. Anonymous12:01

      Yes, unfortunately no free seats anymore, but look for example JU or A3, those prices are pretty OK and those airlines are hybrid. But this Wizz prices are really crazy

  5. Anonymous10:46

    Quite low LF for an LCC in high season

    1. Anonymous12:26

      Well return flight as I can see was full, and since this is a gastro route most of the pax coming from Germany to Serbia for vacation and return later, so I can say this is a good LF and

  6. Anonymous12:38

    Wizz Air as I can see when it is not late is a standard value for money service. These pictures from the museum are great, didn't know that is possible to enter this peace of art aircraft. But the best is this guy with a newspaper in the lavatory of the LH 747 :)Thank you Veljko for sharing and always bringing something new to your reports

  7. Anonymous12:41

    Thanks for interesting trip report! I really liked the pictures from the museum :)

  8. 40 euros for a return ticket? That is dirt cheap. In the US a two hour flight is easily triple that cost, one way on a "no thrills airline".

    1. Anonymous00:07

      The word you're looking for is "no frills" mister New Yorker.

  9. Anonymous09:29

    Yeap, exactly this pink colored. I was watching landing it in Belgrade. My cousin should visit me in EU, but we all ended in Serbia. I in Belgrade, while cousin went to Novi Pazar. Plane landed around 15+ in Belgrade. While i have to pay 100€ (return) for Ljubljana-BG for van, she had for less money plane on some 1500 km one way !


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