TRIP REPORT: Air Montenegro, Istanbul - Tivat in business


Scheduled Departure time: 11.00hrs gmt+3
Scheduled Arrival time: 11.50hrs gmt+2
Actual Arrival time: 11.25hrs gmt+2
Aircraft: EMB-195

August 2022

We arrived at Istanbul Airport (IST) at 9am. There was a short wait to get through the initial security line of maybe 5 mins.

Only once through were we able to find out that the flight was checking in at desks P41-44, which is almost at the far end of the terminal. Maybe that’s no surprise for a nonaligned carrier flying once a day but knowing in advance would have let my driver drop us at the correct end of the terminal, saved 100m of walking and cut out that first security queue completely.

Anyway, 4 check-in desks for a 116-seat plane seemed generous. By the time we got there - about 9.25am - only two were staffed but we were amongst the last looking at the sequence numbers. I’m not sure when the desk opened but the Air Montenegro site made it clear it closed 60 mins before departure.

So no queue at either counter, passports scanned, and boarding passes issued very quickly. No lounge access is offered however.

From the desk it was another long walk back to the emigration point for non-Turkish pax, another 10-minute wait then security. Again, Air Montenegro business class affords no fast track bonus here.

All in all it took 45 mins from stepping out the car to being properly airside.

We had a 10.30 boarding time so made a quick detour to the IGA lounge using Priority Pass but it really wasn’t worth the effort, as after 20 mins of being underwhelmed by food, drink and ambiance given there’s ongoing construction work in the place (think spot welding and power sawing timbers) it was time to make the 15 min walk to the gate - F8B.

Boarding started just before 10.30. Not aware of any priority call for business class so we just joined the masses. A short hold on the jet bridge then we were seated by 10.40. No problem stowing sensible size wheelie cases in the overheads for anyone in the 3 rows of business class. Every seat on the flight was full but I had bought 5 of the 12 business seats anyway and looking around, the airline seemed to have been quite good in terms of managing carry-on bags in Y.

As a side note, Air Montenegro offer inflight magazines, which is the first time I’ve seen these in more than 3 years.

A few stragglers meant boarding only completed a few minutes before the booked departure time but we were away fairly quickly. A long-ish taxi at least meant no hold for take off. We were then quickly heading North West for Montenegro.

The curtain between the cabins was drawn as soon as the crew were released from seats and the modest cabin service got underway. In business, this was a cardboard “bento” box which had a selection of olives, cheese, cold meat and crackers. It tasted good, although was in all reality a basic offering. A small box of Montenegrin chocolates was also offered, along with a selection of drinks.

I saw coke, coffee and water all being requested but in the name of research, I asked if wine was available, and the face of the cabin crew member positively lit up when I queried if it was from Montenegro - and she confirmed it indeed was. Arguably it was served slightly warmer than I’d have liked but it was probably the correct temperature to enjoy the floral notes. Sadly, it was served in a plastic wine glass - the sort you might take on a picnic - although given all other drinks seemed to be served in paper cups, I should probably be grateful.

A second bottle of wine was procured and consumed, just to make sure I really did like it and not much more than an hour after leaving Istanbul we started the approach into Tivat.

Landing was from the South (the unexciting approach) and we were quickly on stand. As we were at the front, getting off was a fast affair but we were then held on the tarmac as passengers from an outbound flight walked from the gate to their aircraft, as we had to cross their path to get over to immigration. All very “classic aviation” in a world now dominated by air bridges and multi-level airport terminals.

Anyway, we were front of the line for immigration and quickly stamped into the country. A customs officer then stopped us, asking for passports (again), where we had come from and how much cash I had. With that all sorted, we were outside the airport looking for our taxi a good 15 minutes before the scheduled arrival time.

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  1. Anonymous09:12

    Wow that lunchbox in the business class looks disappointing yet the Plantaze wine is the amazing thing though !

    1. Anonymous09:21

      Disappointing looking meal indeed. On top of that an excellent wine served in plastic glasses in business class :(

      Plus if we take into account that biz class pax had no lounge access, neither security check priority, the real question is what's the use of paying biz class fare for practically economy class service.

    2. Anonymous18:03

      Plantaze wine amazing? It's a mediocre supermarket wine.

    3. Anonymous20:38

      @Anon 09:21

  2. Anonymous11:43

    I understand the critics of business class but do not forget that this airline was recently launched and during stupid Covid times. And MNE is a small country yet managed to very quickly retrieve a national carrier compared to other nations such as Slovenia or North Macedonia.
    We should give them some time. Plus, this route is not that long so, I would totally be comprehensive with them.

  3. Anonymous11:47

    Nowadays it really doesn’t make any sense to purchase business ticket with certain airlines, when the only difference in the whole experience is a poorly presented meal.

    1. Anonymous22:04

      Typical euro biz

  4. Anonymous13:35

    Montenegro keeps winning!

  5. JU520 BEGLAX14:03

    Lunch box looks disgusting. Wine in plastic cups in todays times, also unacceptable. No lounge, no fast track, so whats the point in buying Business Class? Who at the airlines makes such decisions?
    With this kind of management, I dont see a good future for YM.

    Thank you for the informative report, always good to have people share their experience.

    1. Anonymous15:59

      The point is that it's a new airline and does not receive that huge amount of government aid compared to others in the region....

    2. Anonymous16:06

      The government bought them their planes!

    3. Anonymous16:08

      And is also paying up to 10 million EUR for Trade Air wet lease. Proportionally to its size, there is probably no airline in the region that gets more money from the state than Air Montenegro.

    4. Anonymous20:36

      JU520 BEGLAX

  6. Anonymous16:37

    I remember the days when meals were presented on dishes in economy class. How things have changed.

  7. Anonymous18:01

    Where are priganice, raštan, skorup, iglice? 😀

    1. Anonymous11:58

      Dovoljno je sto muce ljude sa cernogorskom cokoladom.

  8. Anonymous20:36

    Ubedljivo najgora biznis klasa. Ispod svakog nivoa usluga.

  9. Anonymous13:49

    Turkish Airlines Economy serves > Air Montenegro Business Serves

  10. Anonymous18:25

    Plantaze Wine in supermarket for 3 USD. Good joke ahahhahhahha

    1. Anonymous12:54

      150 RSD for 0.187 liters bottle in Metro Cash Carry when bought 24+ pcs.

  11. Anonymous18:28

    Original poster here - just to point out the difference between J & Y on this flight was around EUR80 per person. I wanted the flexibility to cancel free of charge given the uncertainty of travel in 2022 - this was also part of a 7 sector, 3 airline itinerary - and the free seat allocation was a useful benefit (presumably they upsell this on an economy booking) but the real bonus was being able to take our luggage onto the plane. I didn't see any passengers heading further back with roll-on bags. So probably not worth EUR400 (i'd bought 5 seats) but it's all subjective so I'd value the extras at a minimum of EUR200.


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