TRIP REPORT: Air Serbia, Podgorica - Belgrade


Written by Tomislav Ivanović


Montenegro has hosted for the first time a national wine competition, so I was invited to judge it as part of an international jury. It was a good opportunity to spend a few days on the seaside after the competition, so I planned spending an additional 3 days in Petrovac after the competition.

On 3rd October, it was time to return home. I took the bus from Petrovac to Budva (out of summer season, there are no direct buses from Petrovac to Podgorica). Obviously, Montenegrins also suffer from lack of bus and truck drivers, given that the bus driver was apparently retired long time ago... But, he was still driving the bus despite his old age.

In Budva, I took a connecting bus towards Podgorica. The bus ticket from Budva to Podgorica costs 5,5 EUR and the journey goes via Cetinje. It took almost one hour and a half to arrive at Podgorica's central bus station.

From the bus station, I caught a taxi to the airport, which cost 7 EUR. With such affordable prices for taxi, no wonder nobody is using public transport in Podgorica to get to the airport.

I entered the airport hall. Check in desks were open for Air Montenegro flight to Belgrade and Austrian flight to Vienna. However, although check in hadn’t started for my flight, there was already a line of people waiting at desks 3 and 4 presuming that Air Serbia check in would start soon. After some 15 minutes, two girls arrived, and they started check in procedures. Although the boards were indicating economy and business class check in desks, in reality nobody paid attention to them, so all economy passengers were also completing check in at the business class desk. All around me, I could hear Russian language. I could also recognise Serbian and Montenegrin passports in hands of the passengers. The woman in front of me was flying to Lyon via Belgrade.

The girl at the check in desk was quite polite and helpful. She offered me extra leg space seat, which I gladly accepted.

Passport control and security control at Podgorica airport went smooth, without hassle. After about 40 minutes, the plane Air Serbia YU-APA (Airbus A319) arrived. That was a good sign that the flight wouldn’t be delayed. Indeed, boarding started as announced. Flight JU173 was full. The flight was uneventful. Flight attendants distributed water and biscuits as well as a magnesium granulate bag. I was sitting next to an old lady, she was Montenegrin but living for many years in Denmark. She was flying to Copenhagen.

We landed in Belgrade on time. A long walk through Belgrade Airport and we reached the luggage pick up area. Wow. What a scene... All around the place, the area was crammed with suitcases. Wherever you look, there were piled suitcases. I couldn’t understand what was happening. I examined nearby suitcases with all sorts of tags: Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa, Air Serbia. It seems that these were lost or delayed suitcases that finally arrived at their destination... Incredible scene... I was thinking about the owners of all these suitcases. They will be happy to receive it finally.

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  1. Anonymous09:45

    Nice report. I flew to TGD yesterday from ZAG, flight was completely full.

  2. Anonymous09:54

    When I was at BEG month ago there was a pile of bags all over the luggage and customs area. This looks much better :) Nice report btw.

  3. JU520 BEGLAX10:10

    Thanks for the well pictured report. Which wines can u recommend for MNE, just name 1-2 good winery's. Red wine, which grapes do they use? And where in yr opinion is MNE stronger, white or red?

    Re the bags. I can tell u fm ZRH, we had in Summer 100s of bags stranded. Often was the reason that Americans flew over ZRH to a port city, where they boarded a cruising ship. The problem than, where to send or rather not send the bags, until people maybe return home.

    1. Montenegro is definitely land of red wines... I recommend local producers/wineries : Zenta Vučinić, Knežević Winery, Brajović Winery, Kekovic Winery, Radevic Winery.. If talking about Plantaže,their biggest producer, then opt for Stari Podrum label.. The flagship grape variety of Montenegro is definitely Vranac.

    2. JU520 BEGLAX23:07

      Thank you and much appreciated.

  4. Anonymous11:06

    You could've taken the train from Bar, as it stops less than 1 km from the airport building at Podgorica (the stop is called 'Aerodrom').

  5. Anonymous12:24

    Great TR, thanks 🙏

  6. Anonymous12:41

    Thanks for detailed trip report :)

  7. Anonymous12:46

    Raduje što su JU avioni puni u Oktobru.

  8. Anonymous15:19

    Very detailed report. I find quite odd this Magnesium gift or what ever it means

    1. Anonymous17:19

      It's a paid commercial by Hemofarm.

    2. Anonymous19:41

      Yeah, it's this.

  9. Thank you for the detailed report with numerous pictures.

    I have to admit these images of lost luggage are a bit scarry. I mean, they should be removed from the baggage claim area. This is not the first time we see these piles. I am sure Belgrade Airport has a space for the delayed luggage, somewhere. It is the only airport I've seen to keep them at this location.

    1. Anonymous19:24

      Travel more and you'll see them piled up at baggage claim areas at many airports.

    2. Anonymous01:55

      The bags will stay there until ground staff matches them with the claim and clears them through customs. It is a very time consuming job and obviously there is not enough manpower to clear all the bags, match with the AHL file references and prepare shipping labels and organize it with the courrier company. These things take time and nowhere in the world they can just “remove these bags” so quickly. Comparing to other airports struggling with same issues, this is nothing.

  10. Charlie04:00

    Nice concise report Tomislav.


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