TRIP REPORT: LOT, Warsaw - Pristina - Warsaw


Written by jsg

I planned to visit Kosovo for a long time, but a lack of direct flights from Warsaw postponed my decision to book a ticket to Pristina, as there were not many options from Warsaw. The most time-saving option was a connection via Vienna with Austrian Airlines, but the value-for-money was not favourable. This changed on June 6 2022, when LOT linked Warsaw and Pristina for the first time. It was a good opportunity to travel to Kosovo.

Yugoslav summer part 3 - Pristina

LO 587: Warsaw - Pristina. My summer holiday has started and a 5-day trip to Kosovo is the first part of it. Warsaw streets on a Saturday morning are almost empty, and there is still a pleasant chill before the rising sun brings another hot day. Although my trip to Frédéric Chopin Warsaw Airport involves 1 bus change, it went smooth and thanks to almost no traffic it takes approx. 20 minutes. After quick check-in, I proceed to the LOT ticket desk located in the right corner of the terminal, to enquire about my recently changed itinerary from Split to Warsaw via Zagreb. As Croatia Airlines has changed the time of departure of a domestic flight Split - Zagreb by a few hours, and I am unsure if I need to reconfirm the change or not. After a quick chat with a ticket agent, I was told all is confirmed and there is no need to reconfirm. Then I proceed through security control and later through automated gates for passport control. While in the non-Schengen airside zone, I check screens for the assigned departure gate of my flight: 6N. There is still over 1 hour until boarding starts.

According to the printed information on my boarding card, boarding should start at 09:45, but no such confirmation is shown on the display screens around the planned boarding time and I suspect the flight may be delayed. Then the screens are updated with the following info: “boarding at 09:55”. Few minutes after the updated boarding time, the ground staff announces the commencement of boarding. I swiftly move to the assigned gate, where my boarding card is scanned, and I proceed to the aircraft via an air bridge as the first passenger.

Today’s flight is operated by 3.7-year-old aircraft Embraer 190STD (reg. number SP-LMD), which already completed a morning flight from Vilnius to Warsaw. Inside, I take assigned seat of 23A, from where I have a good view of the front part of the aircraft, and I can easily count the number of passengers boarding this flight. On today’s flight there are 22 passengers including 2 kids and 1 infant.

Once boarding is completed, the cabin crew (2 female and 1 male) prepare the cabin for departure. After a routine safety demo in Polish and English, pushback starts then after short taxi we take off on runway RWY33.

Upon reaching our cruising altitude, the onboard service commences: a sanitary wipe, a snack, still or sparkling water, tea and coffee. Today I choose a savoury snack of spinach roll, a glass of sparkling water and a cup of tea with lemon. As I’m unwrapping my snack, I notice the following claims on the wrap: “natural ingredients’ and “no preservatives”. Let’s challenge these claims and check the declared ingredients of the snack: wheat flour, spinach, water, eggs, margarine (rapeseed oil, water, salt, acidity regulator – citric acid), modified starch, butter, sugar, yeast, milk, salt, powder cream, powdered milk, garlic, pepper, thickening agent - sodium alginate). Not bad at all. I just have doubts if I would classify sodium alginate as natural ingredient.

During the cabin service, a passenger sitting at 21A asks a cabin crew member if all other flights are so quiet like today’s one. She replied that this is probably the end of season as previous flights were busier. She also added, when she flew on the first seasonal flight to Rijeka, the flight was full, but there were only 6 or 7 passengers on the return flight to Warsaw.

After completing the complimentary service, a member of the cabin crew brings me, my pre-ordered duty-free shopping, which passengers can order on-line with delivery either to home address or free on board delivery. As this flight is outside of the EU, it is possible to order duty free tobacco and alcohol products at duty free prices e.g. 1-litre-bottle of whiskey Johnny Walker Red Label for 49 PLN. After verification of my name, I sign a delivery slip and receive my sealed order.

The rest of the flight is uneventful. The cabin crew offer paid service followed by on board duty-free, but no purchase was made. Today’s flight crosses over Polish city of Kielce, Slovakian town of Kosice, Hungarian’s Debrecen, west of Romanian’s Oradea, Bulgarian town of Lom, then North Macedonian capital of Skopje and towards the village of Dimcë.

Upon landing and short taxing, an aircraft bridge is attached, and we shortly disembark the plane and walk to the passport control area. An immigration officer asks me a question about my flight origin, then stamps my passport (not common these days). After passport control, I reclaim my luggage, clear customs, and proceed to the outside bus stop to check the next departure of bus 1A. It is at 14:00, so I still have over 1 hour to wait. In the meantime, I return to the terminal building for a cup of cappuccino.

Flight statistics

LF: 21 %
Distance: 1067 kms (576 nm)
Departure time (scheduled/actual): 10:15/10:24
Arrival time (scheduled/actual): 12:30/12:27
Flight duration (scheduled/actual): 2h 15 min/2 h 03 min

Kosovo. The city centre of Pristina is unique in its own way, where the past meets the modern. The ex-Yugoslav architecture dominates the city centre, while more modern developments are springing up on its outskirts. There is a lot of construction going on and a number of high tower blocks were completed or are being completed. Is Pristina facing a property boom?


Dogs are everywhere. They rest on pavement or on grass, they chase other dogs or just walk freely on the streets. Most of them have an “earring” in various colours. Do they belong to someone, or they are ownerless and why there are so many of them? Frankly, I do not feel comfortable passing them as I am not sure how they can react. To find out more, I type the phrase “stray dogs in Kosovo” in Google search. The first hit directs me to the web portal of According to the portal, stray dogs are an issue in Kosovo and many of them were recently castrated or sterilized to prevent reproduction. Once a dog undergoes treatment, it is registered with a unique number and receives an earring. This action was a response to a series of stray dog attacks on children in the second half of 2017.


Kosovars seem to have big esteem for the USA. One of the main thoroughfares is named after a former US president - Bill Clinton, whose statue decorates a small square on the crossroads of the Bill Clinton Boulevard and the Idriz Gjilani Street. The US president holds a book in his left hand and waves with the other. A big picture of a smiley face of Bill Clinton hangs on a façade of a brutalist residential block built in Yugoslav times. Apart from Bill Clinton, you can also see a bust of Madeleine Albright or other American officials in various locations of Pristina. But my favourite sign of Kosovo love affair with the USA is a miniature of the Statue of Liberty placed on the roof of a police station near the Fehmi Lladrovci street. I have to admit, it is a rather unusual spot to place a monument, especially on the roof of a police headquarter. Perhaps they should move Bill Clinton next to the Statue of Freedom, so he can keep an eye on the statue? – tells me my sarcastic side.


Behind the building of the Radio Kosovo sits a unique building, which looks like a proliferating space station trapped in a net. In fact, it is the building of the National Library of Kosovo, whose shape of multiple cubes covered with domes, is reference to the Byzantine and Ottoman architectural heritage of the region. The building was finished in 1982, and it is an example of the late Yugoslav modernism. I truly admire the building, and I went to it round twice, contemplating its shape, materials and decorative elements used to create the structure. The building itself is relatively good shape, but the surrounding pavement slabs have seen better times and could do with a bit of revamp.


Along the Mother Teresa Boulevard there are many cafés and restaurants. Each day, I had breakfast and a dinner in one of them. In general, the food was good and rather inexpensive. The only annoying thing was the smoke. It does not matter if you sit under the roof or outside, you are surrounded by tobacco fumes as every adult seems to be a smoker. They even smoke in the least expected places like a petrol station. Once I was walking, I was caught by heavy rain and a thunderstorm. To prevent myself from getting wet, I hid myself under a roof of a nearby petrol station. During the 30 minutes there, I could see how the locals break all safety rules at the petrol station, while indulging in their smoking habit.


Should I take a train or a bus to Prizren? I would prefer to go by train, but I am not sure if there are any rail services between Pristina and Prizren. I checked the trainkos website, but I could not verify any services to Prizren. OK, perhaps, I should check the timetable at the train station of Pristina, but I only found a faded timetable to Peja/Peć. So, the bus is the only option. After a breakfast at a café, I walk along the Bill Clinton Boulevard to the bus station located outside the residential area of Dardani. I find the correct bus stand and get inside a bus. The bus should depart at 12:50 as shown on the board placed in the front window, but due to unknown reasons, the driver changes the board and now scheduled departure is at 13:10. We depart on time and after a 2-hour drive, I arrive at Prizren. Before I explore the town, I stop at a café for a cup of coffee, then I head to explore the historical heart of the town.

Prizren is worth visiting. It is located on the banks of the Prizren River between the foothills of the Sharr Mountains. Its Ottoman-like charm and dominating fortress on top on the hill reminds about its rich history. In Roman times the settlement was named Theranda, but the main development arised in the Byzantine and the Ottoman times. Today its unique charm is resultant of Ottoman-like houses, bridges, soaring minarets as well as the fortress built in the Byzantine times. I do regret, I have only planned to spend a few hours in Prizren, instead of a day or two.

LO 588: Pristina - Warsaw. Bus 1A arrives at the bus stop nearby the Grand Hotel Prishtina. Former 5-star hotel is a victim of economic challenges, which Kosovo is facing. The journey passes quickly thanks to my fellow passengers, I have just met at the bus stop. We chat about our journeys. He arrived a week ago to Pristina, then travelled to Albania, where he spent most of his time before returning to Pristina for the last night. We exchange our adventures in Kosovo, compare Pristina to other ex-Yugoslav cities such Skopje and Sarajevo until the final stop at the terminal of Pristina Airport named after Adem Jashari. He stays outside for a smoke, while I enter the terminal building to check which check-in desks are assigned for today’s flight.

At check-in desks 3 and 4, there is already a queue, and it seems this flight would be a busy one today. The whole check-in process takes approx.. 20 minutes. My bag is tagged to WAW and I receive a boarding card with assigned seat of 25A. Then I take an escalator to the departure floor. At the first stop my boarding pass is checked, then I pass security check followed by passport control, where I receive a stamp on my boarding pass. All checks took less than 10 minutes.

Having some spare time, I go to a café located in the main concourse of the departure hall. I take a cup of cappuccino (2.00 EUR) and a piece of Krem Banana sweet (0.20 EUR). As I notice my fellow passenger, I head towards him. We chat for a while, then proceed to the assigned gate of 202B, where the flight is about to be boarded. After scanning my card, we proceed to the aircraft via airbridge.

Today’s flight is operated by Embraer 195LR (reg. number SP-LNC). The aircraaft is 11.1 years old and is painted in Śliwka Nałęczowska livery since October 2019. Śliwka Nałęczowska, which can be translated as plum of Nałęczów, is a popular brand of a Polish sweet - plum in chocolate. If you like these kind of sweets, it is worth a try. The aircraft already completed two segments today: Paris CDG - Warsaw, Warsaw - Pristina and flight LO588 will the third segment out of 5 planned for today. Inside the aircraft, I take the assigned seat of 25A. As expected, the flight is very busy, with almost no free seats left. The boarding is soon completed, and the cabin crew (2 male and 1 female) prepare the cabin for take-off. The safety demo is presented in Polish and English followed by a pre-recorded summary in Serbian language. Then the aircraft makes a short taxing to the runways. We take off at 13:30.

After reaching our cruise altitude, the seat belts are on due to turbulent area caused by bad weather condition over North Macedonia and Bulgaria. The captain informs passengers twice about turbulent area and reminds us to keep our seat belts correctly fastened.

After around 40 minutes, the seat belt signs are turned off and the cabin crew commences a complementary service. This time, I am going to challenge two claims on a wrap of blueberry bun: ”natural ingredients” and “no preservatives”. The list of declared ingredients is longer than the previous one: wheat flour, blueberry, sugar, mixed fruits jam (apple purée, sugar, chokeberry purée, currants purée, cherry purée, acidity regulator - citric acid), eggs, margarine (rapeseed oil, water, salt, acidity regulator – citric acid), yeast, modified starch, powdered milk butter, powdered milk, salt, aroma: vanilla, blueberry, colorants: carotenoids. Not bad too, huh?

Photo below: approaching Romania - Hungary border near Bors, Romania (time 13:32).

But there is another thing I noticed recently, which I named “mystery of the vanishing second snack”. If you compare my previous report Warsaw - Ljubljana - Warsaw with the current one and previous two (Sarajevo, Skopje), you probably notice that no second snack is being offered on recent flights. I have found out about this change on my flight to Zurich, which I took at the end of June 2022. On the return flight, I asked a cabin crew member if a second snack is still being offered, and I was told, it is not as the second snack is being offered only on flights over 2 hours. The mystery seems to be solved, but I still don’t know if these 2 hours refers to actual flight time or there is another interpretation?

Photo below: passing the village of Łukowickie Brzeskie near Brzeg, Lower Silesia, Poland (time 13:54).

After complimentary service, the cabin crew offers paid service followed by onboard duty-free. Only a few passengers decided to buy something from paid service. As we pass Radom, the cabin crew announce preparation for landing in Polish and English, followed by a pre-recorded summary in Serbian.

Photo below: passing the river of Pilica near the town of Radom, Poland (time 14:12).

At 15:21 we land at Warsaw Frédéric Chopin Airport and after a short taxi, the aircraft parks at a remote stand. After disembarking, busses take passengers to the non-Schengen arrival zone of the terminal building. Most of the passengers proceed to non-Schengen departure located on +1. Those entering the Schengen zone undergo passport control. After check of my passport, I proceed to the luggage reclaim area, where I check at which belt my suitcase will be delivered. Today, it will be delivered at belt 3. After 10 minutes of waiting, my bag is delivered, and I proceed through the “green corridor” as I have no goods to declare. This concludes the first part of my holiday. The second part start tomorrow at 19:15 with TP1207.

The aircraft after approx. 1hour will complete a rotation to Stockholm ARN.

Flight statistics

LF: 98 %
Distance: 1067 kms (576 nm)
Departure time (scheduled/actual): 13:20/15:50
Arrival time (scheduled/actual): 13:30/15:21
Flight duration (scheduled/actual): 2h 30 min/1 h 51 min

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  1. JU520 BEGLAX09:13

    Thanks for the very informative and detailled trip report, I have read it with great interest as I plan to visit the region in 2023 or 24 too.

  2. Anonymous09:39

    So happy to read that somebody else is as equally bothered by cigarette smoke as I am.

    1. Vlad10:19

      Smoking in closed spaces is an absolutely barbaric practice that needs to be outlawed ASAP.

  3. Anonymous11:51

    I like your TR. thank you

  4. Anonymous12:03

    Interesting report for sure. The LO destinations list is crazy.
    Kosova seems like an interesting place to visit and heard very cool things about Prizren.

  5. Anonymous14:22

    Prizren was capital of the Serbian Empire, yet the author mentioned Roman, Byzantine and Otoman period... I wander if he could not hear nor see anything about Serbian presence there or he heard but thought it's not relevant.
    Otherwise, I liked reading this report extended beyond the flight experience only.

    1. Anonymous21:42

      Thats true. It was capital of Dusan-s Enpire for less then 20 years. And thats it.
      Prizren has a long history, more then two thousand years long, starting from the time of ancient Illyric and latter, Roman province of Dardania, when was called Theranda.

    2. Anonymous10:57

      Serbian is and hopefully will remain an official language in Kosova. We honour our diversity.

  6. Anonymous07:44

    The cabin crew announced the landing in Polish, English, and Serbian. This is very interesting and very telling.

    1. Anonymous12:04

      So telling

    2. Anonymous18:06

      I have used their services from WAW to PRN 4 times this summer and there were no Serbian announcements. Only Polish and English. Must have been a one time mistake ;)

    3. Anonymous19:38

      Even if there was, Serbian is an official language of Kosovo so it's not really such a surprise. They obviously don't have Albanian announcement so they used what they had available.

  7. Anonymous19:18

    Sodium alginate is natural as it is derived from brown algae

  8. Anonymous17:33

    The reason why a replica of Statue of Liberty 🗽 is on top of police station is it was a private hotel, prior to becoming a police station and they never removed it. As for Kosovo’s relation with US, just think whom did US received Statue of Liberty from and why :)

  9. Anonymous17:33

    sodium alginate is organic made from brown algae


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