TRIP REPORT: Air Serbia, Prague - Belgrade


Written by Miloš Milaković

Date: 02.08. scheduled 20:35 - 22:30
Prague (PRG) - Belgrade (BEG)
Operated by AirSerbia
Aircraft: ATR 72-600, YU-ASA 9-10yrs old,

I will start with this trip report from the Prague city center, actually from the main train station to be more precise. That’s the place where you can catch AE (Airport Express I guess) bus which takes you directly to the Václav Havel Airport. This bus departs every 20 minutes during the day. The bus itself doesn’t have a lot of seats since it has a dedicated area for luggage. The ticket costs 100czk (around 4eur) and the ride to the airport takes around 40 minutes.

Air Serbia flies from Terminal 1 so I headed directly there. I’ve managed to take a couple of pictures of the surroundings. The terminal building inside seemed fully packed with check-in counters and it didn’t seem very big. I’ve figured out that my flight will be at one of the B gates so I headed there

After leaving the center hall of Terminal 1, there is passport control which I passed in a few minutes since there was no queue at all.

Although I excepted security control immediately after or just before passport control, it wasn’t there. After passport control, there is a relatively big duty-free shop and from there, there are different hallways towards the gates. Security check is actually in front of each gate, the same as it was in Belgrade before the reconstruction. Honestly, I thought all airports are getting rid of this approach, but in Prague, for some reason, they still have it. In comparison to Belgrade, the space between the control and gates is in most cases equipped with toilets at least.

I arrived much earlier so I had enough time to explore the airport. I noticed two less common liveries at European airports: Korean Air and IsraAir (especially the first one). It was really lovely to see a Boeing 777 and also actually see how many crew members are there only for that one flight.

In general, the airport is full of small shops (like small duty-free shops), and cafes with some bakery-like food. Toilets can also be found everywhere. Useful additions are playgrounds for kids which I haven’t taken any pictures of. Inside the terminal, there are also aero rooms which I also find quite useful in some cases, especially for transfer passengers. It was also interesting that on some of the displays the information was written not only in Czech and English but also in Chinese, Korean, and Arabic, probably when the planes from those countries arrive or depart.

Gate B15 was assigned for our flight. It meant that I had to go to the ground floor where there was a joint security control for several bus gates. Since there were no other flights planned from those gates except ours, there were almost no other passengers at security, so I passed it quite easily.

In total there were around 40 passengers 55%

Boarding started on time and was quickly completed but then we were kept inside the bus for around 15-20 minutes.

Getting into the plane was also very quick and we took off 14 minutes late.

This was my first time traveling with an Air Serbia’s ATR plane. And I can’t complain in general. Yes, it’s noisy a bit, but nothing you can’t stand for 90 minutes. I also had enough space for my legs although I’m almost 190cm tall. The only issue I found was that the armrest on my seat was broken a bit which was really uncomfortable.

The young cabin crew was really polite, however, the overall service could be much better. I wanted to drink coffee but they told me they don’t have warm water, so it wasn’t possible to make it. The beers offered were not cold and when it comes to paying, only cash was possible. As usual on Air Serbia flights, cabin crew has a lack of money with themselves making it almost impossible to return the change.

Also, the overall offer is minimal. I have the feeling YU could offer more drinks, snacks… Also, it was the 2nd of August and on the plane, there was the July version of Elevate magazine.

The flight itself was uneventful. The captain informed us 20 and 10 minutes before arrival, although he sounded so bored while speaking. The notification in English was barely understandable. I understand that they must have announcements to passengers and cabin crew, but I would rather not listen to them than to listen to bored people and also struggle to understand what they’re mumbling. We landed 8 minutes ahead of schedule. The landing was really nice, we parked at the remote position and a bus drove us to the terminal building. The entrance to the building was really disgusting. Very dirty and full of trash. Very very disappointing.

Leaving the airport was quite efficient. I waited only a couple of minutes at passport control. An update for me was 2 persons who were pointing people to the passport booths which left some feeling of efficiency and order.

In the end, I have to say that the arrivals area looks much better than before. But, I wonder why they haven’t introduced something like Kiss&Fly 5 minutes go through at the arrivals. Right now only taxis and busses are allowed to enter the zone.

To summarize the trip was really nice, however, both Air Serbia and Vinci need to improve their service a bit.

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  1. Anonymous09:04

    Thank you very much for your report. Sounds fair and in line with my personal experience with JU and Vinci BEG. Lot of space for improvements everywhere.

  2. Anonymous09:05

    Regarding payment on board, it is most likely their card machine wasn't working which is why they only accepted cash since you can pay by card on all flights. Regarding the offer of food, it is always slimmed down on ATR planes due to the lack of space to store everything.

  3. Anonymous09:08

    Thank you for an interesting trip report. Who were most of the passengers onboard?

    I am surprised the armrest is already broke since the plane was recently delivered to JU. Also the service seems to be very poor, How can they serve warm beer and especially on a flight from Prague which is home to so many great beer.

    1. Anonymous09:49


    2. Passengers were mix of Serbians, Czechs and a few russian speaking people.

  4. Anonymous10:00

    Regarding exotic airlines on PRG, we were in mid August and my son wanted to go spotting planes at PRG. There is a great place at Kneževes side. And there was China Airlines plane parked at the gate scheduled for afternoon flight to Taipei.
    Whish we have similar spotting place at BEG.

    1. Nemjee10:08

      Actually there is, it's called Pista011.

    2. Anonymous10:49

      Wow, great, thank you Nemjee!. Must visit today.

    3. Nemjee10:56

      You are welcome. Call them in advance as they require you to have a reservation. I recommend paying extra to sit in business class (rooftop area) and from there you have a spectacular view of the whole airport.
      You can also make a reservation through WhatsApp, Viber, SMS etc.

    4. Anonymous11:07

      In the EU spotting is much better from a Non-Schengen terminal but these are usually enclosed and you cant access them to a point you can spot planes.

    5. Anonymous16:21

      @Nemjee, Pista011 is quite useless to be honest as they don’t allow you to take photographs with DSLR’s from the top. For plane spotters it really has no purpose if you can’t take pictures… Wish the airport made a dedicated plane spotting area like some airports do

    6. Nemjee07:33

      I think they are not allowed to. I heard somewhere that they struggled to get an operating licence so close to the airport. It's probably some useless government bureaucrat being mentally stuck in another era.

  5. Anonymous11:04

    In the highest season they cant fill in the cabin more than 55%. I wonder about LF in November. Maybe business pax make the difference then? Otherwise its a line which wont survive if in two years from niw Prague and Belgrade become connected with a higher speed train.

    1. Anonymous11:07

      Yes the LF is very bad. I was hoping having a Czech CEO would help push sales in Prague. He should know the market and ow to attract passengers.

      JU is very expensive on this route.

    2. Anonymous11:09

      It's unfortunate that aviation enthusiasts still judge a route's load factor based on a single flight on a single day like amateurs. Prague route is actually doing very well and has matured nicely.

    3. Anonymous11:15

      Actually in a recent interview Marek mentioned Prague as a route they are doing extremely well on and make money on. I also agree with comment above, judging a route's load factor on a single flight, especially a route operated 11 weekly is nonsensical.

    4. Anonymous11:20

      Well, if JU is very expensive on the route, it means the route is doing great...

    5. Anonymous11:22

      @11.09 unfortunately, most people commenting on here have no clue about aviation, like @anon11.04. You can have a single passenger on board and load facotor of 1%. If the person paid 5000 euros for the ticket you made a profit. Loads mean nothing, not to mentiom making conclusions on the route's success on one oneway flight.

    6. Anonymous13:09

      JU changed tactics and they do not chase LF but they try to sell expensive tickets. This make sense probably for them and ATR flight can be break even with average prices and less then 50% LF - that’s a magic of ATR. Just as an illustration, my freind paid ticket from LHR to BEG almost 600 GBP and the flight was approx 60% full.

    7. Anonymous13:15

      It's a good strategy for JU, they can fly less people for more money. Their competition thanks them because now they have more clients. That's why despite all their growth JU's market share is still around 50% in BEG.

    8. Anonymous13:30

      RT tickets were les than 200 € 11000 RSD ow) in July and August. I think it's not such expensive.

    9. Anonymous13:58

      I somewhat agree. In the times of high oil prices turboprops are real cash cows for airlines.

    10. Anonymous03:22

      Anonimus 11:04 brzi voz iz Praga za Beograd jeste u planu ali neće ga biti još dugo godina verovatno,sve dok se Warsava ne dogovori sa Pragom i Bečom da počnu tu brzu prugu da rade.A što se tiče popunjenosti aviona na relaciji Prag- Beograd verujem da bi bila veća i od 85% samo kad ne bi držali monopol i pustili još nekog da radi tu trasu ili kad bi smanjili cenu makar nekih 70ak eura za povratnu kartu.

    11. Anonymous04:48

      Prijatelju, napravi ti aviokompaniju pa prodaj te povratne karte za 70€. Cisto me zanima dokle ces da doguras.

    12. Nemjee07:37

      €70 је реално на линији Београд-Праг само уколико лети ваздухоплов високог капацитета (А320, А321) и уколико би оба аеродрома знатно спустила цене. Праг је јако скуп аеродром примарно зато што држе монопол. Једноставно... може им се.

      Докле год је тако цене за Праг ће бити високе и то не само из Београда.

    13. Anonymous11:44

      Anonimus 04:48 prijatelju ne trči pred rudu,nisam napisao za 70 nego da smanje bar za 70 ;) i fala ti pokušaću u neko dogledno vreme da napravim kompaniju pa ću ti javiti :)

    14. Anonymous11:54

      Nemjee nisam baš siguran koliko je Praški aerodrom skup,ja to gledam onako lajički...ako mogu sve ove nisko budžetne kompanije da imaju letove iz Praga za 40-50e i to skoro gde hoćeš što ne bi mogla i Air Serbia da ima na primer povratni let do Praga za 120-130e? Moje mišljenje je da bi im onda loading bio preko 85% .

      I da kako mogu sad da ga stave na akciji za 120 povratni let i da se nadaju u toj ceni,a ne mogu bez akcije da se nadaju na toj ceni nego mora da bude 205?

    15. Anonymous15:11

      Ne nadaju,nadju sam hteo reći...ispravka :)

  6. Anonymous11:19

    I'm sorry you want the pilot to sing over the PA to make it entertaining for you? I stopped reading the report where you said how the pilot sounded board to you. Complaining about something like that just to find something to complain about...

    1. Anonymous14:08

      I was thinking whether to spend some time to inlight you,… I will try. Pilot’s attitude is a picture of the whole airline. Take a look on older youtube movies to see what enthusiasm of a pilot is a like. I never experienced that kind of incomprehensible pilot’s communication on any of the ME or EU flag carriers, and there is a reason for that.

    2. Anonymous20:37

      At least this crew showed up to work, fly you and others from A to B...i feel that's hard to get sometimes

    3. It's not about complaining. I actually really love to fly with JU. The announcement were just non understandable, and my thought it was that it's better to skip them (if it's possible) then to make them useless.

  7. Anonymous12:43

    On my JU flight from Nis to Ljubljana on 31st December last year, the captain was very understandable and he gave us lots of info about where we are flying at the moment, he also mentioned that for few minutes we will pass over ZAG which could be seen on the right side. The crew was also very professional and kind. The only bad thing for me was that the A330 model of JU can not be purchashed on board.

    1. Anonymous13:18

      That’s exactly the point with JU - the whole service, including planes, on board products, staff in flight and on the ground, is totally inconsistent. If you are lucky it can be a very pleasant experience, but if you are not… With LH group you get what you paid for - maybe it’s a 7/10, but it is consistent, no surprises. To be honest, old Jat was very similar - it’s always about specific people on your flight and their enthusiasm. For the past 30 years, the most consistent period in a sense of service and appearence was with EY and Dane Kondic - they really insisted on consistency and it showed.

    2. Anonymous18:15

      Da, na letovima LH grupe možete da očekujete jedinstven proizvod.

    3. Anonymous22:26

      isti taj lik kad ga izguglas: ... dr Marko Lens, specijalista plastične hirurgije, koji je u žižu javnosti dospeo nakon što je tužio psihijatre koji su lečili njegovu majku, a zatim od njih proglašen za duševno obolelog čoveka, opasnog za okolinu....

  8. Anonymous13:43

    Quick question - are you THE Milos Milakovic?

    1. Nope, not the Milos Milakovic :)


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