TRIP REPORT: Skopje - Curacao


Written by Rade

Hello to everyone

This is my first time writing a trip report, I have been visiting this site for 2-3 years and I decided to write a report for the first time. So, I will try to do my best, explaining as much as possible, and I would like to get some feedback in the comments, to know for my future reports what to focus on and stuff like that .... all advice and comments are welcome.

Last year in December I took a 9-day holiday from Skopje to Curacao, the Dutch Caribbean Island via Vienna and Amsterdam. My return trip was also from Amsterdam but to Istanbul and Skopje with Turkish Airlines

For years, I gave been using Turkish as my airline of choice from SKP. Even though they still have the best service, they have become very expensive nowadays, but for some flights I still use them like this one for my return trip to SKP.

The journey begins at Skopje Airport with the early morning flight to Vienna - OS778 (4:25am) operated by their Embraer 195 aircraft.

The flight to Vienna was smooth and pleasant and we arrived at time.

The transfer through Vienna Airport is really easy for me, it’s elegant, and you can catch a connection even with a 45-minute layover, which is impossible to do for example in Frankfurt or Istanbul. After a short layover, it was time to board my second flight of the day, also with Austrian, to Amsterdam. This time the flight was operated with their A320.

Before the flight, the plane was de-iced because that morning was extremely cold with mix of rain and snow, but still the flight departed on time with just a 5–6-minute delay, arriving just on time in Amsterdam.

This was my first time at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and to be honest I like it. It is easy for transfers even though it is a big airport and very crowded that morning. There are a lot of restaurants, coffee places, nice and clean restrooms, water bottling stations… All in all, it was great place to travel through. I used my few hours of layover to visit some restaurants, eat some food, get some rest, visit duty free shop and etc ..

After a few hours it was time to board my 3rd flight, the 10-hour journey to Curacao with KLM. It was my first time flying with them. The aircraft used for this route is the B777-300 which, to me, is a great plane. The first time I flew with it was 2017 from Istanbul’s old airport Kemal Ataturk to Chicago, and since then I really love it and was just waiting for the opportunity to fly with its again.

Also, worth to mentioning is that the plane was almost fully booked, with a lot of Dutch tourists. Since it is their island, Dutch people visit this place a lot, all year round and I am pretty sure this route is always full, and that is why KLM is using its B777-300.

The flight was really nice, the crew was amazing, they always offered passengers drinks. Hot tea and coffee, water, juices, and alcohol were also available.

I had a few glasses of wine and slept for almost the entire flight. I woke up 1.5 hours before landing :) Then the crew served the last service, it was just a cold sandwich with chicken and one chocolate snack. I did not take a picture of it.

We landed in Curacao at around 18:40 local time, and the first shock was that it was extremely hot, dry, and the airport is very small. After a few hours you get used on that temperature and that the weather. Days are hot and sunny; nights are also hot and dry. But still better than the weather in my country in December :)

I had a great time there. It is a nice and sunny island, with clear blue waters as expected of the Caribbean. There are a lot of places to visit. It is also a place where a lot of cruisers stop, and it is cheap to buy food and drinks. The hotels are not that expensive, the beaches are amazing, so all in all it was a great holiday. The most expensive thing is your flight to there, but I was lucky and found a fare for 1.300 euros return. However, sometimes I see prices are between 1.800-2.000 euros depending on the month of the year you are booking ...

I will also share a few pictures of the place, just to get an idea if it is worth visit. And of course, there is much more to see and enjoy than what is shown on my pictures.

After 9 days it was time to go back home. The flight to Amsterdam was with one stop via Bonaire, another island in the Caribbean, which is around 80 km off the coast of Venezuela but is a Dutch territory. During the stop we picked up passengers and then continued to Amsterdam.

I had an option to go back home with the same routing as the outbound journey, but I found a flight through Istanbul, and since I had never been to their new airport, I just wanted to see it.

After landing in Amsterdam, I had a couple of hours layover until my next flight. The flight was operated by their A321. It was a nice flight lasting about 3 hours and we landed in Istanbul at around 2am.

The meal on this route was amazing like always. For a 3-hour flight you get a hot meal, unlimited drinks, and great service. That is why I love TK. Yes, they are pretty expensive these days, unlike before Covid19, but their service, even on short hauls, is still better than many other airlines on their long hauls, which serve cold sandwiches on 10 hours flights......

I will share some pictures from the new airport in Istanbul.

At first glance it does not feel like you are at the airport, it looks like a big shopping mall with a lot of restaurants and clothing stores. You can spend couple hours here, visit cheap clothing stores like Waikii and many more. You definitely need to have good connection time to catch your next flight, because the airport is huge, and you need to walk long distances from one gate to another.

My last flight for this trip was the morning flight from Istanbul to SKP (TK1003) with their A320. The load factor was great as it was almost full. We took off and landed on time and the service was amazing. Even though the flight is just about a 1 hour long, you still get a food with drinks.

Route: SKP/Vienna/Amsterdam/Curacao - Curacao/Bonaire/Amsterdam/Istanbul/Skopje
Airlines: Austrian, KLM, Turkish
Aircraft types: E195, A320, B777-300
December 2023

Thank you for letting me show you my trip report, and I will try to make few more reports from my recent trips around the world :)

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  1. Anonymous09:22

    Nice report, thank you

    1. Anonymous16:54

      Thank you alot! :)

  2. Anonymous10:22

    A fare in economy for eur 1300 is rather expensive.
    As nice as Curacao is, there are other tropical destinations with significantly lower fares than that.

    1. Anonymous10:53

      It is a bit expensive, but it's his money, so who are we to judge? (A couple of years ago I flew KLM from Venice to St Maarten via Amsterdam for 400 EUR return.)

    2. Anonymous11:50

      Hm, I did not judge, just stated what is my observation.

      And I also agree with Rade that TK has become more expensive and I would also add that the quality of their overall service has been reduced.
      At least for the prices issue, in SKP it may be that the competition from the gulf is lacking

    3. Vlad12:30

      1.300 EUR is rather standard for tropical destinations in December, especially when you have a double connection with codeshare partners. Such tickets rarely come cheap.

    4. Anonymous15:20

      My only recommendation is - could have positioned for a better price (example - buying separate tix from SKP to AMS and then onward) but that comes with its own risks

    5. Anonymous16:53

      You can find a cheaper tickets , it is just matter of what month you are going , but this one was still ok , Carribean islands are always expensive.
      15:20 I try separate it was more expensive , so this was one of tbe best option for December.

  3. I really enjoyed VIE in the past flying with Lauda/Austrian from SYD. Wish SYD had more variety to fly to EU and SKP.

    1. Anonymous16:53

      Vienna is great to fly , and Austrian is really cheaper airline in compare to other ones.

    2. Anonymous17:54

      Lauda flying to Australia is LONG ago.
      Must have been in the 1990s..

    3. Anonymous13:20

      Both Australia routes - Melbourne via Singapore and Sydney via Kuala Lumpur - were terminated in March 2007, ending operations on the Kangaroo Route.

  4. Anonymous01:58

    Very nice destination to fly but in my view, your accent should be more on aircraft and cabin comfort itself, ammenities on board, some more pics of cabin interior as well as snacks and meals on all flights. Overall impression - very good for first time.

  5. Anonymous02:54

    Rade brate... I have been to A and C of the ABC islands but I did it aboard a cruise ship. Photo of the Willemstad with a cup in your hand was a déjà vu moment for me so I looked through my personal photo archive and found almost identical photo I took from the cruise ship. Your picture is taken from the ship, there is no other way to make that photo. You have also posted a photo outside AUA airport, but that one is in Aruba, not Curaçao. I guess there is more to your story.


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