This series covers a two-week vacation to Europe that will feature stops in SOF, BEG, TIV, LIS, ARN, and ATH. For background and planning, please refer back to Part 1. As a reminder, the routing for this series is:
Sofia – Part 4 Kotor – Part 6 Belgrade – Part 7 Lisbon – Part 9 Sintra – Part 10 Stockholm – Part 12 Athens – Part 16
This report will cover the flight from BEG to TIV aboard YM. This route is operated twice daily by YM and once daily by JU. JU sends an ATR 72 and YM uses a Fokker F100. This little side trip from BEG arose spontaneously one day. I noticed most of the sites in BEG are closed on Mondays so I decided to jump ship and head somewhere else for the day. I was intrigued by Kotor, so decided to book a daytrip with YM for $100 that would allow me 5.5-hours in the city. This is the only route that YM uses its F100 on, the rest of the routes are run using their brand new ERJ 190/195s.
After breakfast at the hotel, I walked to Slavija Square to catch the shuttle bus to the airport. Showing up, the bus was already there waiting so I got in and bought a ticket from the driver for 300 РСД (€2.40).
40 minutes later, the bus dropped us of in front of the terminal and I head towards the international terminal.
The YM check-in counters were open for flights to both Tivat and Podgorica. There was no one in line so I was quickly helped. I handed over my passport. He asked if I had any luggage to check, which I declined and was immediately handed my boarding pass and sent on my way.
The main departures hall at BEG. It has an old school FIDS with the mechatronics and some cafes and shops off the side.
At BEG, passport control is the first thing you pass through since security is done at the gate.
After passport control, you enter the duty free stores.
Most of BEG is new since it is being built up to support JU’s expanding operations so it has a lot of windows and seating areas.
Power charging stations throughout the terminal.
Some early morning spotting at BEG.
RO ATR 42.
The YM ERJ-195 lifting off for TGD.
The gate opened an hour before departure so I went in. As you reach the gate, you have your boarding pass checked and pass through the security checkpoint and into a quarantined room that at least has a restroom.
My boarding documents.
My YM Fokker F100 arriving from TIV.
RO ATR 42 taxing off for OTP as I wait for boarding to start.
Montenegro Airlines, YM 201 Equipment: Fokker F100 [4O-AOP (ex-JJ), delivered October 1993] Departure: 9:35 (ATD: 9:42) Arrival: 10:15 (ATA: 10:19) Flight time: 0:37
Boarding started right ontime. There was a call for business class passengers and passengers needing special assistance. This was then followed by general boarding.
The glass jetbridge.
Traffic jam at the threshold of the plane.
I was welcomed on board by a male FA who checked my boarding pass and waved me down the aisle. The cabin on boarding.
My “exit row” seat.
This is not what I had in mind when I picked an exit row; there was no extra legroom. Even though it was normal pitch, it was still good.
The tray table.
My row would remain empty.
The vintage overhead.
The seatback contents.
The safety card for this Fokker F100.
YM’s Luxury in-flight magazine, which ended up in my backpack as a souvenir.
YM route map.
As boarding completes, a picture of the cabin.
As we taxi off, the FAs do the safety demonstration in Montenegrin and English. The pilots also come on and announce the route for today in both languages.
Aligning onto the runway.
We are up over the Serbian countryside.
As soon as we level off, the curtain for J cabin is closed and the drink carts show up.
I ask for a cup of coffee, the very friendly male FA asks me if that’s all I wanted. He offered water or juice to accompany it. So I took a glass of water too. This was actually some of the best airplane coffee I’ve had in a long time. It was very strong and not the normal dilute stuff you often get. He also saw my passport and asked me what I was going to to Montenegro for.
Sipping my coffee and enjoying the stunning snow-covered mountains of Montenegro.
As we begin our descent, we get a nice aerial view of Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro for those that don’t know.
We reach the Adriatic Sea and turn north to drop into TIV.
It was a wild landing with strong winds and high mountains around the airport so we had to dive bomb in there. We touch down a little bit late.
We turn off the runway and towards the terminal.
There are no jetbridges at TIV so we taxi around and just pull up in front of the building.
Our stairs drive up.
The cabin deplaning.
A farewell in English from the FAs as I head down onto the tarmac offering a nice view of our plane.
The terminal building and cacti.
We go around the side to where the arrivals area was.
The baggage claim.
After clearing customs, I head straight outside and grab a taxi to Kotor. He doesn’t want to use a meter so we agree on a fare of €10, which is probably high for the 12 minute ride into the city, but without any public transportation to the airport I lack any bargaining power. I’ll leave off this series here as I begin my stay in TIV. Tune into the next report for the return to BEG, a look at TIV, and a bonus on Kotor.
Belgrad - BEG
Tivat - TIV
YM exceeded my expectations on this short hop from BEG to TIV. Heading into this series, this day trip was earmarked as both a highlight and a potential point of disaster. It turned out to be very nice service aboard from a friendly crew that spoke English well with good on-time performance. I got to finally fly on my first Fokker.
Cabin comfort: This is Fokker F100 is quickly approaching 30 years and will get scrapped this summer (YM couldn't find any buyers for it). You can't expect a pretty cabin, but it looked decent enough with old leather seats and no trash in sight. The pitch was okay (although I was expecting more in an exit row).
Crew: A friendly YM crew with fluent English ability (both pilots and FAs). My first experience with this carrier and they seemed very warm. It is a very small carrier and there seemed to be some pride in their country associated with their service. Offering a second drink and taking an interest in passengers is going beyond what is expected.
Meal and catering: A full drink service on a 37-minute flight is good in my books. Better than what NH would offer on a flight this short. As soon as the drink service was finished we began descent so it is a very tight window.
Entertainment: Standard seatback literature. No IFE.
On-time performance: We left a little late and arrived minutes late. YM shoots itself in the foot since they list a 37 minute flight as a 40-minute flight and leave very little wiggle room.
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