Review of Montenegro Airlines flight Tivat Belgrad in Economy

Airline Montenegro Airlines
Flight YM 202
Class Economy
Seat 5F
Aircraft Fokker 100
Flight time 00:40
Take-off 14 Mar 16, 15:30
Arrival at 14 Mar 16, 16:10
YM 5 reviews
NGO85
By 1739
Published on 28th March 2016
Background:

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:

Part 1 – IAH-IAD [UA 373, Boeing B767-300ER, Economy] – http://flight-report.com/en/report-13577.html
Part 2 – IAD-MUC [UA 106, Boeing B767-400ER, Economy] – http://flight-report.com/en/report-13623.html
Part 3 – MUC-SOF [LH 1702, Airbus A321, Economy] – http://flight-report.com/en/report-13658.html
Part 4 – SOF-BEG [JU 123, Aérospatiale/Alenia ATR 72-200, Economy] – http://flight-report.com/en/report-13675.html
Part 5 – BEG-TIV [YM 201, Fokker F100, Economy] – http://flight-report.com/en/report-13699.html
Part 6 – TIV-BEG [YM 202, Fokker F100, Economy] – You are here
Part 7 – BEG-LHR [JU 380, Airbus A319, Business] – http://flight-report.com/en/report-13820.html
Part 8 – LHR-MAD [BA 522, Airbus A330-300, Business] – Coming soon
Part 9 – MAD-LIS [IB 3118, Airbus A321, Business] – Coming soon
Part 10 – LIS-LHR [BA 499, Airbus A320, Business] – Coming soon
Part 11 – LHR-ARN [BA 780, Boeing B767-300ER, Business] – Coming soon
Part 12 – ARN-BEG [JU 411, Airbus A319, Business] – Coming soon
Part 13 – BEG-ATH [JU 512, Airbus A319, Business] – Coming soon
Part 14 – ATH-IST [TK 1850, Boeing B737-900ER, Economy] – Coming soon
Part 15 – IST-ATH [TK 1843, Boeing B737-800, Economy] – Coming soon
Part 16 – ATH-FRA [A3 830, Airbus A321, Economy] – Coming soon
Part 17 – FRA-IAH [UA 47, Boeing B787-900, EconomyPlus] – Coming soon

Tourist Bonuses:

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 TIV to BEG aboard YM. This route is operated twice daily by YM and once daily by JU. YM is the only carrier that operates an afternoon flight. This is part of a $100 round-trip ticket that I booked BEG-TIV-BEG. There will be a tourist bonus on Kotor at the end of the report.



Pre-flight:

After touring Kotor, I took a taxi back to the airport since there is no public transportation from Kotor to TIV. The “flat rate” they advertise is €10, which is reasonable. The taxi dropped me off right in front of the terminal 100 minutes before departure.

photo 1

Inside, all of the counters were closed so I stopped by the restroom first. Leaving the restroom, I take this picture of the lobby. As soon as the camera clicks, a lady comes from behind and says something to me in Montenegrin. I have no idea what she was saying, but she then switched to English and told me that there is no photography allowed pointing to the giant red sign hanging in the middle of the lobby (top left corner of this photo). I looked closer and didn’t see anything that said no photography, but respected the request and apologized. There really wasn’t anything else to photograph in this lobby anyways.

photo 2

The YM check-in counters opened 90-minutes before departure. I joined the queue of the couple other people waiting around and got my boarding pass for this flight. Since the security line wasn’t open yet, I went to the café in the lobby to grab a beer while I wait.

photo 3

This café fortunately had FIDS on display inside. Sorry, for the quality. As you can see, the only flight leaving this afternoon is my flight to BEG and the only arrivals will be YM flights from DME and BEG.

photo 4

Boarding documents.

photo 5

60-minutes before departure, the security line finally opened up. I cleared security and passport control and was dumped airside. Airside has nothing. There was a large duty free store, but other than that just rows of seating.

photo 6photo 7




——————————-

Montenegro Airlines, YM 202
Equipment: Fokker F100 [4O-AOP (ex-JJ), delivered October 1993]
Departure: 15:30 (ATD: 15:31)
Arrival: 16:10 (ATA: 16:08)
Flight time: 0:37


At the indicated boarding time, an announcement was made for priority boarding and special assistance boarding. General boarding soon followed. I was one of the last to board around 20-minutes to depature.

photo 8

Walking out to our plane, which is exactly where I left it this morning. As I mentioned in the last series, this plane is only used on the TIV-BEG route so it sits on the tarmac in between the morning and afternoon flights.

photo 9

Up the stairs we go.

photo 10

Fuselage shot.

photo 11

Entering the plane, the FAs take a double take when they see me. It will be the same crew as this morning. The male FA quickly welcomes me back in English. My seat for this return leg and some cabin shots showing off the old grey leather seats.

photo 12photo 13photo 14

Seat pitch is the same as what I saw in the exit row on the previous leg, looks about 32”.

photo 15

What I don’t like about the Fokker F100s is that the armrest is flush to the wall so you have no elbow room.

photo 16

And the windows are horribly scratched making photography difficult.

photo 17

The cabin as boarding completes, you can see there are 4-6 people in J.

photo 18

Seatback contents and the safety card.



The door closes and the FAs do the safety demonstration, but we don’t move. We finish the safety demonstration and are still sitting there. I finally see the YM ERJ-195 taxi by arriving from DME. TIV has no taxiways so our plane can’t leave until they arrived.

photo 19

We then taxi onto the runway and head to the far end of the runway. We make our U-turn on the runway to take off towards the airport.

photo 20

As we lift up, we get a view of TIV.

photo 21

Lifting up over Tivat.

photo 22photo 23photo 24

We make a U-turn to the left to loop around and head towards BEG.

photo 25

Drink service starts up and the same male FA asks me what I want to drink. He served me my coffee and remembered that I wanted it black. He also asked me if I wanted water to go along with it, so I agreed.

photo 29

We are soon soaring over the snow-covered mountains of Montenegro.

photo 26photo 27photo 28

After service items were cleaned up we were dropping into the farmland of Serbia.

photo 30

A sunny afternoon as we descend past Belgrade.

photo 31photo 32photo 33

Crossing the Sava River.

photo 34photo 35photo 36

The shadow of our Fokker.

photo 37

We touch down a little ahead of schedule.

photo 38

We taxi around and pull into a gate next to a JU A319.

photo 39

Exiting the plane, the FAs thank me for flying. Follow the signage towards the baggage claim, which is horribly blurry.

photo 40

“Welcome to Serbia” as you head towards passport control, which was very quick.

photo 41

Through the baggage claim and out to the bus, where I take the bus back to Belgrade for 300 РСД (€2.40).

photo 42

On the bus ride back to Belgrade city center, I notice this ad for JAT Airways. A nice reminder of the past.

photo 43

I’ll leave off this series here as I return to BEG. Tune into the next report for the start of my journey from BEG to LIS, which will feature the flagship BEG-LHR service on JU and a Belgrade tourist bonus.









——————————–
BONUS: The point of flying to the little airport of TIV was to visit Kotor, a magnificent town nestled into the Bay of Kotor below towering fortresses and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Arriving to Kotor before the towering cliffs, which I will be hiking.

photo 100photo 101

Classic Aegean Sea coast harbor views.

photo 102

Looking towards the Bay of Kotor.

photo 103

The old city walls of Kotor.

photo 104

If I blow up that picture, you can see a small red flag at the top of the fortress, which is where the hike will take me.

photo 105

Scurda.

photo 106

Entering the Old Town through the Vrata od Škurde.

photo 107

The hiking trail map for Kotor Fortress.

photo 108

Reaching the trailhead, you have to pass through some unmarked alleys to find the entrance.

photo 109

The initial ascent gives nice views of the old orange roofs of the Old Town.

photo 110photo 111

Most of the trail has some steps so its not too bad, but it does get worse.

photo 112

Aerial view of the Old Town and the harbor. The airport is located on the other side of these mountains and is accessed by a tunnel.

photo 113photo 114

The beautiful Bay of Kotor.

photo 115

The ruins of the fortress and some narrow openings you have to crawl through to continue your climb.

photo 116photo 117

Reaching the top of Kotor Fortress, you are left with spectacular aerial views of the Old Town and Bay.



Ruins of the old fortress.

photo 122photo 123photo 124

A look down at the old wall.

photo 125

Not all of the paths are easy to navigate and require some climbing and crawling to make your way through to see some old parts of the fortress.

photo 126photo 127photo 128

Exploring the countryside you find some old churches and sheep.

photo 129photo 130

But the scenery is worth it the entire time.

photo 131photo 132

A look back at the fortress as you descend back into the Old Town.

photo 133photo 134

Saint Nicholas Church.

photo 135

The rest of my time was spent wandering through the streets of the Old Town which are lined with shops and cafes.



The Old Clock Tower.

photo 143

Church of Saint Luke.

photo 142

Church of Saint Michael.

photo 141

Cathedral of Saint Tryphon.

photo 137

Since the cats of Bulgaria were so popular, I’ll also include the cats of Montenegro.

See more

Verdict

Montenegro Airlines

6.8/10
Cabin7.0
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Meal/catering6.0

Tivat - TIV

6.2/10
Efficiency9.0
Access5.0
Services3.0
Cleanliness8.0

Belgrad - BEG

8.0/10
Efficiency9.0
Access7.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

Another nice flight on YM, they are a decent carrier. I probably would never try their J product, but their Y service seems on par with other European carriers. The cabin on the Fokker F100 is average, but there are friendly crews and good on-time performance.

Cabin comfort: Old Fokker F100 with fairly comfortable leather seats and no trash in sight. The pitch is good for Y at 32”. Not much elbow room in this tight cabin.

Crew: A friendly YM crew with fluent English ability (both pilots and FAs).

Meal and catering: A full drink service on a 37-minute flight is good in my books. Only improvement would be a salty/sweet snack to accompany the drink.

Entertainment: Standard seatback literature. No IFE.

On-time performance: We left on-time and arrived early. We could have been much earlier, but were held by ATC in TIV.

Related

14 Comments

  • Comment 160740 by
    Pilpintu SILVER 707 Comments

    Thanks again for this new, fascinating report, especially for the pics of Kotor... and the cats! <3

    I'm pretty sure I can see Fred from Scooby Doo in that safety card. o.O

    I'm also pretty sure that the animal in one of the pictures is a goat, not a sheep.

    I love those stony mountains and the old European towns with their narrow, crooked streets. Too bad we have too many earthquakes in my country, so this kind of old towns are quite unusual. They've all been destroyed! :(

    • Comment 337844 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1622 Comments

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

      I'm pretty sure I can see Fred from Scooby Doo in that safety card. o.O
      - I love how it was a piece of paper that was then laminated!!!

      I'm also pretty sure that the animal in one of the pictures is a goat, not a sheep.
      - I'm not really sure. It's horns don't look like a goats (often pointy), this one looks more like a ram/sheep with the curved horns. I claim no expertise in this type of spotting!

      I love those stony mountains and the old European towns with their narrow, crooked streets.
      - It is one of the quieter Adriatic towns, not as commercial as Split or Dubrovnik.

  • Comment 160764 by
    Numero_2 GOLD 9939 Comments

    Thanks Michael !

    What does an empty and almost dead terminal want to hide to the world for having such a restrictive policy about taking pictures ??

    No lounge access ? How many miles earned with this roundtrip ? Lol

    See you for the next leg.

    • Comment 337845 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1622 Comments

      Merci Clement^^

      What does an empty and almost dead terminal want to hide to the world for having such a restrictive policy about taking pictures ??
      - I don't know. I asked her if she wanted me to delete the photo and she said just not to take more pictures. It was not worth asking for an explanation since I just wanted to safely get back to BEG^^

      No lounge access ? How many miles earned with this roundtrip ? Lol
      - There is a lounge, but unless I fly JU I couldn't get in. I really wanted access :( It was 366 miles roundtrip^^

  • Comment 160792 by
    marathon GOLD 9602 Comments

    This forbidden landside picture ranks high in the contest for nonsensical photography prohibition.
    Ground staff on the tarmac did not seem to have the same shyness, or did they? Nice shot of the bird, anyway.
    Great aerial views of the Bay of Kotor - was it pure chance that you were on the best side ?

    You made the most and the best out of your day in Kotor - the views are as stunning as I remembered ! (I saw the place the lazy way with a rented car)

    • Comment 337846 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1622 Comments

      This forbidden landside picture ranks high in the contest for nonsensical photography prohibition / Ground staff on the tarmac did not seem to have the same shyness, or did they?
      - No objections from any one airside. I even took pictures of the airside terminal and no one stopped me. I'm not sure what was so sensitive about the check-in counters. All of the counters were closed^^

      as it pure chance that you were on the best side ?
      - Yes! I actually reserved 15A (same seat as first flight), but I was handed a boarding pass for 5F which annoyed me until we took off ;)

      You made the most and the best out of your day in Kotor - the views are as stunning as I remembered ! (I saw the place the lazy way with a rented car)
      - Since TIV is so close to the city center it is very easy to zip into town. I have long legs so the hike up was quite quick. I wish I had more time to explore the rest of the trails around the old walls. By car, you were probably able to explore more.

      Thank you for all your comments Marathon!

  • Comment 160802 by
    Rl 777 810 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this FR with us!

    The plane looks surprisingly clean, at least from your shots taken during boarding.

    Wow! What a flight! Absolutely fantastic aerial shots through the flight.

    The weather looked good in BEG that day.

    Thank you for the beautiful bonus, absolutely breathtaking shots!

    Have a good one, see you.

    • Comment 337847 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1622 Comments

      The plane looks surprisingly clean, at least from your shots taken during boarding.
      - It was very old, but well maintained. The only parts that were bad were the scratched windows. The seatback pockets and floor were all spotless.

      Absolutely fantastic aerial shots through the flight.
      - That's the best part of low altitude flights :)

      The weather looked good in BEG that day.
      - Every time I landed in BEG it was sunny, but the one day I was sightseeing in BEG it was grey... go figure!

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting!

  • Comment 160887 by
    jetsetpanda 2294 Comments

    Thanks Michael for this charming and gorgeous installment. The bonus is exquisite and it feels very special (like one of those places that are still undiscovered by mass tourism).

    Too bad that the airport experience was a bit stiff. Perhaps a remnant of its Communist past.

    So where your feline friends friendly? Perhaps not so much to the dogs. When I was in IST one of them was jumping up and down grabbing my leg. ;)

    • Comment 337848 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1622 Comments

      The bonus is exquisite and it feels very special
      - It is always nice to explore places that aren't filled with tour buses or cruise ships. Cruise ships can dock in Kotor so there is a chance the place will soon become a regular stop on Adriatic cruises :(

      Perhaps a remnant of its Communist past.
      - Not sure what their problem was. It was definitely the worst airport I was in on this trip. They were doing construction, so maybe building a new terminal?

      So where your feline friends friendly?
      - They even let you pet them. They were very docile.

      When I was in IST one of them was jumping up and down grabbing my leg. ;)
      - To quote National Lampoons: If the mood catches him right, he'll grab your leg and just go to town. You don't want him around if you're wearing short pants, if you know what I mean. Word of warning though, if he does lay into ya, it's best to just let 'im finish.

      Thanks for commenting Adan!

  • Comment 160984 by
    aussenrist 224 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this report with nice pictures!
    I guess the airport is in expansion underway?
    The plane was old, but in good condition and clean. I like the YM's antimacassar design, not just a white cloth placed over the seats.
    It was nice to have an attentive crew that he remembered your preference^^
    Fantastic travel bonus of Kotor, the scenery of old town with the dog and cats was very beautiful.

    • Comment 337849 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1622 Comments

      I guess the airport is in expansion underway?
      - I'm not sure what the construction was for. I can't imagine the airport expanding too much, since most flights will go to TGD.

      I like the YM's antimacassar design, not just a white cloth placed over the seats.
      - It also means that it is probably not cleaned very often ;) Check your head for lice!

      It was nice to have an attentive crew that he remembered your preference^^
      - I'm that memorable ;)

      Fantastic travel bonus of Kotor, the scenery of old town with the dog and cats was very beautiful.
      - Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for commenting!

  • Comment 161068 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5331 Comments

    Thanks for another interesting exotic report!

    Funny how empty TIV airport is. For barely having any flights in the afternoon, it's interesting they have a flight arriving all the way from Moscow.

    I was wondering if YM operated these flights in a one class configuration as I don't remember seeing anything about a Business class in the first report. Interesting to know that they have a Business class cabin--seems to be standard Euro J, nothing exciting.

    Nice shorts on takeoff and gorgeous aerials throughout. I love these kinds of flights with scenic views.
    Great bonus pics. What a beautiful place. It's amazing how many cats run around free in the Balkans.

    Thanks for this great report!

    • Comment 337850 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1622 Comments

      it's interesting they have a flight arriving all the way from Moscow.
      - Russian tourism is big in the Balkans and this just demonstrates this fact. DME and BEG are the only regularly scheduled YM routes ex-TIV, they offer seasonal service to LHR/CDG/etc. in the summer months.

      Interesting to know that they have a Business class cabin--seems to be standard Euro J, nothing exciting.
      - It was about 2.5x more expensive. I can't imagine that they get any food on this route beyond maybe a small pastry or something. Definitely not worth it for a short hop like this.

      It's amazing how many cats run around free in the Balkans.
      - Feral cats are their number one export (or maybe import?)!

      Thanks for your comments Kevin!

Login to post a comment.