We left our Square Nest apartment at 9:45am and walked to a nearby bus stop. JT paid 430RSD for a reloadable transit card and enough credit for two 90-minute tickets at a nearby kiosk.
We boarded a bus, but made the mistake of just tapping the card to validate only one person. From that point, we couldn’t figure out how to validate the second ticket. After searching online, it seems you had to choose ‘group ticket’ and then choose the number of passengers.
We exited the first bus and transferred to bus 72. We figured we could validate a group on this trip, but the machine rejected us so we validated the card again for one person. It was our unlucky day though, as a ticket inspector soon boarded the bus. He had no sympathy for our confusion, even after we showed him our receipt buying the card and then offered to leave the bus.
Even after leaving the bus, he still insisted that we must pay the 2000RSD ($19.82) fee. A local man motioned us to just walk away, but the inspector called the police (or at least pretended to). We decided to just pay the fine at this point.
After the ticket inspector left, the local man came back over, apologized for our troubles, and invited us for coffee at his home. We explained that we needed to get to the airport, so he gave us his phone number for us to text next time we are in Belgrade. He was really kind, as were the other locals that witnessed our troubles.
We had to wait at the random bus stop for about 30 minutes for the next 72 bus. We boarded this bus and weaved through New Belgrade to the airport.
We had planned to go to the Belgrade Aeronautical Museum before our flight, but decided we were too short on time. We took our bags to the Air Serbia check-in desk, cleared immigration, and then went to the Business Lounge that was accessible with our Priority Pass.
The Business Lounge had a surprising amount of food and alcohol – and three wifi networks.
The lounge was rather crowded when we arrived at 12:00, but it cleared out by 12:45pm.
Our flight to Sarajevo was on an Air Serbia ATR72. Boarding started an hour before departure, so we guessed correctly that we’d need to ride a bus to our gate. We left the Business Lounge thirty minutes prior to departure (10 minutes before boarding was scheduled to end) and proceeded to gate A4.
There was a light security check at the gate. They asked JT to remove his tripod for inspection, but only glanced at it before waving us onward. We headed downstairs to an empty boarding area, but found a bus full of passengers once we scanned our boarding passes and walked outside.
We boarded the bus, waited about 5 minutes for a few more passengers to board, and then drove to our plane.
We boarded the ATR72 last and made our way up to the second row.
JT was thrilled to experience a power back, where the plane uses its engines to backup instead of being pushed back by a vehicle.
— JT Genter (@JTGenter) October 15, 2017
The flight was only 40 minutes, but the scenery was great.
Midway through the flight we began seeing rolling hills with changing leaves in the foreground and snowy, hazy mountains in the distance.
JT chatted with the two flight attendants during the flight. The male flight attendant stationed at the front of the cabin during take-off and landing had worked for Air Serbia for three years and was certified on all of their planes. He knew a lot about the United States since his major in school was English and his specialization was American culture.
As we approached Sarajevo, we saw a few very large cemeteries. These were clear reminders of the recent Bosnian war.
Sarajevo was a surprisingly small airport with just 2 jet-ways. A yellow car came to meet our plane and we deplaned into a waiting bus. It was a very short ride to immigration.
There were three immigration desks. All passengers easily made their way through immigration before the bags finished coming out.
The arrivals area was small with a cafe, car rental desks, four ATMs, and an information booth. We withdrew money and went outside to wait for the 3:30pm bus.
The bus arrived at 3:26pm, we each paid 5KM to ride, and then the bus departed early at 3:28pm with just four passengers.
JT settled in on the 30 minute ride and got some work done!
We were surprised that the bus stopped frequently to pick up passengers on its way to the City Hall – Vijećnica.
Our AirBnB host met us with his car at this final stop. He greeted us and then we headed to his car to drive about five minutes to our apartment for the next eight nights.