Belavia: almost on time
Would I fly with them again?
Belavia Belarusian Airlines is a state-owned carrier based out of Minsk. In fact, the flight I took had a final destination of Minsk. I bought my one-way ticket from Belgrade to Budapest directly from their site for €139.
The Belavia Airlines check-in counter opened at 09:15 for the 11:10 flight, but the staff didn’t seem to be ready since only one counter out of four was open. Once it was my turn, check-in went super fast. My backpack weighed in at 7.1kg, and they didn’t ask for a seat preference.
The Belgrade airport is strange: there was absolutely no security check before passport control: I thought maybe they put it passport control (which was empty except for me and a mom with her two kids at the other open counter), but no, I just walked straight into the midst of duty free shops. It was then that I also realized that they didn’t stamp my passport on entry or exit.
It was 09:30 when I reached the gate. I sat just outside the gate where there’s a long hallway lined with chairs in both sides, and it was fairly empty while I was there, so I found a seat by a covered power outlet.
After walking to the gate, I realized that’s where security check happens. It was straightforward: no need to take out liquids or tablet, and my sneakers could stay on. The plane was just a staircase and short walk away.
They put me by the window in the first row, so I had lots of legroom but had to put my backpack in the second row’s overhead bin because a flight attendant had their stuff in the bin for my row. The flight wasn’t full, and I had the row to myself except when one of the flight attendants had to be seated for takeoff and landing. It was another one of those small planes with two columns of two seats on each side. The overhead bins were smaller than normal, but I was able to cram my backpack in sideways.
We left the gate at 11:05 and took off at 11:10. Who knew a Belarusian airline would be the first to fly on time during my trip?
Good thing I brought lunch with me: a 40-minute flight doesn’t include a snack, just some hard candy before takeoff.
They only served water (still and sparkling), which was fine by me. We landed at 11:55, just five minutes late. Only seven passengers got off at Budapest: the rest continued to Minsk.