Wiki Airports: Finding Flights to the Unbeaten Path

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This Wiki Airports post is part of the #NoCollusion, No Albania for TPOL Trip Report where I will be passing my 100th TCC country.


Yesterday, I wrote Booking Advice: Before Checking Points, Check Wiki Airports! In addition to listing all the airlines that fly to a certain city, Wiki Airports also shows cities that have direct flights to that airport. For my #NoCollusion, No Albania for TPOL Trip Report, I’m hitting some obscure cities and want to maximize my time exploring on the ground instead of connecting in the air. For example, I was trying to find the most efficient way to visit Tirana, Skopje, and Ljubljana, before heading back to Western Europe. Using Warsaw as my starting point, I searched the airport codes of the aforementioned cities.

Here are the airlines that service Tirana directly:

Airlines Destinations
Adria Airways FrankfurtLjubljanaMunich
Seasonal charter: Poprad−Tatry
Aegean Airlines Athens
Air Alanna Seasonal charter: Kiev–Zhuliany[19]
Air Serbia Belgrade
Albawings AnconaBariCuneoFlorencePerugiaPisaRiminiTrevisoVenice
Seasonal charter: Tel−Aviv-Ben Gurion[20]
Alitalia Rome–Fiumicino
Austrian Airlines Vienna
Belavia Seasonal charter: Minsk
Blu-express BergamoBolognaGenoaMilan–MalpensaRome–FiumicinoTurinVerona
BRA Braathens Regional Airlines Seasonal charter: Copenhagen[21]
Bravo Airways Seasonal charter: Kiev–Zhuliany
British Airways London–Gatwick
Corendon Airlines Seasonal charter: Antalya
Enter Air Seasonal charter: GdańskKatowiceLondon−GatwickPoznańPragueWarsaw-ChopinWrocław
Ernest Airlines BergamoBolognaMilan–MalpensaPisaVeniceVerona[22]
Seasonal: Cuneo
Eurowings Seasonal: Cologne/BonnStuttgart
Freebird Airlines Seasonal charter: Antalya
Israir Seasonal charter: Tel−Aviv-Ben Gurion[23]
Jet Time Seasonal charter: Helsinki
Lufthansa Frankfurt
Norwegian Air Shuttle Seasonal: Oslo–Gardermoen
Pegasus Airlines Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen
Seasonal charter: Antalya
Ryanair Sun Seasonal charter: KatowiceWarsaw-Chopin
Scandinavian Airlines Seasonal charter: Gothenburg[24]
SkyUp Seasonal charter: Kiev–Zhuliany[25]
Small Planet Airlines Seasonal charter: London–GatwickLondon-StanstedOslo–Gardermoen,[26] Stockholm–Arlanda[27]
Small Planet Airlines (Poland) Seasonal charter: KatowiceWarsaw-Chopin
SmartWings Seasonal: Prague[28]
SunExpress Seasonal charter: Antalya
Transavia Amsterdam
Transavia France Seasonal: Paris–Orly
Travel Service Hungary Seasonal charter: Budapest[29]
Travel Service Polska Seasonal charter: GdańskKatowiceRzeszówWarsaw-Chopin
Travel Service Slovakia Seasonal charter: BratislavaKošice
TUI fly Belgium Brussels[30]
Turkish Airlines Istanbul–Atatürk
Seasonal charter: Antalya
Volotea Seasonal: Verona
Wizz Air BudapestLondon–Luton

I then ‘Control F’ Skopje and find there aren’t any direct flights. The cheapest way to fly there is via Istanbul on Pegasus! 

If you want to spend 30 hours and $192, this is the flight for you. Alternatively, you could take a bus from Tirana to Skopje. The next step is to pull up Skopje’s Wiki Airport page. Fortunately, there is a direct flight to Ljubljana. 

On a roll, the next step is to figure out how to go from Ljubljana to Anywhere, Western Europe since I eventually have to return to Madrid for my business class flight back to San Juan on Iberia. Visiting Ljubljana’s Wiki Airport page is where it gets fun. Look at all the possibilities on Adria Airways

Do you know where all these cities are located? I certainly do not. What’s clever is that you can hover over a city to get quick details about where that airport is.

Who knew that Heraklion was the primary airport in Crete? Who knew that it was the second busiest airport after Athens? The next question inevitably is, “How much does it cost to fly to Crete?”

This ‘name your adventure’ game can go on forever as each Wiki Airport page reveals new possibilities and new destinations that may not be options for this trip but may become options for the next trip. For the purposes of adding another pushpin to my Where I’ve Been Map, I only consider cities in countries that I have not visited.

Before getting too excited about the possibilities, let me caution that engineering the route map is a preliminary step. Finding flights for the right price and the right time can quickly turn this process from fun to frustration. My proposed WAW-TIA-SKP-LJB-ZRH was busted by the lack of decently priced flights. Perhaps I’ll go to Pristina, wherever that place happens to be!

2 COMMENTS

  1. Don’t forget rome2rio.com, another good travel planning tool, especially as it lays out all your travel options on one page, be it by land, sea and/or air.

    • I use it sometimes but I also find it too robotic. Yes you can take a bus from Rome to Lithuania but come on that’s not for real.

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