If you are coming from the Americas most people fly. Driving is a bit of a drag. <joke> Has anybody ever come by cargo ship? From scattered pages on the internet it looks like a pretty fun option - takes about 10-14 days - and not too much more expensive...
Airport and Airport Transport
- We've got a great new airport. Believe it or not we even have conveyor belts for your baggage claim! Seriously, it's a very nice airport.
- You can always take a taxi for somewhere between 1500-2000 leke although an early-morning flight might boost that a bit. Think in terms of 20 minutes to Tirana and then up to a half hour through Tirana traffic to your destination.
- There is a "Rinas Express" bus which will goes from the airport to Tirana every hour on the hour. It costs 200 leke and it deposits you near the Piazza restaurant.
Airlines which do business through Mother Teresa (previously Rinas) airport
First off, there are a limited number of airlines that fly into Tirana airport (the airport is sometimes called Rinas although its real name is now Mother Teresa Airport):
- Austrian (usually through Vienna)
- British Air (usually through London)
- Malev (usually through Budapest)
- Olympic (usually through Athens or Thessaloniki)
- Turkish Airlines (usually through Istanbul)
- Alitalia (usually through Rome or Milan)
- Although this page should not become a place for a rant about negative flying experiences it should probably be noted that many, many people have had pretty horrendous experiences on Alitalia in terms of customer service and baggage and etc. A word to the wise...
Please do NOT put your travel agent down just because you've always used them. This page should be a list of travel agencies that have really provided excellent service or excellent prices (or, better yet, both) in direct comparison to the others out there...
While travel agents here in Albania can get you tickets to and from the US on any of these airlines, generally purchasing your tickets in the states is a better buy because of the current weakness of the dollar. More and more airlines are now accepting e-tickets at the Mother Teresa Airport and so the pain of getting your hands on your paper ticket is pretty much a thing of the past.
Travel agents are commonly assumed to be selling tickets at a standard price. This is not true. If you shop around you can find price differences of 2 to 2.5 times for the same flight being sold from different agencies! SHOP AROUND. Here are some travel agencies that have consistently provided excellent prices:
- These cater in a special way to missionaries. Prices to non-missionaries not known. (If traveling via BA and you can provide valid
- These agencies are within Albania
- Magic Tours (The AEP has negotiated a discount with Magic Tours although anecdotal information indicates it is not that great. Still it is worth a try as you shop around. Be sure to ask for the AEP discount!)
- Here is the contact information for the airlines themselves within Albania (note - if you have numbers for these please fill them in!)
- Austrian (at the Rogner)
- British Air (only at the airport?)