Review of Air Serbia flight Istanbul Belgrad in Economy

Airline Air Serbia
Flight JU 553
Class Economy
Seat --
Aircraft Airbus A319
Flight time 01:40
Take-off 05 Aug 15, 15:40
Arrival at 05 Aug 15, 16:20
JU   #49 out of 95 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 38 reviews
abqguy
By 2862
Published on 20th August 2015
Hey guys,
I am back with another flight report, part of my backpacking trip across Eastern Europe and Turkey.
I went backpacking for about three and was only back yesterday. I was adamant about trying out different airlines and different aircraft types even if it came with long layovers and everything. But hey, I got a good deal and I am not complaining.This was my plan for the trip-
1.) ABQ-DEN-IAD
2.) IAD-ATL-FCO-IST
3.) SAW-ADB
4.) ESB-SAW
5.) IST-BEG (You are here!)
6.) TGD-IST-AMS-MSP
7.) MSP-MDW-ABQ

I wanted to fly Air Serbia, previously known as Jat Airways and I must say I was pretty impressed with the overall experience.
I did not see any reports of the airline and I was pretty excited :)

I was connecting between Istanbul Sabiha Gocken Airport and Istanbul Ataturk Airport. It was hassle free with the Havatas Bus Service. It takes about two hours give or take depending on the traffic.
Istanbul Ataturk airport can be a pain at times and can be great at times. It was afternoon time and it was pretty much empty but you have to walk a lot!
Check-in took exactly 5 minutes. There was not a single person at the counters and the guy at the counter was friendly too. He looked at the Indian passport with surprise and verified the visa policy for Serbia (I had to show him the American visa). Overall, he was quick and efficient, that's what matters.

The Air Serbia A319. It arrived a bit late from Belgrade but the turn around time was minimum and we were boarding in no time.

photo Photo Aug 05, 8 44 37 AM

I really like Air Serbia's colours. I forgot to take a picture of the front of the boarding pass, sorry!

photo Photo Aug 05, 6 17 09 AM

The middle seat with plenty of leg room. I am 5'10 and I was pretty comfortable with the seating.

photo Photo Aug 05, 8 03 38 AMphoto Photo Aug 05, 8 17 37 AM


The safety card for the aircraft.

photo Photo Aug 05, 7 50 36 AMphoto Photo Aug 05, 7 50 42 AM

The inflight magazine, Elevate. It was launched recently according to the magazine itself and it had a pretty decent selection of stuff to read considering that there was no inflight entertainment, but again the flight time was a little above 1 hour.

photo Photo Aug 05, 7 51 08 AMphoto Photo Aug 05, 7 51 56 AM

The thing which was ubiquitous was Etihad. Air Serbia is a partner airline for Etihad which includes biggies like Alitalia from Italy and Jet Airways from India. Etihad owns a stake in all these airlines and they make their presence felt for sure, from the branding to the training of the air personnel.

photo Photo Aug 05, 7 52 16 AM

The cabin mid flight.

photo Photo Aug 05, 8 16 16 AM

It was a one hour flight and I was given this!

photo Photo Aug 05, 8 07 40 AM

The bag consisted of a cold sandwich, a giant cookie, a refreshing towel, a cup for tea or coffee and a bottle of water.



Right after the snack bags were given out, drinks were offered. I took coke but the other options were the regular fare. After this, tea and coffee were offered which I declined.

photo Photo Aug 05, 7 57 50 AM

The inflight washroom.

photo Photo Aug 05, 8 14 05 AM

Disembarking the plane into Belgrade Nikola Tesla International Airport.

photo Photo Aug 05, 8 43 38 AM

Some shots of Belgrade. The architecture is amazing and so are the people.








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Verdict

Air Serbia

9.1/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment/wifi7.5
Meal/catering10.0

Istanbul - ISL

7.1/10
Efficiency7.0
Access7.5
Services7.0
Cleanliness7.0

Belgrad - BEG

9.2/10
Efficiency10.0
Access9.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

It was a pretty good flight from a pretty good airline. Istanbul Ataturk is clearly over capacity and the new airport being built is definitely appreciated. The crew on the plane were one of the friendliest ones I've come across. The smiles were genuine and the gestures were helpful. The catering for the flight was more than adequate and nothing to complain about. Belgrade airport is not state of the art but it does the job. Immigration was easy and uneventful.

Some might say that Air Serbia's turnaround is partly due to Etihad. If it means better service and better facilities, then why not?!

Related

6 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 144438 by
    NGO85 SILVER 1926 Comments
    Thank you for this report aboard JU! I did a flight with JU (EY flight number since it was BEG-AUH) back in March and I agree with everything you say. JU is really a gem in the European market. They had great crews and great service. Even on a short flight, JU performs well with a nice snack bag. Pitch in Y doesn’t look great, but acceptable for a short flight. Thanks for sharing!
    • Comment 323378 by
      abqguy AUTHOR 7 Comments
      My pleasure.
      JU is indeed a gem. I have read good reviews and I must say that they were quite justified. Looking forward for their wide-bodied expansion into North American markets.
  • Comment 145120 by
    Reifel 38 Comments
    Thanks for this report. I flew Air Serbia a dozen of times now and I must say they are fantastic. I would really rank them as best european airline for european flights. The staff is lovey, the catering very good. And for connecting guests they give you blue bags to go to BEG and red bags to go from BEG which makes sure you get a different catering if you are connecting. Belgrade itself was revamped, and while it's not a bling bling Dubai Style Airport it's clean, efficient and very easy to navigate through. They also have a proper business class which all other european airlines are lacking.

    I also flew them to Abu Dhabi, but for that lenght of flight the aircraft is not that suitable. The pitch is average (ok for european flight, but not for the long haul), and there is no personal in flight entertainment.

    I would really recommend anyone to try Air Serbia if they have the chance to fly them.
    • Comment 323894 by
      abqguy AUTHOR 7 Comments
      Totally! BEG, as you said does the job. There is free wi-fi and far less crowds. It is a shame that bigger airports like IST does not offer the same service.
      I would definitely recommend JU too. I feel many people do not know how great the service on the airline is.
  • Comment 145131 by
    marathon GOLD 10081 Comments
    It is a relatively short flight, but the catering on board is above intra-European flights average.
    I have seen planes in JAT and Air Serbia livery, respectively, and had not realized this was the same airline.
    Thanks for this comprehensive report and the tourist bonus !

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