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.
I really like Air Serbia's colours. I forgot to take a picture of the front of the boarding pass, sorry!
The middle seat with plenty of leg room. I am 5'10 and I was pretty comfortable with the seating.
The safety card for the aircraft.
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.
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.
The cabin mid flight.
It was a one hour flight and I was given this!
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.
The inflight washroom.
Disembarking the plane into Belgrade Nikola Tesla International Airport.
Some shots of Belgrade. The architecture is amazing and so are the people.
Istanbul - ISL
Belgrad - BEG
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?!
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