After spending 6 unforgettable days in Hamburg and Berlin it was time to go home.
Air Serbia uses Tegel Airport for its Berlin flight. Now, given the fact that in Germany almost everything is connected with some kind of rail service…. well not this time. Tegel is served with several bus lines and taxi. I planned my departure from Alexanderplatz about 3,5 hours before flight departure but apparently TXL bus had been altered (no reason given) and everyone should use S-Bahn to Berlin HBf. After reaching the TXL bus stop infront of the Main Railway station I waited for about 25 minutes and still no TXL bus. Thank God I managed to group with another 3 passengers and we took a taxi directly to Tegel. The ride about 7km long costed around 15 EUR in total. I still point that having no rail line (above or below ground) to the airport of the Federal Republic of Germany is simply disgraceful.
Air Serbia being part of Etihad Partners uses Terminal C for departures (Terminal C appears to be Air Berlin base). Oddly Air Serbia is not served by Air Berlin ground staff but by Acciona Services. Check-in began two hours before departure, total of two counters dedicated to this flight (one for economy and one for business).
No issues with the process, I was among the first 20-30 pax to complete the check-in. Ground agent asked me if I prefer window or aisle seat (although I did choose my seat at the time of booking) . After check-in I had just enough time for a coffee and to grab some German Newspapers and Magazines.
The one and only security control at Tegel Terminal C is before passport control. It is very quick and efficient unlike passport control (only two counters and checking passports more thoroughly than at the entrance into Schengen Area). Before reaching the passport control I was already able to spot the plane ready for boarding. Today YU-API is doing the route.
Straight after clearing passport control I went for boarding.
Boarding went smooth and relatively fast. Air Serbia's Airbus Cabin is very good, although it lacks IFE screens (at least those showing the route).
At 20:53 our bird pushed to taxi towards runway 26L and took off at 20:58.
All short haul operations of Air Serbia lack entertainment in economy (at least that had been the case in 2015 - now they offer WiFi and Video on Demand in case you have a tablet, smartphone or laptop of your own). The only entertainment is In-fligh magazine called "Elevate" (successor of JAT's "New Review").
Twenty minutes after take-off the dinner was being served. Air Serbia enhanced meals offering starting from June 1st. Compared to minuscule breakfast, this cold meal dinner was OK (warm meals are offered on flight longer than 2 hours).
Cold meal is delivered in standard Air Serbia paper bag. The contents are: -sandwich -cookie -bottle of still water
You may take a drink and a coffee couple of minutes later, as the attentive crew had distributed the meal bags.
Here is an overall view of the economy cabin.
Toilet is fine. Hygiene is no issue at all and the space does not look tired (as it is the case onboard 737-300).
The plane landed at 22:23. Passport control at Belgrade airport (arrivals) was chaotic as it can get.
Berlin - TXL
Belgrad - BEG
Overall, I am very satisfied with my first flight onboard the standard Air Serbia product. IFE could be and should be a bit better. Everything else is very good given the fact that most of JU flights are less than 3 hours long.
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