TRIP REPORT: Air Serbia, Rijeka - Belgrade

Written by Vladimir Kljajić

After a weeklong holiday in the Rijeka area which included a quick trip to Italy, it was time to go back to Belgrade. The roads on Krk island on the way to the airport were really congested and the taxi driver explained there was a public holiday in Slovenia coming up and that Slovenes were all going to their holiday homes on the island which is why it was so busy.
I arrived at the airport around an hour and a half early. Rijeka Airport is in a pretty bad state and looks as if you have entered a time capsule. I doubt it looked much different during Yugoslav times. It was 30C inside the terminal and the AC obviously wasn’t working properly. Once you pass passport control there are no restrooms anymore so if you need to go to the toilet, you have to get one of the staff to escort you, which is pretty bizarre. The area after passport control is also very small and there is not enough seating space.

The outbound flight from Belgrade arrived around 25 minutes late and since we could see the plane from the glass gate it seemed to have been full. Some 30 minutes later we boarded the ATR72-600 registered YU-ASF. The cabin was around 80% full. The majority of the passengers were a mix of Serbs and Croats and most of them were senior.

The pilot welcomed us onboard, apologised for the delay and said we would make up some time on the flight. We eventually departed 40 minutes behind schedule. The flight was fairly uneventful. It was smooth and the seats were comfortable. The plane itself was in good condition and seemed well maintained. Shortly after takeoff the crew handed out the Air Serbia branded plazma cookies with an Air Serbia branded bottle of water. Afterwards, they came around with the buy on board service. I asked for a Coke Zero, which is advertised in their buy on board menu, but they didn’t have any… The cabin crew, consisting of a male and female staff member were also nothing spectacular and seemed short tempered.

We landed smoothly in the scorching 38 degree heat in Belgrade 30 minutes behind schedule. We parked on the remote B stands and were bussed to the terminal. At that time, it wasn’t busy inside the terminal and the passport control was a breeze. However, AC wasn’t working properly in some parts of the terminal where it was very hot. The bags came out quickly. The baggage claim area is still a work in progress, although several new baggage belts have been installed, new toilets have been opened and an area which is still under construction looks as if it might be a smaller duty free on arrival, which would be nice.

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