TRIP REPORT: Croatia Airlines, Sarajevo - Zagreb


Written by Chris Matteo

Route: SJJ-ZAG
Airline: Croatia Airlines
Flight: OU341
Registration: 9A-CQD
Distance: 173 miles
ADT: 06:24
AAT: 07:04
Aircraft: DH8D
Seat: 3A

Sarajevo is a small, quaint little airport easily accessible from the city center by bus or taxi. Additionally as our flight was the first of the day, I knew that I did not need to arrive hours early.

I arrived into the terminal and proceeded immediately to check-in, which was prompt and efficient. Next, I made my way upstairs to the departure level where I first went through the security checkpoint followed by passport control; this took less than 5 minutes in total.

Since I had some extra time, I decided to check out the Business Lounge which I have access to with my Star Alliance Gold Status. The lounge is essentially just one big room with numerous chairs and TV's and since it was early, there was only one other passenger there. The lounge's offerings were not bad for such a small airport at 5:45 in the morning; a variety of cold soft drinks, bottles of water, packaged nuts, and pre-made sandwiches. Additionally, there were individual mini bottles of wine and free-pour liquor at your disposal. Good to note, there are no toilets inside the lounge; you have to exit the lounge and use the ones in the main departure area.

After about 20 minutes, I made my way over to duty free and then onward to my gate. Sarajevo Airport only has a few gates and two visible jet bridges (which I am not even sure are in use). Boarding commenced about 15 minutes prior to departure. Rather funny, we were boarded on to a bus, which honestly drove us a whole 20 meters to our aircraft; Quite funny! Passengers with larger hand luggage were able to leave their belongings with the ground staff who loaded them into the hold, free of charge. This made boarding much more efficient.

Although there were many people trying to board at the same time, everyone was friendly and boarding lasted only about 10 minutes. The aircraft was about 80-90% full this morning with no passengers seated in business class.

The aircraft was a bit worn but in decent condition; these aircraft really are the backbone of the Croatian fleet. I was seated in 3A which is a window seat. The pitch was decent but due to the design of the aircraft, I felt my leg space encroached on the left-hand side. However, this was no problem for a 45 minute flight.

The door closed exactly at departure time and we taxied quickly to the runway. Before I knew it, we were already up in the air and bound for our quick flight to Zagreb.

Once we reached our cruising altitude, the crew began a quick service. We were given a small snack and water; no beverages or coffee were offered. Curiously, Croatian offers a massive buy-on-board menu. However, I did not see any of these items available for purchase.

After a quick decent into Zagreb, we landed about 15 minutes early and taxied to our stand just next to the main terminal. All passengers deplaned onto a bus which then drove us right to the terminal. I had about an hour until my next flight to Amsterdam would begin to board.

Overall, this was a fine flight; nothing remarkable but what do you expect for a 40 minute flight on a small airline.

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  1. Anonymous09:21

    SJJ has only 4 gates I think but there is incredible number of public announcements from sound system inside. I always find it quite amazing, because they make announcements every minute, like on bus or train station :)

  2. Anonymous09:49

    These two jet bridegs are in use and there will be two more by next year!

    1. There will two additional gates, but just one jet-bridge.

  3. Anonymous15:14

    How long was this bus? You can enter rear door and exit front door while bus still sitting in place :-)

    I see those clouds above my house, every morning and evening I hear roaring q400 on this line...


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