TRIP REPORT: Croatia Airlines, Zagreb - Amsterdam

TRIP REPORT | INDEX


Written by Chris Matteo

Route: ZAG-AMS
Airline: Croatia Airlines
Flight: OU450
Registration: 9A-CTK
Distance: 684 miles
ADT: 08:28
AAT: 10:10
Aircraft: A320-200
Seat: 4A

After arriving in Zagreb from Sarajevo, we deplaned and boarded a bus that took us to the main terminal area. Once entering the terminal, I followed the signs towards ''International Transfers/Departures' where there is a secondary security screening. If coming off the bus, especially on early morning flights, make sure you try to get to the front of this line as I noticed the queue was quite extensive once I passed through the checkpoint.

I was really impressed with the Zagreb Airport terminal; quite modern and spacious with lots of shopping options. The airport is really not that large so it is quite easy to make your way from one end of the terminal to the other.



Next, I made my way towards the PrimeClass Lounge which is utilized by nearly every carrier at Zagreb Airport. It was quite busy but had ample drinks, snacks, and breakfast options. However, the toilets are located outside the lounge which is a bit annoying. There also was a really nice selection of Croatian wines available; sadly it was much too early in the day to drink wine.








After a quick breakfast and coffee, I made my way over to Gate 31 for my flight to Amsterdam. Boarding had already commenced, and it seemed that the flight was going to be rather empty.


Upon boarding, I was 'greeted' by an unenthusiastic older purser who really seemed like she had no desire to be there; I did not see her smile once during the entire flight.

I was seated in row 4 just behind the curtain separating Business Class from Economy Class (there was only one passenger in Business Class). As anticipated, the flight was only about 50-60% full, and I had an entire row to myself.




We pushed back on-time and made our way quickly to the runway for departure.



Once we reached our cruising altitude, the crew came through the cabin with drinks and snacks. First, we were given a rather nice, large snack box containing some biscottis and yogurt. Next, the crew came through with a variety of hot and cold drinks, free of charge.




However what confused me once again was the extensive 'buy-on-board' menu that Croatia offers. I did not see any of the items listed on the menu on the service trolleys.

Before I knew it, we had arrived in Amsterdam. Unfortunately, we landed on the Polderbaan which meant a 'nice' 20 minute taxi to the gate.

Other than the grouchy purser, I would definitely give this airline another chance. The aircraft was clean, in good condition, and the amenities provided for such a short flight were on-par, if not better, than many other legacy carriers.


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Comments

  1. The primeclass lounge looks good. As does the catering on OU, considering it's free.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Catering is free, but there is an option to buy extra meal or drink

      Delete
  2. No toilets in the lounge, does this mean there’s no showers too??

    Big fail here if true!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The question of showers is indeed interesting. Does OU use this lounge or do they have their own?

      Delete
    2. There is just one lounge in ZAG - this one. It's used by all airlines.

      Delete
    3. Impressive! Though the lounge looks small and cramped, ZAG seems like a premium heavy destination so maybe it's time to upgrade the facilities.

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    4. @Q400
      People in the Balkans generally don't have habit to use shower that much :) :) :) And for the majority of OU services, which are 40 to 90 minutes, there is no need for showers at all. No smilies this time.

      Delete
    5. If I remember correctly, there actually is a toilet inside the ZAG lounge area. Not sure about the showers though.

      Delete
  3. Last time I used PC Lounge in Dec 2019 and toilets were at the same place-after the buffet area on the left.

    ReplyDelete
  4. When did you fly? What month? I am surprised load to AMS isn't better. I see KL also sends the Embraer to ZAG and not Boeing like some years ago.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for another great review! It's really surprising how low the load factor is.

    PS I love your socks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's why they need to do what JU did and have more overnight regional flights to fill those empty seats.

      Delete
    2. Agree with last An. OU should have long ago done suggested. But about AMS service : It is definitely one of the best performing OU services. I used to work for Dutch company and travelled pretty much ZAG-AMS vv. with both OU and KL. And the flights are usually full. So coming once again to the fact told here several times : performance of particular service cannot be judged based on single flight. Fullstop.

      Delete
    3. Even though I agree with your statement that one flight isn't an indicator of a certain route's success, I fear in this particular case it is. ZAG-AMS hasn't been performing that well for a few years now.

      ZAG-AMS

      2016: 168.404
      2017: 167.469
      2018: 156.889

      Q1 2017: 34.772
      Q1 2018: 37.191
      Q1 2019: 35.180

      As someone mentioned before, KL has reduced its capacity to Zagreb while this winter they will be flying the whole season six times which wasn't the case last year.

      I don't know if LJU-AMS had any impact on ZAG but their numbers are quite impressive:

      2016: 33.352
      2017: 77.041
      2018: 102.178

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    4. ZAG needs W6 to EIN to fight LJU.

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    5. Or VY from AMS!

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    6. Vueling would be fantastic!

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  6. Last month I was travelling in business class from SJJ to DBV via ZAG, with a 6 hour layover. I am also a M&M Senator. I was really upset when they told me at the Primeclass lounge that I couldn't access it because I am flying on a domestic segment to DBV. I will NEVER fly on business class with OU again

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not criticising, not asking why, not complaining, not making you do it different way next time, probably you have your reasons why you did it that way. Just telling what I would do. Actually what I did. I travelled DBV to SJJ. By bus. 4 daily departures. City center to city center. 7 hours ride. About 5 times cheaper for economy ticket, probably 10 times cheaper than business. With less hussle. And shorter.

      Delete
    2. The bigger point here beyond my reasons to fly J on this route is that when business travellers connect in ZAG onwards to a domestic destination, they cannot use the lounge. I have never experienced this in any other airport and somethis isthing that would piss off other "premium" clientele (let alone the shame of being turned down at the entrance of the lounge)

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    3. *and this is something

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  7. OU has class and puts many other carriers to shame. Especially when it comes to catering.
    Bravo Hrvatska!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Especially "classy" is entering Q400 at VIE basement cattle box coming from B777 or A350

      Delete
    2. Qatar should learn from OU.

      Christ almighty with the delusional fanboys...

      Delete
  8. Nice report but crazy that they can't fill A320 to AMS. Hope other days it was better.

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  9. I flew same route not so long agi. Their catering is amaizing. Those cookies with yogurth are to die for, snd served in such amaizing and nice box. However if you cant sell all seats in the middle of the summer then wtf

    ReplyDelete
  10. I had asked the lounge hostess where the toilets were and she indicated to meet that they were outside the lounge and around the corner. Perhaps they were renovating the ones that were mentioned above? It appeared as a ''rest area'' while I was there.

    ReplyDelete

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