TRIP REPORT: Croatia Airlines, Zurich - Zagreb


Written by William

This is from a business trip from Zurich to Zagreb last September. The nice thing about Croatia Airlines’ evening service from Zurich to Zagreb is that the flight departs at 20h05, which gives you more or less a full day in the office before having to head for the airport. When I arrived at the airport just after 18h07 it was very quiet. I’m guessing the main bank of departures was already over.

Croatia Airlines uses check-in 3 in Zurich, which is the check-in area right above the tracks of the railway station. I printed my boarding pass and baggage tag at the self-service machine and then proceeded to the counter to drop off my bag. Another nice feature of a 20h05 departure time was that security was nearly deserted when I got there at around 18h30.

Zagreb being a non-Schengen destination, the flight boarded from the D gates, on the ground floor level of the B pier, behind immigration. Boarding started exactly on time, even though the bus taking us to the aircraft hadn’t even arrived yet. That’s when I realised that most passengers were travelling with fairly large pieces of hand luggage, which fit perfectly in the overhead bins of an A320, but not in the shoe box size bins of the Dash 8. So, it took the gate agent a moment to label all the hold baggage and scan the boarding passes all by herself.

The Dash 8 is a sharp looking aircraft, but it really is rather small and cramped in the cabin. Standing room is okay. But once you’re seated, the pitch is fairly tight for an average sized person. What’s more, there’s a rail on which the seats are mounted that runs along the side of the cabin. As a result, if like me you’re on the window seat, leg space is a bit more limited than on the aisle. Also, on 8F you’re sitting right next to the engine. This means that window views are somewhat obstructed and the vibrations from the engines are really very strong and quite loud.

The flight time was one hour and ten minutes. There were two cabin crew. The female was the purser, I think. She definitely had an attitude, but in a surprisingly good way. And she was also very meticulous about safety. The other crew was a male with a slightly grumpy demeanour. When the service began, he stopped at my row, shoved a packet of something under my nose unceremoniously and made a sound that might be loosely interpreted as ‘would you care for a snack’ but was, in fact, little more than a grunt. To drink, there was a whole bar trolley for choice. The snack and drinks are complimentary. However, I did also notice in their Sky Shop magazine that there are other food items and beverages available for purchase, although no information to that effect was given during the flight.

All in all, the flight was pleasant and uneventful. Our landing in Zagreb was very smooth and quiet. We came to a stop on a stand right in front of the terminal. But once we disembarked, we still had to take a bus to bring us to arrivals.

Overall, Croatia Airlines’ product is certainly not bad and pretty much on a par with that of others. I’d fly with them again any time.

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  1. Anonymous10:11

    Good old European legacy carrier. Safe and on time. It`s also great to have a glass of beer or wine on such a short trip free of charge.


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