TRIP REPORT: Air Serbia, Belgrade - Stuttgart and back


Written by Miroslav Al. Mešanović

I had originally booked Air Serbia Economy Standard fare to Rome (23.000 RSD) in order to spend the Armistice Day holiday in Italy, but the Italian Government removed Serbia from the so-called D List of Countries on October 25th, meaning that only essential travel was allowed. Browsing for possible alternatives, Stuttgart came up with price difference of just 900 RSD. The flights were not ideal – evening flight to Stuttgart and morning flight to Belgrade, but given the fact that I’ve never been to Baden-Württemberg it was a good choice.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 online check-In for flights departing Belgrade is available only for passport holders of the destination country, so the only thing to do was show up at the Belgrade Airport Terminal 2 at least 2 hours prior to departure. In order to speed up the check-In process, I bought the Priority Check-In Service, meaning that it would be conducted at one of the business class counters. However, arriving at BEG, I realized the airport was almost deserted, as you will see once we I was at the airside. This strange atmosphere at a major airport in the Balkans gave me a strange feeling of guilt - there are no people, no one is traveling, what on Earth are you doing? Check-in went extremely fast and efficiently. Handing over my passport, Etihad Guest Card, the Digital Green Certificate for vaccination against COVID-19 and the German Passenger Locator Form Einreiseanmeldung, resulted with pushing back the PLF back to me. She was not interested in inspecting the document. Rather odd. Fully vaccinated Residents of Serbia may travel restriction-free to Germany. I did ask for a window seat at the rear of the aircraft and my inquiry got accepted (Seat 20A). Unlike my last trip in September to Vienna (morning flight JU600), there was no que upstairs at passport control nor was the Fast Lane manned. After clearing immigration, I made a short stop by the departures screen – only five more flights to depart from Belgrade after Stuttgart with the first flight tomorrow at 05:55 to Vienna (OS).

The practically empty Duty Free and Tesla Square looked as if from a science fiction film. I went to check out the assigned gate - C4, but still without an aircraft parked. However, I made nice shot of the area with YU-APA parked at gate C5. This will actually be my plane for today. The assigned gate for JU344 has been constantly changing starting at C6, then C3, then C4 during check-In and in the end C5.

Arriving at the Air Serbia lounge, I was greeted by two lounge agents, one of them asking me an odd question - Excuse me Sir, are you a German citizen? In fact, she was interested to know the conditions of travel to Germany, especially because she has not yet been vaccinated but wanted to visit her relatives who live there. I tried to be as concise as possible noting that the chances of entering Germany without an essential reason were rather slim. The Lounge itself was almost empty at the time, except for a single passenger speaking German over his cell phone. Air Serbia’s A La Carte Menu has been refreshed now offering different meals. I went for a typical Serbian dish – Mućkalica with chicken and mashed potatoes accompanied by Vitamin Salad. As always, the waiting / bar staff really go the extra mile. Although the menu has no sweets, they are available upon request. As time passed by, more passengers arrived, 3 of them speaking English and Russian and it seemed they were in transit.

Some 40 Minutes before departure I was on my way to gate C5. Arriving there I could see another sad scene – gate with just a handful of passengers most of them being in their 40ies and older. By accessing the designated app, I could see there were 45 of us. Thrity minutes before planned departure the ground handling agent called for the supervisor because the crew was nowhere to be found! Odd. In a matter of minutes, they finally showed up at the security check and went straight to the aircraft. Twenty minutes before the departure we were informed that boarding would commence in a couple of minutes. And as I was informed by friends who had been going to Germany since Serbia was reinstated on the high-risk country list, it appears that many passengers who reside in Germany fail to fill the German PLF! And then start arguing at the gate. Nevertheless, the agent let everyone board the aircraft disregarding the obligation of the carrier to check if all the necessary papers listed by the German Government were in the passsengers’ possession. At 17:54 the cabin senior declared boarding completed. Our Airbus A319 YU-APA was taxing towards Runway 12 and we took off at 18:06, flying past Novi Sad. We had a lovely night view of this Northern Serbian city with all three Bridges and football stadium illuminated. There is no need to note anything special about Air Serbia’s Recaro seat or the free catering and IFE. The usual small bag of chips and a small bottle of water were handed out twenty minutes into the flight. The captain adressed us once with brief information about the itinerary and the weather conditions at the destination.

At 19:36 the plane landed in foggy Stuttgart, at Air Serbia’s standard Gate 109 at Terminal 1. Our flight was among the last non-Schengen flights to arrive, with 3 out of 6 passport control counters open. It took me 40 minutes of waiting because there were Issues with people showing up without the PLF and also Serbian Digital Green Certificate not being EU-compliant at the time (Border Police Officers were inspecting every certificate carefully). I was asked to state the reason of my visit and since the officer was a trainee supervised by a senior they decided to follow the book by checking all the entry conditions (the sum of money per day, hotel booking, return flight). In the end I was given back all of the papers hastily just to realize a couple of minutes later that I did not receive an entry stamp.

Downtown Stuttgart is conveniently connected by 2 S-Bahn train lines and a bus line. It takes around 25 minutes to arrive to Downtown. Although being one of the 10 largest cities in the country, this bustling city is mostly underestimated both by Germans and foreigners. Major attractions include World of Mercedes and Porsche Museum, two excellent art galleries and several historical museums. Lovers of architecture will find the city library extremely interesting. However, the pearls of the metropolitan city area are a bit further away - one stop by regional train – Ludwigsburg famous for its baroque palace known as the Versailles of Germany (depicted in Air Serbia’s dedicated destination page) and Esslingen am Neckar, a town of over 100.000 inhabitants that made its wealth as being the wine trading center for centuries and having preserved the gothic old town to this very day. If one wants to try German wines, then Baden-Württemberg is the right choice. Wine shops and wine cellars are everywhere.

For my flight back home, I had decided to offer Air Serbia 6.650 RSD for an upgrade (a little bit over the starting sum) and to my surprise the offer was accepted hours before my departure to Germany. The seat automatically assigned was A01, although during the online check-in I could make changes.

Arriving at Stuttgart Airport, I was to be at another “abandoned place”. Interestingly, around 15 passengers to Belgrade were already queued-up in front of check-In counters (3 in total for this flight). The check-In for flight JU341 started 1h55 minutes before planned departure and the lady at the counter was quite joyful for being able to work at JU check-In after a while. She had brought a transparent zipper bag with all the types of JU stickers and labels and said her colleagues - we’re to start officially. No designated Stand for Business passengers but by the time it was my turn to check-In they were commenting that there would be 2 business passengers today and that they ought to open a counter. I smiled and said - OK, one more to go after me. The lady was most attentive and explained to me how to navigate to Terminal 2 or 3 where the security check was opened and that I could use a separate channel. She also assisted me with finding (and announcing my visit) to German customs agents on duty that morning in order to carry out goods export.

As previously written, the airport was mostly empty on Sunday morning with most shops closed, while the lounges were closed indefinitely until further notice. I was able to grab a coffee at a café but it is worth mentioning that in order to drink the coffee at the premises one must present an EU-compliant Certificate and check-In the visit by using German Lucca App. My plane for today’s flight (YU-APC) arrived ahead of time and was parked at the gate.

The gate for this flight was rather well-known Gate 109 at Terminal 1. All 3 Terminals are seamlessly connected to each other and passport control is simply in front of the couple of non-Schengen gates. There are no shops or cafés inside this area. And now back to the passport stamps! If you are not an EU citizen or resident, you must have your passport stamped. The Police officer browsed twice my Passport and then inquired about the details of my entry into Germany. In the end he said that he would not stamp the passport in order to avoid any trouble stating – please pay attention to the stamping of your next time. Boarding started 30 Minutes before departure. Again, there weren’t so many passengers - 2 in business and 47 in economy. Oddly enough, the crew couldn’t agree on the passenger total seconds before the Ground Handling Agent left. The crew comprised of 3 members. Business Class passengers were not attended by the cabin senior, but by a courteous cabin crew member Goran. Immediately after boarding the aircraft, Goran took care of my cabin baggage and jacket by storing them into the overhead compartment. Before take-off, the menu was handed and there was an offer of daily newspapers exclusively in Serbo-Croatian. Finally, the plane pushed-back at 09:16 and took off from sunny Stuttgart at 09:26.

As soon as the fasten your seat belt sign was off, Goran came to take our orders, first from the passenger on the right side and then from me. A notable faw – they carry only 1 of each meal, so after my “companion” had opted for scrambled eggs, spicy fries, smoked beef and cherry tomatoes I simply went for greens pie, smoked chicken breast and sataraš. Goran was very apologetic by explaining the whole ordeal. At least they had a vast selection of drinks, so I ordered mineral water, orange juice and a cappuccino. Ten minutes into the flight everything was served, including the cappuccino. To be honest, I was hoping it would be brought a bit later. This way I had it cold, but oh well. Goran was attentive, asking twice if I would be needing anything else. I did inquire if I could bring home the cutlery. He replied that he had to check with the Cabin Senior, returning a couple of minutes later with bad news - each piece of cutlery is being inventoried, so there was nothing they could do for me about it.

The rest of the flight was uneventful with a breathtaking crossing over the Alps and a splendid view of Novi Sad and Mountain of Fruška Gora. The plane touched down on Runway 12 at Belgrade Airport at 10:48. Baggage claim worked well, and my bag came out among the first out of the aircraft just minutes after clearing immigration.

Overall, a very good experience with Air Serbia, especially in business.

Share your travel experience by submitting a trip report to


  1. Anonymous09:12

    Very nice presentation of the business class meal. I am so happy they gave up on those disastrous lunch boxes and plastic cutlery. I still think they should serve coffee and sweets after the main course is served but at least they are improving their onboard experience.

    Shame about the light load, at least now we know why EW postponed their flights to spring. Of course, we have German government's paranoia to thank for that.

  2. Anonymous10:39

    Both business and economy class catering is now better than most European airlines. At least much better than Lufthansa which offers only a bottle of water for free in economy and their new business class catering is horrendous. There is also no option of meals.

  3. Anonymous11:57

    Great report Miroslav, thanks for sharing! What app is that by the way?

    1. Thanks. I always use "Seat Alerts" by expertflyer, "CheckMyTrip" by Amadeus and specifically for this trip "Stuttgart Aiport" official App.

  4. JU520 BEGLAX12:35

    Thanks for the detailled report. JU in Business should go back to the real C Class seats, like it was before

    1. Anonymous15:18

      Yes at least 1 row (4 seats). Since they eliminated that I stopped using their business class as not worth the price anymore. Yes most will say that it is in line with AF / KL, LH etc but to me that is BS. Business is business and for that amount of money I am not ready to sit in an economy seat. Thanks to TK, SU and those others who still remain dedicated to true business class experience!

    2. Anonymous01:00

      Really? So you fly Belgrade - Stuttgart via Moscow in business? Now that's BS.

    3. Anonymous06:40

      He didn't say he flies BEG-STR via Moscow or Istanbul.

    4. Anonymous11:23

      @01:00 based on what did you make the assumption that I live in Belgrade? WRONG!!!

    5. Anonymous15:09

      This trip report is for Belgrade - Stuttgart and back. It's easy to figure out where a person that can't stand a great Air Serbia business class report could live.

  5. Great report! Thank you.

  6. Anonymous23:08

    Very informative trip report with many pics and some added flavour by showing a bit of Stuttgart, thank you very much !

  7. Very well written detailed report. Thanks.

  8. Anonymous09:48

    Jesus Christ! 23.000 RSD/195,7EUR from Belgrade to Stuttgart? A few days ago, I flew on TAP with a transfer in Lisbon to New York for 205 euros.

    1. Anonymous14:38

      From where?

    2. Anonymous15:14

      How is this relevant? People pay 500EUR to fly next day from MUC to FRA in business class, so what?

    3. S. Delic19:38

      I am using Air Serbia and Aegean on flights between Athens and Belgrade and obviously Aegean from/to Athens and beyond, and find the bidding for business class very good way to improve the travel experience but never bidding substantially over or equal to the minimum amount which goes to 55 EUR on flights to/from Belgrade or 65 EUR to/from most of the European destinations on A3 from/to Athens.


Post a Comment

EX-YU Aviation News does not tolerate insults, excessive swearing, racist, homophobic or any other chauvinist remarks or provocative posts with the intention of creating further arguments. A full list of comment guidelines can be found here. Thank you for your cooperation.