TRIP REPORT: Air Serbia, Barcelona - Belgrade on A330


Followings my trip report from last week I returned with Air Serbia from Barcelona to Belgrade after spending a few days in Barcelona. By chance, the A330-200 was scheduled on this flight since it was taking place on the first day of the basketball final four tournament in Belgrade. With the scheduled departure time of 10.30AM, I arrived at the airport exactly two hours prior to take off. Unfortunately, Air Serbia uses the low cost terminal 2 in Barcelona, which is mainly used by Ryanair. The only “legacy” airlines that use this terminal apart from Air Serbia are Aer Lingus and Luxair. The main terminal 1 is not physically connected to this one. In fact, it is on the opposite side and it is much nicer and more modern.

When I arrived, the line for check-in for the Air Serbia flight was huge. Three check-In desks were open for this flight and thankfully there was a business class check-in desk which I used so didn’t have to wait. Air Serbia passengers here don’t get any fast track or lounge access. I proceeded to security where there was also a long line but moved relatively quickly.

The line for Air Serbia check-in

The A330 arrived from Belgrade ahead of time and had a scheduled turnaround time of 1h 20 minutes. Boarding time was scheduled to commence an hour prior to departure, which it surprisingly did. As we started boarding, I noticed that well over 80% of passengers were Spaniards. Everyone seemed to be rather excited about Air Serbia’s Nikola Tesla livery and was taking photos of the plane.

As I boarded, I was greeted by several crew members. The A330 business class cabin is mostly in a 1-2-1 configuration although there are two sets of seats on the side with two seats. On the side where there is only one seat they alternate, with some being closer to the aisle and other closer to the windows. When I was selecting my seat online, I chose the one closer to the window since it is a bit more private and you are not exposed to the isle. All the crew wore masks. As they said over the PA, crew is obligated to wear them while it is only a recommendation for passengers.

After taking my seat the crew came around to issue a menu, as well as headphones for the in-flight entertainment. Shortly after, they took the meal and drinks order, and I selected the Serbian dish.

Around 15 minutes before departure I overheard the purser in the galley behind me becoming annoyed at the fact that 100 passengers were still missing just 15 minutes before the scheduled departure time. They eventually started streaming into the aircraft when we were supposed to take off. Eventually we departed with a half an hour delay due to the late arrival of passengers. At the same time, I overheard her say that there was a total of 219 passengers on board, ten of them in business class. With exception to myself and another passenger, who judging by his accent was from Montenegro, the remainder of the passengers in business seemed to be Spanish.

Business class cabin occupancy


The safety demonstration was not screened, as is the case for their New York flights, but performed manually by the crew. We departed with some beautiful views of downtown Barcelona. Following departure, the captain gave us some detailed information about our flight and routing.

Leaving Barcelona

The entertainment system was activated as soon as we took off. Air Serbia offers a selection of movies and TV shows. I’ve flown with Air Serbia’s A330 in the past, although on YU-ARA, and the selection of movies isn’t great but it does seem to have more options now than before. Also, I appreciate that in the TV section there is an actual full season of each show rather than just random one or two episodes as is common on some airlines.

Shortly after we took off, the crew served breakfast/lunch with drinks. Food was good overall. I spent the next two hours or so watching some sitcoms. After the food was cleared the crew closed the window blinds so it was dark in the cabin. The toilet was clean with basic amenities - soap, hand cream and hand sanitizer.

We started our descent into Belgrade and landed with a 10 minute delay. We taxied to the C12 gate. The airport was very busy and there was a long line at passport control. However, since all the booths were working it took less the 5 minutes. The luggage had already arrived by the time I got to the belt. The situation at arrivals in front of the terminal is a madhouse. You have to pass through the construction site, and it was very busy. There were 10 busses lined up in front as well, I assume for the basketball championships.

Ground floor, hallway leading to passport control

Miniature area (due to construction) outside of baggage claim

Outside arrivals next to construction site

Overall, the trip with Air Serbia was good. The on board experience in terms of seating and crew is similar to most other European legacy airlines. The catering is above most European legacies considering you get an actual menu with three hot choices. Drinks were also proactively offered (although all of this is still below the levels they had when there was a dedicated business class cabin in the narrow bodies). The ground experience in Belgrade was rather good and I do think that for an airline of its size their lounge is one of the better ones in Europe. However, they offer next to nothing to premium customers at outstations which is poor form in my opinion.

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  1. Anonymous10:25

    The more I look BEG's new tower, the less it looks strange. It actually fits good with the new terminal buildings when you can't see how the pillar is tall. Although, that octagon at the top...

  2. Anonymous10:27

    It's great when you can fly with widebody jet on a inter Europe flight. Nice trip report.

  3. Anonymous10:37

    I think they do offer lounges in other airports.

    1. Vlad11:31

      It's unacceptable to sell business class tickets from any outstation and not offer fast track & lounge access. Sure, much bigger airlines like LH are guilty of the same, but JU as a smaller airline needs to aspire to higher standards in order to set itself apart.

  4. Anonymous12:18

    Well OS also doesnt offer fast track on all destinations (f.e. Paris CDG 2B).

  5. Anonymous12:54

    The pollution those 20 buses cause plus the inconvenience of boarding and getting off. Just build a rail terminal already.

  6. Anonymous13:12

    Does anyone know why doesn't air serbia or others use both air bridges on their a330?

    1. Anonymous13:13

      Air Serbia uses both air bridges for their New York flights.

  7. Anonymous14:46

    By the way, the T2 in BCN is way much better for getting to the downtown area or the main central railway station Sants that takes you to any part in Spain. It has a nice and quick rail connection compared to the newer T1, which looks and is more modern but less transport options. Many take the Aerobus but it is almost 3 times more expensive. It is really very good for JU to continue operating to T2. Outdated, but very efficient.

    1. Anonymous14:57

      I flew from BCN T2 two weeks ago and honestly it wasn't bad at all. Especially the non-schengen area was really quiet.

    2. Anonymous16:43

      Of course it is not bad. They are even refurbishing parts of it. I prefer T2 to shinier T1, which is still pretty cool.

  8. Anonymous21:10

    What's the queue at (former) BEG parking for?!

  9. Great review. Quick question, why did they close the shades on a morning flight?


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