TRIP REPORT: Air Serbia, Chicago - Belgrade


Written by Nenad Djordjević

Date: 17.05.2023.
Aircraft: YU-ARB
Flight: JU507
Seat: 1K

On Wednesday May 17th, I had the opportunity to fly on the inaugural ORD-BEG leg of Air Serbia’s new nonstop service between Belgrade and Chicago. I arrived at Chicago’s Terminal 5 at 10am for the 12:30pm departure only to find that there was already a long line of economy class passengers waiting for check-in. Luckily, I was flying in Business class and there were only a few families in the queue ahead of me. There was both a feeling of excitement and confusion in the air as the check-in staff and passengers tried to figure out how various parts of the process worked.

With no bags to check as I’d be in Belgrade for only a few days, I was quickly handed my boarding pass and told that Air Serbia business class passengers may use the Swissport lounge near gate M11.

I have TSA Pre-check and Clear and was happy to see that my Trusted Traveler number added to the Air Serbia reservation allowed me to bypass the long security line and head straight to verification. I headed to the Swissport lounge which looked so plain and unremarkable that I completely forgot to take any pictures.

Arriving at the gate, I saw local city and Serbian officials giving speeches to passengers in a nicely choreographed ceremony. Through the window, I saw the A330 Nikola Tesla being loaded with a Do & Co Catering truck. It was a pleasant surprise to see that Air Serbia had selected this reputable catering company for its service to Chicago.

Boarding started about 15 minutes behind schedule and took a while to get going due to the incredible number of older passengers requiring wheelchair assistance. I had estimated that there were over 30 wheelchair passengers in the line for the jetbridge.

Once on board, the friendly crew sprung into action welcoming the business class passengers, introducing themselves, helping with luggage, and explaining the Air Serbia service concept. The cabin crew was definitely excited and made the flight enjoyable from boarding in Chicago to disembarking in Belgrade.

Upon finding their seats, passengers found menus, amenity kits, headphones, a pillow and blanket, and the iconic Voda Voda water bottle. Passengers also had the opportunity to request pyjamas which seem to have been reintroduced, but I didn’t take them up on the kind offer.

The menu offering, ie choice of starters, choice of mains, seemed pretty consistent with other US/European transatlantic business class products. Below are my choices throughout the flight:

The new nonstop service was comfortable, fast, the crew was friendly and outgoing, and with no checked luggage it was about 10 minutes from disembarking through passport control and customs before exiting the airport building to the outdoor parking area.

While I liked the Wednesday 12:30pm departure from Chicago and early 5:30am arrival to Belgrade, next time I should remember to take a book since the inflight movie selection is limited, there is no wifi, and the early departure from Chicago makes sleeping somewhat of a challenge. Next time, I look forward to trying the Saturday 11pm departure from Chicago which sounds ideal for inflight sleeping.

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  1. Anonymous10:20

    Nice trip report, thank you!

  2. Anonymous11:50

    Very nice report . Short and sweet. JU has my favorite crew in general and nice to see their consistent friendly service. AirCanada has the ruddes Flight attendeds worldwide. JU is working on their in demand infliggt service and should be coming out soon .

    1. Anonymous20:42

      +1 on AirCanada comment

  3. Anonymous12:03

    The photos of the food from Do&Co catering show how outdated, cheap and not quality Air Serbia's Belgrade catering actually is. Not comparable at all. AS should do something about this asap!

    1. Anonymous17:11

      You obviously do not fly much in bussines.. I did KLM and LH recently and that was terrible compared to JU .

    2. Anonymous02:51

      That is why as anonymous you can say whatever you want...and he/she does...

    3. Anonymous12:29

      I am not commenting on KLM & LH, i am commenting AS catering, you see the difference between Do&Co and AB catering. When there is LH or KLM or any other trip report I will comment it as well.

  4. Anonymous12:08

    Next time try some Serbian wine and it will help you fall asleep even though the time out of ORD is not the so convenient to sleep. )))

  5. Anonymous12:16

    The food presentation in Business Class has a lot of room for improvement. They need to hire a professional chef. If you are gonna pay more money, you will expect more. Simple.

    1. Anonymous13:23

      Do&Co catering doesn't have a pro chef? You must be joking.

    2. Anonymous13:42

      Cantankerous "analyst" at 12:16 decided to attack Do&Co Chicago catering today! He thought it was Air Serbia he was going after. LOL

  6. JU520 BEGLAX13:40

    Food looks fine, def the way to go. I remember flying in 1989 on JAT DC10 ORDLAX, we got a good and juicy piece of steak.
    Thanks for the short but nice report. Glad to see JU is back in ORD.

  7. Anonymous13:51

    Great report. The evening flight is certainly the better option.

  8. Anonymous15:31

    Thank you for an effective report. It is interesting now, when we have one report BEG ORD, and one ORD BEG report here. So, we can get good overview of the offer.

  9. Александр Првуль18:16

    In some reason I dont remember that someone had posted long haul flight report in economy class.

    1. Vlad20:58

      Maybe because the differences in J between airlines are much greater than the differences in Y? I mean, some seats/configurations/meals are marginally better than others, but ultimately Y is butt-in-seat for X hours and that's it.

  10. Anonymous21:40

    Does anyone know if the crew for the ORD-BEG inaugural flight were flown to Chicago day or two in advance or…?

    1. Anonymous21:47

      Yes, of course.

    2. Anonymous22:27

      Good point, and by which airline? My guess KLM or AF.

    3. Anonymous23:48

      Cabin Crew deadheaded to JFK 2 days earlier, flight deck went with the inagural flight to take the plane home later that day.

    4. Anonymous02:28

      Thanks for that.
      And then, JFK-ORD with AA? Just curious.

    5. Anonymous09:00

      Are you a stalker??

  11. Anonymous02:54

    I think DHC can take any airline more or less...

  12. Anonymous07:20

    Nice report. What was the load factor in business, and do you know for economy class


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