TRIP REPORT: Air Serbia and Turkish to Brussels


Written by Aleksandar Karić

JU304 BEG-BRU 22nd JUNE 2023 (23rd JUNE 2023 JU806- BEG IST, TK1937 IST- BRU)

On 22nd of May I booked a nonstop flight between Belgrade and Brussels. I originally wanted to travel via Eindhoven with Wizz Air, but in the end, I chose to fly with Air Serbia instead. I selected to fly only with hand baggage due to the price of the ticket. Economy light was 398.5 euros. I personally think that price is insane.

On the day of the flight there were problem with the security system at the Belgrade Airport, so I arrived 3 hours earlier, even though I had checked in online.

Passport control and security check went seamlessly so I headed to Bistro Cafe to take some photos of YU-ARC.

Around 1 hour before our scheduled departure I went to gate C5 where our plane was parked. The gate agent was already there so everything looked normal. Half an hour before scheduled departure, the flight was put on last call. Finally, 10 minutes before departure our flight was cancelled. The aircraft that was supposed to operate the flight to Brussels, a wet-leased Dan Air A319, was changed to fly to Dusseldorf instead.

The gate agent sent all Brussels passengers to the transfer desk, located next to gate C3. From there they sent us to the arrivals area of the airport to pass through passport control again, pick up our bags (I only had hand baggage) and to head to Air Serbia’s ticketing office.

There, I chose the option to fly that night to Istanbul with Air Serbia, and then to Brussels with Turkish Airlines.

I asked Air Serbia’s agent if I could get some kind of food voucher, but she said that its impossible and that I can get “refreshments” at the same transfer desk next to gate C3. The refreshment was a box with a sandwich, water and muffin. These boxes are also handed out on Air Serbia’s flights longer than 2.5 hours.

When it comes to the flight to Istanbul, of course it was delayed, but it wasn’t cancelled. On that flight we got the same water that was also as part of the refreshment box, as well as a Stark Bananica. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a photo of that. We landed at Istanbul with a one hour delay, but my layover was around 4 hours so that wasn’t a problem.

Transfer in Istanbul is very easy, and the airport is really beautiful.

The flight to Brussels departed on time and arrived 15 minutes earlier. It was around 3 hours long. When it comes to service it was really good. The meal included scrambled eggs, salad with cheeses, ham, mushrooms fried on butter, yoghurt with red fruit warm bread with jam and butter. There was a selection of cold and hot non-alcoholic drinks for free.

BEG- IST A319 YU-APE Seat 3C
IST-BRU A321 sharklets Seat 20C

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  1. Anonymous09:07

    How was the load to IST with JU?
    Also what made you chose JU over W6, was it just the price or...

    1. Aleksandar Karić14:26

      It was about the same

    2. Aleksandar Karić12:39

      BEG-IST was nearly full flight, there were 2 off us from ju304

  2. Anonymous09:08

    Great report. I've done London-Istanbul-Belgrade when it was the only way. Air Serbia's onboard experience is less than lovely. Considering the prices they charge they could at least spring to bigger bottles of water or attempt to show they care with some form of service on board.

    1. Anonymous09:16

      They tried to have a decent onboard product but people weren't ready to pay for it. What they have now is a compromise between the two business models. I think it works fine.If you are thirsty you can always ask for another small bottle of water or buy a larger one from their BoB.

    2. Anonymous10:04

      I agree. But their price-service ratio isnt good. Its almost better to serve nothing and promote onboard sales. Has anyone really seen the crew pushing sales? I havent and i fly all the time into BG. Tea/coffee could be served at almost no cost and would lift the passenger experience which is fairly flat with Air Serbia despite the county being so friendly and full of good quality products they could serve.

    3. Anonymous10:22

      Makes one wonder why they even decided to bring back these free snacks, could it be that their BoB wasn't that popular? I have to say that their menu isn't that bad and is really not overpriced. I remember back in the day when they had free meals their quality went down quite a bit.

      I personally think what they have now is not bad, it's definitely a step in the right direction.

    4. Anonymous11:57

      Few airlines have a good price/quality ratio nowadays…so why would JU
      be different (i
      fly some 30
      differebt airlins per year)

    5. Anonymous16:05

      In all fairness JU did improve their onboard product, now you get a larger bottle of water, a muffin and a sandwich which was not the case before.
      Btw Lufthansa and Swiss offer this on flights longer than 3 hours, Austrian Airlines on flights longer than 2 hours. So JU is moving in the right direction when it comes to this.

    6. Anonymous04:56


  3. Anonymous10:40

    Was W6’s price to EIN even crazier?

    1. Anonymous11:01

      In summer Wizz is very pricey out of Belgrade, take a look at their BCN fares. Very difficult to find an affordable flight with them.

    2. Aleksandar Karić14:37

      W6 was around 20€ cheaper, but there is additional 2h drive and I might have a problem with passport control in Eindhoven

    3. Anonymous15:36

      What's the problem with passport control in Eindhoven?

    4. Aleksandar Karić18:38

      There might be a problem because I had a stay in Belgium not Netherlands, even though it is EU and Schengen

    5. Anonymous18:46

      Nope it wouldn't be a problem at all, all they care is that you have enough money on your account and proof of accomodation (if they ask).

      So feel free to book W6 to EIN the next time.

    6. Anonymous03:16

      He also mentioned 2 hour drive. Wizz is not going to send a car for him.

    7. Anonymous06:04

      Well you never know, they have a lot of extras to be purchased on their website.

  4. Anonymous11:20

    No wonder JU is struggling at BRU with two weekly rotations, the fares are terrible and they lost many transfer passengers on this route...

    1. Anonymous11:50

      Fares on BRU route are high because flights are full.

    2. Anonymous12:48

      No, flights are expensive because JU revenue management is greedy. I am a regular on one JU route which is around 2 hours long. It's always operated by A319 and I noticed the moment there are 100 passengers out of 144 seats one way ticket goes to 21.000 RSD which is a bit more than €180.

      Too expensive if you ask me. You have another 44 seats to sell for the love of God. Charge at least €100 one way.

    3. Anonymous12:51

      100 seats on A319 which has 142 seats is 70,42% load factor. You can't pay 100 euros for a 2h long flight on a flight which is over 70% full. 21.000 RSD is fair price for a flight with 70% LF.

    4. Anonymous13:09

      It's a one way ticket so return would be 42.000 which is a lot for a 2 hour flight.

      A319 has 144 seats so that's a 69% load factor.

    5. Anonymous13:47

      A319 almost always flies with business class of one or two rows. That means 142 or 140 seats. Very rarely JU’s A319 flies with all-economy 144 configuration.

    6. Anonymous14:40

      Technically it's 134 when there are two rows of business class. Still, that's asking for too much to be paid one way.

    7. Anonymous15:31

      Did you see that Wizz Air was just 20 euros cheaper to Eindhoven?

    8. Anonymous16:07

      I am not talking about this, I am talking about another segment and Wizz is always at least 50% cheaper than JU on that route, it was one destination that was increased this year. So I guess they are profiting from JU being overpriced.

    9. Anonymous16:25

      A fair price is not whatever price some "experts" on this blog come up with. A fair price is any price on which the seller and the buyer agree. If you were on a flight, whatever price you paid for your seat was a fair price. Having flown a family for two years from NYC-DBV at $2,000 per person, I can think whatever I want about that price. But I paid it because to me the hassle of having a layover with screaming toddlers in the middle of worldwide travel chaos was not worth it. So it was a favorable deal to me. Everyone else on those nearly 100% full flights obviously had some reason of their own. We all paid a fair price. In comparison $400 for BEG-BRU also seems reasonable. After 2-3 years of EU and US governments' pumping cash on the account of the pandemic, Europeans and Americans are flush with cash, and summer travel -- a desirable spend category -- will be expensive. There is nothing unfair about this

    10. Anonymous16:29

      Who said anything about it being unfair? All I said is that their pricing is unreasonable and that is one of the reasons why Wizz Air managed to grow on that market. It's a similar situation with Berlin where JU was overpriced for a long time. They irritated their customers and that is why BER on Wizz is full every flight. Mark my words but Berlin will be the next route to get daily flights by Wizz from Belgrade.

      So JU can decide what's reasonable and what's not but in the end that pricing might make it easier for their competition to expand. After all they have Wizz with 4 A321s in Belgrade now , that's not a negligible number my friend.

    11. Anonymous16:31

      And if Wizz had 2 planes in Belgrade you would be the first to write that JU is a monopolist blocking competition.

    12. Anonymous16:32

      No I wouldn't because I don't fly with W6.

    13. Anonymous18:22

      Too long BER had very low prices due to U2 competiton.
      It is interesting nobody complained at that time that JU prices were very low (70 eur return ticket).

    14. Anonymous18:45

      easyJet was operating BER-BEG for like less than 2 years and that route was terminated in like 2019 if I am not wrong.

    15. Anonymous12:05

      At least they did an excellent job in promoting a destination which was overlooked by both Air Serbia and Wizz.

  5. Anonymous20:41

    Wizzair should fly to Brussels Charleroi at least twice a week and give JU a run for their money.
    Competition would benefit everyone.

    1. Anonymous20:42

      They used to fly Belgrade-Charleroi and they failed.


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