TRIP REPORT: LOT/Croatia Airlines, Warsaw - Sarajevo


Written by jsg

Where should I go for the New Year, I asked myself some months ago. Last year, I was in Split, so maybe Dubrovnik. Been there in October. Or Belgrade? Visited in March. Skopje? Or perhaps Sarajevo? Yes, Sarajevo seems to be a good idea, and perhaps I can combine with skiing in Jahorinia if weather permits. When I mentioned to a friend that I am off to Sarajevo for the New Year holiday, he asked me if I intentionally have chosen again a city which name begins with the letter S. I replied, that yes as this is in line with the name of Sylwester - a colloquial name for New Year Eve in Poland, therefore only S-cities are allowed. We both laughed.

LO611 Warsaw - Zagreb. My bus arrives at the departure level of Warsaw Chopin Airport. I swiftly leave the bus and get to the designated check-in area for business class passengers. Although I am travelling in economy, as a silver member of programme Miles and More, I am entitled to use business check-in desks. There is no queue and I walk straight to a free desk to complete check-in. My bag is tagged to SJJ via ZAG and I receive two boarding cards, then head to fast track security control area located nearby the business class check-in area - another perk for silver members. Again, there is no queue and I quickly pass security control.

Still having enough time, I browse through duty-free shops, taking advantage of travelling outside of EU, then I spend the rest of my time in the Polonez Business Lounge located in the Schengen departures area one floor up above the concourse. According to my boarding card, boarding should start 10:00, but few minutes after this hour, the boarding time is delayed to 10:10. A few minutes before 10:10 I make my way to the assigned gate 1, which is a short walk from the Polonez lounge. Again, the boarding time was delayed by 5 minutes. Finally, at 10:14, the ground staff announces boarding for LO611 (code share with Croatia Airlines OU 5851). After scanning my boarding card, I proceed to the aircraft via an air bridge. Today’s flight is operated by the 18.6-year-old aircraft Embraer E170 STD registered as SP-HDI.

Boarding takes few minutes. Inside the aircraft, I am grated by a purser, then take the assigned seat of 5D. Today’s flight is not busy and approx. half seats are unoccupied, including the seat next to me. The legroom, by my standards, is decent.

The doors are closed, and the cabin crew (1m + 1f) commences safety instruction in Polish and later in English, followed by pre-recorded information in Croatian. Then the pushback procedure commences. I look through the window. The nice sunny morning weather is gone, and it is raining now. While taxiing, I watch the governmental aircraft parked outside and later an aircraft parked along the terminal building. After several minutes we reach runway RWY 11/29 then take off in direction 11.

Once we reach our cruising altitude, the cabin crew commences onboard complimentary service: sweet (a plum bun) or savoury (sauerkraut and mushroom bun) snack, a glass of still or sparkling water and a cup of tea or coffee. The savoury snack is inspired by a typical Christmas dish which consists of sauerkraut and wild forest mushrooms. Shortly after serving me, we fly into a turbulent area and the cabin crew stops the onboard service. The turbulences makes our flight quite bumpy, and I need to hold both cups in my hands to prevent them from spilling. Once the turbulences settled, the crew resume complimentary service followed by paid service, but there are almost no takers.

After taking off, we make a left turn over the village of Opacz Kolonia then we head southwest over the towns of Włoszczowa i Żywiec (Poland), the cities of Žilina and Nitra (Slovakia), the city of Győr (Hungary), entering Croatian airspace near the village of Goričan then continuing to Zagreb airport and landing on RWY 4/22.

During the short taxi, I see a Q400 bound to Split as OU 658 and later an A319 bound for Düsseldorf as flight EW 9967. We finally park in front of the terminal and after attaching an air bridge, we are allowed to disembark the aircraft.

Flight statistics:

LF: 55 %
Distance: 799 kms (431 nm)
Departure time (scheduled/actual): 10:30/10:37
Arrival time (scheduled/actual): 12:10/11:56
Flight duration (scheduled/actual): 1h 40 min/1 h 19 min

OU344 Zagreb - Sarajevo. Inside the terminal, I check the boarding gate assigned for the flight OU344 (code share with LOT as LO4295 and SAS as SK9332). Having over 2 hours to spare, I get a cup of coffee and check some news online as well. I watch boarding for Ryanair flight FR 9855 to Lanzarote, which I estimate may be 60% full judging by the number of people who were boarding the flight though gate 23. One hour before schedule departure, I enter the non-Schengen area (gates 16-18, 25A-28) after passing passport control. There are 5 non-Schengen flights planned for the rest of the day, including mine, which departs from gate 17, located downstairs.

There are already some passengers awaiting flight OU344. Around 14:20 ground staff announces boarding for the flight to Sarajevo. The long queue forms quickly and judging be the number of passengers, the flight will be busy. It is my turn now. I hand over my boarding pass and passport to the ground agent. While she scans my boarding card, I hear a sound of ‘wrong’ beep and seating issue is displayed on the small screen of the boarding card scanner. The gate agent takes my old card, detach the luggage receipt and hands to me a new one with detached luggage stub. I check my new seat: 1A, business class. Yayyy, I got an upgrade to business class! It does not happen often, but occasionally happens, and today’s upgrade is the third one in my travelling history. The first upgrade happened several years ago on a short flight between Warsaw and Lviv, another one over a year ago on a morning service from Warsaw to Riga.

Today’s flight is operated by the 13.6-year-old De Havilland Canada Dash 8-400 aircraft with registration number of 9A-CQE aka Zagorje. We are bussed to the aircraft, which takes a few minutes. After taking some pictures, I board the plane and take my assigned seat of 1A. While sitting comfortably in my seat, the second bus arrives, and the rest of the passengers board the flight. As expected, the flight is full and there is only one spare seat left in business class.

Boarding is now completed, the doors are closed and the cabin crew (2 female attendants) stand by for the safety demo presented in Croatian and English. After a short taxi we take off in the south-east direction, then, after a sharp turn, we make our way over the village of Markuševec Turopoljski, passing the town of Sisak (Croatia), the border river Una and entering B&H airspace near the village of Mrkodol (Bosnia and Hercegovina). We continue to fly south-east, passing the towns of Banja Luka, Kiseljak and Ilidža before landing at the Sarajevo airport.

After reaching our cruising altitude, the cabin crew commences service. In business class, I received a refreshing towel followed by a box of zagrebački zalogaj (Zagreb snack) which contains a 40-gram pack of crackers with fresh cheese (krekeri sa svježimsirom), a 15-g pack of garlic sausage (češnjovka), and a 25-gram piece of poppy seed roll (makovnjača). I would not mind receiving such a snack set while travelling in economy. I am also asked if I would wish something to drink. Furthermore, I order a glass of water and a glass of white wine. The time passes quicker in business class while I am enjoying zagrebački zalogaj. The garlic sausage is just my taste with a strong garlicky spiciness, while crackers are bland in taste, but they go very well with the sausage. I am particularly interested to taste the Croatian poppy seeds roll and compare it to Polish makowiec, which is similar in appearance. The texture of the Croatian version has more dry sponge cake layer, but perhaps the cake would taste different if bought from a pastry shop?

At 15:44 we touch down in a little smoggy Sarajevo where low ceiling smoke is over the city. We disembark the aircraft via steps and are bussed to the terminal building. After quick passport control check, my bag is already on the belt 1. After reclaiming my suitcase, I pass custom clearance and report to a driver in the arrival hall, which is holding my name.

Flight statistics:

LF: 98 %
Distance: 278 kms (150 nm)
Departure time (scheduled/actual): 14:50/15:05
Arrival time (scheduled/actual): 15:40/15:44
Flight duration (scheduled/actual): 0h 50 min/0 h 39 min

Return journey. After spending 8 days in Bosnia and Hercegovina, it is time to return home. I travel to Warsaw via Zagreb. The first segment is the flight of OU345 from Sarajevo to Zagreb operated by Croatia Airlines codeshare with LOT and SAS. The flight was flown by De Havilland Canada Dash 8-400 registered as 9A-CQC (aka Istra). The flight departs at 16:13 (scheduled departure time 16:10) and touch down in Zagreb at 16:54, 6 minutes ahead of schedule. LF=100%.

The next segment was operated by LOT as flight LO614 and is flown by Embraer E175STD registered as SP-LIA. The flight departed at 18:13 (scheduled departure time 18:00) and arrived at Warsaw airport at 19:35, 5 minutes after scheduled arrival time. LF=95%.

Share your travel experience by submitting a trip report to


  1. Anonymous10:26

    Nice report. Thank you. Must say say it's a bit disappointing that OU offers that same box in business class on all their flights, including lonfer ones.

    1. Anonymous11:02

      don't act so surprised. On the homepage it is clearly described what there is to eat. very nice trip report

    2. Anonymous11:04

      I didn't say I was surprised, i said it is disappointing.

    3. Anonymous21:24

      On longer flights a slightly larger box is served. It is a very poor offering for Business class though.

  2. Anonymous11:08

    How interesting that the load factor was so high on the Croatia Airlines flights.

    1. Anonymous13:52

      They clearly got it right at Sarajevo and Skopje. Too bad they never were able to or ever tried elsewhere.

    2. Anonymous22:35

      Yet tonight they cancelled SJJ due to low load. Same with DBV earlier.

    3. Anonymous23:34

      Absolutely not true. It's a crew and aircraft issue for Sarajevo. The outbound flight ZAG-SJJ is going out tomorrow morning and the SJJ-ZAG flight is taking place as normal.

    4. Anonymous09:00

      SJJ-ZAG is cancelled so what now

    5. Anonymous10:06

      Again, it is an aircraft issue. An aircraft got stuck in Zurich yesterday and it is still there now 24 hours later. It was supposed to have returned to Zagreb last night and operate the morning ferry to Sarajevo but it is still stuck.

  3. Anonymous12:02

    So surprised with such a high LF on SJJ flights. I flew two times in beginning of December and LF was not more than 30% both times

    1. Anonymous12:03

      Keep in mind this is just before New Year.

    2. Anonymous16:10

      It's strange, from Warsaw LF was 90%, from Skopje 95%, from Belgrade 100%, from Zagreb 95%, but for you it's 30%.

    3. Anonymous21:12

      On 30.11. night flight ZGG-SJJ, we were not more than 20 people in the plane, even less on 13.12. night flight also

    4. Anonymous22:36

      Tonight's flight is cancelled because of that.

    5. Anonymous23:36

      Fake news again. The flight tonight is cancelled because of crew. The aircraft is being ferried to SJJ tomorrow morning and the return flight is running as normal.

    6. Anonymous09:00

      You are fake news. SJJ-ZAG is cancelled.

    7. Anonymous10:07

      It takes three seconds for you to check online why it is cancelled. An aircraft got stuck in Zurich yesterday and it is still there now 24 hours later. It was supposed to have returned to Zagreb last night to operate the morning ferry to Sarajevo but it is still stuck in ZRH.

    8. 2 months ago I flew with Croatia, on both flights the load factor was over 90% .

  4. Anonymous13:56

    Don't you get bored coming here all the time? :D

  5. Anonymous16:01

    How much were tickets via Belgrade for those dates?

  6. Bobby16:18

    Excellenct New service to the Croatian capital In Bosna! Bravo

  7. Anonymous19:09

    I love those buns on LOT. The apple is my favorite, the spinach one is my least favorite lol

  8. Anonymous19:13

    I flew 17.11 ZAD via PUY - ZAG LF over 80%

  9. Anonymous01:25

    Excellent. Thanks and keep posting new adventures.


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.