TRIP REPORT: Delhi - Belgrade


Route: Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) - Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport (BEG) via Istanbul Airport (IST)
Trip date: April 27, 2024
Airlines: IndiGo / Turkish Airlines
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER (TC-LKD) / Boeing 737-900ER (TC-JYF)
Travel time: 7h10m – DEL to IST / 1h40m - IST to BEG

Greetings everyone and welcome to this journey between India and Serbia.

I purchased the ticket for this trip in mid-January (about three months before the trip was planned) through the Turkish Airlines website, and the round trip BEG - DEL - BEG cost me exactly 60,000 RSD (about 510 EUR) since it was the most favorable option at the time. The journey involved a layover in Istanbul, so both flights between Belgrade and Istanbul were operated by Turkish Airlines, while the flights between Istanbul and Delhi were operated by IndiGo. This is an interline flight. On this trip, I had the opportunity to use the services of both airlines for the first time, and since the flight to India was overnight and a bit tiring to capture everything through photos and videos, I chose to write about the return flight to Serbia as it was a daytime flight.

Since I bought the ticket through the Turkish Airlines website, let me start the story with a negative experience related to their application and website because I couldn't check in for the return flight from Delhi to Belgrade before the flight itself. When departing for India, I tried to purchase a window seat during check-in, and twice I was charged for the seat, but both times after payment, the check-in process was interrupted, I didn't get the seat, and I had to start the check-in process again. The third time I managed to check in, but I didn't dare to try to buy a seat. In the meantime, I received information that the landing time in Belgrade for the flight from Istanbul on the return from India had been changed. Everything else was the same, only the landing time was new, and I had the option in the application to either accept it or change the flight. Over the next few days, I tried to accept this change through the application or website, but nothing happened each time. The question of whether I accept the change always appeared again after logging in. And when the day came to check in for the return flight from Delhi to Belgrade, the application didn't allow me to do so, nor did the website. I started receiving the message "We are unable to process your transaction due to missing information in your reservation", and I started to panic a bit, not to mention that I wanted to buy a window seat again. At that moment, the only option left was to show up at the check-in counter before the flight and see if they even had me on the list for that flight or not. (I should mention that I wasn't traveling alone, but all these things only happened to me).

We arrived at the airport around 3:00 AM, and you can enter the airport building with your passport and ticket because there is a policeman at every door.

Since I didn't have a boarding pass, I had to dig through my emails and find the Turkish Airlines confirmation of ticket purchase from three months ago.

After that, the check-in followed, and it was easier for me when they told me my name was on that flight. Of course, I still didn't get a window seat, there weren't any available, although I was willing to pay. For the Turkish Airlines flight, they couldn't reserve a seat for me because it was an interline flight, and they couldn't choose seats from another airline, instead, I was issued a boarding pass for that second flight where the seat was assigned automatically. Luckily, I got a window seat for this second flight, which made me happy.

After check-in, the security check was unnecessarily tense, they turned my whole bag with dirty laundry upside down, found nothing interesting, and let us go, but they made me redo everything because when you return from vacation, the suitcase is always fuller.

The transit zone and duty-free are large, there are facilities, but nothing special, maybe hygiene isn't at the highest level, prices are similar to other airports, and of course, everything is incomparably more expensive inside the airport than outside in the city.

The flight was supposed to be at 6:10 AM, but boarding was delayed. I don't know exactly how long, I think no more than an hour. What was a very pleasant surprise for me is that IndiGo operates Delhi to Istanbul flight with a Boeing 777-300ER. My previous knowledge about IndiGo was that it is an Indian low-cost airline, and I never expected them to have such a big bird in their fleet. So when I stood in front of the B777 during boarding and saw that I would be flying with that aircraft, I was immensely happy because I had never had the opportunity to fly with a B777 before.

The IndiGo B777-300ER aircraft I flew with is registered in Turkey and is actually in a wet lease from Turkish Airlines, but the cabin is refurbished, and according to information from the IndiGo website, this aircraft has an impressive 531 seats (only the first row, 7 seats are business class, everything else is economy). According to some information, IndiGo has two B777s in its fleet, both wet leased from Turkish Airlines.

Inside, it's like sardines in a can, legroom is small, which isn't a problem for me because I'm not tall, but I noticed it was a challenge for many to find a place for their legs.

The seats have screens, and there's nothing but white screen to watch on, because there's no any entertainment, the only thing you can see at one point is a live video of objects on the ground during landing, as there's obviously a camera mounted on the underside of the aircraft, but that's all of entertainment you get. I regretted not having the opportunity to buy a window seat for a fuller experience, so the flight, excluding turbulence, was quite boring. The seatbelt sign was on, about 80% of the time due to weather conditions.

The ticket price for the flight included serving water and non-alcoholic hot and cold beverages and one meal. The food was so spicy and hot that it was impossible to eat, while, for example, upon arriving in India, it was spicy but it was possible to eat some of it. This flight had a different meal, and I couldn't eat it. Here I would mention as a negative thing that the meal wasn't even slightly adjusted for passengers who are not from India, and there are such passengers on these international flights. All in all, the service was nothing special, but I didn't expect more since it's a low-cost airline. Otherwise, takeoff and landing were smooth, there was almost constant turbulence, and the delay was reduced a bit.

Istanbul Airport is impressive, huge, yet designed so that the transfer time is minimal. When we landed, we went to the airport building by bus, another security check, this time brief, and of course, shopping afterward. The time between flights flew by for me, there's so much to do in the transit zone that I only managed to see a small part of everything there is, buy something, and I already had to be at the gate for boarding.

The flight to Belgrade was on time, and since I was at the back of the plane, I boarded among the first passengers right after the business class passengers. The aircraft I flew with was a Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-900ER.

The cabin experience was much better and more pleasant than in the IndiGo aircraft. Each seat has a screen with a bunch of movies and entertainment, but I enjoyed looking at the map and how the airplane move closer to Belgrade.

The ticket price included hot and cold beverages and a meal. The meal was excellent, and I'm surprised that food is served on such a short flight, but if I travel more with Turkish Airlines in the future, maybe I won't be so surprised, and I'll probably get used to these conveniences quickly.

The flight was okay. We arrived on time in Belgrade, where this journey ended.

All in all, IndiGo exceeded my expectations with the Boeing 777 aircraft and the somewhat decent service, but I didn't expect to have so many challenges with Turkish Airlines seat purchase, check-in, and the overall bad experience with the application and website. Because of the good service on the flights, I will give them another chance sometime in the future.

You can also watch this trip here

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  1. Anonymous09:25

    Indigo product looks absolutely horrible for such a long flight. I think they can only compete with pricing with others like Vistara, Air India, Qatar, Uzbekistan Airlines, Emirates, Turkish... all who offer superior transfer experience from DEL.

    1. Anonymous10:04

      Well what did you expect from a low cost company? The product actually looks quite OK.

    2. Anonymous10:06

      They're LCC, they have their own target group compared to Qatar, Emirates... It's a huge market with place for different players.

    3. Anonymous11:26

      Norwegian and all other LCC long-haul operators also had their passengers but they failed in the end.

  2. Anonymous10:01

    Great and detailed report. Thank you

    1. Anonymous10:04

      I love it , thx!

  3. Anonymous12:08

    Thank you for the trip report! It was nice reading it while drinking my coffee :)

  4. Anonymous15:49

    TK meal service is better for short haul flight then Indigo long haul meal service :D I never seen such a bad service before especially for long flights. This telling me that I will never book Indigo , thank you. Btw good report and explanation !!and yes Istanbul airport is amazing I have been there twice 👌

    1. Anonymous17:24

      IndiGo food isn't even that spicy, OP probably has zero tolerance

    2. Anonymous10:15

      Why agricole like you and walker travel anywhere? It is just ordinary Indian meal. Much better than anything offered by Star Alliance in economy.

  5. Anonymous21:55

    I went to Mumbai with Turkish in March, and even though both flights were Turkish Airlines I still could not buy window seat (checkin always failed when I tried), so I was stuck in the middle for 5-6 hours flight…
    There is something wrong - both website and app failesd.
    It worked just fine belgrade - mumbai, but did not work on the way back.


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