Air Serbia A330 Business Class In 10 Pictures

Yesterday I shared my thoughts on Air Serbia’s Premium Lounge at their hub at Belgrade Airport, and today I wanted to briefly share our experience with Air Serbia’s A330 business class between Belgrade and New York this past Saturday. As usual, this is just a short teaser post, and I’ll have a much more detailed review once I publish the trip report.

Air Serbia has just one A330 aircraft, which they acquired from Jet Airways (both airlines are part owned by Etihad Airways, which is probably why the transfer happened in such a way). The business class cabin has a total of 18 seats, spread across six rows in a 1-1-1 configuration.

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The plane has herringbone business class seats. That’s not my favorite business class hard product out there (I prefer reverse herringbone seats and Apex Suites), but it’s also above average for a transatlantic product, in my opinion.

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So while the hard product was good, it’s the soft product that blew me away. This must have been one of my best business class flights ever in terms of the soft product.

The business class cabin crew — Nikola, Tamara, and Maria — were so genuine and friendly. It was clear they took a lot of pride in the route and their country, given that it’s Air Serbia’s only longhaul flight. Part of what I loved is just how much of Serbian culture they integrated into the product.

For example, the purser suggested I have Serbian brandy as a pre-departure beverage, which I took him up on. That’s my first time I’ve been offered a pre-departure beverage in a shot glass!

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Air Serbia’s wine collection consists exclusively of Serbian wine, and there were seven to choose from. Tiffany and I both tried them all over the course of our lunch, and they were excellent (I have pictures of all the bottles, though I’ll save them for the review — after all, this is just a “10 pictures” post).

Air Serbia’s soft product feels a lot more like first class than business class. They have a dine on demand menu, so you can eat what you want when you want.

Service began with some mixed nuts and a lovely rose.

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Then I had an incredible salad with tomatoes and mozzarella (Tiffany had the Serbian mezze, so we’ll have pictures of that with the full trip report).

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Then for the main course I had a flavorful salmon dish.

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Then I had a cheese plate, which came with a baked pear that was indescribably good.

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Much like Etihad, Air Serbia serves excellent cappuccinos.

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There was a lot more food, so stay tuned for the full trip report for details of that.

Business class passengers also get a nice amenity kit, as well as slippers and pajamas.

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There’s also a proper turndown service, which includes a mattress pad.

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I could just go on and on all day about how much I loved this flight. The soft product was among the best I’ve had in business class. The crew was so attentive and friendly, and took such pride in what they did, which is always a pleasure to watch.

The soft product across the board felt a lot more like first class than business class, thanks to the excellent wine selection, dine on demand menu, pajamas, turndown service, etc.

I’d recommend Air Serbia’s New York to Belgrade flight in a heartbeat. Given that Etihad partly owns Air Serbia I had high hopes coming in, but even so was blown away.

Well done, Air Serbia! Keep in mind that you can quite easily redeem Etihad Guest miles on Air Serbia, and it can represent quite a good deal, especially since Etihad is transfer partners with Amex Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou.

Comments

  1. Your post says the plane has reverse herringbone seats which aren’t your favorite. Then you say you prefer reverse herringbone seats and the apex suite. This seems contradictory.
    Looks like a nice product.

  2. If this is above average for transatlantic business class, what do you consider average or below average?

  3. @Dan, Based on several years of reading the blog I think Ben would consider anything lie-flat with direct aisle access to be “above average.” Below average hard products are probably anything not lie-flat, the 8-across J offered by BA and UA, the 7-across TK J, and then the numerous 2-2-2 J products, such as UA (on their pmCO 777s), SU, LH, etc.

  4. Yes, this blog has a business partnership with this airline. However, unlike his properly-sourced credit card acknowledgements and his SPG Stars program posts, this post (and the prior one about the Air Serbia lounge) make no mention of it. This blog is becoming a victim of its own success.

  5. What kind of business partnership could OMAAT possibly have with a still relatively obscure and predominantly regional Balkan airline?

    @Hugh B –

    Thank you for the info!

  6. @SPC LOL! Such a classic thing for blogs these days. People tend to rate things higher when their given for free 😉

  7. @ Dan — I can see how that could be confusing, but “partnered” for a giveaway is not the same as having a commercial relationship otherwise. We didn’t get anything out of that, and didn’t even interact with anyone at Air Serbia — just the PR firm they’d hired to create a buzz around U.S. flights. The conversation was literally:

    “Can we give away tickets to your readers on our client’s new route?”
    “Can they be business class tickets?”
    “Umm, okay.”
    “Then sure.”

    They had the tickets, we had the audience, that was the extent of it.

    For the “10 Facts” post, I think Ben just posted it because he was excited about the giveaway, and thought the facts were interesting. There was no obligation or benefit to doing so, and I wouldn’t read any more into it than when he posts anything else he finds interesting.

    Really, the question to ask is “If Ben doesn’t take comps from airlines, and always discloses anything given to him through press channels otherwise, would he suspend that policy for a tiny airline that literally only has one longhaul aircraft?” And of course that has a logical answer.

    Does that help?

  8. If you feel Ben has some sort of bias to Air Serbia, then it would make more sense to accuse him of having some secret relationship with Etihad.

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