Air Serbia

Review: Air Serbia Business Class A330 Belgrade To New York

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We boarded through door L2, where we were greeted by two flight attendants (one of them was the sky nanny, which is a concept Air Serbia got from Etihad). They verified our boarding passes and pointed us left into the business class cabin. Since the economy cabin was right behind us and still empty, I snapped a picture of it on the way in. It looked pretty nice, and I especially loved the seat finishes.

Air Serbia has a single Airbus A330 aircraft, which they took over from Jet Airways (which is also an Etihad partner airline). The business class cabin consisted of a total of 18 seats in a herringbone configuration, so they were spread across six rows in a 1-1-1 configuration.

Ultimately I far prefer reverse herringbone seats to herringbone seats, since you’re facing the window rather than the aisle. However, I still like herringbone seats for the privacy they afford, and prefer them to standard forward facing seats.

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Review: Air Serbia Lounge Belgrade Airport

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We got to Belgrade Airport at around 9AM, plenty early for our 12:55PM flight to New York. Based on our arrival at Belgrade Airport a few days earlier I could tell it was a fairly small airport.

Once in the check-in hall we turned left, where we found the signage for Air Serbia check-in.

Air Serbia is a reasonably small airline, so even though this is their hub airport they only have about a dozen check-in “stations.” At the very right of their check-in area was the premium check-in, for business class passengers and elite members.

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Introduction: Transatlantic Insanity

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My biggest blog goal for the year has been to review as many new premium cabin airline products as possible. While I started off the year with what I thought was an aspirational list at the time, I’ve found reviewing new airlines to be so fun that I ended up expanding it significantly.

Earlier in the year I managed to review a lot of mainstream business class products for the first time, though all along there have been some seemingly random airlines on the list (at least from a US perspective) that I’ve wanted to try.

Tiffany and I hadn’t yet taken a big trip together this year, so since we both love flying and visiting random places, we crafted an itinerary that would allow us to try four transatlantic products over the course of about 10 days.

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Air Serbia A330 Business Class In 10 Pictures

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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.

The plane has reverse 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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The Best European Business Class Lounge You’ve (Probably) Never Heard Of

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I’d argue the best business class lounge operated by a European airline is the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at London Heathrow. There are also some good business class lounges in Europe operated by non-European airlines, like the Etihad Lounge at London Heathrow.

However, I’d say the second best business class lounge in Europe operated by a European airline is the Air Serbia Premium Lounge at Belgrade Airport. Perhaps part of the reason I was impressed so much was because I had low expectations coming in, both of the airport and the airline.

Over the summer, Air Serbia began flying between Belgrade and New York, and Tiffany and I had the chance to take the flight yesterday. I didn’t know what to expect, though I certainly expected “the Etihad effect,” given that Etihad is notorious for aligning “their” airlines, and they’re a shareholder in Air Serbia.

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Etihad Guest Aligns Elite Benefits & Cuts Lounge Access For Silver Members

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While Emirates has been focused on growing their own airline, Etihad has taken a different growth strategy. They’re keeping Etihad (relatively) small, and instead investing in foreign carriers. The collection of these eight carriers is known as Etihad Airways Partners, and they serve over 400 cities across six continents.

Etihad has been working on aligning the experiences across airlines as much as possible, including both the onboard product and the frequent flyer programs.

Etihad has just announced that they’re working on standardizing the experience across airlines as much as possible, including with their frequent flyer program. Etihad will begin offering standardizing fare choices across airlines, and already offers flat beds and dine on demand in longhaul business class across all their partners.

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BOOKED: Aeroflot, Air Serbia, AZAL Azerbaijan, And Ukraine!

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My obsession this year has been reviewing new airlines, and it’s something I’ve found to be indescribably enjoyable. We all have weird hobbies, and trying new airlines has become my latest obsession.

I’ve reviewed a lot of new airlines so far this year, and on Sunday shared the next 13 airlines I want to review.

Well, Tiffany and I have been working on planning a trip, and I’m happy to report that we’ve now ticketed one that will check four of those airlines off the list.

Are you ready to hear about some craziness? To start, here’s the trip on a map:

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My Experience Redeeming Etihad Miles On Air Serbia

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In June, Air Serbia began operating a 5x weekly flight between Belgrade and New York, using an Airbus A330 aircraft that they took over from Jet Airways. This represents the airline’s first longhaul route, so is an exciting development for them.

When the route first launched, Air Serbia generously let me run a giveaway for two business class tickets on the new service, which a lucky reader won. I’ve been wanting to try the new route since it was launched, though of course want to pay for the ticket myself.

As I explained in a previous post, the best way to redeem miles on Air Serbia is through the Etihad Guest program, which is transfer partners with American Express Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou.

Well, I just redeemed miles for Tiffany and me to fly from Belgrade to New York (more details on the overall trip shortly), and figured I’d share my experience.

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Read The First Air Serbia A330 Business Class Review

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As most of you probably know by now, Air Serbia began flying between Belgrade and New York this past Thursday. This is huge expansion for the airline, given that they previously only flew regionally. The flight is operated by an A330 that Air Serbia acquired from Jet Airways, which they were able to pick up thanks to the backing of Etihad Airways (they have a stake in both airlines).

I’m excited about the new route for several reasons, including:

— I’ve heard great things about Serbia, so it’s cool to have a nonstop flight between the US and there
— I love reviewing new airlines, and not only would Air Serbia be a new airline for me, but this flight also marks their entry into longhaul flying
— You can redeem Etihad Guest miles on Air Serbia, so booking this on miles is pretty attainable

Air Serbia has herringbone seats on their A330s, meaning they’re fully flat and feature direct aisle access. It’s not a cutting edge hard product, but certainly much better than what’s offered by many airlines.

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And The Winner Of Two Business Class Tickets To Serbia Is…

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Last Thursday, Air Serbia launched nonstop flights between Belgrade and New York, which is an exciting new route for an airline that otherwise primarily flew regionally. Air Serbia is an Etihad Airways partner airline, so it’s possible to earn and redeem Etihad Guest miles on the new flight. I’m hoping to take this flight soon as well.

To celebrate the new route, Air Serbia was kind enough to give award two business class seats to one lucky OMAAT reader. The contest ran from Tuesday through Sunday, and there were five ways you could enter, all of which had to be done through Rafflecopter:

— Leave a comment on the blog post answering the question “why do you want to visit Serbia?”
— Tweeting about the giveaway, including mentioning @onemileatatime and @airserbia
— Following @onemileatatime on Twitter
— Following @airserbia on Twitter
— Visiting One Mile at a Time on Facebook and liking or commenting on the Air Serbia giveaway post

The contest is now closed, and earlier I drew a winner for the giveaway. Since this was conducted through Rafflecopter, the process of picking a winner was easy, as Rafflecopter easily does that using random.org.

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What Is Air Serbia Business Class Award Availability Like?

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A couple of days ago, Air Serbia began operating nonstop flights between Belgrade and New York, which is huge news for a carrier which otherwise primarily flies regionally.

Air Serbia’s new flight is operated by an Airbus A330, which they acquired from Jet Airways.

The plane features 18 business class seats in a herringbone configuration, so each seat is fully flat and features direct aisle access.

If you haven’t yet entered, you can win two business class tickets on this new Air Serbia flight through a giveaway I’m hosting. You have until 11:59PM PT tomorrow, Sunday, June 26, to enter. There are several ways to enter, so just visit the giveaway post for more details on how to enter.

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10 Fun Facts About Serbia

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Tomorrow Air Serbia will be launching nonstop flights between Belgrade and New York, which represents an exciting development for an airline which previously only operated regionally.

To celebrate this new route, Air Serbia is generously giving a lucky blog reader two business class tickets on their new flight. In yesterday’s post I explained how you can enter to win, so be sure to check that out to enter, as the contest runs through Sunday.

I have to be honest, I’m not especially knowledgable about Serbia. I had heard great things, but it was never really on my “list.”

However, I’ve been interested in visiting since this new route was announced, especially given that Air Serbia is an Etihad Airways Partner. This makes Serbia easily accessible, and as a Starwood loyalty I see that there’s even a great Luxury Collection property in Belgrade, the Metropol Palace (though I realize much of the beauty of Serbia goes beyond the capital).

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Giveaway: Win 2 Business Class Tickets On Air Serbia To Belgrade!

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It’s a big week for Air Serbia. They’ll be launching their first longhaul flight in a couple of days, as they fly an A330 daily to New York. It’s also a big week for OMAAT, as we’ve partnered with Air Serbia to give away two business class tickets on their new flight between New York and Belgrade.

Air Serbia is an Etihad Airways Partner, along with carriers like airberlin, Alitalia, Jet Airways, etc. Historically they’ve been a regional carrier, though they’ll shortly be expanding their network very nicely.

As of this Thursday, June 23, 2016, Air Serbia will be launching 5x weekly flights between Belgrade, Serbia, and New York JFK.

The flight will be operated by an Airbus A330-300 which they’re getting from Jet Airways. The plane will feature a total of 18 fully flat business class seats, each featuring direct aisle access.

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Air Serbia Launching Belgrade To New York Flight Next Month

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While Etihad doesn’t belong to one of the three global alliances, they do have their own “Etihad Airways Partners” group, and several of those carriers are ones in which they have an equity stake.

One of those is Air Serbia, a regional airline based in Belgrade. While the Gulf carriers have largely been prevented from operating fifth freedom routes to the US (aside from Emirates’ Milan to New York flight), the benefit for Etihad is that their partners can operate flights to the US.

As has previously been announced, Air Serbia will be launching 5x weekly flights between Belgrade and New York JFK as of June 23, 2016.

The flight will operate with alternating schedules depending on the day of the week, as follows:

JU500 Belgrade to New York departing 7:30AM arriving 12:00PM
JU501 New York to Belgrade departing 2:40PM arriving 5:30AM (+1 day)

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