Introduction: Transatlantic Insanity
Review: Aeroflot Business Class 777-300ER Los Angeles To Moscow
Review: Aeroflot Lounge Moscow Airport
Review: Aeroflot Business Class 737 Moscow To Belgrade
Review: Metropol Palace Hotel Belgrade
Review: Belgrade Food Tour
Review: Air Serbia Lounge Belgrade Airport
Review: Air Serbia Business Class A330 Belgrade To New York
Review: Air France Lounge New York JFK
Review: Azerbaijan Airlines Business Class 787 New York To Baku
Review: Hyatt Regency Baku
Review: Baku Airport Lounge
Review: Ukraine International Airlines Business Class 737 Baku To Kiev
Review: Kiev Airport Lounge
Review: Ukraine International Airlines Business Class 767 Kiev To New York
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.
I was a bit surprised when we tried to check-in and were informed that check-in wasn’t open yet for the flight to New York. The associate insisted she couldn’t check us in, and she also couldn’t tell us when check-in for the new New York flight would open. Eventually we saw other people slowly start to set up check-in queues for New York, so I asked them when check-in opens, and they said at 9:55AM.
I really don’t get why they need a separate check-in area for the New York flight, though I’m sure there’s some reason. We went back up to the lady who told us we couldn’t check-in earlier, and we explained we only had hand baggage, and asked if there was any way we could just go to the lounge. When she found our we weren’t checking bags she had no issues checking us in, so our boarding passes were issued within a few minutes.
There were big signs near the check-in area, both promoting Etihad’s status as a Skytrax 5-star airline (those advertisements came out fast), and also a big sign promoting Air Serbia’s upgrade buy-up program.
At Belgrade Airport security is at each individual gate, meaning that we only had to clear departure immigration in order to get to the lounge. There was no queue there, so we were through within moments.
Once through immigration we turned left to head towards the lounge.
After only a very short walk we found the Air Serbia Premium Lounge, which was only reopened about a year ago.
All the signage, and even the entrance, looked very similar to what I’m used to at Etihad lounges.
There was a friendly associate at the reception desk who welcomed us and offered to give us a tour of the lounge, which was a nice touch.
Air Serbia is a fairly small airline with fewer than a dozen planes, and proportionally they seem to have very few premium passengers. So their lounge isn’t big, and even so, doesn’t seem to get very full.
Once past the entrance the bathrooms and prayer room were to the right, while the rest of the lounge was to the left.
Upon turning left there was a relaxation area on the left, with a couple of dozen seats in a variety of configurations.
There were sets of leather seats facing one another, and then along the side of the room by the wall were leather benches as well as more chairs.
There was also a special roped off area. I’m not sure if this is for passengers connecting to first class on Etihad, or what, but it wasn’t in use for the entire time we were in the lounge.
In the back of this section was a display with magazines and newspapers.
Then on the other side of the wall was the dining area, where there were about a dozen dining tables.
At the very end of that section was the bar area, which had a couple of high-top tables as well.
The buffet was located next to some of the dining tables. When we arrived they still had breakfast out.
The buffet consisted of all kinds of bread, cereal, sandwiches, fresh fruit, bagels, muffins, yogurt, several hot dishes, etc.
There was a fridge with self serve soft drinks and water.
At 10AM they switched out the buffet and brought out lunch options, including finger sandwiches, salad, several hot options, dessert, etc.
On top of that, Air Serbia has an a la carte lunch offering, including the following:
I wasn’t especially hungry, but ordered the Arabic mezze, which was good.
Tiffany ordered the cevapcici.
It’s rare you get a la carte dining in a business class lounge, so color me very impressed.
On top of that, there are servers constantly roaming the lounge, so even if you’re not in the dining area you’ll proactively be offered a drink. I ordered a cappuccino when we first arrived, which was so good. While there were a lot of great things about Belgrade, coffee wasn’t one of them, so I was thrilled to have my first good coffee-based drink in a few days.
In terms of other lounge features, the bathrooms were on the far end of the lounge, and were quite nice.
In the men’s restroom there was a shower room, with a separate toilet, sink, and walk-in shower.
Next to the bathrooms was a prayer room, which I guess would be part of the Etihad effect. 😉
Overall I thought the lounge was great. There were never more than a few people in the lounge at once, the service was attentive, the wifi was fast, and the offerings were excellent.
Boarding was scheduled for 11:55AM from gate C3, so we left the lounge at around 11:40AM. Gate C3 was maybe a five minute walk from the lounge. While the Air Serbia lounge is beautiful, the rest of the terminal leaves a bit to be desired.
As we approached gate C3 we could see Air Serbia’s only A330 from a distance.
As mentioned above, security is done at each individual gate at Belgrade Airport. Unfortunately there’s not any sort of a premium security line, so there was quite a queue to get through security.
Once it was our turn the process was quick, fortunately. However, the gate area itself was quite small, and ended up being very crowded prior to our departure. Finally at 12:10PM boarding was called for passengers with special needs and those in business class.
Air Serbia Premium Lounge bottom line
Etihad’s influence at Air Serbia is clear, and I love it. The Air Serbia Premium Lounge Belgrade is gorgeous. Not only that, but it’s quiet, has fast wifi, has a dine on demand menu, has attentive service with excellent cappuccinos, etc. This is easily one of my favorite business class lounges out there now.
My one real complaint is the lack of a premium line at the gate, so if you’re a business class passenger you’re stuck waiting behind everyone to get into the gate area.
Either way, our Air Serbia experience was off to a great start.