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letsgomets Sep 3, 09 3:51 pm

Croatia Airlines
Going to fly them next week. Any views?

Kiwi Flyer Sep 3, 09 11:57 pm

okay small airline (based on just a couple of flights)

MichielR Sep 6, 09 12:45 am

My flight on OU in July was nothing special, nothing wrong either. They are integrated in M&M/*A.

Aisleseater Sep 6, 09 7:36 pm

OU - Reliable - Y is worth it , C/J no.
I probably take 10-12 OU flight segments per calendar year. They tend to be relatively punctual which is important as I often use Zagreb as a hub for intra-South-East Europe flights, they have good connections with smaller capitals in the Balkans which feed into their flights to Western Europe - FRA/MUC/VIE, LHR etc and vice versa.

Business class is nothing flash. Not really worth upgrading or paying for. They make a bit more of an effort (like JAT and Adria Slovenian) to improve in C/J on their London routes, but otherwise their key thing is punctuality - same with Adria (JP). This differentiates OU and JP from JAT which can be a nightmare, along with MAT, Bulgaria Air, Air Bosnia and Albanian.

For service in Y you will get a whitebread sandwich/roll and option of softdrinks, juice, tea/coffee and depending on the route/time of day beer and wine. The nice touch is the pepper cookie which seems to be their trademark.

Most aircraft are old airbuses with sometimes some cute young female flight attendants staffing them. No IFE to speak of, but most of their flights are well under 3 hours so it doesn't really matter. Like most flights in the Balkans, passengers have a tendency to walk around and talk to their friends.

If you are flying in/out of Zagreb - the airport needs a complete overhaul. Look/feel of 1970s. There is a bar downstairs (often gets crowded), and restaurant airside upstairs which has a good selection of reasonable inexpensive tasty Croatian food and the small duty free store airside on the ground floor is competitive, particularly when it comes to perfumes/after-shave colognes. Also, always bring an umbrella. There are no airbridges at ZAG, so if it is pelting rain, there is often a wait between the bus taking you to the aircraft and entering the aircraft itself.

Lastly OU flights can sometimes take up to 2-3 weeks to credit to your Mileage Plus account, although they almost always post, but like JP, keep your boarding passes just in case.

eefor jfp Sep 7, 09 6:41 am

I also take maybe 15 or 20 flights a year, often domestic but also to Vienna, Frankfurt or Munich. Zagreb has been undergoing major renovations recently and although they still lack airbridges, things are much better now than they were a few years ago.

A few other comments:

Punctuality is a relative thing. I would say that maybe 30-40% of my flights last year were late (not seriously late but maybe 15-30 minutes). On the positive side of things, they will hold the last domestic flight of the night to Split, Dubrovnik or Pula for almost all incoming international aircraft. So if you're on the 9 pm-ish departure from Zagreb to the coast, you stand a good chance of being 15-45 minutes late.

Their network to Eastern Europe is actually pretty poor (with the exception of the former Yugoslavia); almost all their flights are aimed at Western Europe. So unless you are going to Sarajevo, Skoplje or Pristina (or, of course, Croatia), they are not a good choice for travels to the East. LH & OS within Star Alliance or Malev (OneWorld) or Czech (SkyTeam) are much better options for travel to Eastern Europe.

Their fares are often slightly less restrictive than the corresponding fares on LH or OS. In other words, the minimum stay is shorter or they are more combinable, etc.

Flights take ages to post to M&M. When they post at all. Over the last four years I have written at least half a dozen letters to M&M to request credit.

Seating in biz is 2+2 on the airbii (the middle seat is folded down and the armrest is moved slightly to widen the seat) UNLESS they ae full, in which case they will use the middle seat. Which is frustrating if you're actually paying for biz.

Catering is just OK. OS is much better in biz or even in econ, but the sandwich is better than nothing, I guess.

All in all they are nothing special, but to Croatia, you don't have much of a choice, especially in the off season and especailly to the coast.

They are pretty good during irr ops. It takes a while and it can be pretty chaotic but they will cover the cost of rerouting or overnight accommodations.

littlevoices Mar 27, 10 2:43 pm

Thanks for a really helpful post.

Any comments on the lounge at ZAG? I can see that since the concept of a 'regional partner' member of the star alliance is no more I can expect my full *G benefits without problem.

Kiwi Flyer Mar 27, 10 5:20 pm

ZAG lounge has always been a full *G lounge since Croatia Airlines joined *A. Regional membership affected stuff behind the scenes only, not any of the passenger benefits.

The lounge itself is okay but fairly basic.

SkyTeam777 Sep 9, 11 10:22 pm

Originally Posted by Kiwi Flyer (Post 13660951)
The lounge itself is okay but fairly basic.

What kind of snacks/drinks in the ZAG lounge? Is it post-security?

jbfield Sep 10, 11 8:45 am

Lounge is upstairs airside (so after security).

Snacks are pretzels and water...maybe some soft drinks. Not much there when I checked it out last year - a few old sofas and a coffee table. Nothing to get excited about; all it does is save you from the busy departure lounge and provides you with a feeling of being in someone's living room.

yycworldtraveler Sep 10, 11 5:09 pm

Originally Posted by jbfield (Post 17085923)
Lounge is upstairs airside (so after security).

Snacks are pretzels and water...maybe some soft drinks. Not much there when I checked it out last year - a few old sofas and a coffee table. Nothing to get excited about; all it does is save you from the busy departure lounge and provides you with a feeling of being in someone's living room.

There is a new lounge at ZAG. I've not been yet, but did some reaserch due to an upcoming trip through ZAG.

jbfield Sep 10, 11 5:22 pm

Wow, that's a significant improvement on the previous one!
I suppose a question to confirm is whether it's accessible for domestic passengers?

I noticed the lounge in Split was passed immigration and so not of use on the domestic flights.

Kiwi Flyer Sep 10, 11 5:24 pm

The new lounge is not much better than the old one. Small, crowded, limited snack & drink selection, no computers or showers.

jbfield Sep 10, 11 5:30 pm

Looks like it has more seating and some window views though.

mad_atta Jun 19, 14 10:54 pm

Any updated views on Croatia Airlines?
I'm looking at booking OU for flights between Amsterdam and Dubrovnik. It's fairly last-minute and it's one way, so the fares are not great value, but that I just have to live with that. I'm tossing up between the following options:

A) One-stop same plane service via Pula
AMS 18.10-20.00 PUY 20.40-21.35 DBV A$363 4hr 20m M fare (929 OZ miles)
Pros: presumably hassle free, dinnertime flight. Pula is listed as 'tech stop' so presumably immigration formalities are handled in Dubrovnik.
Cons: Late arrival time

B) Implausibly quick connection via Zagreb
AMS 11.20-13.15 ZAG 13.45-14.50 DBV $381 3h 25m M fare (100% 921m)
Pros: faster, cheaper, early arrival in DBV
Cons: presumably the 30min transit time in ZAG is completely unrealistic, especially since we would have to go through immigration

C) More sane Zagreb connection
AMS 11.20-13.15 ZAG 14.45-15.40 DBV $381 4hr 20m M fare (100% 929m)
Pros: likely to actually make the connection
Cons: still have to go through Zagreb connection

Just how unpleasant/chaotic is connecting in Zagreb? I assume we'd be crazy to try booking option B, unless immigration is handled in DBV - does anyone have experience of this?

Also, it would be great to know what food/refreshments are generally served on OU flights of this length these days. Any recent experiences anyone can share?

kanor Jun 20, 14 1:42 am

Option B is totally fine, this is europe where there is no TSA and airports can be efficient, and ZAG is even small.
If the passport queue is too long (unlikely) just go to the front showing your connecting ticket.

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