Croatia Airlines Business Class: Surprisingly Good

On my recent trip to Europe I decided to do what I could to add a segment on Croatia Airlines to my ticket. Why? Because they’re one of the last Star Alliance airlines I haven’t flown.

After two flights on Adria Airways I had low expectations of some of Europe’s regional Star Alliance airlines, given that Adria left a bit to be desired, to put it mildly.

So, how was Croatia Airlines by comparison, on the short hour-long flight from Skopje to Zagreb? Excellent, much to my surprise. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t the most exciting business class product in the world, but it was in a different league than Adria for sure.

The flight was operated by an A319. Even though the plane was about 20 years old, the cabin felt new, as I guess they recently refreshed the cabin.

As is the standard in intra-Europe business class, business class consisted of economy seats with a blocked middle. However, Croatia definitely has a couple more inches of legroom in the first several rows of the cabin, so legroom wasn’t terrible.

The onboard product was surprisingly good. For example, we were offered pre-departure drinks of choice in business class. Very few European airlines offer pre-departure drinks at all on short haul flights, let alone drinks of choice. So kudos to them for that.

The snack on this short flight was good as well, and consisted of breaded chicken filet with chickpea salad and garlic mayonnaise. Dessert consisted of curd cake, and then there was also an unnecessary amount of bread. It was a tasty snack.

To drink I had water and white wine.

Sometimes it’s the little touches that make an experience better, and I thought it was cute that they served the coffee on a separate tray after the meal.

There were some other local touches to the product, like a heart-shaped air freshener hanging in the cabin.

Amazingly enough this A319 had five flight attendants. I’m not sure if this was a training flight or there was another reason for that, but that’s an unnecessary number of crew on such a plane.

Anyway, well done Croatia Airlines. While intra-Europe business class is rarely anything to get excited about, the effort they put into the product does show.

Comments

  1. Looks very nice!

    Ben I would advise you to try Air Malta business class. My family fly business class in Europe and my parents said they found it better then Intra Europe BA business class.

  2. Yes..Lucky’s next trip should be flying Air Moldova; to Chisinau, then he can visit the Republic of Transnistria!

  3. Uaaau!
    For certain your grand parents must be “utaši”. Probably you know what das it means??
    So perfect Croatia, with no bussines class devider, and white vine served in the same glas as water….uaaaau, perfect Croatia!
    So Mister Perfect, probably you have to decide about your complains and also comments…cause they are so stupid, as you are.
    Just for an advice: Stop travelling, or travell for your pleasure, not for collecting bad feelings! They can cost you a lot….maybe also some hits with an umbrella in the dark evening night….
    You never know…..

  4. @Nick – given the short distance of the flight, the DBV to ZAG flight will have a smaller snack. I believe my last one was some lovely rosemary crackers and local cheese marinated in olive oil. Oh – and I managed to have about 4 glasses of the great local plavac. Croatia Airlines takes great pride in showcasing local products.

  5. I guess u had some really bad luck travelling Adria. As I find them better than Croatia. Always!

  6. As a CTN employee, yes, the five cabin crew is there because of training. Currently, new cabin crew are still being trained and checked for their employment in the summer season, so that’s the reason.
    The standard/usual for this flight would be three otherwise

  7. Hi Ben,

    Glad to read abt positive experience in OU, matches my occasional flights with them in C class ( mostly flying Y with them). Safe flights. clean planes, decent legroom and minimal service, mostly on-time.

    I think they should change business model and part of the fleet if they want to survive.

    Safe travels,

    Cheers

  8. @Barbika

    Really? Usatse? Really?

    Go to the hospital, they might help you.

    @ Ben

    Glad you had positive experience with CA. In general it’s not a bad airline but poorly managed and in the edge of bankruptcy.

    Hope they will survive.

    How did you like Zagreb airport?

  9. If they’ve offered you a drink of choice as a predeparture drink, they changed the service as only apple and orange juices are offered. The j class was obviously not full. I’ve worked as cc for OU and I have to tell you that the jugs they make hot beverages in are NEVER EVER washed! They never leave the ac, NEVER! We were instructed to empty them in the lav and rinse with water. There are no covers for the food you ate and the crew handle buns with their bare hands (they do that in EK as well)! Those often end up on the floor and are put back in the oven/basket. Oven inserts also don’t leave the ac, most ovens don’t even have them and the bread is heated in the dirty oven nobody ever cleans. They are only handled with thongs in front of the pax. The crew use the thongs for al kind of purposes (unsanitary ones) and those don’t leave the ac as well. The open wine bottles stay onboard, overnight, till the next flight…. until somebody drinks them. Half empty bottles are always combined into full looking ones. And the most important thing: NOBODY ever does security searches even though they’re obligated to! And they make fun of the crew who do! They smoke onboard while on ground, even OU ground staff in Fra come onborad to smoke in the ac with the crew. Safety and security are nonexistent in OU.

  10. That inflight meal is exactly the same meal given on two OU flights I flew in December. Same chicken, same salad, same aioli, same cake… same two bread rolls!

    If you were a weekly Business flyer based around OU, that meal would soon be like a pack ration.

    It’s like they’re just storing a huge number of these in a warehouse and dishing them out (pun intended) until they run out of stock. Either that or “seasons” last for far more than three months in Croatia (this is not intended to be offensive to Croatians).

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