My first reintroduction to Air Serbia in three years was not a good one…not a good one at all. While Air Serbia remains a top-tier carrier, its ground experience in Istanbul leaves much to be desired.
Air Serbia Ground Experience In Istanbul
We arrived at Istanbul Airport to check-in for our afternoon flight to Belgrade. As we approached the Air Serbia counter, we found a huge line.
Fine, we thought. We could use the business class check-in line, which was empty. So we got in the business class check-in line, but when (we thought) it was our turn to approach the counter, we were told to wait. There was a huge gaggle of passengers off to the side.
“They’ve been waiting!” we were told.
So we waited. And waited. And waited.
Mind you, none of these passengers were flying in business class, because each were given “economy class” tags for their carry-on items.
A half hour passed. No exaggeration.
Finally I had enough. Had we just stood in the economy class line, we would have been checked-in already.
All this time we had a porter with us, because my friend was checking several bags. The porter became a bit aggressive and finally got us to the front of the line to check-in.
The staff was rude and indifferent. There was a bit of an English barrier, but we were not warmly greeted nor was an apology extended for the odd extended wait.
After handing us our boarding passes I asked where the lounge was and if we needed a lounge invitation.
“There is no lounge.”
We could have used the IGA Lounge via Priority Pass, but opted to proceed directly to the gate.
Our Air Serbia business class experience was off to a swimming start! Long waits and poor service to check-in, plus no lounge.
It should goes without saying that this is a first world problem, but since this is a blog that concentrates on luxury air travel, I feel it is only fair to warn you that the Air Serbia ground experience in Istanbul is truly abysmal.
Thankfully, the onboard experience on our flight to Belgrade would more than make up for it.