Tried & Tested

Adria Airways CRJ-900 economy class

21 May 2009 by Mark Caswell

Background Slovenia’s national airline, Adria Airways, has been a regional member of Star Alliance since 2004, and serves the UK daily from the country’s capital of Ljubljana. The carrier participates in Lufthansa’s Miles and More frequent flyer scheme.

Check-in I arrived at Ljubljana Joze Pucnik airport at 1650 for flight JP450, due to depart at 1825. The departure terminal was modest, with four Adria Airways economy check-in desks and two business counters, as well as a handful of other check-in desks for other carriers, a small café, and a couple of glider aircraft hanging from the ceiling. The desks were fairly empty and I checked in just before a coach-load of passengers arrived and filled up the whole terminal. There were a couple of security lanes and I was quickly airside.

Some of the departure gates are located on the ground floor after security, with the rest on the upper level. The ground floor airside also houses a small duty free shop and another café, and at the far end there was set of stairs leading to a business class lounge.

Boarding My flight was boarding from the upper level, so I headed upstairs. At this point the board still showed the flight as departing on time, but it soon became clear this wouldn’t be the case, and at about 1820 the departure time changed to 1925, although no announcement was made. Thankfully the airport was equipped with wifi internet access (free of charge, although the connection was a little sporadic), so I logged on and caught up with my emails for the next hour. We eventually boarded and took off at about 1930.

The seat The Canadair Regional Jet (CRJ) used on this leg was the 900 model, which is longer than the CRJ-200 model used on the outbound flight (click here for a review of the London-Ljubljana flight). The aircraft seats 86, with 21 rows of 2-2, plus two seats on the left-hand side in the front row. The first five rows (18 seats) were set aside for business, with the remaining 68 seats in economy.

Where to sit? There are two emergency exits rows one after another on this aircraft, so the rows to choose for extra legroom are 14 and 15. Other than that, the jet engines on this aircraft are located at the back of the aircraft by the tailfin, so it’s noisier towards the rear of the plane.

The flight This aircraft is newer than the CRJ-200 used on the outbound leg, and the ceiling is also higher, allowing me to stand up straight, unlike on the smaller 200 model. On this flight there were three people sat in business, while economy was around three-quarters full. A cheese or ham roll was offered after take-off, followed by drinks, and the flight was uneventful, arriving at Gatwick about 45 minutes late at 2030.

Verdict The lack of announcements about the delayed take-off was annoying, but once onboard the CRJ-900 aircraft was modern and the extra legroom in rows 14 and 15 makes all the difference.

Price When Business Traveller checked on Tuesday May 19, online midweek return fares in mid June started from €256 in economy.


Mark Caswell

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