Tried & Tested

Croatia Airlines A320, economy class

8 Oct 2009 by Mark Caswell

CHECK-IN I arrived at Zagreb airport from London Heathrow at 2010, with my flight OU664 to Dubrovnik scheduled for 2110. Passport control at Zagreb was swift – there was a sign saying passengers with connecting flights had priority, but there was plenty of desks and not a great deal of people so I was through in minutes anyway. As I had already checked in for this flight in London, I didn’t have to collect my luggage, so proceeded straight to the gate as directed by the tannoy.

BOARDING Gate 2 was a few minutes’ walk to the left from customs. I passed my hand luggage through security and was seated at the gate by 2030. Boarding started at 2055 and I waited for the queue to subside before joining it. We were bussed to the aircraft and I was in my seat by 2110.

THE SEAT This two-class A320 aircraft is configured 3-3, with business across rows one to five and economy rows six to 29. The seat is the same in both classes – in business the middle seat is kept free – and a curtain separates the two. In economy there are only two seats in the back row, on the right-hand side. I was in window seat 24A. It was upholstered in blue fabric and reclined via a button in the armrest. A table folded down from the seat in front, which was sturdy enough when I used my laptop, and a separate drinks holder folded down from this, a handy touch. There was a magazine rack below. The seat width and pitch were tighter than on the A319 I had flown on earlier, although comfortable enough for this very short flight.

WHICH SEAT TO CHOOSE? Rows ten and 11 are the emergency exits and have more legroom. There is little to choose between the rest, although the rows at the front are served first. Avoid those at the back as that is where the toilets and galley are located.

THE FLIGHT We took off very slightly behind schedule and shortly afterwards drinks were served, and a few minutes after that a tiny biscuit. As this was only a short flight, there was no in-flight entertainment, and before I knew it we were making our descent.

ARRIVAL We landed at 2205, bang on schedule, and were quickly off the aircraft. A bus took us to the terminal, where a scrum had formed at the tiny carousel. After waiting for ten minutes for my bag, it slowed to a stop, leaving all the passengers who had come from London without their bags and looking bemused. It was then that we were told our bags had come in on a different carousel in an adjoining room – we duly went in and they were waiting for us.

VERDICT Not much you can say about a flight as short as this other than the seat was perfectly adequate and the service swift.

PRICE A midweek economy return from London to Dubrovnik connecting in Zagreb in November started from 1,978 kn (£251) online.

CONTACT croatiaairlines.com

Michelle Mannion

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