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Croatian Airlines, LHR-ZAG,PUY-ZAD-ZAG-LHR  
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3339 posts, RR: 12
Posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 12417 times:

Croatian Airlines, LHR-ZAG,PUY-ZAD-ZAG-LHR


In an effort to maintain my “fly at least once every calendar month” goal, around mid-March I found myself urgently looking for some interesting flying to do. I was hoping to get a Star Alliance flight out of LHR, ideally one where I’d get lounge access (so limited to Lufthansa Miles and More airlines, LH, LO, OS, LX, SN and OU). After some hunting, I found some great flights (and prices) going on a long weekend with Croatian Airlines routing LHR-ZAG, PUY-ZAD-ZAG-LHR. This was a slight ambitious itinerary for just 3 nights away, but I thought I’d be interesting. I’d been to Zagreb before, so scheduled one evening and morning for Zagreb, then 2 nights (really, just one full day) in Pula. In retrospect, I should have stayed an extra day, but there we go.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/map2.gif

After a nice lunch with a friend in London, I caught the tube down to Heathrow Terminal 1. I was only travelling with hand baggage, but when to the Business Class desk to get a boarding pass and ask about the lounge (I had been unable to confirm before the flight if I was given lounge access with OU – the Miles and More website implied yes, but there was nothing definitive). The guy on the desk was pretty clueless, saying “um, yes, I think you have access”. I passed though the (deserted) security area, and down the endless corridors to the bmi Great British Lounge. The friendly guy on the door started scanning my boarding pass before apologizing saying that I couldn’t come in as OU are only “part time” Star Alliance members. I think the correct terminology is a “Star Alliance Regional Member” or something. Either way, no lounge. I was now faced with a 2 hour wait….what delights did Terminal 1 hold….actually it’s quite a nice place. Having come back from Paris just 2 days earlier, (and paying around Euro 9 for a pint), I as delight to find a bar with tarmac views with pints for less than £4…not bad, nearly a bargain! So I spent an hour sipping on my beer, before picking up a lovely hot sandwich from Pret. I’d rather have been in the lounge, but credit to BAA, T1 is quite nice (although lacking many windows).
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG5951.jpg


Around 4pm I saw the inbound aircraft pull onto stand from Zagreb. I started to saunter over to the gate, where most people had already taken seats. I grabbed a copy of the Daily Mail, and took a seat near the gate.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG5955.jpg

March 2011
London Heathrow (LHR) – Zagreb (ZAG)
Scheduled: 1650-2005 (2h15m)
Actual: 1658-1952 (1h54m)
Croatia Airlines OU 493
Airbus A320 (9A-CTG)



Somehow I managed to get the second person down the airbridge when they announced boarding. I’m still surprised that cabin crew in most countries aren’t obliged to check passengers’ boarding cards when entering the plane, like it is the UK.

My seat was the far corner of the plane – leg room was adequate, and the window nearly smear free. The cabin seemed clean and the crew smiley. I was hoping that as the flight wasn’t full that I’d end up with three seats to myself, but at the last moment a Croatian guy with a leather jacket, sunglass, and blaring ipod took the aisle seat……hmmm, not ideal, but at leas the middle seat was still free.

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG5965.jpg


There was a short taxi to the runway where we ended up taking off eight minutes late.

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It didn’t take long for the in-flight service to begin. My Expedia confirmation said that a hot meal would be served, which I though was highly improbable. It’s been a good decade or so since I’ve had a proper meal served on a 2 hour economy class flight in Europe. You can imagine my surprise when the trolley to back to the back and I was handed this:
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG5976.jpg

There was a nicely presented chicken roll with pasta in tomato sauce, together with a cream cheese salad, a cake, bread and butter, and a traditional Croatian paprenjak biscuit. Wonderful! Together with a Croatian beer, and a glass of water, this was a pretty good meal. Thumbs up to OU!


Not long after the trays were collected, the w*****r in the row in front (who had three seats to himself), without warming, reclined his seat full. I was reading the paper at that moment, so basically had it flung into my face. I always try and refrain from reclining the seat (unless on overnight flights), or else if I really want to recline, ask before I recline. I (not terribly subtly) proceeded to shuffle my paper quite violently, and crossed my legs, knocking his seat pretty hard. He turned around and asked if there was a problem. I said that there wasn’t much leg room in the back row, and could he put his seat up. He said he wanted to recline. I said, how about moving to the empty middle seat, then you’re not reclining onto anyone (when I have 3 seats to myself, I nearly always sit in the middle – more space!). He stayed where he was and said “how about I only recline half way?”. What a douche (a nice American expression!). what made it even more annoying was that he was sat in the window seat, but had his window shade down…..grrrr.

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG5979.jpg


We touched down a little ahead of schedule. I only had hand luggage, and was hoping to make it onto the 8pm bus to the city. Unfortunately, after a bizarrely long taxi, we were herded into buses, which then sat on the tarmac for a good few minutes, despite all pax being safely onboard, by which time it was well past 8pm. Immigration was quick, and after a bit of a wait, I left on the next Croatia Airlines bus for the city.
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A few photos of Zagreb
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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6002.jpg
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Croatian Naïve Art Museum
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6025.jpg

Japanese Embassy


View from the bus enroute from Zagreb to Pula


Pula by night
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6040.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6042.jpg

Pula Roman amphitheatre
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6046.jpg
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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6127.jpg

Rovinj by day (45 mins from Pula)
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6051.jpg
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A very tasty squid-ink risotto
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6156.jpg

Pula airport isn’t terribly busy in the winter, with just one daily flight. For the staff working at the airport, the timings are pretty horrendous, with one arrival from Zagreb and Zadar at 2250, and one departure (back to Zadar and Zagreb) at 0600. In the summer there lots of charter flights (most from the CIS) as well as assorted other flights from Europe (an FR to STN and HHN).
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6160.jpg

After a very quick taxi ride through the empty streets of Pula, I arrived at the airport at 0510. there were two desks open for our flight, and my bag was tagged (I’d gone shopping, and bought quite a bit of booze, so couldn’t take it was hand baggage anymore), and I was given my first boarding pass. For some reason, my Zagreb-London boarding pass would have to be picked up in Zagreb.

There seemed to be far more staff around than passengers. It must be strange working only from 0403-0630 or so, the again 2230-2330.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6161.jpg

When they opened the security area, I was the first one through into the vast and empty airside.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6163.jpg

The aircraft had been sitting there since last night.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6164.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6166.jpg

Some FR mementos in the terminal


The load for this leg was around 20 pax
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6171.jpg
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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6176.jpg

March 2011
Pula (PUY) – Zadar (ZAD)
Scheduled: 0600-0635 (0h35m)
Actual: 0611-0634 (0h23m)
Croatia Airlines OU 631
Dash 8-400 (9A-CQE)

Despite being the only aircraft, and no inbound delays, we ended up taking off eleven minutes late.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6180.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6182.jpg

The sun was just rising as we rotated.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6184.jpg

When planning my trip, I initially thought to fly from ZAG to Pula. However, I decided that it’d be better to do the return flight as I should be ale to get some nice views of the stunning Croatian coastline from the plane.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6187.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6188.jpg
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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6196.jpg


Despite the flight time being a minute longer than my February Binter flight from Tenerife to Gran Canaria (where we were served a drink and snack), there was no service on this sector, so all I had to do was to eat the breakfast I’d brought along with me and watch the views glide by.

After a short flight, we began our approach to Zadar. In the summer months, there are direct flights to both ZAD and PUY. However, the low numbers in the winter mean that these two flights are combined.


Unfortunately, I was on the wrong side for views of Zadar for arrival.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6201.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6204.jpg

I was quite surprised to see four people disembark here. I suppose it does avoid a 6 hour coach ride though. The four pax were bussed to the terminal in a minivan.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6206.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6207.jpg

We then waited around for the Zadar pax to join us. They boarded in dribs and drabs taking a good ten minutes for the forty of so of them to board. There was one business class passenger who had his breakfast carried out from the terminal before the doors closed – obviously catered here in ZAD.

March 2011
Zadar (ZAD) – Zagreb (ZAG)
Scheduled: 0700-0740 (0h40m)
Actual: 0714-0744 (0h30m)
Croatia Airlines OU 631
Dash 8-400 (9A-CQE)

We pushed back a little late again, and taxied through the very empty airport. There were three fireflighting planes parked up, reading for the almost inevitable summer forest fires.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6211.jpg

This time I was on the right side for a few views of Zadar.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6212.jpg

Some nice views of the Croatian Islands


Service on this leg consisted of a drink and a biscuit.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6219.jpg


Approach to ZAG
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6223.jpg
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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6239.jpg

Thanks to our late departure, we arrived a few minutes late into Zagreb. It seemed nearly all of the OU fleet was in town that morning, along with a few other assorted Croatian Airlines, namely SunAdria and Dubronvik Airlines. There was also an Austrian A320.

We were bussed over to the terminal, where nearly all the passengers hurried to the connections area. As there were quite a few flights leaving in the next half hour, there was quite a scrum both from the passengers and the staff at the check point to get everyone their boarding passes. After a few minutes queuing, I had my boarding pass, and was let into the domestic departures area.

Upcoming departures
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6235.jpg

I should have staying the calm of the domestic departures area, but thought I should head through to international departures – big mistake! After passing immigration, going up a narrow staircase, then back down another staircase, I was in somewhere reminiscent of a bus station. Nasty! They could seriously do with a bit more space down here. I couldn’t believe that this was the entire departures area, together with a duty free shop. Not impressed!
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6236.jpg

Thankfully, after the Amsterdam flight was boarded, the area cleared out a lot. Around five to nine, it was announced the boarding would begin shortly, so everyone queued up to board the bus.

March 2011
Zagreb (ZAG) – London Heathrow (LHR)
Scheduled: 0925-1050 (2h25m)
Actual: 0925-1026 (2h01m)
Croatia Airlines OU 490
Airbus A320 (9A-CTG)

I was quite disappointed to find myself back on exactly the same A319 as coming over. I was hoping to get on a Star Alliance liveried Airbus. Never mind.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6242.jpg

Dubrovnik Airlines next to us
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6241.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6243.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6245.jpg

This time I was seated near the front – the difference in legroom is startling – plenty of space! Luckily the middle seat was left unoccupied.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6244.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6247.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6248.jpg

Breakfast was served not long after take off – I was hoping for something hot, but we got a ham salad, cake, bread roll and a biscuit instead – still not bad!
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6253.jpg


Views of the Alps
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6254.jpg
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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6260.jpg

We ended up doing quite a few loops over London before finally landing nearly half an hour ahead of schedule.
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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6265.jpg

A few shots of LHR
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6269.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6272.jpg
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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/croatia/CIMG6276.jpg


Verdict

OU offers a good value, high quality product. I was very impressed with the meal served – you just don’t see that much in Europe nowadays. Croatia was really beautiful, although March isn’t the best time to go – it was sunny, but pretty cold and windy.

My next flights are the week after next between London City and Antwerp, before an Easter trip to Jordan on RJ. Can’t wait!

Comments and questions welcome!


http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinestipica From Croatia, joined Feb 2011, 427 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 12290 times:

Oh my God I will get a heart attack hehehhe thanks gabrielchew for this ... real feedback follow ...  Stipica


Open your eyes and think
User currently offlineRvXKaz From Singapore, joined Apr 2011, 195 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 12135 times:

Hello gabrielchew,

What a nice trip to such a really beautiful country on their national carrier! Its nice that you took opportunity to do some domestic flying as well.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
There was a nicely presented chicken roll with pasta in tomato sauce, together with a cream cheese salad, a cake, bread and butter, and a traditional Croatian paprenjak biscuit. Wonderful! Together with a Croatian beer, and a glass of water, this was a pretty good meal. Thumbs up to OU!

I must say this is one of the best Y meals served on intra-European flights I've seen amongst the TRs I've read! Definately thumbs up to OU!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
what made it even more annoying was that he was sat in the window seat, but had his window shade down…..grrrr.

Totally reminded me of this woman on my KLM flight Iwho insisted she wanted to sit at the window seat, which was my seat but I relented. Though I gave up my choice seat willingly, what pissed me off was she was asleep the entire flight! How could she be so sadistic in depriving an a.nutter of a window seat!    The douchebag (as they say in American as well :p) you encountered must have been her husband.

Your pictures of Croatia are beautiful and I really like the quaint architecture and surroundings! Its heart-warming to see the flowers laid at the Japanese embassy. I'm touched to see the Croatian support for Japan during their darkest hour.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
In an effort to maintain my “fly at least once every calendar month” goal, around mid-March I found myself urgently looking for some interesting flying to do.

This is really a great goal to have! I hope you fulfil your resolution and I'll be looking forward to more TRs!

Awesome job on this one!



They say that I'm a dreamer. But I'd only Dreamt Skyward.
User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1066 posts, RR: 6
Reply 3, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 12067 times:

Hey gabrielchew,

A wonderful rendition of what Croatia Airlines has to offer for intra-European flights! The thing that attracts me most about OU is their livery. It's stunning! Their service seems to be of an acceptable standard too.

Puzzled about the lounge thing. I would have thought you are allowed into the lounge if you are flying a *A Airline, albeit a "regional" one?

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
I was hoping that as the flight wasn’t full that I’d end up with three seats to myself, but at the last moment a Croatian guy with a leather jacket, sunglass, and blaring ipod took the aisle seat……hmmm, not ideal, but at leas the middle seat was still free.

This reminded me of my DXB-BKK flight just 2 weeks back. I was in J class and could see the door very clearly from where I was seated (12K on 772) and when the doors were closed, I was very glad to have the seat next to me empty (which has never happened to me on TG) until we were about to pushback and a guy came to sit next to me. My mind was like, "Damn it, I thought it would be an empty flight!" Furthermore, it was an overnight flight so I needed all the space I could to stretch out.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Not long after the trays were collected, the w*****r in the row in front (who had three seats to himself), without warming, reclined his seat full. I was reading the paper at that moment, so basically had it flung into my face. I always try and refrain from reclining the seat (unless on overnight flights), or else if I really want to recline, ask before I recline. I (not terribly subtly) proceeded to shuffle my paper quite violently, and crossed my legs, knocking his seat pretty hard. He turned around and asked if there was a problem. I said that there wasn’t much leg room in the back row, and could he put his seat up. He said he wanted to recline. I said, how about moving to the empty middle seat, then you’re not reclining onto anyone (when I have 3 seats to myself, I nearly always sit in the middle – more space!). He stayed where he was and said “how about I only recline half way?”

I hate people like that, but what can we do? It's their right to recline although it makes things very uncomfortable for people like me as I'm very tall and need all the legroom I can in Y. Although not on a flight, I had a problem once too. I was on a bus from Malaysia back to Singapore. The seats were leather seats and very wide, like the regional J class seats you find. However, the seat pitch was around 36 inch. I was glad there was no one in front of me when I got on but a lady got on shortly after and reclined her seat ALL the way. I tried putting my knee to "block" her from reclining, trying to make her think that her seat is faulty but she used all her force to recline all the way. I lived with it and stretched my legs in order to make myself more comfortable (thankfully just a 90 mins bus ride!).

The most fortunate thing happened after that. The lady got onto the wrong bus! There was a bus at 9pm back to Singapore and she is slated on that bus, while I am on the 9.15pm bus. The guy who sat in the seat next did not recline much, thankfully!

Another story was on an SQ flight SIN-TPE. The guy in front of my reclined his seat all the way and I was left with minimal legroom. Thankfully, he was one of the members of my tour group and I asked if he could bring his seat up a little but he brought his seat up ALL the way which I was quite grateful, but also at the same time guilty that he did not get to recline his seat. The guy and his wife turned out to be at the same table at us for all the meals that we are having in the group and they are nice people to deal with!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
It didn’t take long for the in-flight service to begin. My Expedia confirmation said that a hot meal would be served, which I though was highly improbable. It’s been a good decade or so since I’ve had a proper meal served on a 2 hour economy class flight in Europe. You can imagine my surprise when the trolley to back to the back and I was handed this:

This is what I have been wondering about the differences between flying a 2 hour flight in Asia compared to in Europe / USA. Normally cold meals are served in Europe / USA but the carriers in Asia (no matter full service or LCC) always tend to serve a hot meal, you can even get a hotel meal on AK from SIN-KUL, a 40 minute flight although you have to pay for it. Is a hot meal more significantly expensive than a cold meal?

Overall, a very nice trip report from you once again and hope to see more of your masterpieces in the future!

Regards,
Daniel



One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offlinestipica From Croatia, joined Feb 2011, 427 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 11886 times:

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
I couldn’t come in as OU are only “part time” Star Alliance members. I think the correct terminology is a “Star Alliance Regional Member” or something. Either way, no lounge.

“Star Alliance Regional Member” - no longer exists OU is integrated in full membership...
... with OU eco. ticket and FF status in M&M can enter in LH , OS , LX and LO business lounges or fully integrated partners of M&M ( JP,OU,LG,LH,OS,LX,LO) ... so no lounge ... you need a gold status for the bmi lounge

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
There was a nicely presented chicken roll with pasta in tomato sauce, together with a cream cheese salad, a cake, bread and butter, and a traditional Croatian paprenjak biscuit. Wonderful! Together with a Croatian beer, and a glass of water, this was a pretty good meal. Thumbs up to OU!

Yes ... Croatia has a very bad marketing hehhehhe is not TK and the famous Do & Co but service and food quality is at a high level
2. Economy class service
Flight duration up to 1 hour and 35 minutes:
- ham and cheese sandwiches
Flight duration longer than 1 hour and 36 minutes:
- cold breakfast untill 11 o’clock local time
- cold lunch after 11 o’clock local time
Passengers are also offered alcoholic beverages, soft drinks and warm drinks (coffee and tea).

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
A very tasty squid-ink risotto


When you come to Split black risotto on me ....hehhehe

General information ...Croatian airports unfortunately were not a priority in the last decade ...construction of the motorway network and post-war reconstruction took most of the money...
SPU ZAD and DBV terminal are small but renovated because of summer demands... ZAG is in chaos with limited space but right now we have ongoing tender for the new terminal concession ...PUY and RJK are remained neglected mainly due to low traffic and politics ( some low-cost and charters from CIS and Israel ) ...for informations Istria and Kvarner are tourist region but does not depend on the airline guests ...

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
I was quite surprised to see four people disembark here. I suppose it does avoid a 6 hour coach ride though. The four pax were bussed to the terminal in a minivan.


minivan ... weird ... usually passengers walk to the terminal .... maybe because of work? .
last summer I flew ZAD-PUY return ...beautiful view... ZAG-ZAD-PUY are flying over whole year plus there are direct flights during summer .... OU has introduced flight Dubrovnik-Venice with a free tour of the coast ...  
Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
It seemed nearly all of the OU fleet was in town that morning

   hihihihihih no is not the whole fleet ... nothing of risotto hiihhih

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
the difference in legroom is startling – plenty of space!

I'm not sure but the first 8 rows have 36 inches for a euro-business class ... or 6 hmmmm

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Breakfast was served not long after take off

this is a typical dish of northern Croatian....hehheh kuhana sunka i mladi sir

Hvala od srca ...you make my day... Stipica  
Excuse me for possible errors I am very excited



Open your eyes and think
User currently offlinestipica From Croatia, joined Feb 2011, 427 posts, RR: 8
Reply 5, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 11549 times:

Hi RvXKaz ...

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 2):
Its heart-warming to see the flowers laid at the Japanese embassy. I'm touched to see the Croatian support for Japan during their darkest hour.

30.03.2011. even now the Japanese government has donated 304 000 euros for demining 25 acres of farmland near Tenja ( Osijek ) . Until now, Japan has donated more than two million euros for demining plus lots of other things ... ordinary people do not forget ... Stipica



Open your eyes and think
User currently offlineCaptainRed From Germany, joined Oct 2010, 715 posts, RR: 21
Reply 6, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 11536 times:

Hi Gabrielchew,

great report. Also nice pictures of Croatia, reminds me of a trip that country a few years ago, where we went sailing to some of these islands you saw from the air, was a really wonderful trip.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Wonderful! Together with a Croatian beer, and a glass of water, this was a pretty good meal. Thumbs up to OU!

Indeed, looks great, certainly nice to get such a meal on an intra-European route. I have had one flight with Croatian a few years ago from FRA to SPU and back and it was a nice flight as well. But if I recall correctly we only got a cold meal that time.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
what made it even more annoying was that he was sat in the window seat, but had his window shade down…..grrrr.

Oh my, how I hate these people. Come on, if you don't want to look outside then get an aisle seat and leave the window seats to others.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
The sun was just rising as we rotated.

Wow, really like that picture.

Thanks again for sharing your trip with us and greetings
CaptainRed


User currently offlinePalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1223 posts, RR: 17
Reply 7, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 11517 times:

Hi Gabrielchew - great to see your latest report. Shame you got the same aircraft on the way back to LHR - one of my pet peeves too!!

Pula looks like a great place for a visit - thanks for the travel tip. Some nice sunrise views for you as well. Nice to see you were on a Dash 8 - 400. I am a big fan of the Dash 8 series! Thanks again, Palmjet



Eastern - Number One To The Sun
User currently offlineMEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4353 posts, RR: 35
Reply 8, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 11403 times:

Quoting initious (Reply 3):
This is what I have been wondering about the differences between flying a 2 hour flight in Asia compared to in Europe / USA. Normally cold meals are served in Europe / USA but the carriers in Asia (no matter full service or LCC) always tend to serve a hot meal, you can even get a hotel meal on AK from SIN-KUL, a 40 minute flight although you have to pay for it. Is a hot meal more significantly expensive than a cold meal?

In mainland Europe people usually have two cold means and only one hot meal a day so a cold meal with salad or sandwiches is much more acceptable, while in Asia people are used to have (only) hot meals and don't like sandwiches.
In the USA there are no (free) meals in coach left on domestic flights, even those of 5 hours.



nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From UK - England, joined Sep 2003, 5177 posts, RR: 55
Reply 9, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 11181 times:

Hi, gabrielchew,

really good to see something from and about Croatia here.

I will show you another one of the countries airports in a couple of weeks also on Croatian
and hopefully with a lounge visit.

Anyway interesting story and also local pictures, well done.

Well, London City and Antwerp, count me in!.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)



Next: London City connections!.
User currently onlinebananaboy From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 1586 posts, RR: 22
Reply 10, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 10866 times:

Thanks for the great trip report. It was wonderful to see PUY in a report as it holds special memories for me - I was a holiday rep and lived in Porec for 6 months. I was a regular at the airport - twice a week for six months haha. Was actually looking to see if I could recognise any of the staff members!

Have never flown OU but will definitely try to the next time I can travel to Croatia. Having flown JP, I think OU look to have the edge on in flight comfort and service.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
The friendly guy on the door started scanning my boarding pass before apologizing saying that I couldn’t come in as OU are only “part time” Star Alliance members. I think the correct terminology is a “Star Alliance Regional Member” or something. Either way, no lounge.
Quoting stipica (Reply 4):
“Star Alliance Regional Member” - no longer exists OU is integrated in full membership...
... with OU eco. ticket and FF status in M&M can enter in LH , OS , LX and LO business lounges or fully integrated partners of M&M ( JP,OU,LG,LH,OS,LX,LO) ... so no lounge ... you need a gold status for the bmi lounge

If you had a Star Alliance Gold card from any airline member, you were wrongly denied entrance to the BD lounge on your particular itinerary.

From the Star Alliance website....

Star Alliance Gold Customers Travelling in Any Class: Customers have access to any Star Alliance member carriers' owned lounges with the Star Alliance Gold logo at the entrance.
Customer must present a valid frequent flyer programme Star Alliance Gold level card
Customer must also present a boarding card for a same day Star Alliance flight departing from the local airport
Customer is entitled to one guest
Continental, United, and US Airways Star Alliance Gold customers may only access the Presidents Club, Red Carpet Club and US Airways Clubs within the U.S. when travelling in conjunction with a Star Alliance international flight.


Quoting Palmjet (Reply 7):
Pula looks like a great place for a visit - thanks for the travel tip.

Pula is a great city. September is, in my opinion, the best time to visit the area. There's lots of local festivals, usually around food, wine and sometimes art. Pula Amphitheatre also often has concerts and music festivals. The sea in the area will be nice and warm and great for swimming and hotel rates should be a little lower than July and August. Thoroughly worth a visit, but try and explore beyond Pula. Porec, Rovinj, Motovun & Lim Canal are a few off of the top of my head, and the drive from Pula to Opatija is one of the most scenic I have ever done.

Mark



All my life, I've been kissing, your top lip 'cause your bottom one's missing
User currently offlineSultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1771 posts, RR: 30
Reply 11, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 10708 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi gabrielchew,

Nice report of a somewhat exotic routing into the heart of Croatia. The meals you got, especially on the LHR-ZAG leg look very tasty. Good to see this carrier still takes good care of hungry passengers  
Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
without warming, reclined his seat full

Hmm, kinda selfish fellow traveller, not nice of him to do it this way... I have no problem with people reclining if they ask first and I myself usually don't recline on short haul flights except when there's is no one sitting behind me.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
through to international departures – big mistake!

That place indeed looks very uninviting...

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
between London City and Antwerp

Aha, Antwerp, my hometown, you are very welcome and enjoy your stay
  



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3339 posts, RR: 12
Reply 12, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 10670 times:

Thanks for all your replies so far!

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 2):
I must say this is one of the best Y meals served on intra-European flights I've seen amongst the TRs I've read! Definately thumbs up to OU!

Yes, OU have good catering. G&T (my normal flying drink) costs €2 though  
Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 2):
Your pictures of Croatia are beautiful
Quoting initious (Reply 3):

Overall, a very nice trip report from you once again and hope to see more of your masterpieces in the future!
Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 6):
great report.

Thanks!

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 2):

This is really a great goal to have! I hope you fulfil your resolution and I'll be looking forward to more TRs!

Well, we'll see how long I can kkep it up! I've amanged every month for quite a few years now, except for Jan 09 (I went on Eurostar then, so kind of counts!)

Quoting initious (Reply 3):

Puzzled about the lounge thing. I would have thought you are allowed into the lounge if you are flying a *A Airline, albeit a "regional" one?
Quoting bananaboy (Reply 10):

If you had a Star Alliance Gold card from any airline member, you were wrongly denied entrance to the BD lounge on your particular itinerary.
Quoting stipica (Reply 4):

“Star Alliance Regional Member” - no longer exists OU is integrated in full membership...
... with OU eco. ticket and FF status in M&M can enter in LH , OS , LX and LO business lounges or fully integrated partners of M&M ( JP,OU,LG,LH,OS,LX,LO) ... so no lounge ... you need a gold status for the bmi lounge

I only have Lufthansa Silver, and they have a special agreement with the bmi lounge in LHR, but it seems that OU is the only Miles and More airline excluded from their agreement for some reason.

Quoting stipica (Reply 4):

When you come to Split black risotto on me ....hehhehe

Thanks. Croatia has very good risottos!

Quoting stipica (Reply 4):
ZAG is in chaos with limited space but right now we have ongoing tender for the new terminal concession

Yes, it's a horrible departures area, and needs to be redone.

Quoting stipica (Reply 4):

Hvala od srca ...you make my day... Stipica

Glad you liked it!

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 7):
Nice to see you were on a Dash 8 - 400.

Yeah, they're not too bad - great acceleration!

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 7):
great to see your latest report.

Thanks

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 9):

Anyway interesting story and also local pictures, well done.

Thanks!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 9):

Well, London City and Antwerp, count me in!.

Yeah, I'm looking forward to this one - my first F50 flights

Quoting bananaboy (Reply 10):
It was wonderful to see PUY in a report as it holds special memories for me - I was a holiday rep and lived in Porec for 6 months. I was a regular at the airport - twice a week for six months haha. Was actually looking to see if I could recognise any of the staff members!

I imagine PUY has a lot of seasonal staff. it was like a ghost town when I was there. Better than ZAG though

Quoting bananaboy (Reply 10):
Pula is a great city. September is, in my opinion, the best time to visit the area. There's lots of local festivals, usually around food, wine and sometimes art. Pula Amphitheatre also often has concerts and music festivals. The sea in the area will be nice and warm and great for swimming and hotel rates should be a little lower than July and August. Thoroughly worth a visit, but try and explore beyond Pula. Porec, Rovinj, Motovun & Lim Canal are a few off of the top of my head, and the drive from Pula to Opatija is one of the most scenic I have ever done.

It's a really nice area - I'd love to go back in the summer, athough it was nice being the only tourist in town!

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 11):

Nice report of a somewhat exotic routing into the heart of Croatia. The meals you got, especially on the LHR-ZAG leg look very tasty. Good to see this carrier still takes good care of hungry passengers

yes, good food on OU

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 11):

That place indeed looks very uninviting...

It was awful, so busy

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 11):

Aha, Antwerp, my hometown, you are very welcome and enjoy your stay

I'll be there next weekend - hopefully the sun will be shining!



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently offlinedjb77 From UK - Scotland, joined Sep 2001, 243 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 10530 times:

Dear gabrielchew,
Thanks for the great report. The last time I travelled through Pula Airport was having spent a family vacation on the beach in Porec, in August 1990, when I was 13. We almost missed our flight back to Glasgow (on Aviogenex B727-200Adv!) because our Yugotours transfer bus broke down on the way to the airport. Anyway, to cut a long story short, we had to run through the airport and across the tarmac to the aircraft and all I remember were dark-red/burgundy check-in desks. Are they still there? (Bizarre question, I know!)
Three other things I vividly remember: Boarding via the ventrical air stairs (cool). Then, as we taxied to the runway, we had to stop, disarm one of the doors and let some hornets out that had invaded the cabin on the ground in Pula. And the other things were the cabin crew smoking in the front galley after the meal was served. The glamour of charter flights to Glasgow!
Thanks again
djb77


User currently offlinealespesl From Czech Republic, joined Jan 2004, 583 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 10360 times:

Great TR. I have bought the following ticket today BTS-ZAD-PUY-ZAG-DBV-ZAG-SPU-PRG on Danubewings/Croatia Airlines/Smartwings and now I see this TR. I cant wait for my flights. I am going in Aug.


Next Flight: Dec 06 PRG-WAW ATR72, Dec 07 WAW-PRG ATR42 with Czech Airlines.
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2487 posts, RR: 53
Reply 15, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 10349 times:

Hi gabrielchew,

What an inspiring report of yours. I have never been in Croatia before and your report has become an eye-opener for me. Thanks for sharing the charming city scenery of Zagreb and Pula. I can imagine that you wanted to stay longer there.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
I as delight to find a bar with tarmac views with pints for less than £4…

Wow, a hidden gem of T1! Can you share us the name of that particular bar?

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
You can imagine my surprise when the trolley to back to the back and I was handed this:

Impressive. As you have rightly pointed out, there are only few airlines offering such generous meal in Y on intra-European flights.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
what made it even more annoying was that he was sat in the window seat, but had his window shade down…..grrrr.

What a disgusting behavior!   

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
I left on the next Croatia Airlines bus for the city.

Is it complimentary? If not, can you book it along with your ticket?



Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Nasty! They could seriously do with a bit more space down here. I couldn’t believe that this was the entire departures area, together with a duty free shop. Not impressed!

Yikes, how it may look like during the summer season?   

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 2):
Totally reminded me of this woman on my KLM flight Iwho insisted she wanted to sit at the window seat, which was my seat but I relented.

Oh yes, I recall the moment from your video report. Do not give in anymore, Gavin!

Quoting stipica (Reply 5):
30.03.2011. even now the Japanese government has donated 304 000 euros for demining 25 acres of farmland near Tenja ( Osijek ) . Until now, Japan has donated more than two million euros for demining plus lots of other things ... ordinary people do not forget ... Stipica

What a moving detail, Stiptica. Thank you for sharing!

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineLazialeMKD From French Polynesia, joined Oct 2009, 152 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 10317 times:

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
and crossed my legs, knocking his seat pretty hard.

that's exactly what I am doing too when there is a person like that seating in front of me.
Great report all over...and Pula is always good to visit.


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3339 posts, RR: 12
Reply 17, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 10011 times:

Quoting djb77 (Reply 13):
The last time I travelled through Pula Airport was having spent a family vacation on the beach in Porec, in August 1990, when I was 13. We almost missed our flight back to Glasgow (on Aviogenex B727-200Adv!) because our Yugotours transfer bus broke down on the way to the airport. Anyway, to cut a long story short, we had to run through the airport and across the tarmac to the aircraft and all I remember were dark-red/burgundy check-in desks. Are they still there? (Bizarre question, I know!)

I think they've redone the colouir of the check in desks, although the departures area looked pretty vintage!

Quoting djb77 (Reply 13):
Thanks for the great report.
Quoting alespesl (Reply 14):
Great TR.
Quoting akhmad (Reply 15):

What an inspiring report of yours.
Quoting LazialeMKD (Reply 16):
Great report all over

Thanks!

Quoting alespesl (Reply 14):
I have bought the following ticket today BTS-ZAD-PUY-ZAG-DBV-ZAG-SPU-PRG on Danubewings/Croatia Airlines/Smartwings and now I see this TR. I cant wait for my flights. I am going in Aug.

Nice itinerary! Glad that my TR was of interest!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 15):


Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
I as delight to find a bar with tarmac views with pints for less than £4…

Wow, a hidden gem of T1! Can you share us the name of that particular bar?

Um, I can't remember the actual name, although it was in the left hand part of the departures area, on the left hand corner. I think it might have been a sports bar?

Quoting akhmad (Reply 15):


Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
I left on the next Croatia Airlines bus for the city.

Is it complimentary? If not, can you book it along with your ticket?

No, you have to pay, although it wasn't very expensive. They go every 30 mins during the day, and in the eveing are timed to connect to OU flights. They can't be bought together.

Quoting LazialeMKD (Reply 16):
that's exactly what I am doing too when there is a person like that seating in front of me.

Glad I'm not the only one!



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently offlineparton87 From Sweden, joined Sep 2008, 533 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 9851 times:

Hello Gabriel!

Thanks for a great story! Nice to see a report about Croatia Airlines, you don´t see many here. They looks like a good airline with a service

Greetings Robert


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3339 posts, RR: 12
Reply 19, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 9566 times:

Quoting parton87 (Reply 18):
Thanks for a great story!

Thanks!

Quoting parton87 (Reply 18):
They looks like a good airline with a service

Yes, OU are pretty good. I have no hesitation to flying with them again.



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6903 posts, RR: 77
Reply 20, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 9465 times:

Interesting report with nice destination pictures! OU offers a decent product, I would like to try it one day.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Having come back from Paris just 2 days earlier, (and paying around Euro 9 for a pint

What a rip-off!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
There was a nicely presented chicken roll with pasta in tomato sauce, together with a cream cheese salad, a cake, bread and butter, and a traditional Croatian paprenjak biscuit. Wonderful! Together with a Croatian beer, and a glass of water, this was a pretty good meal. Thumbs up to OU!

Amazing, that meal looks really good.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3339 posts, RR: 12
Reply 21, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 9204 times:

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 20):

What a rip-off!

Yeah, Paris was pretty expensive for beer. On the plus side, I realise now just how good value it is in London (and places like Croatia).



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Reply 22, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 8976 times:

Hi Gab,

Now that's a great report again. Croatia Airlines is not much covered here - I was looking at flying them domestically in Croatia as they have some cheap one way fares there, but not internally. But let's see, everything is still on the planning board. It looks like a great carrier with good service, that meal on LHR-ZAG looks excellent!

Some good shots of Croatia - I like the contrast between Zagreb, which looks a lot like Vienna and German cities and Pula, which again looks a lot like Italian cities. But of course this can be explained by historical reasons.

Nice shot of the SunAdria Fokker at ZAG, this is the same one I flew last summer when it was (very unexpectedly I might add!) operating for airBaltic (but then again any self respecting ACMI charter operator operated for airBaltic last summer...  ).

The Croatian coastline is amazingly rugged and beautiful.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 21):

Upcoming flights: ARN-MUC-FRA-BOG-FRA-MUC-HEL

Oh yay!


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3339 posts, RR: 12
Reply 23, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 8694 times:

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 22):

Now that's a great report again.

Thanks!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 22):
Croatia Airlines is not much covered here - I was looking at flying them domestically in Croatia as they have some cheap one way fares there, but not internally. But let's see, everything is still on the planning board. It looks like a great carrier with good service, that meal on LHR-ZAG looks excellent!

Well, domestically, the service isn't great with just a glass to water and a biscuit - still, it could be worse!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 22):

Nice shot of the SunAdria Fokker at ZAG, this is the same one I flew last summer when it was (very unexpectedly I might add!) operating for airBaltic (but then again any self respecting ACMI charter operator operated for airBaltic last summer... ).

It looked like it had been sitting there for a while - good to know that it occasionaly makes forrays to RIX!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 22):

Some good shots of Croatia - I like the contrast between Zagreb, which looks a lot like Vienna and German cities and Pula, which again looks a lot like Italian cities. But of course this can be explained by historical reasons.

Croatia is a really interesting country - very interesting architecture, and great food.



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently offlinephotoshooter From Belgium, joined Feb 2010, 454 posts, RR: 20
Reply 24, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 8597 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD SUPPORT

Hi gabrielchew,

first I want to say this trip report was very pleasant to read!
You did a great job with capturing such a combination.
Croatia is surely in my list *to see in Europe before seeing the rest*!
Also, nice to see an Avro Brussels airlines if you know what I mean  


Best regards,

Photoshooter



'A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.' - Winston Churchill
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3339 posts, RR: 12
Reply 25, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 8364 times:

Quoting photoshooter (Reply 24):

first I want to say this trip report was very pleasant to read!

Thanks!

Quoting photoshooter (Reply 24):

Croatia is surely in my list *to see in Europe before seeing the rest*!

Well, it's a great place to visit, and very good value.



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
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