Ok, so from where we were staying it was much closer to ZAD (Zadar) than to drive 2.5 hours back to Split, so we flew out of ZAD. ZAD is very small but looks very modern; it must have been rebuilt after the war. Got there at 6am for our 7am flight to ZAG. Although it looks modern, there are NO computers so you are checked in by hand and your baggage tags are hand written. I hoped maybe with the handwritten tags, my bags would not get lost this time. So we proceeded through security, which was VERY tight. I got a full pat down, baggage search and everything. Sitting out on the tarmac was a single Croatia Airlines ATR 42, which I assumed, according to our itinerary was our plane. Come 7am, no announcements at all. By 8am I see an A319 land and we are ushered onto it. Again, no accouchements like “this is the flight to Zagreb,” since there is only one flight out of ZAD in the morning I guess this was ok. Flight time would be a quick 30 mins.
We had a 6 hour layover in ZAG so we checked in for the next flight to LHR and took the bus into the city to do a little sight seeing.
06 Jan 2003
OU 490 ZAG-LHR
Ok, so after getting back to the airport I happened to be standing near the info desk and was looking at the employees computer screen that identified our flight as a Bae146 and not the A319 scheduled. This was cool I thought as we would get to ride the one 146 Croatia has on lease from flightline, that we were supposed to ride ZAG-SPU. Now here’s where it gets interesting. The 146 Croatia has is G-OZRH
an all white plane with the words “flightline” on them. Mind you, we did see G-OZRH when we were in ZAG the week before, painted in Croatia’s livery. From where I was seated at the window, I was able to look into the “workings” of the wing when the flaps were lowered and raised, which was cool. Flight time was a long 3 hours due to single runway operation at LHR. The captain of the flight was British and not Croatian like all the other flights on OU, but the cabin crew were Croatian. Does Croatian lease the pilots along with the planes? The captain was very talkative and gave us regular updates about what was outside, etc. He said a few times how great it was the flight was full and how it’s really good for Croatia Airlines.
In fact, ALL of our OU flights were very full. Even cooler, 3 equipment switches over the course of 4 OU flights!
06 Jan 2003
VS 9 LHR-JFK
By the time we were able to check in for VS at the transfer desks, there were no “good” seats left on the crowded 744. 63GH is one row from the last and we had an isle an inside 4 section. By this time we were REALLY tired and I wanted to sleep BUT the plane had the new v-port system which is just so cool. On-demand 50 movies, 50 tv shows, cds, games against other passengers, etc. We took off about 2 hours late due to xfer passengers from Lagos that checked in but didn’t board, so they first tried to find them then simply unloaded their bags. We were served a yummy chicken thing, VERY yummy mango ice cream bar mid-flight and then a chicken sandwich before landing I just couldn’t eat from being so tired. Flight time was a quick 7 hours and we landed at JFK in light snow. It took over 1 hour to clear customs and catch a cab and by the time I got home I had been awake for 30 hours, not a fun feeling.
Overall a FUN trip with 6 flights. VS gets good grades for onboard entertainment systems but BAD grades for luggage handling, outbound food from the US, and horrible seat pitch/seat comfort.
OU gets good grades for nice planes, friendly crews, etc.
Continental From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5485 posts, RR: 20 Reply 1, posted (10 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 3584 times:
Great Report. First, the flightline BaE 146 is a wetlease, meaning they lease the plane and the pilots. 2nd, were you visiting Croatia!? I love Croatia! I am there a lot, I visit all my relatives on the island of Cres (about 30 min from Rijeka). Did you see the underground mall in Zagreb!? That place is awesome! I really like Zagreb, but I'm only there fora night usually, then continue on to Cres for about a month.
Pshifrin From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 252 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (10 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3558 times:
First time I've been to Croatia. For 8 days we were in a small town called Nin about 20 minutes from Zadar. We were in Zagreb for only a few hours on Monday because of a 6 hour layover. Unfortunatley, almost everything was closed due to the Catholic Holiday.
Stretch 8 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 2561 posts, RR: 17 Reply 3, posted (10 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3535 times:
Excellent report. I have made several trips to Croatia and Bosnia in recent years, and have generally been inpressed with OU. next time you go, try and visit Dubrovnik. It is beautiful; the Dalmatian coastline of Croatia is one of the best-kept secrets in Europe.
Maggs swings, it's a drive deep to left! The Tigers are going to the World Series!!!
Continental From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5485 posts, RR: 20 Reply 4, posted (10 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3494 times:
Strecth 8: Damn straight, it is beautiful! On the island where my relatives live (Cres), it is beautiful! Pine tree forests, Lake Vrana (lake that is below sealevel, only one in world), aqua water, I LOVE GOING THERE!
Airchabum From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 769 posts, RR: 11 Reply 5, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 3471 times:
Great report. Don't know whether you forgot to write it or just missed it on the day but your VS flt was on G-VBIG which is one of 2 744's with the new IFE. Glad you liked the V:port system; apologies for the crap legroom though!
Re the 146, Flightline will substitute other a/c when G-OZRH is on maintenance or whatever. I flew on 'NT many times when I worked for Dan-Air...nice to see it still earning its keep!
Pshifrin From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 252 posts, RR: 0 Reply 6, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 3477 times:
Thanks so much for the reg. lookup. To be honest by the time we got to the gate for VS 009 I was so freaking tired I couldn't be bothered to look. But I was so excited about the v:port that I used it the whole way over and lost even more sleep!
NT was a great little plane, really enjoyed the flight.