Zagreb airport is about 10 kilometres away from the city. What I have learned from my stay here of four days, is that the road traffic can be rather unpredictable, so that the journey between the airport and the city can take anything between 25 minutes an over an hour. Luckily, today I don’t have far to go from the course venue to the terminal, and one of the controllers has kindly offered me a ride.
The terminal building is rather nice from the outside. Apparently, the waved roof is designed to remind the onlooker of a cloudy sky. The roof should originally have been made of glass, until somebody realised that the structure would not be able to support the weight of it.
Inside, the landside area and check-in are rather gloomy and dark. There’s also a lot of empty, wasted space – which gives the place a kind of half-finished appearance. Lighting is better once you go through security and passport control and access the airside area.
Check-in for Austrian Airlines is done by its Star Alliance partner Croatia Airlines.
Security is one floor up from check-in, on the mezzanine level. There’s even a separate Fast Track for Business Class passengers. It’s shame though that the young lady managing the queue has obviously decided to ignore the Fast Track queue. Eventually, I decide that it’s just easier and quicker for me to walk back the way I came and join the Economy Class queue… it’s all very classy of course.
The Primeclass Lounge Zagreb
Most airlines at Zagreb use the Primeclass lounge, the entrance to which is opposite gate 22. And it really is a very shabby lounge: ugly and mismatched furniture that is worn and damaged in places, no windows and plenty of fake, plastic plants. The food selection is limited to packaged sandwiches and salads, as well as cheese and meat boreg.
The lounge’s only redeeming feature is the funky pancake maker. I don’t try a pancake, but the machine fascinates me.
Boarding starts with a slight delay. Passengers in groups 1 (status holders) and 2 (Business Class) are invited to board first – which I don’t. The gate agents are friendly enough, but it still seems a bit odd that they’re both not wearing a uniform.
There are two rows of Business Class on today’s flight. I’m sat on row 2, so I can stow my luggage under the seat in case the overhead bins are already full by the time I board the aircraft – which they are.
Seat pitch on row two is good and the window is sufficiently well aligned with the seat to offer a view.
The flight time is announced as forty minutes. As soon as the fasten seatbelt sign is turned off, the crew jump into action to make sure they manage to feed everyone before we land again in Vienna.
The tray consists of a box of sandwiches and a refreshing towel. In addition, there is a full bar service that includes hot beverages.
The sandwiches are very tasty. There are three finger sandwiches filled with cream cheese, cucumber and pieces of mint.
To drink with that I have an Almdudler.
And just before landing, chocolates are offered.
We land slightly ahead of schedule. The ramp in Vienna looks rather empty and quiet. We make our way to our stand, and then I have two hours to make my onward connection to Basel.