An Air Serbia plane sits on the tarmac

The Complete Guide to Flying Air Serbia

Yana Frigelis

Yana Frigelis

June 16, 2023

17 min read

Table of Contents

Air Serbia’s fleet operates flights to over 70 destinations in Europe, the Mediterranean, North America, Asia, and Africa where you’ll spot a bright portrait of Nikola Tesla, a Serbian-American engineer and inventor, or Mihajlo Pupin, a Serbian scientist, featured on the tail of some of the aircrafts. The airline has been operating under its present name of Air Serbia since 2013 but is the successor of the first national airline in Belgrade established in 1927. 

Air Serbia is known as a good and safe airline with affordable, direct flights and an opportunity to experience the rising European capital city of Belgrade on layovers. Additionally, Air Serbia’s strategic partnerships with Etihad Airways and, more recently, its alliance with Qatar Airways have allowed the airline to expand its fleet with new, state-of-the-art aircrafts for international flights. Air Serbia’s long history, nod to authentic culture and cuisine, and direct, international flights to and from Serbia at affordable prices make it a competitive option when looking to hop the pond. 

What’s Air Serbia?

Air Serbia is the national carrier of the Republic of Serbia with its major operating hub being Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport (BEG). The airline began operations in 2013 as a result of the evolution and rebrands from previous local airlines, including Aeroput (founded in 1927), Yugoslav Airlines (founded in 1947), and Jat Airways (founded in 2003). Today, Air Serbia operates with a fleet of 21 aircrafts offering Economy seating and Business class. While Air Serbia is not part of a major airline alliance, it did sign a codeshare agreement with Qatar Airways in 2023. 

Rows of seats on Air Serbia plane

What we love about Air Serbia: 

  • Direct domestic and international flights to over 70 destinations in Europe, North America, Asia, and Africa
  • Free carry-on and checked baggage allowances (varies by class)
  • Excellent food with traditional dishes—like gibanica (a phyllo cheese pie), beetroot salad, and roasted pork with mashed potatoes—along with international options
  • When a flight is canceled, passengers are entitled to a voucher totaling the original cost of the ticket plus an extra 10% of the net fare, fuel tax, and ancillary costs, such as advanced seat reservations and special meals 

What we don’t love about it:

  • Staff service attention can be inconsistent
  • Airport service standards at the Belgrade airport are inconsistent for staff friendliness and efficiency
  • Economy passengers on short haul flights have to purchase food if they want it (business class has complimentary catering)
  • Refunds can be slow 

Some examples of deals Going has found on Air Serbia

  • Mistake Fare: New York to Cairo for $330 roundtrip
  • Nonstop Chicago or Newark to Barcelona for $489 roundtrip
  • Business class New York to Zagreb, Belgrade, and other Balkan cities for $1,183 roundtrip

About Air Serbia

  • Founded in: 1927 in Belgrade
  • Hub cities: Belgrade
  • Fleet: 21 (10 Airbus A319, 2 Airbus A320, 2 Airbus A330, 1 ATR 72-200, 6 ATR 72-600)
  • Subsidiaries: Aviolet Airlines, Air Serbia Ground Services, Air Serbia Catering
  • CEO: Jiri Marek
  • Alliance: None
  • Nonstop routes: 70+ destinations in Europe, North America, Asia, and Africa 
  • Safety rating: Air Serbia has been awarded the highest ranking for safety with 7 stars from the world’s only safety and product rating agency
  • Nationality: Serbian
  • Domestic classes of service: Economy and Business
  • International classes of service: Economy and Business
  • Website 
  • Twitter 
  • Wikipedia 
  • Customer Service 
  • Air Serbia Flight Status 

A brief history of Air Serbia

Air Serbia is the national airline of the Republic of Serbia and the successor of the first national airline, Aeroput, established in Belgrade in 1927.

Aeroput was banned in 1942 due to WWII. Thereafter, Yugoslav Airlines, more commonly referred to as JAT, launched in 1947 with the first post-war routes. At the time, JAT had one international route of Belgrade-Prague-Warsaw, but in 1971, JAT became a member of the Association of European Airlines, expanding its international routes to include Chicago, Toronto, New York, Singapore, and more over the next several years. The early 1990s marked a difficult period in history for former-Yugoslavia and, in turn, a crisis for JAT. The war and sanctions put downward pressure on the national airline, making it difficult to find a strategic partner. In 2003, JAT transformed into Jat Airways and went on to become one of the first airlines to obtain an IATA safety certificate. 

In 2013, United Arab Emirates, Etihad Airways, Jat Airways, and the Government of the Republic of Serbia announced a strategic partnership, leading to a rebrand of Jat Airways as Air Serbia. In 2016, Air Serbia took its first transatlantic service between Belgrade and New York after a break of 24 years.

In January 2023, Air Serbia signed a codeshare agreement with Qatar Airways. As of May 2023, Air Serbia reports that it does not have plans to join the OneWorld alliance, which Qatar is a part of, or any other alliance. However, the codeshare agreement enables travelers to enjoy more seamless travel between Belgrade and Doha, as well as to other international destinations, including Sydney and Ho Chi Minh City. 

Air Serbia is also a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).  

Where Air Serbia flies

Passengers can connect to Air Serbia’s European flights from Belgrade, which serve major European destinations year round: 

  • Amsterdam
  • Athens
  • Barcelona
  • Berlin
  • Brussels
  • Bucharest
  • Budapest
  • Copenhagen
  • Lisbon
  • London (Heathrow)
  • Madrid
  • Oslo
  • Paris
  • Prague
  • Rome
  • Vienna
  • Zurich

Beginning May 17th, 2023, Air Serbia’s international flights from Belgrade also allow passengers to fly directly to major US cities year round: 

  • Chicago
  • New York

Seasonally, Air Serbia also serves: 

  • Bari 
  • Dubrovnik
  • Palma de Mallorca
  • Pula 
  • Rijeka
  • Salzburg
  • Split
  • Trieste
  • Zadar

Air Serbia’s hubs

Air Serbia’s sole hub is Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport. 

Tips for booking an Air Serbia flight

Air Serbia fare types

Air Serbia offers two main fare types—Economy and Business—as well as additional fare subtypes depending on the route. For passengers flying to Europe or the Middle East, fare types include Economy Light, Economy Standard, Economy Comfort, and Business All-Inclusive. 

  • Economy Light: Ideal for short trips and the best rates, allowed one piece of hand luggage, option of ancillary services for a fee
  • Economy Standard: Ideal for travelers with slightly more luggage looking for more comfort, allowed one piece of hand luggage and one checked bag, change travel dates for a fee, choice of ancillary services for an additional fee
  • Economy Comfort: Ideal for travelers with more luggage and looking for more flexibility and comfort, advance seat selection, airport check-in, range of ancillary services available 
  • Business All-Inclusive: Ideal for business travelers looking for maximum comfort, access to premium lounge, two pieces of hand luggage and two pieces of checked baggage free, priority check-in and boarding, access to fast track at the airport and ancillary services

For travel to the US, China, and other markets, Air Serbia offers Economy Deal, Economy Saver, Economy Value, and Economy Freedom fare types, as well as Business Value and Business Freedom. The fare type you choose determines whether you have access to advance seat selection; how much hand baggage and checked baggage you get free of charge; change, refund, and upgrade policies; check-in and boarding priority; lounge access; and more. 

Business class on Air Serbia

Baggage fees on Air Serbia

Air Serbia offers free baggage allowance depending on your route, class of travel, tariff, and Etihad Guest membership tier. 

  • Carry-on bag: Each passenger with a seat assignment gets a free carry-on (17 lb/8 kg, 40 × 23 × 55 cm maximum). You can travel with an additional personal item, like a purse or laptop bag, which should be placed under the seat in front of you. The personal item should not exceed 8 lb/4 kg. You can also bring one duty-free shopping bag from the airport and any medical devices or medication. For those flying Business class, you’re allowed two pieces of hand luggage per passenger.
  • Checked bag: Free baggage allowance varies depending on your route, class of travel, tariff, and Etihad Guest membership tier. All destinations, excluding flights between Belgrade and New York, offer one free checked bag up to 50 lb/23 kg for those flying Economy. For Business class passengers, you’re allowed two free checked bags up to 70 lb/32 kg. Bags from 50-70 lb can be checked for a higher fee. Bags over 70 lb are not accepted. For flights between Belgrade and New York, both Economy and Business class offer two free checked bags, each up to 50 lb and 70 lb respectively. 

Seat selection fees on Air Serbia

For select fare types, Air Serbia charges fees for advanced seats. If you choose not to have seats assigned in advance, they will be randomly assigned at check-in, and Air Serbia cannot guarantee passengers in a party will be seated together unless you choose an advanced seat assignment. 

Children will be seated next to at least one adult in their reservation if their seats are not chosen in advance, but other adults on the reservation may be seated elsewhere. 

On the Airbus A330, a standard seat pitch is 32”. Air Serbia offers standard, priority, and extra legroom seating, except on ATR aircrafts.

Seat selection fees are applicable for each individual flight and vary by route, class of travel, tariff, and Etihad Guest membership tier. Prices range from about $4-$70, depending on whether you book a standard, priority, or extra-legroom seat. 

Seat selection is free for:

• All Business class passengers

• Select Etihad Guest tiers in Economy 

• Economy Comfort fare passengers (standard seats only)

• Economy Saver, Value, and Freedom passengers (standard seats only) 

Otherwise, seats are randomly assigned at check-in. 

Fees on Air Serbia

Air Serbia has fees for various add-ons and services, including carry-on baggage, checked baggage, seat selection, food, and Wifi access. 

  • Carry-on baggage: One free carry-on and personal item per passenger with a seat assignment in Economy. For those flying Business class, you’re allowed two pieces of hand luggage per passenger free of charge.
  • Checked bag: Two bags per passenger free. Size and weight allowances vary by fare type.
  • Seat selection: From $4 for select fare types
  • Food: Free water and snacks on all Air Serbia flights. For Business class, Air Serbia offers complimentary meals adapted to the length of flight. For all European flights longer than 1.5 hours, passengers receive breakfast and lunch. On international flights between Belgrade and the US, Air Serbia offers a varied menu, both for Economy and Business class, with nods to traditional Serbian and international cuisines with an extensive spirit selection. Economy passengers can also purchase food in-flight for routes that do not include meal service (typically within the EU and Serbia).
  • Wifi: Air Serbia offers Wifi via its Wi-Fly service. Several data and price packages are available, ranging from $6-$16.

What it’s like flying on Air Serbia

Checking in

You can check in for your Air Serbia flight at the airport, and unless prohibited by local regulation, Air Serbia offers online check-in up to 48 hours prior to departure. You can check in online to receive a printable or mobile boarding pass, then drop off any checked baggage at an Air Serbia check-in counter. If you are traveling without checked luggage, you can proceed directly to your departure gate. 

Air Serbia lounge

Lounge access

Air Serbia offers over 600 lounges at 350 airports worldwide. You can book a lounge pass a minimum of 24 hours prior to your flight at any of the airport lounges in the lounge pass network. If you’re traveling in Business class or if you’re an Etihad Guest Gold or Platinum member, you have full access to Air Serbia’s lounges around the world. 

Inside Air Serbia lounge


Carry-on baggage is monitored at the gate. Remember: One duty-free shopping bag acquired in the airport, medications, and medical equipment do not count toward the personal item or carry-on limit. 

Air Serbia offers priority boarding for about $7, allowing you to be the first to take your seat and enjoy a stress-free start to your trip. For Business class passengers and Air Serbia Etihad Guest Gold or Platinum members, priority boarding is free. 

Flying Air Serbia in economy class

For long haul flights, Air Serbia’s Airbus A330 is composed of 236 Economy seats and 21 Business class seats. Economy Standard seats have a seat pitch of 32” of legroom. This is comparable with long haul flights on most other major airlines, including United Emirates, Etihad Airways, and Turkish Airlines, and significantly more than most domestic flights in the US.

Long haul flights feature seatback entertainment, with hundreds of movies, TV programs, and music in English, Serbian, and other international languages. Each seat also has personal charging points and USB, as well as a dedicated personal storage area next to it. Both Economy and Business class have access to the airline’s Sky Au Pairs nanny service, which means that cabin crew who are specially trained can take care of children for the duration of the flight. 

When it’s time to eat, you can choose from two main menu options and select complimentary beverages from the bar cart, which includes wine, beer, spirits, and non-alcoholic options. Air Serbia’s food is known for its nod to both international and traditional Serbian cuisine. The airline is also introducing a new in-flight dining menu for flights to and from New York on the A330 that are inspired by Nikola Tesla’s diet regimen. The menu, available for both economy and business class passengers, was inspired by Tesla’s childhood, his student days, and his life in New York and was created in collaboration with chef Zoran Mišković. (You can find the Tesla meals marked with the letter “T” for “Tesla’s way”.) 

Amenity kit on Air Serbia

Flying Air Serbia in business class

Air Serbia passengers flying Business class can navigate through the entire airport process with ease while escaping the crowds. You’ll receive access to exclusive passenger lounges at Air Serbia’s network airports, or if traveling from Belgrade, you can enjoy the comfort of Air Serbia’s flagship Premium Lounge, where you can enjoy coffee and pastries along with a wide variety of international or Serbian cuisine. While the lounges are simpler in comparison to other, competitor lounges, the space is comfortable and sleek, allowing for relaxation or catching up on work before the next flight.

Once seated on the plane, you’ll be greeted with a hot towel and choice of champagne or fresh juice. Shortly after take-off, you’ll be offered another beverage and warm nuts. Dining in Business isn’t limited to meal times—it's available anytime through the all-day dining menu. Enjoy a taste of Serbian hospitality prepared with quality ingredients via an a la carte menu. There’s a selection of starters, three main courses, desserts, sandwiches and snacks, and a wide selection of drinks including wine, beer, spirits, and refreshments.

Aside from a full-size pillow, blanket, amenity kits, and noise-canceling headphones, Business class passengers, through the seatback entertainment, can watch hundreds of movies and shows, both Serbian and international. To keep up with what’s going on around the world, you can also request international and Serbian newspapers and magazines. 

For Business class passengers traveling to and from New York, two pieces of 70-lb luggage are included in the ticket fare. 

Meal service on Air Serbia

Tips for flying Air Serbia

How to use a credit/voucher on Air Serbia

In order to redeem your credit or voucher on Air Serbia, contact the airline’s call center (available from 7am-11pm) or by visiting any of its offices.

How to change your flight on Air Serbia

You can change flights on Air Serbia using the Manage my Booking page where you can make changes up to two hours before any flight. There are change fees on certain fares, and some fares are nonrefundable. If you’ve booked a flight with a connection to another airline, changes to that portion of the flight need to be made through the partner airline. 

You can make changes to the date of your flight from the US for a fee of $200 -$400; for travel to the US, fees can range from about $100-$300. Fare difference may apply based on availability.

Those who rebook to a flight that has a lower fare than their original fare will not receive a credit or refund for the difference. Under normal circumstances (or currently for flights changed less than one hour prior to departure), a change fee applies to each person and each flight being changed, plus the applicable fare difference. 

How to get a refund on Air Serbia 

If you’re looking to obtain a refund from Air Serbia, you will need to fill out a form to confirm you are the ticket owner. As soon as your credit voucher request is processed successfully, you will receive a confirmation email with the exact redeemable amount that your credit voucher is valid for. If you do not receive an email, you should contact [email protected] directly to check on your request.  

What if Air Serbia changes your flight day or time? 

In the event of a schedule change, you can rebook alternate flights to the same destination and within the same travel class by logging into your Air Serbia account and changing your reservation to another Air Serbia flight. If you are unable to find a suitable alternative flight, you can request a refund for your ticket. By EU regulations, flight changes within 14 days of departure are considered delays or cancellations. 

For flights rescheduled by more than three hours, here are your options: 

  • Choose another flight: Pick a new Air Serbia destination within the network and the same mileage group (excluding New York City) within seven days on either end of your original departure date
  • Voucher refund: Apply to receive a voucher for the original cost of your flight plus 10% of the original fare, fuel tax, and ancillary costs. Read the terms and conditions and fill out the form here. The voucher is valid one year from the date of issuance and can be redeemed for any Air Serbia–operated flight for a travel date within the voucher validity.
  • Cash refund: Get a full refund to the original form of payment

What if Air Serbia cancels your flight?

If your flight is canceled, Air Serbia will automatically contact you to let you know what your options are. Free of charge, you can change your travel date by seven days on either end of your original flight date; you can also change your destination to another city within the Air Serbia network as long as the mileage is comparable to your original flight. 

Alternatively, you are entitled to a voucher for the value of your original ticket plus 10% of the original fare, fuel tax, and ancillary costs if your flight gets canceled. The voucher is valid one year from the date of issuance. To use the voucher, you must visit the nearest Air Serbia office or call Air Serbia’s contact center.

How can I contact Air Serbia? 

You can contact Air Serbia via the airline’s website or its country-designated toll free phone numbers. Find Air Serbia on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, or email customer service directly at [email protected]

Read more about some of the lesser-known airlines we find great cheap flights on: 

Frequently asked questions about Air Serbia

Is Air Serbia a good airline?
Yes, Air Serbia is considered a good airline. SkyTrax gives it a 3-star rating for the quality of its airport, onboard product, and staff service. Product rating includes seats, amenities, food and beverages, cleanliness, and more, while the service rating is for both cabin and ground staff.
Is Air Serbia a safe airline?
While US authorities have no direct safety oversight of foreign-flagged carriers, Air Serbia has been awarded the highest ranking for safety with 7 stars from the world’s only safety and product rating agency In addition, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reviews assessments of how each country certifies and oversees its flagged carriers by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Based on these assessments, the FAA has rated Air Serbia’s aviation oversight Category 1, meaning their aviation safety and oversight programs are consistent with international standards.
How strict is Air Serbia with carry-on sizes?
Air Serbia’s baggage allowance is fairly generous. Carry-on baggage is not typically weighed unless it looks significantly larger than the allowance.
Can you change an Air Serbia flight for free?
You can make changes to the date of your flights for travel from the US for a fee of about $200-$400. For travel to the US, fees can range from about $100-$300. Fare difference may apply based on availability.
What’s the average legroom on Air Serbia?
On the Airbus A330, a standard seat pitch is 32”. However, Air Serbia offers standard, priority, and extra-legroom seating, except on ATR aircrafts.
How can I contact Air Serbia?
You can contact Air Serbia via the airline’s website or its country-designated toll free phone numbers. Find Air Serbia on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, or email customer service directly at [email protected].
Yana Frigelis

Yana Frigelis

Freelance Writer

Yana Frigelis is the founder of NoMad Luxuries, focusing on her passion for travel, hospitality, and interiors. She lives in Greece where she plans Mediterranean travel for Le Sirene Travel and sources for her concept shop, The NoMad Edit. Yana shares her expat life abroad in esteemed travel publications such as BBC Travel, YOLO, Departures, and AFAR.

Published June 16, 2023

Last updated December 21, 2023

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