Austrian Airlines represents the ultimate dilemma for me when it comes to the 777 in business class. The onboard cuisine is simply spectacular and the special coffee menu is something very dear to my heart. But is it worth a dated business class seat and no wireless internet onboard? Let’s review my Vienna to Chicago flight in Austrian Airlines Business Class onboard the 777-200ER.
Austrian Airlines 777-200ER Business Class Review
I was far more excited to book Austrian for the onboard coffee than anything else.
Award space is much easier to come across in advance than at the last-minute on Austrian Airlines. Thankfully award space was wide open on my (surprisingly empty) flight from Vienna to Chicago and I was able to confirm a ticket just a few days in advance. If booking using your points on a nonstop VIE-ORD route, expect to pay:
- 70,000 Air Canada Aeroplan miles
- 63,000 Avianca LifeMiles
- 77,000 United MileagePlus miles
Government taxes run about $60, far better than out of France, Germany, or the United Kingdom.
Unlike booking directly with Miles & More, there will be no fuel surcharge passed on for any of the three options above.
Austrian has a special check-in area for Star Alliance Gold and business class travelers at Vienna International Airport. We had no wait to check-in (we had actually successfully checked in using the Austrian Airlines mobile app, but my friend was checking a bag so we had to stop by the desk).
With boarding passes in hand, we proceeded to priority security where we breezed through and were soon in the Schengen Austrian Lounge. At the time, the non-schengen Lounge in the G Gate area (review here) was closed, but has since re-opened.
Boarding for out 10:45AM flight was scheduled to commence at 10:00AM, but did not start until 10:14AM.
Austrian Airlines 65
Vienna (VIE) – Chicago (ORD)
Tuesday, July 20
Duration: 9hr, 50min
Distance: 4,715 miles
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200ER
Seat: 3A (Business Class)
Stepping onboard, the purser gave me a warm greeting in German…a sign of good things to come onboard.
The Austrian Airlines 777-200ER cabin includes a total of 40 seats in a staggered configuration. These Thompson Vantage seats are similar to what you find on SWISS (and other airlines including Delta and JetBlue). Seats alternate between a 1-2-1 configuration in odd-numbered rows and a 2-2-2 configuration in even-numbered rows.
Tip: Choose an odd-numbered A or K seat in rows 1, 3, 5, or 7 if you wish to secure a more private “throne” seat
Seat pitch is 40 inches and when fully reclined the bed is 78 inches. The seat is 20 inches wide. In all honesty, this is probably my least favorite lie-flat business class seat. I generally struggle to sleep in these seats, finding them a bit claustrophobic since so much of your legs and feet are (quite literally) under the seat in front of you (the footwell is more like a leg well).
That said, it is perfectly comfortable for a day-time flight and manageable for an overnight flight.
I chose seat 3A, a single seat that is both an aisle and window seat (a “throne” seat).
Seats are controlled by a console module and include adjutants for the firmness of the cushion and a massage function.
Also on the seat console: a power port and snake reading light.
The seat has limited personal storage – just a small pocket in the console for passports or phones and a netted container intended for shoes near the floor.
Tip: Row 8 is a mini-cain – the rear business class cabin (as on KLM) has only one row of seats, so is ideal for a family with children.
Austrian does not have individual air vents on the 777 and the bedding, a blue and white checkered cotton blanket is too small and warm to get comfortable in. I’m going to be charitable and primarily blame the coffee, but the poor bedding and lack of air vents certainly do not help.
IFE + Wi-Fi
Amazingly for 2022, Austrian Airlines does not offer wi-fi onboard its longhaul fleet of 767 and 777 aircraft. While less of a problem on an eastbound overnight flight to Vienna, on a longer westbound daytime flight this is really problematic. The nine-hour flight took place during my work day and I had to get up at 4:00AM to get my work done before the flight in a far less efficient way than if I was able to connect during the flight.
The inflight entertainment library featured about 120 movies as well as television programing, games, and music.
Flight attendant call light featured a female-appearing FA, which is rare these days.
With little to do and the cabin too warm to sleep, I actually watched movies between meals (something I do not do much any more):
In that sense, it was nice to have a break. There was one movie that I found quite moving and was based upon a true story. Persischstunden (Persian Lessons) are about a Jewish prisoner in a German labor camp who pretends to be Persian in order to survive but is then tasked with teaching one of the camp’s commanding officers the Persian language.
Noise cancelling headphones are provided and are quite inferior to Lufthansa Business Class.
Anyway, I hope that as Austrian renews its longhaul fleet, it will add high-speed wireless internet.
At least I could still look at my window. The takeoff from Vienna was beautiful:
The Austrian-branded amenity kit was made of suede with a red leather zipper handle.
- Toothbrush + toothpaste
- WienerBlut lip balm + facial moisturizer
A very basic amenity kit, but I did like the case and use it in the kitchen to store clothes pins…
Food + Drink
Prepare to enjoy a feast on Austrian Airlines. Austrian uses Do & Co catering and the menu features a rich array of high-quality Austrian food plus an extensive coffee menu.
Menus were distributed prior to takeoff. Lunch choices included fillet of pork in a creamy mushroom sauce with horseradish dumplings and bacon, Viennese-style chicken in red pepper sauce with spaetzle or paccheri in tomato sauce. I wanted all three!
Meal service began with a moist towelette…not as nice as a hot towel, but it had a refreshing scent.
Appetizer choices were a smoked salmon tartar or burrata with tomatoes, basil, and balsamic vinegar. The appetizer was really delicious and beautifully presented. Delicious crusty dark bread was served with it. This was a meal in itself.
My friend ordered the salmon tartar and liked it as well:
To drink, I ordered an Austrian sparkling rosé (Schlumberger Brut) which was no Cristal, but still very acceptable.
My main course, served with a side salad, was a huge portion. It included two pork medallions and dumplings. Pork is mean to be more well-done than beef, which makes it a relative safe choice. The flavor was amazing.
My friend ordered the pasta and gave it high praise:
The feast continued with a three course dessert, including:
- almond tart
- cheese and crackers
- fresh fruit
What a lovely display and what a deliciously decadent treat.
Austria is a nation known for its coffee culture and Austria Airlines embraces that with a special coffee menu onboard. Regular readers know of my love for coffee, so this represented the highlight of the flight.
Along with dessert, I enjoyed an Eiskaffee, which is double espresso with with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. It was perfect.
I also ordered a cappuccino, which was perfect. The coffee is from Julius Meinl.
I love the gold-handled cups.
My friend enjoyed his latte.
After the pre-arrival service, I enjoyed a Weiner Melange, which black coffee with hot milk and foamed milk. I prefer the cappuccino, but did want to try to “regular” coffee.
I followed that with a straight black coffee.
(to say I was wired would be an understatement)
If you love coffee, you will love Austrian Airlines business class.
Although I was not hungry, self-serve beverages and crackers were available as a mid-flight snack to business class passengers.
A hot meal was served 90 minutes before landing. Choices were Leberkäse (literally liver cheese, but there is neither ingredient – it is a meatloaf) or red prawn curry.
I ordered the meatloaf It was served with more hot bread, a salad, panna cotta, and of course coffee for dessert.
Another delicious meal.
Seriously, the food on Austrian is amongst the best in the world when it comes to business class carriers (I hear economy class food is also not bad). I give Austrian very high marks for this and would rate it second in Europe only to Turkish Airlines (which also uses Do&Co for catering).
Basic Boeing 777 lavatories onboard that were clean and featured shaving kits and L’Occitane soap.
Service was outstanding on this flight. The purser was hands-on in the sense that he was very involved in the service and also quite friendly. We chatted about the airline industry and he took very good care of my friend and me. His female colleagues were also very kind and attentive.
This was only my second Austrian long haul flight (the first being a 767-300 from Beijing to Vienna), but I appreciated great service by the crew members on both flights.
There was incident onboard that began at the gate in Vienna and flared upon landing in Chicago. I’m not going to rehash it in this trip report, but you can read all about it here. Flight attendants handled it well.
> Read More: Unhinged Father Curses Out Passenger Who Complained About His Out-Of-Control Child On My Austrian Airlines Flight
The flight left me with a dilemma. I loved the service, the food, and the coffee onboard. But the seat is not my favorite and I find the bedding and lack of wi-fi a big problem. Thus, I’d be much more comfortable flying Austrian on a daytime flight from Vienna to the USA than in another direction. Overall, I still love Austrian Airlines and find the coffee menu outstanding.
I managed to book a seat within 24 hours last morning on the reverse Chicago => Vienna route. Coffee & meals were excellent, and I slept (as usual) from dinner to breakfast on a 767-300 so on these eastbound Europe flights the tighter seats don’t matter to me at all
Glad you had a great flight.
Nice review. I have OS tied with SK for my favorite Star Alliance business class products across the Atlantic. OS has a bit better food (Austrian cuisine is more to my tastes than Scandinavian) but SK has better seats. They both blow United, Lufthansa, and Swiss out of the water.
Your meal service seems a bit reduced than before COVID. They used to have an appetizer cart with all kinds of options including various salads, soup, charcuterie, etc. Hopefully that returns some day.
You are correct. I should have mentioned that the carts (and soup) still have not returned.
Also, masks are still required onboard.
For Star Alliance, I disagree with SK, it’s average at best (sometimes hit or miss), and I prefer LX, AC, OS, TK (if going to Greece or Eastern Europe). I’d even rank LO over SK. Then LH-TP at the bottom.
This will be a fun post. I’d put LO at the bottom. Then LH then TP. I like SK catering and the seat.
I don’t get the excitement over meatloaf and a scoop of ice cream in coffee in biz class,the curry is the PE dinner choice.BTW, BA and LO now use DO &CO as well.
This looks like a great flight. I love Austrian J. I hear you about the seats. Wi-fi isnt a concern for me as I never pay for it onboard an aircraft and can live without. That said, they have made some changes to the menu since my last trip on Austrian – which was in January 2020 on Vienna – washington. There doesnt appear to be a soup course between the appetizers and the main anymore. that was nice. And when I have flown it before the flight attendants have rolled a huge cart out with the fruit and desserts and cheeses, and they carved slices for you and individually plated those items – here it looks pre plated? Even so, this still looks great and delicious and of course it’s essential that they keep the coffee selections. I look forward to my next opportunity to fly them in J longhaul! Thanks for the great report!
I’m also sad the elaborate trolley service and soup is gone. Hopefully it will return at some point. At least the coffee menu remains!
They really like triangles
Great report; I am going now to find something to eat! In ORD is the train from T5 to the other terminals finally up and running?
The train is running again!
I like how they’re serving food items people might actually order if they were on your ground. Pork and Leberkäse sound so much more appealing than short rib and turkey pastrami
Jerry, we should start an airline that serves Kenny Rogers Roasters!
Or Taco Bell…
You never know. Taco Bell did open a hotel recently…
I’m so bummed I missed that hotel and Palm Springs is just a couple hours away.
Flying an airline that serves Taco Bell to PSP to stay at the TB themed hotel. Who needs the Malidives… This has honeymoon written all over it!
On a recent KLM TATL business class flight they served what they called tacos – though it was actually some sort of indonesian cheese dish (and was very good).
And muffin tops!
And chocolate babka!
Just to make sure I have it right…was this flight from last August? Because the link to “2021’s father of the year” was from last August.
Regardless…flew OS from VIE to EWR early last August in F…took the throne seat up front (1A)? Loved every minute of it…especially the eiswein!
Correct – this is from last summer. I’m working through my “Summer in 2021 Trip Report” right now. The reason for the delay was trip after trip after trip which delayed this extended report of my month in Germany last year. Having consulted with a friend who just flew OS again, nothing has changed. The cart service has still not returned.
So was your “friend” able to sit still on this flight, or was she strutting her stuff like on the prior leg from Frankfurt?
“Thus, I’d be much more comfortable flying Austrian on a daytime flight from Vienna to the USA than in another direction.”
Interesting, earlier in the article you seemed to hint that the opposite would be true, due to the lack of internet, but I guess the seat trumps all. Also, no way you would get any sleep on a nighttime flight after consuming all that coffee…
With regards to the food, it isn’t just the soup and dessert cart, but also the appetizer cart as well. Remember when you could choose from a selection of appetizers and have it plated for you? Much like Turkish did as well.
One more note: I might be mistaken, but didn’t the salad used to be served with the appetizer plate, and the main meal served on the whole larger triangle plate? Still, while I am sure there is some cost cutting going, it’s nowhere near as bad as what you get on other airlines, like United.
Right. For a daytime flight, I’d take it again, even though the lack of internet is very annoying. But I don’t think I’d fly it in the other direction. While internet is less important, I don’t care for the seat (and I would hold off on coffee till breakfast).
Looking back at my old 767 report, I don’t see a more elaborate salad, but certainly note the use of the cart for every course:
Definitely some cost-cutting, but the food quality is still excellent.
Is the seat the same as the Swiss seats? I don’t recall Swiss having an issue with bedding, but I’ve only flown them once, so you’ll know better than me.
Regardless, I aim to fly Austrian at least once to try the infamous D&O catering.
Swiss bedding is just as bad, same inferior blanket. That said, I was at least able to sleep on my LAX-ZRH flight (few years ago now) because it was not too hot onboard.
Flying OS for the catering is worth doing at least once!
Austrian should use mattress pads and memory foam pillows like United Polaris does.
Tonight I am flying my first AC 787-9 YYZ-AMS. Star Alliance has many lie-flat TATL options.
Next month will be my first UA 777-200 IAH-LHR.
Maybe you could rank all *A carriers TATL and TPAC…bedding, service, etc.?
I will think about doing that. I still have yet to fly Air India. Also have not flown Shenzhen Air, which I hope to do once Xi is re-elected and borders re-open.
“Once Xi is re-elected”, oh, to have to write for the public eye…
Does Shenzhen Air do any longhaul flights yet?
Not to my knowledge.
I’m hopeful PRC will open after the party meeting “re-elects” its chairman.
Believe it or not, I was being facetious.
1500000% better catering, service, choices and then some than United. Hence, excellent “soft product “, whatever the hell that means. United should learn a thing or a million two!!
IME the only consistently good thing about Austrian is the food although these days I think Turkish (same caterer) is way better. The service is very variable and everything else, the seat and particularly the ancient 772s is way below standard. Surely Austrian are in line for some A350s from LH group orders? Then again, being LH, there probably won’t be any new seats.
You called Leberkäse meatloaf????? OMG!
It is nothing like meatloaf.
I’ve always called it that and that is also how Austrian (and SWISS and Lufthansa) translate it.
Did you have to pay extra for the throne seat? We have a flight on Swiss Airlines later this year and the throne seats has a $75 fee while the other seats are included in the ticket price.
Right, but they are free when you check-in, which was the same on Austrian. Flight was less than half full in J.
I have to admit that I had a difficult time concentrating on the rest after seeing the “Freudian Wood” facial moisturizer and lip balm. That’s definitely some symbolic baggage to unpack… Freudian or otherwise.
LOL. It certainly is.
“Freudian slipcovers, to keep your furniture looking its breast!”
Great review, though I do have questions about the amnesty kit and the pre-landing coffee desert.
“A very basic amnesty kit”
Regarding amenity kits have you scooped up any of the lh navy blue shopping bag amenity kits? With pictures of cities on them? Super handy 🙂
I haven’t tried a throne seat but it makes me claustrophobic as you say. On Ana and Qantas recently I’ve actually enjoyed the aisle seat more than the window for that reason.
Oh yes. All my grocery bags are from LH. I should do a post on that!
Nice review. Small niggle, it is a 777-200, not 300 are mentioned early on in the text. But thanks for the nice review.
How would you rate the seat for sleeping based on certain positions? I sleep on my stomach and many seats are designed assuming it’s anything *but*that.
Flew it a few years ago HKG – LHR via VIE. Really liked the customisation of the cabin -embossed leather panels around the seat etc. Food certainly way up there, service charming, coffee menu fabulous – didn’t realise until after the flight that you could ask the crew to put a cotton cover over your blanket (it was on some little bit of paper in the amenity bag, I think). What totally let the whole thing down was those awful last-gen 777-200’s. Honestly, the A350 and A380 have spoilt us. We literally Roared and Shook across the skies. Even my 84 year old mum who’s hard of hearing And never complains, complained. SHE couldn’t believe the noise. Honestly, did we fly like that a mere 10 years ago, and think it normal? Those planes are Killing Austrian.