During my summer in Europe I had to make one trip home and decided to fly on Austrian Airlines, a business class product I have not reviewed since 2013, then on a 767. The good news: not much has changed. The bad news: not much as changed. However, it was a wonderful flight overall.
Austrian Airlines 777 Business Class – It’s All About Dining
Flying Austrian Airlines is all about the catering…I enjoyed a culinary feast onboard that was far more than the coffee menu. Austrian partners with DO & CO catering and lunch included burrata with tomatoes, delicious dark brown bread, a refreshing salad, and a tasty filet of pork in mushroom sauce with horseradish dumplings. The Austrian sparkling rosé wine was also fabulous.
Oh how I miss the bread basket on United!
That alone was a feast, but next came fruit, cheese, and a decadent almond tart.
And then the coffee…
One Austrian distinctive is the Viennese coffee menu onboard. As a coffee aficionado (self-professed at least…) this menu was a specific reason for booking this flight and a specific reason for flying Austrian out of Vienna versus from the United States to Austria.
That’s because Eiskafe (double espresso with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream) is only available on flights out of Vienna. It was delicious (I love the coffee from Julius Meinl). So was the cappuccino, melange, and even just a cup of black coffee. I was in coffee heaven on this flight.
Prior to landing another meal was served, this one including traditional meatloaf (leberkäse) with rösti, another salad, more bread, and panna cotta (followed by coffee).
Thus, the food on Austrian is some of the best in the skies and a huge upside to flying this airline, especially on daytime flights.
Service was also warm and attentive onboard. The male purser, picture below, was particularly gregarious, but the entire team was lovely. The cabin was only about 1/4 full, so that helped as well.
Now, the flight was not perfect. Austrian still has not installed wi-fi on its longhaul fleet and I was dark for over eight hours in the middle of the day on a weekday.
Second, the seat is my least-favorite lie-flat seats. Now put everything into perspective, of course: it was still a comfortable seat for lounging. But I’ve always found this seat (even the throne seat which I had) difficult to sleep in. It did not help that the cabin was very warm and there were no individual air vents. Plus, the small blankets offered are suffocatingly warm and not particularly comfortable.
Overall, I walked away very impressed with Austrian Airlines due to the catering and service onboard. While sleeping was elusive, I boarded well-rested and it was a daytime flight.
I’ll have several more details about the amenities and IFE onboard in my full report and also detail an incident of air rage that took place onboard…I’m still shaking my head over that.
All things considered, would you prefer Austrian or Air Serbia from Europe to the US (on a day flight)? Both bookable with Aeroplan on my dates.
Good question. I would choose Austrian, though the Air Serbia lounge in Belgrade is significantly better than the Austrian lounge in Vienna.
I hear you about the seat. It’s fine but could be better. And the lounges in Vienna are nothing to write home about. But the service and food are top notch. I love flying Austrian J!
Is eiskaffee no longer available on ex-US flights? I’ve seen it served after dinner or even as part of breakfast on ex-US flights
Currently not available ex-USA.
Is “panda cotta” a typo or is it some whimsical black-and-white dessert Austrian offers?
It was subliminal.
I think the only good thing about Austrian long haul is the food, the crew can be great but they can also be pretty dreadful.
The seat, the cabin temp and those ancient and very noisy 772s are not compensated for by the food.
Is the Austrian seat the same as the seat on Swiss? They also have a throne seat. What made the seat so poor for sleeping.
Would love to fly Austrian out of Vienna and try the Do&Co catering.
It’s the foot cubby, it’s very tight. The best seats for sleeping are single seats by the window as they have a quite a bit larger foot cubby. Once I took pictures on Swiss for myself just so I can compare them. The throne seat has the tightest cubby.
It was my impression too.I was moved from window seat to throne due the malfunction of IFE and was really struggling with that tight space. Of only in the new Delta one could serve the Aistrian quality food it would be perfect.
@Lukas – Agreed. I think the throne seats are so overrated. Sure, you’ve got lots of counter/storage space, but how much stuff do you have on you that you need within arm’s reach at all times anyway?!
I just flew OS in J from VIE-IAD and was not looking forward to it due to lack of wifi on a day flight
However suffice it to say I was totally wrong…the flight was lovely…great food, good views, and even good to “disconnect” from the screens for 8 hours!! I found the seat to be quite comfy but I am slightly below average height which may explain a lot
Great review! OS is my favorite European airlines. I would go out of my way to fly Austrian instead of flying direct. Great inflight catering and that amazing coffee menu is second to none in the sky.
I noted the caption “How I miss the bread basket on United!”. Not sure I agree with that statement, United probably has one of the lesser quality bread offerings in the sky. OS, LH, LX, NH, SQ and others offer better quality of bread and bakery goods than United.
Nevertheless, agree with you on everything else in this review.
Since when did it become not OK to be disconnected for a few hours while in the air?
I flew from Vienna to Newark on Tuesday and had this exact same meal. It was absolutely restaurant quality and the Austrian wines were also top-notch. Who cares about wifi? I love that airplanes are one of the few places where we can unplug and disconnect without interruption. Austrian is my favorite Star Alliance carrier and I wished the VIE-EWR flight were a few hours longer. Nothing better than a nice meal, a few midflight glasses of wine, and watching a few foreign films. I’ll take this over Polaris any day.
I don’t need WiFi…
I think it’s true that a lot of the old seats are actually more comfortable for sleeping with a bigger cubby. Eg the old United 2x2x2. I flew Kenya airways to Nairobi and the sleep was wonderful. Admittedly with my wife on two seats by the window.
I’ve flown Swiss and enjoyed it but the throne seats look horrible
Is it possible you didn’t sleep because of all the coffee? 😉
LOL. It was the hot cabin! 😉
Did they offer a non meat (vegetarian) option for the meal?