For my first experience with Austrian Airlines, I was able to try its business class product from Vienna to Washington DC (Dulles). Here is my first impression.
While this is my first time posting about this journey, it’s important to note that it took place during heavy COVID restrictions and therefore, our experience may be altered from what you might receive. I had not yet taken an Austrian Airlines flight and was looking forward to the journey.
We arrived in Vienna following a very long day, awake for more than 24 hours at the time we landed. Therefore, we were looking for a shower at the lounge but due to restrictions, we were unable to access and review the lounge itself. It’s been a very, very long time since I caught a nap on a bench in the gate area but nonetheless, my family of three found ourselves catching some winks at the departure gate.
The Austrian Airlines Business Class lounge (Star Alliance Gold access for those with the requisite elite status) was located after what appeared to be an automated customs entry point.
Austrian business class is known for its coffee options, meal service, and throne seats. The configuration on our flight was 1-2-1. For an older aircraft, the business class seat was reasonably updated, fully reclined, and offered simple seat controls to the side available by touch. I enjoyed the view from my window seat.
The tray table was oddly complex, but I was also exhausted. It’s possible that either the tray table design should be revisited or that I should have rested more prior to departure. The plane was equipped with Wi-Fi and had serviceable speed for my limited use.
As a weary traveler, I was able to settle in and rest sufficiently.
The amenity kit, a consistent topic for this writer and on this site, was a huge miss. I can appreciate the airline is looking to offer something usable following the flight and yet another dopp kit might not be that answer. However, the shoe bag (like the tiniest pillowcase) seemed neither premium nor post-flight useful. It contained the usual amenities, lip balm, socks, a pen, a sleep mask, etc. but was not particularly inspired. Frankly, I expected more and it underdelivered.
One thing I loved about flying with Austrian was that they put extra thought and care into younger passengers. This really is what a parent lives for because it makes the flight better for our children and keeps them occupied with fun activities.
Known for its coffee menu and excellent service, a menu separate from catering food and beverage options was made available to all business class passengers. This is my biggest failure of the 9+ hour flight. I should have ordered something, even if I didn’t intend to finish it from the coffee menu (Matthew already made his opinion known) but I alas, I ordered nothing.
I didn’t miss the meal service. I found an interesting variety of options. The burrata take on a Caprese salad was excellent.
My entree choice was the spaetzle and it was an unfortunate departure from the excellent burrata Caprese.
The meal upon landing was a coconut-inspired shrimp curry and I found this to be the better choice. There was more than enough food for the flight and I arrived full and happy even if I was hoping for a more moving experience.
While this is only a quick first impression, my experience flying Austrian Airlines business class was a mixed bag. The catering was good, but not incredible. It’s my own fault I missed the coffee menu, and flying outside of COVID restrictions may have added to the enjoyment of our trip. The seat itself was great for sleeping and though I wished for a little more privacy and a less complicated tray table, I was able to get caught up on desperately needed sleep. I wouldn’t go out of my way to fly Austrian business class again, but I wouldn’t avoid it either.
What do you think? Have you flown Austrian Airlines business class? How was your experience?