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.
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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?
During the height of the pandemic this flight was known as the “Stuart Express”.
Spaetzle is normally an accompaniment, like rice. Odd that it was the main event.
Spaetzle with cheese (= Käsespätzle) is a main course.
…. and by the way: On the picture you can see a goulash (most probably veal) accompanied by spaetzle.
Latetly your flight posts are all first impressions. Do you plan to post full reviews?
I flew Austrian pre-2019 and the food was better than what you received.
The Chef on-board was interesting but not necessary imho.
I am not a coffee drinker so that part was lost on me, though my wife said they were delicious.
I use this flight regularly and find it to be just fine. Nothing cutting edge overall, but the service is quite good and I always enjoy the Do&Co catering. My only dislike is that when the business cabin is full it can feel rather tight overall given the use of a 767 – and why I hope they will eventually upgrade to A350’s if Lufthansa sends some their way. During the height of the Pandemic though and all the closures it was a great option and I was often flying back and forth with only 10-20 other passengers total on the plane.
Is that an egg or a ball of mozzarella?
It’s Burrata, like mozzarella with a creamy center.
I can’t remember the last time I got an amenity kit that wasn’t anything more than a pair of socks, lotion, lip balm, and a toothbrush. I’m starting to agree with SQ that they’re really not necessary. Who, at least currently, is giving away anything more substantial?
A number of carriers are. Most I have been flying lately have brought them back. As far as Austrian I find the bags to be really useful, unlike many others. Sure, it’s a simple bag and lacks any sexiness, but I use them for organizing small things in my briefcase, Glasses, Tylenol, Vitamins, etc, and is the only amenity bag I have ever kept for just that reason.
@Jerry – I would disagree for a few reasons. 1) If I’m in a rush, I might forget an extra pair of socks, or my eye mask so getting one onboard ensures I have the minimum basics. 2) Some are still trying to differentiate with the amenity kit, Qatar included cologne in theirs for some time. 3) I’m really speaking to the case itself. This was a stitched sack, not even useful as a drawstring backpack (which we sometimes take to theme parks.) American’s This Is Ground leather cases are perfect for cords when traveling and I use it every single day. My daughter loved the amenity kit I brought back from KLM with a clasped top and uses it as a purse. My wife still uses a Lufthansa Rimowa amenity case as her makeup holder.
It doesn’t have to be a lot of effort, but some effort would be nice.
In December 1985, Arab terrorist shot a lot of people in Vienna airport. They did the same thing in Rome that day. Years later, I visited the site of the shooting to pay respects to the fallen innocent. They may have torn down the terminal by now.
Libyan terrorists were blamed for it.
They were Palestinians, and we’re attacking a flight to tel aviv. @what some people care about remembering those who have been murdered, but I guess for you the memory of murdered Jews is unimportant.
3 civilians and 1 terrorist died. How’s that special or noteworthy to note under a trip report on Austrian Airlines?
No, this terminal is still in operation.
Why aren’t children banned from business class? What an annoyance.
Not everyone is a child-hating misanthrope.
If the child is well behaved I see no problem. My niece takes her 9 year old in Business when she gets an award. He spends his time playing video games.