Airlines

Flying in Austrian Airlines Economy Class from IAD-VIE

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Last month I flew Austrian Airlines for the first time. When I’d first booked my ticket, it looked like I’d be able to try out their bidding for upgrades functionality, but when I logged back in a few weeks before my flight, that option was no longer available. Codeshares aren’t eligible, I’d booked it on United via the Wideroe mistake fare back in November, and it was only a glitch that had enabled me to access it when I first booked.

Austrian-Airlines-business class (350x308)

Boooo.

Since I had a very busy weekend, including the Vienna Film Ball the night I landed, I’d wanted to arrive refreshed. An economy seat wasn’t optimal, but I’d make the best of it. So I was ready select my seat as soon as the 36 hours before departure window opened. And got really freaked out for a minute. No matter which seat I picked, the seat next to it was magically occupied. I hoped to have a row to myself or at least the seat empty in the middle, but it was almost like someone was stalking me.

I did a little research and found out they automatically block the seat next to Star Golds. Only if the plane fills up will they open the seats to other passengers. So I was feeling much more optimistic when I arrived at Dulles to check in. Perhaps I would get some sleep!

Dulles Lufthansa Senator Lounge

I headed over to the Lufthansa Senator Lounge that Star Golds can access. It was incredibly crowded at 5PM and I wound up sipping my glass of Piper Heidsieck standing by the newspaper rack for the first half hour.

Lufthansa Lounge Dulles Champagne

But it thinned out enough around 5:30 for me to grab a seat for 20 minutes before boarding started. I still think it’s pretty cool that we boarded directly from the lounge!

Austrian Airlines IAD to VIE

I headed to my seat — a window towards the front of economy. There was a fairly fluffy pillow and thickish blanket.

Austrian Airlines pillow blanket economy

No amenity kit, though an  ad at the beginning of every movie informed you could you buy an Austrian Tascherl for 5 euros. Fortunately I’d brought my much more extensive amenity kit to combat the red eye.

The IFE (in-flight entertainment) was on demand and had a handful of new releases, so that was promising.

Austrian Airlines In  flight entertainment

Shortly after my hopes were dashed when my seatmate showed up. But he was respectful of not taking up too much of the shared armrest  I hoped with a window seat I’d be able to get some sleep.

But first was the food! I was pretty amused by the snack that came with the first beverage service and it’s little dolphin/plane shaped crackers.

Austrian Airlines Snack

Austrian Airlines Cloud Hopper snack

The meal was surprisingly good and looked a little less squashed than most domestic carrier’s offerings. The pasta option looked good but I was happy enough with my herbed chicken, mashed potatoes, and zucchini. The complimentary wine was decent, but unremarkable.

Austrian Airlines Dinner IAD VIE Economy Class

Unfortunately I did not sleep much. The clearance under the seat in front of me was a little low, so I wasn’t able to extend my legs all the way under the seat (my shins would hit) and I felt pretty cramped. The inflatable travel pillow that had served me well on my flight to Israel wasn’t as compatible somehow with the contours of the Austrian seat so my neck was a little sore.

The flight was shorter than the trip to Tel Aviv though, so I survived. 🙂 But was quite happy when we landed!

Breakfast, which I did not photograph, was a hot roll with meat and cheese which I was satisfied with. The vegetarian option was a banana.

Getting through customs and immigration was unbelievably easy. No forms. I just queued up and handed my passport to the agent. He asked me no questions, just stamped my passport and I was done!  My suitcase came out fairly quickly on the baggage carousel and I headed out to find the Mercedes car service I had booked (which was cheaper than taking a cab).

Airport Taxi mercedes transfer to Vienna

More from this trip:
The Suite Life at the Historic Hotel Bristol in Vienna
Winning Tickets to the Vienna Film Ball
A Poorly Planned Pilgrimage: Visiting FA Hayek’s Grave
Sneak Peak at the New Park Hyatt Vienna
Seeing Vienna in a Hurry
RadissonBlu Style Review
Austrian Airlines Senator Lounge Vienna Airport
Buying the Upgrade to Austrian Airlines Business Class
Austrian Airlines Business Class VIE-IAD
Food & Coffee in Austrian Airlines Business Class

 

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Living for the little (and big things) that make life so fun, especially mistake deals and crazy last minute weekend mileage runs across the world. www.twitter.com/klatravel

4 Comments

  1. Kurt

    April 16, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    What fare class did you get booked into? I similarly booked JFK-VIE on Austrian during the Widero mistake, but in the heat of the moment, ended up booking a non-mileage earning class. Still had a great trip to Vienna though 🙂

  2. Joey

    April 17, 2014 at 1:11 am

    I didn’t know Austrian Airlines blocks the seat next to you if you’re a Star Gold! That is awesome!
    As far as transatlantic flights from the East coast to Europe, it doesn’t matter if I fly in economy or business (with flatbed) — I always have trouble sleeping. I think it’s mainly because the flights are only 5-7 hours long. Dinner takes an hour and breakfast takes 30mins, plus ascending/descending of the plane, you really only have 3-4 hours of decent sleep. Thus, I am totally ok with flying in economy during any TATL flight from the east coast.

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