Austrian Airlines B737-800 Business

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  • Anonymous


    This was a short haul from Heathrow to Vienna, to connect to another flight to Dubai.

    I checked in a the bmi premium counter in T1 on a busy Friday night, but the waiting period was reasonably short and the agent polite and courteous – I sympathise for bmi staff at the moment, but they appeared to be working normally and professionally, depsite the current uncertainty.

    Security was busy, but the fast track lane is now open to all business and first class passengers and the waiting time was circa 5 mins, very good on Friday evening; the security personnel were also professional and courteous, showing that this is possible (if not to be expected) at Heathrow.

    I went to the Star Alliance lounge (the former BA facility) and once again enjoyed the good facilities here. One can argue about the relative merits of lounges and the BA T5 facilities are probably better, but at the end of the day I don’t spend a lot of time in lounges and this one is well above the usual standards with complimentary email and a narrow, but tasty, selection of food and beverages. I had a plate of Boeuf Borguignon, which I enjoyed, since I had only a salad for lunch.

    Boarding was on time and business class pax were called first.

    My allocated seat was 1A, but when boarding was complete, 1F and 1D were free (1E being kept free), so I chose to move, as I prefer sitting on the RHS and also like having a whole row to myself.

    The seat was one of the new lightweight contraptions, designed by experts in torture. These same people are the evangelists who try to convince us that sitting on concrete blocks covered in leather is very good for our backs, when driving German sports cars and the effect is similar to McDonalds, they are comfortable for a pre-ordained period of time, then they create a strong desire to stand up and leave.

    Austrian put up an aircraft with these seats for the onward connection to Dubai (scheduled for 5h45) and that is another story; suffice it to say I chose to get off after boarding.

    The Austrian website says they schedule these seats on flights up to 5 hours, which I find ridiculous, 2 is about the limit for me on one of these – it was okay between London and Vienna.

    The aircraft was clean and tidy and the washrooms clean.

    The flight pushed back on time, followed by a long (but shorter than often experienced) taxi and a departure a little late, but still allowing a virtually on time arrival in Vienna.

    Cabin service was good, with a drink shortly after take off (but not before push back) and quick food service, which I did not try as I had eaten in the lounge.

    Arrival into Vienna was efficient, with baggage arriving within about 15 minutes and painless immigration and customs.

    All in all, exactly what a short intra European hop should be, an efficient non event.

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