Sad Black Block in ViennaBack to Forum
Anonymous6 Jul 2012
Long time awaited, the new terminal at Vienna Scwechat airport finally opened some days ago.
A big surprise, and not the best..
Two tones: black & white, and nothing else on three floors
Long corridors with an intricate way from the plane to the exit.
Funny, but very narrow escalators, with a ‘golden/orange light’.Not easy way with young kids or elder people.
Sad luggage hall (high & narrow), afterwards, easy way to the exit.
I checked in on the web and went directly to the security check: perfect. By far the best organized security check I have ever seen.(it was not overcrowded when I was departing)
Lounge (Flying on OS, I went to the Senator/Gold lounge schengen zone). The food and service remain of very high standard in Vienna. The Star Alliance lounge is split in three: business class, Gold & HON.. The Gold one is as the whole building: black & white. Definitely, not relaxing neither welcoming. They mixed the ‘old’ furniture coming from the SA lounges in the old terminal, making a mix with new furniture. It does not match at all, and does not create a pleasant atmosphere.
The lounge is small and almost all seats were occupied. There is a high level of noise. Walls are white and empty. The windows are very basic and open on the taxiways, but do not give any impressive nor pleasant feeling one could have from the Business Class lounge in the ‘old terminal’ (fantastic view, calming atmosphere).
The lightning reminds a hospital.
In the lounge excepting Austrian & German papers, no foreign title excepting the IHT. The lounge being very new, I trust it will be fixed shortly.
Rest rooms are outside the lounge, opposite the front desk.
I went to the ‘shopping area’, which consists of a mixture of two restaurants and some shelves. People dine and fellow passengers shop in in the same space. No confidentiality/cosy/quiet place for diners, no space for shoppers. Altogether in the smell of the food.
The duty free is as attractive as the one in Sofia. Nothing common with the duty free in the ‘old terminal’
The ‘shopping’ area is very basic, if not poor’, on a very small surface.
I found the newstand by chance behind stairs.
The shops are the only colored places you will find in the new terminal and the last ones you will see till your seat in the plane.
A funny clock on a screen at the gate F09. besides that, once leaving the shops, you enter an awful kilometric black & white corridor. Endless till the last gate. the sadest space I have seen for long. It was looking like very crowded, meaning that the flow of people was not calculated with the idea of relaxing them.
In the whole building the floor is black, giving it a sharp look with white walls and black seats, black signage on white plates.
I did not check the name of the architect, and do not know/understand what was his/her aim.
I spoke with some staff, and they were as surprised as passengers. the building is sad, not welcoming, giving a feeling of very narrow and noisy space.
Central Europe required some upgrade of its airports. None of them is a pleasant one. Prague, Bucarest & Budapest sound good compared to the others. Warsaw’s recent extension is a curiosity. Strange and not welcoming.
Sofia is large and looks very empty. Definitely not very appealing.
But Vienna wins the competition of the non relaxing nor welcoming terminal.
Vienna was desserving a more friendly terminal than this black box.6 Jul 2012
Thanks Pierre, sounds depressing. I’ve not been to VIE for a couple of years but remember the OS ounce for Gold was bright with a good selection of magazines and papers. I’ll likely be going again in two weeks so I’ll let you know if they’ve improved things.7 Jul 2012
Thanks for the review
It’s such a shame – VIE used to such a great airport to connect in. Yes, it was small, but that was its beauty – connections were quick and painless – far less to walk than FRA, MUC or ZRH. Convenient across-the-hall connections, great value fares, and fantastic food, made flying OS C a real pleasure (making up for the ancient slidey seats and no-VOD IFE)
A shame that the reports from the new terminal all seem pretty disappointing7 Jul 2012
Janrotterdam, I do not know how often and where to do you fly, but this week, Vienna was my final destination. Talking about transitting in Vienna, all those who tried/had to enjoyed it. Transitting between Schengen and non Schengen zones in Vienna takes 5 mn, where AMS requires a serious walk through the terminal, and often a long queue. the same in other ‘big airports’.
Just a small – and kind – reminder: AMS,CDG/ORY,LHR/GTW,ROM,MXP, ZRH, HEL,CPH had no connection to the CIS. For business reasons, I visited this part of the world dozens of times in the last 20 years. No one ‘heavy weight’, KLM,AF,BA,AZ,IB,SR,SK,LO,MA, was flying there. (it seems they discovered this part of the world two years ago..) LH (which closed its lines years ago) and OS were the only airlines flying ‘East’. Vienna became then my preferred transit point.. (they are able to organize a transit, or a rerouting with checked luggage during the transit in 25 mn. Even in HEL Vantaa airport, it is not feasible)
I did not chose MOW or LED, obviously less convenient . OS having a safety high rating , it confirmed me that VIE was the ideal point to fly onward. I skipped a lot of ‘privatized airlines’ in the CIS, where safety records were poor (and still are for most of them).
I may have been lucky during these years, but will notice with interest other experiences in the same area, and will be pleased if someone convinces me that other airports offer such a smooth & perfect ground service in Europe.
Last point: VIE never closes because of fog, or bad weather conditions in winter, when all neighbours do, even being much bigger and supposedly better organized (Munich: winter is a bad time for transitting).7 Jul 2012
Also just been on my first trip out of the new Vienna terminal, and agree with much of PierreAntoine’s assessment. Security is much improved, being at the entrance to airside rather than the gates, but the Senator lounge is just dull. A big problem though is the narrow elevator upto the security checkpoint which is approached by around a narrow corner with bollards. This slows down passengers trying to get their luggage onto the elevator and causes an inevitable ‘traffic jam’. Schoolboy error at the planning stage.8 Jul 2012