Austrian 767 Business Class In 10 Pictures

Filed Under: Austrian, Travel

Hello from Vienna! On Thursday evening I flew from Newark to Vienna on Austrian’s 767, and in this post wanted to share my initial thoughts on the expereince. The last time I reviewed Austrian’s longhaul business class was in 2013, and at that point I flew the 777 to Tokyo Narita. I wanted to see what the 767 would be like on the shorter transatlantic flight.

Austrian’s 767 business class cabin consists of 26 seats, spread across seven rows in a 1-2-1 configuration. For a 27 year old 767, I thought the plane was in immaculate condition.

Austrian has staggered seats in business class, which I find to be really tight on the 767. Like, uncomfortably tight, especially when trying to recline. In fairness, there aren’t many 767s with great hard products, perhaps with the exception of United’s 767s featuring the new Polaris seats. Since these seats are in a staggered configuration, I selected a “true” window seat.

Austrian has solid amenities — the pillow and blanket are not only stylish, but comfortable as well.

The amenity kit is a cute little shoe bag, with all the essentials, including socks, eyeshades, earplugs, a toothbrush and toothpaste, lip balm, and lotion.

Austrian is known for their DO & CO catering, which is among the best in the sky. They even have an onboard chef. However, the service was much more abbreviated than in the past, but I guess that makes sense for a short overnight flight.

Service began with the table being set, as well as mixed nuts.

Then a trolley was rolled down the aisle with appetizers. I selected the beef carpaccio and tumeric pumpkin soup, both of which were quite good. On my previous Austrian flight they’d plate the appetizers on the trolley at your seat, while here they were pre-plated.

For the main course I ordered the seared chicken breast, which was also good.

Then there was a dessert trolley, where you could choose from fruit, cheese, and desserts. For the purposes of the review I ordered some cheese, fruit, and a mango mousse, all of which I enjoyed.

However, the highlight of this (and any) Austrian flight is the coffee. Austrian has a special coffee menu with all kinds of cool creations you’d also find in Austria, so I ordered an Eiskaffee, which is a double espresso with ice cream and whipped cream. #HealthyLiving

The flight was only 8hr15min, so less than five hours after the lights were turned off, breakfast was served. For breakfast I had yogurt, fresh fruit, and an omelet, which was a surprisingly big breakfast for such a short flight.

Austrian’s catering is among the best out there for transatlantic airlines. However, it’s not to the level of Turkish, which still has the best business class catering, in my opinion.

The service on this flight was… fine. It matches my experience with Austrian in the past, which is that service really isn’t very personalized, and that flight attendants seemed like they were going through the motions and weren’t very engaged. They did their jobs, and nothing more or nothing less.

Bottom line

I’m conflicted about Austrian business class. I love the coffee menu. The catering is excellent as well, probably among the best five available on transatlantic airlines. I also appreciate the solid bedding and nice amenity kit.

However, I just find these seats to be so tight and uncomfortable. If you’re short then maybe this won’t be an issue, but I just found myself to be so uncomfortable when reclined. My feet couldn’t move when in bed mode, and I could barely turn. I always say that business class is all about the seat, so while I enjoy Austrian’s soft product, I still think I’d choose something like American’s 777 business class on a transatlantic flight, with reverse herringbone seats and wifi.

If you’ve flown Austrian’s business class, what was your experience like?

Comments
  1. For what it’s worth the 767 foot box in Biz I find is a bit larger and more comfortable than their 777 based upon back to back flights.

  2. The only Austrians I have met in my live were two hot sisters. The one with a bf was more friendly. The single one was cold.

    Weird women!

  3. “There aren’t an 767’s with great hard products”

    What about the new United Polaris on the 767?

  4. I tried it on a Chicago-Vienna. And was good (I agree with the review) however on the flight frommVienna to IKA the business class was a joke. Basically coach class seats wirh no entrateinemnte , no power outlets and no possibilities to recline I would call this almost a scam business class

  5. That shoe bag is adorable. 🙂 Why can’t all simple business class amenity kits be that practical? (I’m looking at you United metal box thing…)

  6. @ Tom — It’s exactly the same seat, so comes down to soft product, and I’d say Austrian wins there.

  7. @ Alpha — Great point, that’s one area where United is industry leading. Will update the post to reflect that.

  8. I recently flew Austrian business LAX-VIE on their B777. Really underwelming. Tight, uncomfortable seat. Stiff staff. Good food but not as good as Turkish. Will try to avoid them in the future.

  9. @Lukas, I always have a great experience on EWR-VIE route, so are my second favorite on transatlantic flights after Turkish.

  10. “On my previous Austrian flight they’d plate the appetizers on the trolley at your seat, while here they were pre-plated.”

    Turkish does the same on their flights from the US to Istanbul.

  11. I fly with them a couple of times a year, either to ORD or to China/BKK. Catering ex VIE is normally better, sometimes way better. The seat sucks, but it’s not much worse than LH or A330 Swiss, so overall it’s probably the best way to fly if you want or have to pick within Biz in Lufthansa group.

  12. I flew them last month iad-vie on the 763 in J and thought it was great. Staff good and food excellent. I was fearing an uncomfortable seat and was surprised it didn’t bother me as I’m large. I’d def fly again

  13. Here’s an opinion from an economy flyer. Flew them last year economy JFK-VIE and that 767 was either very new (do they even make new ones?) or super refurbished cause the economy cabin was so nice and fresh. Legroom in regular economy was great, food was decent, entertainment was solid. Wouldn’t hesitate to fly them again in economy on that plane.

  14. As Azamaraal says there are much more comfortable J seats across the atlantic – even on StarAlliance (apart from AC also SK has a herringbone seat layout) but also on AA/AY/IB as a far as Oneworld is concerned, as well as some the AF and KL flights. The LX seat is exactly the same as OS on the 767 on the A330/340 and only slightly more specious on the 777.

    As far as food is concerned, OS really has the best product, I would rate them even ahead of TK. But most surprising it’s lightyears ahead of their corporate sisters LH/LX.

  15. @ Andy

    While I know numbers are reducing, don’t AA and KLM *still* fly some long-haul planes with angled seats in J? How do you know you won’t get one of those on a last-minute equipment swap?

    I never risk it. If an airline’s worst J hard product isn’t up to a reasonable standard then they *never* get my business. I don’t gamble.

  16. @ Debit. Confused again? Inflatable dolls bought in Austria are NOT Austrian women.

    So rewind that fantasy back and remain on point. This is a travel blog!

  17. I flew Austrian business a while back and loved it — though I don’t have a lot of experience with business class, to be honest. But the food and coffee really were amazing.

    By the way Lucky, do you have any idea how one can buy the blanket they had on business class? I recall seeing it Available for purchase (though I remember it being expensive) but I think it is a cute, comfortable blanket and would love to have one at some point.

  18. @Crystal

    Most people who have business class blankets at home tend to just “borrow” them while forgetting to return them lol

  19. I’ve had some very negative customer service experiences in Austria over the last couple of years, to the point where I would have to think long and hard before committing to use their airline if there were alternatives available.

  20. @ UA-NYC

    Is that true? I thought there was still an AA fleet of 757s with angle seats in J?

  21. @ The Nice Paul. – No, all of AA’s international flights are completely lie flat as of last year. The 767’s have the same seat discussed here, that you will find on DL and other carriers also. The 757s utilize the same seat found on UA and DL’s 75s in J. AA’s better and best J class seats are on the 777s and 787s.

    @Crystal. I second what Julia wrote. Hysterical…but true 😉

  22. Air Canada’s seat “8A” (old pod) on their 767’s is the best 767 biz seat. Its a great sleeping seat with a ton of space and a very private feel. Its a real gem most people miss.

  23. @Lucky, would you have found service more personalised and engaging if you spoke German on Lufthansa, Austrian, and Swiss as opposed to English? Could this (not necessaily their inability to speak English, more that most people open up more if you speak their native tongue), be the reason why you felt the crew was just going through the motions? I know from personal experience flying ANA that if I spoke Japanese the crew lights up and they would actually converse with me instead of just asking what I would like. Not to say their treatment of non Japanese speakers were bad, but I felt it made a difference.

  24. Here is one thought that always crosses my mind when I read those negative comments about the service: do you people ever try to engage with the cabin staff?

    I am a hard core Lufthansa group flyer and I have done LH, LX and OS from Europe to LAX. And SN from BRU to IAD and back. Multiple times on each carrier. Any class, Economy, Premium Economy, Business, First. I just mention this to show that I think I know what I am talking about.

    Yes, there are differences from flight to flight. But to this day I have to come across a really bad crew flying in Business or First (that is not to say that I had a really bad experience in Economy or Premium Economy but on this blog we focus on Business and First). The worst I can ever say about those three carries is “they just did their job”. But in the overwhelming majority of flights I actually had extremely nice flights with fantastic service.

    But here’s the thing which I think can make a big difference: I try to connect with the crew that shares the same metal tube with me for the next 11, 12 hours. I say “Hello” when I get on the plane, I ask how they are doing (which is not very common in Europe!) and I try to address them by name (why else would they wear name tags). And it seems to work, each and every time.

    The way I look at it: we need to put up with each other for an extended period of time – we may as well do it in style. And it works for me.

  25. I flew business on OS just once, 777 VIE NRT. I had one of the throne seats. It was narrow, and the seat controls were situated such that anytime I moved they got activated. However, the food was amazing, much better in my experience than TK.

    @Bill – agreed. I’ve had FAs on JAL and ANA visibly relax when I started to speak with them in Japanese.

  26. I flew on a Delta 767 to Tokyo last year, and the “foot box” was so narrow that sleep in any position other than flat on my back was impossible. Assuming Austrian’s is the same, I won’t be booking them.

  27. I am very passionate about my comments on Austrian airlines. I write this from the Austrian Airlines lounge in Vienna where I have a 6 hour layover. For context, this is my 4th transatlantic trip in 2018 (and probably close to my 160th overall). I flew twice on Lufthansa Premium Economy, once on America’s Premium Economy (which goes into effect on 5 September — so this was more of a soft launch), and last night was in United’s new Polaris service principally because it was the only airline with a free seat last night from NYC to Europe.

    (1) I will -never- fly Austrian for a long-haul service. I have done this several times between Vienna-Washington and Vienna-New York in both business and Economy classes (admittedly a decade ago — but that just shows my determination not to give them another chance (but see below). If you look at their seat widths compared to the seat width of their competitors (see http://www.seatguru.com), you will see that they are consistently sub-optimal. a 16-17 inch seat width is for students and supermodels not for business people who might not be in the same shape as they were in during college.

    (2) That being said, I will not hesitate to fly them on flights up to 3-4ish hours within Europe/Caucasus because for whatever reason those seats on their single-aisle aircraft have a tad bit more room and are reasonably tolerable.

    (3) The European travel agency (Hogg Robinson Worldwide) I was forced to use put me in Austrian Airlines new Premium Economy Service. The seat width allegedly was 18.5 inches (which is fine). SeatGuru has yet to update it’s information about this new class. I accepted it very reluctantly. When I went to JFK on Thursday afternoon, I knew several things: (1) The flight was full. (2) Lufthansa Miles & More encouraged me not to do online check-in for fear that this would damage my mileage upgrade request. I arrived at 16:37 at the curb (according to the taxi receipt) and had to walk maybe 70 feet to the Check-in counter. Cut-off was at 16:40. There were no lines but between the time that I presented my documents and they started typing on the computer, the clock turned to 16:40 and they announced that the flight had closed and they could not check me in even though I had since learned that I had cleared the waitlist to business class. I knew the Check-in supervisor had discretionary authority for a few extra minutes but what almost struck me as a case of reverse racism (and I do get not normally think that way but his inaction was evil and his empathy level was at zero), he said the flight was closed and he couldn’t (wouldn’t help me) — forget the fact that I have status on Miles & More, that I was dressed in a suit (and not the typical vacation-goer), that I was supposed to attend a wedding in Athens (missed that!). I since learned that while this supervisor had only been with Lufthansa/Austrian for one year (I had never seen him before), he was actually a contractor. So it stands to reason that as long as the flights take off on time, he has little incentive to care about whether or not he alienates the airline’s business passengers — because hey — the flight took off on time.

    Between changes made to my reservation PNR by the airport and later by Hogg Robinson’s Emergency Desk in the UK (not manned by their best -trained people to be honest) and then the HRW office in-country, they royally corrupted the PNR such that when I returned to JFK on Friday, the airport staff said I must have the PNR refunded and create a brand new reservation because the existing PNR was not fixable and I could not check-in for the second day in a row. The entity that was bringing me to SE Europe said that they would reimburse me for a ticket once they received payment back from the travel agent. So, I bought a new ticket last night and here I am on a routing which is 50% longer than usual (3 flight segments) but over $1,000 cheaper than what the travel agent had booked. And I flew on United Polaris across the ocean and Austrian to Vienna (and onward at 10 pm).

  28. @Greg, comments based on flying Austrian biz 10 years ago are irrelevant. Also, we’re not here for economy or premium economy reviews.

    @Mike, the foot boxes on the 767s directly adjacent to the windows are bigger. On the 777, the only single seat by the window is a throne with the narrowest foot box of all.

    I would take SK trans-Atlantic any day, were it not for the rogue LN-RKP.

  29. I need to fly with Austrian again. I flew them back in 1999 with my parents from JFK-VIE in their “Grand Class” on an A340 and it was my first experience of flying in a Premium cabin. I still remember it was an amazing flight with food and attentive service.

    Thank you for sharing.

  30. Ha! I was on EWR-VIE the day before you and picked the very same meal options. I didn’t get an amenity kit, assumed it was a 767 quirk as the bathroom was rather well provisioned. Did get amenity kits on the 777 that went to HKG that we connected on to.

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