Review: Austrian Business Class 767 Newark To Vienna

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My flight from Newark to Vienna was scheduled to depart at 5:50PM, so I headed in the direction of my departure gate around 4PM. Austrian Airlines departs from Terminal B at Newark Airport, which is a separate concourse.

To access it from Terminal C you can either exit security and then reclear, or you can take the airside connector bus, which is available to passengers making Star Alliance connections. The transfer shuttle is located near gate 71, which is about a five minute walk from the Polaris Lounge.


Newark Airport terminal transfer

There an agent verified my boarding pass, and then directed me down to a bus, which left within a few minutes.


Newark Airport terminal transfer

Terminal B was insanely busy, which isn’t surprising given the number of transatlantic flights departing from there. I briefly stopped in the Lufthansa Lounge, though there wasn’t a single open seat. That made me even happier about having visited the Polaris Lounge.


Newark Airport terminal

My Austrian flight was departing from gate B60, which was at the end of the concourse. My boarding pass indicated that boarding was scheduled to start at 4:50PM, though it ended up starting 10 minutes late, at 5PM.


Austrian departure gate Newark Airport

Austrian 90
Newark (EWR) – Vienna (VIE)
Thursday, June 28
Depart: 5:50PM
Arrive: 8:25AM (+1 day)
Duration: 8hr35min
Aircraft: Boeing 767-300
Seat: 5K (Business Class)

Austrian’s 767 business class cabin consists of a total of 26 staggered seats, in a 1-2-1 configuration. There are seven rows, though the last row only has one seat on each side, and there are no seats in the center.


Austrian 767 business class cabin

Along the windows, seats alternate between being closer to the window and closer to the aisle. Seats in even numbered rows are closer to the aisle, and wouldn’t be my first choice, since they feel more exposed, and you’re also further from the window, so you can’t look out as easily.


Austrian business class seat 767


Austrian business class seat 767

Window seats in odd numbered rows are closer to the windows, and are much more private.


Austrian 767 business class seat

In the center section seats also alternate every row, with one seat being closer to the aisle, and one being more in the center.


Austrian business class seat 767

I assigned myself seat 5K, the window seat on the right side in the fifth row, towards the back of the cabin.


Austrian 767 business class seat

Staggered business class seats aren’t my favorite to begin with, and these are especially tight, given that the 767 is a narrow plane. Of course I’m grateful to have a flat bed at all, but as far as flat bed business class seats go, this is among my least favorite. It’s just so tight, both around the shoulders, and also where your feet go.

Below is a picture of the footwell, which is even tighter than it looks. When in bed mode I couldn’t even turn my feet inside the footwell.


Austrian business class seat legroom

The seats don’t have much storage, though to the left of the seat is a counter, where you could leave a laptop or iPad during the flight.


Austrian business class seat console

Then the seat controls are on a surface to the side as well. It’s easy to accidentally bump these. I did it all the time, as I rested my elbow on the counter by the seat, and sometimes it accidentally adjusted my seat position. Oops.


Austrian business class seat controls

Also to the left of the seat were entertainment controls, which had a mouse feature that I’m not particularly fond of.


Austrian business class entertainment controls

The tray table folds out from the left side of the seat, and can be folded in half.


Austrian business class tray table

These types of seats hands down have the world’s most complicated tray tables. They’re so complicated that they put instructions on them for how to use them, and they make it look much easier than it actually is.


Austrian business class tray table instructions

Behind that and to the left was a reading light, 110v outlet, USB outlet, the headphone jack, and a small storage pocket that’s maybe big enough for a phone.


Austrian business class seat features

Then to the front of the seat and to the left was a literature pocket, which is where the headphones and amenity kit were during boarding.


Austrian business class seat literature pocket

I thought the headphones were reasonably good quality for business class.


Austrian business class headphones

The amenity kit was in fact just a shoe bag, which I found to be an interesting concept. It had socks, eyeshades, earplugs, a toothbrush and toothpaste, lip balm, and face cream.


Austrian business class amenity kit

Also waiting at my seat were a pillow and blanket, which I found to be both stylish and very well padded and comfortable.


Austrian business class pillow & blanket

On the 767 everyone boards through the forward door, so the boarding process is much more hectic than on other planes. About 20 minutes after settling in, the crew passed through the cabin with newspapers and magazines.

Then another 10 minutes later pre-departure drinks were offered, with the choice between apple juice, orange juice, and water. I found it to be cheap that they don’t serve any pre-departure champagne (clearly this is in order to avoid having to pay the taxes on it).


Austrian business class pre-departure drink

Around this time the onboard chef passed through the cabin. He wasn’t particularly charming or engaging, but rather was to the point. He handed out the main menu, the breakfast card, and a pen, and said “please fill out the breakfast card, I will collect it soon.”


Austrian business class menu

So I started by filling out the breakfast card, which he collected a few minutes later. He also took my order for the main meal at this time.

At 5:45PM boarding was complete (the business class cabin was completely full), and the captain added his welcome onboard, informing us of our flight time of 8hr15min. Then a few minutes later the main cabin door closed.


Austrian business class cabin 767

It took a few more minutes for cargo to be loaded, and shortly before 6PM we began our pushback, at which point the safety demo was screened.


View at Newark Airport gate

There was some cool traffic during our taxi out, including a Lufthansa 747-8, WOW Air A321, and Aer Lingus A330.


Lufthansa 747-8 Newark Airport


WOW Air A321 Newark Airport


Aer Lingus A330 Newark Airport

Our taxi to the runway was pretty quick, and by 6:20PM we were cleared for takeoff on runway 22R.


Taking off Newark Airport


Taking off Newark Airport

We hit a bit of chop on the climb out, and it was about 20 minutes before the seatbelt sign was turned off.


View after takeoff from Newark

Around that time warm towels were distributed, and that was followed by tablecloths being distributed.


Austrian business class warm towel

The dinner menu read as follows:

The drink list read as follows:

Austrian is known for their excellent catering, provided by DO & CO, so I was looking forward to this meal.

Just over 30 minutes after takeoff I was offered a drink with some mixed nuts. I ordered some champagne and sparkling water. Austrian serves Duval-Leroy champagne, which is alright, though nothing special


Austrian business class dinner service — table setting

About 15 minutes later I was offered the appetizer and soup. When I’ve flown Austrian in the past, they came around with an appetizer cart so you could select what you wanted, but in this case the appetizers came pre-plated. I’m not sure if that’s a general change they’ve made to their service protocol, or if this is simply because this is a shorter transatlantic flight, so the focus is on efficiency (which would be reasonable enough).


Austrian business class dinner service — appetizer and soup

The soup was a tasty tumeric pumpkin soup with coconut milk, spring onions, and cilantro.


Austrian business class dinner service — soup

Then the starter was an equally excellent beef carpaccio with fresh parmesan, arugula, pine nuts, and olive tapenade crostini.


Austrian business class dinner service — appetizer

I was also offered a selection of bread, and chose a pretzel stick.


Austrian business class dinner service — pretzel bread

For the main course I ordered the seared chicken breast with thyme jus, sweetcorn mousseline, and vegetables. It was pretty good, but I preferred the starters.


Austrian business class dinner service — main course

Once the main courses were cleared, the onboard chef passed through the cabin to distribute Austrian’s famous coffee menu. Five minutes later he returned to take coffee orders.


Austrian business class coffee menu

The coffee menu read as follows:

While the chef prepared the coffee drinks, the other flight attendants passed through the cabin with the dessert trolley, which had quite a selection to choose from. While I was already full, I figured that for the purposes of a picture I should at least order some fruit, cheese, and dessert. I had a bite of everything and enjoyed it immensely, including the mango mousse.


Austrian business class dinner service — dessert

Not that I needed yet another dessert, but shortly after my dessert I was brought my Eiscaffee. Yum, yum, yum, yum.


Austrian business class coffee

It’s not like this is actually necessary, but there’s just something I love so much about the effort they put into their coffee service. It’s cool in so many ways — they’re showcasing something that’s a big part of Austrian culture, it’s beautifully presented, and it’s also damn tasty.


Austrian business class coffee

After the meal was complete bottled water was distributed and the cabin lights were dimmed.


Austrian business class bottled water

The meal service was done just under two hours after takeoff (with 6hr15min remaining to Vienna), which I’d say is reasonably efficient given how extensive their service is. So I thought the pace was pretty good. At this point we were just Northwest of Newfoundland.


Airshow enroute to Vienna


Airshow enroute to Vienna


Airshow enroute to Vienna

As far as the service quality goes, it was just alright. The crew was pretty efficient, but they weren’t at all engaging or personalized. At no point was anyone addressed by name, and there weren’t really any smiles. At the same time, they did their jobs and weren’t bad either, so…

After the meal I visited the lavatory, located at the front of the cabin. Best I can tell they have a single lavatory for 767 business class passengers (I believe the ones behind the cabin are for economy passengers, but I could be mistaken). This is where the 767 really shows its age.


Austrian 767 business class lavatory

The bathroom did have some basic amenities, like combs, shaving kits, and more.


Austrian 767 business class lavatory amenities

Upon returning to my seat I checked out Austrian’s entertainment selection.


Austrian entertainment selection

Austrian’s entertainment selection is solid, with 86 movies and 102 TV shows. Unfortunately Austrian doesn’t offer wifi on their 767s, though.


Austrian entertainment selection


Austrian entertainment selection

I tried to sleep, but struggled to do so. The seat just felt so tight in the reclined position and the cabin was pretty warm (Austrian also doesn’t have individual air nozzles at seats). Add in the early departure out of New York and that I wasn’t actually that tired, and it was a bad combination for getting any real rest.

I ended up tossing and turning for a few hours, and eventually got up about three hours before landing. At that point I decided to watch Pitch Perfect 3, which was hilarious and stupid.


Austrian business class entertainment

About 90 minutes before landing the breakfast service began.


Airshow approaching Vienna


Airshow approaching Vienna

The breakfast card read as follows:

First warm towels were distributed, and then a couple of minutes later tablecloths and drinks were brought out, with the choice between juice and a smoothie.


Austrian business class breakfast — table setting

The entire breakfast was served on one tray, on beautiful rectangular plates. I appreciated the efficiency of serving the food on one tray, though also felt like they could have served it a bit later than 90 minutes before landing.


Austrian business class breakfast

Breakfast included some fresh fruit and muesli.


Austrian business class breakfast

Then for the main course I had an herbed ricotta omelet.


Austrian business class breakfast

The breakfast was excellent. At around 8AM local time the captain came back on the PA to advise that we’d be starting our descent soon, and that we’d be landing in about 30 minutes. Around this time the crew started to prepare the cabin for arrival.

As usual when flying to Austria, the views on descent were beautiful.


View approaching Vienna


View approaching Vienna

We touched down in Vienna at 8:30AM sharp, and from there had a short taxi to our arrival stand, where we parked next to a 777.


Taxiing Vienna Airport


Austrian 777 Vienna Airport

I quickly cleared immigration and headed to my hotel near the airport for some rest.

Austrian business class bottom line

I’m conflicted. Let’s start with the positives. Austrian’s catering is very good. It’s not quite to the level of Turkish Airlines, in my opinion, but it’s not far behind either. Their coffee menu in particular is a special treat.

The entertainment and bedding are pretty good as well.

But otherwise I’m not a huge fan of Austrian. Their staggered seats are really tight on the 767, though that’s largely also a function of it being a 767, meaning it has a narrow cabin. Austrian has the same business class seats that Delta has on their 767s, and I find these to just about be the most uncomfortable fully flat seats out there.

Lastly, the service was alright but unmemorable.

So yeah, Austrian has great catering and an excellent coffee menu, but I think that’s where my love of the product probably ends?

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

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Comments

  1. You should see AUS descending into Modul. Spiral descent from 18,000ft within 5 miles of the airport.

  2. I flew the same aircraft from ORD-VIE, bulkhead had more space for me. I prefer LH,LX >OS on catering imo.

  3. I flew them IAD-VIE this past May in Business. Service and food were excellent, so I was pleased. I was worried that the seat would be tight as I’m definitely not a small guy, but I was more comfortable than I thought I would be. Overall, this would be my preference to fly on, over Lufthansa, when going to Eastern/Central Europe.

  4. How would you compare Austrian business to Lufthansa transatlantic? I flew Lufthansa 748 in business and wasn’t terribly impressed (mediocre seat, service and food, decent lounge, etc.)- is this any better?

  5. “When I’ve flown Austrian in the past, they came around with an appetizer cart so you could select what you wanted, but in this case the appetizers came pre-plated. I’m not sure if that’s a general change they’ve made to their service protocol, or if this is simply because this is a shorter transatlantic flight, so the focus is on efficiency (which would be reasonable enough).”

    FYI, Turkish does the same when departing from the US…

    “The entire breakfast was served on one tray, on beautiful rectangular plates”

    Aren’t those triangles? And a trapezoid for the egg dish?

  6. I just flew them twice on July 10 (so looks like after you flew) BKK-VIE-ORD and we were served by the cart both times. Each flight was 10hrs though so maybe the time had something to do with the decision. I thought the service was awesome on both flights. The food was great on both flights as well. The attendants were perfectly nice and very friendly to my husband and I. I guess for sleeping it helps that I am only 5’1 so I really had no issues with my feet. My husband however is 6’4 and he did complain slightly but we were both so tired from our flight leaving BKK at midnight. I think for the value – we used miles it is a great way to travel business class over to Europe. This was my second trip with Austrian and I thought they were both enjoyable experiences.

  7. Nice review and gave a good overview of what a TATL flight on Austrian is like, thanks! Just a minor edit – were those breakfast dishes triangular by any chance? 🙂

  8. I flew them back in March VIE-MIA. I had snagged an Economy award for 30k United miles but had been really wanting to try their Biz. Because this was an award booking, I was unable to bid on an upgrade or pay for one in advance of the flight before arriving at the airport. Despite an already tight transfer in VIE coming from BUC, and add in a secondary screening I got flagged for, I was able to purchase the last biz class seat available for only $750 which I thought would be plenty worth it. They almost did not sell it to me though because it was so close to departure that they were not sure they could have their full meal service boarded for an extra J passenger and would actually prefer not to sell J at all rather than to sell it but not be able to provide the full experience (despite me saying I could care less…I just wanted the seat!). After a few calls though, they confirmed me.

    I am actually quite surprised by your impressions. Yes, I agree that the 767 makes for a tighter fit with these seats, and generally feels less new and luxurious than other options out there now (although I still remember getting some great rest with the pillow and blanket and I am 6’1). However, I had very friendly and on point service all the way through. I happen to know an Austrian flight attendant that was good friends with one of the attendants working my flight so she really opened up when she found this out, but overall, it seemed everyone in the cabin was getting the same level of service. The on-board chef was also very friendly and seemed to enjoy conversing around the cabin. The amenity kit I received was a gray cloth fold-over pouch that tied together with a red ribbon which I thought was unique and nice enough (although magnets or a zipper to fully keep this closed would have been better). From what I recall, food was all served from a tray as well so maybe it was just for efficiency purposes on your flight (and yes, all the food was great as expected from DO&CO). Oh and that coffee menu! My only complaint there is that it is a single serving feature as opposed to something that is offered throughout the flight. I would have loved to try a few of them throughout.

    Overall, was it on par with some of the best Asian and ME airlines? No. But I considered my overall experience to be at or near the top of my European carrier experiences in J.

  9. I took this same flight the day before you did. I was rather impressed by the catering and quite liked the seat, I was able to sleep OK in it, maybe because I chose the aisle seat which whilst less private does offer a little more room.

    Funnily enough my trip mirrored yours to a scary extent, we went to the Polaris Lounge and walked right out of the LH lounge, flew out of gate 60, I had the same food options as you (except the coffee which I had on my VIE-HKG the following evening)….

    http://www.airliners.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1398779

  10. I still use that amenity kit shoe bag, more airlines should do that… useful bags of all sorts rather than just the endless little pouches that frequent fliers now have too many of. Lufthansa gave me one as a grocery bag recently, which was high quality and great. May seem cheap but I think it is actually more useful and greater value…. unless you are really going to go all out with a high quality brand bag or something.

  11. Do they make the omelet fresh? I know the sunny side eggs are cooked fresh on board. Maybe the bacon too.

  12. I just flew them last month from JFK-VIE connecting to BKK on TG J.. the difference between the two was just remarkable. I would never fly OS unless I was terminating in VIE. The seat is a coffin (TG had the roomier reverse herringbone), the service is Germanic efficient with no personal touch (TG was efficient, Asians are more service oriented and pleasant – they anticipate before you ask – no asking for water or champagne), the food with all that DO&CO catering still very average to TG and I don’t understand the point of the on board chef – so gimmicky, he’s not cooking anything back there!), and OS are clearly clearly in cost cutting mode. TG had a mattress pad, two choices of champagne and small things like better liquor e.g. Bombay vs. Gordon’s … all in all the OS flight was among the worst business class flights I have taken (yes they have to make money while TG is probably bleeding). Their ONLY redeeming feature is their elaborate coffee menu. And for the hub airport, the VIE lounge was so mediocre like one of the US lounges from a few years ago ……

  13. I just few VIE-LAX with OS on their 777 a few weeks ago and had a not so great experience. Yes the catering is better than most other business class products out there, but it still pales in comparison to restaurant quality food on the ground, so this should really not be a reason to fly with them. My appetizers were rolled out in a cart with about 6 different options so I think you are right that they served yours already plated due to the shorter TA flight.

    I could be wrong but I think the seats are the same on the 777 and 767, only difference being that it’s 2-2-2 on the 777.

    Service was nothing to write home about. I would say about on par to a pleasant US based airline. Not overly friendly or helpful but there to do their job and available when you need them.

    What really ruined this flight for us is we were traveling with a lap infant and our 4 year old, so we had 3 seats booked, but they wouldn’t let us pre select our seats because we were traveling with an infant, which to me, seems backwards. If anything, shouldn’t you let families traveling with young kids/babies select their seats so that they can sit together? When we checked in, we noticed that our seats weren’t in the same row so asked if they can move us so that we can all be together, and they said that the cabin was full and couldn’t do anything. Fair enough, we’re only one row apart, not a huge deal. But when we boarded, we found out that our seats were in different cabins!! The 777 has one row of business class behind the main business class cabin in front of the prem econ cabin. This made the long flight super annoying and difficult for us as my wife had to sit w/ the baby and the 4 year old and I had to sit separate as we didn’t want her to sit w/ an infant next to a stranger to bother that passenger. No gesture from the purser or anybody else to try to help out our seating situation even though everyone knew we were traveling as a family.

  14. And agree with @_ar, the OS lounge in VIE is about on part to a United club (non Polaris). Pretty pathetic.

  15. To add: My appetizers were rolled out in a cart with different options – and this was JFK-VIE at the end of July.

  16. On my flights the appetizer cart was only on the flights FROM Vie to the US and not on flight TO VIE. IMHO Austrian has way better catering than both LH and LX so I’m surprised that some above commented that the other two were better.

    As an aside, how did you use the Polaris Lounge if it’s in the terminal where only UA flight depart?

  17. @lucky I just flew the route in return (vie-ewr) on the same plane. The 767 actually has two lavatories in the front. One is right behind the pilot so most people don’t notice it

  18. You get a lie flat (which is industry standard). You get decent Austrian wines. And you get incredible food. All things considered, OS has a superior business class product compared to competition across the Atlantic.

  19. I’m hesitant to say this… No, I’m sure about this.

    I prefer UA Polaris to FRA over LH, LX, and OS anyday. A marginally better dining service, offered on OS, does not make up for the dated and uncomfortable hard product.

  20. so i’ve flown on this hard product four times…once on OS (772), LX (77W), BA (A321), and AA (767). I find the throne seats to be overrated since the “armrests” are fixed, making it feel very tight in bed mode. The aisle/window seats are the best, especially since you can lower the arm rests.

    While AA is awful for not having installed IFE in their 767 product, i found there actual seat MUCH MUCH more comfortable than OS and LX. AA’s padding was way better since they use 100% foam padding . OS/LX/BA uses air bag padding which makes it feel lumpy and very uncomfortable.

    I wouldn’t mind flying on this hard product on AA…i’d gladly avoid it (if I can) on OS/LX, and BA.

  21. At this point (being a Senator flyer based in Vienna, close to becoming HON), it seems obvious that Lufthansa simply does not care about Austrian anymore. This will not be an international player in the near future anymore, becoming only a carrier to Germany or Switzerland. And do look at the odd “flagship” lounges at VIE airport, especially with the absolutely fantastic new lounges redesign at ZUR (and it seems to me, that Swiss is the best option nowadays regarding Business in the Lufthansa Group, great soft product, they even offer real Champagne on intra-European flights).

    The new Austrian VIE lounges design feels absolutely ridiculous, not thought through, and frankly, a disgrace to my great country. The “new” seats in the lounges already have a lot of stains, there are only very few “paintings” on the walls (so what’s the point!?), absolutely no nice atmosphere, and the lounge food always is the same old, same old. No typical Austrian food ever. Every day, every month I get the Curry with rice or some “Chili con carne”. And do not get me started on the drinks in the lounges, even Lufthansa FT lounges offer better selections. The worst part is the ridiculous situation of the restrooms (there was no redesign there, even no new paint job!!).

    I flew Business around 20 times on Austrian this year, with very high prices especially on the direct flight to Tokyo, and the bad Champagne, the limited food, the unfriendly service made me long for Emirates (which now flies the 380 out of Vienna, thank God).

    The reviews always point to the “fantastic” Coffee menu, but you ONLY get something like a Kaffee verkehrt (Café Latte) at the time they ask you – later, they will simply refuse to make anything with frothed milk. Just one example of show, no substance…

    Indeed, Turkish offers better options, but I have become a fan of Emirates (even with all their shortcomings), especially since Austrian planes get older and older. I mean, I had Chateau Margaux (plus the Dom Perignon of course) on my last Emirates flight in First Class starting in Vienna, how cool is that!?!!

    No hope for good old AUA, sadly!

  22. I have taken the non-stop Austrian Air out of LAX – VIE several times. Sometimes the service is excellent while other times the service is blah.
    I agree about the strange tray table with the instructions that do not really tell how to replace the tray to its position.
    My only real complaint is that we passengers had to take a bus to the aircraft when departing and taking a bus to the terminal when we landed back at LAX. Only twice did we have a gate when leaving LAX but only once did we have a gate when returning to LAX –

    From LAX – VIE it is about 12 hours. Having to take a bus back to the terminal after a twelve hour flight is a pain.

    When I last returned a few days ago, on the bus to the terminal, I noticed several gates at Bradley that were not occupied. Does anyone know why Austrian Airlines frequently buses their passengers to and from its aircraft while there are unused gates at the terminal?

  23. @dmg I do not know, but indeed this is a pain! Happens all the time. Last time arriving at LAX from VIE, the bus (no distinction between Business and Economy, “of course”!) took forever, and then when we arrived at the terminal the luggage belt actually already stopped – the bags were piling on each other, no-one around, and the whole experience sadly felt like arriving in Mexico (no disrespect, but please do compare LAX to Asian airports…….).

  24. I will NEVER AGAIN (if I have a choice) fly Austrian across the Atlantic. Every time I do it, I regret it. Compare the width of those seats (in either class) with other transatlantic-flying Airlines on SeatGuru. I am apparently built more like a Bavarian than an Austrian, so LH is my favorite carrier across the ocean currently. AA would be a close second except that I am concentrating my flights on the Star Alliance where possible.

    That being said, Austrian’s economy class short-haul (3 hours or less) intra-European service is just fine and I even recommend it especially if you can claim an emergency exit aisle seat.

  25. I flew OS from VIE to JFK on the 777 and found the experience to be pleasant enough. The crew were robotic, not big on smiles, but they did their job. Food was fine. Seats comfortable enough. Plane pushed back 10 minutes ahead of schedule and arrived a full 30 minutes ahead of schedule. The planes are immaculate. VIE is a joy.

  26. Basic geometry fail, lol. The tightness of the seats likely doesn’t apply to the ones nearer the aisle as you are not hemmed in between the table and the wall. Not all seats are created equal. Function of the choice you make in seats, though obviously the overall layout is lacking as compared to others.

  27. Had forgotten how noisy the 767 is – spoiled by 787 I guess. Flew them YYZ VIE and yes those J seats are cozy and I honestly thought they would be a lot more uncomfortable than they actually were. Got a good 5 hours sleep before breakfast. Think they are the only transatlantic airline still serving a hot entree for breakfast. The catering out of YYZ was NOT Do & Co and the main course was just awful. Huge chunk of very tough beef and the pathetic little butter knives gave up the ghost. First time I have sent beef back. Few nice little touches though including little clothes peg for fastening napkin to you and little packages of stain remover which actually worked very well, among lavatory amenities. Was dissapointed in the coffee menu and the Eispanner which had weak coffee and I think a vanilla bean had flown over the ice cream at FL 370. Was very much looking forward to the return segment with real Do & Co catering but they pulled a bait and switch and rerouted me over MUC with LH/AC. Beware the dreaded Star Alliance metal neutral pact where the members really dontcare whose metal you fly on as long as they are part of this immunised group. BTW VIE is the best European connecting hub I have experienced to date.

  28. @ DaKine

    AND… the shoe bag is very useful to store many things during the flight in those seats (AA 767, 757 etc…) where there is no storage whatsoever. There always is some kind of hook where you can hang the bag from in the back of the seat in front, typically there as coat hangers. I still kept and use several of the old AA shoebags- amenity kits from… 20 years ago, with the elderly FAs (no shortage of them on AA) recognizing them and starting a conversation, usually about our age.

  29. Thanks for the review, Ben. I concur with you this is my least favourite seat configuration. It seems there’s only so much you can do on the 767 in J. The cabin and seat are really tight and afford no privacy whatsoever.

    Inbound I flew the same hard product from MIA to GIG on AA’s 767 and far preferred their rocking zig-zag reverse herringbone 777 product from GIG to JFK, although in forward-facing seats your head is basically in the aisle.

    It would be interesting to see how UA’s refurbished Polaris 767 compare ?

  30. My favorite airline in Business going across the Atlantic. Coffee Barclay’s, throne seat, can’t beat that. If I can get them for 75K miles from Maui to VIE, or vice versa, I even take the train from VIE to MUC where I am actually heading.

  31. My favorite airline in Business going across the Atlantic. Coffee Barclay’s, throne seat, can’t beat that. If I can get them for 75K miles from Maui to VIE, or vice versa, I even take the train from VIE to MUC where I am actually heading. Of course I meant Coffee Baileys.

  32. Flew with them from VIE to YYZ about a week ago and had great experience. The onboard chef wasn’t especially charming but the other crew in business class were really nice. Their catering out of VIE is great and I like them better than Turkish. I didn’t find the seat to be that uncomfortable probably because of my rather small size :p Will choose them over Turkish at any time.

  33. As a frequent business traveler, the biggest reason for purchasing a biz ticket is the comfort. OS simply does not offer a comfortable seat. Everything else in my opinion is garnish. I second a comment above that I prefer the UA Polaris for crossing the Atlantic compared to the competition. The hard product is superior to LH, LX and OS.

  34. I’ve never flown OS but at least from a service perspective, it looks like a much greater offering than the comments mentioned.

    Food looks waaaay better than anything I’ve ever received on LH longhaul. And the seat is somewhat the same as LX A330. I would definitely consider OS over LH in the future!

    Lucky, I think the worst seat out there, far worse than this, is the BA business seat (real business, not first!). I can’t think of any seat worse than that!

  35. Same here. Looks way better than LH. Also, if you don’t want to feel boxed in, don’t get a window seat. I’m 6’1 way th broad shoulders and I avoid the window seats.

  36. You should try and get yourself on one of United’s retrofitted 767’s. I believe the Polaris seats on those planes are in a pretty unique 1-1-1 configuration. Since pretty much every other airline flying the 767 seems to have one of two kinds of seats (forward-facing or this sort of staggered seat) and neither are particularly comfortable it would be useful to know if Polaris seats can make a flight on a 767 actually enjoyable.

  37. Flew with them 2 yrs ago, FRA/VIE/SIN-BKK/VIE/FRA in economy.
    They blew TAM flights away (GRU/FRA/GRU)
    Service was pretty good, also meals and entertainment.
    Hard product is as good as you can get in economy, so this can’t be compared (althought I think padding in their seats was better than TAM)
    Also I had a really long layover in VIE, and they allowed me to purchase a pass for their lounge for about EUR35. And I had a lot of beers, snacks, 2 showers and sleep.

  38. Best line in the review:

    “At that point I decided to watch Pitch Perfect 3, which was hilarious and stupid.”

    Trés drôle!

  39. This seat is almost identical to my home airline’s Air Astana business class on 767-300ER – Lucky, which 767 business class do you prefer: Air Astana, Austrian, or something else?

  40. Flew VIE-IAD in Aug 2017 and had an excellent flight. I agree with you re the hard product on the 767 staggered product (OS and DL are identical and equally tight). However for a US bound flight during the day, sleep was less important and found the seat fine. I much prefer the aisle seats though due to the footwell.

    On my flight the food was exceptional, easily better than food I had in first class on Lufthansa, British Airways, and slightly better than food on Cathay Pacific First. Far far and away better than any food I’ve had in international business class on Delta, United, BA, Air Canada, Air Tahiti Nui, or Aer Lingus. A cart was used for appetizers, which I suspect was due to the longer flight time of ten hours. The chef was engaging and service was very good.

    They probably could retire the 767s though…definitely showing their age. Anyone know what their fleet plans are?

  41. Thank you so much for the great review and photos.
    I will be flying on Austrian out of EWR in November and would love to visit the new United Polaris lounge in Terminal C.
    Do you know what time Austrian check in counters open at EWR?
    It would be a problem going from Terminal B to C if there isn’t enough time.
    Thank you for your help.

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