Zurich (ZRH) – Vienna (VIE)
Thursday, July 4
Aircraft: Airbus A319
Seat: 2D (Business Class)
While intra-Europe business class is more or less the same — simply coach seating with a blocked middle seat and slightly better food and service — I tend to think Austrian is the one airline that sticks out, thanks in no small part to their amazing catering by DO&CO.
On this particular flight there were three rows of business class with a total of four passengers.
Love the DO&CO placard
Boarding on this flight was quick, and within about 15 minutes everyone was settled in. We were offered newspapers and magazines before departure.
Before pushback the captain came on the PA to inform us of our flight time of 1hr5min, which would put is into Vienna on schedule.
Finnair plane next to us at the gate
As we pushed back the safety demo played (Austrian actually has TV monitors), and by the time it finished we were more or less at the runway.
Our climb out was smooth, and about 10 minutes into the flight the seatbelt sign was turned off and service began. Austrian serves a hot meal on an hour long flight. Not only is it hot, but it’s edible. Ridiculously so. In this case there was a cucumber, tomato, and feta cheese salad, some hot pasta, and a profiterole(ish) dessert. Warm bread was also offered from the bread basket. Seriously, the food was nothing short of spectacular, and puts every other intra-Europe service to shame. For that matter it’s much better than Lufthansa’s lounghaul catering.
Service throughout the short flight was excellent, and we were constantly offered drink refills by the cheery flight attendant.
Our descent was smooth and we landed in Vienna right on-time.
Pulling into our gate
Upon arrival it was at least a 15 minute walk to passport control, where we entered the non-Schengen area in anticipation of our departure to Tokyo Narita.
Walking towards passport control
From there we used the Austrian Senator Lounge, which I reviewed just a few months ago in this post, so I’ll avoid reviewing it again. The lounge was pleasant, and after a short 30 (or so) minute stay we headed to our departure gate at around 12:45PM.
Duty free shopping
The non-Schengen terminal was quite busy with several Austrian departures to the Middle East and Asia.
Fleet of Austrian planes
Walking to our departure gate
We got to our departure gate right as business class boarding began, and were among the first aboard.
Our departure gate
Summing it up, Austrian business class is worth seeking out for intra-Europe travel for their phenomenal catering and service.