Review: Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna Airport (VIE)

Review: Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna Airport (VIE)

NAME: Austrian Senator Lounge
Airport: VIE
DATE: January 2023
REVIEW RATING:
BEN SAYS: The Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna has a quirky and modern design with a good selection of food and drinks. However, the lounge is otherwise pretty unmemorable, and lacks amenities.
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For the next portion of my whirlwind Aeroplan adventure, I flew Austrian Airlines business class from Vienna to Rome. Prior to the flight, I first checked out the SKY Lounge Vienna courtesy of Priority Pass, and I then checked out the Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna, thanks to my Star Alliance Gold status (through Singapore KrisFlyer).

The Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna is a perfectly nice place to kill some time, though it’s also quite unmemorable. Let’s take a closer look at it…

Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna location

I visited the Schengen Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna Airport, located in Terminal 3, near the F gates. Since this is in the Schengen area, it’s located before the passport control that leads to the non-Schengen area, meaning that all passengers departing Terminal 3 can visit this lounge.

Once you clear security at Vienna Airport, just follow the signage in the direction of lounges. You’ll need to go up a level, so you can either take the elevator or escalator.

Terminal at Vienna Airport

At the top of the escalator you’ll see passport control (leading to the non-Schengen area), so at this point you’ll want to make a left turn, in the direction of lounges.

Terminal at Vienna Airport (VIE)

This will bring you down a long corridor that overlooks the landside portion of the terminal, and at the end of it you’ll want to turn right.

Terminal at Vienna Airport (VIE)
Direction to SKY Lounge Vienna Airport

Once you turn the corner there, you’ll see the entrance to the Austrian Lounge straight ahead, and the entrance to the SKY Lounge to the right. Note that the entrance to the Austrian Lounge includes the Austrian Business Lounge, Austrian Senator Lounge, and also an exclusive lounge for Lufthansa and SWISS first class passengers, as well as HON Circle members.

Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna entrance

Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna hours

The Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna is open daily from 5:30AM until 9:30PM, covering just about all the Star Alliance departures from the terminal.

Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna entry requirements

Lufthansa Group (including Austrian, Lufthansa, and SWISS) have an interesting system when it comes to lounge access, which differs a bit from the general Star Alliance lounge access approach:

  • Austrian Business Lounges are the carrier’s business class lounges, open to all Star Alliance business class passengers; these travelers generally can’t take guests
  • Austrian Senator Lounges are more premium, and are open to Star Alliance Gold members plus Star Alliance first class passengers, with one guest permitted; Lufthansa Group technically markets these as first class lounges, so that they don’t have to let Star Alliance first class passengers on non-Lufthansa Group airlines into the real first class lounges

I have Star Alliance Gold status through Singapore KrisFlyer, which is why I could use the Austrian Senator Lounge with my business class ticket.

The Austrian Senator Lounge and Austrian Business Lounge share an entrance and reception, and then the Senator Lounge is to the left, while the Business Lounge is to the right.

Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna entrance

Note that in addition to the standard Star Alliance policies, there are some further airlines seemingly using the Austrian Lounge for their passengers, including Bulgaria Air, Etihad Airways, Georgian Airways, and more.

Austrian Lounge Vienna eligible airlines

Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna seating & layout

The Austrian Senator Lounge consists of one main room. The lounge seems like it’s on the small side given Austrian’s presence at the airport, but it also wasn’t overcrowded during my early morning visit.

While I quite like the lounge’s design, I find it to be… quirky? It has some trees, and lots of bright colors. While I know red is one of Austrian’s signature colors, there’s also lots of lime green and bright carpets.

The lounge largely consisted of tables with two to four seats each, along the far wall.

Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna seating
Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna seating
Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna seating
Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna seating
Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna seating

Inside the entrance to the lounge and to the right were some seats with ottomans, facing a TV. CNN was on during my visit, and this was the same time that the 15th vote for the United States Speaker of the House was taking place. It was kind of funny to hear the reactions of some of the Europeans in the lounge, who couldn’t help but express confusion and disbelief.

Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna seating

Along the windows were some more chairs with ottomans, though unfortunately this lounge doesn’t have great apron views.

Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna seating

Near the entrance to the lounge were some stools with tables.

Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna seating

The only further amenity in the lounge were three daybeds in a darker room, for those looking to get some rest.

Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna rest area
Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna rest area

All-in-all, it’s a perfectly nicely furnished lounge, though there’s not much to get excited about here. Personally I wish there were some sort of business center or cubicles, because there’s not really a place that’s great for working.

Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna food & drinks

The Austrian Senator Lounge had a good selection of food & drinks, all available at the buffet inside the entrance and to the left.

Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna buffet

Cold food options included all sorts of bread and rolls, croissants, pastries, cold cuts, yogurt, cereal, snack mix, sweets, fruit, and more.

Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna food
Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna food
Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna food
Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna food
Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna food
Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna food
Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna food
Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna fruit

There was also a hot section to the buffet, with scrambled eggs, potatoes, hash browns, fried bacon, and cherry tomatoes. Interestingly there was someone staffing this portion of the buffet. I’m not sure if that was still some sort of a coronavirus protocol, or just intended as a courtesy.

Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna hot food
Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna hot food
Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna food

As far as drinks go, there was a fridge with a selection of water, juice, beer, and wine.

Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna drinks

There was also a selection of self serve liquor.

Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna liquor selection

Then there were a couple of coffee machines, which made some pretty good cappuccinos (for a machine).

Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna coffee machine

Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna bathrooms & showers

The Austrian Lounge in the Schengen area had shared bathrooms and shower rooms for both the Business Lounge and Senator Lounge, so they were located near the main reception.

Austrian Lounge Vienna bathrooms

The mens bathroom had two urinals and two stalls, which didn’t seem like a very big bathroom to share between two lounges.

Austrian Lounge Vienna bathrooms
Austrian Lounge Vienna bathrooms

There was also a shower suite reserved for those in the Senator Lounge, though it was occupied during my visit, so I didn’t have a chance to check it out.

Austrian Lounge Vienna showers

Bottom line

The Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna is… pretty good? For a Schengen lounge it’s certainly above average, with modern and colorful decor, and an extensive selection of food and drinks. However, the lounge doesn’t have any other feature that will really stand out to most, aside from a few daybeds.

This is probably marginally better than the SKY Lounge next door, though for what’s supposed to be a “better than business class” lounge, it really isn’t very exciting.

What do you make of the Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna?

Conversations (20)
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  1. KB Guest

    At VIE these days the lounge to check out is the Vienna Lounge in the older section, where for some reason OS is operating its long hauls now. It’s about 10x the size of the Austrian and Sky lounges and accessible with Priority Pass. Pretty much the first airport I’ve been to where the PP lounge is better than the home airline one.

  2. Christian Guest

    Do you use a program/software to remove people out of the pics you post? Asking because I am in that lounge frequently and it is usually packed full like a can of sardines. I have never been in there when it is less than at least half full.

    1. Samo Guest

      The trick is not coming during the wave of OS flights ;) It gets packed 1-2 hours before the wave but tends to be fairly empty at other times.

  3. ArnoldB Guest

    All the lounges at Vienna Airport are catered by DoN Catering. In the Austrian lounges, the hot food is served by a staff member ("cook") as a sort of feature and garnished more nicely, whereas in the Sky Lounge everything is self-serve (eventhough the food might be the same).

    Ben, next time you are in Vienna you should absolutely try the Vienna Lounge in the Terminal 2 area. It's the best contract lounge in Europe...

    All the lounges at Vienna Airport are catered by DoN Catering. In the Austrian lounges, the hot food is served by a staff member ("cook") as a sort of feature and garnished more nicely, whereas in the Sky Lounge everything is self-serve (eventhough the food might be the same).

    Ben, next time you are in Vienna you should absolutely try the Vienna Lounge in the Terminal 2 area. It's the best contract lounge in Europe BY FAR, with a huge amount of space, great runway views and a terrace. Von dort fliegt z.B. EVA Air weg, aber derzeit auch die AUA-Flüge in die USA.

    1. Ben Holz Guest

      +1 on the Vienna Lounge also being the best contract lounge I have visited. Must admit I haven't been to VIE in a while (before the T2 refurbishment was completed), but I thought the Vienna Lounge was in T1.

    2. KB Guest

      I was going to say, I was quite confused that my OS flight to the US was operating out of the old section. Check in staff told me to use the Austrian lounge in F/G and then take a bus over but I knew I had PP access so I just went straight to the Vienna Lounge. I would love to know why OS is going retro and departing from the old “retunda”.

  4. glenn t Diamond

    Underwhelmed by this lounge~ seems to be an average business lounge seen almost anywhere. I would have liked to see a comparison review done of the adjacent regular business lounge.
    Things I missed seeing was champagne (the marker for any premium lounge), signature Austrian apple strudel log, and private rest area (sheer curtains do not do the job).
    Also tree trunks magically growing through the carpet and timber flooring are curious to say...

    Underwhelmed by this lounge~ seems to be an average business lounge seen almost anywhere. I would have liked to see a comparison review done of the adjacent regular business lounge.
    Things I missed seeing was champagne (the marker for any premium lounge), signature Austrian apple strudel log, and private rest area (sheer curtains do not do the job).
    Also tree trunks magically growing through the carpet and timber flooring are curious to say the least. Tell me they are artificial !

  5. rn42 Guest

    >for what’s supposed to be a “better than business class” lounge, it really isn’t very exciting.

    Because it isn't. The business lounge next door is exactly the same, just bigger. Same red and green furniture, same tables, same grey lounge chairs, same couple of dark "rooms". Same food and drink too.
    And the toilets are inside, though I'm not sure if it has showers.

    SEN used to be visibly better than BIZ lounges. Swiss...

    >for what’s supposed to be a “better than business class” lounge, it really isn’t very exciting.

    Because it isn't. The business lounge next door is exactly the same, just bigger. Same red and green furniture, same tables, same grey lounge chairs, same couple of dark "rooms". Same food and drink too.
    And the toilets are inside, though I'm not sure if it has showers.

    SEN used to be visibly better than BIZ lounges. Swiss still mostly supports that. Lufthansa not really, not since Covid closures, but maybe will again if they can get staffing under control.
    But Austrian lounge complex in F underwent refit in I think 2018 and it's been like this since. Consequently I prefer business lounge despite being *G just because there is more space, even if it's full, it's not that bad.

  6. Santos Guest

    I know looks can be deceiving when it comes to modern furniture (I have a Färg & Blanche chair in my office that looks pedestrian but is insanely comfortable—and cost $3100 of my company's money) but the chairs in that lounge do not look particularly inviting at all for an extended layover.

  7. Julia Guest

    Looks really nice, actually...for a business class lounge.

  8. Thomas Guest

    Ah, the beer selection.

    Schwach. Schwaecher. Schwechater...

  9. Alessandro Guest

    In order to get access, did you show your Singapore gold card, or your boarding pass reflected that?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Alessandro -- I had my Singapore KrisFlyer number attached to my reservation, so showing my boarding pass did the trick.

  10. Lukas Gold

    "It was kind of funny to hear the reactions of some of the Europeans in the lounge, who couldn’t help but express confusion and disbelief."

    Give us some tea with more specifics :D

    1. Never In Doubt Guest

      I’m actually more surprised Europeans would either understand what was going on, or care.

      Maybe a little projection/dramatic enhancement by Ben here?

    2. Icarus Guest

      Probably because we are generally more intelligent and aware of what’s going on in the world, than your average Republican.

    3. Never In Doubt Guest

      The “People who aren’t like me are stupid” trope is so tired.

    4. UA-NYC Guest

      Let’s be real - the Freedom Caucus types are truly some of the dumbest people you will ever see out there

    5. Dander Guest

      I come here for airline related reviews, not tired political comments

    6. Petri Diamond

      @ Nevrt in doubt. As an European lawyer with investments in the US, thank you for for the vote of confidence.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Icarus Guest

Probably because we are generally more intelligent and aware of what’s going on in the world, than your average Republican.

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Santos Guest

I know looks can be deceiving when it comes to modern furniture (I have a Färg & Blanche chair in my office that looks pedestrian but is insanely comfortable—and cost $3100 of my company's money) but the chairs in that lounge do not look particularly inviting at all for an extended layover.

1
Lukas Gold

"It was kind of funny to hear the reactions of some of the Europeans in the lounge, who couldn’t help but express confusion and disbelief." Give us some tea with more specifics :D

1
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