Vienna to Istanbul via Tokyo: Austrian Business Class Vienna to Tokyo Narita

Vienna to Istanbul via Tokyo: Austrian Business Class Vienna to Tokyo Narita


Austrian 51
Vienna (VIE) – Tokyo (NRT)
Thursday, January 31
Depart: 1:10PM
Arrive: 8:25AM (+1 day)
Duration: 11hr15min
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200
Seat: 5A (Business Class)

I was the first aboard the 777 and seemed to catch the crew by surprise, as I don’t think they were expecting passengers quite yet. Since the cabin was still empty I was able to snap a few pictures of the cabin before anyone else got in the way.

So you guys have an idea of the cabin layout, here’s the business class seatmap (rows one through seven are in the forward business class cabin, and rows eight through ten are in the rear business class cabin).

Business class seatmap

Forward business class cabin

Forward business class cabin

I took the opportunity to snap pictures of as many different “configurations” of seats as possible, so that you guys can get an idea of the difference between the “paired” seats and the “throne” seats.

Seats 6D & 6G

Seats 5D & 5G

Seats 4A & 4C

I quickly found my seat, 5A, which was a single “throne” window seat.

My seat, 5A

At my seat was a pillow and really soft blanket, probably one of the most comfortable I’ve ever had on a plane. Interestingly the wrapping around it indicated that it was for sale in the duty free shop for 50 Euros. Not sure it’s worth that much, though it is a very nice blanket.

Pillow and blanket

I quickly realized that the seat was literally identical to the one on Brussels minus the colors. On the left and right side were were pouches, and on each side of the TV screen were bottle holders

Left pouch

Right pouch

On the left side of the seat were the seat controls.

Seat controls

And on the right side were the entertainment controls, power ports, and a storage compartment.

Entertainment controls

Storage compartment and power ports

Cabin view from 5A

Within a few minutes of settling in I was offered a pre-departure beverage by one of the crew members. He was extremely friendly, and jokingly asked if I had snapped enough pictures yet. Fortunately he shared my excitement, as it was his first time flying the new business class as well. Actually with the exception of one flight attendant, it was the first time anyone in the crew had flown the new business class. So they were actually taking as many pictures as I was throughout the flight.

For my pre-departure beverage I had a glass of water.

Pre-departure water

Within a few minutes the Japanese flight attendant (I’m not sure if she spoke German because she seemed to speak Japanese and English to everyone) offered me headphones, an amenity kit, and slippers.

Headphones, amenity kit, and slippers

The amenity kit consisted of a toothbrush, socks, mints, earplugs, a shoehorn, and some lotion. I was surprised to see that the slippers were actually a decent size.

Amenity kit contents

Shortly thereafter the chef came by to distribute the menu and wine list.

Menu and wine list

The flight was fairly empty so boarding was complete within about 15 minutes, at which point the captain came on the PA to advise us of our flight time of 10hr30min. As the door closed the business class cabin was about half full, which I was really excited about. I had selected a “throne” seat, though as some of you may recall, I found it quite uncomfortable for sleeping on the New York to Brussels flight. So I was excited to lounge in the throne seat and then sleep in one of the double seats, which have more legroom.

As we pushed back the safety video began to play.

Wing view during push back

Coolest plane ever or what?

We were taking off from runway 29 today, and the taxi was so short that as soon as the video finished we were on our takeoff roll.

Taxiing to the runway

We had an extremely long takeoff roll and gradual climb out of Vienna.

View on climb out

Can anyone identify the airport?

We had a bit of chop on the climb out, and it was about 20 minutes before the seatbelt sign was turned off. Interestingly even though Austrian and Brussels have identical entertainment systems, the one on Brussels is made available on the ground, while the one on Austrian is only made available about 20 minutes into the flight.

View on climb out

Once we leveled off I changed into British Airways pajamas, reclined my seat, and got comfortable. I find the “throne” seat perfectly comfortable for lounging given the amount of shoulder room.

Foot “cubby” in throne seat

Flight path for today

I began to browse the entertainment selection, and found it to have a better selection and be organized more intuitively than the one on Brussels.

Entertainment system

Entertainment system

As we leveled off the chef came around to take entree orders. The lunch menu read as follows:

And the drink menu read as follows:

At this point it’s probably worth noting that there were about four flight attendants working business class, in addition to the chef. There was the purser, a lady in her mid-40s, and three guys in their 30s-40s. They were all extremely professional and friendly, but damn, Austrian really needs to change their bright red uniforms. They’re painful to look at, unless they’re aspiring to be elves in Santa’s workshop at a mall.

Austrian’s catering is done by DO & CO, the same catering as the Lufthansa First Class Terminal and Turkish business class.

All service was done by cart, starting with the table being set. I ordered a Diet Coke with ice and lemon, and was also offered prosciutto, olives, and cheese to snack on.

Table setting

Next the chef came around with the starters. I loved the fact that they plated them at your seat based on your preferences, much like many airlines do in first class. I asked for the kataifi prawns, smoked salmon tartare, and avocado tomato salad. All three were phenomenal.

Appetizer cart

Kataifi prawns, smoked salmon tartare, and avocado tomato salad

Next the chef came around with a cart consisting of procini mushroom consomme and butter dumplings.

Procini mushroom consomme with butter dumpling

Then the main course was served, consisting of herbed chicken breast with spinach ricotta stuffing and saffron risotto. Again, it was excellent.

Herbed chicken breast

Next the dessert cart was rolled around, and the dessert was also plated at your seat, so you could have as little or as much as you wanted. I had the pear chocolate souffle with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. I’m sure you can guess how it tasted.

Pear chocolate souffle with vanilla ice cream

At this point trays were cleared. Remember how on Brussels I said the tray tables were unnecessarily difficult to operate? Well, I couldn’t figure out how to stow my tray on this flight either, and it took me getting out of my seat and four flight attendants before we could figure out how to stow it. Here are the “instructions” on the table:

Stowing tray table instructions

And little did I know the best part of the meal was yet to come. I’ve always wanted to fly Austrian for one simple reason — I’m a coffee fanatic, and they’re the only airline with a separate coffee menu. After dessert the chef came around the cabin to distribute coffee menus. Yes, coffee menus. I was in heaven.

The coffee menu read as follows:

Now, read this part carefully and learn from my mistakes if you’re also a coffee fanatic. I was literally going to sample my way through each type of coffee throughout the flight, though later on I learned two lessons:

  • Only the chef can prepare the “fancy” coffees, so don’t expect to have one while he’s resting
  • The ice cream melts after the main meal service, so if you want an Eiskaffee order it first

But what I did instead was order a Kaffee Baileys, thinking I’d have an Eiskaffee later in the flight. The coffees take about 20 minutes to prepare, so at that point I was served my coffee. It was, not surprisingly, delicious, and I loved how it was presented as well.

Kaffee Baileys

As the meal finished bottled water was also distributed.

Bottled water

On the whole it was simply a phenomenal meal. Hands down the best I’ve ever had in business class, and on par with many first class meals I’ve had. The quality was top notch, everything was plated at your seat just as it would be in first class, and the crew was genuinely friendly and attentive.

The meal was done about two hours into the flight, at which point the sun was beginning to set.

View from the window

After lunch I moved forward to seat 4A to try and get some shuteye. As I mentioned in the Brussels report, the sets of two seats have quite a bit more “foot” room than the throne seats, so for sleeping they’re much better. Since the row in front of me was empty I decided to build a pillow and blanket fortress to make it as comfortable of a seat as possible. I put a blanket on the seat itself, another on top of me, and used a couple of pillows to make an all around very comfortable bed. There was noticeably more room for my feet in this seat, and I was able to sleep much better than I would’ve been able to in the throne seat.

Reclined seat

I wasn’t especially tired so only managed to nap for a couple of hours, and woke up with over six hours to go to Tokyo.

Airshow upon waking up

I decided to browse the entertainment selection, and settled on a show called “Pilot Globe Guides.” It was quite possibly the most poorly produced and offensive TV show reviewing hotels that I’ve ever seen. Seriously, what the hell? I guess that would explain why it never entered production beyond a pilot…

Pilot Globe Guides

This is the point at which I learned the above lesson regarding coffee the hard way. I tried to order an Eiskaffee, though was informed by the flight attendant that it would only be available when the chef is awake. About 30 minutes later I asked the purser, and while she didn’t mention anything about the chef, she said that she thought the ice cream was already melted. So she made me an Eiskaffee, except the ice cream was already melted. It tasted just as good as far as I’m concerned, but I still wish I had ordered one after the meal service.


After another coffee I decided to try and get a bit more sleep, and managed to sleep for another few hours, waking up about 90 minutes out of Narita Airport.

Airshow upon waking up

I opened the window shade and was able to watch a beautiful sunrise. Forgetting about all the champagne, food, and good service, isn’t watching a sunrise from a few miles up what makes flying awesome?


The breakfast menu read as follows:

Breakfast service began with orange juice and a fruit smoothie.

Orange juice and fruit smoothie

The breakfast service is efficient given that it’s all on one tray, though still beautifully presented.

It consisted of fruit, ham and cheese, fresh bread, and I selected a mushroom omelette as my entree.


There was also muesli served in a cup, though my tray was so full that I waited till I was done with the rest of my meal before ordering it.


We began our descent early, about 45 minutes out. We hit some pretty abrupt turbulence on the descent, though the ride got smoother as we leveled out at around 10,000 feet, where we must have cruised for a good 20 minutes or so as we were put in a holding pattern over the ocean.

View on descent

Once we were released from our holding pattern we approached the coastline, and had about another 10 minutes of flying.

View on approach

View on approach

We had a smooth touchdown at Narita and about a 10 minute taxi to gate 36, taxiing past the cargo and then Star Alliance terminals.

Taxiing in

Korean Air, ANA, and Thai

Singapore Airbus A380

I felt surprisingly well rested for a longhaul in business class, ready to tackle the 12 hour flight back to Istanbul in a few hours.

On the whole this flight blew me away. Austrian must have one of the best business class products out there, probably the best of any European airline. While I do still prefer the seats offered by Cathay Pacific, the catering was on par with what I’ve been served in first class on most airlines, and the service was extremely friendly as well. Oh, and they have a coffee menu, which quite possibly makes this the best product in the world. 😉

Once Austrian’s entire fleet is reconfigured with the new business class (which should happen by sometime this summer), I think this is the way to fly to Europe in business class.

How you can use miles/points for Austrian Business Class

The two best ways to redeem for Austrian business class are through United and US Airways. It’s worth noting that Austrian also flies to North America, with service to New York, Washington, Toronto, and as of May, Chicago. They also offer service on their longhaul aircraft to Bangkok, Beijing, Delhi, Dubai, the Maldives, and Tokyo.

The best program through which to book in most cases is United. You can book Austrian business class roundtrip between the US and Europe for 100,000 miles, or Austrian business class roundtrip between the US and Bangkok, Beijing, Delhi, Dubai, the Maldives, or Tokyo, all via Vienna, for 120,000 miles roundtrip. In each case you’re allowed a stopover and an open jaw, so you could stop in Vienna while enroute to any of those destinations if you wanted to. The best way to rack up United miles is through Ultimate Rewards, which is their 1:1 transfer partner.

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  1. Singularity Guest

    The tray table problem is the main issue of the Thompson Vantage business class seat. Many passengers and cabin crew have also complained about how complicated it is to deploy and stow. That is why in Swiss 777 business class, the airline opted to install the tray table on the side storage compartment, to be deployed by pulling it then turning it down. In Japan Airlines 767 'SkySuite II' business class, also Thompson Vantage, the...

    The tray table problem is the main issue of the Thompson Vantage business class seat. Many passengers and cabin crew have also complained about how complicated it is to deploy and stow. That is why in Swiss 777 business class, the airline opted to install the tray table on the side storage compartment, to be deployed by pulling it then turning it down. In Japan Airlines 767 'SkySuite II' business class, also Thompson Vantage, the tray table is deployed from the bottom of the IFE screen in front of you.

  2. Edward Guest

    Are those touch-screen seat controls?

  3. lucky OMAAT

    @ anon -- Yep, Tyrolean is Austrian's operating name.

  4. anon Guest

    Will this flight be the same as the Tyrolean Airlines? I booked OS87 and OS88 this coming summer to Vienna and wanted to know if I will be able to enjoy this nice business class. Thanks.

  5. maguro Guest

    booked the second week of service ORD-VIE, 90K aeroplan points
    Hope the retrofit is complete as promised.
    the food looks typically germanic, hopefully there are some lighter options.
    Previously flew YUL-ZUR Swiss first..amazing product, no longer offered on points thru aeroplan

  6. Superguy Guest

    This is a great review, and answered everything I wanted to know about OS's new C! Thanks!

    My wife and I are returning from Europe in July and we'll have the new C on an OS 767 (VIE-ORD). I'm really stoked for this. She will be too, especially after going over on UA. :D

  7. lucky OMAAT

    @ David -- Will be sure to do that in the future. Thanks!

  8. David Guest

    Marvellous report. As I am flying in Biz on OS VIE-BKK next month I must say my anticipation level is much higher after reading this.

    One request though... When reporting on the lounges.. could you include whether or not they have showers??

  9. Matthew Guest

    Your cabin pictures are always so nice. Do you ask to board early or leave the lounge early so you can be among the first to board and snap some pictures of the empty-ish cabins?

  10. Michael Guest

    I must disagree with your assessment about the red uniforms. The red is tasteful and in stark contrast to the usual tired uniforms flight attendants have to wear.

  11. Niraj K Guest


    We are booked on Austrian in Jun to DEL. Hopefully it will be new config 777 and 767 by then. Great report.

  12. lucky OMAAT

    @ Danny -- Absolutely, I do it all the time, and it should be quite easy. US Airways freely allows holds so I'd suggest holding one ticket through US Airways, then booking the United ticket, and then going back to purchase the US Airways ticket.

  13. Danny Guest

    Hi Lucky,
    I'm in a situation where I'm earning points for both my wife and me. The problem is I'm close to enough points for a ticket in USAir and in United. Do you think it's possible to get an award ticket on the same flight using two diff programs? Thank you.

  14. sjs Guest

    Think the person who drafted the English version of the breakfast menu must have been Canadian. "Beeries."

  15. lucky OMAAT

    Got y'all! :p

    @ wwk5d -- Hope to try them very soon.

  16. wwk5d Guest

    You really need to try out Swiss's staggered BC, just to compare the seats and overall service. Good to know you'd place Austrian ahead of Brussels in terms of overall experience.

  17. Lantean Diamond


    You're right, it's way too big to be Bratislava and its definitely not Budapest so it must be Vienna.... Not sure if Lucky was trying to confuse us with his question...

  18. lucky OMAAT

    @ Diana W -- I far prefer other coffee places, but Starbucks is convenient and a nice place to kill a couple of hours a day on laptop when you otherwise work from home.

  19. Diana W Guest

    If you're such a coffee fanatic, why do you hang out at Starbucks? Besides having that fancy metal card you mentioned awhile back =)

  20. stephan Guest

    Sorry, that should have said: ...take off to the west...?

  21. stephan Guest

    Your airport image is of Vienna airport. Did you take off to the east and double back and get mixed up? It is not Bratislava.

  22. lucky OMAAT

    @ stephan -- Those are seats 7A and 7K. Rows 8-10 are in the rear mini-cabin. :)

  23. stephan Guest

    In your photos it looks like there is a single "throne" seat at A and K at the very back which are not on the seat map. Is there an extra row or are these crew seats?

  24. lucky OMAAT

    @ Ed -- It was actually excellent, probably the best in the cabin. The cutout looked very big.

  25. Ed Guest

    Did you happen to notice what foot space is like for the bulkhead seats?

  26. Alan Guest

    Great TR, Lucky - looks like a really brilliant flight. Glad to hear footwell space better in the non-Captain Kirk seats, will definitely bear in mind. Definitely keen to give them a go sometime!

  27. lucky OMAAT

    @ David -- I believe it's on all longhaul flights.

  28. David Member

    Is the food and coffee options on all OS longhaul? Or just departing VIE?

  29. lucky OMAAT

    @ Seegs -- I'd probably go for any window pair. As you note they're a bit more private and one person gets a window view. Seems worth it to me.

  30. Seegs Guest

    Lucky, what would you say is the ideal pair of seats for a couple? The middle pairs look to have more space but window pairs look more private. I'm flying BKK-VIE in August.

  31. lucky OMAAT

    @ Cdiddy -- I'd say on Singapore the seat and entertainment are still a bit better, but I found the food to be better on Austrian and service comparable (though it can be tough to compare service on a European and Asian airline given how different the styles are).

  32. Cdiddy Member

    How would you say this compares to Singapore business in the 380/777? Both in terms of hard product and soft product/food?


  33. Jorge Guest

    Wow, that is amazing. I have flown Austrian in Europe only ( Brussels to Vienna and Bucharest) and was blown away by their service.

    Will keep them in mind now that LH is getting more difficult to book. And that business class is of first class quality.

  34. lucky OMAAT

    @ Max -- Right, if you wanted to book far in advance. That being said, if you're looking to go to Europe and North Asia in winter I doubt you'll have any trouble finding space closer to departure (I booked my trip only a few weeks out as well).

  35. Max New Member

    OK, so if you want to book a US Airways Europe or N Asia award far in advance, you'll incur the change fee to switch to Austrian once it comes available, right?

  36. lucky OMAAT

    @ Max -- I should have mentioned they suck at releasing award space far in advance, they seem to release a lot more space in the short to medium term.

  37. LarryInNYC Guest

    Nice to see them serving "procini". Normally all you get are the anticini.

  38. Max New Member

    Do they only release from a certain time out, or does United's tool just suck? I'm looking for year-end availability and not seeing anything VIE-NRT.

  39. lucky OMAAT

    @ Jerry H -- Whoops, thanks. Fixed! Yeah, the YQ on Austrian is a killer through Aeroplan, which is why I left them out as one of the best redemption options.

  40. Jerry H Member

    @lucky - typo as I think you meant "Red" uniforms
    "change their bright read uniforms"

    Very nice J product, the food looked better than the LX food I had (although hardware is very similar, or the same?)

    Now I wonder if I can route YYZ-VIE-NRT-Asia on Aeroplan, but crazy YQ may hit me first :(

  41. lucky OMAAT

    @ Michael T -- Award availability on Austrian is EXCELLENT at the moment.

  42. Michael T Guest

    Lucky, what kind of award availability are you seeing on Austrian in business? I remember checking last year and there was zilch. Is it much better now or did you luck out with the new route?

  43. Craig Guest

    I think it's Porcini mushrooms - typo on the menü.

  44. SINJim Member

    Lucky-that's a trick question, yes? That appears to be Vienna International Airport from which you just departed. The tell is the Fanta bottles adjacent to the terminal. :)

  45. Lantean Diamond

    at least they give out the slippers now, they didn't do that last year. it's good to hear their food is still good... it's really much better than any business class food out there.

    i guess the airport you're trying to identify is Bratislava? it seems like it's on the way...

  46. concorde02 Guest

    I do not like the front wall paper of the cabin. It's like a children play room!

    The food look amazing.... just like my experiences on Austrian in J.

  47. lucky OMAAT

    @ Michael T -- You're not mistaken, they did indeed!

    @ Jason -- It was indeed, thanks!

  48. Jason Guest

    What a fantastic sounding flight, definitely will want to give them a try. I love that as business class is becoming the new norm for premium cabin flights for most people, the product continues to trend towards a more first class like experience. Thanks Lucky.

  49. Michael T Guest

    If I'm not mistaken, I saw an extremely small clothes pin on the tray in one of your pictures. If so, I'm glad to see that Austrian still provides the micro pin to use to pin your napkin to your shirt. Much nicer than the button hole, IMO.

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.

Singularity Guest

The tray table problem is the main issue of the Thompson Vantage business class seat. Many passengers and cabin crew have also complained about how complicated it is to deploy and stow. That is why in Swiss 777 business class, the airline opted to install the tray table on the side storage compartment, to be deployed by pulling it then turning it down. In Japan Airlines 767 'SkySuite II' business class, also Thompson Vantage, the tray table is deployed from the bottom of the IFE screen in front of you.

Edward Guest

Are those touch-screen seat controls?

Where’s the Coffee? A review of Austrian Airlines Business Class | Hack.Travel Guest

[...] reading Lucky’s review of Austrian Airlines, and at the urging of a friend, our outbound flights to Istanbul would be [...]

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