Hello readers, and welcome to the last installment of this Trip Report! This review will cover the flight back from Vienna to Newark. Hope you enjoy!
We checked in online at the hotel, which was easy. The plane was a 2-3-2 arranged 767 and we reserved two of the two seat sections on the right side of the plane. I love how low the chances are of getting a middle seat on a 767.
After a ~25 minute drive from central Vienna, we arrived at the car rental return area. From there, we walked on the looong walkway to the terminal. Austrian Airlines’ check in is located at Terminal 3.
We got our boarding passes from one of the kiosks, which was easy to use. We grabbed a quick breakfast at the Air Café and then headed through security. As the youtuber Simply Aviation frequently notes, the security lines were almost nonexistent.
After going through security, we went into the Sky Lounge, which was accessible through Priority Pass. There is a picture or two of the lounge in this flight review.
Because we were flying into a non-Schengen Area, we had to go through emigration.
Our flight was departing from the g-gates. The boarding area was small and crowded.
Austrian Airlines 89
Plane Registration: OE-LAZ
Plane Type: Boeing 767-300er
Flown: August 2017
Flight Time: 8 Hrs 40 mins
Flight Distance: 4,253 Miles (6,845 Km)
The interior of this plane looked pretty much exactly the same as on my Newark-Vienna flight. The 2-3-2 configuration meant that only 1/7 of the passengers got a middle seat. Each seat, although very comfortable, was only 17 inches wide and 30 inches in pitch. Even though that was sufficient for me, it might not be for a taller or bigger person.
Each seat had a USB port to charge smaller devices. However, power ports to charge bigger devices were only available in Business Class.
Upon boarding, there was a pillow and blanket waiting at my seat. Both were extremely comfortable for Economy Class; the pillow was very big and the blanket kept me warm.
There are two significant things which I do not think I mentioned in the previous long haul review: 1) the crew and pilots were nice enough to let me into the cockpit for a bit before takeoff, and 2) my younger brother was handed kids playing cards aboard both flights. Both gestures show how nice the crew, pilots, and airline generally are towards the passengers.
Soon enough, we pushed back and started our taxi.
As we taxied, I noticed China Airlines’ new A350 parked at Concourse D.
After a medium-lengthed taxi, we were cleared for an immediate takeoff and took off on time pretty uneventfully. It was a perfectly clear day, and we had beautiful views of central Vienna on takeoff.
The seatback pocket consisted of an airsickness bag, Austrian Airlines’ inflight magazine (Called “Skylines”; I talked more about it in my two short-haul reviews), the safety card, and the duty free magazine.
Soon after reaching cruising altitude, snack service began. It consisted of pretzels and a drink. I know this is relatively minor, but maybe a suggestion would be to switch up the snacks on different flights? This is the exact same snack I received on my other three flights with the carrier.
About an hour later, lunch was served. Austrian caters from Do and Co, which is widely considered one of the best airplane catering services in the world. The options were either chicken curry or mac and cheese. I went safe with the pasta, which was pretty good (although I enjoyed the pasta dish on the way in more).
The pasta with tomatoes were served with salad and dressing, water, a cake, a drink, and a WARM bread roll out of a bread basket! Overall, I was once again very satisfied with Austrian’s food offerings.
Let’s take a look at the inflight entertainment. Keep in mind that some of these photos are from my flight into Austria (review is here) because the photos on this flight did not come out great.
The 9-inch inflight entertainment screen had 59 movies available to watch (including 36 new releases), and had a good variety of different genres. I did not count the number of TV shows or music channels. I also really liked the interface of the software and thought it was very aesthetically pleasing. There were also some unique features to the IFE, such as an exercise video. The screens were very clear, and had a tilting function just in case the person in front reclined.
The USB port was located on the right side of the screen, along with the headphone jack.
One thing to keep in mind while flying Austrian is that they don’t offer WiFi on any of their 767s. As I mentioned earlier, they also don’t offer universal power outlets in Economy (although they do in Business). If those things are a necessity for you, you should probably look for other options (such as, dare I say it, United).
After watching a movie or two, I went to sleep and woke up as we were approaching North America. The crew was starting to hand out a snack, which was a lettuce and cheese sandwich and a chocolate mousse.
The sandwich was okay, but the mousse, Oh. My. Goodness. It was probably the tastiest thing I have ever eaten on a plane. It was extremely flavorful and had the perfect sweetness level. I would probably pay for that on the ground. I know Austrian gets an advantage because Austria is famous for its chocolate, but still. Great job.
From there, I slept a bit more until descent. Unlike the clear and sunny weather in Austria and throughout the flight, in Newark it was cloudy and rainy.
I think we had to go into a holding pattern over Newark because we weren’t going down as fast as we should have been going, and our arrival time slowly became more and more delayed.
We touched down about 40 minutes late, and then taxied to Terminal B, Gate 60.
We had great views of our aircraft both right after disembarking while heading to immigration and at the baggage claim.
Overall, Austrian is a perfectly fine way to cross the Atlantic. In my opinion, and long as long-haul Economy Class has comfortable seats, good food, good entertainment, and the flight is on time, the flight is fine. Austrian Airlines pretty much nailed all of that. (Other than the delay of course, but that wasn’t their fault. Also, the seats may be tight for some.)
The main downside for business travelers in particular is the lack of WiFi. There are other transatlantic options from the New York area that have WiFi-equipped planes, so it should be pretty easy to avoid Austrian if needed. Once again, there are no universal power outlets in Economy, but because most business travelers will travel in Business (and most Economy travelers don’t need it) it isn’t too big of an issue.
The airline with the most transatlantic frequencies from Newark is United, and in February, I actually flew on one of their flights on a 767-300er (the same type of plane) from Newark to Geneva, Switzerland. After making the review (which honestly won’t come out for a while) I will publish a comparison between the two airlines’ economy class offerings.
Thank you for reading the final installment in this Trip Report. I hope you enjoyed it, and I hope you read the new post that is (hopefully) coming out next week!