In June 2016 Austrian Airlines invited a bunch of Bloggers and Instagrammers, in marketing-terms "Social Media Influencers" to a great event called the MyAustrian Moment Tour. After a very informative tour through the hangars Austrian Airlines invited everyone to board a parked Boeing 777-200ER (OE-LPA) airplane which was parked on a remote stand. What happened then was a 4-hour-long experience I will never forget. A whole Business Class flight was reenacted, including a 3-course-meal. In this blog entry I will share my experience with you and tell you the pros and cons of flying in Business Class with Austrian Airlines.
After the guided hangar-tours ended everyone was handed a ticket. Nobody really knew what happened because Austrian Airlines made this a surprise. They haven't told anyone that there was going to be a reenacted Business Class flight so some of the bloggers were really happy for some minutes because they thought we would really fly to Bangkok at some point.
We went to the parked Boeing 777 by bus and boarded shortly before sunset. Everyone was given a seat in Business Class, luckily and without even asking for it I was assigned a window seat. Though the view wasn't the greatest since we didn't move an inch during the 4-hour dinner. I was seated on 4A which is one of the double seats. As you may or may not know Austrian has different seat-layouts in different rows in Business Class, it's 1-2-1, followed by 2-2-2 and then 1-2-1 again. This layout produces the most legroom possible for every passenger. The sideeffect being that the single seats in the 1-2-1 rows offer an enormous amount of space and are therefore nicknamed the "thrones". Perfect for people travelling alone.
After everyone boarded the flight attendants aboard even did the security demonstration with us, I don't know whether it was necessary in case there was an emergency on the ground or whether it was just for fun. I think the latter one is true.
I was offered water, orange juice and champagne as a welcome drink. I went for the orange juice which was the standard pulp-free one you get in every restaurant. Afterwards hot refreshing cloths were distributed, followed by the menu cards. Accoarding to those and our inflight entertainment system, our imaginary flight would bring us to Bangkok, Thailand.
Before starting off with dinner let me say some words about the seat: Austrian Airlines Business Class seats are the core of their state-of-the-art premium product. The seat itself is very comfortable, legroom is (as expected) very large. It can be turned into a full-flat bed and it also offers a massage function. The seat can be controlled via a touchpad on the center console, if turned into a bed there is a second touchpad right next to your head. The seat features a universal power-port, a headphone-jack and a USB-port, alongside an adjustable reading light.
The inflight entertainment can be controlled with a remote or via the screen itself, because it's a touch screen. My only compaint, not only for the seat but for the whole Business Class experience in total was the lack of storage compartements. I recently tested Swiss' new Business Class seats aboard the Boeing 777 and it was awesome. Lot's of storage compartements of different sizes. I wish Austrian would have included more than the one below the reading lamp.
As on most Business Class flights we recieved a complimentary amenity kit. It featured the standard items you'd find in every amenity kit. What I found really cool was the fact that they did not use one of those tiny unnecessary bags but in fact used a shoe bag (In Austrian German: "Schuhsackerl") to wrap everything up. I really liked that because it's an item you can continue to use after your flight. Those regular amenity bags are far too small to actually use them, very clever idea Austrian!
The service started with some nuts and drinks followed by the appetizers which could be chosen from the menu. I went for the "Creamy Pea Soup with a tomato crostini and minipesto". Even though I am not the biggest fan of peas I have to admit that this soup was delicious! It was by far my favourite course of the whole dinner. It was very creamy, had this quite unnatural green colour but tasted heavenly. Well...here in Austria we eat a lot of soup, and some restaurants or even caterers for airlines are able to make them to perfection!
As a main course I went for the "Viennese style veal goulash with spaetzle". It was a rather small portion, which I appreciated because I had to bowls of the pea soup. The goulash was quite similar to the "Viennese style sweet pepper chicken" which can be pre-ordered on Economy Class flights for €15,-. Though I have to admit it wasn't as tasty as the sweet pepper chicken I also enjoyed the veal goulash. The difficulty with goulash is getting the meat tender. And in this case Do&Co, Austrian Airlines' caterer succeeded! It was very tender and cooked on point.
Dessert was served from a cart so everyone could pick their favourites. Along with the desserts mentioned in the menu Austrian Airlines offered a variety of fresh fruits including strawberries and kiwis. I decided for the "Mousse au chocolat blanc & noir" and ordered the dessert wine with it, a 2012 Burgenland Beerenauslese Cuvée.
The mousse au chocolat was delcisious and mixed perfectly with the fruits. I am not a wine enthusiast so I can't describe it properly, it was very fruity and very sweet towards the end. For my taste it was too sweet though and too intensive overall.
After dessert you could order a coffee. But not just a regular coffee! There are more tha 12 variations of coffee available and they are served just as in a typical Viennese coffee house. Austria and especially Vienna is famous for its coffee creations and you can even try them on board. I went for a "Franziskaner", a regular coffee with milk and topped with whipped cream.
Now, three and a half hours and 4 courses (if you include the coffee) later we are aprroaching Bangkok...Well we are still on the ground in Vienna and after that time in flight we would just be somewhere over the middle east, nowhere near Bangkok. But the event is over. I must say I really enjoyed it! The food was great and the seats, especially the Inflight Entertainment was far better than expected. They already had the ninth season of The Big Bang Theory, one of my favorit shows, though for some reason only missing the first episode.
I would love to try the Business Class product on a real long-haul flight somewhen soon, especially on the new route to Hong Kong! But before that we will review the Business Class products of Iberia, Air Europa, Aer Lingus, TAP Portugal, ANA, Qatar Airways and Ethiopian Airlines. That's why you should not forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel and like our Facebook page so you are always uo to date! We hope you enjoyed this written review and if you have any ideas or suggestions of how we could improve our work, just leave a comment or contact us via Facebook, Instagram Direct or just send an e-mail to info(at)simply-aviation.com.
Greetings from Vienna and have a nice day!