OS has two very bad connections from Helsinki if one is connecting to the Bangkok flight – one in the morning and another in the afternoon. I took the morning one as it meant I didn’t have to take a bus to the airport with one transfer and a travelling time of about 3 hours. Was dropped off at the airport at around 6.45am, and made my way to SAS Self Service machines. Just to learn they won’t work for OS flights... neither does OS web check-in from HEL. Thankfully the SK lady manning the helpdesk for the machines proceeded to check me in, so I didn’t have to queue at the regular counters.
Off to the SAS lounge, refused access as they claimed same day C class boarding pass for OS25 is not enough for access. I disagree, but he let me in after I showed a printout of my TG account indicating ROP Gold status (no card at that point yet). The lounge was very quiet despite this being Monday morning. I had some sandwiches and a cup of tea for breakfast.
OS348 was using a bus gate as usual, and the aircraft was parked near Finnair’s maintenance hangars. I was behind the exit row on VIE-HEL, but this time in front of it (11C). Huge difference in legroom, 11C was bearable while 17C on the VIE-HEL was completely unbearable. We were pushed back on time and took off from 22R a few minutes later as there was no queue.
Service started soon after takeoff, OS is back to hot meals on these flights but these gourmet creations are not much to talk about. Meals were double catered in VIE, have fun eating these breakfasts when they have sat onboard all night in the summer months...
Service underway in Y
Tiny hot breakfast HEL-VIE
Had some Coke and water as well – the former was likewise opened on VIE-HEL the previous night and I might have just as well handed it right back. Disgusting. For those interested, they serve two alcoholic drinks and you can’t even pay for more. Absolutely appalling for an airline that charged me over 1000 EUR for this Y-class BKK-HEL-BKK ticket.
It took me about 3 minutes to finish the tiny breakfast, and I slept the rest of the way to Vienna.
I first went to the Schengen side Senator Lounge – not a single vacant seat to be found, so I left for the Business Lounge nearby. It’s very large and newly renovated, I went to the “panoramic view” area and managed to get one of the sleeper chairs there. Comfortable and a nice view. The food is excellent too, some soup, pasta salad and beef stew was available for lunch. Good selection of drinks too, including Baileys and some decent sparkling wine.
Schengen OS Business Lounge
I later went to the Senator Lounge in the non-Schengen area, equally packed, but it had excellent dinner available. Sirloin steak with creamy garlic potatoes – top notch for lounge food. Some vintage sparkling wine was available as well – those were the only differences to the Business Lounges that I noticed. The Senator lounge later closed and I went upstairs to the non-Schengen Business Lounge.
21 May 2007
Vienna Schwechat (VIE/LOWW) – Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK/VTBS)
Austrian Airlines OS 025
Boeing 777-2Z9 ER
2320-1420+1 – On Time
Business Class, Seat 2D
OS25 was leaving from A2 this evening, and I went to the gate rather late knowing they have security screening there. No lineup, but the plane wasn’t boarding either. The guy made a note I should go to the business class area, but it was roped off and nobody made any effort to get me there. So I went to the desk and a woman let me in, looking like I had inconvenienced her somehow.
Boarding started at around 11pm, and it was obvious the load in the back was very low this evening. My seat was in the second row, 2D.
View from my seat
Pre-departure drinks were only offered once most passengers had settled in – warm sparkling wine. I absolutely hate this LH and apparently OS policy to serve some cheapo piss on the ground as they’re too cheap to pay the tax on some decent stuff. No refills were offered, very robotic service like in LH’s large business class cabins. Amenity kits and menus were handed out as well. The Austrian Sky Spa kit is a bright yellow bag with decent contents – some lip balm, moisturizer, eye mask, earplugs, socks etc. The menu also had a breakfast order card attached – I filled it out and handed back to the crew.
Pre-departure sparkling wine
We were pushed back on time, and took off shortly thereafter. I was getting really tired by now after the day in Vienna, but really wanted to try the meal service. Here’s the menu.
I tried to find some decent music to listen to, but unfortunately the IFE system is non-AVOD, actually I think it was the exact same as Lauda had when I flew VIE-KUL-SYD on OE-LPA. Meal service started somewhere over Hungary. No pre-meal cocktails or snacks.
The meal choices sounded excellent, still catered by DO&CO like back in the Lauda days. No trays used for the dinner service, individual table setup like in most first classes.
Table setup and canapes
A specialty coffee service followed (a menu was handed out, I seem to have misplaced it)
The food was absolutely fantastic, I should have skipped some steaks in the Senator Lounge! Unfortunately the Duval Leroy champagne was totally warm... The onboard chef provided great service wearing his Lauda “Service is Our Success” uniform, but some of the ladies, especially the purser, seemed totally disinterested. I don’t know how the OS longhauls are crewed, but it seemed too obvious who was ex-NG and who was from OS.
The seats are same as Finnair, and frankly I don’t like them one bit. First, who on their right mind would install lie flats aka ski slopes on their planes when BA comes up with their second fully flat product? Second, they’re in 2-3-2 config and the cabin feels cramped. I couldn’t sleep at all in the flat mode, the seat is too short and I didn’t feel comfortable with my feet confined in that small space. The “relax” position was ok, but completely defeats the purpose of these seats as this position is about what one can achieve with old style cradle seats. I managed to sleep in that position and woke up as breakfast service was starting.
One could choose the side dishes, I took the cold cuts and yoghurt, the main dish, and how the eggs should be prepared. Very nice breakfast, although they never provided the hot chocolate I ordered with the same order slip.
We started our descent a little after passing Yangon, and the cabin was prepared for landing. Apart from the HON in 1A, everybody was asked to put seats upright and headsets were collected. Too early in my opinion, but in line with that LH’s robotic service of a large business class cabin. We landed at Suvarnabhumi in time, I cleared immigration quickly and got my bag. Then off to the madhouse called arrivals hall... These idiots said the taxi touts would be taken care of – result is there are even more of them. Man how I hate this airport, more and more each time. Never mind one can’t get taxis from the arrivals level – nice to rip off tourists and direct them to some corrupt AOT Limousine service. Appalling.
The food on OS Business was superb, otherwise a very average business class product. Senator/Star Gold lounges in Vienna are way too small. A big minus for the booking process – I booked online and BKK was unable to issue the etix as they were closed. I called OS Internet support and they advised me they will charge the fare in EUR. Sure, no problem. But these idiots charged a ticket service charge of EUR 45 on top of that without telling me.
Lufthansa747 From Philippines, joined May 1999, 3201 posts, RR: 32
Reply 2, posted (8 years 4 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 25932 times:
Quoting StefanPAD (Reply 1): But it sounds, that you don't like the service on LH and OS very much, even though the meal service was ok.
It's ok, but completely lacks any personal touch because of the large cabins. For example, many carriers serve pre-departure drinks shortly after you board and give refills. LH/OS simply serve everybody later from a large tray and then collect the glasses in a similar way. Some crew members were also rather rude - didn't say a word when taking orders and then plonked down the stuff on your table.
BA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8706 posts, RR: 53
Reply 4, posted (8 years 4 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 25573 times:
Another superb report Lari, thanks for sharing these 2 flights.
Quoting Lufthansa747 (Thread starter): OS is back to hot meals on these flights but these gourmet creations are not much to talk about. Meals were double catered in VIE, have fun eating these breakfasts when they have sat onboard all night in the summer months...
Marco From United Arab Emirates, joined Jul 2000, 4169 posts, RR: 11
Reply 6, posted (8 years 4 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 25329 times:
Some crew members were also rather rude - didn't say a word when taking orders and then plonked down the stuff on your table
Sounds like they're taking lessons from the flight attendants on my AF flights last week from YUL-CDG-DXB ... I had a great ride to Montreal but both flights on the way back had very robotic service in business class. I'm very disappointed with AF, especially after having flown MH to SYD last month. European carriers really need to get their act together.
Tbear815 From United States of America, joined Jun 2003, 704 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (8 years 4 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 25262 times:
The food service looks excellent, although they could use better menu writers. Your photos and attention to detail with the shots of the menu are much appreciated. The intra-European service is definitely more than you'd get on any airline in the US. As for attitude, there are lots of other threads that address that - it seems to be an issue worldwide with few exceptions. At least in Europe, they try to provide.....
Thanks so much again for a well written and documented TR.
Hehe sorry of the unshameful plug of my own TR. I had exacely the same egg as yours (which I really enjoyed, a nice change from those dry omeletes) on KUL-SYD when OS flies 6x a week to SYD before suspending. I love their food presentations. They also serve soup during dinner but probably not supper.
I feel the same, there is a big difference on OS crew and ex NG Crew, you can almost tell. Nevertheless my flights with them are pretty good due to light load and I was able to rest well during the 7hr flight.
ThaiA345 From Indonesia, joined Oct 2006, 888 posts, RR: 15
Reply 11, posted (8 years 4 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 24834 times:
Thanks for the TR, I am actually going to FRA in Sep and I thought of trying somthing diff than TG, so I thought of OS to VNE then connecting to FRA, but after looking at your report. What do u think? Should I stay with TG? I am thinking of buying J and then using my points to upgrade to F. DO you think thats a good idea? Coz the reason being I have 100,000 miles expiring this year and another 300,000 next year, plus I have also yet to use my upgrade coupons. I probably will use my upgrade coupons at the end of the year when I am flying to LAX.
Thanks again for this TR which persuaded me not to use OS from BKK
SASDC8 From Norway, joined Mar 2006, 796 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (8 years 4 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 24027 times:
Flew the same route with OS in C in April and also found their food service to be excellent. I really liked their appetizer cart, and after some persuasion (from the purser) I ended up trying to different appetizers. The same happened on OS 026 (BKK-VIE), but this time they persuaded me in to trying EVERYTHING on their dessert menu Even their meal (lunch-service) on OSL - VIE - OSL in C-class were good, but the same both ways which I thought was quite disappointing.
Spent, like you, many hours (7) at VIE and must say that the Schengen Business Lounge was pretty good, especially upstairs with the great views of tarmac and runway action. Really enjoyed the local beer they served there as well as their snack service. The Non Schengen Business Lounge was not that good, and rather cramped. The lounge agents was not helpful at all and in some cases rude! A far cry from the service I experienced on board OS.
Thanks for a good report with great pictures as always
Qantas744ER From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1350 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (8 years 4 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 23822 times:
Quoting SR 103 (Reply 9): I see LH is rubbing off. One would have hoped LX would have had more of an effect on LH rather than the opposite.
What have you flown with LH F C Y?? well i have flow all 3 and no LH is not my favourite airline...and their inflght services varies but just like any other airline but LH is still one of the best european carriers.
My dad is a HON member at LH the highest status. Personally i am a SEN and i have gotten better service on LH then on SQ many times. Of course somethimes we will all get bad service and somethimes better.. my point is just that saying that LH is worse then LY does not work out.
Just as an example was booked in Y with my little bro. My dad was booked in C..well thanks to LH's great Purser we where all put into F without using one single mile.
In my opinion BA, LH , AF are europes top 3 carriers.
I hope LH never learns from LY or do you want a failure like Swissair ?? Dont forget LH is the one who saved LY and gave them their first profit since their failure as Swissair
LACA773 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 4188 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (8 years 4 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 23492 times:
Excellent trip report! I like that you're sincere about your opinions and point out both the good, bad, positive & negative all together.
I hope when your travels bring you to the U.S. that you avoid the likes of AA. I feel you wont' find anything good or positive about their short cut and frugal catering and service.
BTW, do you have any photos of the OS amentiy kit?
Where in my post did I say Lufthansa was not a good carrier? While their in flight may not be the best, no where did I say LH was a horrible airline. Lufthansa is a very reliable airline; there is no doubt about that. In fact I highly respect their management and the strategies they have taken over the last few years.
Quoting Qantas744ER (Reply 14): Personally i am a SEN and i have gotten better service on LH then on SQ many times.
I have been a SEN in the past (I lived in Germany for a few years) and my parents still are. Believe it or not, I am not a large fan of SQ, there are three other Asians carriers I would rather fly over SQ when given a choice.
Quoting Qantas744ER (Reply 14): Of course somethimes we will all get bad service and somethimes better.. my point is just that saying that LH is worse then LY does not work out.
You just said LH was better than SQ above. While I realize everyone has their own experiences, I think we can freely discuss them on these boards without getting into a mud slinging match. From my experience, service on LH leaves a lot to be desired, especially when compared to their European counter parts. One of the main reasons I switched my allegiance to KLM after leaving Germany.
Quoting Qantas744ER (Reply 14): Just as an example was booked in Y with my little bro. My dad was booked in C..well thanks to LH's great Purser we where all put into F without using one single mile.
This can happen on any airline, it proves nothing except that LH is in line with every other carrier. I can name a handful of airlines that have done something similar to me alone.
My opinion differs a little. BA, LX and KL are the top 3 in my opinion. I think we all look for different criteria when we fly, LH and AF (I am Elite with them) fall short from my experience.
Quoting Qantas744ER (Reply 14): I hope LH never learns from LY or do you want a failure like Swissair ?? Dont forget LH is the one who saved LY and gave them their first profit since their failure as Swissair
We can sit here and discuss airline history and strategy all day. I am currently getting an MBA in Airline Management and have researched and written numerous case studies on airlines. Just remember the aviation industry is fickle and just because an airline is doing great today, does not mean it will be doing great in the future. Back in the early 90's, LH was the one on the verge of collapse while SR was the one who was rolling in money and in fact thinking of buying LH.
Oh and Swiss is LX, LY is EL AL! Now let’s not take away focus from the excellent report written by Lufthansa747, the whole reason this thread is up in the first place.