26th flight on an A32S, 6th flight on an A319, 19th flight on an OS jet, 1st flight on an OS A319, 110th flight overall.
Exactly one year before this last trip of mine, I had been to Nuremberg. It had been cold, it had rained and wasn't a very pleasant experience, overall.
This time it HAD to be different. I had wished to see Frankfurt for a long time (I was curious, if there actually was a city or just an airport - I had been to FRA airport several times before) and, moreover, most importantly, I was to meet a wonderful, wonderful (can't stress that often enough) person in the city, so the weather wasn't my prime concern.
Preparing the trip started last November, when I was picking up the ticket at Austrian's Vienna city office:
The building to the right:
Back then I had picked seat 26F, as the itinerary showed an A321 for the outbound leg.
However, in mid-January, an A319 popped up on OS' site and it looked as if I had been reseated to 12F. Logically - the A319 has only 23 rows - I'd have to cling to the ailerons in row 26.
Just a few days before my departure, OS 121 was shown to be operated by an A320. Well,...this information proved not to be correct, as one day before I left VIE, the A319 was shown, again. Brilliant - I had never been on an A319 of OS before, so I was eager to see the differences in terms of cabin and overall appearance. After all, there is quite an age gap between the 320s and 319s of my home carrier. The last 320 (OE-LBU) was delivered in 2001, the first 319 in 2004.
So here we go. For the first time in my life, I tried to check in online. Successfully! Call me old-fashioned (especially considering I am only 21) but doing such things alone, on the internet that used to take ages and dozens of well-informed staff members is slightly worrying. An ordinary piece of paper with no distinguishable safety features...I wasn't sure if I would actually get to Germany that day.
Boarding pass, travel guide, city map, OS fleet list:
I arrived at VIE at 5am. First thing I did was to ask a check-in agent if my "boarding pass" sufficed. It did. Whoa - I'm SO living in the 21st century!
Not much going on.
SkyEurope counters in the old check-in area:
I then took the elevator to parking lot number 2, in order to check gate C52.
It was a very foggy morning in Vienna, so this was the best picture I managed to take of OE-LDE, my ride to FRA this morning:
From the other parking lot, a pair of OS 321s. Not mine today.
I went airside:
I don't see why, at an international airport, the shops don't open before 7am!
Uh, isn't 30 airlines too large a number for one lounge? Doesn't sound THAT comfortable to me...
Making my way to the C gates:
The queue for LH's FRA flight, an A321, departing 35 minutes before my flight:
Security checks are done straight before boarding. Not too sure what to think of that. :/
The boarding lounge:
LDE awaits me (eagerly?):
Boarding was a breeze. Rows 15-23 were called first.
I know some don't, but I really like the ambience and atmosphere of OS current interior.
Leg room is so-so:
Retrojet to CDG:
Throughout the whole boarding procedure, waltz music was playing and aerial footage of Austrian landscapes was shown on the screens. Made me homesick - even before departure
The captain (Mr. Schwaiger/Schweiger?) came on and announced a slight delay of departure due to luggage issues and informed us that we would probably arrive in FRA on time, nonetheless.
I was expecting take-off on runway 29, so I was pretty surprised when we turned left and made our way to runway 16.
It was too foggy to see ANYTHING!
The worst visibility I ever experienced on a plane.
Breaking through the clouds around 01:20, the mountain you see is the Schneeberg, at 2,076 m (6,811 ft), it is the highest summit in the provonce of Lower Austria and a beautiful destination for hiking daytrips from Vienna.
The sunlight, beautifully illuminating our wing:
Somewhere above Lower Austria:
I must admit, I was a little disappointed with what we served for breakfast. On my last OS trip in August, to CGN, we got an entire plate with ham and cheese and fresh bread, now all we get is a plain croissant. At least it was of excellent quality.
The cockpit crew addressed us again and told us that the weather in Frankfurt was pretty much as shitty as in Vienna.
Whisperjet From Germany, joined Nov 2007, 574 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 13200 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW PHOTO SCREENER
interestin report with nice pictures, thanks for sharing!
The Austrian catering on short hauls is indeed disappointing in comparison to what they used to serve until December 2008.
Afaik they changed their catering service because they reduced the number of cabin crew members on the 50 seaters (Dash 8-300 and CRJ) to just one attendant.
But not sure if that's just an excuse.
FLIEGER67 From UK - England, joined Sep 2003, 5229 posts, RR: 54
Reply 2, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 13162 times:
I´am frequently at FRA. And VIE is also good counted in my log, but nevertheless
interesting to follow your nice story and pix. A shame with the weather, but, what do you expect
in Austria/Germany during February!.
Only some days till I will be there at FRA again.
Quoting DavidkunzVIE (Thread starter): 26th flight on an A32S, 6th flight on an A319, 19th flight on an OS jet, 1st flight on an OS A319, 110th flight overall.
DALCE From Netherlands, joined Feb 2007, 1827 posts, RR: 6
Reply 3, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 13124 times:
What a nice start of the flying year for you. It seems you really had a nice reason to fly to FRA this time! Also cool to score an OS 319, especially since it's a first timer for you!
The breakfast does indeed seem very basic, but they have to cut cost I asume.
FRA is besides my home airprot AMS the most visited airport in my log, with a respectable 38 movements in or out of FRA. Most of them on LH though.
The arrival gate seemed to be A40, with only A42 further away from the terminal. That's a true long walk!
When I see pics of FRA I honestly miss this airport, as I really like it there.
I think one of my next leisure trips must include FRA
Thanks for sharing your report, and keep the good reports coming!
Semsem From Israel, joined Jul 2005, 1779 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 12386 times:
So many airlines have closed their city ticket offices. Seems OS are also cutting down on food area. Enjoyed your videos and listening to the Wienerisch accent of the hostess on landing. I love flying into clouds and then seeing the sun.
Cambrian From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 619 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 12270 times:
Great report! I suppose that fog at VIE is quite common at this time of year. I also like the OS cabin interiors, and the music that they play when boarding. I think that VIE needs a bit of a facelift, but it is very good for making quick transfers. It does have something of a 1970's feel, I think. When is the new pier opening? Capacity overkill, in the current climate, perhaps?
OS is a quality airline that have made a good niche for themselves in Central and Eastern Europe. Their fleet decisions and long haul strategy have been very hit and miss, and it seems that their long haul operations are shrinking.
Let's hope that as part of the Lufthansa "family", Austrian will be allowed to develop and grow as Swiss has done.
DavidkunzVIE From Austria, joined Mar 2007, 431 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 12210 times:
Quoting Cambrian (Reply 8): Their fleet decisions and long haul strategy have been very hit and miss
Spot on! Get rid of the 332s/343s but keep the 763s (all of which have different door/seat configs...), buy a bunch of old Fokkers, repaint the 737s ins OS c/s, repaint 320s in NG c/s, scrap dozens of western destinations (and lose hundreds of connecting passengers to CEE), scrap Asian/Australian destinations (and lose even more connecting passengers )...
AIR MALTA From Malta, joined Sep 2001, 2571 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 11840 times:
Quoting DavidkunzVIE (Reply 5): Unfortunately. They never know what their strategy should be. Set themselves aprt from LCCs and even LH? Go with the flow? Save at all costs?
For me OS is still the best airline in Europe with regards to service and look and feel... VIE was my home base until August 2008 and I really enjoyed their Do&Co catering along the warm bread basket. Lufthansa's service (the mother company now) in Europe is awful!
Unfortunately, the trend is going towards the LCC model. People prefer paying low fares than flying quality airlines. So I understand that OS can not keep such a quality service.
Good luck for OS but they are always going to be my airline of choice to Eastern Europe. I just love those uniforms and I get shivers when I hear : "Wilkommen in Wien und Servus"...
Quoting DavidkunzVIE (Thread starter): I must admit, I was a little disappointed with what we served for breakfast. On my last OS trip in August, to CGN, we got an entire plate with ham and cheese and fresh bread, now all we get is a plain croissant.
I can imagine that. It is a pity that the cost cutting measures on OS have taken their toll on their catering. At least they still offer the croissant for free.
Airbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4377 posts, RR: 50
Reply 15, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 11013 times:
thanks for this nice report. I flew on OS A319's before, and I really liked these machines. Legroom is quite good, although I picked rows just behind the seperation curtain, so maybe pitch is slightly better in front rows (remember that it might make a difference).
Servicewise, I think OS is still among the best in Europe, but cateringwise, they are going downhill, judging from your report. I would like to see the tray with a sandwich, some fruit or yogurt and a coffee. Just a croissant, that's a huge change from previous times
About the weather in VIE, feel yourself happy that the conditions were not slightly more worse, since these might affect takeoff minima for flightcrew and then you would've never left to FRA Always interesting to see the sky above such a thin layer of fog/clouds.
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
27th flight on an A32S, 7th flight on an A319, 20th flight on an OS jet, 2nd flight on an OS A319, 111th flight overall
Everthing that IS well, has to end. Well? More or less. After a truly wonderful day in Frankfurt is relatively good weather, I realised that a return flight was waiting for me. So I boarded a crowded regional train at Frankfurt's amazing central station (much more beauiful than anything we have down here in Vienna, in terms of train stations) and, 11 minutes and one beer later, I got off at FRA.
The check-in hall of Terminal 1 seemed quite empty but I was still glad to have checked in the day before.
So many nice places to go. Copenhagen, Stockholm, Milan, Madrid, Budapest,...
I couldn't decide, so I DID board OS 126.
Security was a breeze, much faster than I had expected. Could just as well have spent another thirty minuts in the city.
SK to GOT:
The departure screens were not showing a gate for OS 126 and according to my boarding pass, I would have to walk all the way to A34, so I was surprised to come across my flight at gate A22 already.
I have already told you about the confusion about the airplane types. Originally VIE-FRA should have been a 321 and FRA-VIE a 320, so imagine my surprise, when I discovered that yet another 319 was waiing for me at the gate. OE-LDD:
Quite frankly, it was obvious that even the 319 was to big for today's load:
Boarding started on-time at 19.40. Rows 15-23 were first to be called, again:
The view from 19A. The C seat was occupied, but B remained free, which was appreciated.
Meanwhile, the rain had set in:
We pushed back on time and rushed towards the active.
Passing a DE 763, which brought back nice memories. Three summers ago, one of those birds had brought me to Alaska.
It seemed that the crew either started the safety announcement way too late or they were surprised to be cleared for take-off so quickly. Either way, the announcement only finished when had already lined up on RWY 07R.
Take-off video. Lift-off around 00:30, announcement directly after roatation (terrible English).
Overview of T2, skyline view at 02:10
Can anyone recognize the airplane landing on 07L? To me, it looks like a 773/77W?
ETA: 21.20 (turned out to be correct, so we did land 15 minutes early)
A cheese/lettuce sandwich which was absolutely appropriate. Tasted fresh and not as limp as on certain other carriers. A very nice fruit cake, too, even if it looked mediocre:
A rather interesting compostition of drinks. Tea with milk and beer. (a short explanation: Ottakringer is Vienna's most popular brand of beer. It has a working class reputation and it is indeed a beer for the masses. It's not the best that Austria has to offer, but any visitor to Vienna with an interest in beer HAS to try it at least once. It's a legend.)
Can anyone explain why, even on the smoothest flights, there are ALWAYS these few turbulent minutes? Always EXACTLY, when your drinks are full and your ans are open??? I spilled about a quarter of the can on the ground while I was trying to hold the cups up from the table. An eternal struggle. Needless to say that the rest of the flight was as un-exciting as possible, weatherwise.
Nearer my bed, to thee:
We touched down on RWY 16, where we had left some hours before and taxied to gate C59:
Saying goodbye to LDD:
What a nice farewell. OE-LDE (VIE-FRA) and OE-LDD both in the same picture:
The new terminal (very) slowly taking shape:
OK, so this REALLY was the end of this TR. Don't forget: I've got two more coming up the next two weeks!
Great report, it sounds silly to me being from the US where you connect to any flight without going through security, minus the customs and then going through security if coming in from an international flight. Seems like quick turns would then become impossible by waiting to do security at the gate, not to mention more costly since you need more scanners and such, I noticed they did this at AMS too, albeit it was a US flight but still.
"Some People Just Know How To Fly"- Best slogan ever, RIP NW 1926-2009
Group51 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2007, 83 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 9631 times:
Great TR. It reminds me of my flight on OS back in 1995 or 1996. Would you believe that a flight from London to Vienna back then cost me over £250! It was an A321, and I rather liked the seats which I think were the re-configurable econ/business class ones. I must say that I preferred the calmer darker green seat colours back then to the Jade coloured ones today.
Any idea when SkyLink is going to be finished? Is Oct 09 still reasonable (currently stated on the VIE website, I can remember something like Feb 08 there)? The current VIE layout and design is really not very nice, Vienna deserves better .
WARNING! The post above should be taken with a grain of salt! Furthermore, it may be slightly biased towards A.
Shamrock350 From Ireland, joined Mar 2005, 6426 posts, RR: 14
Reply 23, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 9422 times:
Great report! I'd like to try OS one day, seems like you had good fights with them and I actually really like that cabin interior, the colours are interesting and the seat looks comfy. Shame about the breakfast, I would have expected a bit more but I suppose it's a sign of the times.
Quoting DavidkunzVIE (Thread starter): Throughout the whole boarding procedure, waltz music was playing and aerial footage of Austrian landscapes was shown on the screens. Made me homesick - even before departure
That's a nice touch, creates a good atmosphere on board for everyone.