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LHR-SYD C- Class With Austrian And Lauda!  
User currently offlinePaul From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 374 posts, RR: 3
Posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 8850 times:

Well where do I start?

Maybe at the 4.00 am wake up call for the days exploits! I managed to blagg a Limo to the Airport for my early morning flight with Austrian and Lauda Air. Good work on my part!

I arrived at the airport for a very early morning flight out to Vienna. Check- In was chaotic as every desk had just opened in Terminal 2 just as I was arriving. Austrian Airlines are located at the very far left of the Terminal and even with two Business Class desks open it still took 15mins to check in. I got my seats reserved for all segments of the trip and made my way up stairs through passport control.

After walking through the shopping I stumbled across the Lufthansa Business Lounge and settled into a comfy chair and with Gin and Tonic, and a coffee, this was at about 5.30 a.m. The lounge was quiet and comfortable although a little dull and small. The drink selection was rather good however there were only peanuts and biscuits as snacks. To be honest it was too bloody early to eat. I warmed up with a coffee and made my way to the gate after the boarding call went out. Boarding was pretty swift, I was one of the last people to board because I could not be bothered to get up from my chair which had a great view of the planes and the terminal.

Austrian 458
Departure Airport London Heathrow GB (LHR)
Departure Time 06:25
Arrival Airport Vienna AT (VIE)
Arrival Time 09:45
Meal Refreshments,
Aircraft Type 320-214.
Duration Travel Time 2h20m.

After boarding I made my way to 1A and sat down in the first row. I have always wanted to sit in 1A. It kind of has a ring to it (don’t you think). After settling into the seat with a morning paper I was quickly offered and obliged on a refreshing glass of OJ. A relatively short taxi ride to the runway enabled to have a punctual departure. After a smooth take off on the slightly dated A320 the F/A's charged up and went into service mode. Drinks were passed round although I could not stomach more alcohol. We were presented with a cold plate of cheese, meat and bread, which satisfied me for a few hours. After a few coffees and a nap we landed into a very snowy Vienna Airport.

After deplaning a customer service agent approached me and asked me if I was on a connecting flight, I naturally said I was and after establishing I would be leaving for SYD from the same terminal she pointed me to the LH Senator Lounge which is located upstairs to relax until my flight was called.

The lounge was very modern although very cramped for such international departures. The lounge overlooks the apron and I had a wonderful view of the planes coming into land on the icy runway. I waited for an hour or so and indulged in some cheese and biscuits, peanuts and some cake things (naturally a few German beers as well). A boarding call was made and a number of us trooped downstairs to the gate. I waited around for about 1/2hr before anything happened. To my demise an announcement was made that there would be a delay of a further 30mins and we were instructed to remain at the gate. After another announcement proclaiming further delays I left the gate and asked a Customer Service agent if I was allowed to use the Business Class lounge, her response

"I am sorry but the lounge is for Business Class passengers only"

My response was

"I am in Business Class." (showing her my ticket an showing her the 6A seat number. Hahahaha  biggrin 

Her reply sounded like this

"Oh I am very sorry sir its just you don't look like a typical Business Class Passenger." (You will see why shortly).

Anyway I made my way upstairs again I managed to use the internet to pass the time however the lounge was filling up rapidly as a few other international departure passengers using the facilities. After two hours I made my way to the gate I finally onto the air bridge towards the plane.

Departure Airport Vienna AT (VIE)
Departure Time 10:50
Arrival Airport Kuala Lumpur MY (KUL)
Arrival Time 04:45
Aircraft Type Boeing 777
Duration Travel Time 10h55m
Operated By Lauda Air



I was greeted by a smiling F/A who was rather lovely, she pointed me to the front (which was a great feeling) and I settled into my seat with a Glass of Champagne and a magazine. 6A is located at the back of the Business Class cabin and is surprisingly quiet considering its proximity to the Galley and toilet is quite unflattering!

The F/A’s faffed around a bit and offered us more Piper Heidsdeck (or however ones spells it). We taxied to the runway and prepared to hit the clouds. Take off was awesome on this big 777 and we flew high up into the morning sky without a single bump (most impressive). After leveling off the F/A brought round Menu's and took drink orders. I drank about 3 glasses of bubbly and ordered my food. A white table cloth accompanied by a personal butter dish, salt and pepper dispenser would remain in my lap for about the next hour. The food was outstanding,

Starter; King Prawn with Asparagus (warm bread and a side salad with Balsamic vinaigrette)

Main Course; Seasoned Pork Chops with Rice and Vegetables.

Pudding; Hot white Chocolate Crepes with strawberry's.

All food was served individually on white triangular porcelain plates and prepared by a Chef, what an awesome airline! After I had stuffed myself to the rim I reclined the seat with a coffee and a water a started to read my book. I could not get over how good the food was, Lauda clearly pride themselves on their ability to provide top notch food and service.

The Lauda seat was pretty comfy and seat pitch was reasonable (49”) however the leg rest was so adamant not to raise any further I saw no bother in breaking into a sweat. It was comfortable enough to sleep in although does not compare to the flat beds of BA, however the ticket was £700 cheaper than BA Business Class. The seats were very wide although the padding had worn a little thin. After reading for a while and flicking through the in flight magazine I brought up my Personal TV and watched a film to pass the time. I watched a couple of films on quite a small screen but kept falling asleep. Every time I awoke their was a very friendly F/A asking passengers if they could get them more food or drinks. It almost seemed like they never took a break, they certainly did pamper us in a way that reminds me of First Class. I ordered a snack from the F/A as she passed. The chef was dressed in all white and really looked the part, he made me some sandwiches and I tucked into my third meal of the day. Hey I am 6ft 3 inches and 21 years old, I need a lot of food to keep me going! After a light meal two hours before landing we prepared for landing into Kuala Lumpur airport. The weather was pretty grim however the view of the tropical forest that surround the airport were fascinating. The landing was perfect and we taxied into our spot for the next our.

The plane only took an hour to clean so I went to the bathroom to freshen and wake myself up. Soon enough another boarding call was made and I made my way back to the gate.

Departure Airport Kuala Lumpur MY (KUL)
Departure Time 05:50
Arrival Airport Sydney NS AU (SYD)
Arrival Time 16:45
Meal Meal, Snack
Aircraft Type Boeing 777
Duration Travel Time 7h55m
Operated By Lauda Air

The plane had been cleaned and the crew had changed in literally and hour. I re-boarded and again was greeted by name by a smiling Australian F/A. I took my seat again and had some more Champagne. After take off I had some cocktails and a dish of Cashews, yummy! Menu's again were handed out and after thinking that the food could not get better: it did!

I ordered some Pumpkin Soup which one seldom finds on a plane, it was surprisingly good. A steak sandwich followed, it made my mouth explode and gave me a twitch at how great it tasted! Jus Kidding! Dessert was ice cream and fruit: really good! I managed to get through a bottle of red and white with the meal and was finished off by three large Whiskeys. Good work!  Embarrassment

I had a walk up and down the plane to work of about 1% of my lunch before settling back into my armchair from heaven. My next step led me to reclining my seat and relaxing for a while! I plugged in my Mini Disc and let Mark Knophler and Dire Straits entertain me for a few hours. I just love that group, Tunnel of Love, Brothers in Arms and Heavy fuel are classics!  goodvibes 

The hours flew by, pardon the pun, and we slowly made our decent into Sydney and I ended 3/6 of my flights with the Austrian Airlines group. What a performance they put together, simply fantastic airlines.

Lauda pride themselves on impeccable service. Their food would put some of the best restaurants to shame however other elements of their product have suffer slightly. The seats are showing their age as too is the inflight entertainment which did not work on the trip home.

I would without a doubt fly them again because a 50inch seat pitch, an adequate seat with awesome service is all I need for the price I paid!

Photo are on there way!

Have fun enthusiasts!

Regards

Paul


Veni, vidi, vici.
9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offline9V-SPF From Germany, joined Sep 2001, 1375 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 8679 times:

Thanks for writing this great report, Paul. It´s good to hear that Lauda´s service on the VIE-SYD flight has remained on such a high level.

Austrian Airlines consistantly offer great deals to Australia from anywhere in europe so that I will definitely consider giving them a try when I go down under (hopefully soon).

Btw, the champagne you enjoyed is spelled "Piper Heidsieck" Big grin

Cheers,
Daniel


User currently offlineLeonB1985 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 8429 times:

Cool report - sounds like a great trip!
Just one question, how does a 21 year-old student afford to fly business class to SYD? Hope I can afford that in just over a year when I hit 21 Big grin


User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3704 posts, RR: 28
Reply 3, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 8286 times:

Quoting Paul (Thread starter):
After another announcement proclaiming further delays I left the gate and asked a Customer Service agent if I was allowed to use the Business Class lounge, her response

"I am sorry but the lounge is for Business Class passengers only"

My response was

"I am in Business Class." (showing her my ticket an showing her the 6A seat number. Hahahaha

Her reply sounded like this

"Oh I am very sorry sir its just you don't look like a typical Business Class Passenger." (You will see why shortly).

You always meet a few of those types....happened to me last flying SFO-LHR in BA J. Approached the empty J line besides the snaking Y line and some chap leans in from the Y side, stops me telling me its for business class. A warm welcome from the check-in agent was enough for me although some times I do wish I had smart-ass replies.

Quoting LeonB1985 (Reply 2):
Just one question, how does a 21 year-old student fly business class to SYD? Hope I can afford that in just over a year when I hit 21

Go to website, enter credit card number.

Paul, noticed you, like me are a student. Did you get your ticket through STA Travel? I tried to get them to price BA J although it was cheaper directly through BA (and they don't take Amex grrr) although apparently they can get good deals on LH in premium cabins.



"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlinePaul From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 374 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 8034 times:

Hey fellas thanks for the replies.

Firstly to LEON1985, dude, what can I say, I have very generous parents. I am a swimmer/ rugby player and my shoulders are actually wider than most seats, including some business class seats. I am just too big for economy to stick out 22 hours on a plane. Do you belong to a frequent flyer programme, if not you must join one. After flying to Australia I earned gold status and received upgrade certificates that I used to upgrade into First Class on route to Vegas last summer. It the way forward, Star Alliance all the way.  bigthumbsup 

bgdavidson. I actually booked the ticket through Taylormade Travel. I was just lucky with the fare. I don't often book through STA, in fact, I never have. I did not know they offer LH Business tickets, if they do then that's great! What sort of deals did they have, and to what destinations?

Yeah boy

Laters peeps!

Paul  bigthumbsup 



Veni, vidi, vici.
User currently offlineLeonB1985 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 7944 times:

Paul - frequent flyer programme sounds a good idea. If I think of all the flights I've done with LH and BD in the last few years...

Didn't mean to sound critical, report was very interesting. And Dire Straits mentioned in the report - well, what can I say? Great! Big grin


User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3704 posts, RR: 28
Reply 6, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 7918 times:

Paul, thanks for replies, was it the BD programme? Only one I can think of with low enough thresholds to get Gold on one (albeit very long) flight...AA being the exemption but that isn't top tier  Wink

I've never booked through STA either, while offering good fares down the back the up front ones are uncompetitive. I heard you can get LH fares to China (obviously via FRA) in J for about £1100

Forgot to say it was a great report!



"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineAirxLiban From Lebanon, joined Oct 2003, 4511 posts, RR: 53
Reply 7, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 7734 times:

Excellent trip report that kept me reading the whole way through without skipping a word, unlike many other reports that lack pictures.

Sounds like you got your money's worth in terms of booze...

Let's count:

Gin & Tonic at Heathrow Lounge
Few German beers at Vienna Airport
Glass of champagne pre-takeoff
Three glasses with the meal
Another glass after takeoff from KUL and some cocktails
Bottle of red, bottle of white with the meal
Three glasses of whiskey

Good work! Think I'll go have a glass myself now.

In the meantime, I had no idea that Lauda actually has a chef on board. That must have been nice.

Incidentally, aren't Austrian and Lauda now together essentially? But I assume they keep separate identities? Could you have chosen to fly on OS instead? If so, how does their C-Class product compare to Lauda's?



PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
User currently offlinePaul From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 374 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 7465 times:

Firstly to AirXLiban. Thanks for the feedback. Yeah drinking was kind of mad, I simply just did not take into account how much I had drunk, I think I put on about 5kilos in about 24hrs. Better get to the gym!  bouncy   box 

Your absolutely right, Austrian merged with Lauda bout 2 years ago. Lauda actually offer Chartered flights but unlike other charters they are quite flexible. Lauda Air fly the Australia route because it is in such demand and being a charter they can offer better deals. The Austrian Airlines product is slightly better regarding the seat. It has greater recline, leg rest and an increased seat pitch (around as much as 60inches). The onboard chef is a rare thing and I don't think Austrian have one. I have heard really good things about Austrian long haul. Regarding the Autrian C- Class short haul, they were exceptional. BIgger seat and increased seat pitch over economy!

Secondly to Fbgdavidson. I am a member of the Air Canada Aeroplan FF programmed. It is quite restricting unless you live in Canada or the US. However they rewarded overseas customers with lounge passes and upgrade certificates. To reach;

Silver (Prestige) Status ; 18,000 miles

Gold (Elite) Status ; 28, 000 miles

Gold (Super Elite ; 100,000 miles.

The trip to Australia is about 24, 000 miles which is slightly short of the Gold mark. However, because of the Business ticket one gets an additional 25% of the miles flown. This meant that we were given an extra 6,000 miles. Which topped it up to 30,000............ Yeah, Gold Status at last!  bigthumbsup 

Take care guys

Paul



Veni, vidi, vici.
User currently offlineLukexabi From Ireland, joined May 2005, 2 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (9 years 3 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 5915 times:

any pics to share from your trip?

Luke


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