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Transport : Airlines

I reviewed Austrian Airlines B777 Business Class Review from Bangkok to Vienna. Austrian Airlines has brilliant food (best in the skies in Business Class) and a small fleet of 5 Boeing 777 (and 6 Boeing 767) which have recently been retrofitted. The new Austrian Business class is trendy with a red-blue-white colour scheme and dark grey seat covers. It feels more luxury as compared to the design aboard its Lufthansa Group sister company Swiss. If you have a choice, fly Austrian, not Swiss: although Swiss still has the reputation of being Europe’s best airline, it is now outclassed (in almost every aspect) by Austrian airlines.

Austrian Airlines does not have its own lounge at Bangkok’s impressive Suvarnabhumi Airport, but its Business Class passengers have access to Star Alliance partner Thai Airways’ Royal Silk Business Class lounge which I have reviewed. From the lounge, it was a 10 minute walk to gate D6 where the Boeing 777-200ER was ready for boarding. On this occasion, the flight was operated by Austrian’s second oldest B777, registration number OP-LPA.

Business Class Cabin
Business Class on Austrian Airlines’ Boeing 777s is spread over 2 cabins: a large Business Class cabin with 32 seats (in 7 rows) behind the cockpit and a smaller and more intimate Business Class cabin with only 16 seats (in 3 rows) which is in front of the Economy cabin. Both Business Class cabins are divided by the main boarding door, a galley and 2 lavatories.

The Business Class seats are set up in a staggered configuration, where the foot compartment for each seat is located between and under the seats in front. The same layout can be found on Brussels Airlines’ A330, Finnair’s A330/A340, Swiss’ A340/A330, Delta’s B767, and American’s B767. The staggered Business Class cabin configuration on Austrian Airways comprises 10 single seats, while the remaining 38 seats come in pairs. All seats enjoy good privacy, as none of the rows quite line up, so nobody is directly looking into the seat across the aisle. Most seats also have direct aisle access, except for the paired window seats, where the passenger seated along the window will have to climb over his/her neighbour’s legs to get access to the aisle.

Business Class Seat Review
I was seated in seat 3A.All Business Class seats have the same characteristics: 152 cm (60 inches) in pitch, a width of 50 cm (19,5 inch), and a 180 degree recline. All seats have at least one large work surface on the side, with all single seats and some paired seats featuring this work space on both sides. Within that work surface, you will find the seat controls to adjust the seat position which goes to fully flat, but also to adjust the seat cushion. Austrian Airlines Business Class seats are not made of the customary plastic foam, but instead, the seat cushions have air-filled chambers, and with one press on the button you can either soften or firm up the seat cushion according to your liking, as well as activate its integrated massage function. On the side of the seat, there’s also a power port with international adapters, a personal reading lamp, and the meal tray. In front of the seat there is a 15 inches (38 centimetres) entertainment touchscreen (compared to the disappointingly small entertainment screen at 10,4 inch or 26 cm on Swiss airlines.

The seat is comfortable when you are sitting upright, but in its lie-flat position, although it’s a 180 degree recline, the seat (and your lower legs) descends into a space carved out for it in the seat in front, below your entertainment screen. While somewhat larger as compared to the food compartment in Swiss’ Airbus A330/A340 Business Class, this foot compartment is still quite small, making it hard to switch position during your sleep while not waking up, as your legs will constantly hit the walls. In addition, in its lie flat position, the seat is just 45 cm (17 inch) above the floor, making it feel like you are resting on the ground or in a coffin making it very uncomfortable to get in and out. This is one of the most uncomfortable lie flat seats in the sky, especially when compared to the lie flat seats installed on Austrian’s competitors such as American Airlines, British Airways, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Etihad and Cathay Pacific (click the links to read my trip reports of those airlines). But Austrian Airways does provide blankets and very good pillows, which improves the sleeping comfort.

What are the best Business Class seats on Austrian Airlines’ B777s?
The seats in the second cabin (row 8 to 10) are preferable since this cabin feels more intimate. The single best seats for solo travellers are the single seats. Travel companions should go for the paired, middle seats, which all have direct aisle access. There are also paired window seats in rows 2, 4, 6 and 10, but here the passenger in the window seat will have to jump over his/her neighbour’s feet to get access to aisle.

What are the worst Business Class seats on Austrian Airlines’ B777S?
I suggest to avoid the window seats in row 7 and 8 since the proximity to the galley may be bothersome.
I also suggest to avoid the seats in row 10, which are directly in front of the Economy bassinet seats (so you may end up being close to young children).

Austrian Airlines Amenities
Each seat comes with a very comfortable blanket and thick pillow, and an additional blanket for on the seat itself. The dark grey Business Class amenity kit has : socks, sleeping mask, shoehorn, toothbrush, toothpaste, earplugs, sugar-free mint, skin lotion, and a voucher for the Bogner online shop.

Food On Austrian Airlines
Before takeoff, I was offered a choice of welcome drinks: orange juice, water, or Champagne. Dinner service started immediately after the captain had turned off the fasten seat belt sign.

Austrian Airlines’ meal service is superb and offers the most delicious food in the sky. The food comes from DO & CO, a catering company that has upscale restaurants and cafés in cities like Vienna, London and New York. The crew rolls a selection of starters, entrees and desserts through the cabin, so for each course, you can choose what you want. Austrian Airlines also has on-board sommeliers to offer wine pairings for its Business Class passengers.

For starter, I choose the creamy corn soup, with olive tapanade crostini. As a main course, I had the grilled cod fish, with dijon beurre blanc, fried potatoes, oriental lentils, and leaf spinach. Delicious! Dessert was a cheese cake with marinated berries, accompanied by fresh fruit cuts.

90 minutes prior to landing, the excellent breakfast was served (pictured below). The onboard chef had taken the breakfast orders from a separate menu before we took off in Bangkok, so I was items that I had previously chosen: a cold meat & cheese deli platter, yoghurt, muesli, fruit salad, and 2 eggs, sunny side up with crispy bacon. One of the best breakfasts that I enjoyed in Business Class.

Onboard WiFi is currently not offered by Austrian Airlines.

For a comparison, you can read my other Austrian Airlines Business Class flight reviews and my top 10 Best Business Class airlines for long haul travel.

Review by my friends at Luxury Travel Expert

Austrian Airlines