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 color scheme and dark grey seat covers.
It feels more luxurious 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. Still, its Business Class passengers have access to Star Alliance partner Thai Airways Royal Silk Business Class lounge which we’ve 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 two 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 two 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 neighbor’s legs to access 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 inches), 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 workspace on both sides. Within that work surface, you will find the seat controls to adjust the seat position, which goes to fully flat and adjusts 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 a meal tray. In front of the seat, there is a 15 inches (38 centimeters) entertainment touchscreen (compared to the disappointingly small entertainment screen at 10,4 inches or 26 cm on Swiss airlines.
The seat is comfortable when you’re 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 than 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. But Austrian Airways does provide blankets and very good pillows, which improves sleeping comfort.
Best Business Class seats on Austrian Airlines’ B777s
The seats in the second cabin (rows 8 to 10) are preferable since this cabin feels more intimate. The single best seats for solo travelers 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 the passenger in the window seat will have to jump over his/her neighbor’s feet to access the aisle.
Worst Business Class seats on Austrian Airlines’ B777S
I suggest avoiding the window seats in rows 7 and 8 since the proximity to the galley may be bothersome.
I also suggest avoiding 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, thick pillow, and an additional blanket for the seat itself. The dark grey Business Class amenity kit has socks, a sleeping mask, a shoehorn, a 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 with 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 you can choose what you want for each course. Austrian Airlines also has onboard sommeliers to offer wine pairings for its Business Class passengers.
I chose the creamy corn soup with olive tapenade crostini for the starter. As the main course, I had grilled codfish with dijon beurre blanc, fried potatoes, oriental lentils, and leaf spinach. Delicious! Dessert was a cheesecake with marinated berries, accompanied by fresh fruit cuts.
90 minutes before 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 slice of cold meat and cheese deli platter, yogurt, muesli, fruit salad, and two eggs, sunny side up with crispy bacon. It was one of the best breakfasts that I enjoyed in Business Class.
Onboard Wi-Fi is currently not offered by Austrian Airlines.
For a comparison, you can read our other Austrian Airlines Business Class flight reviews and top 10 Best Business Class airlines for long-haul travel.
Review by our friends at Luxury Travel Expert
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