Welcome to part 3 of my recent trip to the Midwest! After 2 weeks in Michigan and 3 glorious days in Chicago, it was time to fly back to Europe. As a reminder, the itinerary looks like this:
I was quite excited for this flight, as I hadn't crossed the pond in a Boeing 777 since 2015, and this would be my first TATL flight on a Boeing 777 that isn't operated by United. I know, I'm a fanboy :)
I took a taxi from my hotel in the Loop and arrived at O'Hare around 35 minutes later.
Unlike it's mother-company Lufthansa, Austrian uses Terminal 5 in Chicago.
My flight is scheduled on-time.
Right after I got my Boarding Pass, the gorgeous CX crew arrived.
Then I headed to Security.
5 minutes later, I was airside and foud myself in the relatively small Duty-Free store while the Hainan crew passed me. Am I the only one who loves their uniforms?
My flight would be departing from gate M10.
Instead of visiting the lounge, I decided to planespot and eat. At the gate next to mine, a Qatar 777-300ER (A7-BER), which just arrived from Doha.
And next to it, an Air India 777-300ER (VT-ALN 'Jammu and Kashmir') which arrived from Delhi, via Vienna.
The SAS Lounge.
BA First Louge.
BA Terraces Lounge.
And the reason I passed a lounge: Tortas Fronteras by Rick Bayless. OMG, this place has some good Mexican.
I found myself a place with a nice view of an Air France A330-200 and a Hainan 787.
My lunch consisted of Chips with Guac and Salsa…
…and a Choriqueso sandwich.
Needless to say, it was all gone 15 minutes later, when this United 767-300 (N648UA) passed by.
Passing the SWISS Lounge.
Air France-KLM Lounge.
What once was the Korean Air Lounge.
A look across the tarmac at the American terminal and two beautiful Dreamliner in a beautiful livery.
Speedbird 747-400 (G-BYGB) arriving from Heathrow.
Aer Lingus A330-200 (EI-FNG 'Colmcille') preparing to fly to Dublin.
A look inside Terminal 5.
My two favorite aircraft in one shot.
Unfortunately, this was the best shot I could get of my 777 at O'Hare. Flying me across the pond is OE-LPC named Dream of Freedom, a 17-year old Boeing 777-2Z9(ER) delivered to Austrian in 2005 after flying with Lauda Air for two years.
Trans States Embraer 145 (N842HK) off to Memphis as UA4784.
Gate lice has formed, which means boarding is near.
Boarding was a free-for-all, where priorities weren't respected. Really? At O'Hare?
Down the jetbridge.
The entry way.
Passing through the Premium Economy cabin.
My seat, 15A.
The cabin before it filled up.
Waiting for me at my seat: a pillow and blanket.
Our Emirati neighbor.
Great legroom here at the bulkhead.
TV on the bulkhead.
No air nozzles :(
Austrian logo on the bulkhead.
TV located under the seats. Note that there are no power outlets.
Despite the fact that it is under the seat, the TV itself is the same size as all other TVs in Economy.
…which was barely audible and has really creepy graphics. Kind of reminds me of United's first Airbus safety videos.
(is it just me?)
Nothing beats the sound of a GE90 start up, am I right?
American 737-800 (N983AN) off to Charlotte as AA55.
United A320 taking off.
United 777-200 (N788UA) just arrived from Tokyo/Narita as UA882.
ANA 777-300ER (JA734A) taxiing to Terminal 1.
Final look at Terminal 5.
Downtown Chicago in the distance.
Lining up on Runway 28R.
Notice the Spirit A320 taking off?
Full takeoff video:
Time to check out the IFE.
OK selection of movies and TV shows.
I settled on Dunkirk.
Just about as comfortable as you can get in Economy.
Left turn near Jackson, MI.
As we passed north of Pontiac, MI, Captain Hans made a very long and informative announcement. He said that our routing would take us past Montreal, Gander, Shanwick, Liverpool, and Frankfurt before commencing our descent over the Czech Republic.
Cabin before the meal service.
The TV on the bulkhead showed the map for the duration of the flight.
The sun is setting.
The meal has arrived!
Included: some kind of mousse…
…a little salad…
…and the main, a pasta dish.
Unlike Lufthansa and SWISS, Austrian doesn't give you real cutlery.
Quite a good meal!
Cruising in near-darkness.
Some traffic cruising alongside us.
I fell asleep here…
…and woke up to a beautiful sunrise over Ireland.
Bright outside again.
Breakfast, if you can call it that. At least the muffin was bigger and much fresher than the one Lufthansa offers.
One final look at the cabin.
The view from door 3R.
As we were descending, the captain made another announcement, and said that we'd be landing in 20 minutes, and that the weather in Vienna was nice.
I forgot to show you the movable headrest.
Large mountain on the other side of the aircraft. Can anyone identify it?
On final approach.
Over the runway.
Super smooth landing!
Taxiing off the runway.
Passing Runway 29.
Eurowings A319 (OE-LYY) just arrived from Stuttgart.
Pulling into our gate.
Deplaning through Business Class. I flew Austrian Business Class in 2014 from Bangkok to Vienna, and really enjoyed it, so I'd like to try it again.
Into the jetbridge.
A good view of the 777 that brought me back to Europe.
And of course, our final routing across the pond.
Thanks for reading, and see you in the next part!
Overall, a very enjoyable TATL flight with Austrian!
+ Comfy seat with good legroom
+ Very friendly service
+ Tasty dinner
+ Super smooth landing
- Mediocre IFE
- Lackluster breakfast
I wouldn't hesitate flying them across the Atlantic again.