The airline with the best average rating is Austrian Airlines with 7.4/10.
The average flight time is 1 hours and 21 minutes.More information
And welcome to this brand new report of my flight to Vienna. I'm so happy I can write this one for you and share my excitement - first international flight after lockdown and first time on Wizz Air's A321neo.
There's a little, sad story for this flight to Vienna, I want to introduce you to… This trip was actually a substitute for my trip to Mauritius (with my friends Asia and Agata, who I flew with to Singapore last year). We were supposed to fly to Mauritius this September on MK A359 & AF 777W but due to the ongoing situation we had to postpone our plans, hopefully until next year. As the Mauritius trip had to be cancelled, we decided to at least go somewhere else. The choice between Vienna, Prague and Berlin was difficult but we decided to pick the Austrian capital.
We booked (or I booked the flight for us ?) about 3 weeks before departure and paid 280 PLN/ 65 EUR per person (basic fare + WIZZ priority which allows you to take a bigger cabin bag). A good price, I'd say but could be even a bit better if only we booked a few days earlier.
A few days before departure, I received this very misleading email from Wizzair, and I'd really appreciate that they "think" what they write before sending emails to their customers. The email says I'm REQUIRED to fill in the attached form. And the form itself is basically to give the address for a 14-day quarantine, not a really pleasant thing… But fortunately, I checked the entry requirements for Austria from Poland daily and I was sure "we" have a free entry into Austria. And it didn't change until our arrival time, fortunately, as well :)
As always, I provide the boarding pass. The seat 39B is not the one I actually used. PRB, I believe, stands for Priority Boarding.
Some flight details:
Flight number: W61343
Route: Warsaw Chopin - Vienna Schewchat (T3)
Flight date: 3rd August 2020 (1210-1335, actual 1207-1305)
Scheduled flight time: 1:25 (actual 0:58)
Aircraft model: Airbus A321neo ACF
Aircraft registration: HA-LVG
Seating configuration: Y239
Aircraft age (at the time of flight): 0.8 years
Seat number: 29A (Exit row)
Departure gate: 36 (bus gate)
Arrival gate: F37 (jet bridge gate)
Packed and ready to go. I love those departures at 12ish as you have plenty of time in the morning to pack and there's no need to rush! Moreover, the hotel room was already waiting for us once we arrived and we didn't have to mooch around. Well, those afternoon departures have their disadvantages as well, of course. One of them being that you can't use your time at your destination as effectively.
I met with my friends in the terminal at approx. 10:30, in a coffee shop near AB check inzone. The "COVID-19 airport experience" was pretty the same as on my flight to Kraków in early July, however didn't seem as strict. The entrance is still restricted only to passengers with a boarding pass or booking confirmation but the temperature screening at entrance is not as "thorough" as it was before. They seemed to only stop one every 5 passengers or so for an "in-depth" screening.
A quick photo from the coffee shop we met at. It overviews the entrance. The coffee quality was really good, but it was pricy as well, 24 PLN or 6 EUR for a coffee is quite a lot for Polish standards…
Just behind us, there was a check in of British Airways, the airline I've used quite a lot recently. I was happy to see at least a few passengers checking in for their flight however I have no clue what their LF was this day. It was also good to see that WAW tries to keep the social distance by opening every third check in counter (this did not happen at VIE).
In the background you can also see the WIZZ counters, here, every second counter is open. A bit of inconsistence from WAW but still trying to keep the distance. However we didn't need any help from the check in agents this day and so proceeded directly to security.
The "social distance stickers" are present everywhere, where ta queue might form. Those ones are in front of the security check entrance.
There was a little queue to the security check this Monday, however we didn't have to wait more than 10 mins. Unfortunately, one of my friends had too many liquid cosmetics and she had to repack. Fortunately, our security agent was surprisingly kind and helpful, which doesn't happen often in Warsaw!
While waiting for my friend to repack, I took those two photos of the airside. It's a pleasure to see how more and more shops open at WAW after the lockdown restrictions have been eased. From what I've seen, the majority of shops and restaurants seem to already be opened at Warsaw Airport. However we didn't have time (and money) for shopping this time, and it was already time for boarding.
Good centrally located gate 36 this Monday, however it was a bus gate :( When we arrived at the gate, the boarding was already being carried out. We politely joined the queue but after a few minutes I realised I had bought the WIZZ priority ? and so we swapped the queue and passed without any further waiting. Soon we boarded the bus which was a bit packed but still much less packed then it would be before COVID, so a bit of improvement here.
The gate area, social distance signs everywhere on the floor.
A relatively quick but shaky (as always) bus ride today to our remote stand, where our A321neo was already waiting for us ?
A few pictures of our jet before we board. I could really see, judging by how fresh the paint was, that it's new.
As you enter the aircraft, every passenger is given a disinfectant wipe, whose size is 2x2cm, really really tiny. I don't really know what I was supposed to clean with the wipe, so I went for armrests, tray table and the handle on the doors at the emergency exit ?
As I already told you, there were 3 of us on one reservation. What I always found annoying, but particularly annoying during COVID is the seat allocation by Wizz Air. Me and one of my friends got seats together, in row 39 but the other friend was seated by the system in row 10. Exactly the same thing happened on our way back. In my opinion, Wizz should rethink their strategy in those times as seating people on one reservation together would certainly limit the spread of virus by avoiding mixing people. But anyway… I told girls we could all board from the rear doors and ask the flight attendant if they need anyone in the exit row, 29. It turned out, we were quite lucky because a very kind FA, Adam let us seat in row 29 which assuredly is the best row on the entire airplane.
The legroom in 29B. I will later swap to 29A with my friend.
The boarding went very smooth and we were ready for departure a few minutes before our schedule. A warm welcome from the very nice cabin crew. Safety briefing was carried out both in Polish and in English and I have to say, I was positively surprised with the very good quality of English announcements. Overall, I'd say the crew deserves a very high rating on this flight. They seemed happy, helpful and professional. This hasn't happened to me too many times before with W6. Maybe the crew is now afraid of losing their job due to redundancies and they just put more effort into their work ?♂️
Quite an unusual departure from runway 15 this afternoon, at 1207 (3 mins ahead of schedule). But this departure resulted in that we needed nearly no turn to be on the straight way to Vienna. The one disadvantage of seats in row 29 is no real window. You can either use the window of the neighbour behind you or the small circle window in the doors (but you have to stand up from your seat to use it). So please forgive me for the bad photos of the outside. (I'll try to make up with photos from the cabin)
Taxiing to RWY15. Weather could be better (the same will be true for Vienna).
Cabin views before takeoff. As you can perhaps see, it was pretty full as for COVID times. About 170 passengers for 239 total seats. The air condition was very efficient, both on the ground and in the air. I don't know if you can see that in this photo, but actually the fresh air, in the form of steam could be seen coming out from the air vents throughout the cabin. The higher humidity makes the flight much more comfortable on A321neos compared to regular A321s.
The departure from WAW was relatively smooth, judging on how many clouds there were on the sky. The whole flight was actually in the clouds (or just above them).
The flight time this afternoon was scheduled for only 1 hour so the crew really needed to hurry up with service. It started very soon after take off. Of course, due to the pandemic, there are no magazines in the seat pockets so you need to look at the menu before the flight, should you want to buy something. I took screenshots of the menu and I'll post them below.
The menu is not that wide and also the prices are not the best. However, the products are of good quality, in my opinion. There's also a range of meal deals so it's easy to choose something for yourself.
We chose to buy some sandwiches and drinks to get sweet snacks for free (meal deal). However it turned out that many of our choices were not available. And that's not because people bought them before us. They were simply not placed on the airplane. They didn't have Stroopwafels, Coca Cola and San Pellegrino orange drink, to say the least… We were however desperate to have something and we went for other options. Again, the crew was really polite, but I saw them being embarrassed with the lack of products on board. The other thing I realised is that's it's hard to hear anything when everyone is wearing a face mask, so we literally had to shout when placing our order ?. Bear in mind we were flying A321neo, which is really quiet!
My lunch: turkey sandwich with mayonnaise, sun-dried tomatoes and parmesan (was really good but a bit dry), apple juice from happy and KitKat (which was a substitute for the Stroopwafel and we got it for free). 8.50 Euro altogether. My friend took the Salami baguette and ginger tea - she said those things were also alright :) The annoying thing on this A321neo is a very tiny tray table. Ant that's true not only for exit rows but for every other seat as well.
After the meal service, the crew passed through the cabin with Wizz Duty Free selection. They did it, however, so quickly, that we barely noticed them. I could see they didn't really want to sell anything this afternoon :))
Before I finished my meal, we had already started our descent into Vienna. However I managed to very quickly go to the bathroom to wash my hands, and of course to take some more photos of the cabin.
The typical tiny A321neo lavatory. It was clean enough with all the basic stuff being present (soap, toilet paper, towels and bags). And I really appreciate the nice LED light above the sink, it is a little thing but a nice touch!
On my way back to the seat, I managed to take some pictures of this A321neo cabin which is significantly different from their older A321's cabin. The seats, the layout and lavatories are different.
The seats are a bit strange in that they don't have anything at the level of your eyesight. However, I think it's a good place for some advertisement (if I were to think like WIZZ)… Anyway, as you can see, the cabin is modern, bright, spacious and fresh. I like the pink stripe below the overhead compartments - makes sure you don't forget what Wizzair brand colour is!
As I came back to my row, I managed to take a few better photos of the seats, so I'd like to focus on them. They are, indeed, a big upgrade, comparing to WIZZ A321ceo!
The features that I spotted:
1. The seats are "well-contoured" and tilted backwards a bit so that even though they are still slimline seats, they remain comfortable, really (and I'm quite a demanding passenger).
2. The bottom cushion is quite soft but the back one is hard, "ironing-board-like" however this was not a problem on this short flight and also the comfortable contour of the seat made up for that.
3. The seats look nice, although that's my biased opinion. The blue eco-leather composes well with pink contrastive seam and again this small pink detail corresponds to Wizzair's brand.
4. Every seat features a coat hook which is a great thing!
5. The width is more than fine (even in the Exit row) and I can't say too much about legroom. It was amazing in row 29 but I didn't try any other "normal" row. However it LOOKED better than in A321ceo (but you don't have to trust me here, my eyes might have been misleading ?).
6. There's no separate literature pocket (only one pocket per seat) and no power outlets which both are significant drawbacks of those seats.
7. The tray tables are very small, both in "normal rows" and in Exit row.
To sum up, even though the seats are not perfect, they are very comfortable, and they will be fine for flights up to 3 hours, I guess, especially the ones in row 29 - absolutely best row on the entire aircraft.
No entertainment, unfortunately on this flight. No magazines, no WiFi, no power outlets even. Absolutely nothing. But to be fair, I wouldn't even have time for any entertainment on this very short hop.
One more nice feature, the window seats in row 29, i.e. 29A & 29F have an additional seat pocket on the doors which is really helpful.
After I managed to take a few pictures of the cabin, we were already on our final approach into Vienna. Cabin crew made a final round with rubbish collection and quickly prepared the cabin for landing. We didn't make any turn before landing (really easy flightpath this afternoon!) and landed into VIE from the north, touchdown at 1305, half an hour before our scheduled arrival time, WOW :)
Passing through multiple layers of clouds, I told you in the beginning, the weather in Vienna will be bad, during all 3 days as we stay there…
After landing we docked into a jet bridge at gate F37 in Terminal 3 (the only working terminal in Vienna currently). Disembarkement via jet bridge was a really pleasant surprise from WIZZ, I have to say. Even LOT doesn't seem to use the jetways at VIE.
Before we stopped at the gate, there was an obligatory announcement from the crew (in those times) that we should disembark row by row starting from the front and that we can only stand up once the previous row has left their seats. They also said something like "for your comfort and convenience the aircraft has been attached to the terminal building so please only use the front doors to leave the aircraft". I could, however see people who are definitely not used to jet bridges, trying to disembark through the back ? They must have been really baffled to see the rear doors remained closed. Also soon after people starting leaving the aircraft (from the front!), the crew made a kind announcement to "do it a bit faster" to keep the right balance of the airplane - this definitely might be a problem when people leave the jet row by row…
No windows in the jet bridge unfortunately :( Also, the smell in there was awful, as if it were a cow dung, sorry for the expression…
As we left the aircraft, we proceeded towards the exit to town. It was actually quite far from where we docked. Vienna airport was quite empty, yet not stranded.
No social distance signs on the seats, unlike many other airports in the World now.
I think, I already said that in one of my previous reports, but I'll say it once again. Vienna is definitely not my favourite airport. The design is such, that the airport looks as if it was still under construction, although it's not - white walls, grey floor. Everything seems to be not too clean, including toilets. And to reach many of the toilets you need to go downstairs, from the departures level. The choice of cafes and shops also seems to be limited. So yeah, not the best one, for sure.
Our flight route and where we docked at VIE. Courtesy Flightradar24.
In the last few sentences, I'd like to describe how the arrival process looks at VIE, in terms of COVID. First of all, for most of the European countries, including Poland, there's no need to fill in any form, you also don't need to self-isolate for 14 days. At the airport as you pass towards baggage reclaim, every passenger in 10 or so will be stopped by the border control and asked where you were in the last 14 days (what countries). That's literally the only thing they ask. And as you exit the baggage reclaim area, there "is" a temperature screening. I put "is" into inverted commas, because all the 4 guards, agents (or whatever they are called) that were supposed to control the temperature, were on their smartphones at the time (either checking instagram or playing Mario Super Bros ?). Of course it's obligatory to wear a face mask all the time when you're at the airport.
After leaving the airport, we proceeded towards the train platforms, which are very close to the baggage reclaim exit - the one nice feature of VIE! The train to the centre (line S7) was only 2.50 Euro per person (one way).
I think I'll finish my report here and in the next one I'll post a few photos from Vienna itself and then continue with W61344 to Warsaw on A321ceo.
To sum up this short flight with Wizz Air in 4 categories:
Cabin: Very nice, bright with comfortable seats (for a LCC). Definitely a big upgrade comparing to their A321ceo. 8/10
Cabin crew: Honestly, very very good cabin crew. Kind, helpful, professional and made good quality announcements in both Polish and English. 9/10
Entertainment: WIZZ doesn't have anything at all for their entertainment. But that's not a problem on this very short flight. 2/10
Meal/catering: Good quality snacks and drinks. The prices were also OK, but the selection could be wider and also many products were unavailable (including cola which I suspect is really popular among passengers). 6/10
To be honest with you, this was my best flight with Wizz Air so far and I really had nothing to pick on. But unfortunately, judging in those 4 above categories, I had to give an overall 6.3/10. But rest assured that WIZZ provides a nice service on this route, at least it seemed very good to me!