Many years ago my father and me often did weekend trips to multiple cities across Europe and Asia, but as this was pretty non-existing anymore since I moved out years ago, we actually took the opportunity to make a day trip to Vienna as we both had a spare day and found two reasonable priced tickets to our destination on two separate itineraries. Our flight to Vienna would be performed by Austrian, which would be a new airline to me and our return leg was going to be performed by KLM Cityhopper in J class as KLM gave me very reasonable prices for J class, which costed me only about 40 p.p. more compared to their Y class tickets.
So see below the following routing like I described.
We left our home about 7.30 am and drove to Amsterdam, which took us about a solid hour and gave us approximately 90 minutes to departure. The parking fees at Amsterdam Airport for 24 hours is a staggering 40 euro, yet it was cheaper than buying two return train tickets, which would have costed us 52 euro in total.
Parking itself was not issue with many available parking spots nearby the entry and we made our way to the Terminal.
We obviously had no luggage to drop off as we would by flying home later this evening and proceeded straight away to one of the security checks of Amsterdam. Most people will take the first available security check when they are walking to Terminal 1A, but many do not know that if you actually proceed to Terminal 1A (which was very deserted at those times) is that you have another security check which is usually a lot quieter. Though passing the gates was a lot trickier than we thought as our printed boarding cards from Austrian didn't work on the scan.
Security itself took no more than a few moments and ended up airside, which was a lot busier than landside. Schiphol promoted separation by designing one-way paths in the terminal, yet people are being people and many ignored it completely.
Our flight would depart from Gate B23 and this was probably the best shot I could take from our aircraft for our flight to Vienna. It would be operated by OE-LWQ, which is an 8 year old Embraer E195 who has been in service for Austrian for approximately three years after having flown for Lufthansa Cityline for 5 solid years. It is powered by 2 General Electric CF34 engines and can carry up to 120 passengers in a two cabin configuration. It was also the first time for me flying on an E195.
Boarding was called on time and apparently this aircraft was named after a very old popular song composed by Franz Gruber and written by Joseph Mohr. Both of them are Austrian, so it obviously did make sense.
Upon boarding we received a friendly greeting from one of the flight attendants and you could take a disinfection wipe from the tray next to her if you wanted one. I still prefer those wipes to be distributed prior to the flight to all seats or be distributed by the flight attendant during the flight as more people will touch more surfaces than necessary if we had to grab it for ourself. A minor detail itself, but you never know.
My initial seat was 25A, but luckily due to a lower load factor of approximately 65% I could move myself to seat 23F. Row 25 & 26 are not alligned with the window, thus giving you a poor window view. The legroom itself is not the best, yet it is very acceptable for a flight of 2 hours.
The window view from my seat with an Airbus A320 of Vueling parked next to us with the same depressing weather I've had on all my flights departing out of Amsterdam in 2020.
Boarding went surprisingly quick with no social distancing and we were pushed back a few minutes ahead of schedule for our departure to Vienna. The cabin itself looks very neat and clean and is in a standard 2-2 configuration like any other Embraer jet.
It also comes with an individual light and air vent per seat.
While push back was on time, we eventually took off from Runway 18L about 17 minutes past our scheduled departure time as there was a significant number of planes taking off and gave me this beautiful view over Amsterdam and Runway 24.
A cold front was definitely moving over the Netherlands as temperatures were dropping significantly compared to the past weeks and gave us quite a bumpy ride to better weather.
And the moment we reached the border of Germany, it was smooth sailing.
Approximately 20 minutes into the flight, the flight attendants started their service, which contained only of tea, coffee or water. I don't know about Austrian's service prior to Covid-19 as this airline is new to me, but it was definitely better than Lufthansa's bottle of water on my previous flights. I eventually just ordered a coffee, which was good for airline coffee.
While drinking my coffee, the view changed again into a smooth layer of clouds and I find those types of clouds always mesmerizing.
Paid a quick visit to the lavatories in the back, which was a very small one and could have been a lot cleaner than it was.
A photo of the cabin from the aft galley. It looks very neat and I think those headrest covers of Austrian do give the cabin an extra touch.
By this time the flight was almost over and the pilots checked in with us informing us with the latest weather information, giving his thanks for flying with them and told us that we would be on ground in approximately 20 minutes from now.
The landing itself was good and the pilot used the full runway to shorten our taxi distance with little braking from the beginning. A rather pleasant landing I must say.
Parked on a remote parking stand next to this Airbus A320 of Wizzair which just arrived from Palma de Mallorca as W6 2946. It also meant that we would be shipped by bus and that we would have to follow the guidelines from crew by disembarking the aircraft. Same procedure as Lufthansa as rows were called, but Austrian did not instruct passengers to sit down when they didn't listen.
(Social distancing is not really possible by parking on a remote stand (if by bus), but it does come with an excellent view of the aircraft. I do like Austrian's livery though. It is not the most authentic, neither the most original, but it is neat and simple.
While being dropped off by our bus to the terminal, the entry to the terminal was very crowded and no possibility for social distancing. A temperature check was slowing it even further, but it seems that they just randomly picked people for it and questioned them too as to where they've been in the past fourteen days et cetera.
From here we took a regular train for 3.90 euro per person one way to Vienna's city center and it took about 30 minutes to reach for us. There is also a CAT line to the city center and this will take you to the City center in about 15 minutes, but would cost you 12 euro per person one way. The CAT however was no option for us as it has been temporarily suspended since 19th March 2020 due to the ongoing pandemic.
While not being familiar with Austrian's service prior to Covid-19, the service was limited. The cabin was clean and neat. Flight attendants were friendly, though not very engaging. Legroom was sufficient too.