The airline with the best average rating is SWISS with 7.8/10.
The average flight time is 1 hours and 3 minutes.More information
Well hello again, dear Flight-Report community, and welcome my 50th Flight-Report, as well as the beginning of a brand-new series! As you may remember, in my last series, I flew to Bulgaria and was able to get my first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. In this series, I'll be taking you back to Sofia with me as it was time to get dose number 2 and have some fun in my country of heritage. Let's dive in!
I was once again travelling with my dad for this journey, and as we needed to be in Zurich, we booked a ZRH-SOF-VIE multi-city itinerary. The following flights were flown as part of this trip:
The fare cost around €160 if I remember correctly.
We stayed at a hotel in Zurich-Oerlikon, which was only a 3-minute walk from Bahnhof Oerlikon.
Trains from Oerlikon to Zurich Airport are very frequent and the journey itself is super quick. 5 minutes after boarding the train, we arrived at the airport.
The airport itself was still relatively empty, though I could tell that it was slowly waking up.
The walk from the station to the Star Alliance departure is actually longer than the train ride from Oerlikon 😅
We had checked-in on our phones 47 hours prior to departure and headed straight to security, which was a breeze. Soon enough we were airside, which looked much emptier than the last time I was at ZRH ☹️
The area around the lounge was completely deserted. It was surreal to see.
Fortunately, the SWISS Lounge was open, so that's where we headed.
The lounge attendant was super friendly in welcoming us and was almost distraught to announce that there was no food or beverage on offer in the lounge. A shame indeed, although the lounge itself is very nice even without food.
Luckily for me, the lounge was pretty empty, so I could take some pictures.
The lounge includes a comfortable seating area…
…a dining area (in normal times)…
…and of course, a lovely SWISS logo.
There was also a whole other section of the lounge, but it was partitioned off.
A look at the morning's departures. Pretty busy for Covid-times.
I don't usually take pictures of restrooms, but the one in the lounge was very nice.
I bid farewell to the lounge attendant, grabbed a few SWISS chocolates from a tray on my way out, and headed to the gate.
While I understand that eating in a lounge during Covid is not a great idea, I was still a bit disappointed that, unlike Austrian's Lounge in Vienna, there wasn't even any food for takeaway. But after all, SWISS doesn't make the rules, and instead has to follow the local regulations. I would think that by now food service has been restored in their lounges.
Following the signs to the A gates.
I believe that the A gates at ZRH are the oldest, but the pier is still very well maintained.
The pier offers fantastic views of the tarmac, however, so I was able to get a nice glimpse of my aircraft before boarding.
I was thrilled to see that Austrian's newest A320 would be flying us to Vienna. OE-LZF was built and delivered to Avianca Brasil in 2013 before transferring to Austrian Airlines in October 2019. She's also Austrian's only A320 with sharklets.
Heading down the jetbridge.
At the gate next to ours, a Lufthansa CityLine E190 preparing for its quick flight back to Frankfurt.
A closer look at our A320SL.
greeted stared at by a rather unfriendly purser who look as though she really didn't want to be there… yikes. Hopefully the rest of the crew would be better.
However, I wasn't upset at all, as OE-LZF is one of very few Austrian aircraft to feature the Lufthansa Group's new shorthaul cabins!! 😃 In fact, even though the airframe itself isn't particularly new, I could still, from behind my mask, smell that new plane smell, as the aircraft had only been re-activated a few weeks earlier after being stored due to the pandemic.
At row 9, where I'd be sitting for the next hour. My dad was further back in row 15.
View out the window.
A brief seat tour, starting with the literature pocket…
…which featured a waste bag…
…and the safety instructions card.
Very good legroom (I'm 175cm/5ft8), which led me to think that row 9 is still convertible to Business Class.
I didn't think that the new seats recline, but apparently they do (at least in the front of the aircraft). The recline was pretty decent as well.
Seatback pocket, featuring the Austrian Melangerie menu. It was also very stretchy, which I liked.
And the best thing about the new cabins: USB Chargers at every seat!!
My initial impressions of the cabin were very positive. The seats were pristine and also comfortable to sit on, and even the floors showed no signs of any wear and tear.
Perhaps my only criticism about the seat is the table, which is small and has a rather weird shape. But at least it's movable.
As for the cabin crew, unfortunately it wasn't just the purser who was having a bad day, as another male crew member was rudely shouting at passengers to not store their personal items in the overhead bins. Something I'd expect to see on a US carrier, and definitely not on Austrian.
The captain, on the other hand, sounded like a very nice guy and gave us detailed information about our routing and announced a flight time of one hour.
Shortly after that, we pushed back.
Flaps and slats set for takeoff.
Taxiing to the departure runway.
Crossing Runway 28 after the landing of a SWISS 777 from JFK.
Lining up on Runway 14.
Rotating into a windy Zurich sky.
One last look at the airport and the city of Zurich…
…before turning right towards Vienna.
Cabin after departure.
Not much see outside, as clouds were covering everything below us.
Nice view of the CFM56 engine, though.
I got a bit thirsty as the crew came around for the service, so I asked the same male crew member from boarding if water was free, as I was under the impression that bottles of water would be provided on LH Group flights despite the BoB menu. Instead of politely saying no, he snorted and made me feel bad for asking. My seatmate then seemed discouraged from ordering anything. Who would have thought that it's easier to get free water on Wizz Air than on Austrian?! Oh well, at least it was a short flight.
Luckily, I still had some chocolate from the SWISS Lounge to eat.
Turning right past Salzburg before commencing our descent right afterwards.
As we were descending, a friendly young female flight attendant came around the cabin with the basket of chocolates. Nice to know that there were some friendly crew members on board!
Having tasted both the Austrian and the SWISS chocolates, I have to say that I prefer the Austrian ones. I can't say why, maybe I'm just biased toward my favorite country 😂
The captain came back on the PA as we neared to Vienna to inform us on the weather, which was the same as in Zurich, minus the wind.
First sighting of Austrian soil below.
Preparing for landing.
Turning final over Bruck an der Leitha.
Neusiedlersee in the background.
Over the airport.
Beautifully smooth landing on Runway 29 at 10:54 AM, 6 minutes early, after a flight time of exactly 1 hour.
Vacating the runway.
Cabin after landing.
Taxiing to our remote stand.
One last view of my seat. The new seats are phenomenal, and I hope to try them out again soon!
Unsurprisingly, there was no goodbye at the door as all passengers headed towards the bus to the terminal.
I'll finish up the report with some close-ups of OE-LZF.
We cruised as 33,000 feet as we sailed over the Tirol-Bavaria border. We began our descend due south of Linz and landed in Vienna to the west on Runway 29.
The bus ride to the terminal was fine, but then another adventure began with the transit experience… All I'll say now is that I'm so glad I had enough time for my connection. Stay tuned! ✈️
While Austrian usually provides great service, I was very disappointed by the crew on this flight. At least I lucked out and got to fly in an aircraft with the new cabins, otherwise this flight would have really sucked.
+ Fantastic new cabin.
+- Nice SWISS lounge in Zurich, but with no food options.
- Rude, unfriendly crew.
- No entertainment options or WiFi. Not what should be expected on the newest addition of the fleet.
I still love Austrian Airlines, I've flown them over 30 times, and this is the first time I've had a bad crew. Maybe they were having a bad day, or maybe not. Either way, while this crew was quite bad, I know that this is not what to usually expect from Austrian Airlines.