Hi everyone, and welcome to the final installment of this short series! In this report, I'll be taking you along on my very last Austrian Airlines flight from Frankfurt to Innsbruck. I've flown FRA-INN once before on my beloved Dash 8, though Austrian hadn't flown any Dashes to Frankfurt since before Covid. Prior to the pandemic, the INN-FRA-INN rotation was operated up to 5 times a day, I believe. However, the route had been on hiatus since March 2020. Finally, 6 days prior to this flight, Austrian brought back the rotation, albeit not every day. I flew this flight on the 3rd rotation of Austrian's INN-FRA-INN return. Unfortunately, their return to the route didn't last, and on October 30th, 2021, Austrian operated their very last INN-FRA-INN rotation. For about 6 months, the route was once again cancelled. Finally, 10 days ago, on May 2nd, the route returned, but this time operated daily by Air Dolomiti. While I do hope to fly them on this route in the future sometime, I hope you'll enjoy this journey on my last OS FRA-INN flight with me! 😃
In case you've missed them, check out the previous reports in this series!
I booked these flights as two different itineraries with miles, as my dates were inflexible and prices weren't good for those dates. Both itineraries, VIE-SOF and SOF-INN cost 8k United miles to book.
My flight from Sofia arrived at a remote stand, which meant a bus ride to the terminal. That's never a problem for AvGeeks like us, though, since we get to be up close and personal with cool airplanes 😁✈️
Passing a Lufthansa A330-300 resting after a flight from JFK before heading to Orlando later in the day…
…another A330-300 (since transferred to Eurowings Discover) resting after a flight from Abuja before its next assignment to Dammam and Bahrain…
…and an A320neo from Tallinn and off to Madrid.
The transit procedure itself was super easy, and after the bus ride I headed up to the non-Schengen gates. My uncle was transiting from Bangkok to Newark, so I was fortunate to be able to meet up with him and his family airside for a few hours.
After his longhaul from Bangkok and my early start, pizza seemed like a logical meal choice for 9 AM 😉
After a couple of hours of catching up, I headed downstairs to the Schengen A pier to wait for my flight.
A look at the day's departures.
There was a bit of a line to head downstairs, but it moved along quickly.
Passport control was also a breeze, and before I knew it, I was at the A Gates.
Since I still had a sufficient amount of time to kill, I roamed around the terminal for a bit.
I ended up sitting at a charging station…
…with a great view of a 747-8i prepping for its flight to Mexico City!
After topping up my phone's juice, I slowly started to make my way to my gate, and planespotting along the way. Here's a Lufthansa A340-300 preparing to depart to Mumbai.
My heart skipped a beat as I saw a United aircraft for the first time since the pandemic began 🥺 hello old friend! 💙 N36962 would shortly depart to Houston, while the 787-10 in the background, N16008, would be heading to Newark.
On the other side of the pier, my uncle's A330 to Newark was boarding.
Walking far down the A pier to my gate, A30.
There were barely a dozen people in the boarding area, so I was looking forward to an empty flight 😇
My aircraft had already arrived: OE-LWM would be flying me down to my favorite place in the German-speaking world. Whiskey-Mike was built and delivered to Lufthansa CityLine in May 2012, and was transferred to Austrian in March 2016. Gotta love the close-ups you can get at FRA!
Boarding was called on-time, and with such a light load priorities weren't necessary, so everyone boarded at once.
A perky flight attendant greeted passengers at the door, and I made my way to 7F, a window seat in the first row of coach.
In the seatback pocket, the safety card…
…and the Melangerie menu.
When I looked to unfasten the tray table, I realized that the seat was slightly different from those of other Austrian Embraers. Indeed, apparently Austrian slightly modified the seatbacks, from what I had flown on my previous OS E195 flight, to the same seats found on Lufthansa CityLine's CRJs.
Perfect window and engine view from row 7.
Most passengers boarded within 5 minutes, though we had to wait a bit for some connecting passengers to show up. In the end, there couldn't have been more than 25 passengers on the flight.
Once everyone was onboard, the captain came over the PA to announce a flight time of 50 minutes and advised us to expect a bumpy ride.
A few moments later, we pushed back.
With such an empty flight, it's no wonder that I scored an empty aisle seat. And my choice of hat most definitely was not a coincidence. #BringBackOurDash 😜
Taxiing to Runway 18.
Passing the cargo area.
We were lined up on the runway for a good 3 minutes before finally receiving our takeoff clearance.
Left bank after departure.
Unexpectedly, we turned right and followed our initial takeoff heading again. I assume that was due to weather.
A view of the cabin after departure. I have no idea why Austrian decided to block 6 rows of Business Class on this flight, given that there were all of 2 passengers up front.
Cruising at 31,000 feet. We never cleared the clouds despite our relatively high altitude, and it was pretty choppy for most of the ride.
While cruising, the captain provided some arrival information, saying that we'd be on the ground on time and that the afternoon's weather called for heavy rain and thunderstorms after we'd land.
Despite that, the crew still performed the service, and for the first time since the rollout of the Melangerie menu, I received a bottle of water without asking. Oh, how sad it is that that's something to be impressed by 🙃
We hit some pretty big bumps as we descended over the mountains, though once we entered the Inn Valley the flight smoothened out.
I'll let the pictures of Europe's most beautiful approach speak for themselves 🤩
Overflying the city of Innsbruck…
…passing the Inn River…
…and an insanely smooth landing on Runway 26 at 2:32 PM, 2 minutes late, after being airborne for 48 minutes. Kudos to the captain for such a magnificent approach, and being able to achieve a smooth landing in Innsbruck - didn't think it was even possible! 🤣
Vacating the runway.
Pulling into our stand next to a Trade Air Fokker 100 operating summer charters from Innsbruck. It has just arrived from Kalamata and was off to Malaga next.
One final look at my seat.
I bid farewell to the flight attendant and was happy to breathe in the fresh Tyrolean air one last time as I stepped on to the tarmac.
That shot never gets old! 😄✈️🏔️
There was a bit of confusion by the ground crew as to which door we could enter from, but that meant more time outside, with the planes and mountains. Once that was finally resolved, my suitcase was already on the baggage carousel, and within 25 minutes of deplaning, I was at my
apartment hotel (😭). One final Innsbruck arrival was complete. Thanks for following along this journey of mine, and I hope you enjoyed this report! Stay tuned for an awesome new series coming soon - including 2 new airlines for me, a new airport, a new cabin, and yes, even a flight from my favorite small European airport - the one I just landed at 😉 until then, all the best, and happy flying! 😃✈️
Overall, it was a very average, uneventful flight with Austrian.
+ Friendly crew
+ Nice cabin
- No form of entertainment
I really don't have much else to add. I hope that Austrian will add some form of entertainment on the Embraer fleet, but even without entertainment they are a pretty comfortable ride. Though I still miss my Dash 😜