Review of Austrian Airlines flight Vienna Chicago in Business

Airline Austrian Airlines
Flight OS065
Class Business
Seat 5A
Flight time 10:15
Take-off 14 Aug 13, 10:15
Arrival at 14 Aug 13, 13:30
OS   #71 out of 119 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 201 reviews
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Published on 19th September 2014
Meine Damen und Herren begrüßen Sie meinen Flug Bericht aug LH 1234 von FRA nach VIE! This is the sixth report in this series of my first ever round-the-world trip done over my birthday in 2013.

So far you can check out previous portions of this trip from the following links:

For those who are joining us today and have not checked out my other reports of this trip, feel free to check among the following:

Flight 1 - UA 007 IAH - NRT
Flight 2 - TG 661 HND - BKK
Flight 3 - TG 471 BKK - SYD
Flight 4 - TG 472 SYD - BKK
Flight 5 - LH 783 BKK - FRA
Flight 6 - LH 1234 FRA-VIE

Previously, I had just landed in VIE but my check-in bag did not. The OS agent swiftly got me going as I had less than 24hrs in this beautiful city. When I got to my hotel room, I quickly checked in to my my next flight, OS 65 VIE-ORD.

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OS App

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OS Boarding Pass

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LH Boarding Pass

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My collection of Passbook boarding passes and other things!

With online check-in completed, it was time to venture around Vienna with the heavy notion that the next day I would be back to the insanity of Houston.

VIE-ORD
14 August 2013
OS 65
767-300
ETD: 08:45
ATD: 08:51
ETA: 10:05
ATA: 10:06

I basically did not sleep that night because I wanted to take one of the first subway to Wein-Mitte to catch the first CAT train to VIE to ensure that my missing suitcase had indeed made it onto the BKK-VIE nonstop.

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Taking the CAT from Wein-Mitte

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Inside the CAT

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Arriving from the CAT station inside VIE

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Had to sneak back into the baggage hall to see if my bag made it from the OS BKK-VIE flight

I rang the bell and then made my way to the OS baggage office. A different agent checked to see the status of my check-in suitcase. I hope they would release it for me so I could rearrange my stuff. She gave the good news that the bag got transferred to the OS flight from BKK and has been checked in to ORD. She would not be able to release it and that I would have to claim it at ORD. When I check-in, she advised that I give her the baggage numbers so they could link it to my current reservation so it would join me to ORD. I wanted to physically see my suitcase in front of me, but resided that I hope to see it in ORD. I thanked the agent for her time and then made my way to the Check-In Hall-3.

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It's time to go to first floor.

I make it to the OS check-in counters and head towards the premium desks. I had the choice of four available agents and I went to the one with the biggest smile and sincere welcome. I guess noticing my US passport she wished me a Good Morning while I gave her a Guten morgen. She asked my final destination and I said IAH via ORD. She continued to make small conversation asking if I enjoyed my stay in Vienna and in Austria and surprised of my short stay in her hometown. I told her about my birthday itinerary and all her colleagues were amazed. I told them my visit to Vienna was definitely too short and that I would be back soon for a longer stay. I did have her check to see if she could locate my bag and link it to my reservation. She did confirm it was here in VIE and that she would link it so it would be with me to ORD and IAH. Her printer spewed out two OS cardstock boarding passes, one for my VIE-ORD and the other for ORD-IAH. She placed my IAH boarding pass inside my passport and then placed my ORD boarding pass on top. She directed me towards security and to head to the non-Schengen OS lounge. I thanked her for all her help, and all the agents wished me an enjoyable flight! That made me get excited for this flight.

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A far and blurry picture of the video screen entrance for ticketed passengers. I did not try to get a close-up picture because of the 3 OS agents nearby. Immediately after you walk through the video wall, you scan your boarding pass and then enter the security area. Post-security you are on the Schengen level; the level up leads to the Schengen/non-Schengen OS lounges as well as the non-Schengen passport control.

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Heading towards Schengen OS Lounge

I headed to the Schengen OS Lounge to realize this was not the lounge I needed to use. The stern lounge agent told me I was at the wrong one and to go to the one after Passport Control.

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Entrance to Schengen OS Lounge

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It's confusion where passengers should go if Schengen or non-Schengen.

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Guess I must go through Passport Control first.

I queue up for Passport Control with only one agent among the three desks. I did not wait long while the agent processed an Iraqi family before me. It seemed like they did not know where to go after I had finished and saw me head to the non-Schengen OS lounge, but once they saw the OS lounge agent, I guess they got scared and figured out where to go.

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Entrance to non-Schengen OS Lounge

While the Schengen lounge dragon acted stern towards me, the non-Schengen one graciously welcomed me in to the lounge and politely let me know that they do not make announcements in the lounge. I thanked her and tried to find myself a place to relax before my flight.

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Alps graphic welcoming you into lounge

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First peak into OS lounge

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Window sitting area, nice apron views

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Office area leading towards the restrooms and shower area

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OS 772 at gate and my OS 763 pulling into gate

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Another view from the lounge

The positives of this lounge: it’s intimately small for its size, nice modern feel, and great views of the tarmac. The main negative of this lounge: poor food offering. The croissants and jelly were tasty, but no other items were on offer which was a let down. I guess I had assumed too much as part of the LH-family as well as them using Do & Co for catering that I had hoped for some deli meats and cheeses. Now the cappuccino did hit the spot along with the sparkling strawberry drink.

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Bread

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Croissants

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Jams and butter

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Drinks bar

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772 resting before heading to JFK.

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Enjoying a little something while I wait for my flight.

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Still got 2hrs to go before I make my way back to the USA

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Ihr Flugticket!

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Mein Flugticket!

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BR arriving from TPE-BKK … no Hello Kitty this time around.

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A nice line up of OS planes

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Air Malta in it's latest livery

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An interesting collection of airlines at VIE that I would rarely see at IAH!

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Guess it's time for me to go to the gate

By 09:28, I noticed the “Go to Gate” notice for my flight and decided I had enjoyed my stay in the lounge. Now I made my to G11. If I stop by VIE again, I may check out to see the rest of the new terminal.

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Duty Free in the G gates

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Yes I am heading to G11

Before the main gate area, one encounters the main duty free area. Past this, there’s not much there does not seem to be much left other than the gate areas which have some intriguing seating areas.

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FIDS display at eye level

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Long walk to the gates

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OS Service Center

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Looking down to the F gates

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Personal desks at some of the gates

As I approach G11, I notice large groups gathering. A small group had gathered for those waiting to board a flight to Baghdad. It seemed that the majority of the flight would be comprised of people from the Republics of the former Yugoslavia, primarily flying from SJJ. I also noticed Albanians, Ukranians, and Polish passengers.

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The flight from neighboring G09 is headed to Baghdad

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Looks like lots of passengers from the Balkans on today's flight.

Prior to entering the gate area, passengers need to stop by the OS Service Counter to get their documents checked along with a boarding pass issued from OS, said to be part of requirement to enter into the US. An elderly lady before me with a US Passport had come from SJJ looked confused. The OS agent asked for her passport and boarding pass to reissue it. The elderly lady did not understand what the agent had asked and replied back in her native language to the effect that she did not understand. I had to laugh with the agent when the agent asked the lady “you have a US passport and you don’t speak English?” I also questioned how in the hell did she get her passport. The agent reprinted and checked her docs and did a bit of shooing away. I handed her my passport with a smile and said “Das war lustig” and automatically said “Unglaublich!” with a smile. She looked over my passport and boarding pass and again with a smile she said “Gute Reise!”

VIE-ORD
14 August 2013
OS 65 767-300ER
ETD: 10:15
ATD: 10:18
ETA: 13:30
ATA: 13:21


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Have to get documents rechecked at this counter.

Once I got my documents checked around 09:45, I made it through the gaggle of passengers clogging the area as I heard pre-boarding of passengers in J and families. I make it through and I scan my boarding pass at the self-boarding channel, and a Filipino-Austrian stops me to say “only pre-boarding” and I show him my boarding pass, and he lets me through.

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Taking escalator downstairs to board the plane

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A320 heading to Baghdad

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Non-glass jetbridge to plane.

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Family getting priority boarding

First thing I notice are the FAs in their red dresses, coats, shoes, and stockings. I am greeted by Purser Sylvia with “Welcome aboard!” and I reply “Gruß Gott!” She points to the direction of my seat and I notice that the majority of the window seats have all been taken, with many open center seats pairs. I then pass by two more female FA’s and greeted with “Gruß Gott”. One of them even helped to put one of my bags into the overhead and then asked what I would like to drink. I thanked her and asked if they had any bubbly. As I got settled, I got to check out my seat.

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Legroom

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Reading materials

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Side table

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View of the rear J cabin

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My seat for the next few hours along with special pillow and blanket.

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Love the retina-like display on the IFE

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View of the forward J cabin

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Chef Rafael Lang introduces himself and hands out menus for the flight.

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Digital-like seat controls

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Chef making his welcome across the aisle. He started taking orders going down right aisle and finishing up going up the left aisle. I had ordered the Chicken Schnitzel. Aber ja!

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I'm going to enjoy this flight!

As I got settled in my seat, I watched the plane start to fill up. It seems this would be a full flight and they had bumped many people up to J rather than anyone do red|Upgrade, the buy-up program at OS. In addition to the families of Balkan passengers returning back to the US, a rather large tour group of Americans. Many of them were couples that had lucked out getting upgraded.

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Doors closed and jet bridge retracted.

Around 10:13, Captain Josef came on the PA system to let FAs know doors closed. He then welcomed us on board first in German and then in English. Flight time to ORD would be 9h50m. He told us to sit back and enjoy this Austrian flight. After his message, Sylvia turned on the inflight safety video.

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Perverted OS Safety video

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Niki Jet

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OS - We fly for your smile!

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Following a Niki A321

We headed for Runway 34 and screamed down the runway around 10:35.

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Auf Weiderseren Wien!

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Video takeoff from VIE

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Our proposed flight path for this flight

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Flight details, very clear that you can see me.

Once airborne, Sylvia welcomed everyone on board the flight to ORD. She gave a detail description of the service offered on this flight. First, they would offer us lunch once we had initially leveled off. Just after lunch service, they would commence duty free as well as pass out documentation needed for arrival into ORD. Then two hours before arrival, they would start the second service. With that, she told everyone to sit back and enjoy Austrian hospitality.

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Czech landscape

Around 11:00, the lunch service commenced in J. First, they offered oshibori, which was nice and hot. After pick up of towels, a Y class FA would be behind to place white table cloths over these rather confusing tray tables. She would have to fix many tray tables as you can hear passengers say “sorry” and she did it with a smile and say they’re new and a bit tricky to use.

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One of the most confusing tables

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White tablecloth

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Gourmet Entertainment by Do&Co

I do not remember if the table set up was with a regular cart or from a beverage cart. What was done individually on a cart was the serving of the appetizers. You could choose whatever you like. On the menu it all looked delicious and it was my turn I said “alles bitte!”

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Trying all the appetizers

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Close up of appetizers … all delicious!

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Leaving Continental Europe and flying towards North Sea

The FAs were back down the aisle again. I should say for this lunch service, Chef Rafael manned the galley while 3FAs and Sylvia conducted lunch service mostly from carts. I don’t know how they timed it, but they wheeled down the soup course on the cart and picked up the appetizer plates. For those that had wine or champagne, they topped off those as well.

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Tomato Soup and Champagne!

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Newer flight path shown

At this point, everything had been very delicious and loved everything from this Do & Co catered service. This time, the two extra FAs returned back to Y as they were about to commence lunch service behind the curtain. Sylvia would walk up and down the aisles to check up on everyone. She would pick up used soup bowls and spoons. I assumed she would tell them which seat she picked up and another FA would deliver the main course to the passenger.

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Chicken Schnitzel!!! {yummy}

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OMG!!! Best meal I have ever had!!!

As I said, this was by far the best airplane meal I have ever had! At this point, the best I had were the Y meals on SQ 61/62 IAH-SIN-IAH. This Chicken Schnitzel was by far my favorite thing to eat, bypassing the multitude of cinnamon rolls and ice cream sundaes from the CO days. I really wished I could have asked for seconds! The potato salad had the right amount of mayonnaise to make it enjoyable. The rice had a nice buttery flavor to it. The chicken had the right amount of thickness where it was still juicy and the crust had that nice amount of crunch. The lemon wedge tied everything all together. I was one happy passenger!

One of the FAs happen to arrive at the right time to pick up my plate and table set up. While slowly savoring that delicious meal, Sylvia asked each passenger if they would like to partake in Austrian’s world-renowned coffee experience from Julius Meinl. For those that said yes, she handed over menus. I believe everyone on this flight said yes. There were many delicious options to choose from, but I knew from other trip reports, the best was the Wiener Eiskaffe.

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Fruit & Cheese Cart-1

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Fruit & Cheese Cart-2

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Fruit & Dessert

The hits with the dessert were the strawberry ice cream and the chocolate mousse. I tried to eat it all slowly and wait for my eiskaffe, but since there was a long list of orders, I would have to savor the eiskaffe alone, which actually turned out better. Sylvia writes down which seat numbers ordered for their coffee on a menu.

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Just over 6h left in the flight.

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We're going to be flying over Iceland and Greenland!

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You just want to jump on it, like a bed without bedsheets!

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Eiskaffe!!! {cloudnine}

After over an hour enjoying the best airline meals I have ever had, I finally got to test out my seat which I had been wanting to try since LX came out with the version of theirs. The seat width was comfortable in the sitting position. I did recline the seat a bit upon takeoff; the one thing about that recline, the seat mechanics make it hard to put the seat in a cradle position. In bed mode, I was able to comfortably turn around in my sleep, alternating between back, side, and stomach. Also, I had no problems with my feet in the feet well, but then I am only 5’ 7” (170cm) and wear a US 11 (EU 45) shoe. If I had problems with sleep, it was getting twisted and caught up in the blanket. The plane was not freezing, but the blanket was nice and soft.

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Passengers slowly waking up from a nap.

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It looks dark in Y

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Hmmm … do I need another massage?

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Entering Canadian aerospace

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I don't want my OS experience to end!

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Really like the maps used on OS

I go back to sleep for a bit more until I can hear some rumblings in the galley. Total I got a bit more than five hours of sleep. Not bad! Chef Rafael without his hat stops by all the passengers who are awake and asks what they would like for lunch.

Just at the two hour mark, FAs commenced the lunch service. The service started with oshibori and then FAs wheeling down beverage carts and taking drink orders. I decided to go for a beer because it was the best thing to go with the wurst I requested for lunch. Soon, Sylvia happily brought my food and wished me “Guten Appetit!”

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Yum!!! Wursts!!! These were the best wursts in the sky!!!!! ;-)

As I was enjoying the very last of the wurst, I could not believe that this amazing flight would soon be over in under an hour and this adventure of a lifetime would end in a couple of hours. Sylvia stopped by and asked if there was anything else I would like, and I jokinigly said yeah a delayed arrival into ORD! We briefly talked about my trip and how this flight actually became a flight to remember, especially compared to flying LH in F on the 747-400 or the Royal First service on the ground at TG. I thanked her and her staff for a great flight!

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Passing into US aerospace. One of the FAs from Y walked through the aisles handing out the necessary arrivals documents.

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Just 0h37m left in the flight.

With the last few minutes till we land, I put my bed back in sleep position until that final chime rings half-way through Lake Michigan.

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About to fly over Lake Michigan

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Bye Michigan! Hello Lake Michigan!

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By Lake Michigan! Hello Chicago!

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ORD under the clouds

At 13:03 ORD-time, Captain Josef gives his notices for FAs to take their seat with 10minutes to land. As we made our descent into ORD, I enjoyed the view of Downtown Chicago. I’m not quite sure what runway we landed on, but I think we landed on Runway 22R at 13:14 and docked at the farthest gate possible, M21 on Terminal5 at 13:21, 9minutes ahead of schedule.

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T1/T2 and UA planes

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Busy lineup at T5!

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SK in *A livery

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Today we use M21, one of the furthest gate from US CBP

Our flight arrived around the time of the many of the European heavies arrive. As mentioned, we parked at M21, the gate with the longest walk to the arrivals hall. At Immigration, I got to use the newest processing kiosk, much different than Global Entry. ORD had tested out these kiosks and a couple of months later they had expanded the program to other US and Canadian pre-clearance facilities. With that done, it was now time to pray that my suitcase had made it on this flight. I had hoped since it had a priority tag on it or a special bag that it would be among the first bags off the belt. As I watched the bags show up on the belt, I watched the frequency slow down. At the very last minute, my bag made it out as the last one before a “final bag” prop showed up. Now I could breathe a sigh of relief and know my bag was on US soil.

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Flight routing for OS 65.
See more

Verdict

Austrian Airlines

9.5/10
Cabin10.0
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Meal/catering10.0

Austrian Airlines Business Lounge (Pier East - A-Gates, Non-Schengen)

8.1/10
Comfort7.5
Meal/catering7.5
Entertainment/wifi9.0
Services8.5

Vienna - VIE

9.1/10
Efficiency9.5
Access9.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Chicago - ORD

7.9/10
Efficiency7.5
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

As I said, this flight truly impressed me. Many of the staff that I interacted with were all gracious and helpful, something that most would expect from SQ, CX, MH, and GA. I appreciated Sylvia and her crew who took the time to interact with customers. But I guess what made it memorable was definitely the food. I hope to fly them again on another flight!

Related

3 Comments

  • Comment 118389 by
    AirCanada881 1622 Comments

    A very well written report, too bad the pictures were taken with your smartphone, a camera would have made your photos stand out 10 times more :)

    OS has a decent J product, the seats looks slightly narrow though, I wonder if they are the same width as on the 777. Many thanks for this report!

  • Comment 118412 by
    Esteban TEAM GOLD 12203 Comments

    Thanks for this report, it seems you enjoyed your flight and your food.
    That's said, I must admit that the food offering does not impress me at all, those are standard austrian-german low cost fares, schnizel, wurst, potato salad, ice-cream. It was good that's the most important thing, but you can have this every where in Austria or Germany. No need to fly business class ;)

  • Comment 118429 by
    marathon GOLD 9566 Comments

    The reissuing of BPs for US bound flights at the gate is strange. Is it a usual procedure in other airports ?
    The catering on board looks acceptable to me, unlike that of the lounge (but there is a very good tarmac view).
    Nice view of Chicago's Norht shore and the city center in the distance.
    Thanks for this comprehensive report of another leg of this whirlwind world tour - the captions below the often blurry pictures do not help though. Too bad you did not have a camera !

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