TRIP REPORT: Austrian, Belgrade - Vienna

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Written by BEG Flyer

This report is about flight OS773 from Belgrade to Vienna which I took in March. I haven't flown with Austrian for a very long time so I was very much looking forward to it.

Lufthansa group check-in zone at Belgrade Airport

After check-in I went to the Business Club lounge which is used by all airlines except Air Serbia, Etihad and Atlasglobal. The lounge was quite busy at this time. There were also construction workers coming in and out surveying the surroundings and doing some measurements. The selection of food in the lounge is decent. There is a buffet with vegetables, cheese and processed meats, three hot dishes and a fridge stocked with sandwiches. According to the signage in the lounge there are Halal sandwiches, while on Monday and Friday Chinese food is on offer. There is also an extensive number of Serbian rakija and wines as well. I do think the lounge is overstaffed. There must be at least four people just standing around the buffet area and watching other people in the lounge. As soon as someone starts to get up from their seat they rush to take away plates and cups. Makes you feel as if you're being watched the entire time. On a positive note the toilets are in good shape and kept clean.

Lounge entry





Rakija selection

Wine selection

Afterwards it was time for boarding. An Embraer 195 took us to Vienna that afternoon. The two by two configuration and blocked seat next to you means everyone in business class gets to sit alone. By the time the door closed there were five us in total in business class. Prior to departure the crew offered us water. There was no choice of drink. Despite it being well into March, the in-flight magazine was from February (perhaps it's not a monthly edition?). Regardless, there were some interesting articles although there weren't too many pages.

Our gate with new branding

Austrian E195 cabin



Welcome drink

I liked the way the purser (for the first welcome announcement) stood in front of the cabin facing the passengers. I must say I find the Austrian uniform way over the top, especially the female one. Red shoes, red stockings, red skirt, red shirt, red blazer and part of the scarf is also red. Just too much red but that's just my oppinion. Prior to departure the pilot informed us that the flight time would be just one hour. It turned out we would fly over an hour and a half. We circled over Vienna for a long time. I don't know if it was because of congestion or the wind as some flights to Vienna were diverted because of it earlier in the day.

Purser addressing the cabin

Austrian likes red

Overhead panel on the E195

After takeoff the crew sprung into action and served lunch. There was no selection but it was nice to get a warm meal on such a short flight anyway. It consisted of spinach tortellini and some mousse cake, as well as drinks of course. The tortellini was nice despite swimming in a lot of oil while the dessert was fantastic. In any case top marks for the meal. The crew was polite throughout and also offered coffee after the meal which I passed.

Lunch

The landing in Vienna was extremely bumpy due to the wind. We parked across from the terminal but the disembarkation process was very quick. There was a bus waiting for us and we were at the terminal in no time. Immigration was quick and the police officers didn't ask any questions.


It's difficult to judge an airline on such a short flight but overall it was enjoyable. The return service was similar but much quicker.


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Comments

  1. I remember a few years ago OS' management wanted to change the uniforms, mostly to make them less red, but crew opposed it and actually voted down the proposal. They said the all-red uniforms were part of the Austrian Airlines tradition.

    As for VIE, the airport is getting extremely overcrowded with two runways. Last week I flew on their Q400 and the flight time was 01:35! In the evening I returned on JU and we waited in line for 20 minutes to take off.

    That said, whoever is in Vienna, I highly recommend the observation deck at the airport, it's fantastic. It's also a mini aviation museum.

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    Replies
    1. I am visiting Vienna in June, and I am planning to go to the observation deck at the airport, really looks promising. I have find here and trip report about it https://www.exyuaviation.com/2018/05/trip-report-air-serbia-belgrade-vienna.html

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    2. You should, absolutely! It's a great place and it's quite large so one end starts in the old terminal while the other in the new one. Also, since traffic in Vienna is booming, there are no longer any quiet periods of the day.

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  2. The lounge in BEG looks great, actually much better than the OS' Business Lounges in VIE (both Schengen and non-Schengen).
    To me, it is even better than the Senator Lounges in VIE (from what I've seen on other reviews)

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    Replies
    1. There are two lounges in Belgrade: the airport lounge (seen here), and the Air Serbia premium lounge (that's the one everyone's craving about). But you need to be flying with Air Serbia (or one of the partner airlines) to use it, or you can get paid access.

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    2. Here is the link for the Air Serbia Premium lounge, and the pricing. They have an offer for 13 euros, if you are visiting between the (slow) hours of 13:00-15:00. Otherwise, it's more expensive.

      https://www.airserbia.com/sr-RS/saloni-za-putnike

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    3. To access the (Dufry managed) airport lounge (as seen on the pictures in this trip report) - you should be flying business class of other airlines, or have a high frequent traveler status of those airlines. Also, Priority Pass works, and Mastercard offers free access if you have a premium card. There is a list of cards on their website, mostly Gold and Platinum.

      https://www.mastercard.rs/sr-rs/consumers/offers-promotions/premium-program/pristup-biznis-klubovima.html

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  3. Really nice report. I like BEG because it is small and easy to navigate. I think this will be a good year for it especially in summer.
    A lot of airport are having slower growth in the first three months, for example my home airport Sofia is down to 4.5%.

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  4. Honestly, I absolutely love their uniforms- it has style and is a unique thing!

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