The flight from Bangkok arrives at 05:45, we’re on time. I now have nearly four hours to make my connection to Luxembourg at 09:30. I’m rather curious to see if the transfer will be easier this time.
TRANSFER AT VIENNA AIRPORT, part I – The phantom menace…
Our aircraft has parked at the very beginning of the G concourse. So after I exit the airbridge and turn left, it’s only a short walk to the immigration counters. My flight to Luxembourg will be leaving from the B concourse in the old terminal. But I’m not really sure if there is a lounge facility there and I do still have quite a wait. So instead I follow the signs to the F concourse, which is the Schengen area of the new terminal. To access the Schengen area I have to go through a security check, as I’m arriving from overseas. So far so good.
When I checked in at Bangkok airport I was issued my boarding pass for the onward connection to Luxembourg. While the boarding pass for the first leg from Bangkok to Vienna showed my Senator status, the boarding pass for the onward leg only shows that I am a Miles and More member. Presumably this has something to do with Luxair’s somewhat odd status as a Miles and More airline that is not part of the Star Alliance.
Location: on the F concourse
Type of Lounge: Austrian Airlines Senator lounge, there is one reception area that serves the HON lounge, Senator lounge and Business Class lounge
Facilities: hot and cold food and drink, workstations, showers (for HONs and Senators only)
Internet: wifi provided by Vienna Airport, no password required
The lounge is fairly busy when I arrive just after six in the morning. After a short while though, the place empties rather quickly until eventually there’s barely anybody there except me.
TRANSFER AT VIENNA AIRPORT, part II – You’ve got to be kidding me…
Priority Boarding: no
What a labyrinth! About 40 minutes before departure I decide to venture out in search of my gate on the B concourse. With the experience of the outbound journey still fresh in my mind I figure it might take me a while to find my way. And indeed, the route to the B concourse is complicated and entirely counter intuitive and sees me first going up one escalator, around a few corners and then down another escalator before eventually, without really knowing how, I’m landside again. I keep on walking until I finally arrive in the old terminal. I scan my boarding pass and I am airside once more. I even manage to find the B concourse, where of course I have to go through security again. I ask some young chap in an Austrian Airlines uniform if there’s a lounge anywhere, and he informs me that there is, but I’ll have to go back through security again to get there.
Boarding is via a bus gate. As usual it pays to be patient. 64 passengers squeeze into the first, hot bus. It leaves for the aircraft and another bus duly arrives to pick up the remaining four passengers…
Configuration: 3 + 3
Seat: staggered rows, European standard Business Class with the middle seat left empty
Audio and Video: audio and video available, only the moving map are in use on today’s flight.
There’s been another last minute aircraft change, and instead of the scheduled Dash-8-400 it’s now a Boeing B737-700 that will be operating the flight. I’m not quite sure why though, as I overhear the purser telling the captain that the headcount is correct at 69 + 2, which should fit into a Dash-8. As it happens, it’s even exactly the same aircraft I had on the outbound.
The crew on this service are much friendlier and warmer than their colleagues on the outbound. Maybe I was just unlucky that time. But this lot is much better.
Pre departure drinks: no
Pre meal drinks: no
Delivery: individually served trays
Type of meal: brunch
Menu: there is a menu for the drinks and food
- sliced orange
- butter, strawberry jam and apricot jam
- bread basket
- cottage cheese
- grilled tomato slices
- Emmental cheese
- smoked ham
The meal is a big surprise and a vast improvement over what was served on the outbound. I like the breadbasket in particular. It’s rather a substantial meal, especially given that the flight time is only slightly more than one hour.
We arrive in Luxembourg slightly ahead of schedule. For a change we make our approach right over the city, coming in fairly low. I don’t have long to wait for my suitcase.
I shall be staying at the Doubletree again. There’s a shuttle available and if you call enough in advance, they’ll even come and pick you up from the airport.
This flight was a vast improvement over my previous experience in Luxair Business Class. Given the short duration of the flight you’d think there could hardly be any differences, which makes this flight all the more surprising. It’s probably a combination of things. First of all, the food was much more to my liking than on the outbound. Secondly, the crew simply seemed more genuine in the way they welcomed the passengers aboard. And that makes a huge difference.