Brussels Airlines Check-in New York JFK
Brussels Airlines Business Class New York to Brussels
Brussels Airlines and SAS Business Class Lounges Brussels
Austrian Business Class Brussels to Vienna
Hotel Imperial Vienna
Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna
Austrian Business Class Vienna to Tokyo Narita
ANA Business Class Lounge Tokyo Narita
Turkish Business Class Tokyo Narita to Istanbul
Park Hyatt Istanbul
Turkish Business Class Lounge Istanbul
LOT Business Class Istanbul to Warsaw
Hotel Bristol Warsaw
LOT Business Class Lounge Warsaw
LOT Business Class Warsaw to Chicago

I arrived at the airport at around 11:30AM, about 90 minutes before departure.

Terminal exterior

Inside the terminal I easily found Austrian’s business class check-in, where there was no queue.

Check-in desks

Business class check-in

The agent asked if I had any checked bags, and I responded that I only had carry-ons. She asked for me to show her the carry-on, so I lifted it with almost theatrical ease in hopes of her not trying to weigh it. Fortunately she didn’t, and I was off the hook.

I also asked her to confirm that my flight would be operated by the reconfigured 777, which seemed to throw her off. She tried to figure out which tail number featured the new business class and had no luck, so I suggested she instead look at the business class seatmap and see whether the seats were staggered or in a 2-3-2 configuration. She quickly confirmed they were staggered, and I was thrilled to get confirmation that I’d be on the only reconfigured 777.

After check-in I headed to the security checkpoint and then passport control, all of which was completed within a few minutes.

Walkway to passport control

Just past passport control was the Austrian lounge, where I was invited to use the Senator side of the lounge on account of my Star Gold status.

Austrian Lounge entrance

I was kind of surprised how empty the lounge was given that it’s Austrian’s primary non-EU Senator lounge. The lounge was a single big room with seating at tables, along counters, etc.

Senator Lounge

Senator Lounge

Senator Lounge

There was a small room with four lounge chairs for napping, which no one was taking advantage of.

Senator Lounge relaxation area

While I wasn’t hungry the food spread looked excellent, with potato broccoli gratin, a potato salad dish, and some pasta salad.

Food spread

Food spread

Food spread

Food spread

There was also an open bar.




More than anything else I really enjoyed the tarmac and runways views, as it was a clear and sunny day in Vienna.

View from Senator Lounge

View from Senator Lounge

Vienna Airport is AWESOME given that they have free wifi throughout the airport, which must be the only airport in Europe to offer that. Hell, even a lot of airline lounges in Europe charge for internet.

At around 1:20PM I headed for the departure gate, G11, which was fairly empty until a large group of Japanese passengers (led by someone carrying a flag, no less) showed up.

Walk to G11

Walk to G11

Gate G11

Beautiful 777 on a beautiful day

At around 1:40PM boarding began, starting with business class. Interestingly they have a “self boarding” system, whereby you scan your boarding pass and then the gate opens, which I found interesting.

I was quite excited to board and see just how sexy Austrian’s new business class was.

  1. February 24th, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Amol (@PointsToPointB) said,

    Just curious, what *G do you have as an AA flyer? I think you said US, but once they merge into AA and OneWorld, what’s your backup? A3, TK?

  2. February 24th, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Amol — All of the above. :)

  3. February 24th, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Miguel said,

    “Vienna Airport is AWESOME given that they have free wifi throughout the airport, which must be the only airport in Europe to offer that”

    OPO also has free wifi!
    I’ve been on several LH flights with the self-boarding, scan your own boarding pass, thing.

  4. February 24th, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    caveman said,

    You said you used Senator side of the lounge. So what is the other side of lounge? Did you take a peek?

  5. February 24th, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    jon said,

    Maybe I missed it but just how heavy is your carry-on anyway? :)

  6. February 24th, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Miguel — Good to know they’re not the only airport!

    @ caveman — The other side is the business lounge. I didn’t take a peak, though in most cases they’re quite similar. Sometimes the Senator side has a slightly better spread.

    @ jon — Hah, it’s fine by American standards, not so fine by European standards.

  7. February 24th, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    Carl said,

    Do they really enforce carry-on weight limits if you booked in C?

    LH has tons of automated gates at FRA, so if you ever aren’t in F, you’ll encounter them

  8. February 24th, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Carl — Aside from Lufthansa first class I’ve always found that carry-on limitations are enforced.

  9. February 24th, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Aeroman380 said,

    Shiphol (AMS) has only one hour free wifi :( One is better than none, I guess. Though, I think MUC has free wifi now.

  10. February 24th, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    Carl said,

    Luckily my experience is that LH hasn’t enforced carry-on restrictions so long as I am in C class – meaning I’ve been able to take aboard a rollaboard plus backpack, with the backpack surely weighing above 8 Kg or whatever is the limit.

  11. February 24th, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Usairelite said,

    Lucky, would you say that you like Austrian’s food better than most airlines’ first class foods save Swiss, Singapore, and Asiana.

  12. February 24th, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Usairelite — Stay tuned for the next installment for full details on that. :)

  13. February 24th, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    SG said,

    Any idea how the EU lounge compares to non EU?

  14. February 24th, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    lucky said,

    @ SG — I reviewed the other lounge here:

    I liked the design of this one much better.

  15. February 24th, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    rc said,

    LJU and PRG also have free wifi. So does IST (which is technically in Europe), but you need to be able to receive a text message.

  16. February 24th, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    wwk5d said,

    Asian tour groups love their flag bearers/wavers.

  17. February 24th, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    Andras said,

    I never had a carry on weighted in Europe. (they did it in the past, but now-days only Ryanair would do that) Also adding to the list of airports with free wifi in Europe are BUD or ZRH(although BUD is quite useless since Malev went down, and in ZRH you are limited to 60 mins on free)

  18. February 24th, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    Andras said,

    I came through Vienna just yesterday, and although I also visited the non Schengen lounge, the Schengen should be pretty much the same, as far the new terminal goes as they are right next to each other according to the airport map.
    Your review is on the old terminal, which I very much disliked, unlike the new one.

  19. February 25th, 2013 at 12:01 am

    M. said,

    Prague airport has free unlimited wi-fi as of this year. You should come visit sometime. :)

  20. February 25th, 2013 at 1:51 am

    Dan said,

    Hi Ben

    Very jealous of this trip so far!

    I was wondering if you have ever cancelled a us airways award ticket and if you have to fill out a refund form or anything to get your taxes/fees back?

  21. February 25th, 2013 at 1:54 am

    lucky said,

    @ Dan — I have several times. You don’t have to fill out any form, you just pay the $150 fee and the miles and taxes are redeposited.

  22. February 25th, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Miguel said,

    “I never had a carry on weighted in Europe.”

    I had it just a few weeks ago in Vilnius on a LH flight to FRA. I took the jacket out of the carry-on, the weight became below 8kg, I said «have a nice day», went to security and put the jacket back on the carry-on.

  23. March 11th, 2013 at 9:57 am

    tt said,

    EU *G/SEN lounge is pretty much the same, minus the lounge-chairs

  24. August 12th, 2013 at 7:00 am

    sue anne said,

    Copenhagen Airport also has free wifi throughout

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