This is part 3 in a series about my summer 2017 trip, which took me to Norway, the Netherlands, and Malta. You can read an overview of the trip here.
Austrian Airlines Flt. 335 Vienna to Oslo (VIE-OSL)
Embraer 195, Business Class, 2h 25m
The last time I transited via Vienna I had an extremely long walk after I got off the plane, ending up at a satellite lounge at the “old terminal,” for a flight from the D gates. I had a short layover, and they never got around to cleaning the shower room so I could use it. This time, my connection was a much more pleasant experience. My flight to Oslo was out of the F gates, which was a short walk from passport control. Unfortunately, the connections hallway dumps you into the main security area and there’s no way to access the priority lane, but the lines that looked very long moved very quickly.
The Austrian Airlines lounge was a short walk from security. As I waited to check in, an Austrian businessman type pretended I was invisible and walked right in front of me. The agent didn’t say anything. As with its sister Lufthansa, Austrian has separate Business and Senator/First Class lounges. The lounge was much larger and more comfortable than the Lufthansa lounge at IAD or the Austrian lounge I had used last time, with a range of seating areas. The food, though, was one of the worst spreads I’d ever seen, with a single hot chafing dish of scrambled eggs, yogurt, two jars of cereal, and some breads and rolls. No pastries or muffins, cheeses, salads, etc.
When I checked in, I asked about a shower, and was immediately escorted to one of the three shower rooms. Though oddly shaped, the shower itself was clean and fine, and there were nice grey Austrian towels, but there were no toilet facilities in the room, which I should have thought about before! Oh, well. I showered and then went to the separate toilet, which was probably too small for the facility and not that well-maintained.
It was a Thursday morning around 8am, so the lounge was pretty busy with businesspeople traveling to Schengen destinations. Leaving at 10:20, my flight was one of the later ones, so I watched the lounge quiet down, before heading towards the gate area
around 25 minutes prior to scheduled boarding. I stopped at duty free to get a bottle of wine, knowing how exorbitant alcohol prices in Norway are. From there it was a pretty long walk to the gate for my flight.
Boarding didn’t get under way until 10 minutes late, with automated gates that everyone boarded through at once before getting on a bus, which drove all the way to the other end of the airport.
Oslo is one of Austrian’s longest European flights, but still is under 2.5 hours. Austrian flies it using an Embraer 195, which is fine. The plane is in a 2-2 configuration. In business class, which was the first 4 rows on this flight, each passenger gets 2 seats. The front of the cabin had 6 passengers, but the rest of the plane was pretty full. I hate the seats on all of the Lufthansa family European planes, and these were no exception, as they were the standard ultra slim seats with pretty much no padding. I really could have used a pillow.
Austrian serves a meal in business class on all its flights, no matter how short, and the meal was served shortly after take-off off of a cart. I have no idea what the meal actually was, but it was something in the sushi roll family, which squirted orange yellow sauce with something in it, and seaweed salad. Despite a 10:20 departure, it was more lunch-ish than breakfast, and was accompanied by a lemon cake that was larger than my half-portion of bread pudding on the long-haul flight. The male flight attendant working business was attentive, and came by with a second pass of the bread basket and monitored drinks fairly well.
After lunch was cleared, we had the worst turbulence I’ve ever had on a flight. I actually was in the bathroom when it hit and had to brace myself getting back to the seat. Thankfully it didn’t last long and I went back to dozing.
We landed on time, and my baggage didn’t take too long, and soon enough I was on the Flybussen into town.