Review: Austrian A320neo Economy Class from Frankfurt to Vienna

I have flown on Austrian Airlines’ A320ceos several times. Their newer A320neo was until recently, however, missing from my logbook. As such, I was looking forward to flying on the aircraft during my recent trip to Canada.

Continue reading to see what the economy class from Frankfurt to Vienna onboard Austrian’s A320neo was like.

Austrian A320neo
Austrian A320neo economy class.

Booking the Flight

The Austrian A320neo flight I took from Frankfurt to Vienna was a part of a longer itinerary also including an Air Canada 787-9 flight from Calgary to Frankfurt. I booked the itinerary for 35,000 Aegean Airlines miles that I bought a few years ago during a sale the airline had. Taxes and fees added up to 116.82 EUR on top of that.

Right after booking the flight, I was able to use Austrian’s app to select my seat. In addition to regular seats, I was also able to select “preferred seats” at the front of the aircraft free of charge. I am not sure whether that was due to it being an award ticket rather than one of the cheaper paid economy class fares or because I am a Star Alliance Gold member. Exit row seats came with an extra charge of 25 EUR.

Transfer, Lounge & Boarding at Frankfurt Airport

After arriving from Calgary at Frankfurt Airport’s Terminal 1B, I took a shuttle bus to Terminal 1A where my Austrian flight was departing from. Once off the bus, in no time, I entered the Schengen area using one of the automated immigration kiosks.

As I had an hour or so until boarding was scheduled to start, I then paid a brief visit to Lufthansa Panorama Lounge which provides a nice alternative to the regular Lufthansa Business Class and Senator Lounges in the terminal.

Frankfurt Airport Transfer
Transfer at Frankfurt Airport.
Frankfurt Airport
A colorful line-up at Frankfurt Airport.
Austrian A320neo in Frankfurt
The Austrian A320neo can be seen in the distance.
Lufthansa Panorama Lounge
Lufthansa Panorama Lounge.

I left the lounge at 12:15PM and headed to gate A38 where boarding was scheduled to start at 12:20PM. With the gate being one of the furthest A-gates from the lounge, by the time I got there, it was already past the scheduled boarding time. That said, boarding hadn’t started yet.

Outside, one of Austrian’s four A320neos – OE-LZO – was being prepared for the flight.

Frankfurt Airport Austrian Departure Gate
Heading to the gate.
Austrian A320neo
OE-LZO ready for the flight.

Boarding started just past 12:30PM – first children and disabled people were called to board followed by group 2 which included Star Alliance Gold members. The boarding was about as disorganized as it gets, though, and there were people of all groups trying to get onboard by the time group 2 was called, entering the queue from left and right.

Nonetheless, it didn’t take too long until it was my turn to present my boarding pass and walk down the jetway.

Austrian A320neo Flight to Vienna.
Austrian flight 208 to Vienna.
Frankfurt Airport Gate A38
Gate A38.
Austrian A320neo
Boarding.

Austrian A320neo Economy Class Cabin & Seat

All four Austrian A320neos are equipped with 180 economy class seats in a 3-3 layout.

Like other European airlines, Austrian uses the front rows as business class. On my flight, there were five rows of “Euro-business class” with the rest of the cabin being economy class. Each seat had a red headrest cover.

Austrian A320neo EConomy Class Cabin
Cabin.
Austrian A320neo Cabin
The divider between business and economy class.

I was seated in 16A, a left-hand side window seat roughly halfway down the cabin. The fairly hard slimline seat wasn’t the most comfortable economy class seat I flew in but combined with the OK legroom, it was acceptable for the short hop.

Austrian A320neo Economy Class Legroom
Legroom.

The seat was equipped with a fairly small tray table. Considering that there was no meal service, it wasn’t a big issue.

Above the table was a documents compartment with a pair of safety cards (a standard one and one explaining things related to the use of electronic devices) and a waste bag. Under the table was a standard seat pocket that contained an in-flight shopping catalog and a buy-on-board menu.

Austrian A320neo Economy Class Tray Table
Tray table.
Austrian A320neo Safety Card
Safety cards and a waste bag.
Austrian In-Flight Shopping and Buy-on-Board
Shopping catalog and buy-on-board menu.

While the Austrian A320neo wasn’t equipped with universal power outlets, there were plenty of USB charging ports to keep passengers’ devices charged. Each group of three seats had access to a pair of chargers – each with one USB-A and one USB-C port – under the seats in front.

Austrian A320neo Economy Class USB Charging Ports
USB charging ports.

In addition to reading lights and flight attendant call buttons, the overhead panel also housed individual air vents.

Austrian A320neo Economy Class Overhead Panel
Overhead panel.

Austrian Flight 208 Departure

Boarding was completed just past 12:45PM with 80% or so of the seats in economy class occupied; luckily, the seat next to me stayed empty. Shortly after that, the captain welcomed us on board and mentioned a flying time of one hour and five minutes.

A manual safety demonstration followed.

Austrian A320neo Economy Class Departure
Ready to go.

We were pushed back at 12:57PM – seven minutes behind schedule – and from there it took us about ten minutes to get to runway 07C. We took off at 1:08PM.

Seconds after take-off, some amazing views of Frankfurt Airport’s Terminal 1 could be had followed by great views of Frankfurt’s city center.

Austrian A320neo Economy Class Departure
Entering our departure runway.
Frankfurt Airport
A view of a part of Frankfurt Airport’s Terminal 1.
Frankfurt
Frankfurt.

Austrian Short-Haul Economy Class Service

The seatbelt signs were switched off five minutes after take-off and a few minutes after that, the in-flight service started. Same as many other European airlines, Austrian offers a buy-on-board menu in conjunction with very limited free service onboard its short-haul flights within Europe. Business class service is, of course, a bit more extensive.

First, one of the flight attendants passed through the aisle offering snacks and drinks from the buy-on-board menu. One of the passengers near me ordered coffee but once he realized he had to pay 3.7 EUR for it (i.e. that it wasn’t free) he canceled his order.

Below is what the buy-on-board menu looked like. Some of the items like Wiener Schnitzel and Viennese coffee were not available as they are only available on flights scheduled at 80 minutes or longer. You can find the full latest menu here.

Austrian Short-Haul Economy Class Menu
Set menus.
Austrian Short-Haul Economy Class Menu
Meals.
Austrian Short-Haul Economy Class Menu
Sandwiches, etc.
Austrian Short-Haul Economy Class Menu
Coffee and tea.
Austrian Short-Haul Economy Class Menu
Soft drinks and alcohol.
Austrian Short-Haul Economy Class Menu
Wine.
Austrian Short-Haul Economy Class Menu
Snacks.

Then, another flight attendant passed through the cabin offering free water.

I enjoyed my cup of water while editing photos from the trip.

Austrian Short-Haul Economy Class Water
Water.

Lastly, fairly large round chocolates were offered. These were wrapped in red wrapper with a large “Servus” (a greeting often used in Austria) across the top.

Austrian Short-Haul Economy Class Chocolate
Chocolate.

By the time the service was finished and trash collected, we were just over 30 minutes away from landing at Vienna Airport.

Austrian Short-Haul Economy Class
Cruising toward Vienna.

Austrian A320neo Onboard Wi-Fi

Austrian A320neos are equipped with onboard wi-fi (interestingly, while Austrian’s short-haul fleet offers onboard connectivity, its long-haul aircraft like the Boeing 767 do not). That said, the wi-fi is not available on all flights and my flight was one of those without wi-fi offered.

I am not sure whether it was due to the flight being very short (most likely) or due to some other reason.

Arrival at Vienna Airport

Seatbelt signs were switched on around 1:55PM and another ten minutes into the descent, the landing gear was lowered.

We were then offered views of Vienna city center obstructed by clouds before landing on Vienna Airport’s runway 11 at 2:09PM.

Austrian A320neo
Almost there.
Vienna
Vienna.
Austrian A320neo Landing in Vienna
Landing.

After landing, it was just short five minutes of taxiing until we reached out arrival gate. There, we came to a full stop at 2:14PM – one minute ahead of schedule.

Vienna Airport
Vienna Airport.
Austrian A320neo
Time to disembark.

Austrian A320neo Economy Class Summary

All in all, the Austrian A320neo wasn’t too different from the airline’s A320ceo. The key difference, though – at least compared to the last time I flew on an Austrian A320ceo – was that the A320neo was equipped with USB charging ports. I also appreciated that there were both USB-A and USB-C ports considering these days I mostly only carry around a cable with the latter.

As for the onboard service, there is not much to say. It was roughly in line with what one can expect on intra-European flights nowadays – i.e. there was free water but not much more than that. Other than the nice “Servus” chocolate.

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