Review: Austrian Airlines EMB-195 Economy Class from Basel to Vienna

Review: Austrian Airlines EMB-195 Economy Class from Basel to Vienna

With Austrian Airlines announcing the upcoming retirement of its Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 turboprops, the Embraer EMB-195 is going to become the smallest aircraft type in its fleet. As such, chances are that if you will be flying on a relatively thin regional route out of Vienna for which the A320 series is too large, you will end up on one of the EMB-195s.

I had a chance to fly on the Austrian EMB-195 back in January on an economy class flight from Basel to Vienna. Continue reading this brief review to see what the flight was like.

Boarding an Austrian Airlines Embraer EMB-195

Right after arriving in Basel from Brussels onboard the now-retired Brussels Airlines Sukhoi Superjet, I headed through security check and back airside to wait for my flight back to Vienna.

Since I had a couple of hours to spare, I went to the beautiful EuroAirport Skyview Lounge which I could access thanks to my Priority Pass membership.

I left the lounge around 8:20PM as the boarding was scheduled for 8:30PM, and headed to gate 46 where the flight was departing from. When I got there, all of the seating near the gate was already taken and there were even some passengers standing around waiting for the flight.

Basel Airport Gate 46
Passengers waiting for the flight to Vienna in front of Gate 46.

Outside, OE-LWQ, one of Austrian Airlines’ seventeen Embraer EMB-195s, had just arrived from Vienna, and the inbound passengers were disembarking by stairs.

Seeing that, I thought we would get out onto the apron and walk to the aircraft, but once everyone disembarked, the jetway was connected to the aircraft.

Austrian Airlines Embraer EMB-195 at Basel Airport
Passengers deplaning the EMB-195 after their flight from Vienna.

Departing Basel Airport Bound for Vienna

Boarding for the flight started at 7:50PM, about twenty minutes after the time indicated on the boarding pass, and after passengers with priority boarded, I was one of the first “regular” passengers to get onboard.

While it was about to be a simple short-haul flight, I was excited to be boarding an Embraer aircraft after not having flown on one for around eight years.

I settled in 6D, an aisle seat, and waited for departure. The seat was comfortable and offered decent leg room, but hat surprised me the most – after not having flown on an E-Jet in a while was how large (especially wide) the windows were.

Austrian Airlines Embraer EMB-195 Cabin
View of the cabin from my seat.

The full flight finished boarding at 7:58PM, and five minutes later, the captain welcomed us onboard via the PA and mentioned that we would need to spend some time getting de-iced before departing Basel.

Just after that, one of the flight attendants made an announcement mentioning that our flight time would be one hour, and then, the aircraft doors were armed.

We were pushed back at 8:04PM – four minutes behind schedule – and nine minutes later, the engines were started.

A quick taxi to the active runway followed before we took off at 8:22PM.

Austrian Airlines Short-Haul Economy Class Snack Service

The in-flight service started around 8:30PM, shortly after the seatbelt signs were switched off.

First, drinks and snacks were offered. There was the usual selection of drinks and passengers could choose between sweet and salty snacks – the former being a chocolate covered wafer bar and the latter a pack of rosemary crackers.

I went with the salty snack which was tasty and a cup of Coke Zero.

Austrian Airlines Short-Haul Snack and Drink
Salty snack – rosemary crackers – and a cup of Coke Zero.

Once the snack service was finished, a quick round of duty free sales followed.

Arriving at Vienna Airport

The seatbelt sign was switched back on at 9:13PM as we were starting our descent towards Vienna International Airport.

We landed less than 30 minutes later, at 9:40PM, and we arrived at our parking spot at 9:45PM – ten minutes behind schedule.

Austrian Airlines Embraer EMB-195 Economy Class Summary

Given how short the flight was, there was not much to get excited about (except for the fact that I was flying on an Embraer for the first time in ages) or to get disappointed by.

If Austrian Airlines happens to be the cheapest airline to get you between points A and B in Europe, I can only recommend it – the service was adequate for the flight’s length, the flight was more or less on time, and the leg room was decent.

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