Flight Review: Austrian Airlines A320 Economy Class from Vienna to Paris

Austrian Airlines A320 Vienna Paris Review

After visiting Sky Lounge Schengen using my Priority Pass membership, I headed to gate F31 around 4:30PM – 50 minutes before the scheduled departure time. Boarding started at 5:05PM, and two minutes later, rows 18 through 30 were called to board. With my boarding pass for seat 23D in hand, I headed down the jetway, and got onboard.

Austrian Airlines A320 Vienna Paris Review

Boarding in progress.
Austrian Airlines A320 Vienna Paris Review

You can see the wi-fi antenna – the little “bump” – on the fuselage.

At 5:30PM, after an unusually super-polite “Dear Cabin Crew, arm the slides, please,” from the flight deck, the doors were closed. With the “ABC” side of my row remaining unoccupied, I quickly switched my seat from 23D to 23A before we started taxiing.

A welcome announcement by one of the four cabin crew members in German, English, as well as French. A minute later – 15 minutes behind the scheduled departure time – we were pushed back.

Austrian Airlines A320 Vienna Paris Review

While waiting for pushback, Brussels Airlines Red Devils parked next to us.
Austrian Airlines A320 Vienna Paris Review

Pushback complete, ready to taxi.

Ten minutes later, after taxiing through taxiways M2 and L, we took off from the A1 intersection of runway 29. The shaky take-off run and sharp lift off were followed by a left turn and a climb into the darkness.

Austrian’s New Wi-Fi Service

Currently, Austrian Airlines is in the process of equipping its 31 Airbus A320 series aircraft (A319/A320/A321) with onboard wi-fi. As part of the roll-out, Austrian Airlines is using four of the aircraft to test the wi-fi, offering it to passengers for a limited period of time for free.

I was lucky as my flight was operated by OE-LBP – one of the four.

Austrian Airlines A320 Vienna Paris Review

Tracking our own flight.
Austrian Airlines A320 Vienna Paris Review

Isfahan on KN Aviation and in the in-flight magazine.

The wi-fi was turned only only a few minutes after take-off, and stayed on until we were in the middle of our descent into Paris.

The performance was very good – miles away from Emirates’ cheap ($1 per 500MB), but almost unusable wi-fi. I had no problem browsing websites, and even watching YouTube.

Once the free trial is over, Austrian plans to offer three reasonably priced plans:

  • FlyNet Message for 3 EUR per flight allowing the use chat apps like iMessage and WhatsApp
  • FlyNet Surf for 7 EUR per flight allowing the above as well as regular Internet browsing
  • FlyNet Stream for 12 EUR per flight allowing all of the above as well as the use of streaming services such as YouTube

Sweet Clementine

About fifteen minutes into the flight, the snack service begun.

Once the crew got to my row, I was offered to choose between a chocolate bar and an orange. I decided to go with the healthier and more interesting option, and picked the orange.

The orange being a “clementine” came in an appropriate packaging titled “Sweet Clementine.” Of course, the song “Sweet Caroline” immediately came to my mind…

When it came to choosing drink, I spoiled the previous healthiness, and went with a cup of Coke.

Having finished the orange, I decided to take a look into the seat pocket. Checking the in-flight magazine, I was happy to find an article about the beautiful Iranian city of Isfahan in it.

Austrian Airlines A320 Vienna Paris Review

Sweet Clementine and a cup of Coke.
Austrian Airlines A320 Vienna Paris Review

Contents of the seat pocket.

Bienvenue a Paris

At quarter to seven, the first officer came on the PA, and announced that we had received clearance to start our descend, and that we had about 35 minutes left. He also mentioned the weather in Paris – clear skies and minus one degree.

Shortly after the announcement, just as we entered French airspace, we begun our descend, and ten minutes later, the seatbelt signs were switched on.

We descended to 11,000 feet, and kept flying at that altitude before commencing our final descend. The approach offered us some great view of Paris.

Austrian Airlines A320 Vienna Paris Review

Paris in sight.
Austrian Airlines A320 Vienna Paris Review

Left turn (almost) above Paris.
Austrian Airlines A320 Vienna Paris Review

The left turn continues.

The landing gear was lowered at 9:18PM, and three minutes later, we landed on runway 09L. The hard and bumpy landing was followed by a ten minute long taxi to the terminal.

Austrian Airlines A320 Vienna Paris Review

We parked next to an easyJet aircraft.
Austrian Airlines A320 Vienna Paris Review

Deboarding in progress.

After waiting for most of the people to get off the aircraft, I took some cabin pictures, and headed out of the aircraft.

Austrian Airlines A320 Vienna Paris Review

Austrian’s grey slimline seats.
Austrian Airlines A320 Vienna Paris Review

Regular seat cover.
Austrian Airlines A320 Vienna Paris Review

“Red Legroom” emergency exit seat cover.
Austrian Airlines A320 Vienna Paris Review

The Austrian A320s feature 168 seats.
Austrian Airlines A320 Vienna Paris Review

One last cabin view.

Once in the terminal, I called it a day quickly found the hotel shuttle bus stop – it was time to rest – the Air France 787 inaugural was waiting for me the following day.

Final Thoughts

While I was not initially planning to write about the flight, eventually I decided to given my luck with being on one of the Wi-Fi test planes, as well as the great views of Paris before landing.

…and then, there was Sweet Clementine. Even though service on intra-European flights is nothing to be excited about, I found the piece of fruit more enjoyable than a pack of peanuts.


Travel Products to Consider

Disclosure: KN Aviation is, among others, a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As such, if you purchase products or services through some of the above links, I might earn a commission.

Before you go... Here are 3 quick tips for travel:

For your convenience: Price comparison sites

When searching for flights and accommodation, use comparison sites that will summarize prices from a variety of sources including the airline sites and online travel agencies for you. I recommend HotelsCombined for comparing hotel prices and Momondo for comparing flight prices.

For your comfort: Unlimited airport lounge access

If you generally fly in economy class and don’t have an airline status, I recommend considering a Priority Pass Prestige membership which will give you unlimited access to over 1,200 lounges at more than 500 airports all over the world.

For your peace of mind: Travel insurance

Make sure you have adequate insurance coverage - whether through your credit card or through insurance policy purchased separately. This will help save your trip when you get sick or things stolen on the road, in other words, when things go wrong. In case you didn't get your travel insurance yet, I recommend getting a free quote from World Nomads. To save some time, you can also use the form below.

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