26. VIE – LED on OS in J
Vienna, Austria – St. Petersburg, Russia
Departure Time: 10:15AM
Business Class Seat 4C
Duration 2.75 hours
After taking the Vienna S-bahn to the airport, we arrived at Vienna Airport and found the Austrian airways check-in counters. The counters were nearly empty, and the Business Class line had just one person in front of us.
We didn’t have breakfast in Vienna, and were hoping to stop in the Austrian Airways Business Class lounge to get some food and coffee. We were running a bit late, so it would have to be a quick stop. However, we were flying to Russia, which is out of the Europe Schengen zone, meaning we were leaving from a different section of the airport than the main Austrian flagship lounge. But there still would be a lounge and made our way over there.
We went through passport control and then security to the section of the airport that contained our gate. To our dismay, there was no lounge, just 25ish gates serving Non-Schengen short-haul flights. To get to a lounge we would have to exit security, go quickly, and go back through. The security checkpoints at all the airports usually range from annoying at best to a violation of your natural rights at worst. And on this trip, we had already seen our fair share. We didn’t feel like lugging all our luggage through again, pulling out laptops, presenting 100mL or less liquid bottles for inspection, etc. So I watched our bags while Lady Tocqueville exited security and went to the lounge to grab some food, coffee, and smuggle me out a couple croissants. Ten minutes later she returned with our contraband.
The flight left on-time, although at a remote bus gate. These were also getting quite old, we had already had at least a half dozen boarding or disembarkings on these buses. Part of the benefit of Business Class is you are first off the plane and first to immigration and customs. The remote bus typically removes this benefit by normalizing everyone’s arrival position at the terminal.
Remote bus in Vienna filling up to take people to our plane.
We boarded on-time, and quickly pushed back and were in the air.
Menus were passed out for our less than 3 hour flight.
I went with the Spinach Spaetzle which was delicious. So was the salad.
View of the Economy cabin during boarding.
The Business Class seats were again the intra-Europe Business Class, meaning standard seats with a bit more leg-room and a middle seat blocked off.
Leg-room was fine on this plane.
Overall, this was my first time flying on a Fokker-100, and the ride and engine noise was surprisingly smooth.
We landed at St. Petersburg a bit early, and just our luck another remote bus gate was in-store for us. Our bus quickly filled up and dropped us off at the terminal. Fortunately we were amongst some of the first ones off, and we quickly got through immigration and customs and made our way to the taxi stand to order a taxi for our trip into the heart of St. Petersburg for our stay at the Renaissance Baltika hotel.