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Any experience of Austrian airlines?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Afternoon,

Have just booked to fly to Athens for our Pindus trip this Xmas/new year. Flights are a bit sparse and pricey around this time (Ioannina or Preveza would have been nice) so thought I would snap up this flight with Austrian while it was sub £350 inc 23kg luggage...

After booking I thought I would do a little reading on Austrian (I know, bad idea...) And discovered that they're one of those airlines that doesn't have many planes, and charters flights it can't cover. In my case its Swiss outbound and Lufthansa in - TBH this is what drew me to the flight as both are supposed to have no quibble ski carriage alongside your main bag.

However, when Swiss and Lufthansa are just the operator and the booking is with Austrian, where do I stand with ski luggage? I intend to phone Austrian and ask but I would like to enter into that conversation armed with other people's experiences, I read somewhere that they reserve (and exercise) the right to not take your skis at the last minute! Sad Any stories, help or tips welcome!

Thanks in advance!
Thomas
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Lufthansa own Austrian and Swiss so I wouldn't expect any issues with your luggage.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Not much help, but ..... flown with them return once earlier this Jan (when they had all the snow in Austria) with gear and absolutely no issues, plane was full.

The side story was landing in Innsbruck it had been shut due to snow, we were one of the first flights in ...... apparently all AA flights landed as scheduled that afternoon when many others didn't ....... or so it goes.
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Lufthansa is the mother company of Swiss and Austrian. They have the same policy and you can book all flights through its website. I have used them extensively for my flights from TLV to GVA/ZRH in the last years. They have a somewhat tendency for light delays so i try to have more than 1 hour between connecting flights.
You are right - in the last years the ski carriage was free. Initial it was announced as a part of the 23 kg general hold luggage, then they said it was in addition to it. I always book the ski carriage in advance (by email/phone their service center) and print their written acknowledgement/approval so I won't encounter any difficulties at check-in since the handling companies are sometimes off focus.
A funny issue - you are not allowed to board the plane with a nail file, but they offer you beer in glass bottles Laughing
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Flown once with Austrian, Manchester to Dolomites, several years ago, and it was excellent. I have been looking for flights with them ever since but they don't seem to go where I want to go any more.
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@Thomasski, we flew to Athens with them end May via Vienna and to say it was a disaster is a massive underestimation. Still arguing with them for compensation but I can safely say they are the worst airline we have ever flown with and I wouldn’t ever use them again. I’d certainly not trust them with my ski goodies. Pm me if you want the detail but seriously they have a bad rep and I’d be very wary. Sorry.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Interesting to find that they are also part of Lufthansa (knew about Swiss) as their ski luggage small print is different (read vague and non-committal) to Lufthansa and Swiss...

I am always a bit wary of charter flights that aren't part of a package. Got a bit caught up in saving £150!

Markymark29, pm'd
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Thomasski, smaller planes and harder airports to land in so less luggage allowance usually
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Slightly odd 'Thunderbird' uniforms. Very good when ever I've used them.
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Mollerski wrote:
Slightly odd 'Thunderbird' uniforms. Very good when ever I've used them.


Were the strings showing? wink


http://youtube.com/v/riMHp28_cqw
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I use them all the time. Always very easy to use. Never had any problems.

The baggage allowance is 32kg. @Nadenoodlee, this is the same as BA in terms of weight, not quite sure what you mean about small planes and airports?

For ski equipment it comes out of the overall allowance, just need to let them know in advance.

“At check-in, only pre-registered sports baggage with a maximum weight of up to 32 kg and a maximum length of up to 3.15 m will be accepted”
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Whoops 23kg for economy apparently, 32kg is for business.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
We flew with them about 11 months ago to go to Ukraine (Odessa).
Outbound, ( GVA-VIE & VIE-ODS all with Austrian) there was 60 minutes between one flight landing and the next taking off, and it went fine.
On the way back the first leg from Odessa to Vienna was 20 minutes late, and despite us informing them of our onward connecting flight also Austrian, they did not seem that keen on helping us through security quickly.
Mrs WoC got put in a fast moving queue, whilst I was put in a slower queue. She got to the gate while I was still in the security queue, and told them I was coming, but they said they were closing the gate in 2 minutes whether I was there or not.
This led to one of the most unedifying experiences of my life, as I had removed my belt to pass security, and then had to run through the airport pulling my bag in one hand, and holding 2 bottles of duty free vodka in the other, while my belt-less trousers descended my legs, so I had to keep stopping to pull them up every few metres.
The last 20 metres I could see the attendant pulling the tape across, so I sprinted like an olympian breaking the tape at the end of a race.
The result was I arrived at the entrance to the plane, dripping in sweat with my trousers around my ankles.
Believe me - this is something that nobody wanted to see.
All of this could have been avoided with a bit of assistance from the Austrian ground crew.
(... or their flight being on time)
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Thomasski, PM sent - my advice is don't fly with them, they are a nightmare.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
When skiing I generally drive or take the train so have never flown Austrian Airlines with skis but have flown with them many times from here (Vienna) and have had no serious problems.

Quote:
You will incur a charge for defined sports baggage items if the carriage of your sports baggage exceeds your baggage allowance. At check-in, only pre-registered sports baggage with a maximum weight of up to 32 kg and a maximum length of up to 3.15 m will be accepted. Transport must be confirmed in advance in the booking. For items of sports baggage not included in the following list or if their contents exceed the definition given, standard excess baggage charges will apply.
In addition a supplementary "Excess Baggage Ticket Service Charge" will be levied, the amount depends on the departure airport and varies between EUR 10 and EUR 20.

Due to infrastructure constraints at London Heathrow Airport (LHR), a ban has been imposed on the transport of large items of sports baggage that took effect on 20 August 2018. Existing reservations will be honoured, but it will no longer be possible to book bulky items of sports baggage from/via/to London Heathrow Airport. Bulky sports baggage include: canoes/kajaks, hang gliders, riding equipment, longboards, inflatable boats, tandems, pole-vaulting equipment and windsurfing equipment.


https://www.austrian.com/Info/Flying/sportbaggage.aspx?sc_lang=en&cc=AT
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Used Austrian a few times - no problems whatsoever !
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Have flown them many tines to Innsbruck via Vienna and no issues and sometimes involved smaller propeller plane for INN. Ski carriage was free in addition to 23kg (as per Swiss policy) but skis must be pre booked well in advance by calling the airline as they have limited space available on planes.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@WindOfChange,
Why didn't you just put your belt back on your pants after the security check?
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Innsbruck is a little airport, so if we're flying in/out from there, Austrian usually do the INN leg to Vienna or Frankfurt while Lufthansa pick up the rest. Never had any issues but their planes are so tiny that they have to take all the wheely carry-ons at the plane steps as the overhead lockers are tiny.

In contrast to the experiences of @Markymark29 and @WindOfChange, my mum flew Lufthansa/Austrian from Manchester to Innsbruck via Vienna in October. The changeover was tight (45-55min IIRC) and the MAN flight departed 30min late Shocked She was panicking a bit as it landed in Vienna, but they put her and another group with a tight connection into private cars and drove them around to the steps of the second flight. Surprisingly, her bag made it too and she couldn't have been happier.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
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All airlines can provide crap service. Personally I avoid flying British Airways unless I have no other choice, I find their service extremely poor, I am sure others will have different views on this. In general I much prefer the Lufthansa group (which includes Austrian), yes sometimes things dont always go as they should and perhaps having a silver or gold card helps but in general issues have been dealt with reasonably. You could of course try Ryanair.........
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DB wrote:
@WindOfChange,
Why didn't you just put your belt back on your pants after the security check?

Didn't have time - I only just made it as it was.
That extra dignity-retaining minute would have left me eating pastries and drinking beer for the next few hours while I rebooked and waited for the next Vienna to Geneva flight.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
There isn't an airline company on this planet that hasn't had a flight delayed at some time. How you can tell who or what delayed the flight is beyond me (e.g. Airport traffic control delay caused by other aircrafts, refuelling delay, weather etc)

Having said that Austrian Airlines are near the top of the list ....
https://www.cirium.com/thoughtcloud/february-2019-airline-on-time-performance/
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Excellent Airline.
Vienna they have their own Terminal
Very good with compensation if delayed or rescheduled can be €200 500 issued on a debit card that can be used anywhere in the World.
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Right, I'll call up and confirm my ski luggage asap and make sure all my dealings are done with caution - seems they aren't particularly apologetic. Thanks for the feedback everyone.
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