The following review is about Austrian Airlines, flight I took from Los Angeles to Venice (Italy) on September 28th 2019.
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ON LINE CHECK IN – AUSTRIAN.COM
I like to check in on line because it gives me the “time advantage” to be at the airport as close to boarding time as possible and I can examine the seat map, with the precious help of my longtime “friends”at SeatGuru .
Additionally, if I need to purchase extra luggage or upgrade, it is often cheaper to do so during on-line check in.
Since I really didn’t want to miss the seat of my choice, I went on Austrian Airlines website few days prior departure to purchase it.
Once I clicked on the proceeding button and after having entered the payment info, AN ERROR MESSAGE POPS UP…
It stated that due to some technical problems the payment did not go through and would be REVERTED. And it did, after a few days. SINCE I AM AN OPTIMIST I THOUGHT: “no big deal, I saved some $$ it was not meant to be spent, I’ll be just fine”.
SO HERE I AM, A DAY PRIOR DEPARTURE, ON AUSTRIAN AIRLINE’S WEBSITE AGAIN.
I start my check in and as I click on the button that takes me to the seat selection BAM! …
A blueish window appears saying that I could not check in due to a previous “incomplete payment for a special service”… OK, WHAT NOW!?
I AM FORCED TO CALL CUSTOMER SERVICE FOR HELP…
The gentleman whom assisted me was courteous.
He removed the block that was created due to the failed payment and assured me I could proceed with the on line check in and that my seat selection would be free at this point…DAH!
ONCE AGAIN, I INITIATE AND THIS TIME COMPLETE ALL THE STEPS BUT!
Only one of the 2 boarding passes I was supposed to obtain, was generated; the one from LAX to Vienna was not, but the one from Vienna to Venice was (!). AND! I did not see (nor have) the option to pay for my bag…
MY SECOND CALL TO CUSTOMER SERVICE
was not as pleasant. The lady I got on the phone was dry and strict. She told me I was ONLY ALLOWED TO GET THE BOARDING PASS FROM LAX TO VIENNA AT THE AIRPORT!
“Why?” I asked. “Because you come from the U.S.A.” she answered, without further explanation. I hung up upset.
THIRD CALL TO CUSTOMER SERVICE
The guy I talked to this time confirms that I am checked in.
However I am not for the FIRST FLIGHT (LAX/VIENNA). He too said I would have to check in at the airport for this.
“And what about my checked bag? Where do I find the purchasing option on line?” HIM: “you can only do that at the airport”.
SO WHAT EXACTLY IS THE ON LINE CHECK IN WITH AUSTRIAN AIRLINES ASSISTING ME WITH?
Nothing. Waisted 2 hours to SOLELY obtain a boarding pass for my CONNECTING FLIGHT.
PLUS a total of another hour and 15 minutes at the airport, to get the missing boarding pass and drop the bag off at one counter, which then sent me to A DIFFERENT COUNTER TO PAY FOR IT!
This last step TOOK FOREVER as the attendant was walking a couple of county miles PER PASSENGER to whatever office to get a receipt and come back to hand it to us!
I’M HOPING THIS IS NOT WHAT WE ARE GONNA BE DEALING WITH FLYING OVERSEAS IN GENERAL. AND IF WHAT HAPPENED IS STRICTLY RELATED TO AUSTRIAN AIRLINES THEN THEY DEFINITELY NEED IMPROVEMENT. AND LOGIC.
I managed to reserve a window seat in a 2 seats row. Despite the fare (Economy Light) I had plenty of legroom and comfort. The flight attendants were very nice and attentive.
The only small issue I encountered was with the food.
I did not want to pile on carbs so I chose the chicken meal. After few seconds the attendant comes to me and tells me they ran out of chicken…WHAT! JEEZ I’M STARTING TO THINK MY LUCK TOOK A VACATION!
I decided to cheat. I said I was gluten intolerant…After all aren’t they supposed to properly stock for a 10 and a half hours busy flight? I had paid more than enough not to get what I wanted.
The attendant was wonderful about it! She brought me a Premium Economy meal: shrimp curry served with rice and spinach, bread (that I didn’t eat), butter, slaw and a cream puff! I have to say one of the best eats I remember as far as airplane food!
Although the flight itself with Austrian Airlines was pleasant and the crew very collaborative, the company needs to implement their on line check in glitches adding more clarity and sense to it.
YOU ARE WELCOME TO SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCES WITH ME!
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