British Airways, or their selected third party, lounges in Europe are generally unexciting and I wasn’t expecting to find anything to write about in Vienna. However, it turned out that I had access to a number of different and decent lounges and so I thought it was worth a comparison.
If you haven’t been to Vienna International Airport before, the airport is slightly confusing. Unlike most other airports there is no security check of yourself or your hand baggage until you go to your gate.
Once you’ve checked in and dropped your hold luggage, you scan your boarding pass and immediately find yourself in the duty free area. Relax & Proceed is what the Austrians call this. To be honest, I was more stressed than relaxed about the possible security implications here but clearly the airport is happy with the arrangement.
Click on any image to expand:
There is no British Airways lounge at Vienna International Airport and I was initially told to use the Jet lounge. It’s located between the duty free area and passport control, at the far back in this picture.
The Jet lounge at Vienna Airport
At the check in desk I was told that there is another lounge I can use after passport control – the Air lounge. I decided to stay at the Jet lounge for a bit and then make my way to the Air lounge.
(What I wasn’t told at the time, probably because of my gate allocation, is that there is actually a 3rd lounge – the Sky lounge – after passport control, by the G gates. This is also accessible by British Airways ticket holders.)
The Jet lounge is quite big with lots of tables and chairs.
The lounge had various soft drinks, wine, mixers and beer.
My flight was at 7pm and the food selection was a mix of afternoon tea and dinner. There was a pasta dish, a bread selection, cake, vegetable sticks and different dips.
There was a shelf with salty and savoury snacks as well as two different wines.
This is the second room in the Jet lounge with a work space area to the left.
The Jet lounge had a good food an drink selection and lots of tables and chairs. It wasn’t busy when I was in the lounge but the fact that there are two rooms (with food and drinks in both) probably helps during busier times.
The Air lounge at Vienna Airport
The food and drink selection was exactly the same as in the Jet lounge.
My Instagram-worthy picture that I forgot to Instagram ….
The layout of the Air lounge is a bit odd. It’s basically a long hallway with some kind of string curtains to create the impression of small booths.
One thing I haven’t seen in a lounge before was the smoking booth.
20 minutes before my gate was closing I left the lounge and finally passed through security. I was told that I was cutting it short, but in the end I had to wait another 10 minutes at the gate until boarding.
The Jet and Air Lounges are great places – by European independent lounge standards – to kill some time before a flight from Vienna. I preferred the Jet lounge as it is bigger and has better sitting arrangements. The Air lounge was rather busy and I only got a bar stool to sit on. I recommend staying at the Jet lounge and then grabbing another drink at the Air lounge before heading to the gate.
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (September 2021)
As a reminder, here are the three options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit or charge card:
The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two free Priority Pass cards, one for you and one for a supplementary cardholder. Each card admits two so a family of four gets in free. You get access to all 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here.
You also get access to Plaza Premium, Delta and Eurostar lounges. The card has a sign-up bonus of 60,000 points which is a special offer running to 2nd November 2021. Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.
Additional lounge visits are charged at £20. You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card.
There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and a special 30,000 points sign-up bonus until 9th November 2021. Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.
HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey network. Guests are charged at £20 although it may be cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card for your partner.
The card has a fee of £195 and there are strict financial requirements to become a HSBC Premier customer. Full details are in my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review.
PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.