Waiting at the airport for the flight back home after a trip is the wurst (yeah, first world problems I know…) and it’s even more crappy when the airport you have to spend some time doesn’t sing, dance and feed you with wonderful food to send you off into the sky.
So does Vienna’s flying building entertain you and make you wish you never have to leave like Tom Hanks in The Terminal? Well, I’ll let you know as I answer some Frequently Asked Questions about Vienna International Airport.
My exclusive tour itinerary included wandering around Terminal 1 on a Sunday afternoon between 13.30 and 15.30, stopping off near the D gate area, with a special exclusive stroll to the G area. Sadly, despite my surname, I missed out on getting detained by security – now that’s the real VIP treatment I’ve heard, they give you a special massage and body rub, plus they interview you in detail wanting to know about all the cool places you’ve blogged about and been.
What’s the most important thing to know? This airport is one where you don’t go through security until the gates. So first you scan your ticket at a machine, and then there’s passport control, and then you are stuck in your gate area until the security/luggage scanning before you board.
Now for an easy one … How much for a bottle of water? It’s a shame you can’t find a nearby small lake, babbling brook or well to satiate your thirst, so plastic-encased h2O is the only thing on the menu. Cheapest I could find was €1.90 (that’s £1.62 / $2.15) and after you go through security you can get it from a vending machine for €2.00 (that’s £1.70 / $2.25).
And can I get my Big Mac or a grande triple chocolate soya mocha shot at the airport? Of Course, this is the 21st century after all. You can stuff that chain store food / drinks in your mouth at the arrival gates. And you might want to stock up on that early as the food at gate D wasn’t too great and ridiculously expensive. See the photo above? This piece of cardboard, with bits of cheese, a slice of tomato, a bit of mozzarella and a bottle of Evian cost me €10 (that’s £8.50 / $11.25). Have I inspired you? I really hope the answer is no, but if not, check out the delights of restaurant eating here.
Whatever. What about the real essentials? Is there Wi-Fi? Yes! All you have to do is sign in and say you agree and you all globally connected and ready to experience FOMO and all that. It’s relatively quick and there wasn’t a time limit.
I know enough. Can I charge my phone, tablet and laptop while waiting? At the end of each seating row there are plugs place where you can charge your phone. And if they’re all full up, you can play the game of guessing who you can disconnect without noticing, or use it as a potential conversation starter (“Is this your plug or are you pleased to see me?”)
Are the chairs comfortable at all? Could I let’s say nap a bit comfortably when I have long stopover? As you can see from the image above you even have options! Since there are no armrests between the seats you can even lay down and if you manage to get a spot at the end of the seat you are all set and can charge and your electrics and chill. They always say the best place to waste time is in bed right?
What about the toilets? There were enough toilets throughout the place and they are as good as it gets. You might want to know that the toilet stalls are closed off, so you are all private to do what you will. And the toilet paper is the sandpaper type, but it’s recycled so you get bonus points from Greenpeace, etc. I heard if you get enough you can qualify for a free trip on one of their protest ships…
Anything cool you saw? The PEZ shop, if you haven’t stocked up on PEZ this is your last chance. I am still amazed how the pez toys open their mouths so much, that’s some snake level mouth/jaw dislocation skills.
Anything else I need to know? I’m not a fan, but there are smoking cabins around the airport and once you go through security and arrive at your departure gates if it is busy then it is difficult to find a seat. So make sure to go in on time to puff to your heart’s content.
Have you visited the airport? What was your experience and do you have any tips?
People who don’t have their passport and/or ticket reading while waiting and causing congestion when it’s their turn to go through
Those people who complain about everything and everyone
People who cause a line at the security check because they forgot to pack their liquids bag
Those who go through the security check and accidentally leave a water bottle in their bag – even worse – when you’re THAT person
Overpriced food and drinks
When you want to buy the smallest item in the shop, like a pack of gum, and have to show your ticket
People who don’t know how the trolleys work
Crying children next to you on the plane – I understand it’s a strange situation for them, lots of people, pressure on the ears, etc. But yeah, that doesn’t stop it being annoying
Not enough seating areas at airports…
And when you eventually find some, you’re faced with horrible and uncomfortable chairs that even the most chilled out person would find it hard to relax on
Parking at airports
When one of the headphones doesn’t work – if it wasn’t difficult enough to enjoy the latest Michael Bay offering, you’re doing it in mono.
Hardly any outlets in the airport, especially when you’ve gone through security and are essentially their retail prisoner until boarding time.
Stag / Bachelor parties – normally drunk before they’ve even boarded the plane, or possibly even before they even got up that day.
People who push their chair back. All the way
The infuriatingly long wait to get on and off the plane – and the subsequent squeezing off in a battle of “who goes first”
Am I forgetting anything?