When we arrived at the gate out flight was departing out of, we found that it was actually a bus gate. We headed down the stairs and into the little tunnels where the buses park, and then began to drive out across the tarmac, finally arriving at our Fokker F-100.
Turns out that F-100 sits so low to the ground that the jetbridge couldn’t reach it, so they had to bus us to get us on the plane. It was kind of funny to see the jetbridge, already sitting at its lowest point, still well above the boarding door. The bus doors opened and we made our way across the tarmac over to the airstairs, where I excitedly snapped a few pictures of our aircraft.
Why so excited, you ask? Well, the Fokker F-100 is a pretty rare shorthaul aircraft built by Fokker, the now-defunct Dutch aerospace firm. No airlines in the US operate it currently (though both American and US Airways used to own some), and most of the operators of the F-100 are in Asia and Australia. However, a handful of airlines in Europe operate the type, including Austrian Airlines. The F-100 is a little piece of aviation history, and I was super excited to fly it.
We boarded through door 1L and made our way back to our seats in row 8. Since there is no business class cabin on the F-100, you can get seats as far up as you like, though most of these seats will be gone by the time you can get to them if you want to reserve them for free (note that Austrian lets you purchase seat selection in advance). The cabin is laid out in a 2-3 configuration of 105 seats, and the flight seemed decently full.
After a short time sitting at the gate, we pushed back and taxied across the airport to the runway we were to take off from. Our F-100’s engines revved up as we began our takeoff roll, and we were airborne pretty quickly. We took off over the German countryside, with some lovely views of the rolling fields and small towns.
I spent most of the flight looking out the window. The views were stunning, especially for the portion of the flight where we flew alongside the Alps, which made for some amazing views of the snow-capped mountains.
About halfway through the flight, the flight attendants came through the cabin with drinks and snacks. I found it notable that the flight attendants would say “you’re welcome” before you even thanked them. Weird…
It was a super short flight, and we soon began our descent into Vienna. We made our way over the hills near the city and overflew downtown and touched down at VIE right on time. We taxied off the runway and docked at our gate, where we again deplaned via stairs. When you put F-100’s up against a jetway, the F-100 wins every time!
All in all, it was another short, intra-Europe flight made notable by the rare aircraft. After we deplaned, it was into the city!