LAUDA-AIR AMADEUS CLASS
VIENNA-BANGKOK-HO CHI MINH IN-FLIGHT TEST AMADEUS CLASS
Like on THAI AIRWAYS, female passengers were welcome with an orchid. This is the unique comparison between the two airlines; actually, service on LAUDA-AIR was much more friendly and high profile than on the top five giants disputing each others the South East Asian market. Stewardesses wear a red cup (only before take-off), and blue jeans. This is a marketing trick to target young customers travelling Economy, but also, to our great astonishment, AMADEUS CLASS. Budget tourists sit in the back; "golden boys" in the front, keeping in the sky their social predominance. Though obviously relax, the staff remains very professional, like Saxons used to be. Just like on any airline, we were warmly welcomed with a glass of Champagne and orange juice as soon as we sat, while our coats were swifted to the cloak-room. When time came for aperitif, we noticed with pleasure that the too common peanuts had been substituted by delicious "amuses-bouche". There was hoarfrost on our glass of "Stolichnaya", and the Champagne Piper Heidsieck came in a silver bucket. This respect of fine alcool was a good approach.
We had our first real surprise when, closing the menu (large, elegant, printed on expensive hand-made paper, and attached by a red cordon like in the first class restaurants), we noticed our names had been printed with gold ink on the cover...We were not anymore the 2G, 5H or 4E passengers, but renewed with our identity. During the all flight, the stewardess treated us with our family name. This is detail which makes excellency out of proficiency.
The dinner matched the best First class. It was confectionned by DO&CO, the famous Viennese restaurant awarded with a red toque and 13/20 in the new GAULT & MILLAU. On the Vienna-Miami route, LAUDA-AIR starts introducing some "flying chefs", supervising in the sky the good presentation of their specialities ! After a Champagne cocktail, came the "Irish Lobster on Ruccola-Leaf Salad, Olive Oil Vinaigrette, with Fresh Herbs". Both the texture and taste of this precious sea-food were perfect. The "Consomme with Ceps-Ravioli" was as light and sophisticated as the "Baby Turbot and Atlantic Salmon "Grille" on Sauteed Leaf Spinach, with Fresh Asparagus, Chevil Potatoes and Sauce Bearnaise". As a meat, then came the "Lamb Cutlet with Fresh Thyme, on Tagliatelle, in Dijon-Mustared Sauce. Dishes were served, one by one, at the right temperature, and according to the ideal rhythm. The "Assorted Cheese and Exotic Fruits from our Trolley" finished to make us feel full; we were physically obliged to refuse the "French Kiss" (whipped cream tartlet, with fresh strawberries and fruit sauce), the fabulous though calories-not-so-free "Viennese Chocolate Pancake with Apricot Jam", or the "Sherbet of Passion Fruit". Wines which went with our dinner were Champagne, of course, but also a remarkable "Rioja Marques de Caceres 1992": this vintage red wine gets a legendary bouquet, and this was our pleasure to find it on the wine list mixed with refreshing but more ordinary Austrian spirits. We felt asleep listening to Mozart, just after we ordered our breakfast for the next day. "A la carte", like in a five stars deluxe hotel.
Fascinated, we have decided to keep one eye on this airline -and
also on its blonde stewardesses - offering the best value between Europe
and South East Asia. Try it once, and you will never forget it.
|FIRST CLASS AROUND THE WORLD|
© FIRST CLASS AROUND THE WORLD, Gilles Malaisé, 1995-2013
Design © FIRST CLASS AROUND THE WORLD Studio, 1999-2013