Thursday, September 30, 2010

Our Day At VIE - Vienna Airport

After spending the morning in an extremely interactive tour of the OS flight attendant training facility, and a tour of their impressive repair and maintenance facility, we tour the airport following a pleasant and hearty lunch in the employee cafeteria.

We pass through a double layer of security to enter the baggage area. First, our passes admit us to a claustrophobic revolving door. Once inside that, we go through metal detector and X-ray screening.

Our friendly guide, obviously one of the managers, shows us the bar codes, and explains how they are read from both top and bottom with a success rate (i.e. no manual sorting required) of 97-98%

The conveyor belts snake through the building until eventually sliding down some rather old-fashioned appearing slides and loaded onto baggage carts.

It's an impressive facility. The only poignant moment is noticing all of the little luggage zipper-pulls scattered around the floor as we walk through one part of the building.

We also visit the OS operations center, where flights are monitored and, for example, passengers rebooked when necessary.

To end our day, we take a bus tour around the perimeter of the airport. We'd taken one of these last year at FRA but it's still fun, especially when the 747 cargo plane we drive by on the tarmac is now taking off.

A great day: Danke schön OS and our Flyer Talk organizers.

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