Ever since travelling back from Tokyo to London in business class last summer, I’ve been a fan of spending a little bit more on travel in order to be more comfortable.
…which sounds a bit silly when I tell you we flew from Manchester to Vienna on a 6am EasyJet flight.
But fear not, I’m onto something here! Our flights from Manchester to Vienna were purchased during EasyJet’s sale period in late 2018, which meant two things:
- We saved quite a lot of cash.
- We were in a different country to the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Can you see where this is going?
Transport options from Vienna to Budapest were aplenty; there were numerous buses and trains we could’ve taken, but in the end we decided to do it in style as two of the three-strong party were celebrating birthdays. Any excuse.
Anyway, long story short, we spunked over €400 (£370) between us on return tickets in the business class section of the OBB Railjet train for the just-over-two-hour journey. Oddly enough, business class is higher than 1st class. Go figure.
With 1st and business class tickets comes access to the OBB lounge before your journey. As we arrived from the airport a good two hours prior to our train’s departure, we decided to take full advantage of this.
There was a respectable spread on offer, with small bar snacks, a few pastries and cakes as well as cold and hot drinks. There was one striking exception, however.
That’s right: a booze-free lounge. Apparently they bring it out after 6pm, but that was no bloody good to us at midday! We’d been boozing in the airport and on the plane since 4am, what were we supposed to do now?!
We got our fill of cakes, coffee and wasabi peas and headed on to the sports bar next door to while away the rest of the wait.
Of the 27-carriage train, there was only about half a carriage dedicated to business class. Exclusive, and all that.
Each section of the carriage was separated by a wall, and was comprised of either three or four seats, each with their own plug socket and table. There were two TV screens per cabin as well, with the media content accessible through the slightly temperamental on-board WiFi.
As soon as we’d plonked our arses in the comfy leather seats, they were reclined to the max (leg rest and all!) and we were busy scrolling through the menu. We weren’t too sure about the frequency of any catering service at your seat, so decided it was best to play it safe and go to the bar ourselves, which was located just a few carriages down.
Three small bottles of prosecco (when in Rome and all that) and three large bottles of beer came to about €35, which for on-board service didn’t seem too bad. However, we did take exception at the claim from the tannoy which said that the staff were ‘more than happy to serve you’, when the reality was that the Sebastian Vettel lookalike working the bar looked like he couldn’t wait to get shut of us!
That wouldn’t be the last he saw of us, however, as about halfway through the journey he did the rounds taking orders for food and drink. We had tried to order three schnitzel sandwiches whilst at the bar, but were told they were too busy and he’d serve us at our seats. In the end, we ordered when he came round and waited the best part of half an hour, but they did finally arrive and we were so hungry that the averageness of the food wasn’t much of a problem!
As for the rest of the journey, it went along without a hiccup. It would’ve been incredibly easy to fall asleep such was the comfort of the chairs but we managed to power through, brave souls that we are. We arrived in Budapest half-cut and incredibly sleep-deprived with the very same feeling I had as I got off the plane from Tokyo: I’ll never be able to travel economy again.