25 minutes transit at Vienna International Airport. Is this doable?

Vienna International Airport offers one of the shortest minimum connection times in the world. The airport of Vienna is constructed in a way, allowing fast connections. Officially, for star alliance flights the minimum connection time has been set to 25 minutes.

Austrian airlines, which use Vienna International Airport for its main hub take full advantage of this fact. They actively sell such connecting flights. Short connections are quite common in Vienna.

Many would argue that real life has nothing to do with formality and procedures. Before going forward with offering you generic advice concerning transferring in Vienna International Airport, we will try to find information on the subject form different sources online. So what does the Internet say?

Official sources

The airport website offers the following information: “Transfer VIA VIENNA is quicker, easier and more convenient than at many other airports.

The minimum connecting time of 25 minutes (for Star Alliance flights) is one of the fastest in Europe. Coordinated flight schedules, particularly to and from eastern and western Europe and for intercontinental flights, make for rapid transfer to any destination. The distances between your arrival and departure gates are short.” Here you can check the layout map of Vienna Airport. It may help you get an idea.

Austrian Airlines website confirms this: “Vienna Airport is growing and yet remains Europe's fastest transfer airport with only 25 minutes of connection time. Austrian Airlines are taking-off from the Austrian Star Alliance Terminal – Terminal 3 (301 – 399). Covering 150.000 m², the large terminal building changes the way and quality of travelling for all our passengers: at the terminal travellers will experience modern architecture, light-flooded halls, short transfer ways and a great variety of shops and catering outlets. The Austrian Star Alliance Terminal still provides for a minimum connection time of 25 minutes, made possible by the building’s 3-level concept. As opposed to other airports, the passengers simply have to change between levels, not terminals.”

Unofficial sources

Let’s look around for different opinions regarding the minimum connection time in Vienna. People share different opinions. At tripadvisor you can read an opinion of a passenger, who had such connecting flight and made it, as the first flight arrived a few minutes ahead of schedule and it didn’t take him much time to reach the gate of the next flight. That passenger wouldn’t recommend such an option as a general rule though. Read the opinion here

Going to the other extreme, a passenger from the UK shares his appalling experience. They had a 1 hour connecting time and still didn’t make it. What is appalling in this story is that Austrian Airlines then made them pay over 1,700 EUR for new tickets, as it was passengers' fault. They claimed that the first flight arrived on time, the minimum connection time was much less than 1 hour, therefore passenger was to blame (maybe shopping around? :). You can read the full story here.

Our opinion

We at would recommend to avoid such short connections as a general rule. Here’s some reasons:

  1. The travel experience needs to be pleasant. Rushing for a next flight puts you in a very uncomfortable situation, being stressed out, rushing forward to exit the plane, then skipping queues, asking around, and rushing, rushing…Do you deserve putting such pressure on yourself?
  2. Remember baggage. If you travel with carry-on baggage, that’s OK, but will your checked baggage make it in such a short time? Maybe yes, maybe not.
  3. Making it on time depends on your preceding flight. Even a short delay of 15 minutes can play a role. Further more, little delays with ground services offloading the flight can also influence the situation. There is no time reserve at hand.

Of course there are also some positive aspects of taking flights with such short connections:

  1. You are not in a hurry. A missed connection would simply means waiting till the next flight to your end destination. Vienna airport is pleasant to spend time at, plus, you may be entitled to some compensation.
  2. There isn’t a better option. You simply can’t find such a good fare or schedules as convenient as the offered ones. Then bet on this option and go for it.
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