Austrian Airlines Introduces 3D Seat Maps

Gone are the days of boring and flat seat maps, which require at best a magnifying glass to see which seat you are selecting and at worst, don’t even represent an aircraft. Austrian Airlines has introduced a fully 3D seat map online that allows passengers to virtually walk through the airlines’ Boeing 777 fleet and find their perfect seat.

Austrian Airlines
Austrian is bringing 3D seat maps to passengers. Photo: Austrian Airlines

Who is Austrian Airlines?

Austrian Airlines is the flag carrier of the named country, and also a subsidiary of the airline Lufthansa (much like SWISS). It has a fleet of 85 aircraft and flies to 130 destinations from its hub in Vienna.

The Austrian Airlines fleet is primarily made up of A320-200s used for travel around Europe, and six 767s and six 777s for international long-distance travel. It is the latter aircraft that the new innovative 3D seat selection is available for.

Vienna-Airport
Austrian Airlines has a big fleet of domestic and international aircraft. Photo: Austrian Airlines.

What are the details of this innovation?

Essentially, the airline is now allowing passengers to browse or move about a virtual cabin of the Boeing 777 aircraft in full 3D to better make their seat selection.

Austrian Airlines
Passengers can use the controls on the screen to move about the cabin.

Once they find the seat that they like the most, they can simply click to book and instantly confirm their choice. It is not clear at this stage how taken seats appear, but we imagine they would appear greyed out in some format. Previously, this was only available in a two-dimensional version.

With this innovative service, passengers already get an insight into the experience onboard during the booking process – in all travel classes: Economy, Premium Economy and Business Class,” Austrian Airlines said in a statement

For the implementation of the 3D Seat maps, Austrian Airlines is working with the Spanish agency Renacen. It is unknown at this time when will roll it out to other aircraft in their fleet… or Lufthansa as a whole.

Austrian Airlines
Another photo of the 3D seat selection. Photo: Austrian Airlines

“With this innovation project, the Austrian home carrier is a pioneer within the Lufthansa Group. By the end of the year, the function will also be available in the Web Check-in Portal. A further expansion of the service is planned,” the airline continued.

In our opinion, this is a great step forward and instantly resolves the need for any websites that offer additional seating information (like Seat Guru). However, the 3D method of doing so seems a little clunky compared to a 2D map, which can instantly relay more information on first glance.

Lufthansa
The seat map of a typical A340 from Lufthansa. Photo: Lufthansa

If you want to experience this for yourself, you can find it onboard Austrian Airlines flights to Los Angeles, New York, Cape Town, Mauritius, Bangkok, Tokyo, which operate with Austrian Airlines Boeing 777 aircraft.

What do you think? Will you be using the 3D service? Or do you prefer 2D maps? Let us know in the comments.

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