What’s it Like Flying Lauda Air in Europe? (Read Before You Book!)

Lauda Air

Have you ever used Lauda Air when traveling in Europe? On our recent trip from Vienna to Sofia we flew with Lauda which is a Maltese budget airline. Here’s a review of our experience with the Ryanair owned company, and if we’d recommend a flight in Europe with Lauda Air.

Complete Lauda Air Review

What is Lauda Air? 

Lauda Air is a low-cost carrier formerly based out of Vienna Austria. Its operations first began in 1985 and was named after its founder and formula one racer Nika Lauda. 

Also known as Lauda Europe, the airline has numerous destinations around the continent with limited international flights to the Middle East. 

We found our Lauda Air flight by searching on Skyscanner for the best direct route between Austria and Bulgaria. 

11 Best Ways to Save Money on Flights with Skyscanner


Does Ryanair Own Lauda Air? 

When booking your Ryan Air flight you might be surprised with it says it’s actually operated by Lauda Europe. This was our exact experience with our Lauda Air flight which we will explain thoroughly in this article. 

Ryan Air acquired a large percent stake of Lauda Air in 2018 and now operates as its parent company. In 2020, they rebranded as Lauda Europe and transitioned to wet leases and charter flights. 

Basically, Ryan Air uses the Lauda planes, staff, etc… to run their own flights through. On our trip with Lauda, everything from the check-in to the boarding announcements still said Ryan Air.

This can obviously be confusing once you get to the airport! Just be sure to check what you’re actually booking on the Ryan Air website as it states clearly that it will be flown by its subsidiary Lauda Airlines. Also, be sure to read our tips for flying with Ryan Air below.

→ What Ryanair Flights ACTUALLY Like? (Must Read Review)

Ryanair Airlines Review

Checking in For Our Lauda Air Flight

When first arriving at Vienna International Airport we were initially not sure about where to go. Of course, we knew were flying with Lauda Air… But were we supposed to go to the Ryanair desk to check in?

It wasn’t until we looked up at the monitor that we saw where exactly what was going on. After finding the right number of check in desk we saw it was in fact Ryanair. 

Just like many budget airlines in Europe, we would need to pay extra for our bags. Luckily, we only needed to check one which was over the 8kg carry-on limit.

It was something we expected when purchasing our tickets. However, we should point out it almost doubled the cost of our flights!

There was a couple before us who didn’t realized the weight limit and had to pay to check their bags at the gate. Let’s just say they were not very happy paying this extra cost and let the Ryanair staff know it. For this reason, be sure to add any additional luggage you need before getting to the airport. 

After completing the check in we proceeded to the security area. One thing that surprised us about the airport in Vienna is that the lounges were actually located in between security and passport check.

Unfortunately, we didn’t realize this until after we’d already gone through customs and got our passports stamped to leave the EU.

This meant we missed out on the Priority Pass lounge which was a huge bummer! This is just something to note if you’re planning to use the airport lounges before your Lauda Air flight.

Lauda Air Reviews

Boarding Our Lauda Europe Flight

Our flight was slightly delayed which came at no surprise with how busy Vienna Airport was in mid-July. When traveling in Europe in the peak summer months this can often be the case.

As we went to line up with the massive crowd, we noticed that everything from the boarding sign to the staff uniforms all said Ryanair. The only thing that confirmed we were in the right place was our flight number and the final destination of Sofia.

After boarding the bus, we started to get closer to the planes and saw the Lauda Air logo. Maybe it was the language barrier (or people just not paying attention), but there seemed to be some confusion amongst passengers on Lauda Airlines. 

There were even a few customers ahead of us that confirmed with the flight crew they were in the right place. Once we were in the plane we heard several announcements stating it was a Ryanair flight operated by Lauda Europe. 

Lauda Europe Flight

Taking Off With Lauda Air 

When flying with Lauda know that it works the same way as Ryanair does. Unless you pay extra to have seats together with your partner or group, you will not be seated together. We probably could have checked in earlier to see if we could fix this, but were not sure if it would’ve changed anything. 

Luckily, one of our seats were in the 3rd row near the front of the plane and the other was in the emergency exit row. Another passenger was nice enough to switch to the front so we could sit together.

This actually worked out great for more reasons than one. Not only did we get to sit together for the short Lauda Europe flight, but we also had some extra leg room in the emergency row.

We sat on the runway for roughly 30 minutes as the captain explained that the delay was due to the busy airspace in nearby Hungary. We had a driver waiting in Sofia so this wasn’t so ideal. Yet, we were able to text him to let him know we would be a little bit late.

Lauda Air Flight

In-Flight Lauda Air Review 

Once we actually took off the flight went pretty smoothly. It was only 1 hour and 10 minutes from Vienna to Sofia so this was going to be a short trip. After reaching cruising altitude the flight attendants came around offering drinks and snacks for purchase. We were honestly pretty hungry, but not enough to pay for airplane food! 

Like many other low-cost airlines, Lauda Air doesn’t provide any water, soda, juice, or snacks for free. We always love flying with companies like Greece’s Aegean Air where they give you these small treats.

We were also coming off an incredible week-long trip with Riverside Luxury Cruises so we were definitely feeling a bit spoiled and humbled in this moment! However, this totally wasn’t a huge deal on such a short Lauda Europe flight.

Lauda Europe Flight Review

Landing in Sofia Bulgaria With Lauda Airline

After the quick flight with Lauda Air we landed in Sofia safely and smoothly. Although it is the capital city of Bulgaria, we couldn’t believe how small the airport was. Once we got to the baggage claim area we waited with several other passengers to collect our belongings. 

We were hoping to get them rather quickly as there wasn’t many other flights coming in around that time. So after about 20 minutes went by with nothing popping out onto the belts we were a bit annoyed. We killed some time by purchasing our local sim cards as we planned to spend 5 weeks in Bulgaria.

Really, we try to never check our bags when traveling to avoid any mishaps. Whenever your bags don’t come out in the first 20 minutes your brain obviously starts to wander. Luckily, our bag eventually came out and we were on our way!

Lauda Air Flight Review

Is Lauda a Good Airline? 

We have traveled all over Europe and this was actually the first time we’ve heard of Lauda Air. Our booking with them was due to the fact that they were the only company flying direct from Vienna to Sofia on the day we needed.

If we had different travel dates we probably would’ve tried to fly with Austrian Airlines or another more well-known carrier. 

We don’t have any major complaints in our Lauda Air Review other than the little stuff we mentioned above. It got us from point A to B safely and we were happy with our experience overall. 

What you need to know is that this is really just another Ryanair budget flight. We would compare it Spirit Airlines in the U.S. or a company like Air Asia.

So is Lauda a good airline? Well, we wouldn’t go that far. Still, as long as you know what to expect you shouldn’t have any issues.

→ Make sure to check out all our flight reviews before booking your next trip! 

Is Lauda a Good Airline

Have any questions about this article or want to write your own Lauda Air review? Leave us a comment below!

Safe Travels,
Brigitte & Jake



Nothing Familiar Travel Tips 

 Flights: We always find our cheap flight deals using Skyscanner. That’s how we flew from Norway to Poland for under $20 USD, and Thailand to Vietnam for less than $50! 

Trains: When traveling through Europe make sure to check Omio for the best train and bus routes when traveling through Europe.  

 Accommodation: Compare multiple sites to get to the best deal such as Booking.com, Agoda, & Vrbo!

Rental Car: We use Discover Cars to explore when traveling. We recommend searching for a weekly rate rather than just booking for 2-3 days.

 Tours: Check out Get Your Guide to find thousands of activities around the world. From street food tours to skip the line entry passes, they have it all!

 Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without protection. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.

 Packing Lists: Find all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists. Including our electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials

Flight Reviews

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  1. Mae
    January 18, 2024 / 4:24 am

    Travelled to Budapest with my kids for the first time last year of May and I did not regret choosing Lauda Air. The staff was friendly, service was decent and the flight was smooth. It was an affordable and hassle-free flight.

    • Brigitte & Jake
      January 18, 2024 / 4:25 am

      Good to hear! Thanks for sharing your experience

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