On Tuesday June 5, the new “Star Alliance” Terminal opened successfully to aircraft and passengers alike.

The first flight to arrive at the new terminal was Austrian Airlines’ flight 9542 which arrived from Hurghada at approximately 4:30a. The new terminal is dedicated solely to serving passengers traveling on Austrian, Lufthansa, Swiss and other Star Alliance carriers.

One of the greatest attributes of the new terminal is it’s ability to allow passengers to transfer between flights in as little as 25 minutes, setting a new benchmark for European airports. The main reason behind this new efficiency is the fact that the terminal is “vertical” in that it has 3 stories so instead of passengers having to walk great distances between terminals or gates, they simply need to go upstairs or downstairs in order to reach their gates or to process through passport controls and customs. This is similar in concept as Munich’s airport.

With the new terminal comes a variety of new lounges for Star Alliance passengers travelling in First or Business class or otherwise having elite statuses that allow for lounge access. Six new lounges combine to exceed 21,000 square feet.

Passengers using the new terminal have 69 staffed check-in counters and 38 self check-in counters. Additionally, HON and Senator level members of Miles&More along with business class and first class travelers have their own exclusive check-in areas.

One of the new and most welcome attributes of the Star Alliance Terminal is the centralized security screening. For those of you familiar with the airport, you’ll recall that each gate has its own security and x-ray facility. This leads to susbstantial congestion and clutter at each gate thanks to the equipment and staff stationed at each gate. The new terminal eliminates this and passengers only need to show their boarding pass to board their flight. Additionally, each gate is also equipped with scanning equipment so that passengers can use their electronic boarding passes stored on their smart-phones devices.

I flew in and out of Vienna this past weekend and was able to see the new terminal from my airplane. From the outside, it looks like a fantastic facility. I’m hoping to see it from the inside in the next couple of months!

Here are a few photos while I was taxiing to the old terminal:

For more great coverage, including photos from the opening and a flash-mob video, visit Austrian’s Facebook page.