Austrian offers one of my favorite business class products in the world. Their entire longhaul fleet consists of their new staggered business class, which isn’t my favorite hard product, though every other aspect of the experience makes up for it, in my opinion.
They have an onboard chef and fantastic DO&CO catering, whereby everything is plated at your seat.
But hands down my favorite part of the Austrian business class experience is their extensive coffee menu, whereby you can custom order specialty coffees.
Austrian releases business class award space 90 days out
Austrian is also unique in terms of how they release award space. The only aspect of their releasing award space that’s consistent is that they release a fair amount of business class award space 90 days before departure. That’s really useful, given that three months out can otherwise be a tough time to snag award space — that’s because most of the award space the airlines originally allocated when the schedule opened is gone, while the space they release close to departure hasn’t been opened up yet.
Tons of Austrian business class award space further out now as well!
Aside from the 90 day window, Austrian is all over in terms of releasing award space. Sometimes they’ll literally not release a single longhaul business class award seat more than 90 days out, while other times they’ll make a substantial amount of business class award space available. Fortunately right now seems to fall in the latter category.
For example, let’s take a look at award availability on their US routes for next summer, starting June 1. Just searching nonstop award space, they’re releasing at least two business class award seats between New York and Vienna every single day:
And on all but a few days they’re even releasing at least four business class award seats:
Availability on their other US routes isn’t shabby either.
They have at least two business class award seats between Washington and Vienna on most days:
Availability looks similar on the Newark to Vienna route:
And on about half of the days they have at least two business class award seats between Chicago and Vienna:
How to redeem miles for Austrian business class
As many of you are probably thinking, the challenge is that there aren’t nearly as many lucrative ways to redeem miles for Austrian business class, now that:
So what are the best ways to redeem miles for Austrian business class nowadays (all prices one-way)?
- 45,000 Air Canada Aeroplan miles with fuel surcharges
- 52,500 Avianca LifeMiles without fuel surcharges
- 65,000 Singapore KrisFlyer miles with fuel surcharges
- 70,000 United MileagePlus miles without fuel surcharges
Of those options I’d say 45,000 Aeroplan miles is the best option. If you do a roundtrip for 90,000 miles you can even do two stopovers in addition to your destination, which adds quite a bit of value to an award redemption, in my opinion.
For what it’s worth, the one-way fuel surcharges on an Austrian business class ticket between the US and Europe are ~$428.
It’s not an ideal option, but at the same time finding four business class award seats in summer on the same flight is usually pretty tough, so it’s worth at least knowing about this redemption opportunity.
(Tip of the hat to Max)