Austrian Business Class Award Space Next Summer

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.

Austrian-Business-Class

They have an onboard chef and fantastic DO&CO catering, whereby everything is plated at your seat.

Austrian-Business-Class-Catering

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-Business-Class-Coffee

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:

Austrian-Award-Space-1

And on all but a few days they’re even releasing at least four business class award seats:

Austrian-Award-Space-2

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:

Austrian-Award-Space-3

Availability looks similar on the Newark to Vienna route:

Austrian-Award-Space-5

And on about half of the days they have at least two business class award seats between Chicago and Vienna:

Austrian-Award-Space-4

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.

Austrian-Fuel-Surcharges

Bottom line

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.

Happy flying!

(Tip of the hat to Max)

Comments

  1. I used the mileage bargains and booked Vienna-Washington for 55k m&m miles in C-class for the end of this month.Although its gonna be my first time visiting Washington and second time New York(I won the ticket to NYC in OS business class last year), the flights itself are probably gonna be the highlight of my trip !! 🙂

  2. Given that Aeroplan doesn’t charge YQ on LX, wouldn’t it always be preferable to find seats on Swiss instead? Or is Austrian’s availability worth the extra $400?

  3. Just read your VIE-NRT review and I’m not clear on one thing: is this a flat bed or angled?

  4. @ DBest — If you can find space, absolutely, though Swiss is much stingier with releasing award space than Austrian.

  5. FYI I haven’t had any luck booking Austrian Airlines through Lifemiles. I think it because the longhaul flights are actually operated my Tyrolean Airlines (I think it has to do with cost structurign or something.) If you look at FT, you’ll see that I’m not the only one who has had trouble with this….

    FDw

  6. I’m not sure if it’s blocking or just piss poor IT implementation. Kind of how US couldn’t see certain ANA flights that were air japan operated.

    FDW

  7. lucky, how do u like about the seat padding? i’m scheduled to fly VIE-JFK in J in mid-Oct, but my experience on LX J was that it’s decidedly hard sleeping surface

  8. @ patricia — I might not be the person to ask, because I had no issue with the padding on Swiss or Austrian.

  9. @Lucky

    So what is the conclusion here? Can we book the Austrian awards to the US with LifeMiles? Or any Austrian flights at all?
    Honestly, I think this deserved its own post… because it seems like they fully block all Austrian awards.

  10. I’d be interested to know about the Lufthansa blocking of Austrian seats. I’m going to be booking a portion of honeymoon soon and was hoping to use lifemiles on austrian.

  11. @ LAntean. I think that LM has a problem booking flights operated by subsidiaries. There are reports that flights operated by LH Cityline are unbookable as well. The real downside is that all of Austrian Airlines flights are actually operated technically by a low cost subsidiary Tyrollean Airway.. And I don’t think that LM has any desire or urgency to fix the problem….

    FDW

  12. @FDW

    Well that really blows… After losing Lufthansa F now no Austrian… LifeMiles are becoming useless to me…

  13. Can you tell me the difference between the Tryrolean Airlines vs the Austrian Airlines flights? When looking ORD-> DBV, all are shown as operated by Tyrolean Airlines but OS flight numbers.

    Thanks.

  14. @ Ray — All Austrian flights are operated by Tyrolean. That’s the name under which they operate.

  15. Lucky, is the coffee menu only available on flights departing from Vienna? I flew PEK-VIE last December in biz and there weren’t any special coffee offerings.

    Incidentally, that flight only had 4 passengers in business, yet no award seats were available.

  16. @ Brian — Hmmm, as far as I know it should be on flights to Vienna as well. Maybe the crew forgot to hand them out?

  17. Lucky, earlier in the week you posted about CX availability from the US. What have you found about return availabilty with Austrian or Cathy or…? Do they follow the same pattern as the outbound flights?

    Thanks.

  18. @ Son of 2 Seniors — Cathay trends seem to be the same both to and from Hong Kong. As far as Austrian goes, they seem to have the same trend to/from Vienna when it comes to releasing space at the 90 day mark, though in the above scenario there seems to be lots more space to Vienna than from Vienna.

  19. Lucky,
    Is there any way you have an article that compiles when which airlines release business award space? That would be incredibly helpful right now I am searching all us air/ oneworld for next year and having no dice…..

  20. @ Brendon — Having a scheduled time is the exception rather than the rule, for the most part. Generally you’ll see some space released 10-11 months out, then maybe a bit more throughout the year. Where are you trying to go?

  21. @ Brendon — Your best bet is going to be Iberia or airberlin, though on the latter it will only be economy on the intra-Europe segment. But those are the two best options for transatlantic oneworld travel without fuel surcharges.

  22. So just to clarify, say I book a roundtrip JFK-MAD in business, does the MAD-ATH on Iberia still count as that one(I guess same) award? Just in economy? I am new to this but thanks for answering!

  23. @ brendon — Yes as long as you don’t stop for more than 24 hours enroute it counts as the same award. And it can be in business if there’s space.

  24. Lucky, you rock. I was able to find award seats thru iberia out of that route and have it on hold as we speak!! They didn’t find anything for the second segment for mad-ath however….and I did check BA’s tool and Qantas as well and couldn’t find anything direct even though I see published direct fares on kayak.com and other tools alike….what am I doing wrong? They arent until june 2015 so if they are not published do you think I could add that later on this year?

  25. @ brendon — It could be that they haven’t released space yet. You could add it on later, though you’d have to pay the change fee to do so.

  26. Believe it or not, Austrian was even more generous on business class saver availability out of ORD than shown on your screen capture. They just got sangged up really quickly. Not sure why one would take UA business class when they can have a far superior product from Austrian. Thanks for all of your posts!

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