Tip: Austrian has AMAZING business class award availability for next summer!

As I wrote about in October, Austrian will be rolling out a new, fully flat business class product shortly, which is scheduled to be installed on all their aircraft by April of 2013.

This looks to be a fantastic hard product, but beyond that Austrian is also known for having some of the best onboard food, as they even have an onboard chef in the business class cabin. And if that’s not enough, Vienna is one of my favorite cities in Europe.

But here’s what’s remarkable and why I’m bringing this up — the amount of transatlantic business class award space that Austrian has released for next summer is unreal. Summer is a really tough time of year to find business class award space, and it has been a long time since I’ve seen an airline release this much space.

Their North America destinations include New York, Toronto, Washington, and Chicago as of May 17, 2013.

So I just did the research, and as of now here are the number of dates with business class award availability in June and July of next year out of New York and Washington:

New York to Vienna

June: 29 out of 30 days have business class award space
July: 31 out of 31 days have business class award space

Vienna to New York

June: 30 out of 30 days have business class award space
July: 29 out of 31 days have business class award space

Washington to Vienna

June: 17 out of 30 days have business class award space
July: 27 out of 31 days have business class award space

Vienna to Washington

June: 25 out of 30 days have business class award space
July: 25 out of 31 days have business class award space

Best of all there are plenty of dates with at least four business class award seats, so this is great for families or large parties traveling together.

This is a great use of United and US Airways miles, as they both charge just 100,000 miles for business class to Europe. With US Airways you can even save 10,000 miles by continuing on to North Asia, as they only charge 90,000 miles for travel in business class between the US and North Asia via Europe (even with a stopover).

Hopefully this is helpful to some.


  1. Is there any problem booking Austrian award tickets in advance? I know with Lufthansa there isn’t availability until 14 days out with United miles, so just wondering if Austrian is easier to book awards with

  2. @ lamonster — Nope, you won’t have an issue. Lufthansa only blocks first class till two weeks out, though even they release business class further in advance.

    @ Josh — Yes, you can book it as a one-way.

  3. Ben – looking to travel in late March – any way to tell how far along they are with the new biz product? (or what routes it flies, etc…)

  4. Interesting… may come in handy for Spring 2013 Europe visit from Toronto

    How good is Aeroplan redemption on Austrian? is it worth it?

  5. @ Gene — Yep, has been that way for a while now.

    @ Jerry — Aeroplan imposes fuel surcharges for redemptions on Austrian, so in your shoes I’d probably aim for Brussels Airlines or Swiss, which don’t impose fuel surcharges and also have excellent business class products.

  6. I’m just curious…can the onboard chef cook anything besides eggs for breakfast? How much cooking can you do in an airplane galley?

  7. I used their flight tool that is supposed to show availability of the new product. Did it for the next week, not a single flight was operated with new product… hmmm…

  8. I keep seeing photos of these “flat” seats on various airlines, where it looks like your feet are way below your head. So the seat would force you to arch your back way up. Are they really that uncomfortable, or is it an optical illusion in the photo?

  9. @ Blaine — Vienna to Dubai is the first route.

    @ Robert — It should be fully flat. Keep in mind the plane is at a nose up angle during the flight, so I think they just account for that.

  10. AWESOME!!! Just booked party of SIX in business AVL-CLT-JFK-VIE-SPU roundtrip 7/17-8/4. Thanks so much for the headsup!! Doing the happy dance over here…

  11. Hi Lucky,
    Are you sure it’s 90k to North Asia with US miles and a stopover in Europe? I booked a trip (SFO->PEK (dest)-> IST (stop) -> LHR -> SFO) last week in Business class and they charged me 100k. I called them today and they’re saying that PEK is the stop and IST is the destination and that’s why it’s 100k. I’m staying 4 nights in PEK and 2 in IST. What gives?

  12. @ Cecilia — Congrats! The lounges in Vienna aren’t great, though they’re not awful either. Here’s one of the Vienna lounges I reviewed:

    Enjoy your trip!

    @ GregT — Like I said, it all depends which agent you get. Some will price it at 90,000 miles, some at 100,000 miles. One thing’s for sure — they have no way to change it after the fact, short of redepositing the entire award and starting from scratch.

  13. Ben,

    The wife and I are doing six days in Vienna on a stop-over on the way home from a month-long European trip. Any recommendations? We’re booked at the Le Meridien at the moment. We’re also looking at spending a night in Salzburg, perhaps visiting the famed Berchtesgaden. I was thinking about the IC that you like so much, but the logistics are a bit tough, and the 4pm checkout I can get at the Sheraton Salzburg is a bit of a winner.

  14. @ Dan — Sounds like a great trip — I LOVE Vienna. I stayed at the Le Meridien Vienna last time and had a great stay. Especially loved the balcony with the room. Have a review of my stay here, in case you haven’t seen it:

    Salzburg and Berchtesgaden are very close to one another, only about a 45 minute drive. That being said you have limited time and I wouldn’t overplan. Salzburg is a beautiful city, so I think splitting your time between Vienna and Salzburg (with three nights in each… or maybe four nights in Vienna) would be ideal.

    Enjoy the trip!

  15. Searching on United.com and it is coming up with a flight from JFK-VIE on Tyrolean Air (Austrian Arrows). Is that the same?

  16. Hey Lucky what seats would you recommend on OS on their 767 fleet for a solo passengers? It looks like there is a difference between where the seat/window are located on odd/even rows.

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