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. November 29th, 2012 at 6:15 am

    lamonster said,

    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. November 29th, 2012 at 6:51 am

    Josh said,

    Can you book this one way via United or does it have to be round trip?

  3. November 29th, 2012 at 7:15 am

    lucky said,

    @ 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.

  4. November 29th, 2012 at 7:58 am

    Blaine said,

    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…)

  5. November 29th, 2012 at 8:05 am

    lucky said,

    @ Blaine — It will tell you which flights are operated by the new business class here:
    http://businessclass.austrian.com/en/index.html

    Just click on “Which flights are involved?” Now I suspect it’s somewhat subject to change, but it’s the most accurate schedule there is.

  6. November 29th, 2012 at 8:26 am

    Gene said,

    UA shows Austrian’s name as “Tyrolean Air”. Never noticed that before.

  7. November 29th, 2012 at 8:26 am

    Jerry said,

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

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

  8. November 29th, 2012 at 8:29 am

    lucky said,

    @ 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.

  9. November 29th, 2012 at 8:30 am

    wwk5d said,

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

  10. November 29th, 2012 at 8:32 am

    lucky said,

    @ wwk5d — LOL, it’s all style and no substance… but it’s *cool* style!

  11. November 29th, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Dan said,

    Ben, where’d you find that availability? Is that ANA?

  12. November 29th, 2012 at 10:05 am

    lucky said,

    @ Dan — Yes, that’s ANA’s site.

  13. November 29th, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Blaine said,

    so what is the old biz product like (if you get stuck with it?)

  14. November 29th, 2012 at 11:17 am

    lucky said,

    @ Blaine — It’s angled flat. Not all that great of a hard product.

  15. November 29th, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Blaine said,

    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…

  16. November 29th, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Robert Hanson said,

    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?

  17. November 29th, 2012 at 11:46 am

    lucky said,

    @ 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.

  18. November 29th, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Cecilia said,

    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…

  19. November 29th, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    GregT said,

    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?

  20. November 29th, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Cecilia said,

    P.S. Any word on quality of star alliance club rooms in Vienna?

  21. November 29th, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Cecilia — Congrats! The lounges in Vienna aren’t great, though they’re not awful either. Here’s one of the Vienna lounges I reviewed:
    http://boardingarea.com/onemileatatime/2011/08/02/four-continents-and-37000-miles-in-two-weeks-austrian-business-class-lounge-vienna-british-midland-business-class-vienna-to-london-great-british-lounge-london/

    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.

  22. November 29th, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Cecilia said,

    Star Gold lounge it will be! Thanks again…

  23. November 29th, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    usairelite said,

    For most days in july, 8 I can find 8 seats.

  24. November 29th, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Dan said,

    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.

  25. November 29th, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    lucky said,

    @ 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:
    http://boardingarea.com/onemileatatime/2011/07/28/four-continents-and-37000-miles-in-two-weeks-le-meridien-vienna/

    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!

  26. November 29th, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    Michael T said,

    Does the flight from ORD show up yet on the ANA tool?

  27. November 29th, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Michael T — Yep, it sure does.

  28. November 29th, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    AdamH said,

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

  29. November 30th, 2012 at 12:07 am

    lucky said,

    @ AdamH — Yep, that’s the name under which they operate.

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