Austrian Will Fly To Los Angeles, And Has TONS Of Business Class Award Seats!

In early August I first wrote about the rumor that Austrian Airlines will be launching flights between Vienna and Los Angeles. Austrian has one of my favorite transatlantic business class products thanks to their exceptional catering, so I’d be excited to see them expand further within North America.

Austrian-Business-Class-Catering

Austrian’s new flight to Los Angeles is official!

Well, it’s now official. Austrian Airlines will begin flying between Vienna and Los Angeles as of April 10, 2017.

LAX-VIE

The new flight will operate as follows:

OS81 Vienna to Los Angeles departing 10:00AM arriving 1:30PM
OS82 Los Angeles to Vienna departing 3:05PM arriving 12:00PM (+1 day)

The flight will initially operate 5x weekly (Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays), and as of June 12, 2017, will operate 6x weekly (just not on Sundays).

Austrian will fly a Boeing 777-200 to Los Angeles, featuring 48 business class seats and 260 economy seats.

Austrian-777

While Austrian’s staggered hard product isn’t my favorite, the catering, and in particular the coffee menu, makes Austrian one of my favorite airlines to fly in business class.

Austrian-Business-Class

As of now the furthest west Austrian flies is Chicago, so it’s great that there will finally be a longer flight on which to enjoy their product. It’s tough to fully enjoy their service on just a (roughly) eight hour flight from the east coast to Vienna, so color me very excited about this. This flight is blocked at 11hr55min eastbound and 12hr30min westbound.

Austrian-Business-Class-Coffee

Business class award availability is WIDE OPEN!

This is really exciting news for those looking to redeem Star Alliance miles between Los Angeles and Europe, given that nonstop awards from the west coast to Europe are usually very tough to come by, especially out of Los Angeles:

Lately Austrian has been releasing a ton of business class award availability, and there’s good news… that trend is continuing on their new flight to Los Angeles.

Austrian has six business class award seats available on every flight between Los Angeles and Vienna.

Austrian-Award

This route was literally just loaded, so this availability won’t be reflected on many airline websites just yet. However, it’s already bookable by phone, so you’ll want to call the airline with which you have miles to book (I just called United, and they could see six seats per flight). Otherwise you can wait a bit, as I imagine within a few hours the space will be bookable online as well.

Bottom line

I’m thrilled that it’s now official that Austrian will launch flights to Los Angeles as of April 2017. Austrian has a lovely business class product, so it will be nice to experience it on a longer flight.

Best of all, having six business class award seats every single day between Los Angeles and Europe is incredible, so I’d recommend taking advantage of that availability as soon as possible!

Do you plan on booking Austrian’s new flight between Los Angeles and Vienna?

Comments

  1. There is no space right now. I spent 20 min on phone with 1k desk and they checked everything they could…zero space anywhere. They don’t even see the flight. In fact, only place I can even pull it up is on OS website for a revenue ticket.

  2. Aren’t there high fuel surcharges if you use pretty much any Star Alliance miles (SQ, Aeroplan, LH etc) except for United?

  3. Noon is a rough arrival time in Vienna for certain connections. They seem to have their inter-EU routes pegged to much earlier arrival times for many of their longhaul aircraft.

  4. Hi Lucky.
    I have 2 reservations to DBV next week. One on Turkish 777 and one on Austrian 777. Which would you take?

  5. Nothing to see here in coach or biz, on United or Aeroplan, and EF is returning errors. Oh well, fingers crossed.

    I will add this – I wouldn’t count on the catering being quite as spectacular once they start sourcing in LAX. But the combination of location, decent hard/soft product, and hopefully – more availability- LAX-Europe is very welcome.

    I myself would like to to do LAX-DUB in biz on EI – was hoping for a similar development – but I’ve seen little/no availability since they started this last April.

  6. Great scoop!

    Which is better- IBs new business class or Austrians hard product on this route?

    Does United allow a stopover on a one way award?

    Thanks!

  7. There are availability via Avianca Lifemiles now.

    Would appreciate any advice on booking this award with a lap infant with Lifemiles. Will I have to actually call into Lifemiles (yes, it is a nightmare) or will I pay 10% with Austrian Airlines? Thanks in advance.

  8. I still don’t see availability in business class on the non-stop LAX-VIE on united websites, just economy seats. At least for the dates I was checking.

  9. I just hung up with United 1K and they tried to long sell it and weren’t successful, they don’t see any seats in I Class at all right now.

  10. @Larry
    Well since their previous longest flight was to ORD, that was an extra six hours they didn’t schedule their connections for, with an extra 3 hours each way on VIE-LAX.

  11. It’s fully bookable via Avianca’s LifeMiles on the exact non-stop OS flights; I just checked several dummy dates across several months, which all returned a bare minimum of two seats return in I.

    @Hari – the ‘throne’ is also present in OS’s J cabin on the 777-2 flying this route, just like on LX

    @B – there are no fuel surcharges via LifeMiles – only the standard $25 per person charge (inescapable, even via an online booking, though obviously vastly less than a fuel surcharge would be).

  12. Good if your final destination is Austria or Eastern Europe, but Vienna is a long way East if you’re connecting to most major cities of Western Europe. That’s a fair bit of back-tracking.

    Then again if you’re collecting miles . .

  13. Seats are now bookable on UA’s website but agents can’t see them (I just booked 2 R/Ts in May to Prague). Premier desk agent said IT is looking into it as they don’t understand why the website shows space and not them…

  14. Anyone able to book or book+ticket on Aeroplan? Website shows all flights as available, but when you click through to book and make payment, it errors out as if the availability has vanished (it hasn’t).

  15. Award space is wide open on united.com. I booked and tried to get seat assignments using the Austrian PNR on the Austrian site. No success. Is Austrian one who will only let seats be booked a specified amount of time in advance or do I need to call? Any preferred seats?

    Thanks for posting. I’m really happy to have scored this booking.

  16. @Carol-did you use an agent or just book using UA.com? The agents on the phone don’t see the space. Can anyone confirm that they had an agent see the space? I am trying to change an existing ticket to FCO but if I try and change my existing flights, I may lose the space I am holding.

  17. @carol-thanks. I just hung up with UA.com team and they said they can’t book them and I would need to cancel my existing flights and then book the new flights/or do a change flight option. Disclaimer was if I get to final screen and get an error message then I will lose my existing flights. They think the flights just aren’t loaded into agents access. I think I will wait and hope they load them soon enough for availability to remain. Right now I hold 3 seats on SNA-IAH-MUC-FCO. Would love the single short layover but not worth the risk.

  18. @Tiffany, I was able to pull up the booking just fine. I had to call and get my seats. A FlyerTalker has now told me if I input the PNR on the LH site, I’ll be able to change seats. I just tried that and it worked perfectly.

  19. @Tiffany, I agree but have spoke with four different 1K desk agents since midnight and four UA.com reps and get the same answer each time. Open to suggestions.

  20. I booked 2 business seats via United. In the “Manage Reservations” area on united.com if I scroll down to checking baggage it states the first and second bags are $650 each for the outbound and $0 for the return! Any idea if that could be correct? Also, I did seat selection on lufthansa.com for my Austrian flights. No problem.

  21. Any recommendations for which Star Alliance partner to use that I can transfer Amex points to? I didn’t realize that UA is not an Amex transfer partner until I just went in to make the transfer.

  22. After about 30 calls to UA 1K desk agents and UA.com web team, I was finally able to find an agent that figured out how to make the change on an existing reservation and was able to book three seats from LAX to FCO via VIE. Short 1:05 layover to connection. Just got an extra day in Europe for vacation and reduced two connections to one. Thanks for the lead on this Lucky and thanks for the points Tiffany.

  23. This comment is made long after the initial December 16, 2016 announcement of the LAX – VIE – LAX flights.

    This afternoon as I arrived from VIE into LAX, one of the gate agents said to some of the arriving passengers that the Austrian Airlines flights from VIE -LAX – VIE are scheduled to be discontinued at the end of this month (October 2017).

    Considering that I have already taken this route a few times since it began, and I have some additional flights already scheduled, needless to say, I was disappointed at hearing the comment from a gate agent.

    This was not an official announcement by the gate agent, it was just a response to a passengers complaint about Austrian Air not having a regular gate at TBIT.

    When I got home, I called Austrian Airlines in Vienna to inquire into the “rumor” or fact that the route is ending.

    The Austrian Airlines agent said that as of the end of October (2017), the flight will not operate “because it is only seasonal and because it does not have sufficient passengers to justify flying during winter months.” However, “beginning April of 2018, the VIE – LAX – VIE will resume until further notice.”

    The flight does not have wifi. The service on board in business class (there is no first class) is excellent and the food LAX – VIE is excellent. I found the food menu from VIE – LAX to be only mediocre.

    So, there you have it. The non stop LAX – VIE and return is ending at the end of this month and supposedly resuming next April. Whether it resumes in April, as I was told, remains to be seen.

    I hope it returns.

  24. Thanks for the update.

    Initially I was told by Austrian Air that the flight will resume in April of next year.

    I checked again and found their schedule which shows the flights resuming in late March.

    The aircraft is scheduled to be a 777 rather than the 767 which was used for this past season.

    If you check seatguru.com, and enter either flight 81 or 82, you will see that there are still 48 business class seats showing for the flight.

    However, according to the agent I spoke with at Austrian Air, there will not be 48 business because of the aircraft switch. The seating chart is not yet available as of today and the number of business class seats is not yet confirmed.

    Did I previously mention how nice it is to have non stop flights from LAX to Vienna?

  25. Lucky –

    With all due respect – were you paid by Austrian for this article? I respectfully disagree with most everything you said in this article and believe you are misleading other readers.
    First of all, I am traveling mostly private these days and carriers like Austrian are the reason for it.
    I am offended by you proclaiming their business class product superior – for the following reasons:
    1) You seem to base your ranking on inflight food. I find that weird. I fly because I have to, not because I am trying to scam a free meal. Let’s face it: Any food you will ever get on a plane, on any airline, will always be a lot worse than any decent restaurant on ground.
    So by you raving about the food at Austrian business, you are admitting that either:
    – you don’t know anything about food
    – you don’t eat all that well while on the ground and get excited when some Austrian dude passes you a free subpar shrimp cocktail
    – you travel just to scam a free meal.
    All of which is very concerning, particularly now that a general trend seems to have become that the airport lounges – which once were somewhat of a haven for business travelers to relax in piece and quiet – are becoming freebie zones where trailer park families with screaming kids invade in hordes to scam said free buffet, while actual business travelers have to wait to even get into the noise lounge because of overcrowding. Do you agree that’s a problem perpetuated by folks like you??
    I mean honestly, can you not last 12 hours without food???
    2. The other thing that seems to get you excited, you guessed it – the coffee menu! Aside from the fact that coffee is only had by obese people who can’t seem to walk anywhere without their Starbucks receptacle – what makes you think its a good idea to serve BOILING hot beverages in shabby paper mugs while flying along at 700 miles an hour at 39000 ft where turbulence can occur at any time?
    Further aside from the fact that water reheating on an airplane is the most unsanitary endeavor ever (have you ever though about how the tap water gets onto an airplane???), the preparation is awkward and involves, in no particular order:
    -the hostess blocking the aisle way with her funny aisle way stopper cart
    -shouting annoying an irrelevant questions over other passengers head while they’re trying to sleep
    -passing along, equally awkward, flimsy containers of boiling hot black liquid over my head.
    I lost count of the times when I have had coffee on commercial aircraft spilt on me, on my belongings, on my tray table – you name it.
    I believe hot beverages onboard an aircraft are a nuisance and a heath hazard and it is beyond me why the FAA does not simply outlaw it.
    Back to your fine assessment that the coffee makes Austrian the best business class to fly: Again, dude, can you not last for 8 hours without your coffee fix?

    I suspect you focus on food and beverage to hail praise on Austrian’s business product is because you were paid for the trip and conveniently omitted to report on the REAL issues with this product:

    – The seats themselves. They are the most uncomfortable long haul seats you have ever encountered. First, they have weird wide side console which you can’t use as a desk. Yet, the seat is narrow enough (and I’m a very slim guy) that both armrests will squish your elbows to the point of becoming very painful over the course of the 12 hour flight.
    – They don’t fully recline flat. The remain at a weird, spine torturing angle. Getting actual sleep is out of question.
    – The space for your legs and feet is, again, narrow. You can’t even move your feet to the slightest extent, they are wedged in weird, cone-shaped foot receptacle.
    – The cabin crew is appalling and disrespectful. They WILL touch and tamper your belongings unannounced. They WILL scratch your Louis Vuitton bag in the overhead bin because they force fit some of the travelers in hobo class carry-on suitcase in your overhead bin because hobo class overhead space is hopelessly out of space. They WILL keep waking you several times throughout the night to ask the same stupid questions, like whether I want some espresso while I’m trying to sleep.
    – There is no WIFI. How on earth can it be 2018, and you rave about getting coffee, but seem to be entirely remiss of the fact that you are cut off from all your business dealings for over a full business day? That simply means you have no business to be dealt with.
    – But the real issue you really fail to disclose is that the experience on the ground is nothing short of appalling. Boarding in Vienna has looooong lines, is chaotic, there are too few restrooms so there is a line around the block just to get to the restroom before you board.
    Austrian randomly selects you for a third ‘extra screening’ which involves you walking all the way to a different gate, getting another pat down, unpacking all your carry on, and generally being annoying.
    – On the ground in Los Angeles, what you fail to mention entirely is that Austrian does not pay for an actual gate spot. Instead, they park way out on the tarmac where fees are cheaper. What that means, as you land, you don’t just walk off the plane out the jet bridge. IT means you walk down stairs to the tarmac, stand on the boiling hot tarmac in the sun (or rain, for whatever will have you) while you wait for a freakin’ bus to pick you up. Dude, when is the last time you rode on a bus?!! And it’s not just a bus at that. It’s a bus loaded to the brim with sweaty co-travellers AND their entire belongings in a carry-on-bag. Standing up! Honestly, I couldn’t find a bar to hold on to.
    And the ride isn’t just from the hobo parking are to the terminal – it takes you all around the airport, to the other side of the terminal, where you are being dropped off at immigration.
    – And, guess what? On the reverse side, the same holds true – it’s a bus ride to the actual parking position.
    I mean no offense. You have your opinion, I have mine. But I feel I have to point out what your opinion conveniently omits to spare other travelers my frustration with Austrian.
    I am also not saying another airline has another product that would be better. What I am saying instead is the only way to actually enjoy your travel is to get your own plane.

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