How To Select Austrian Business Class “Throne” Seat For Free

How To Select Austrian Business Class “Throne” Seat For Free

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I recently shared some initial impressions from my flight in Austrian Airlines’ Boeing 777 business class. I wanted to dedicate a post to actually assigning business class seats on Austrian’s 777s, as there’s a trick to snagging the best seats without paying extra.

Why you might want an Austrian 777 throne seat

Austrian Airlines’ Boeing 777s feature fully flat seats in business class, which are in a staggered configuration. This means that in each row, the position of seats alternates, between 1-2-1 and 2-2-2. This layout is intended to efficiently utilize space, since each seat uses space to the side of the seat in front.

Austrian Airlines 777 business class seatmap

Below is what that looks like in practice.

Austrian Airlines 777 business class seatmap

As you can see, a majority of seats are in pairs, whether seated in the center section or by the windows.

Austrian Airlines 777 business class seats
Austrian Airlines 777 business class seats

However, in every other row (specifically, in odd numbered rows) you have two seats that are known as “throne” seats. Personally I love these seats, given how much privacy and space they offer, and since you have direct aisle access and a window view.

Austrian Airlines 777 business class throne seat

There is one downside to these seats, though, for what it’s worth — the footwells are quite small, given that they utilize the space between the seats in front. Still, I find it to be a small price to pay for this added benefits.

Note that while Austrian’s Boeing 767s have generally similar seats, there are no throne seats, as the cabin isn’t as wide. Rather Austrian’s 767s have business class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration.

Austrian charges extra for throne seats

So, how do you assign an Austrian Airlines business class throne seat? If you try to reserve one during booking and don’t have elite status with Miles & More, you’ll have to pay extra. For example, for a transatlantic flight, you can expect it will cost $150+. That’s pretty steep.

Austrian Airlines 777 business class throne seat pricing

Note that 7A & 7K can be assigned at no extra cost, so you may be tempted to book these seats, thinking that they’re throne seats. However, that’s not the case. For whatever reason, these seats don’t have the same amount of space as other seats in odd numbered rows.

Austrian Airlines 777 business class seats

Throne seats can be assigned for free at check-in

Want to sit in an Austrian Airlines throne seat, but don’t want to pay extra to assign the seat? Well, there’s some good news. Once online check-in opens 47 hours before departure, these seats can be assigned by business class passengers at no extra cost.

It seems that not many people pay to assign these in advance — while business class was otherwise fairly full, most of the throne seats were empty, and I had my pick of them when I checked in around 36 hours before departure.

Austrian Airlines online check-in process

Of course there’s no guarantee there will always be this much availability for throne seats, but at least that was my experience.

Bottom line

Austrian’s Boeing 777 business class throne seats are excellent, and can be assigned by any business class passenger in advance for a fee. However, if you want to assign one of these seats for free, just check-in online as early as possible, as these seats are then available at no cost on a first come, first served basis.

What has your experience been with assigning Austrian throne seats?

Conversations (13)
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  1. tassojunior Guest

    since most people here book Austrian through United, Aeroplan or Avianca awards, how does the check-in seat work?

    1. CXTraveller Member

      You can select seat by logging into the operating airline to select seat. For example, I booked Houston to Hurghada, Egypt r/t for Christmas and New Year in business class for about $2100 through SWISS. It was IAH-IAD-ZRH-HRG (United Polaris in the first two segments and Edelweiss on the last leg. I can select seats with SWISS on Edelweiss flight, but I have to go to United website to select seats that were operated by...

      You can select seat by logging into the operating airline to select seat. For example, I booked Houston to Hurghada, Egypt r/t for Christmas and New Year in business class for about $2100 through SWISS. It was IAH-IAD-ZRH-HRG (United Polaris in the first two segments and Edelweiss on the last leg. I can select seats with SWISS on Edelweiss flight, but I have to go to United website to select seats that were operated by UA (note that I'm talking about shortly after booking with SWISS).

  2. AR Guest

    The front bulkhead row has bigger footwells - those throne seats are the best ones to choose on OS. I have flown VIE-IAD quite a few times.

  3. MiTroy Guest

    It’s worth mentioning that footwell space is much wider in bulkhead throne seats. Those truly are the best seats in the house.

  4. Jeff Bella Guest

    My wife and I flew Austrian Air recently on a return flight from Vienna to JFK. We had originally booked in economy, but while at the gate we noticed the flight was pretty empty, so I asked at the desk for upgrade options and we were moved to Business class for only about $700 extra. Wow! Incredible fully reclining seats, food, drinks, and great service. Our best flight ever, and we travel often!

  5. Gerald Guest

    It needs to be noted, that Lufthansa and Austrian open check-in only 23 hours before the flight. So all those who have booked at these companies can not check in earlier.

    1. Lukas Guest

      That isn't completely true. While 23h is the stated check-in time, you can do OLCI for most flights from 30h out. If you're after the throne seats I'd start trying at exactly 30h, if that doesn't work, try again at 29h and so on. If you're connecting the odds of getting one at check-in are reasonably high.

  6. pwirth158 New Member

    How easy is it to look out the window from the throne seats? I have an upcoming flight on Edelweiss with the same config, and am able to select any seat for free, but have opted for the right side of the plane for a seat separated from the aisle and right next to the window.

  7. Andy Diamond

    I find the throne seats attractive on day time flights (e.g. Europe to North America), because they are sort of “big desks”, where you can spread out your documents. For sleeping, I find them less useful, since the footwell is narrow.

    Also, please bear in mind, that LH high status pax (HON/SEN) can select them for free.

  8. Olivia Guest

    I recently flew in a Throne seat with Swiss Air and paid $219 from L.A. to Zurich. It's the most uncomfortable seat I've ever had in a business class. It's so narrow and basically I just sat in between the 2 seats in front of me. Access to my seat is also very narrow (and I'm an average 5' 5", 130 lbs) and none of the extra compartment is any good for storage. Never again. I'd rather sit in the middle row with a stranger and have a direct aisle access.

    1. CXTraveller Member

      I agree. I just flew SWISS A330-300 yesterday (Jan 7, 2023). Initially got the right side window in business class (the "throne" seat is only available on the left side since the A330 is more narrow than the B777s) since the "throne" seat were blocked off and cost extra when I booked with SWISS. When I checked-in, I saw a "throne" seat available and got it (10A) with no extra cost. I'm 5'10", 170lbs, and...

      I agree. I just flew SWISS A330-300 yesterday (Jan 7, 2023). Initially got the right side window in business class (the "throne" seat is only available on the left side since the A330 is more narrow than the B777s) since the "throne" seat were blocked off and cost extra when I booked with SWISS. When I checked-in, I saw a "throne" seat available and got it (10A) with no extra cost. I'm 5'10", 170lbs, and when I laid down to sleep, the "bench" on both sides created a coffin-feel, and the seat is just slightly wider than my shoulder. It felt narrow. The leg room, in comparison, wasn't as big of a deal in my opinion. I think the "throne" seat is overrated. It may be great if it's a shorter flight ro day flight that you don't need the lay-flat mode.

  9. Stan P Guest

    Great article !

    I am trying to figure out a similar situation on SN501.

  10. Lukas Gold

    Flying B767 in business gives you the best of both world - by getting the true window seat you get both the wide space to the right of you AND get the biggest footwell for unrestricted foot movement so I prefer B767 over B777.

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Lukas Gold

Flying B767 in business gives you the best of both world - by getting the true window seat you get both the wide space to the right of you AND get the biggest footwell for unrestricted foot movement so I prefer B767 over B777.

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CXTraveller Member

You can select seat by logging into the operating airline to select seat. For example, I booked Houston to Hurghada, Egypt r/t for Christmas and New Year in business class for about $2100 through SWISS. It was IAH-IAD-ZRH-HRG (United Polaris in the first two segments and Edelweiss on the last leg. I can select seats with SWISS on Edelweiss flight, but I have to go to United website to select seats that were operated by UA (note that I'm talking about shortly after booking with SWISS).

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CXTraveller Member

I agree. I just flew SWISS A330-300 yesterday (Jan 7, 2023). Initially got the right side window in business class (the "throne" seat is only available on the left side since the A330 is more narrow than the B777s) since the "throne" seat were blocked off and cost extra when I booked with SWISS. When I checked-in, I saw a "throne" seat available and got it (10A) with no extra cost. I'm 5'10", 170lbs, and when I laid down to sleep, the "bench" on both sides created a coffin-feel, and the seat is just slightly wider than my shoulder. It felt narrow. The leg room, in comparison, wasn't as big of a deal in my opinion. I think the "throne" seat is overrated. It may be great if it's a shorter flight ro day flight that you don't need the lay-flat mode.

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