Austrian Airlines will begin service between Vienna and Los Angeles starting next April, adding another Star Alliance destination in the heart of Europe for LA travelers.
The new schedule effective April 10, 2017:
OS81 Vienna (VIE) to Los Angeles (LAX) departing 10:00 arriving 13:30
OS82 Los Angeles (LAX) to Vienna (VIE) departing 15:05 arriving 12:00 (+1 day)
The flight will operate five days per week initially (no service on Tuesday and Sunday) and increase to six times weekly service on June 12, 2017 (no Sunday service).
Award space is incredible on the new route right now, with plenty of economy class seats and up to six business class award seats available on every flight!
What’s so good about Austrian Airlines?
Austrian’s business class seat is not industry leading, but its food and coffee menu make flying Austrian a pleasure. Here’s a few pictures from a recent Austrian flight I took from Beijing to Vienna–
Oh yes, that is eiskaffee!
High Fuel Surcharges on Austrian Airlines
Be warned, if you are redeeming Aeroplan or ANA miles for Austrian Airlines, you will be paying hefty fuel surcharges.
For example, the “international surcharge YQ” (aka bogus fuel surcharge) for a round-trip between Los Angeles and Vienna in business class is $856. That takes a lot value out of using ANA or Aeoplan miles for the redemption, even though you will use less points than if you used United MileagePlus miles or Avianca Lifemiles.
Is 110K (round-trip Aeroplan price) + $856 a better value than 140K (round trip United price)? Of course it depends what you value points at, but that means you are paying $856 for 30K points or nearly 2.9 cents per points if you value the two points currencies roughly the same (which I do).
Put another way, with a fuel surcharge that high, you are much better off using United or Avianca miles to book on Austrian.
It is nice to see Austrian coming to LAX. Take advantage of this early release of award space to lock away spring and summer travel for 2017. This space is so new it does not even appear online — you will need to call to book.