Late last week, Austrian unveiled a new ticketing concept for travel within Austria and Europe.  The program is set to roll out in the Fall of 2015 and will substantially expand on their current structure.  According to Austrian it is designed to attract a wide ‘audience’ of passenger.

The biggest enhancement with this new program is the addition of the ‘LIGHT’ fare option.   This is designed to be a lower cost category than OS’ popular ‘red-ticket’ fare which has until now been the lowest fare ‘bucket’.

Ultimately, the new structure will be comprised of 4 categories:  LIGHT, CLASSIC, FLEX, and BUSINESS:

LIGHT will offer the lowest fare but with fees for checked baggage and seat assignment.   It will not be eligible for BUSINESS Class upgrades

CLASSIC will include seat assignment and a checked bag, but will charge a fee for lounge access and is upgradeable through the bid process.

FLEX will everything that CLASSIC offers with the addition of fee-free rebooking and will also allow you to purchase enhanced DO&CO catered meals.

BUSINESS will include the DO&CO dining, free rebooking and all the other features of FLEX.

All 4 structures will allow for the earning of miles towards ‘Miles & More’ balances.

As far as other Star Alliance frequent flyer programs are concerned, expect to earn little to no miles for LIGHT or CLASSIC.   FLEX and BUSINESS should book into fare classes that earn at least 50-100% mileage credit.  Please check with your FF programs as each program may have different policies for earning miles.

The well designed chart below from Austrian provides a nice side-by-side comparison of these new classes:

009engl - New Fares at Austrian