Austrian is running a fare sale for travel between NYC (JFK and Newark) and Budapest during late this year and early next. Fares are as low as $760! Here are the terms:
Valid travel periods are between October 26 and December 11 and again between December 24 and March 26.
Fares can be booked until December 10 (based on availability).
Minimum stay is one Saturday Night.
This fare on its own is a fantastic deal, but I have a better idea.
Use Austrian’s SmartUpgrade program!
For those of you unfamiliar with SmartUpgrade, it is OS’ way of allowing you to bid for a Business Class seat regardless of the economy class that you book. If your bid is accepted, you’ll even earn Business Class miles (P fare levels) and get the other perks of Biz class travel such as lounge access and increased baggage allowances.
How it works:
Book your Economy Class ticket. As part of your booking process you’ll be asked if you would like to submit a SmartUpgrade bid. Do it! You can place a bid anywhere between $350 and $800 per Business Class segment. The higher your bid, the better your chance of getting the biz seat. I have gotten all of my bids filled and never had to go over $500.
Why do I suggest doing this?
Well for starters, you are dealing with a $760 base economy fare which is already a good deal. But you can turn a good deal to a great deal with SmartUpgrade. Even if you submit a max bid of $800 for both directions you will have an Austrian Business class seat for only $2360. A fare that you typically do not find every day for OS Business. Imagine if you bid $500 each way and you’re ‘approved’, you’ll fly roundtrip for only $1760 in Business. Hard to beat that deal.
Not sure about bidding at the time of booking? Thats OK. You can still book your Economy fare now and go back and add your bid later as long as you place it at least 72 hours before departure.
The one BIG BIG caveat (actually 2):
1. You must book your ticket through Austrian.com to be able to place a SmartUpgrade bid.
2. Make certain that the credit card that you use to bid will still be valid 24 hours prior to your departure. You will be billed for the upgrade approximately 48-72 hours prior to departure. I screwed up my ticket one time because my CC expired and my bid was cancelled when they went to charge me. Lesson learned!