AUSTRIAN announced several major initiatives under yet another new plan, this time referred to as ‘Next Level Austrian’……
Beginning with the Summer 2018 timetable, Austrian will offer Premium Economy seating aboard their 777 and 767 long-haul aircraft. The retrofits will begin in the Winter of 2017 and should be completed by the end of Summer 2018. The seats will be similar to what we already see in Lufthansa’s Premium Economy. With the new seat will come improved leg room, better recline angles, and enhanced dining as compared to Economy. The 767 will have 18 Premium Economy seats installed and the 777 will have 24 Premium Economy Seats on board.
This comes at the expense of both Business and Economy seats: To make room for the Premium Economy cabin, Business and Economy class will both have a reduction in the number of overall seats. According to Austrian, the pricing will fall in between Economy and Business fares. I expect this to be very much like the Lufthansa Premium Economy product which has been very successful for the airline.
As part of the same announcement, OS has also indicated that their aircraft will begin an upgrade process that will see the installation of WiFi throughout the entire fleet. The first aircraft will be have Wifi available for passengers by mid-December of this year and the entire fleet will have connectivity by Summer 2017.
With the broadband system, passengers will be able to use their smart devices for any internet-based purpose including live streaming, email, etc. Per the existing policy using the service for phone calls will still not be allowed. Pricing is yet to be determined.
Lufthansa has been running a Business Class sale for the last few days, and it’s set to expire on August 16. The sale covers travel between the US and Europe between September and October. Most fares can be had between $2600 and $2900 from the East Coast with some attractive pockets from the West Coast such as Seattle – Munich for only $2900. There are some fares avoid as well such as Detroit – Munich which is pricing at $5900. Drive 3 hours to Chicago and save $3100 and fly Chicago – Frankfurt for only $2800!
This might be a compelling opportunity to snag these tickets for Oktoberfest!
The fine print:
The Fare Sale ends August 16
Departures must take place between September 8 and October 28.
Return travel must take place between September 9 an January 28.
Fares based on mid-week travel (Monday-Thursday). Other days will incur a $60 surcharge.
A Saturday night stay is required.
Fares valid on Air Canada, Austrian, Brussels, Lufthansa, SWISS, and United.
In the final ‘installment’ covering the opening of SWISS’ new lounges in Zurich, I’ll take a look inside their Business Class Lounge. This new lounge, like the FIRST and SENATOR Lounges are located inside the airport’s ‘E’ Concourse.
The Business Lounge is the largest of the 3, covering 13,000 square feet and can hold up to 200 visitors at once. It makes sense for this lounge to be the biggest, since it is the ‘easiest’ of all the 3 lounges to get in.
Like the SENATOR lounge, the Business Class Lounge offers guests 4 shower rooms as well as an upgraded food service. Hot foods are prepared fresh in front of guests, and cold buffet offerings are present as well. A self-serve bar is available as well and guests have access to an outdoor terrace.
Thanks again to VielFliegerTreff’s Ralf (RCS) for sharing his photos…….
Terrace access similar to First Class and Senator lounges
Fresh food prepared in front of you!
Looks better than most Business Lounges that I’ve seen!
Private rest areas