Buying the Upgrade to Austrian Airlines Business Class

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It was 36 hours before my flight home from Vienna and I was on the Austrian Airlines website choosing my seats. A box popped up offering me an upgrade to business class for €599. I paused.

Austrian-Airlines-business class (350x308)

Of course I couldn’t spend $830 to upgrade on the 10 hour flight home. That would be ridiculous. I continued on to the economy seat map and managed to get an aisle seat in the already pretty full cabin. Memories of how uncomfortable I’d been on the flight over filled my head. Flights of fancy about how much work I could get done with 10 hours to spread out and plug my electronics in…

Then I saw that Do & Co catered business class and there was a real chef on board to prepare meals. Do & Co had been recommended highly by everyone I talked to in Vienna as having some of the best food (not necessarily most authentic). There hadn’t been time to go there, and if I had, it probably would have been expensive…

I rationalized that I would have gladly spent the $500 if I’d been able to bid on an upgrade, this would be $300 more. I would have spent part of that on a fancy meal at the Do & Co restaurant. I decided to go ahead and check in. Then I’d check my reservation 24 hours before departure, and if was still available and I could upgrade after checking in, perhaps I would do it.

It was. I booked it.

I’d expected the slight guilt about being so extravagant, I had not been prepared for the waves of relief that swept over me. I was no longer dreading the flight home. I was actually looking forward to it.

I wound up enjoying every hour of the flight. I didn’t need it to last any longer than it did, but I at least wasn’t desperate for it to end. (Incidentally, not being able to try the bidding for upgrades because I’d booked a code share was really frustrating. Business class on the Monday morning flight in March was more than half empty, so I probably would have won my bid from VIE-IAD for ~$450.)

Keri Austrian Airlines Business Class

But it was still worth it! I did get alot of work done and I arrived feeling fairly fresh and still extremely excited about my mini vacation. Which was fortunate since it took almost two hours to get my suitcase because there were problems with the cargo door on the plane. AND there was 6 inches of unexpected snow on my car which took awhile to clean off.

Dulles parking lot snow in March

What have you splurged on to make the end of your trip much better?


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Living for the little (and big things) that make life so fun, especially mistake deals and crazy last minute weekend mileage runs across the world.


  1. James Shadowen-Kurz

    April 17, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    Did the attendants dance around your seat and break-dance on the wings to Mozart techno?

  2. Joey

    April 17, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    I would have splurged too if I were you! Did you have the ice coffee that Lucky loved? It’s interesting but for me, I don’t mind flying coach east coast to Europe since I’ve never had a comfortable flight (regardless if I fly first/business/economy) mainly because the majority of flights leave the east coast in the evening and arrive in europe in the morning.
    From Europe to the east coast, however, the flight is longer and tend to be during the day when I’m normally awake — and yes, I always prefer to be in business class for that TATL flight but can survive in coach.

  3. Alex (@NoviceFlyer)

    April 17, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    Seems to be the trend on a lot of airlines, instead of paying for a business class ticket from booking. Just wait to see if they offer a reasonable upgrade fee 😉 Good job Keri! Glad you had fun! I just found out that USair now flights their A330 on their PHL-ATH flight. Instead of the miserable 767…Last year they offered $600 to upgrade to the nice envoy suites. I might do that if it’s the same price this year lol 😉

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      April 17, 2014 at 7:52 pm

      I totally recommend the A330 suites 🙂

  4. Debbie @ Traveling Well For Less

    April 22, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    Good job, Keri.

    Sometimes we need to treat ourselves every now and then.

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