I’m in the process of planning a New Year’s Eve trip with my girlfriend and Vienna is one of the destinations on our wish list. Being a Philadelphia-based traveler is somewhat annoying, since American tends to close seasonal routes during the off-peak times to Europe (October-May). I also overheard on my last flight that AA will be squeezing more international flights out of PHL and pushing them to CLT or JFK. American denies this.
With that said, AA doesn’t fly direct to Vienna from Philly anyway so no worries there. I was able to find a routing from Philadelphia to Madrid and then onward to Vienna (via Air Berlin).
If you’re not based in Philadelphia, you have some more options, especially if you’re loyal to Star Alliance…
If you’re a Star Alliance loyalist, you’re in luck! Austrian Airlines flies direct to Vienna from Chicago, Miami, Newark, New York-JFK, and Washington-Dulles.
*Note – There’s actually a really good deal going on for paid fares from the US to Vienna.
Take the train. If award space isn’t available, another option would be to take the Deutsche Bahn train from Munich, a roughly 4 hour ride through some beautiful landscapes.
If you primarily fly Skyteam and have Flying Blue or Skymiles, you can certainly take a direct flight to Paris or Rome and grab a flight on Vueling for rougly 39 euro each way.
If you have a bit more time I suggest parlaying this itinerary into a stopover or two.
Example: New York –> Rome (1 night stopover) –> Vienna –> Paris (1 night stopover) –> New York
You can easily get the above trip for all under $500.
Vienna is an absolutely stunning city (from what I’ve been told), though getting there using points and miles can seem daunting. Don’t let this deter you. There are ways. My fall back option was to utilize low-cost carriers and purchase the tickets using my Capital One Venture card, which gave me $400 in travel credit as the sign-up bonus.
If you have a specific question about routings, drop a comment below or e-mail me at dominic -at- theshortfinal.com and I’d be happy to help as best as I can.