Austrian Airlines, member of the Lufthansa Group, just announced that they will be canceling all of their flights through March 28. Here is the information you need to know if flying Austrian Airlines in the next couple of weeks.
Austrian Airlines Cancels All Flights
Link: Austrian Airlines Update
Austrian Airlines made this announcement on the above page regarding their schedule and cancellations:
Austrian Airlines decided to temporarily suspend all regular flight operations starting Wednesday night, March 18, 2020. This move is in response to entry bans being imposed across the globe and a rapid decline in demand for air travel.
The last flight for the time being departing from Chicago with the flight number OS 066 will land in Vienna on March 19, 2020 in the morning hours. Up until then flight operations will be scaled back in a controlled and structured manner in order to bring all passengers, crews and aircraft home if possible.
Initially, Austrian Airlines will cancel all flights up until March 28, 2020. Passengers who have booked a flight during the time will be rebooked on other airlines if possible.
Stranded Austrians can contact the Federal Ministry of European and International Affairs
Austrian Airlines is in contact with the Austrian Federal Ministry of European and International Affairs to clarify issues relating to the operation of additional evacuation flights to bring back Austrians who are abroad.
For this reason, Austrian Airlines asks all Austrians who are stranded in other countries and who want to return home to get in touch with the hotline of the Federal Ministry of European and International Affairs at +43 1 90115 4411.
What Does this Mean If You Have Travel Booked on Austrian Airlines?
For now, do not rush to call up Austrian about your flight if you were scheduled to fly in the coming weeks. Here is what they have to say about this:
Austrian Airlines asks passengers with such a flight to check the status of their rebooking on austrian.com under “My Bookings” within the next 48 hours. Customers who have provided a telephone number or e-mail address as well as members of the frequent flyer program Miles & More will be automatically informed about changes in the flight schedule by SMS or email. It is not necessary to contact the Austrian Airlines Service Hotline.
Flights scheduled later than 48 hours in the future will be directly rebooked by the Austrian Airlines Service Center. In this case, customers who have listed their telephone numbers or e-mail addresses at the time of booking will be informed about the status change of their flights. The Austrian Airlines Service Hotline at +43 5 1766 1000 is available to answer all questions relating to flight bookings. However, longer waiting times are to be expected due to the high volume of inquiries.
What Happens if You Need to Change Your Flight?
Here is what is available to you if you need to change your flights(bolding mine).
- Tickets with a departure date before April 30, 2020, which were booked up until March 12, 2020 will be kept in abeyance and remain valid for the time being.
- Passengers will then have the chance up until June 1, 2020 to select a new travel date and, if need be, to choose another destination.
- In order to take advantage of this offer, passengers can contact the Austrian Airlines Service Center by telephone or make use of the contact form available on the Austrian Airlines Website at www.austrian.com.
- Passengers who booked a flight before March 16, 2020 with a scheduled departure after March 18, 2020 will be rebooked on another Lufthansa Group airline.
If you need to call, just plan on being on hold for a while. You may want to try calling other Austrian numbers if the above number has a long hold. If you are English speaking, consider some of these other numbers:
- South Africa – +27112090430
- Australia – +61 282784385
Just remember the time difference in case they are closed during off hours (like the Australian number says it is).
Many airlines have cut back substantially on flights between Europe and the US due to the US not allowing most foreigners that had been in the Schengen area to enter the US. But, this is a big move by Austrian to cancel all flights. They will be holding 2 planes at the ready and working to get back online with their flight schedules as soon as it is deemed possible.
I have family flying Austrian in the coming months so will be keeping close track of this for a personal reason as well.
Featured image courtesy of Austrian Airlines