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Airberlin was born out of a low-cost carrier based in Germany but, when in 2007 it completed a take over of Germain leisure carrier LTU, it suddenly found itself with a series of international routes. In the years following its burst into the international market airberlin hasn’t exactly done very well on the financial side of things, but a serious amount of investment from Etihad (a 49% owner of airberlin) has seen the airline continue to grow into an important European player.
This week airberlin continued with its growth strategy by announcing that it will be increasing service to/from the US by over 40%.
Great News For oneworld Flyers
Airberlin is a member of the oneworld alliance so awards on the airline can be booked using American Airlines AAdvantage Miles as well as Avios and all the other oneworld currencies.
Importantly, airberlin doesn’t charge ridiculous surcharges on award bookings made with AAdvantage Miles or Avios and this makes the airline a great option for travelers looking to fly between Europe and the US.
American Airlines doesn’t charge surcharges on its awards either but, most of the time, AAdvantage awards to Europe at the cheaper pricing levels (SAAver awards) are tough to come by….so that generally just leaves British Airways where the surcharges verge on extortionate.
Airberlin Business Class Awards
Airberlin generally only releases 2 Business Class award seat per flight.…..but that’s still better than zero Business Class seats which we often see from American (except when it goes a bit crazy as it did last week).
American Airlines charges 57,500 miles in each direction for a Business Class award on airberlin (taxes and fees come to under $100 )and, unlike not too long ago, you can now search for airberlin award availability on AA.com.
Airberlin operates Airbus A330-200 aircraft on its routes to the US and it offers a fully flat seat with direct aisle access in its Business Class cabin….which is more than some, better known, oneworld airlines I can name offer!
From looking at the seat map (courtesy of SeatGuru.com) you can see that the window seats in the odd-numbered rows will be more private and that the centre seats in the odd-numbered rows will be best for couples traveling together (as long as they get on!)
Airberlin New Routes (Germany – USA)
As of summer 2017 airberlin will be opening up 3 new routes between Germany and the US as well as increasing frequencies to numerous major US cities. When all is said and done, airberlin will go from having 55 to 78 weekly non-stop flights to the US.
Düsseldorf – Orlando
From 6 May 2017 airberlin will start to serve Orlando from its Düsseldorf base with flights operating 4x/week.
AB7006 DUS 09:45 – 13:45 MCO (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat)
AB7007 MCO 16:15 – 07:00+1 day DUS (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat)
Berlin – San Francisco
From 1 May 2017 airberlin will operate 4x weekly service between Berlin-Tegel and San Francisco
AB7396 TXL 09:20 – 11:50 SFO (Mon, Wed, Thu, Sun)
AB7397 SFO 13:35 – 09:35+1 day TXL (Mon, Wed, Thu, Sun)
Berlin – Los Angeles
Airberlin already offers a daily service to Los Angeles from its Düsseldorf hub but, from 1 May 2017, the airline is adding a further 3 weekly flights from Berlin:
AB7022 TXL 15:20 – 18:10 LAX (Tue, Thu, Sat)
AB7023 LAX 19:55 – 16:00+1 day TXL (Tue, Thu, Sat)
Airberlin Increased Frequencies (Germany – USA)
Düsseldorf – Boston
Starting from 4 May 2017 airberlin will begin to ramp up its service between Düsseldorf and Boston from the current 4x/week schedule to a daily service.
AB7472 DUS 17:05 – 18:50 BOS (Daily)
AB7473 BOS 21:55 – 10:50+1 day DUS (Daily)
Düsseldorf – San Francisco
1 May 2017 also sees airberlin increase service frequencies between Düsseldorf and San Francisco from 5x/week to a daily service.
AB7392 DUS 13:20 – 15:50 SFO (Daily)
AB7393 SFO 17:55 – 13:40+1 day DUS (Daily)
Berlin – New York JFK
From 5 May 2017 airberlin service between Berlin and New York will go from 7 to 10x/week
AB7248 TXL 13:00 – 15:45 JFK (Daily)
AB7454 TXL 18:50 – 21:30 JFK (Mon, Fri, Sun)
AB7249 JFK 17:30 – 07:20+1 TXL (Daily)
AB7455 JFK 23:30 – 13:20+1 TXL (Mon, Fri, Sun)
Berlin – Miami
As things stand this is a winter-seasonal route for airberlin but, from May 2017, the airline will take this 3x weekly service to a year-round schedule.
AB7210 TXL 09:20 – 13:50 MIA (Tue, Thu, Sat)
AB7211 MIA 15:50 – 07:20+1 day TXL (Tue, Thu, Sat)
Any extra flights between the US and Europe that offer awards which don’t incur fuel/carrier surcharges is great news.
The new routes all arrive early enough into Germany to allow for same-day onward connections around Europe…so that is a big positive for US-based flyers. As far as Europe-based flyers go the new routes all depart Germany pretty early so, if you’re connecting from another country (UK?) you’ll need an overnight stop in Germany the night before departure.
Airberlin is on my list of “airlines I really should fly soon” so hopefully this expanded network will allow me to book something sooner rather than later.