Airberlin Offering Fares To USA/Canada From €370 (Health Warning Included)


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Oneworld carrier airberlin has recently opened up reservations for two new routes between Germany and North America and, through 9 August, the airline is offering some good deals to generate interest on these routes.

Airberlin’s New North America Routes

From May 2018 airberlin will operate flights to Chicago O’Hare and Toronto from its Dusseldorf base.

The new routes are scheduled as follows:

Dusseldorf – Chicago (from 2 May 2018)

AB7426 DUS 15:15 – 17:15 ORD (Mon, Wed, Thur, Fri, Sun)
AB7427 ORD 21:00 – 12:05+1 day DUS (Mon, Wed, Thur, Fri, Sun)

Dusseldorf – Toronto (from 1 May 2018)

AB7100 DUS 15:15 – 17:30 YYZ (Tue,Thur, Sat, Sun)
AB7101 YYZ 22:30 – 11:55+1 day DUS (Tue,Thur, Sat, Sun)

Airberlin’s Promotional Fares

On the Chicago route the fares appear to start at around €370 (~$435) for roundtrip travel starting in May….

….and if you compare that to what ITA Matrix is showing other airlines are charging for travel to Chicago (from cities like Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Berlin, Frankfurt & Munich) at the same time of year….

…this would appear to be a genuinely good deal.

On the Toronto route the fares are slightly higher and appear to start at around €446 ($530) for roundtrip travel starting in May:

A quick comparison to what other airlines appear to be offering to Toronto (per ITA Matrix) shows that the fare is competitive rather than great….

….but airberlin may still offer the best fare depending on which departure city works best for you.

What You Get With Airberlin – The Health Warning

Airberlin may be a member of the oneworld alliance (so you can credit your flights to AAdvantage, BAEC etc…) but its Economy Class offering is sub-optimal.

The fares are categorised as “economy saver” so this is what is and isn’t included:

The carry-on allowance is:

One item of hand baggage which may weigh up to 8 kg. The dimensions may not exceed 55 cm x 40 cm x 23 cm

The checked-baggage allowance is:

One item of baggage [which] may weigh up to 23 kg

Meals are also included in the price of the fare and more information on what’s offered can be found on this airberlin page.

The one notable extra cost is the one you’ll incur if you’d like to reserve a seat:

Those are quite high prices just to select a seat…..but there’s a very good reason why an XL seat is desirable when flying with airberlin in Economy Class.

Airberlin flys A330 aircraft on its longhaul international routes and it offers less space between seats than any of the major transatlantic carriers.

Per seatguru.com:

30″ of seat pitch (leg room) is super-tight and less than you get on the likes of American, British Airways, Lufthansa, Air France etc…

The seat width at 17.7″ is on a par with most of those airlines and actually a little bit more than you’ll get with some….but the seat pitch is bad.

Booking

These fares are only available on European versions of airberlin’s website. You don’t have to be based in Europe to book these fares (PayPal is a payment option if for some reason your credit card doesn’t work) but if you search on the airline’s US website (for example) these fares will not appear.

Bottom Line

The fares on offer from airberlin aren’t bad at all (especially the fares to/from Chicago) but they have to be weighed up against the seat pitch that the airline offers.

If you’re not particularly tall and are constrained by your budget then this could be a very good way of getting to North America without breaking the bank. If, on the other hand, you already find Economy Class on other transatlantic carriers “a bit tight” I’d stay clear of these fares, pay a little more, and travel in marginally more comfort.

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