Airberlin is the second-largest airline in Germany. It offers flights to over 140 destinations worldwide, both long and short-haul. There are 88 planes in its fleet. All airberlin long-haul flights offer two classes, Economy and Business, and the airline is now introducing Business class to many of its short-haul routes. Airberlin is a member of the oneworld alliance, which it joined in 2012, and also has strategic unions with several other international airlines, including Etihad, Air Seychelles and airbaltic. Airberlin was founded in 1978 and was originally a US-owned charter airline. Today, it is German-owned.
Airberlin has an extensive network within Germany, servicing a route of 17 cities. It also flies to 21 other European countries. In the UK, it flies to 10 cities, including two in Scotland and one in Wales. North African destinations include Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt. There are also flights to Abu Dhabi and Israel. Transatlantic flights go to the Caribbean, USA and South America. In the USA it flies to New York, Boston, Chicago, LA, San Francisco and Miami.
One item of baggage weighing up to 23 kg will be carried for free, or weighing up to 32 kg in Business class. One item of hand baggage weighing up to 8 kg is allowed for each passenger, not exceeding the dimensions of 55 x 40 x 23 cm. Business class passengers can take two items of hand baggage. Passengers can take additional hand baggage of one laptop case or handbag weighing under 2 kg for free, as long as it does not exceed the dimensions of 40 x 30 x 10 cm.
Why fly with airberlin?
Airberlin provides complimentary food and drink on its flights. It recently announced a new on-board dining partner, 'iFleat'. This service will allow passengers to choose in advance, via the 'iFleat' website or app, a range of high-quality meals from local restaurants that will be served to them on their flight. The 'airgusto' service, as it is called, will be available on airberlin flights to and from Berlin and New York, Chicago, Miami, Abu Dhabi, and Punta Cana. Food will come from selected trendy Berlin restaurants, with a range of cuisines including Italian, Far Eastern, Mexican and, of course, German.
Airberlin has an advanced in-flight entertainment system and passenger Wi-Fi is being rolled out to all its fleet, allowing passengers to connect above the clouds with the 'airberlin connect' service. This will bring wireless internet to all passengers, with a fast and efficient internet connection for all Wi-Fi-enabled devices. Passengers will simply need to download an app before they fly. This does however exclude VoIP services, such as Skype, which are not allowed on flights.
Airberlin offers the option to pay to upgrade to XL seats in economy class. These have most generous seat pitch in Economy of all airlines operating transatlantic flights, according to Skytrax. XL seats have 20% more legroom and are located at the front of the economy cabin for faster disembarking. There is also the option to purchase 'Preferred seating' in economy, giving faster disembarking and priority boarding for those checking in online.
Airberlin in the news
Airberlin has undergone extensive restructuring in recent years. In September 2016, it was announced that the company will be changing some of their European and transatlantic routes. They plan to add business class seating to many routes that currently only offer economy and will also expand their long-haul business.
What extras does airberlin offer?
The airline has its own loyalty program, 'topbonus'. This gives members the chance to earn reward miles and redeem them for award flights and upgrades. There is also an online 'topbonus' shop offering a wide range of rewards such as electronics and travel accessories. The program has four tiers, classic, silver, gold, and platinum.
The 72-hour fare guarantee gives time to think before finalising a booking. When searching for a flight, ticking the 'guarantee the fare' box will hold the price and dates for 72 hours. It can be cancelled during this time if plans change. This selectable option does incur a small fee but gives the passenger more flexibility. Fares are very competitive for both long-haul and short haul flights. Travel sites such as lastminute.com regularly offer deeply discounted offers.