airberlin increases long-haul US services – great news for Avios redemptions

I like redeeming Avios points on airberlin. True, their sloping business class seat is not the greatest, but their taxes are! A one-way flight from New York to Germany will set you back a grand total of £1 in taxes and surcharges, plus 40,000 Avios points.

Here is my review of a New York to Berlin business class redemption in February. I have another one booked for the end of July as well.

And, of course, airberlin is slowly rolling out their new fully-flat business class seat as well!

airberlin flat seat

airberlin has just announced increased frequencies on its routes to the USA for the Winter season, starting in November:

airberlin is ploughing ahead with its growth strategy for the USA and increasing the frequency of flights on its routes from Berlin and Dusseldorf to New York and from Dusseldorf to Miami and Fort Meyers on the Winter schedule for 2013.

“The USA is a very popular destination for our flight guests from Germany and Europe. We are responding to rising demand and, following the increase in the frequency of flights offered on the current summer schedule, we are also expanding our Winter timetable to the USA. Our flight guests will thus have a wider choice of departure times to travel to North America during the Winter season,” Paul Gregorowitsch, Chief Commercial Officer at airberlin, said.

One additional flight per week is now available for booking from Berlin to New York and a further three flights a week are available departing from Dusseldorf. On the routes from Dusseldorf to Miami and Fort Meyers, one extra flight per week has been added for each destination.

This winter, therefore, airberlin is offering daily flights from Dusseldorf to Miami and New York all year round for the first time – and in the summer there are up to two flights a day to New York. The Winter schedule starts on 1st November 2013 and ends on 30th April 2014. airberlin operates flights to a total of five destinations in the USA: Chicago, Fort Meyers, Los Angeles, Miami and New York.

These flights should be available for redemption bookings now. However, I did notice on my recent booking that reward seats only opened up a couple of months before departure.

airberlin only ever offers two business class seats for redemption. It is not totally clear if more seats get released later, but they certainly do not immediately offer two more when the original two have gone.

It is not clear to me at the moment what routes have been cut back or scrapped to make room for these new services. This post on airberlin lists all of their current long-haul routes.

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Comments

  1. I have a booking from Dusseldorf to Fort Myers in May. I discovered that you can save even more taxes starting your journey with Aer Berlin in Milan earlier in the day and connect to the Fort Myers flight. The taxes for 2 people return in Business are just £82!!

    I’m actually using AA miles so I don’t pay extra miles for the Milan connection as you would with Avios so it’s 50k miles each. In Economy it would have been 20k each.

  2. Just to clarify, the 50k and 20k are of course each way.

  3. Phillip says:

    Unfortunately currently they only seem to be releasing a single business class seat on the AUH-HKT route! Good news on the additional services though! 😉

  4. Last October, I booked 3 business class seats using Avios on the DUS-LAX service

  5. So what would the process be for redeeming avios through air Berlin?

    • Bookable via ba.com in the normal way, availability will show if available (not avios.com, just ba.com)

      Just look for the long haul segments on their own, then look for connections separately. You don’t want the London connection on the same ticket as you will be hit with £150 of Air Passenger Duty, although you run the risk of a misconnection unless you do an overnight in Berlin or Dusseldorf before.

  6. I’m seeing lots of dates in early 2014 with more than 1 seat available in Business AUH-HKT.