New low-tax Avios redemptions to the Caribbean with airberlin

airberlin – the best place to turn for low tax Avios redemptions – has added some new Caribbean options for Winter 2014.

As per my Avios Redemption University article on airberlin, you should be able to book a business class flight on these routes for around £75 of taxes, compared to £500 with British Airways.

Air Berlin

Last Monday, I posted about the new British Airways direct service to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.  airberlin is also ramping up its service to the country for 2014.

From November 2014, there will be two stop flights per week from both Dusseldorf and Munich to Varadero in Cuba and Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic.  That will mean a total of eight flights per week from Germany to each destination.

airberlin will continue its existing services to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, Cancún in Mexico and Curaçao.  It also flies to Phuket, with a stop in Abu Dhabi, although that service is ending in October (Etihad is taking over the route).

Seats are already available for sale on these new flights, so Avios seats should also be available via ba.com.

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Comments

  1. koroleon says:

    Do these flights feature the flatbed business class seats?

    • Should do. I got a press release from AB this week saying that they would be fully converted to fully flat by the Summer.

  2. “It also flies to Phuket, with a stop in Abu Dhabi, although that service is ending in October (Etihad is taking over the route).”

    I have noticed on the BA site that award flights can be booked in Jan 2015 TXL-AUH-HKT these are showing as AB flights. Will the AUH-HKT flights be honoured when these are taken over by Etihad in October.

    • The ‘Etihad takeover’ is not yet clear to be honest. It has announced the launch of a Phuket service from October. Etihad, as you know, owns 30% of AB and is very active in its management. However, I have yet to see a formal announcement that the Phuket service is ending. (I checked a few dates on the AB website and couldn’t find revenue tickets for sale.)

      You’ll be fine though – worst case scenario is you get moved to AB.

    • Eshaq Choudhury says:

      All flights for air berlin to HKT seem to have dissapeared now from November onwards. I was hoping to book for half term :(

  3. Singing Dwarf says:

    How do you recommend getting to Dusseldorf or Munich to start with?

    Obviously booking on one ticket sees the tax benefits being negated – but booking separate flights runs the risk of a missed departure on Air Berlin should the first leg UK to Germany have problems.

    I guess booking departures over two days would help, but still a bit concerned that insurance policies won’t cover such eventualities.

    On a related matter, how do insurance companies fair on their policies for covering reward flights? e.g. if a flight is missed, or circumstances prevent travel (which would ordinarily be covered) do policies generally cover the traveller? I know generalisations can be dangerous and each policy differs, but is there a general stance on such flights?

    • Separate tickets is fine if you book BA. As oneworld partners, airberlin is very unlikely to leave you stranded and would put you on the next flight (albeit often the next day). On the inbound back home I really wouldn’t worry due to the large number of BA departures if you miss one. If you are concerned about the outbound, Berlin and Dusseldorf are great places (and very cheap places) to spend a night before your flight – the cost of a hotel will only be a fraction of the APD saving.

      Insurance is a tricky one which I have never fully got to the bottom of. However, as you can cancel redemptions up to 1 day before travel, you would not be in a situation where illness stopped you travelling. Your only risk if it airberlin refused to reaccomodate you and I doubt that would happen in practice.

    • Personally I’d always aim to travel out the night before. I’ve only seen an explicit promise to cover bookings not on the same PNR from AA – I don’t even trust BA on this front on a domestic connection!

      No issue with insurance cover on reward flights – the only issue would be if you were having to cancel the whole trop, in which case how you’d agree appropriate compensation (not an issue if it’s just a change in date where they’d pay the cost). Note with Amex Plat insurance you need to pay any taxes/fees on an Amex card.