The final part of this post outlines how to get airberlin availability to show on ba.com. However, you would use the same method for booking any OneWorld partner airline online, such as Finnair, Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines etc.
How to search airberlin availability on ba.com
Let’s be clear first and foremost that you do not have to book your airberlin redemption online – you can call the Executive Club instead. However, you will have to pay a telephone booking fee and the agents may or may not know how to accurately search for airberlin seats.
ba.com is generally OK when it comes to searching for availability on partner airlines, as long as the flight does not require a lot of connections. However, there is one key problem – ba.com is designed to show only BA availability if BA is available.
Searching Dusseldorf to New York, for example, you will only be offered Dusseldorf to London to New York on BA if BA has seats on that day.
In order to force airberlin availability to show up, this is what you do.
First, go to www.airberlin.com and look up their timetable for the route you are interested in. Some routes only operate in certain months. Make sure you click on the PDF version, as this shows all alternative departure airports.
Go into ba.com as usual, logged in, and search for the route you want on the dates you want. Click ‘Continue’ on the ‘Choose your stopovers’ page.
One of two things will now happen:
1. BA does not have seats on its own planes for the outbound date you want. In this case, you click on the ‘Search partners’ button on the left of the screen, which will be showing airberlin as a partner option. If airberlin seats are available, they will show up. If not, use the ‘Next 7 days’ and ‘Previous 7 days’ links to move through different dates. (Unfortunately, you cannot bring up a grid of available airberlin dates, unlike you can with BA availability). Eventually, you will find outbound and inbound dates with airberlin availability.
2. BA does have seats on its own planes for the outbound date you want. You now have a problem, because you cannot force a ‘partner’ search. This is what you do. Click on ‘Search up to 7 days later’ for your outbound flight and make a note of the date that comes up. Eventually, BA will skip a day, which means that BA has no outbound seats on that day. You then start your search again using that skipped date as the outbound date. You then follow step 1 above.
You want to fly Dusseldorf to New York on 11 January in airberlin business class. As BA has business class seats DUS-LHR-NYC it does not show the airberlin seats for that day. Click on ‘Search up to 7 days later’ and it jumps to the 12th, then 13th, then 15th – the 14th did NOT show BA seats available. So, do your original search again, using 14 January as your outbound date.
As there are no BA seats on 14 January, you can click on ‘Search’ under partner airlines. You are then searching partner airlines and BA together. You can then move backwards or forwards to find dates with airberlin seats. In this example, I find an airberlin business seat from DUS-NYC on 13 January and the 11 January. These seats did not show up when we originally search DUS-NYC on 11th or 13th January because ba.com defaulted to BA flights.
Once you have the outbound flight, you can toggle the dates for the return flight at the bottom of the screen to find a suitable return date.
It is also possible to search airberlin availability using the American Airlines website, or (amongst other tools) the AwardTravelr tool I reviewed last week. Post below if you have any queries about booking airberlin redemptions.