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.
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.