airberlin completes the roll-out of its fully flat business class seats

Head for Points is a big fan of redeeming Avios on airberlin having done two JFK – Germany flights last year in business class for just £1 of tax (reviews here and here).

If you look at my two reviews, you will see that the first used the old sloping business class seat.  The second, last August, saw me trying out the new fully-flat version which was a great improvement.

airberlin flat seat

airberlin sent out a press release last week to confirm that the new seats are now available on all of their long-haul aircraft.

They were at pains to stress that they are the ONLY German airline (mention no names!) to have fully-flat seats on all of their aircraft!  Lufthansa is catching up very slowly as I outlined in this post recently.

Here is a reminder of airberlin long-haul routes.  This is copied from a post I wrote last year but I don’t think anything has changed.  The sweet spot is Berlin to Abu Dhabi.  As this is just under 3,000 miles it will only cost 50,000 Avios points return.  I think you even get a free chauffeur car at both ends as this route is an Etihad codeshare.

airberlin long haul routes (business class return price plus approximate tax):

Abu Dhabi from Berlin – 50,000 Avios + £51

Abu Dhabi from Dusseldorf – 80,000 Avios + £52

Cancun from Munich – 120,000 Avios + £88

Cancun from Dusseldorf – 100,000 Avios + £86

Chicago from Berlin – 100,000 Avios + £65

* Curacao from Dusseldorf – 100,000 Avios + £46

* Dominican Republic (3 airports) from Munich, Dusseldorf 100,000 Avios + £105

Fort Myers, Florida from Dusseldorf – 100,000 Avios + £66

Los Angeles from Dusseldorf – 120,000 Avios + £66  (Summer only)

Miami from Berlin – 100,000 Avios + £65

Miami from Dusseldorf – 100,000 Avios + £66

Mombasa, Kenya from Munich – 80,000 Avios + £82

New York from Berlin – 80,000 Avios + £65

New York from Dusseldorf – 80,000 Avios + £66

Phuket from Abu Dhabi – 80,000 Avios + £30 (ends 25 October 2014)

* Varadero, Cuba from Berlin, Munich, Dusseldorf – 100,000 Avios + £53

* Appears to be losing business class seating from Nov/Dec 2014 onwards

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  1. Phillip says:

    Berlin – Los Angeles has been cancelled (used to be summer seasonal only). Dusseldorf – Los Angeles had been suspended in winter but is currently operating over the summer!

    Subsequently flight frequencies to New York form both Dusseldorf and Berlin have increased from 7 to 10 a week while to Chicago from 5 to 7. Frequencies to Puerto Plata also increased!

  2. Mrtibbs1999 says:

    Why do you think BA leave these redemptions surcharge free? Any logical reason?

    • AB is not part of the transatlantic JV that BA, AA, IB and Finnair have – I think it is linked to that.

    • Phillip says:

      I believe BA adds the fuel surcharge (YQ) only where other airlines add it to their own revenue flights! I haven’t researched it, but I understand that to avoid lawsuits such as , they use exactly the same value of surcharge as the airline you’re redeeming for. So if you want to know whether they charge and how much for redemptions, look for the YQ component of a revenue flight on ITA Matrix. There are airlines such as American Airlines who, although they charge YQ on their own revenue tickets, don’t pass the charge on to redemptions which is what makes their redemptions cheaper and why you pay it for BA redemptions but not for AA!

      • Phillip says:

        I take the above back – although this is true for AA/LATAM and S7, it seems not to be the case for AB who do have a chunky fuel surcharge on revenue tickets!

        On a slightly different note, AB have now transferred the STN-DUS service over to Etihad Regional!

        • Jason says:

          Anyone have any suggestions how to get 4 people( in business) to Abu Dhabi next April.
          Have looked at Berlin and dusseldorf, 2 passengers on each flight, but they don’t seem to fly, to AUH, every day:-(

        • Dannyrado says:

          Amex points to EY? EY then do a cash + points option too. Limos either end (in most cities) as well. If they don’t have 4 J seats maybe 2f and 2J?

          Also don’t forget AA miles on etihad if you have some.

          Or redeem 2 on AB, and buy 2? Often they’re J fares aren’t bad.

        • Dannyrado says:

          AB also have 2 TXL-AUH flights daily from October I think??

        • Lady London says:

          You could look at options to Dubai of which there will be many more. I gather on land it’s really quick to Abu Dhabi from there.

        • Yes, only about 30 mins further than from Dubai airport if heading to the Marina or Palm area and you save 30 mins due to super fast immigration at Abu Dhabi!

        • Interesting – I just saw this actually whilst double-checking the AB route changes. Slightly odd.

  3. Excellent news as I’ve a flight booked in Business TXL-AUH for 23 September (my birthday) to visit my friend in Dubai.
    Inbound I’m flying Upper Class DXB-LHR.
    All using Avios and Virgin miles.
    Thanks Rob.

  4. whiskerxx says:

    Thanks for this update Raffles. I just checked out Dusseldorf to Fort Myers for next March and sure enough 100.000 Avios and £64.
    I’d need to travel Birmingham to Dusseldorf. German Wings is the likely route at around £74.
    Any redemption opportunities with German Wings? Is that Lufthansa now?
    Also, if I overnight in Dusseldorf do you have any experience of IHG hotels in the area?

    • The IC in Dusseldorf is very modern and good, you won’t have any problems with that (we did a few nights there last year). It is on the Bond Street equivalent. The airport is close to the centre so its a fast taxi ride down there. There is a HI on the same street but I don’t have any experience of that.

      Germanwings is the Lufty low-cost arm. Not sure if you can redeem on them but even if it was possible the ludicrous LH short-haul taxes would make it unviable, so best to swallow the £74. There some older HFP articles on Germanwings if you search which explains the miles and lounge situation.

    • Not IHG but I had to overnight in DUS a couple of months back. Stayed at the Maritim hotel that’s right next to the airport. Got a bargain rate (about £60) from and the room was superbly appointed. Not sure if I was given an upgrade but I couldn’t fault the place!

  5. If anyone is planning on staying overnight in Berlin before one of these flights it’s worth checking out the InterContinental Berlin, they seem to have reduced their prices considerably recently, you can get a room for 80 Euros on some nights at the moment.

    • Brian says:

      Yes, though I’d recommend the Hotel Indigo Ku’damm – it’s also more or less that price and is a 5 minute walk from Tiergarten, where the buses from Tegel terminate. Plus, it’s only 20,000 points a night!

  6. With such reasonable taxes, long haul economy redemption starts to look attractive … however I was just tried dummy bookings for the DUS – Varadero route, and the taxes in economy are exactly the same as business.

  7. Oliver Bennett says:

    I’m looking for DUS to CUN, I can see some in march 2015 but nothing in all of April? Why is it like that!

    • Anyone any idea?

    • Not sure when AB release seats. Not all airlines work on BA’s 355 days. Some go with 330 days.

      • Colin MacKinnon says:

        Think AB are like Easyjet etc and sometimes only release the winter timetable in, say, April.

        Tried to look at Cuba for this winter in January, and no flights showing. So off to KUL on Malaysian!

        But Cuba next on list. And so saw AB flight schedule came out in late March for October onwards.

  8. friendofbiffin says:

    I stand to be corrected but I think that from November onwards the Curacao and Dominican Republic flights are being run on an economy class only basis. Most disappointing!

    • Seems to be from January for Curacao and November for the rest – this is a shame. They never sent out a press release on that 🙂