German airline airberlin offers one of the best options for spending your Avios points without incurring high taxes.
Whilst little known, airberlin is a full member of the oneworld alliance alongside BA, Qatar, Cathay, Qantas etc. All of its long-haul aircraft now offer fully flat beds in business class.
I have flown airberlin business class from New York and I was perfectly happy with it. Given the tax was under £2 for a one-way ticket, it would be churlish to have complained!
Abu Dhabi services from Berlin doubled
On October 26th airberlin introduced a 2nd daily flight from Berlin to Abu Dhabi.
This is fantastic news as this is one of the best value Avios redemptions available! Because Berlin to Abu Dhabi is just under 3,000 miles, a return flight in business class is only 50,000 Avios plus £51 of tax. Economy is only 25,000 Avios return.
airberlin also flies to Abu Dhabi from Dusseldorf but that is 80,000 Avios per person.
It is also about to launch services from Stuttgart (1st December) and Vienna (24th November) to Abu Dhabi using short-haul aircraft. These will be 50,000 Avios and under £50 of tax return in business but I have not yet seen what seat will be used. The Vienna flights will be under the NIKI brand.
Etihad is a 29% shareholder in airberlin if you were wondering why it flies to Abu Dhabi so heavily.
airberlin has also announced increased frequencies to the USA. Dusseldorf will see its New York services increase to daily during the Winter timetable and twice a day from the Summer 2015 timetable.
Services to Los Angeles from Dusseldorf next Summer will increase from four to six per week.
To provide the aircraft for this, the Miami to Berlin service is being dropped from next Summer. Miami to Dusseldorf will remain.
This is the full list of airberlin long-haul routes together with approximate taxes. The Avios prices are for return flights in business class. Halve the Avios number for economy redemptions.
This list was put together a few months ago so may contain some errors – I will update it when I re-run our ‘Avios Redemption University’ series soon. Some of the holiday routes were due to be losing business class seating this year.
Abu Dhabi from Berlin – 50,000 Avios + £51
Abu Dhabi from Dusseldorf – 80,000 Avios + £52
Abu Dhabi from Stuttgart (starts 1 December) – 50,000 Avios + £48 (short-haul plane)
Abu Dhabi from Vienna (starts 24 November) – 50,000 Avios + £46 (short-haul plane)
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 (stopping Summer 2015) – 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
Varadero, Cuba from Berlin, Munich, Dusseldorf – 100,000 Avios + £53