Based in Germany, air berlin is expanding their existing services to North America. Most recently, they launched flights to San Francisco, CA (SFO) and Boston, MA (BOS) and increased frequencies to other destinations. It’s yet another way for you to cross the Atlantic Ocean and redeem your miles.
Let’s take a look at what they have to offer.
Frequent Flyer Program
air berlin is a member of the oneworld alliance with a frequent flyer program called topbonus. As a member of this alliance, it means that when you earn miles on air berlin, you can redeem them on carriers such as American Airlines and British Airways, both oneworld Alliance members. The topbonus program has four levels; Classic, Silver (25,000/24 flights), Gold (50,000/60 flights), Platinum (100,000 miles). As a oneworld Alliance member, the Gold level gives you oneworld Sapphire status and Platinum level is oneworld Emerald. Both statuses give you varying access to the oneworld partner lounges around the world plus other oneworld elite benefits.
Air berlin is partially owned by Etihad and as a result, you also have access to the Etihad partners such as Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Alitalia, Bangkok Airways, Etihad, Etihad Regional, Hainan Airlines, Jet Airways, Niki and virgin australia. You also have access to all the oneworld Group of airlines (American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LATAM, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, S7 and SriLankan Airlines) so this increases the number of places you can travel on the topbonus miles you’ve earned.
Like all other airlines with a reward program, air berlin is no different with hotels, credit cards, car rentals and other partners for you to earn even more miles. Here are the awards needed to cross the Atlantic to/from Europe to/from the U.S.
air berlin top bonus Miles
Economy Class Mileage Award – 25,000
Business Class Mileage Award – 40,000
American Airlines AAdvantage Miles
Economy Class Mileage SAAver Award – 30,000
Business Class Mileage SAAver Award – 57,500
British Airways Avios Points
Economy Class Mileage SAAver Award – 13,000
Business Class Mileage SAAver Award – 50,000
Additional information about the topbonus Award Chart can be found here.
Routes to/from the U.S.
air berlin is hubbed in Berlin-Tegel (TXL) and Dusseldorf, Germany (DUS). From these two airport you can get anywhere in Europe and the rest of the world easily. Either on air berlin or other oneworld partners. They use the two cabin Airbus A330-200 with 290 seats.
Here are the cities served by air berlin to/from their two hubs in Germany to/from the U.S.
- Berlin-Tegel, Germany (TXL)
- Chicago-O’Hare (ORD)
- New York, Ny (JFK)
- Dusseldorf, Germany (DUS)
- Boston, MA (BOS) (4 times weekly)
- Fort Myers, FL (RSW) (4 times weekly)
- Los Angeles, CA (LAX)
- Miami, FL (MIA)
- New York, NY (JFK)
- San Francisco, CA (SFO) (5 times weekly)
The cabin is configured with 19 seats in a 1-2-1 configuration and can be adjusted to lie fully flat. You do have access to over 600 Lounges worldwide due to the oneworld partnership as well as the Etihad partnership.
If you are flying to/from Abu Dhabi you have access to the complimentary chauffeur service. This feature is as a result of the Etihad partnership. In addition to having access in Abu Dhabi itself, you also have access in about 7 other countries including Australia, Germany and Singapore.
There are three types of seats in this cabin with 46 XL seat which offers 20% extra legroom, the Preferred seat (the window and aisle seats on either side of the forward cabin of the Economy class and the aisle Exit row seats), and the standard seats all in a 2-4-2 configuration. You can reserve and pay for these seats up to four hours before departure using cash or top bonus miles. It’s 10,000 miles for the XL and Preferred seats, while the price in Euros is 79 and 59 respectively.
air berlin provides an excellent way to cross the Atlantic with reasonable redemption awards and service from seven U.S. cities. Plus you have full access to the oneworld alliance network as well as Etihad’s network and facilities. They are definitely worth considering for your next European getaway.