Airberlin joined the oneworld alliance just over two years ago, and I’ve gotta say they really impress me. Yes, they’re a low cost carrier, but they fly a ton of routes to/from Germany that are not served by Lufthansa, and you can’t beat the value of redeeming British Airways Avios for those flights.
The treatment as a oneworld Emerald member on airberlin is quite good as well. First of all, you can assign seats in advance for free. Airberlin ordinarily has a fee to reserve main cabin seats in advance, though if you’re a oneworld Emerald member you can call them up and assign a seat for free in advance, including one of their premium seats. Unfortunately there’s not a way to do this online anymore.
There’s another cool “secret” oneworld Emerald benefit that I wasn’t previously aware of. Last year when I flew airberlin from Catania to Munich I took advantage of their “buy on board” program and ordered some Moët & Chandon champagne and a hot meal from their Sansibar Menu.
Since they don’t have business class, I figured I’d at least make the experience as premium as possible.
Interestingly I wasn’t charged for the champagne, though was charged for the food. I chalked it up to a friendly flight attendant, though today a friend pointed out to me that a free alcoholic beverage is apparently a oneworld Emerald benefit on airberlin.
It’s not something that’s published anywhere, but after reading online there are plenty of similar reports of comped drinks for oneworld Emerald members. Some report having to remind the crew of the benefit, but it does seem to work in all cases.
I don’t get too excited over buy on board alcohol, but I’ll certainly take a free bottle of champagne that they try to sell for €15.
Given how little difference there is between business and economy class on intra-Europe flights, this is just another thing that makes airberlin great for intra-Europe travel.