Discounted Transatlantic Summer Business Class Fares On Airberlin

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Oneworld airline airberlin has a transatlantic business class fare sale for travel this summer. This has to be one of the most poorly promoted sales I’ve ever seen, though.

airberlin-A330

The front page of airberlin’s website promotes the sale, but when you click on the sale link, it just brings you to the general booking page.

Airberlin-Sale

So we’re having to piece together the details of the sale on our own. Best I can tell the discounted airberlin business class fares are available for travel between the US and Europe with departure dates between July 1 and August 31, 2016. There’s a Saturday night minimum stay required. I’d also note that these fares are non-refundable and even non-changeable, which is even more restrictive than usual.

The all-in roundtrip fares are as follows:

  • Boston to Dusseldorf: $1,797
  • New York to Dusseldorf: $2,097
  • Los Angeles to Dusseldorf: $2,097
  • San Francisco to Dusseldorf: $2,097
  • Chicago to Berlin: $2,200

Airberlin-Fare-Sale

Those are some pretty solid deals, especially for travel from the west coast, given how tough it can be to snag nonstop business class award seats from Los Angeles or San Francisco to Europe. Availability is excellent within the eligible dates as well. To search the fares I’d suggest using either ITA Matrix or Google Flights.

airberlin

Airberlin has a pretty good business class product, consisting of staggered seats. I reviewed airberlin a few years back when I flew them between Miami and Dusseldorf. While they’re a low cost carrier, the seats are decent, the crews are generally friendly, and the food is edible, though nothing special (which is also true of Lufthansa business class).

airberlin-business-class-1

Unfortunately other oneworld airlines haven’t matched this fare sale, so you can’t fly American, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia. The main reason I wish other oneworld carriers would match is so that the $400 AARP British Airways discount could be applied (which is also valid on airlines that are part of their joint venture).

AARP-Discount

If you take advantage of this fare, be sure you use a card which offers bonus points on airfare, like the Citi Prestige® Card. The travel protection the card offers could prove especially useful with this kind of fare, given that it’s fully non-refundable and non-changeable.

Bottom line

These are some excellent fares for travel in the peak summer season between the US and Europe. I’d say the fares between the west coast and Europe are especially tempting, given how tough those flights can be to secure on awards. While I doubt other oneworld airlines will match this fare, I suspect we’ll see some other great fares for travel this summer coming up, as Nick recently wrote about.

Anyone planning on taking advantage of airberlin’s transatlantic fare sale?

(Tip of the hat to Sykes)

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Comments

  1. While these fares may not be very expensive, I don’t think Air Berlin quite qualifies as LCC (low cost carrier) 🙂

    P.S. Really wish Air Berlin & Aer Lingus would fly to DFW and Austrian & Swiss would fly to IAH. Need more options to Europe, IMHO.

  2. Their business class lay flat seats are awful. The windows seats are like flying in a coffin. Some of the center center seats are as close to each other as coach seats. The planes are too hot and their is no individual air control in business class. The service is lousy and the food is bad.

  3. Well if you are fat they aren’t the best seats. Tight at the top to be sure, but perfectly manageable. Food was good if you are used to regular European business class catering. Similar to LH. Cabins always warm like LH. I guess Don had a bad experience?

  4. Stephan: It’s just not me. Most of the reviews on Seat Guru agree that this a horrible product.

    Submitted by SeatGuru User on 2016/03/19
    Business 3E and 3F from JFK to TXL the “Business seats” are small and narrow I am 1.86m and the night was terrible I could not find a comfort position for rest never again

    Submitted by SeatGuru User on 2015/11/01
    Business-class: Very narrow for guys, who are 6′ 0″” tall – standard for an European. You can’t strech your legs and to sleeping is possible only in a cranked manner. Also the seat (back and and head restraint height too) is designed for small people – you will not fit in with standard male body dimensions. THe amterial seems to be taken out of service of an former Etihad flyer – old and designed for asians.

    Submitted by SeatGuru User on 2015/08/20 for Seat 2K
    Business Class Seats are narrow, small and incredibly uncomfortable I am a frequent traveler over 120 flights a year of which 80 are long haul business class flights and this seat is undoubtedly the worst seat I am 6’0 normal built guy and could not stretch my legs. Service was overall good but the comfort level and the low quality (plastic) of the seat will make me not use Airberlin on Long-haul.

    Submitted by SeatGuru User on 2015/08/16
    Honeymoon seats, yes a very tight fit. My mom and I had the 3rd row and my daughters sat at the 5th row. If we moved when the seat was in its flat bed position, you will definitely intrude on the “personal space” of your seatmate. There was no screen that could be put up between the seats. There was a massage feature in the seats, but not the most comfortable business class seats.

    Submitted by SeatGuru User on 2014/11/06 for Seat 1E
    These seats are for people who are max. 170cm tall, for taller it is impossible to lie flat. The flight was too late, so we could not reach our flight to Bangkok. The meal is not worth to talk about, but cabincrew was really friendly.

    Submitted by SeatGuru User on 2014/09/27 for Seat 3E and F
    These seats are hard as wood, difficult for anyone over 5’3″ tall or over 130lbs to get in out or lie flat as the seats at 180 are short short short. Seats are business class in name only and covered in a rough fabric that feels hot as well as the cabin was never cooled properly. There are no AC vents and no fan air anywhere. Do not confuse this “business class” with standard business class on other airlines. The honeymoon seats are so tight to enter and claustrophobic even if you are flying with your loved one.

    Submitted by SeatGuru User on 2014/08/21 for Seat 1E
    I agree with comments about the “honeymoon” seats being very close. I would not want the seat if I was next to a stranger I didn’t want to get close to. Also the window seats are a bit snug, but more private. If you are tall and solo the aisle might seem more spacious. In business there is not a lot of aisle traffic. However, ask on the plane or at check-in how full business class is. If you can have the pair of honeymoon seats to yourself, it’s pretty sweet. I had two LCD screens. I watched my movie on one, and kept the map on the other. The padded foot rest lifts up to help you get your bag in the storage area. I do wish there was an additional empty pouch for misc items. Service was great. If you are heavier like me, you have to suck in the tummy to get into the seat. Overall, I was very happy. The Air France lounge at TXL was worth getting there early for coffee and a bite.

    Submitted by SeatGuru User on 2014/06/01 for Seat 1EF
    Do not select these “Honeymoon” seats (1, 3 or 5 EF) unless you truly are on your honeymoon and you ar every small people. My husband is 6’2″ & I’m 5’8″ and these felt extremely cramped and coffin-ish when fully flat. The bottom half of the beds join, so if you don’t know the person well, it would be very awkward. I would pick Even rows seats across from each other – ie. 2C & D – seemed much more spacious and comfortable.

  5. @ dave — AARP is intended to support seniors, but there are no age requirements to join. We can all show our support for seniors!

  6. I have to agree with Don. I flew AB from JFK to Berlin and BA back on the return (due to IRROPS) and I have to say that while BA wasn’t exactly private (I flew in the first row aisle of the 747 upper deck), it was still considerably better than AB. While the crew was decent (actually slightly better than my BA crew), the food portions were really small (was starving when I landed) and the seat was almost unbearably narrow width-wise and felt very tight. The seat felt noticeably tighter than BA, or Asiana (which has a similar configuration). I think if I had to choose (and didn’t have to pay those huge fuel surcharges), I’d definitely go with BA business over AB.

  7. “which is also valid on airlines that are part of their joint venture”

    Would those airlines be AA, BA Finnair and Iberia?

  8. just fyi: I am very upset with this airline. I have a good amount of AB miles so tried to use it. First, they recently changed a US toll free number to a local rate one recently. OK, fine. So I called but was told that the management completely removed English-speaking agents in TopBonus team/department (cf. there are English speaking agents in reservation team for revenue tickets though) from now on starting a few weeks ago. So unless one speaks German, one has only two options to issue an award ticket: 1) using AB’s award search online system, or 2) email to Topbonus team. Very frustrating and annoying. The problem is their award search engine is a sort of crap (even doesn’t have a button/page to choose booking class (eco or biz), only showing eco arability as default, and also doesn’t show any Qatar flight availability for its qualifying routes.

    Won’t deal with this airline never again after I burn AB miles.

  9. Well, I for one quite like airberlin’s business class seats. I would consider myself of “standard male height”, and found the window seats to be just fine. The lack of control over air flow was annoying, but besides that, I enjoyed the hard product. Maybe I was just lucky, but the crew were fantastic and proactive. These fares are pretty good, but the airberlin website is almost useless. Wish they would fix it!

  10. AB appears to charge for seat assignments, even though it clearly states that business class passengers are exempt from this. All seats in the longhaul J cabin are labeled as XL and are incurring an $88 upsell charge. Furthermore, they charge for seat assignments on the connecting flight (all Y cabin). This is really really crappy and makes me want to not give them any $$$

  11. Me and my wife have traveled on Airberlin business class three times over the course of the last two years, and we always selected 3EF, exactly for that above mentioned reason (honeymoon seats). In the past there was always good AA saver award availability on Airberlin when connecting to our destination European city. Taxes are also far lower than on BA. Seat selection (transatlantic) is always free, they tend to charge for seat selection within their European network only, which only has one class (economy). However, they always gave us seat selection free when I politely asked them (called them on the phone). They told me that the first row they can release in advance for free is row 9.
    As for the service, (for us at least), it seems to be getting better and better. This last time, it was very impressive, they were very attentive, always smiling. With regards to the seats, Air Canada’s business class seat (single seats of the left) felt narrower for me (I also traveled twice alone on Airberlin, and then I sat next to the window). I would certainly travel on their business class product again.

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