Airberlin’s New Intra-Europe Business Class Is Now On Sale

As I first wrote about in early August, airberlin is planning on introducing business class on intra-Europe flights this year. The airline lacks a vision as they continue to bleed money, and seem internally conflicted as to whether they want to be a full service or low cost airline.

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Airberlin 737

In the meantime it looks like airberlin will soon be leasing about a third of their planes to Lufthansa, which will operate all of the airberlin’s routes that aren’t to Dusseldorf or Berlin.

Anyway, as anyone who has flown intra-Europe business class knows, it’s not exactly a glam experience. Instead it’s typically economy with a blocked middle seat in the front of the plane, with better onboard service, as well as priority ground services (premium check-in, security, boarding, and lounge access).

Airberlin was planning on just making the first row of each plane business class, primarily so they can create a better offering for passengers coming off longhaul airberlin flights. It sucks to pay for airberlin’s longhaul business class, only to connect onto a shorthaul flight in economy.

Well, it looks like airberlin is rolling out this new concept very quickly. Airberlin is now selling business class on intra-Europe flights as of October 4, 2016.

When you go to book an intra-Europe flight on airberlin’s website you’ll see a button at the top right that lets you switch between seeing economy and business fares.

Airberlin-Business-Class-2

As is the norm within Europe, the business class fares are pretty hefty, given how little value you’re getting. As you can see below, a one-way ticket from Dusseldorf to Berlin costs 348EUR in business class.

Airberlin-Business-Class-1

However, it seems airberlin’s primary motivation in introducing this product isn’t even to sell it directly, but rather to offer it to connecting business class passengers, so they have more of an incentive to choose airberlin.

From the looks of it, it seems like airberlin’s A321s have six business class seats (since the very first row just has two seats on one side, and then there’s a full row of business class), while other planes have just four seats in business class.

As a reminder, the benefits of intra-Europe business class on airberlin include an empty middle seat, priority-checkin, security, and boarding, access to their “exclusive waiting areas,” a welcome drink, a pillow, two checked bags, and free food & drinks from airberlin’s onboard menu.

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Entrance to the airberlin exclusive waiting area at Berlin Tegel Airport

For what it’s worth, as of the time of this post it doesn’t look like airberlin has intra-Europe business class award availability, though long term I suspect they will. This could be useful in conjunction with an airberlin transatlantic award ticket..

(Tip of the hat to Moritz)

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. Can’t wait to pay 300 E extra to “enjoy” their exclusiver Wartebereich….
    Any saudi air lounge bathroom is more appealing….

  2. “Exklusiver Wartebereich” in Vienna (EU terminal) is more or less a monkey cage with free undrinkable coffee, where you can sit and look out on the nice bar and burger joint, and people walking by can look at you but not feed you.

  3. Same here, I wait until I get some report back. On their German webpage, they say food will only be served on flights over 90 minutes – which would mean no food on most of their hub flights into DUS/TXL, which seem to be the primary target group for the new product … but food served on their leisure destinations in the Mediterranean, which are not the target anymore and might even be sold to LH/EW … Now, I’m not sure if this is their last word, that’s why I wait and see.

  4. Funny – after reading your several posts this week about changes coming up with Air Berlin, today I received an email from AA about a “schedule change” to my flights around Christmas. My flights AMS-HEL are now “operated by Air Berlin for Finnair”. That’s something altogether new – I guess they’re not only operating for LH but also for AY! I wonder who else?

    It’s good they’ll have a business class as we’re ticketed in business – connecting on to HKG on an A350. Maybe I’ll have to do a review. 🙂

  5. @Brian: I don’t think this is related to AB’s change in service. AY has used AB wet lease for some time, every time one of their 319/320/321 goes into C or D check. On those flights, they always offered AY style business class.

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