I am on a business trip to Europe to this week and had planned to travel on Air Berlin from Los Angeles to Dusseldorf yesterday. Unfortunately, the carrier’s bankruptcy complicated my plans.
Although this trip has been scheduled for weeks, no space was booked because Air Berlin historically released long-haul premium cabin award space at the last minute. I’ve never flown Air Berlin on a long-haul route and figured it would be a helpful review considering it is (well, was) a great use of AA miles at 57,500 miles for a one-way business class ticket with no fuel surcharges.
But when the carrier declared bankruptcy and its loyalty program soon followed suit, all award space was pulled. I’m so thankful the space did not open earlier.
Air Berlin hopes to avoid shut down, though is considering ending long-haul operations from Berlin and focusing long-haul service exclusively from Dusseldorf. Meanwhile, Lufthansa has expressed interest in in taking over Air Berlin’s long-haul routes.
Whatever the case, at the moment you cannot use points to book flights on Air Berlin. Even if you could, I now question how valuable a report would have been. If the carrier folds (I view it as inevitable), a review won’t help many people…
Interestingly, Air Berlin operations appeared normal at LAX yesterday. The Berlin and Dusseldorf flights were operating on schedule. We’ll see for how long…
Since Air Berlin was no longer an option, I flew Lufthansa instead. The LAX-FRA flight yesterday was quite interesting. I’ll have details on that shortly.