Flight Review: Air Berlin Business Class Abu Dhabi AUH Berlin TXL AB 7495 A330-200
Air Berlin Business Class is one of the best redemptions around if (like me) you hate paying heavy fees, charges and ‘addons’.
Avios can be redeemed on Air Berlin, and there are no fuel surcharges, so a Business Class award flight from Abu Dhabi to Berlin comes in around £23.60 of tax (around 115 AED).
As an added bonus, although Air Berlin are in the Oneworld alliance (hence being able to use British Airways Executive Club Avios) they are also an Etihad Airways Partner. This means passengers flying in/out of Abu Dhabi on Air Berlin Business Class have access to the same benefits as on Etihad Airways, such as:-
- Business Class check-in
- Premium Class Lounge at Abu Dhabi
- Chauffeur transport to/from Abu Dhabi
Time: 02:30 to 07:00
Date: September 2016
Flight: Air Berlin AB7495
Aircraft: Airbus A330-200
Route: Abu Dhabi AUH to Berlin Tegel TXL
Cost: 37,500 Avios and £23.60
Booked using: British Airways Executive Club website
Click here for how to book award flights through a variety of methods (Etihad Airways, American Airlines, Air Berlin etc.
Air Berlin Business Class flight AB7495: the good
Etihad Airways Premium Lounge at Abu Dhabi Airport
Always one of my favourite airport lounges – spacious, relaxing, great bar, lots of amenities, terrific food and excellent service.
Although I normally just have sushi or something light (to save space for the Business Class drink and food onboard) the beef brisket looked tasty, however it must have been great as they run out. However, one of the waitresses promised me more would be coming and actually brought a very healthy serving over to the table later (look at the photos and try not to drool!) and it was every good as it looked.
Lie-flat seats were comfortable, and laid out in a staggered fashion (see photos) which gives good privacy to each cabin.
In Flight Entertainment (IFE)
Good selection of relatively new films and content, and whilst not as extensive compared to Emirates, there's still plenty enough movies, TV shows, music etc. to keep entertained. The movie choice was very recent, and I enjoyed watching Deadpool whilst sinking a few Warsteiners.
Red-eye or overnight flights are often not the best flights to maximise the Business Class experience, as most people either sleep or the breakfast menu doesn’t really offer the range a daytime menu would do.
However, the menu on offer – from Sansibar restaurant in Sylt – was very thorough, especially with the range of snacks.
I tried the Smoked Duck Breast rey bread with Swedish mustard and dill spread, and it was amazing.
Breakfast proved to be a pleasant surprise, with a full tray as a starter and then a hot course as a main. The Omelette proved to be very tasty indeed, and the choice of Brot/bread was a delight.
Spoiler alert: I don't understand wine or champagne, other than to say I like and drink whatever's put in front of me.
Champagne was served straight away on welcoming onboard, and I was looking forward to sampling the cocktails and the wide wine selection.
However, once I’d downed a Warsteiner, duck snack and settled into watching Deadpool, I was happy to stay on beer this time.
Service was a very good and efficient, with a team of three attendants serving the entire cabin promptly.
Breakfast was a little random however, for some reason the bread tray didn’t make it to seat 5A but on asking the attendant she very helpfully provided a new fresh tray – just for me!
Air Berlin Business Class flight AB 7495: the not so good
Shuttle bus at AUH
Maybe it was because I stayed a little later in the Premium Lounge, but Business Class passengers travelled on the same shuttle from the gate to the plane.
Maybe the dedicated Business Class shuttle bus had already left – the majority of the cabin were already seated by the time I’d boarded) but it was a minor inconvenience waiting for everyone to be packed like sardines before setting off.
Gap between window seats
For some unknown reason, I selected a window seat – which would be the first time in a few years – and whilst the seat was very comfortable, spacious and secluded, there was one minor issue.
If you’re a broad, stocky, portly person, the gap on entering the seat from the aisle could require a little practice. It’s not that it’s small, just with the drinks holder, the light stem and the casing from the seat in front, it needs a little practice to wriggle into the seat space cleanly.
This was particularly tricky at night, in the dark – and with a drink on the drink holder – but it’s easily dealt with (once you manouevre yourself right).
Air Berlin Business Class flight AB 7495: conclusion
Despite Air Berlin being viewed as a budget carrier, Business Class was efficient, well appointed, comfortable and with terrific service.
Lie-flat seats, extensive drinks and food menu and the added bonus of Etihad Airways Partner benefits make Air Berlin Business Class a force to be reckoned with for travel hackers, award flights and upgrades.
Disclosure: All of our reviews are visited anonymously, and we pay for all charges ourselves.
We feel no freebies, no bias, no PR or marketing involvement makes for a better objective and fairer review for you.
Have you travelled on Etihad Business Class? Let us know your thoughts and feedback via the comments below – we'd love to hear from you!
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