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Air Berlin Flights Now Bookable With American Miles

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Air Berlin, Europe’s fifth largest airline, will soon be an official part of the Oneworld alliance and in the meantime their awards are already bookable using American Airlines (and soon other Oneworld airlines) miles. It was announced last summer that they’d be joining Oneworld and as part of my blog post last July, I highlighted a couple interesting aspects of Air Berlin:

1) Air Berlin will allow east coast Oneworld flyers non-stop access to Germany via JFK, Miami and Ft. Myers. Currently, all Oneworld flights to Germany either go non-stop through Dallas, or connect in Europe.

2) With the addition of Air Berlin, Oneworld will now have great access to Iceland. Air Berlin operates over 1/3 of the flights out of Reykjavik.

3) Air Berlin serves more cities in Germany than Lufthansa (23 in total). Their main hubs are Berlin and Dusseldorf vs Lufthansa’s strongholds of Frankfurt and Munich.

4) US non-stop routes include Dusseldorf from : JFK, MIA, RSW (Fort Meyers, FL), LAX and SFO. See their full route map here.

While Air Berlin is a semi-low cost carrier, they do have a fleet of Airbus A330s equipped with a decent business class and from what I’ve seen so far, coach availability looks really generous. When I called to book an award, fees were low too- less than $50 roundtrip, so it does not look like there are fuel surcharges.

Simple award interface, including a calendar view

Overall, this is a nice enhancement to anyone with Oneworld miles looking for more options to Europe. To search Air Berlin award availability you need to sign up for a Top Bonus account here. When signing up, you’ll be given the option to purchase a  Service Card for 79 euros. This will give you access to advance seat assignments (including exit rows and premium seats), increased baggage allowance and other small customer service perks. This probably only makes sense if you fly Air Berlin several times a year.

Service Card benefits

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

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  • Receive 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • No matter where you're traveling, when you use your Premier Rewards Gold Card there are no foreign transaction fees from American Express.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 a year in baggage fees and more at one airline.
  • There is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $195.
  • Terms and limitations apply. See Rates & Fees
Intro APR Regular APR Annual Fee Balance Transfer Fee Credit Rating
N/A Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $195 See Terms Excellent Credit