Back in July I wrote about the fact that Air Berlin would be joining the OneWorld alliance soon. While that hasn’t happened yet, the good news is that AAdvantage members can now earn and redeem miles for travel on Air Berlin.
I’m most excited about the ability to redeem miles on Air Berlin. Admittedly Air Berlin is a low cost airline and doesn’t have the most luxurious product in the world, but they open up a lot of new options for AAdvantage members.
One of the weaknesses in the OneWorld alliance for AAdvantage members is Europe. Yes, you have British Airways, though they impose fuel surcharges for award redemptions on them, so expect to pay $500+ for a business class “award” ticket. Then there’s Iberia and Finnair. The former doesn’t have an especially exciting business class product, while the latter hardly releases any award space.
So this is yet another option to travel to Europe on miles, and especially to travel to Germany on miles. American only flies to Germany out of Dallas, so the lack of service from east coast to Europe is a huge gap in their network. This will allow travelers to redeem miles for travel to Germany through Air Berlin’s Dusseldorf and Berlin hubs.
The best news is that award availability on Air Berlin is phenomenal, at least as of now. If you join Air Berlin’s Top Bonus program you should be able to search award availability for their flights. If there’s saver award space it should also be bookable through American.
Again, not the most exciting airline in the world, but more options are always a good thing.