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.

  1. October 10th, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Yaswanth said,

    That’s great news! I know Air Berlin flies to Iceland. Would we be able to redeem American miles to one of Air Berlins hubs and onto Iceland?

  2. October 10th, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Justin said,

    Doesn’t Air Berlin also provide OW flyers with another option to MLE?

  3. October 11th, 2011 at 12:34 am

    Hermann said,

    Really, you´d subject yourself to that? I can´t see how their product can be any better than Iberia. AB isn´t even a real LCC anymore, its more like LCC service at premium carrier fares, one of the reasons they are in financial trouble.

  4. October 11th, 2011 at 4:13 am

    lucky said,

    @ Yaswanth — You sure can. Just keep in mind that Air Berlin doesn’t have a premium cabin on their flights to Iceland.

    @ Justin — Yep!

    @ Hermann — At the end of the day it’s an additional option that’s good to have. If you were traveling from New York to Berlin and wanted to use miles would you rather fly Air Berlin business class or connect on British Airways through London and pay an additional $500 roundtrip? I know which I’d rather do.

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