In a really twisted way the British Airways Executive Club program keeps getting better, despite the big devaluation last year. First we discovered that Avios could be redeemed for travel on Aer Lingus without fuel surcharges, then that there’s a workaround to redeem Avios for travel on Iberia without fuel surcharges, and now it looks like another transatlantic carrier is joining the party.
Air Berlin joined the OneWorld alliance recently, and for close to a year it has been possible to search their award space on ba.com. This wasn’t especially exciting to me since there were hefty fuel surcharges for award redemptions on Air Berlin, and frankly their transatlantic product doesn’t look amazing.
However, for whatever reason it appears that British Airways is presently not imposing fuel surcharges for redemptions on Air Berlin. The typical transatlantic fuel surcharges are somewhere around $350 roundtrip, so we’re talking about substantial savings here.
For example, New York to Dusseldorf roundtrip in business class would run you just 80,000 Avios and $102.17 in taxes:
It’s worth noting that you can book one-ways at half the cost (40,000 Avios each way), and you can fly economy at half the cost as well (20,000 Avios each way).
Air Berlin’s routes to North America include the following (with roundtrip mileage costs stated next to them in coach and business class, respectively):
- New York to Berlin (40,000/80,000)
- Miami to Berlin (50,000/100,000)
- Los Angeles to Berlin (60,000/120,000)
- Fort Myers to Dusseldorf (50,000/100,000)
- Los Angeles to Dusseldorf (60,000/120,000)
- Las Vegas to Dusseldorf (50,000/100,000)
- Miami to Dusseldorf (50,000/100,000)
- New York to Dusseldorf (40,000/80,000)
- Vancouver to Dusseldorf (50,000/100,000)
As a reminder British Airways’ award chart is distance based, so you can connect onwards within Europe on Air Berlin or one of their partner airlines, though you’ll be charged the mileage for each individual segment. You can use the Avios calculator to figure out how many miles would be needed.
As far as Air Berlin’s business class goes, it’s my understanding that Air Berlin has a reasonably decent business class product to the US, with most aircraft being outfitted with these angled flat seats.
Lastly, keep in mind that through September 27 American Express Membership Rewards is offering a 40% transfer bonus to British Airways Executive Club. That means you’re looking at roundtrip transatlantic coach award tickets for as little as 29,000 Membership Rewards points, and roundtrip transatlantic business class award tickets for as little as 58,000 Membership Rewards points, which is an amazing deal.
Hope some of you can take advantage of this!
(Tip of the hat to DansDeals and Love2Travel)