airberlin is a oneworld airline, partner of American and British Airways, that’s largely controlled by UAE-based Etihad.
They have a great business class product for long haul travel, and they do not add fuel surcharges to their fares. That means when redeeming miles, even British Airways miles for travel across the Atlantic, there are no fuel surcharges.
They’ve just announced new service starting in May to 3 US cities:
- Dallas, effective May 6 (four times a week on Sunday/Monday/Wednesday/Friday)
- San Francisco, effective May 6 (three times a week until June 8, and then 5 times a week on Sunday/Monday/Wednesday/Thursday/Friday)
- Boston, effective May 7 (three times a week until June 11, then 4 times a week on Sunday/Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday)
The great news is that these new flights have loaded into the schedule with 2 business class award seats (in both directions) pretty much every day. That’s really useful:
- The San Francisco flight is uniquely valuable because West Coast – Europe awards in business class are tough.
- The Dallas flight is uniquely valuable because you can connect on American Airlines from much of the US to take it across the Atlantic.
The space isn’t searchable at aa.com, but then the American Airlines website has been especially glitchy for award search the past couple of days. You can find it on the British Airways website and the Qantas frequent flyer site, then call American if using AAdvantage miles.
Here’s award space for 2 passengers in business class, San Francisco and Dallas to Dusseldorf in June:
American charges 50,000 miles each way for business class, and includes flights in the US to the connect to your airberlin flight, and also on airberlin (or other partner airline) beyond Dusseldorf to other destinations in Europe. For additional miles you can even connect in Europe to destinations in other regions.
British Airways charges:
- 60,000 points each way for Boston – Dusseldorf
- 75,000 points each way for Dallas – Dusseldorf
- 90,000 points each way for San Francisco – Dusseldorf
They charge separately for each flight segment. But this is still useful if you have British Airways points, because of the lack of fuel surcharges. And it’s useful because British Airways is an American Express and Chase transfer partner.
airberlin also flies from Chicago, Fort Myers, Miami, New York, and Los Angeles but those award seats can get snapped up quickly. This is a great opportunity.
(HT: One Mile at a Time)