Airline Review: Air Berlin (long haul Business)
Some experiences are really special. So was our first Business Class flight with our “home” airline Air Berlin (AB), which is worth a review for sure. Even though the experience was mixed to some degrees, flying in an airplane and having a fully flat bed was an awesome adventure. Also, the food was really good, but frequent travelers may be bored after some time as the menu doesn’t change too often.
Reviewing the Business Class in Air Berlin’s Airbus A330-200 is something we were looking forward to for a long time. Lately, we had the chance to fly the premium class three times, which makes it easier to rate the experience on board and on ground. First of all, the Business Class experience differs depending on where your journey starts and where you are going.
- Airplane: Airbus A330-200
- Cabin Class: Business
- Daytime: Morning/Noon/Evening
- Food: Lunch/Dinner
- Seat Pitch: 60 Inch (152 Centimeter)
- Seat Width: 20 Inch (51 Centimeter)
If you are flying from Germany to or via Abu Dhabi with Air Berlin, you’ll be able to take advantage of the Limousine Service that picks you up and drops you off in a range of 40 kilometers from Berlin Tegel. We had the chance to try the service for one of our flights and were really thrilled. We were picked up by a Mercedes Benz S-Class and had a very polite driver. An awesome start to our first Business Class airline review.
Weak lounge and uncomfortable boarding
Anyway, when departing from Berlin Tegel, you won’t be happy about what is happening after your nice transfer. Every Business Class passenger of Air Berlin is eligible to enter either the British Airways or the Air France Lounge.
Both are nothing special, but a nice place to rest and get a little bite. Sadly, the lounges are located outside of the security area, which makes the security control and boarding process very exhausting. Premium class passengers do rarely have advantages over other passengers boarding in Berlin when flying Air Berlin. Nothing to really worry about, but if you pay more than the double of what others pay, faster security or boarding may be a nice thing.
If you are departing from Abu Dhabi, you will have similar problems as most flights are boarded through buses, which isn’t really comfortable as well. Anyway, the departure lounges in Abu Dhabi are really impressive and worth planning some extra time.
Amazing seating in the Air Berlin Business Class
The onboard experience is way better than what you get on ground, so everybody flying the Air Berlin Business Class should be looking forward to boarding the plane as fast as possible. The seating in the airplane is really comfortable as Air Berlin offers fully flat beds since the part-merger with Etihad Airways.
Moreover, every seat has aisle access – a point that needs to be mentioned in an airline review as some other airlines do not offer aisle access in Business Class even in new configurations. Three double seats in Air Berlins premium class are arranged as partner seats, the others are single seats. We decided for a partner seat and really liked the small area of privacy.
The seats do not only fully recline, they also offer several massage functions and a wide choice of seating options. What we missed was storage area. There was enough room to store your shoes, but no space for putting your mobile phone as well as your wallet. What was a nice feature though was the welcome drink (champagne or orange juice) you are offered before departure.
Good food, but a limited choice
Right after departure, guests are offered another drink and some nuts. On all flights to Abu Dhabi (daytime and nighttime), Air Berlin offers a meal service. Sadly, the lunch and dinner options were the same on both our flights to Abu Dhabi, so we didn’t have too much choice.
Also, the airline was not able to serve our favorite choice twice as “others already took this option”. I feel like that shouldn’t happen when flying a premium class. The quality of the food was really good, the main dishes were rich, too.
The dessert was a little small, but more than enough in our opinion. On the six hour flights there is no more meal service, but snacks are served on request – so are drinks.
We didn’t try the alcohol selection, but it looked really good.
Capricious service experience aboard Air Berlin
Last but not least, it is important to mention in this airline review that the service was kind of capricious. Sometimes the service was really efficient and kind, sometimes slow and a little impersonal.
Anyway, we liked the overall experience aboard the Airbus A330-200 of Air Berlin in Business Class. The most positive thing when flying Air Berlin is the fully flat bed which is really comfortable for sleeping (you are getting a solid blanket and a pillow as well) and the good and rich food.
Sadly, the on ground experience is only recommendable in Abu Dhabi, not in Berlin. If you got the chance, be sure to try the Limousine Service (available in Dusseldorf, Berlin and Abu Dhabi when flying Air Berlin). Also, the Etihad Lounge in Abu Dhabi is worth a recommendation.
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