Air Berlin was launched by the American company Lelco at the end of the 1970’s so that Western Berliners could fly to the holiday resorts of the Mediterranean. At the end of the Cold War the airline was bought by a German businessman, Joachim Hunold.
Now a German registered company, they’ve stuck to their leisure background. Today they focus on flights to destinations across Southern Europe, the Canary Islands, and North Africa. Intercontinental routes are equally fun-focussed, with flights between Europe and the resorts of Southeast Asia and the Caribbean.
A member of the OneWorld Alliance, AirBerlin also serve some business travellers by connecting major European cities with 25 cities across Germany.
How to Check In
Check in the old fashioned way at the airport. AirBerlin’s desks open 120 minutes before scheduled departure time, and 180 minutes before departure for flights to the USA and Canada. Check in for flights leaving from the USA and Canada also open early, 240 minutes before departure. On long haul flights, passengers must have their boarding card 90 minutes before departure. It’s important to check the closing time at your outbound airport. Some airports close their check in 30 minutes before departure, while others close 90 minutes beforehand. This information can be found on Air Berlin’s website. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and we do recommend getting to the airport at least three hours before your flight is due to leave. It’s also possible to check in online between 30 hours and 45 minutes before departure on most flights. Online check in for flights to the USA opens 24 hours before departures and closes 3 hours before. The same time scales apply to mobile check-in, which you can do via your smartphone’s browser or via the AirBerlin app. Mobile boarding cards are sent via MMS.
Baggage Allowance and Fees
Hand baggage can measure up to 55cm x 40cm x 20cm and weigh up to 8kg (or 10kg if you’re carrying a laptop). JustFly, FlyDeal, and FlyClassic passengers can bring one piece of hand luggage while FlyFlex, Business Class, and topbonus Gold and Platinum card holders can bring two pieces on board. Hold luggage allowance depends on fare class. JustFly passengers can bring one piece baggage weighing up to 23kg for a fee of €85 (around £67.40) or up to 32kg for €135 (around £107). FlyDeal and FlyClassic passengers can bring one piece of baggage up to 23kg for free. You can upgrade to a 32kg bag for €50 (around £39.60) on short and medium-haul flights, and €100 (about £79.20) on long-haul if booked online. If booked at the airport, these fees rise to €65 (roughly £51.53) short and medium haul and €115 (about £91.20) long haul. On medium and short haul flights additional items of up to 23kg can be purchased for €70 (roughly £55.50) online or €85 (around £67.40) at the airport. Extra 32kg bags cost €120 (about £95.10) online or €135 (approx £107) at the airport. On long haul flights additional items of up to 23kg cost €150 (around £118.90) if booked online or €165 (roughly £130.80) at the airport, and 32kg items cost €250 (about £198.10) online or €265 (approx £210) at the airport. FlyFlex and Business Class passengers can bring two pieces of baggage up to 32kg on all flights. Extra pieces are subject to the same fees as FlyDeal and FlyClassic passengers.
Seating – Leg Room, Choosing Seats
JustFly passengers are unable to pre-book their seat. FlyClassic and FlyDeal passengers can reserve seats for a fee, depending on route. Prices range from €9.99 (around £7.92) for a standard seat on domestic flights, to €24.99 (£19.80) for intercontinental flights. FlyFlex passengers can book a seat free of charge, although fees apply for XL seats which have extra legroom. Legroom on AirBerlin flights is fairly standard, sitting between 30” and 34” on long-haul flights. Business class passengers benefit from a 59-60” seat pitch. Short haul flights have a seat pitch between 29-30.”
Booking fees range from €7 (roughly £5.50) for domestic Spanish and German flights up to €18 (around £14.27) for flights from Europe to the UAE, Africa, North America, Central America, South America, and Asia Pacific.
Meals, Snacks, Drinks
Snacks and meals are available for purchase on board during short haul flights. Long haul passengers receive warm food, a cold meal, snacks and beverages. Special meals (vegetarian, kosher, etc) can be ordered up to 48 hours before flying. Long haul flyers also benefit from complimentary drinks, including coffee, fruit juice, and alcoholic beverages.
Air Berlin has an on-time performance rating of 85% for departures and 87% for arrivals.