What I’m about to tell you now, ladies and gentlemen, might come as a surprise: flying in business class kicks ass. Recently I had the pleasure of flying the brand new airberlin’s business class to Miami (and back) and it has strengthened me in my belief that flying business class is more pleasurable than flying economy. The only issue really – besides the fact that it’s way more expensive – is that once you’ve gone black, you can never go back. If you understand what I’m saying. Or at least you will do it with a definite heartache.
Back to airberlin now. Airberlin is probably not the airline you’re gonna fly regularly when living in Belgium, the Netherlands or Luxemburg. But why not, I ask? Düsseldorf airport, one of airberlin’s bigger hubs is less than two hours drive from Antwerp. If I’m well informed, there are even buses that go from Antwerp and Brussels to this airport. If you live in Brussels, it might even be faster by car to Düsseldorf than to Amsterdam.
Anyway, airberlin recently decided to upgrade their business class on long haul flights. I will quote the company here: “Equipped with full-flat seats, the new airberlin Business Class ensures a superior level of comfort on any journey. Most of the seats are positioned to provide individual seating, creating a pleasant sense of space and increased privacy. With its new Business Class, Germany’s second largest airline offers an excellent product, guaranteeing a seamless travel experience with its partner Etihad Airways and the members of oneworld®.”
· In no time at all, the new seat reclines completely into a comfortable horizontal sleeping surface
· Fully adjustable to achieve the desired sitting or lying position
· Integrated massage function
· Practical storage space and shelves
· Ambient lighting and reading lamp
· Manufactured by Sogerma
· New cabin configuration with 19 seats arranged in 1-2-1 layout
· Increased privacy
· Direct access to the aisle from every seat
· All window seats and some of the central seats provide individual seating
· 15-inch monitor with an individual Inflight Entertainment System produced by IMS
· More than 200 hours of entertainment offering current movies, TV series, music and games
· HD quality
· Power connection (e.g. for a laptop)
· USB port for operating mobile devices (e.g. an iPhone)
Food and drinks
· Wide selection of main course dishes from the renowned Sansibar restaurant on the island of Sylt
· Sansibar wines served to complement the meals
· Snacks and fresh fruit
· Wide choice of non-alcoholic (soft drinks, juice, water) and alcoholic drinks (fine wines, beer, sparkling wine, aperitifs, liqueurs)
· Discreet and professional personal service to pamper guests during their flight
Further services for airberlin Business Class guests
· Amenity Kit with high quality personal care products and useful travel accessories (eye mask, warm socks, ear plugs, toothbrush, toothpaste, moisturiser and lip balm).
· Two items of baggage each weighing up to 32 kilos
· Second item of hand baggage weighing up to 6 kilos plus laptop free of charge
· Hold baggage is given a Priority Label and is unloaded first on arrival
· Exclusive Check-in desk at many airports and access to a Fast Lane to pass through security checks more quickly
· Access to exclusive Lounges at many airports in Germany and elsewhere in the world
· Free Chauffeur service between the airport and selected destinations for Business Class guests flying to, from or via Abu Dhabi
· airberlin flight guests who are members of the topbonus Program, are credited double the actual miles flown to their topbonus account if they fly under an airberlin flight number in Business Class.
· Members of airberlin business points receive up to three times the number of points for a business flight in airberlin Business Class. business points can be redeemed for free flights, which may also be booked in Business Class.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? They even serve their own liquor, which is called a ‘Flieger’ and which you definitely should give a try (only for laughs though, because it’s pretty rancid). Other thoughts? The entertainment system does not offer enough new movies, but makes up for it in tv series. What else? The configuration of the seats is a bit different from other business classes: the middle seats I’d call love seats. There’s no real barrier between the seats, which makes it fantastic when traveling as a couple (and a bit too intimate when traveling solo and when sitting next to an old rich dude farting his brains out).
Now, is it worth it? Most definitely! Flying business class is a relaxing experience and will reduce your jetlag because of the ability to sleep horizontally. The meals are great, the service is outstanding, the wine list is interesting, the champagne is good, … What’s not to love? Well, basically, only the price: return tickets to Miami are available from 649 Euros in Economy class and 2.219 Euros in Business Class. Bookings can be made on airberlin.com, in travel agencies or by calling our Service Center (Belgium: 070 654 737 (0,15 EUR/min)/ Netherlands 0900 737 8000 (0,20 EUR/min).