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In a rather surprising move (given current financial issues) BA OneWorld partner, Air Berlin, is introducing a new route between Berlin and Hong Kong from October 2017.
The main reason this is of interest to us in the UK is that you can redeem Avios for flights on Air Berlin – without the nonsensical ‘surcharges’ BA slaps on its own flights.
Unfortunately, I can’t see exactly how much an Avios award would cost (or what availability is like, but it should be wide open), because when I try to search on the BA website I am currently presented with this:
The route is a little under 5,500 Miles each way though, so should price as Zone 6, which means 25,000 Avios for Economy and 75,000 Avios for Business Class one-way. Taxes/fees should be negligible.
The route to Hong Kong from London (on BA or Cathay Pacific) is a little further, and therefore requires 30,000 in Economy or 90,000 in Business Class each way.
Cathay Pacific Business Class is excellent, but I would personally choose Air Berlin Business Class over BA ‘Club World’ if given the choice.
If travelling alone, the aisle seats nearest the window (it’s a staggered cabin layout) are excellent and quite private, and if travelling as a couple, the middle seats facing inwards are fantastic:
Air Berlin also provides a free chauffeur service too in Business Class, which is a nice bonus.
More opportunities to use Avios for long haul flights without ‘surcharges’ is always a good thing.
Whether Air Berlin will still be functioning in its current structure come October, or have been taken over by Lufthansa, is perhaps the bigger question.