Fewer Good Value Avios Redemptions due to Air Berlin Collapse

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Redeeming British Airways Avios for flights on Air Berlin has been a great value use of them for years now. A solid Business Class product combined with very low taxes/’surcharges’ and some interesting destinations meant that many UK points/miles collectors have a bit of a sort spot for the German carrier.

It’s therefore very sad to see the impending demise the airline (which has filed for bankruptcy) especially if you happen to know any of the many employees who will be affected.

From a UK points/miles perspective, the main thing to be aware of in the long-run is that there will be fewer good value Avios redemptions available from now on – particularly to the USA, given the lack of options (more so in Business Class) that don’t involve high surcharges.

For about a week now it hasn’t been possible to book Air Berlin flights using Avios, and the latest update is that even if you have already booked, some routes are being pulled a little earlier than was previously thought.

German blog Reistopia reported that the following Airberlin routes will cease at the end of September:

  • Berlin – Abu Dhabi
  • Berlin – Chicago
  • Berlin – Miami
  • Berlin – New York
  • Berlin – Los Angeles
  • Berlin – San Francisco
  • Düsseldorf – Boston

and daily newspaper Berliner Zeitung has official confirmation from Air Berlin that the routes will finish sometime between 17th September 2017 – 1st October 2017.

If you do have any upcoming Avios bookings on Air Berlin, I would give British Airways a ring to see what your options are as a first step, before taking the matter up with Air Berlin if required.

Bottom line

I’ll miss Air Berlin – and not just for the 37,500 Avios (used to be 25,000!) Business Class flights between Berlin and Abu Dhabi.

As regards using Avios for Business Class transatlantic flying, don’t forget the superb value you can still get by redeeming through Iberia Plus for Iberia flights, although availability will presumably be tougher to find from now on.

Any other Air Berlin fans?


  1. Craig Sowerby says

    Definitely try your best to have BA sort you out as the ticketing agent. It’s worth double-checking but I believe EU regulations only require a refund if cancellation occurs sufficiently in advance. So, you should get your Avios back.

    I would be surprised if a bankrupt airline is going to be putting you onto Lufthansa, BA, etc. so also pay attention to your travel insurance policy…

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