Earlier this year, I flew AirBerlin from Germany to Catania, Italy as part of an award ticket by transferring my American Express Membership Reward Points to my British Airways Avios account. On that trip, flying AirBerlin was nothing special and AirBerlin did not offer any OneWorld Elite benefits (I.e. priority check in, priority boarding, priority baggage, etc). The experience was fine, but nothing spectacular.
This time, my brother and I flew AirBerlin on an early morning flight from Krakow, Poland to Berlin, Germany and I am happy to report things have changed.
At the Krakow Airport, AirBerlin had four check in desks open. Three desks were dedicated for general check in, and one was dedicated for OneWorld Elite and priority access customers. The line was much shorter for priority check in, but moved at a snail pace. Once checked in and our bags were checked and marked with priority tags, my brother and I headed to security. There was no priority line, but the line was short so this did not matter.
We then headed to the business lounge and relaxed before boarding. Again at boarding, there were now two lines, one for OneWorld elite passengers and another for general boarding. However, because the plane was parked at a remote gate, it did not matter when one boarded because everyone piled into the same bus.
sorry dark photo of priorty check in
When boarding the aircraft, each passenger was offered the typical AirBerlin welcome candy and the choice of multiple newspapers in different languages. The flight was only a short one hour, but during the flight each passenger was offered coffee, tea, water, or a soft drink along with sweet raisin bread or a salty pretzel free of charge. My brother and I both opted for the raisin bread, which was warm, but hard. Upon arriving in Berlin we were thanked for flying AirBerlin and were provided with a chocolate heart.
Overall, the flight experience was decent and I would be more than willing to fly AirBerlin on a short intra-Europe flight. Seats are fairly comfortable and the staff is friendly. It’s nice that AirBerlin provides a little snack and candy when boarding and disembarking. Not to mention, it’s great to see that AirBerlin has FINALLY started to introduce OneWorld priority access!