It has become clear that airberlin is more or less on life support. We’ve learned in the past few weeks that the carrier has filed for insolvency, and earlier this week, it became clear that it is axing many of its long-haul routes from its Berlin Tegel hub.
While some might believe that a reduction in long-haul flying isn’t necessarily a sign that its days are numbered, there have been some other new stories that don’t seem to inspire much confidence in its future. Scott wrote earlier this week that its Topbonus loyalty program reached out to customers this week out of desperation. Lucky wrote a story about how airberlin’s head of e-commerce set up a website essentially marketing the talent of its 60+ person workforce to help them find other career opportunities, and he was subsequently fired for his actions.
It is a very sad situation all around.
Let’s not forget that the Berlin Brandenburg airport project continues to be a disaster and that Ryanair and Lufthansa are circling like vultures over airberlin’s assets. Lufthansa wants the Airbus A330s and Ryanair certainly wants gates, slots, and narrowbody jets at other airports.
So, with a deadline of 9/15 for bidders to pick up some of airberlin’s assets, things don’t look good.
Which is why I am wondering: should I take advantage of some of the really cheap fares to fly them to Europe and back from the U.S. as a last hurrah?
The idea is crazy: there are several dates towards the end of the month that are available for under $500 round-trip between city pairs. The trip would entail a touch-and-go, there-and-back style journey. It would be arduous, but it would also be a way to fly an airline that may not make it into 2018.
Or will it?
I have never flown airberlin, nor have I ever flown into either one of their hubs. That being said, I’ve read reviews about their products and have been told that it is so-so. While the flights may not be comfortable in Economy class with a 30-inch seat pitch, I am hoping that maybe they are somewhat empty so that there will be plenty of room to stretch and relax.
I was not one of the lucky few who received a targeted offer from AMEX to receive 10,000 membership rewards miles by spending $1000 on airberlin, but even still, the trips will earn me a little over 2,500 AAdvantage miles (weak, I know) and about 2,500 membership rewards points.
Most of all, it really is just a means of saying farewell and doing some photo documentaries of an airline that people seem to have loved. I am concerned about some of the delays and operational issues that airberlin has had in the past, which is certainly a risk whenever one does trips that are touch-and-go.
What are your thoughts? Am I crazy? Should I do it??