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In-Flight Meals / Economy Class Travel / TAM / Qantas / British Airways / ANA / Air France / KLM / Czech Airlines / Air Berlin / Food Travel / Airline Meals / → All Tags
Last week some great news for Economy passengers arrived from Down Under, as Qantas' introduced new meals for those flying in the back of the plane.
The Red Roo's overhauled menu includes more choices for in-flight grub via their Select on Q pre-order system, now with 50% larger meals and even special treats like ice cream snacks and a welcome drink. Meals not only do away with trays and feature more destination-based items (like BBQ beef sliders to North America and and full English breakfast to the UK), but they'll even surprise with items like a bread roll already infused with butter to eliminate buttery finger fumbling.
Flight Review / Vienna Travel / Zurich Travel / Austria Travel / Air Berlin / flyNIKI / NIKI / VIE / ZRH / Europe Travel / Oneworld / → All Tags
What can you expect of an airline started by a race car driver? If you're flying NIKI, you'd never guess that this small Austrian airline of A321s, A320s, and E190s only began in 2003, by Grand Prix legend Niki Lauda. It's now a subsidiary of Air Berlin and partner with Etihad, operating out of Vienna International Airport to cities around Europe.
Our recent flyNIKI flights weren't something we chose, but were chosen for us as part of booking a normal American Airlines ticket to Vienna. You see, American doesn't fly to Vienna, and so have enlisted another Oneworld partner to fly the portion they can't. In our case, we flew AA from New York nonstop to Zurich, and then flyNIKI from Zurich to Vienna and back.
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Hey, what are you doing on April 25, 2015? Chances are you probably aren't planning that far ahead quite yet, but when it comes to a flight to the North Pole, you kinda have to. Yeswe said a flight to the North Pole.
On that date, Air Berlin will see off an Airbus A330 full of intrepid travelers, all of whom are onboard for the purpose of viewing the Arctic tundra at altitudes both high and low. The flight departs Dusseldorf, Germany, for a 12-hour sightseeing journey, including passing through every time zone as the flight makes circles above the North Pole.
The flight may be 12 hours in length, but a healthy 5 of those hours will be spent sightseeing in the polar region. Tickets begin at 444 EUR ($556) per person, and are available from air events, who describe the routing thusly:
A few months ago, we wrote about how we enjoyed our experience in Air Berlin's new lie-flat business class seats. Now, in theory, you have a chance to try them out on your own at a bargain on your next flight.
Announced yesterday, Air Berlin has launched an initiative that gives guests the option of bidding on an empty seat in business class up until 72 hours before departure. Winning bids will get a seat in business class as well as priority check-in, fast lane boarding, and lounge access.
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When we reviewed a flight from JFK to Berlin via Air Berlin a few summers ago, we thought they still had some work to do after joining the One World Alliance. The planes were a bit outdated at the time, but the carrier has since added new A330s and lie-flat business class seats to its fleet for long-haul routes.
Last week, we flew the airline from Chicago to Berlin, riding in economy class one way and business class the other. It was good to see that most of the problems previously reported in economy have been solved thanks to a spruced-up interior cabin with individual entertainment systems. Unlike last time, there was plenty of content (movies, TV, music) to keep our attention, free headphones, and several free alcoholic beverages before and during dinner service.
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Tilt your wrist to scan a boarding pass? That's the plan, as a few airlines are already moving ahead with smartwatches. Iberia, Air Berlin and Vueling have teamed up with some high-tech minds to make flying the friendly skies a little easier.
All three airlines have created a way for their applications to send mobile boardings passes to smartwatches. Iberia has partnered with Samsung's Gear 2, Air Berlin with Pebble (compatible with iOS) and Vueling with Sony.
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Sometimes it’s hard to stay on top of all the new route announcements that come our way, so we’ve complied a little bit of a rundown below. As long as you can afford the fares, this should definitely help add to your passport stamp collection.
· Air Berlin:
We know we’re sometimes guilty of not enjoying the moment and always looking ahead, but when it comes to transatlantic travel you can’t help but think about what’s next. Air Berlin is doing exactly this, as they’re already thinking of boosting their options for the warmer months of 2014. The plan is to start three more weekly flights between Berlin and New York-JFK beginning next May, and that will bump things up ten weekly options. The flights between Dusseldorf and New York-JFK will also be doing their thing ten times per week. Finally, Air Berlin is also boosting their flights between Berlin and Chicago-O’Hare to make things a daily option.
· Malaysia Airlines:
This one is certainly a bit away from where we call home, but if you’re looking to make your way around the globe it’s a great option. This week Malaysia Airlines started nonstop service between Kuala Lumpur and Darwin, Australia. The flights will do the back and forth thing thanks to some Boeing 737-800s, and this is option number six for the carrier from its base in Kuala Lumpur. Other destinations in Australia include spots like Perth, Sydney, and Melbourne—among a few others. As of now flights are scheduled to run four times each and every week, so say goodbye to Malaysia and g’day to Australia.
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Last December we did a post about Berlin's Brandenburg Airport, headlined "Berlin's giant new airport will open (maybe possibly hopefully)." In that post we outlined the history of woes that the airport has suffered, going back to the October 2011 date when its doors were originally supposed to open. Then, last July we gave you another update, expressing our hope that "someday, somehow" the airport would debut.
Fast forward to yesterday, when Germany's English-language The Local published details of a report describingand this is not a typomore than 66,000 problems still requiring attention. The story began with the line, "Berlin's new international airport took another step towards never being finished on Tuesday..." and then kind of went downhill from there. Oof.
Now, when stepping on-aboard an Air Berlin flight, those sexy red leather gloves may point your to the newest business class seats the airline has to offer. Just last week, the second largest German airline introduced its brand spanking new premium look on a flight from Düsseldorf to Abu Dhabi.
The flashy lie-flat seats are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to upgrades to the long-haul A330 business-class cabin for the carrier. Each of the 19 seats in the biz cabin will offer a 15-inch personal television loaded up with about 200 hours of on-demand programming and a USB port to keep those devices charged up.
In the midst of the bustle of travel, it's all too easy to overlook the details. We're talking about special touches others have stressed over just so you can enjoy a unique experience, whether you know it or not. Every so often we'll highlight The Little Things like this, so now you will know.
The Little Thing: Air Berlin's flight attendants in red calfskin leather gloves.
Air Berlin has traditionally been recognized as a low-cost carrier, but recent years have proven they're more full service than one would expect. For example, they offer Business Class on their A330s and free snacks and drinks on all flights, plus complimentary hot meals on long-hauls. Also, fun fact: the airline was founded by a former pilot of the famously full-service airline, Pan Am. For now, however, let's take a moment to focus on the very classy touch to their flight attendants uniform: leather driving-style gloves.
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Ach! Was ist denn los?
Not great news this month as Berlin-Brandenburg Airport is rumored to throw out yet another delay on top of the many they've already delivered. As it stands, BER is scheduled to debut in late October 2013, but some news of late may throw that date into the trash pile with the other four opening dates they've previously teased.
The fresh estimate isGott im Himmelsometime in 2014 after fire safety experts recently reported more problems with the facility’s security system. On top of this bad news, already the airport finds itself on the receiving end of legal action from Air Berlin, who claim damages to their business on account of the massive delays. It's beyond a waiting game now; the situation has gotten ugly.
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Berlin has four airports. There's Tempelhofthe Reich-built property that closed in 2008 after 85 yearsnow only used for special events. There's Tegelstill functioning, though way over capacity. There's Schönefeld, also functioning but also over capacity. And finally there's Brandenburg, an extension of Schönefeld which will eventually open to become a mega-airport with the appealing code of BER.
Believe it or not, two out of those four airports are effectively ghost airports, halls empty of travelers and baggage claims dusty, though the dust at Brandenburg is from construction. While Tempelhof has closed the book on its life, Brandenburg is only just writing its own preface, and trying again and again to open for the first time. Let's review the saga of what's become a German national embarrassment:
October 30, 2011. That was the date Berlin was supposed to debut the state-of-the-art airport. Its full name is Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg Willy Brandt (BER). Learning that name is about as far as the public got with it, since a delay pushed everything back until...
June 3, 2012. This was it. June 3rd would be the big debut and the four carriers looking to use BER as a hubGermanwings, Germania, Air Berlin and Lufthansahad scheduled their summer around it. It was also the date Berlin's current airport, Tegel (TXL), was supposed to close and shift operations to BER. Then something very un-Germanic occurred: a second massive delay.