Air Berlin is not often the first airline people think about when looking for a flight to Germany – that would be Lufthansa. But this past week I was booked on Air Berlin much to my surprise for my soccer related trip (revolving around the upcoming Florida Cup) and found it to be an outstanding experience.
As a vegetarian one of my chief pet peeves always is what food I get with my special meal order. On the outbound from Miami, I was given a nice pasta medley while on the inbound two meals were served – my first was a Potato Boat filled with Quinoa and the second meal was a array of rice stuffed Grape Leaves accompanied by vegetables. In-flight entertainment was outstanding including several episodes of House of Cards and several recent movies including Last King of Scotland on the interactive private TV. In-flight service was excellent and washed away some of my previous bad experiences with Lufthansa, an airline that is now almost always on strike.
Lufthansa has recently abandoned its Düsseldorf hub turning over short-haul flying to subsidiary Germanwings, and long-haul flying to the USA to Star Alliance affiliate United Airlines. United has since abandoned flying to the third-busiest German Airport leaving the long-haul flying open to other carriers.
Etihad Airways of Abu Dhabi has invested heavily in Air Berlin, and in partnership with One World carrier American Airlines, the Berlin-based carrier has made great progress in building a real intercontinental hub at Düsseldorf. Currently Air Berlin flies to four continents nonstop from Düsseldorf, including two Florida cities – Miami and Fort Myers.
Air Berlin has ambitious plans to grow its US operation – the airline now flies to New York (JFK), Miami, Los Angeles and Fort Myers while code-sharing on American’s Düsseldorf-Chicago service. By next summer Boston, San Francisco and Dallas/Fort Worth will be added of the roster of new nonstop cities from Düsseldorf.
I highly recommend flying the airline if looking for service from Florida to Germany.