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Air Berlin is the ‘budget’ airline of the One World Alliance, although they have added some new business class routes. I used BA Avios points to book two economy class returns – no business on this route.

Having my booking in the BA system made it difficult to manage. I was able to choose seats at one point but then lost the ability after that. I wasn’t able to check in online.

Air Berlin offer a free sandwich on board plus three drink trolley passes (on this flight) with free soft drinks. A 0.187ml bottle if wine is €5 although strangely the well-chilled sparkling wine 200ml bottle was €4.

They also offer hot food created by a ‘famous’ restaurant from the German Island of Sylt – Sansibar. The choices are limited but you can pre-order online. I tried to do that and failed – maybe because my booking was made via BA, although I half remember getting to a meal choice and credit card page at one point.

Unsure of my food booking I tried to call Air Berlin on their premium rate line (10p a minute) – after 11 minutes of listening to Muzak I gave up and wrote them an angry email – no reply.

Outbound:

Check in was easy and my boarding pass had a fast track sticker because of my One World Sapphire status. It was a long walk from check in to the security. Security was friendly and quick – a great change from London Heathrow.

We visited the Zurich Airport One World lounge.

Boarding was on time, well managed and priority given to One World sapphire and above.

I’d booked 4A and 4C hoping that they wouldn’t put anyone in 4B and that worked out nicely. The seats weren’t too bad in terms of legroom and width.

The safety video was slightly weird and used semi-realistic human characters. The flight attendant could easily be a new Terminator and I expected her to morph and ask about John Connor at any time. here’s a link to someone’s YouTube video.

The crew asked for hot food orders. I mentioned that I’d tried to book meals and I was amazed to find they had them on the list. The meals were pretty good – better than some business meals I’ve had.

A movie was shown from the overhead monitors with headsets sold for €3 – my iPod headphones worked fine.

Near the end of the flight, the crew came around with bills – just like a restaurant and much better than having to pay for each item individually. They didn’t want money for the food I’d ordered as they said it was already paid – so maybe my credit card did go through or maybe the complaint email worked – I’ll need to check.

Overall a really good flight and so much better than the BA business flight I took from London to Zurich yesterday (15th August).

Return:

The check in queues were long and so I was pleased to find a One World Sapphire and above priority line. We were booked in 4A and 4B and I asked if this could change to 4A and 4C and the agent did this without any fuss.

There was no fast track for security but the long lines moved quickly.

There are no lounges at Fuerteventura Airport – not One World or even Priority Pass.

The flight was clearly delayed but the gate staff made no announcements. We boarded 30 minutes late without any apology from them. No priority was given to infirm, those with children, nor One World sapphire and above.

After boarding, the plane was almost full, but we still had 4B empty 🙂

The crew apologised for the delay.

The remainder of the flight was similar to the outbound and a good experience.