With Air Berlin being in the news lately after filing for insolvency amid rumors of it being broken up and parts of the airline sold off to cover debts, I wanted to share with you my review of a flight I took with the airline recently, before they are no more. Air Berlin is Germany’s second largest carrier flying domestically, throughout Europe and overseas.
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Operating from Terminal C at Berlin’s Tegal Airport, the terminal felt more like a tin shed or a demountable. Obviously this is due to the fact that expansion at Tegal Airport has probably been restricted with the long overdue opening of Berlin’s new Brandenburg Airport. Although clean, it felt crowded and I find it a little tricky to find my gate.
The flight, codesharing with Etihad Airways, the airlines partner and largest shareholder who has just ended its financial support and thus sending the airline into the unknown, was a morning service departing Berlin at 08:50.
The Air Berlin Bombardier Dash8-Q400 ‘s are operated by LGW – Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter of which they fly 20 of the type. With typical German efficiency, we were bused to the waiting aircraft just before departure and all passengers with larger carry on’s, placed their baggage near the rear of the aircraft for loading.
This particular aircraft I am flying on today is registered D-ABQE and was delivered to the carrier in February 2009. The plane seats 76 passengers in a 2-2 configuration.
My seat, 4F a window seat, is marketed as a preferred seat, although it comes with no extra legroom it’s located near the front of the aircraft for quicker disembarkation. It has a standard seat pitch of 30″ and a width of 18″.
While there is no seatback or overhead entertainment on this flight, there is an inflight magazine and menu although I don’t order anything on this short sector. I flick through the German / English magazine and try to brush up on my German language skills.
I’m more fascinated with the view outside of course, as we fly over Eastern Germany and into Southern Poland, the patchwork landscape looks amazing especially during these Summer months.
A lovely parting gift from the flight attendants is a the Air Berlin chocolate heart made by Lindt which is distributed to all short and medium haul passengers. Apparently there are some 13 million of these handed out each year on Air Berlin services.
The flight arrived in Krakow on time and as we disembarked, those that had placed their baggage in the rear of the Dash-8 collected them from a baggage cart while others took photos while waiting to board the bus to take us to the terminal.
I enjoyed this flight on Air Berlin, the service efficient and aircraft comfortble and will be sad if this airline folds.
FreakyFlier paid for the ticket independently using Qantas Frequent Flyer points.
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