When flying from the United States to Germany, and beyond, there are many options at the fingertips of discerning passengers. Each airline markets themselves in a way that caters to the perceived lifestyle of their passenger, aiming to strike a chord with the ideals and experiences that are important to them in the travel sector. Some live up to their promises and some do not. And, some exceed their word. This is what I found to be true in the new business class on Air Berlin non-stop from New York’s JFK Airport to Berlin’s Tegel Airport.
Air Berlin recently overhauled their business class cabins in an effort to compete in the ever changing airline industry, as well as to provide passengers with a special experience in the sky. The airline, whose tag line is, “Air Berlin: Your Airline”, truly believes in their own marketing. They have created a cabin that is by the passenger and for the passenger, with their comfort and joy at highest priority. The redesign succeeded and, today, I would recommend the business-class experience over and over again because of the near perfect experience I recently had as a passenger.
Boarding my 5:30 pm flight from JFK to Berlin was uneventful. Business class passengers are called first and a special line allows them complete access to gate agents at the airport – making sure of their priority when it comes to boarding. Once on board, I was escorted to my seat which was an aisle seat in the front of the cabin. Air Berlin designed the cabin, and its seats, to allow passengers privacy for an intimate in-flight experience. I was seated in an ergonomically correct, comfortable chair which provided a large space for my legs in the seated position, storage just under the second part of the seat in front of me and storage on my side. I easily put my large bag in the overhead compartment, handed my jacket to the flight attendant, stowed my wallet and passport in a compartment to my right and ordered a glass of champagne.
Directly in front of my seat was a large flat screen which would serve as my entertainment and information center throughout the flight. A tray table was neatly positioned against the wall of my seat which separated me from the other passengers. I drank the champagne and it was soon time to take-off. I quickly ordered from the diverse and well-curated menu for dinner. A starter of ahi tuna with a side salad of fresh vegetables hit the spot. For my main course, I ordered a grilled snapper in lemon sauce and finished with a blueberry tart for dessert. I must say that of all the airlines in which I have traveled, the food on Air Berlin was outstanding. Fresh. Beautifully presented. And, the ingredients were all of the highest quality.
After dinner, I scanned through the easy-to-navigate entertainment system and watched several new releases that were available in a variety of languages. This is very important to me as many airlines don’t invest in a wide selection of films and television for passengers. Air Berlin does and it made a difference. After two films and an episode of “Breaking Bad”, I reclined my seat into a completely flat bed which, by the way, felt as if it had a pillow-top mattress. I was pleasantly surprised as to how comfortable it was and how easily I could rest.
Throughout the 7 hour and 20 minute flight, the attendant came to me with snacks, chocolate, a tea menu, cocktail offerings and more. I felt incredibly looked after and entertained. The flight went quickly and we were soon descending for Berlin’s Tegel Airport, just as I awoke for breakfast. A dish of yogurt and a plate of fresh fruit later, I was on the ground. I exited quickly and was on my way to the hotel.
To me, a successful flight is an uneventful flight. Safety and comfort are what I’m seeking. Air Berlin delivered and the attention to detail in their new business class only elevated the experience from basic to truly incredible. If my travel plans include Germany or any of the other destinations they service in Europe, Air Berlin will be my choice. After just one flight with them, I really do feel like they are “my airline”.