Airberlin made an announcement today that they are going to introduce business class for European and German flights that previously have been economy only.
This is “European” style business class which means that it is the basic economy seating with just middle seat blocked. Airberlin states that only the first row is classified as business (4 seats).
Here’s the announcement from Airberlin:
Starting this year as part of its strategic realignment, airberlin is introducing Business Class to German and European flights and will therefore offer a consistent product experience on short, medium and long-haul flights for the first time.
Stefan Pichler, Chief Executive Officer of airberlin, says: “We find ourselves at the beginning of a far-reaching transformation from which a new, stronger airberlin will emerge. By introducing a Business Class on short and medium-haul flights, we are making key strategic decisions that will pave the way to a sustainable future for the company and that will clearly position airberlin in the premium sector of European airlines. The new premium product will make us more attractive, particularly for business travellers and frequent flyers, and we now offer a seamless Business Class experience on the global route network by airberlin and our partner airlines.”
The first row in the cabin is reserved for Business Class passengers. In addition to exclusive service, passengers will then enjoy particularly generous legroom, which at 32 inches (81 cm) exceeds the European Business Class standard. A further key feature of the new Business Class is the guaranteed empty middle seat, which provides a particular amount of exclusivity and personal space, even high above the clouds.
The premium service for Business Class passengers already begins on the ground: the benefits include, for example, a priority check-in desk, a security fast lane, access to lounges and exclusive waiting areas in the airberlin route network, as well as priority boarding.
On board, the crew will give Business Class passengers a personal welcome and will serve a complementary drink. Passengers can then choose food and beverages ‘à la carte’ from the extensive on-board menu.
Each passenger is provided with a pillow for additional comfort. Two pieces of baggage weighing up to 32 kg as well as two pieces of hand baggage weighing up to 8 kg are included in the price of a Business Class ticket. The completely flexible Business Class tickets can be rebooked or refunded at no additional cost, and seat reservations are also free in Business Class.
Members of airberlin’s frequent flyer programme topbonus collect double miles for each Business Class flight, and can therefore reach a higher status more quickly, or keep their current status.
It must have been challenging for Airberlin to sell long-haul business class tickets when the European feeder flights have been economy only. This allows Airberlin passengers to have business class experience throughout their trip.
I don’t mind the European style business class on short flights but some of these are for hours. Seems that the business class passengers can choose what they want to eat and drink for free from the economy class menu that otherwise is for cash only.