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Old Mar 30, 12, 3:59 am   #1
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Germany
Programs: *A Gold
Posts: 861
Benefits for OW emerald on AB ?

Title says it all. Have an upcoming intra-Germany flight.
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Old Mar 30, 12, 3:00 pm   #2
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: TXL
Posts: 455
Standard Emerald benefits, AB hasn't announced anything else:

http://www.oneworld.com/ffp/oneworld-benefits/

I've flown a few times on AB as a OW Sapphire. TXL has very clear signage, and a new elite counter for questions. Very friendly when my flight wasn't at the gate on my boarding pass, she knew instantly where I should go and thanked me for flying oneworld. That's about the only thing I've experienced...most AB airports have no priority boarding (only gate A02 at TXL), and I haven't checked any luggage.

As far as Lounge access, no problems accessing partner lounges...although, the woman at the BA Terraces at TXL made a face when I showed her my boarding pass. Maybe they're annoyed by all the new airberlin flyers.
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Old Mar 31, 12, 6:42 am   #3
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Helsinki, FI
Programs: AB Plat, SK Gold, KL Silver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by berlinflyer83 View Post
As far as Lounge access, no problems accessing partner lounges...although, the woman at the BA Terraces at TXL made a face when I showed her my boarding pass. Maybe they're annoyed by all the new airberlin flyers.
The ladies @Terraces in TXL always look like that... Not the most service oriented lounge dragons.

BTW: w/ OW Sapphire I have often managed to get a guest in eventhough he had not been flying OW ...
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Old Mar 31, 12, 11:03 am   #4
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Germany
Programs: *A Gold
Posts: 861
Okay, lounge access is clear, but what about a seat reservation "free of charge" ?
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Old Apr 1, 12, 12:36 pm   #5
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: TXL
Posts: 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAirman View Post
Okay, lounge access is clear, but what about a seat reservation "free of charge" ?
That is answered in my link: AB is only required to offer the benefits there, and they haven't said anything else.

As with all things, you can call and ask politely if they'll assign seats for you for free.
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Old Apr 3, 12, 2:12 am   #6
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Germany
Programs: *A Gold
Posts: 861
Quote:
Originally Posted by berlinflyer83 View Post
That is answered in my link: AB is only required to offer the benefits there, and they haven't said anything else.
Well it states there:

"Access to preferred or pre-reserved seating*" with * meaning "*In accordance with the individual policy of the oneworld member airline operating the flight."
Which is not clear, and I was seeking for some specific answer: Do they or don't they offer seat reservations for OW emeralds?
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Old Apr 3, 12, 10:38 am   #7
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: lax
Programs: AA EXP, Hyatt Diamond, Hilton Gold
Posts: 282
The last time I called AB and asked the same question, I was told that up until this points, OW elite is not allowed to choose seat for free. They also don't know when thing will change, if it ever will.
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Old Apr 7, 12, 12:48 pm   #8
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: NUE,MUC,INN
Programs: QF (WP, LTS, 95,6% to LTG), LH (SEN* till 02/16), A3*S, AB, AF, AA
Posts: 1,839
Quote:
Originally Posted by FRA-AY View Post
The ladies @Terraces in TXL always look like that... Not the most service oriented lounge dragons.

BTW: w/ OW Sapphire I have often managed to get a guest in eventhough he had not been flying OW ...
Disagree! I find them very helpful! Especially during irops in LHR! If you ask nicely, you will get a nice answer!
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Old Apr 7, 12, 12:51 pm   #9
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: NUE,MUC,INN
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Posts: 1,839
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter_Ng View Post
The last time I called AB and asked the same question, I was told that up until this points, OW elite is not allowed to choose seat for free. They also don't know when thing will change, if it ever will.
I hope that they will offer it after a transition period. What I heard that not all systems are fully operational now.

I got free seating as Emerald on many airlines (BA, IB, AY, QF). No free seat reservation would be a big minus.
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Old Apr 9, 12, 12:15 pm   #10
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: MUC, BER
Programs: BA Gold
Posts: 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrolean View Post
I hope that they will offer it after a transition period. What I heard that not all systems are fully operational now.

I got free seating as Emerald on many airlines (BA, IB, AY, QF). No free seat reservation would be a big minus.
Especially, as it is an OW Benefit.
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Old Apr 16, 12, 12:56 pm   #11
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: New York
Posts: 5,314
Seat assignment

Just want to report back...

I booked a ticket from FCO to FRA via VIE on Fly Niki yesterday for travel in June.

I am able to input my American Airlines AAdvantage number into the record (I notice that AB only has a few OW airlines listed under their FF number including their own topbonus, along with Finnair and S7). I presume you need to call AB 24 hours hotline in the US to enter other OW members' FF numbers.

Seat assignment - Well AB and HG sell XL seats but you have to call their reservation hotline to do it, as they need to verify the exit seat requirement. I am able to book the exit window seat on these A320s with no issue and the best part - AB computer is able to recognize my AA EXP number and my OW emerald status, and the exit row is available for free. So I can verify that OW Sapphire and Emerald members have access to premium and exit row seats for free, but you will have to CALL AB to reserve those seats.

According to the agent, you will receive most of the same benefits as their topbonus elite members, corresponding to the Oneworld status.

As an Oneworld Emerald member, I will be able to check in two pieces of bags weighing up to 30kg each for free. When I pull up the baggage extra section on my booking, the booking screen just said that I was not eligible for the service.

I am pleasantly surprised and AB agents are very friendly and personable.

Personally I consider Air Berlin is an average LCC airline with limited beverage and refreshment service (Used to be better with sandwiches on longer flights or flights at meal time). It is well run like most German airlines - on time and smooth. However I find their crews only average, but they will get their jobs done. Anyhow, there are a few things that I like - chocolate that they passed out as you exit from the plane and their BOB service. You will be able to pre-order hot meals in advance, and the food is actually very good. Please note AB top elite (OW Emerald) get a free gourmet meal, but OW members don't get those free hot meals. I booked my own warm meals online and was charged accordingly.

However I love Fly Niki, and their F/As are always friendly and a bit more personable than Air Berlin crews. They are prettier and more customer oriented. The airline will use Air Berlin planes from time to time, but the crew is still Fly Niki. They are also more generous with their refreshment service - sandwiches at meal times on most flights even shorter intra-European runs, and their BOB service is a bit different from AB. They feature DO & CO meal, which is very good and you will get a good business class quality meal for $14. It is not bad considered how things are expensive in Europe.

Anyway, I will report back when I fly HG in June and see if I have anything else to add, regarding priority boarding, check-in, baggage service, and lounge access.

To summarize:
OW members will get
- free baggage allowance corresponding to AB own elite status
- free seat assignment for premium rows and exit rows for OW Sapphire and Emerald members, but must call AB/HG to get the seat assignment.

Carfield
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Last edited by Carfield; May 16, 12 at 5:51 pm.
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Old May 8, 12, 2:50 pm   #12
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Zurich
Programs: LH/LX Sen, was SQ QPP4, BA G, TK*G, KL G, AB P, HHonors D, SPG G, Hyatt D
Posts: 867
Thanks a lot, Carfield. Much appreciated.
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Old May 8, 12, 9:08 pm   #13
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Austin, TX
Programs: AA PLT .25MM, CO, UA, US, DL, HH, SPG (all cardboard)
Posts: 1,893
Any word on the seats available for Ruby members? I suppose being allowed on the plane is benefit enough.
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Old May 15, 12, 5:21 pm   #14
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: PH
Programs: CX DM, PR MM, IHG Plat Amb, Hyatt Diamond, HHonors Gold, SPG Gold, CC Gold Elite, Accor Platinum
Posts: 326
Called AB Int'l. nunber today to ask about my benefits as OW Emerald flying FRA-MUC (via TXL). Agent says my benefits is "only the miles".
I then ask again mentioning as a Oneworld Emerald member, I get benefits from partner OW airlines. Agent then repeats and says your benefits is "only the miles"
What? AB reps don't know anything about OW benefits!
How could OW allow AB to be a partner airline!

Anyway, I know I should get benefits so will insist upon check-in if not given any
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Old May 16, 12, 5:50 pm   #15
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: New York
Posts: 5,314
Did you at least try to get seats?

Sometimes not all agents are very well informed... and it is better just to hang up and to call them again. Most of the AB agents are pretty friendly and hold times are pretty reasonable.

If you have entered your mileage number correctly, the computer should be able to see it and will not charge you any money when the agent requests a seat for you. They still have issues recognizing other OW elite numbers on line (at least in real time)... so it is better to call in. Even if the agent wants to charge you for the seat, s/he can't do it.

Call again and just said you want to book an exit seat, and the computer will inform the agent if s/he needs to charge you.

I am an AA EXP BTW.

Carfield
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You're too much for me, Ennis, you son of a... I wish I knew how to quit you! Annie Proulx's Brokeback Mountain
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