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Old Jun 6, 12, 10:21 am   #31
  
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: MUC, BER
Programs: BA Gold
Posts: 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAirman View Post
So an XL seat (intra-Germany) shall be free of charge for OW emerald ?
Just got off the phone with an agent telling me I had to pay.
There are only two possible explanations. First, he is an idiot, or second, he lied to you. You're definitely eligible to get a preferred seat ( blocked seats, XL seats ) for free. The problem with AB is, most of the call center agents aren't well trained or these kind of agents don't want to be aware of these new changes. Just recall and if somebody is telling you again, you'll have to pay, then ask for the supervisor. Alternatively I recommend you to call the Gold Hotline instead of the normal AB hotline.
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Old Jun 6, 12, 2:20 pm   #32
  
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OK my first experience with AB as QF-Plat (Emerald).

I booked our whole family (Grandparents and Children) for a flight to Antalya in October. We have 1 Emerald 2 Sapphire (Wife and Dad) and 1 Ruby (Mum).

After I received the booking confirmation I called the Hotline.
He had no clue and transferred me to the Topbonus Hotline. I asked for our free reservation. The friendly lady said that it is only available for their own members, but she was not sure so called a supervisor.

Oddly the system did automatically assign seats for the Emerald and Sapphires. She saw that and realized that it should work. She removed and re-entered our QF-FF-Numbers and was able to do a seat reservation for free in the front part of the plane. So seat reservation and premium seating worked.

I have no need for seat blocking as the family sits perfectly in one row.

So well done in the end. Just about to book my next flights with AB.
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Old Jun 6, 12, 3:00 pm   #33
  
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: MUC, BER
Programs: BA Gold
Posts: 156
Can you check, if you are abled to book a Gourmet Menue for free? Would be very interesting to know, whether it's possible or not as a non AB Emerald, since somebody has posted that he was abled to do it without paying money.
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Old Jun 6, 12, 6:14 pm   #34
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At Air Berlin's own hub of Berlin, the airline ought to clean up how it is providing OneWorld Sapphire and Emerald benefits.

Business class check-in as a coach-flying OW Sapphire/Emeraldy? It's a toss-up on whether or not the check-in agent makes a fuss about the situation or not -- even when the boarding pass reads Sapphire or Emerald and the persons are only going up for a security stamp at the check-in desk -- and tries to send a OW Sapphire/Emerald to the regular check-in lines or not.

Priority boarding? No calls for it most often.

Priority seating? Most AA elites I've booked on AB long-haul flights end up in middle seats, but quite often still get the seat next to them empty.

Lounge access? Contract lounges included at least beyond TXL.
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Old Jun 7, 12, 5:07 am   #35
  
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: TXL, MUC
Programs: OW Sapphire
Posts: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
At Air Berlin's own hub of Berlin, the airline ought to clean up how it is providing OneWorld Sapphire and Emerald benefits.

[...]

Priority boarding? No calls for it most often.

[...].
I've never seen priority boarding enforced (always called though). Not in TXl, nor MUC, DUS, CGN, STR... One of the gazillion items on the "must fix if serious about alliance"- list.
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Old Jun 7, 12, 9:13 am   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattHelm View Post
I've never seen priority boarding enforced (always called though). Not in TXl, nor MUC, DUS, CGN, STR... One of the gazillion items on the "must fix if serious about alliance"- list.
For most of the recent TXL-JFK flights on AB, priority boarding for OW elites has never been called (at least not in English); and every day this week, AB at TXL has been making a fuss over some OW partner elites in economy class trying to use the business class check-in (even as the signs over the business class check-in counters quite clearly show the OW Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald symbols) and trying to send many such people back to the economy class check-in. [For those connecting at TXL onto AB TXL-JFK, there is no avoiding the check-in counters at TXL since the raised "security" seal needs to be applied even to connecting boarding passes indicating departure from TXL to JFK; otherwise getting to the passport control and the screening checkpoint isn't generally allowed when it comes to that flight.]

I can see how outstations may be more likely to get things wrong when it comes to OW elite benefits, but a primary hub getting something so very basic so very wrong is inexcusable.

It's too bad that the minor fixes aren't coming faster there especially. [AB is actually much better on some short-haul routes than even national flag carriers that may have some history of serving the same route; and the AB A330s are pretty good (at least in economy class) than some of the planes that the US majors use to fly across the Atlantic; and the cabin crews are reasonably decent (and relatively more friendly in response to my requests) than the US majors.]

I welcome AB into OW, even as I do want to seem reliable delivery fo some basic aspects of the alliance membership elite benefits, particularly at a major hub for the airline.
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Old Jun 10, 12, 11:46 am   #37
  
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: CGN
Programs: LH Sen, AF/KL gold, AB platinum, BA silver, HHonors diamond, SPG gold, ...
Posts: 280
lounge ("privileged waiting area") access

Has anyone already experienced the access to the AB lounges ("privileged waiting area") in their non-hub airports?
Since there is no lounge-dragon and the Air Berlin status card is swiped to enter: is the access given by scanning the barcode on the boarding-pass for oneworld emerald members?
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Old Jun 10, 12, 1:48 pm   #38
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Germany
Programs: *A Gold, OWE
Posts: 926
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaxCGN View Post
Has anyone already experienced the access to the AB lounges ("privileged waiting area") in their non-hub airports?
Since there is no lounge-dragon and the Air Berlin status card is swiped to enter: is the access given by scanning the barcode on the boarding-pass for oneworld emerald members?
Couldn't get in at MUC beginning of April. Wrote a "feedback" but haven't heard back since.
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Old Jun 11, 12, 2:56 am   #39
  
Join Date: Oct 2010
Programs: AA EXP, HH Gold, SPG Gold, UM Go Blue
Posts: 540
I am OW Emerald via AA EXP. I recently booked an economy intra-Europe flight on AB. I called the US line, selected the business class option, and had no problem getting my preferred seats assigned. The agent offered me 1F without a fuss.

We'll see how other upcoming intra-Europe flights go. I have one that I booked before AB joined OW, traveling on the same PNR with a non-status passenger, and I'm not sure what to expect.
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Old Jun 11, 12, 11:04 pm   #40
  
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: New York
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Confusing

One word about the AB situation - it is confusing and AB needs desperately to work on these benefits thing and telling the staffs what to do.

I flew HG from FCO to FRA via VIE last week and my experience was okay.
I was able to get an exit row seat for free through its US hot line but I paid for the gourmet meals that I ordered online. Topbonus Platinum supposes to get a free gourmet meal, but not sure about OW Emerald.

In FCO, I was able to use the priority check-in and the agent tagged my bag with a priority tag.

I hope AB and HG will do a better job in clarifying what OW elite members receive if we choose to fly AB/HG.

Carfield
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Old Jun 24, 12, 10:20 am   #41
  
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wollstonecraft View Post
We'll see how other upcoming intra-Europe flights go. I have one that I booked before AB joined OW, traveling on the same PNR with a non-status passenger, and I'm not sure what to expect.
Just an update to this thread. I called AB about the above flight today, and had both seats assigned to row 1 with no problems whatsoever. Again, I called the US line and selected business class.

The flight is about an hour and very early in the morning, so I didn't think to ask about meals.
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Old Jun 24, 12, 11:22 am   #42
  
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: MUC, BER
Programs: BA Gold
Posts: 156
Had now two shorthaul AB Flights, the only Benefits I got as an Emerald are Priority Check In, Priority Seating with Seat Blocking which quite worked well. I don't need to say, that there is still no access to their Exclusive Waiting Areas. Priority Boarding wasn't even announced. I was then in the BA Lounges both times ( MUC and TXL ). The BA staff also seemed to be quite annoyed with the Lounge situation regarding AB. Why is AB in OW if they don't give? I mean AB is getting paid for our Lounge entry, if there was one....
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Old Jun 27, 12, 10:51 am   #43
  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: NYC
Programs: AA EXP, HH Diamond
Posts: 49
My recent coach experience on AB DUS-SFO on an A330-200 as OW Emerald (AA EXP):

Seat reservation: I called the US AirBerlin number to make a seat reservation. Unfortunately, there were no XL seats available, but I was able to make a reservation with no charge once I mentioned I was Emerald. I inquired about the seat hold and the agent didn't know what I was talking about and could not do it (more on this later).

Check-in DUS: I used the priority check-in. There were no lines and the check-in went smoothly. I checked one bag, which was free.

Lounge: I needed to show my AA EXP card to get in. The agent referenced the card to a large binder of various oneworld cards, made a photocopy, and let me in. Without the card, I probably would not have been allowed access. In the lounge there was free booze (nothing top shelf), beer, wine, and snacks (pretzels, rolls, and prepackaged cheeses and sausages).

Boarding: I was one of the last to board, so I don't know if they had priority boarding.

On board: The purser greeted me by name, introduced himself, and offered to be of assistance during the flight, all of which was unexpected. The A330 coach seats are tiny, but thankfully the adjacent seat was empty. I believe there may have been a hold on it because it seemed to be the only empty seat on the flight (If this was the case, and not me just being lucky, then this was a huge perk for such a long flight). Standard coach meals, the first was hot chicken or pasta, the second was a cold snack. There is free wine and beer, but they ran out about halfway through the 11.5 hour flight.
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Old Jul 2, 12, 2:09 pm   #44
  
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: BER
Posts: 455
I was able to get free seat assignments for all of my upcoming flights as OW Emerald. When booking directly through airberlin seats in the front were automatically assigned (with BAEC Gold number on file).
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Old Jul 17, 12, 11:33 pm   #45
  
Join Date: Jul 2009
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Posts: 2,525
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZKOKA View Post
I was able to get free seat assignments for all of my upcoming flights as OW Emerald. When booking directly through airberlin seats in the front were automatically assigned (with BAEC Gold number on file).
Does the AB website automatically recognize BAEC Gold status? It doesn't seem to recognize AA EXP status and still tries to charge extra for seat assignment. I suppose the best way to do this is to book the ticket on AB's website and then call to get seat assignment for OWE passengers.
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