My most pleasant intra-Europe flight yet… in coach!

Filed Under: Airberlin, Travel

I’ve done a lot of intra-Europe travel over the years, almost exclusively in business class. That’s because it’s usually in conjunction with a premium cabin longhaul award ticket, so the intra-Europe segments are up front as well. That being said I’d never pay for business class for an intra-Europe flight, as it’s simply coach with a blocked middle seat and a mediocre snack/meal.

Well, I flew Air Berlin tonight from Catania to Munich using British Airways Avios, and was a bit apprehensive about flying with them given the all coach configuration and borderline horrendous pitch — they have 186 seats on their 737s!

Don’t know what I was worried about, because I quite possibly had the most pleasant intra-Europe flight I’ve ever had. I got a bulkhead aisle seat with an empty middle seat, and the buy on board food and drinks that were better than I’ve ever otherwise been served in intra-Europe business class.

Only negative of the flight? The beyond creepy safety video. Fortunately I can’t find a high qualify version of it online, or else y’all would probably lose sleep tonight. Heck, casting the Lufthansa worshiping lady in it would reduce the creepy factor.

  1. @lucky Its good to know Air Berlin is worth considering in economy. Any other carriers to consider or rankings of them? For a shorter intra Europe flight I would much rather redeem in economy or even pay if the fare is low enough.

  2. Redeemed Delta miles for KLM from Madrid to Amsterdam. Had a good experience in coach and a good use of Delta miles….

  3. @ TheBeerHunter — Was supposed to be 15 Euros per bottle, though they were “on the house” for whatever reason.

  4. @ BothofUs2 — Have only otherwise done intra-Europe business class and among the airlines I’ve flown would rate Austrian as best, followed by Swiss, followed be Lufthansa, followed by BA, followed by Air France.

  5. I fly AB and (especially) HG frequently around Europe and they really are nice. Good planes, good service, and if you ar flying from VIE, you can pre-order food from Demel. Their kalbsbutterschnitzel is totally delicious and a steal at 8 Euro.

  6. We flew Iberia yesterday from LHR to MAD as part of an AA award. The plane was a clearly older narrow body, but as my wife commented very clean. The service was very friendly and attentive.

    But the big surprise for a 2 and a half hour flight was the wonderful meal. Salmon cooked perfectly, fully done yet moist, wish I could always get it done so nicely at home ! Wonderful fresh salad. Both the white and red Spanish wines in 187 ml bottles were excellent.

    Other than the free food, economy would have been just as good, since the flight was only 40% full, and getting a midle seat empty was automatic. Having just come off an AA 777 TA FC, we were stunned how much we liked the Iberia flight.

  7. Good to remember that AB doesn’t have J intra-EU. They do tend to block the middle-seat for elites, though.

    I too find AB service extremely friendly! The one thing I wish they’d improve is boarding – priority boarding is disorganised at best.

  8. Told you awhile ago they are hot! Their long haul J is very good except angle flat seats. Their service & amenities are excellent.15 euro is not a bad price even if you have to pay.

  9. Thankfully, most intra-EU flights are on the shorter side and many Europeans take the “Just get me there” attitude, especially in coach. If “J” was not available or the upgrade price was beyond minimal, I could easily live with this for a couple of hours. I’ve never personally flown Air Berlin, but anecdotal reports suggest They are well above average.

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