Air Berlin is one of the better european airlines to fly and here is my 5 cents about Air Berlin, after having flown then several times over the past decade.
Air Berlin started as a budget Airline.
The first few years that Air Berlin flew, it was kind of a budget airline, but in recent years it has become part of the Etihad group and because of that it has become more of a “normal” airline with service on board. Air Berlin still has some very attractive prices though and I have flown both short haul and overseas with them for some very reasonable fares. When I compare them to other airlines such as Lufthansa and German wings, then Air Berlin is far better and far far friendlier than the grumpy cabin crew you tend to have on lufthansa.
Good inflight service.
I flew with Air Berlin a few weeks ago between Dusseldorf and Miami on economy class and was very happy with their new inflight entertainment system, with a nice big touch screen, that was easy to operate. Very good selection of dozens of movies, where I manged to find a few that I wanted to see. I could have done with a few more documentaries, but all in all it was well above average what they had to offer there. On overseas flights, you have free food and drinks, including alcoholic beverages and I have never had any problems getting a refill or two in to my wine glass. On an overseas flight, where you are stuck in a seat for +10 hours, this is really nice. And at the end of an Air Berlin flight, they always give you a chocolate heart. I think this is a very nice way to wish the passengers a nice onward journey 🙂
New planes and good transfer airports.
Air Berlin has a very new fleet of planes and I have never been stuck in some old noisy machine when flying with them. If you fly with a transfer with Air Berlin, it is likely to be either Berlin or Dusseldorf that you transfer in and these two airports are much nicer to transfer in than awful Frankfurt airport, where Lufthansa is likely to strand you or Paris CDG or Madrid Barajas, to mention two other awful european airports.
Few european carriers are friendlier than Air Berlin.
I fly dozens of times every year and fly with more than 20 different carriers per year, so I pay a lot of attention to the difference between the airlines and their employees. And in that regard, Air Berlin scores really high when it comes to having employees who are service minded and seem genuinely happy about their jobs. At quite a few european carriers, the crew tends to act like they just wish the day was over, so they can go home, but Air Berlin must treat their staff good, cause they usually have time for a friendly chat, which I tend to look for on a long flight where I need to pass time.