Many of you may have built up a stash of 10,000 Air Berlin miles lately thanks to the generous Air Berlin topbonus promotion. Sure we could redeem them for the topbonus shop for vouchers up to EUR 30 for Air Berlin bookings. But that would be a sad redemption.
Instead Air Berlin topbonus has a number of options to redeem 10,000 miles for a one-way flight in Economy.
There must be an adventurous destinations in between these! The Air Berlin topbonus award chart can be found here and has two regions were 10,000 miles are enough intra-Europe and intra-South East Asia.
Use 10,000 topbonus miles to fly inside the Europe zone
Air Berlin is one of my favorite AA or Avios redemptions since no fuel surcharges are ever added. Alas that is different when using the topbonus program – a hefty charge of about $70 is added per leg (if your flight connects twice it will be ~$200(!). Given that flights are cheap in Europe – this isn’t a great deal anymore to use miles.
Air Berlin apparently really wants you to spend 17,500 miles for the same flight (in that case all fees go away even if you connect) – what a deal!
Don’t do it!
Note that the award chart is not up-to-date and the Canary Islands and the Azores have been moved outside of the Europe region in the meantime.
But that still gives us plenty of room for interesting redemptions.
The better deal is to use Air Berlin topbonus miles on partners – the ‘fake’ fuel charges per leg do not apply for the 10,000 mile redemption.
Here is an example for British Airways:
Here is an example for Iberia:
Here is an example for Moscow based S7 (Review):
Note that while S7 flies to many Russian (and former Soviet countries) most Russian airports east of the Ural are not considered Europe for topbonus. Interesting destinations include Tbilisi, Georgia as well as Baku, Azerbaijan and Yerevan, Armenia which all count as Europe! Note that only Tbilisi airport shows up in the online search – you will have to call in for the latter two.
Use 10,000 topbonus miles to fly inside the South East Asia zone
Another great option is to use 10,000 miles in the rather wide-spread South East Asia zone.
Your carriers of choice will be Malaysia Airlines or Cathay Pacific (even though Hong Kong is in a different award zone for topbonus). Of course nobody knows if you may miss your second flight and just go to Hong Kong city for the day…
The search engine is extra buggy for many of these destinations and I have yet to see Dragonair price out. Both should not be a problem with the call center.
Malaysia Airlines and Cathay Pacific both have just moderate fuel surcharges and if your route is not a new Air Asia route I find airfares in many parts of South-East Asia surprisingly expensive. These 10,000 miles will be a great investment!