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Air Berlin Business Class Los Angeles to Dusseldorf – Airbus A330

Air Berlin Flight 7431
Depart: Los Angeles (LAX)
Arrive: Dusseldorf (DUS)
STD: 6:10pm (ADP: 6:32pm)
STA: 1:55pm (ATA: 1:03pm)
Aircraft: Airbus A330-200
Reg: D-ABXB
FF: 18th Jan 2000 (16.6 YR OLD)
Deliv: 3rd Feb 2000 (16.5 YR IN SERVICE)

Seat: 2A
Flight Time: 9h 31M
Meal Service: Dinner & Breakfast

After a short week in Los Angeles it was time to fly back across the Atlantic and finally experience Air Berlin business class which I had missed on my travels to Los Angeles due to some ridiculous scheduling times from Air Berlin which made it near impossible to make my connection and I never did.

I was flying down from San Francisco on Southwest and arrived with plenty of time to spare as LAX can be tricky for connections with limited time, I had given myself a four-hour window and landed and walked from terminal 1 which southwest use and made my way over to Tom Bradley international.

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I made my way inside and it was definitely prime time for this terminal as every single check in desk was busy and had people waiting. Most of the long haul International fights depart from LAX between the hours of 4pm – 8pm.

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Air Berlin can be found at check in area A

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As I arrived the counters were just being set up and I hate to wait ten minutes before I could check in.

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No surprises here that when I had assigned my seat online I had picked 5A and upon checking in I was handed a boarding pass with 2A on it.
Air Berlin has different configurations for each A330 and I checked with the agent to confirm that 2A was a true window seat to which he said it was.

I found out later when boarding the flight that 5A was also a true window seat, the one I had originally booked and confirmed and found a nice man sitting in my seat, so I had to wonder if it was an Air Marshall or something along those lines.

After picking up my boarding pass I went upstairs and passed through the TSA security area using the business class which saved me some time and then found myself back in the wonderful renovated terminal, which I still really enjoy each time I go back.

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I went straight upstairs to the one world business class lounge which is shared by all the one world airlines flying TBIT.

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The first thing I wanted to do was take a shower, so I made my way to the private shower rooms which are very nice

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After my shower I took a nice look around the lounge checking out the various seating options
The lounge definitely has a good amount of seating and every time I have been in the lounge there has always been plenty of spare seats.

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After my walk around it was time to grab some food and a drink and find a place to sit

The one world lounge normally has a pretty good selection of hot and cold food to choose from
First up was the build your own salad area which always has plenty to pick from

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Then there was the Butter chicken curry, which tasted pretty good compared to how it looked

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Then there was a courgette bake of some sort

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and a classic pasta bake also

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There was a cake, and chocolate brownie chunks,

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and a load of fresh fruit & Veggies

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There is also a nice centerpiece to the lounge which you can view all the way around.

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After eating and catching up on a few e-mails I enjoyed a few glasses of Champagne and decided it was time to head on down to the gate.

Today we would be leaving from gate 154 which was just a short ten minute walk.
I arrived at our gate just before boarding and snapped a picture of the Air Berlin Airbus A330-200 that would be flying me all the way to Germany tonight.

I’ve never been a big fan of the A330 series and prefer other aircraft, I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I always find that when I fly on A330 aircraft I always have a more turbulent flight when comparing trips on other aircraft, maybe that’s just me !

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Before I knew it a rather long line had formed for gate 154, but thankfully it was all the economy passengers.
I sort of don’t understand why people start to line up for long haul flights when everyone has an assigned seat and there is a seat for everyone, but this does happen on every flight I take.

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Pre board was called first and then business class passengers and Elite status holders were also welcomed at the same time.

Upon entering the aircraft I was greeted and informed that my seat was down the aisle on the left hand side.
This was when I walked past someone sitting in 5A, and I was surprised because I was also one of the first to board the aircraft, and this person was not in front of me.

Anyhow, moving onto the seat, The business class seats that Air Berlin has on its A330’s is definitely interesting and you don’t get this seat type on many aircraft.

The seat can convert into a fully flat-bed and it is comfortable when in the bed position.
The window seats are the best for privacy as you sort of have a wall to you side which you can’t see over and no one can view you in your seat on the aircraft. The tray table is a bit of s stretch from the seat when in the down position, but overall it’s not a bad business class seat.

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There is a foot rest, a good-sized TV and plenty of space with the seats.

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There is a rather large storage space in front of you which you could put a laptop computer in or your shoes

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There is also a universal plug-in front of you for charging and there is a USB charger on the side of the seat.

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The crew came around and welcomed me onto the flight and asked me what I would like to drink before take off, I went with the Champagne.

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The menu’s were then handed out and I had a good look through it, they apologised and said that the catering is normally a lot better when departing from Düsseldorf, and when leaving from the US the options are more limited.

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I was then given a hot towel before we pushed back

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and also given the amenity kit which is by Wolfgang joop

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The amenity kit was along the lines of other business class amenity kits where it covered all the basic’s but was nothing over the top.

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We pushed back about fifteen minutes late and taxied past the tom Bradley terminal and then American airlines terminal 4 and all the way along to the end of the runway.

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Take off was very smooth and we climbed out over the ocean and turned left before heading inland, there were some great views on take off

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Shortly before the cabin service commenced I was given a blanket and to my surprise some Air Berlin slippers, which is a nice touch in business class, I normally only have slippers when flying in First class.

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After reaching our cruising altitude we made our way towards Vegas and it had been about forty-five minutes into the flight, as the drink service had not yet started I decided to get up and take a picture of the cabin.

The really strange thing I noticed was the curtained off cabin on the right hand side which as I was standing up a pilot got into and the crew set him up for some sleep. I don’t think I have seen a crew rest area inside the business class cabin before, it was very interesting to watch.

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I then returned back to my seat to await my drink

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Outside the sun was setting and it was wonderful to watch

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About one hour into our flight I finally received some Champagne and warm nuts to start my evening

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I then checked out the IFE system which was fairly dated but had an updated selection of on board entertainment.

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I ended up watching some of the great Gatsby but never finished it

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Finally dinner service had started

For my appetizer I decided to give the grilled chicken breast with couscous salad and Mezze muhammara dip a try which came with a small caesar salad on the side.
The chicken was very tasty and went really well with the Muhammara dip and it was a very enjoyable appetizer

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For my main I had gone with the fillet Mignon, which was served with a grilled red pepper and onion mashed potatoes and sautéed baby spinach

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I know it’s always a risk ordering steak on a plane for fear of it being over cooked, but this time the crew had got it just right.
The steak was almost medium in the middle and pink on the inside and it was the perfect temperature and tasted great.

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At some point during dinner service as we passed billings the turbulence on the flight started to get very choppy and sadly stayed this way for the rest of the flight until we reached Greenland. I know that pilots can control this but it still makes for an uncomfortable over night flight.

I had been drinking the 2014 Chateau de Capitoul Syrah red and was really enjoying and had a few more glasses

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It also went really well with the cheese plate that was served to me.
When it comes to presentation standards they could have at least taken the crackers out of the packet and put them on a plate to at least give the illusion that they cared.

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After the dinner service was completed the lights were turned off and we continue our choppy over night flight heading up towards Canada

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The seat belt sign had been on for the last hour and remained on for most of the night

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As we passed over Canada in the middle of the night I took a look out of my window and something caught my eye.

To my surprise I could see the northern lights in action and moving and it was magical.
I did try to capture a video of it but sadly my camera could not pick it up, so I had to take a few stills.

No matter how many times I see it, It’s always wonderful to watch when flying.

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At this point the cabin crew gave an announcement , one that you don’t always want to hear on a flight, but does indeed happen.

“if there is a doctor on board please could they make themselves known to the crew”

This then raised a few eyebrows in the cabin just as the lights were all turned on.
It turns out an older gentleman had cut his head open some how and needed medical attention to stop the bleeding, I though at this point we might be turning around and heading back to Canada, but the crew handled the situation really well and took care of it and got him all fixed up and even upgraded him and his wife into the business class cabin, which was really nice of the crew and a good use of the free seats.

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I then relaxed and watched the sun rising as we passed over Greenland

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It was at this point that I decided to try to catch a few Z’s but I was not tired in the slightest and just put the bed back into the reclined position

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With about two hours remaining in flight time after passing Iceland it was time for the breakfast service.

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The service kicked off with a hot towel and a glass of orange juice

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And I was then handed my breakfast all on one tray.

It was definitely an interesting breakfast for my taste.
The Croissant was tough and really chewy and not enjoyable at all and I completely skipped the meat selection and ate some of the fruit and passed on the morning cheese.

I guess I’m just not a big fan of European breakfast’s

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After breakfast we had just forty-five minutes remaining in flight time and we cruised down into Germany

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Just before we landed the crew came around and gave everyone an Air Berlin chocolate made my Lindt which was really nice.

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We had a smooth touch down in Düsseldorf airport and a short taxi to our gate.

 It had been a perfectly fine experience flying with Air Berlin in business class, nothing that sensational but the service and food was solid and steady which is sort of what I expected.

However due to the 24 hour delay I received on my flight out and having to be rebooked onto British Airways to get me to LAX which was all caused by a terrible scheduling decision from Air Berlin, I will probably never fly Air Berlin ever again due to this reason which really put a bitter taste in my mouth with them.

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