Flying with Air Berlin, hm… Imagine your-self sitting cosily in a seat you chose, sipping your free drink and reading free newspaper, collecting points in a frequent flyer program without a worry about your connecting flight. And all that for a price of a low cost airline ticket.

It’s not fiction. That is how a flight on board Air Berlin cheap air flights looks like.

Routes and Hubs

Air Berlin is the largest German airline after Lufthansa. It flies to the most popular destinations on the Mediterranean coast, in the Canary Islands and in North Africa, as well as to major European cities. Its hubs are Berlin-Tegel, Nuremberg, Düsseldorf International Airport, Palma de Mallorca and London-Stansted.

Booking, tickets and payment

Flights can be booked online, via travel agents or by calling their Service center. You do not pay a service charge if you book online. Air Berlin uses paperless tickets - AB-TIX (except, when you book a package holiday). There are two types of fares: saver and flexi.

You can pay for a flight by credit card or direct debit in some countries.

Check-in and baggage allowance

You should arrive at the check in desk at least 60 min before departure. Air Berlin also allows online check in. On some airports you can even check in your luggage the evening before flight.

Every passenger has a free baggage allowance of 20 kg. Every kg extra costs 5 Euros.For all UK flights, maximum weight for one piece of baggage is 32kg.

You can carry only one piece of hand baggage on board. Maximum weight is 6 kg (8kg if you carry a laptop). EU cabin baggage regulations apply.

Boarding, seating and inflight service

To board an Air Berlin flight, you only need a boarding pass (which you print if you check in online) and a photo ID. Boarding is at least 30 min before departure.

Seating can be reserved. It costs 8 Euros. If you want a seat with extra legroom - “XL seat”, it costs 20 Euros.

Air Berlin airline offers free food, drinks, magazines and newspapers on board.

Air Berlin’s frequent flyer program

Unlike many other low cost airlines, Air Berlin has a frequent flyer program. It is called Top Bonus. You can collect Miles when you fly, when you hire a car and when you book a hotel. Or any time you pay with your Air Berlin MasterCard.

Through this program you can acquire a number of benefits including extra free baggage allowance (plus 10kg) and free seating reservations.

Conclusion

Air Berlin, in my experience, really looks like a quality national carrier packaged as a low cost airline.

If you want to compare the quality of service on Air Berlin to the services of other low cost airlines read Easyjet review and Ryanair review.

Fees and restrictions, caused by new airport security rules in EU, have made cheap air flights more expensive.
This is a quick update to the low cost airline reviews I have written for Easy Jet and Ryanair airlines.

Hand baggage requirements have become stricter

You can find guide to new hand baggage rules here. Both Easy Jet and Ryanair require that size of hand baggage must be 55cm x 40cm x x20cm or smaller.

Ryanair limits carry on baggage weight limit to 10kg, while Easy Jet has no limit. You are only limited by what you are able to lift to an overhead compartment, without help.

Free hold baggage allowance is getting smaller

Ryanair, as you may already know, does not offer free hold allowance, at all. They say you have 15kg allowance when traveling with them, but you have to pay 6€ fee for each and every bag you check in. You can check in up to five baggage items.
Excess baggage fee is 8€ for every extra kilo.

Easy Jet is a bit cheaper. They give you 20 kg hold baggage allowance with one bag free. Every extra bag is charged 7.5€ prepaid or 15€ at the airport. Extra baggage fee is 9€ per kilo.

For health and safety reasons you are not permitted to check in any baggage item over 32kg in weight or with size greater than 119cm x 8cm x 8cm. This actually applies to most airlines in the world not just Ryanair or Easy Jet.

The information written here was correct at the time of writing, but it can change. Check the website of your airline to be certain there won’t be any unpleasant and costly surprises when you come to the airport.

I hope the tips you find here make planning your next flight easier. Have a nice flight! :-)


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Since November 2006 airline baggage rules in EU have changed. You must follow these rules and regulations if you want a smooth and care-free journey. These changes mostly relate to limited quantity of liquids you can carry through airport security checkpoints.

Liquids

Pack all but the most necessary liquids in the hold baggage. Liquids that you need to carry on board must be in containers of maximum 100ml capacity. Place them all in a transparent re-sealable bag, of 1l capacity, no larger than 20cm x 20cm in size. They must fit comfortably inside the bag so it can be safely closed. Only one bag per passenger is allowed.

liquids that are allowed by new airline rules and regulationsThis is the list of liquids allowed by new airline carry on baggage restrictions:
- water and other drinks, soups, syrups
- creams, lotions and oils
- perfumes
- sprays
- gels, including hair and shower gels contents of pressurized containers, including shaving foam, other foams and deodorants
- pastes, including toothpaste
- liquid-solid mixtures
- mascara
- any other item of similar consistency

You can still carry in your hand luggage medicines and dietary requirements, including baby foods, for use during the trip. But there are some rules applying to this as well.

Medicine and dietary requirements (i.e. baby food)

There is no limit for powders or pills.
If your medicines are in containers over 100ml or your medicines and liquids together exceed the capacity of the bag you will need the prior approval of your airline. You must carry with you the proof of prescription like a letter from your doctor. The same goes if you carry any essential medical equipment that does not fit in your hand baggage.

You will be asked to verify these medicines at security. Baby products as well. This may involve tasting, or testing on the skin.

Electrical items

Leave smaller items (mobile phones, mp3 players, digital camera etc.) within your hand baggage or in your coat/jacket pocket. But remove large electrical devices such as laptops from carry on luggage and put them on a separate screening tray. You should never put laptops in your hold baggage!

Duty free shopping

Duty free items, purchased at airports within the EU or on board an EU-airline may continue to be carried on board. You can fly with everything you buy after security. If they are sold in a special sealed bag, do not open it before you are screened – otherwise the contents may be confiscated at the checkpoint. (If you transfer at an EU airport, do not open the bag before screening at your airport of transfer, or at the last one if you transfer more than once).

All these liquids are additional to the quantities in the re-sealable plastic bag.

Hand baggage allowance

Passengers can carry on board only one item of hand baggage, no larger than 55cm x 45cm x 25cm. Other bags, such as handbags, may be carried within this single item of cabin baggage, not in addition.
Note: Dimension of hand baggage mentioned here comply with the security requirements of EU airports. Smaller bag sizes may apply depending on which airline you travel with (i.e. Ryanair allows one item of hand baggage with maximum weight of 10kgs and dimensions no greater than 55cm x 40cm x 20cm.)

Of course, no sharp items, smoking materials (only one cigarette lighter per person) or liquids greater than 100ml are allowed.

I hope this post was useful to you.
Have a nice trip! :-)


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After it was announced yesterday that terrorists tried to blow up several planes flying to US, air travel to and from UK has been disrupted. Flights are cancelled or delayed and securities are stricter.

If you need to use some of the UK airports and are looking for information on the current status, try the website of the airline you are flying with and website of the airport you are supposed to depart from.

The usual rules about hand luggage do not apply, since that was the way terrorists wanted to smuggle explosives aboard. Basically you can take only essential items in one transparent bag.

These items are:

* Pocket-size wallets and pocket-size purses (with money, credit cards, identity cards etc.)
* Travel documents (passports and travel tickets)
* Prescription medicines and medical items essential for the flight (eg, diabetic kit), except in liquid form (unless verified as authentic)
* Spectacles and sunglasses, without cases
* Contact lens holders (without bottles of solution)
* For those travelling with an infant: baby food, milk (the contents of each bottle must be tasted by the accompanying passenger) and sanitary items sufficient and essential for the flight (nappies, wipes, creams and nappy disposal bags)
* Female sanitary items if unboxed
* Tissues (unboxed) and/or handkerchiefs
* Keys (but no electrical key fobs).

Notice that you can’t take liquids aboard and do not put anything in pockets.

All passengers will be hand searched and their footwear, all items they are carrying including pushchairs and walking aids will be X- ray screened. Only airport-provided wheelchairs may pass through the screening point. Passengers flying to US will be searched again on the boarding gate.

As you may imagine significant delays at airports are inevitable.

I sincerely hope that everything will turn to normal soon and I wish you a safe flight! :-)

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Today I wish to speak about online check in. You have probably heard of it. It is a feature which more and more airlines offer. Not just low cost airlines on their cheap air flights but big airlines like British Airways, Lufthansa, KLM, Virgin… It enables you to print your own boarding passes.

How to use online check in? After buying your low cost airline tickets online you will get a confirmation. Here you will see whether your flight has an online check-in option or not. This feature is available the earliest from 72 hours prior to flight departure, depending on the airline. Here is what you should do:

1. click on the online check in link,

2. check your flight information

3. fill in your personal information

4. select the seat you prefer (if applicable)

5. print out your boarding pass.

And that is it. Take your boarding pass and your Photo ID, and on the airport go directly to security and than to the boarding gate.

Benefits of online check-in. You can check-in from the comfort of your own home or office. You will be priority boarded onto the aircraft. If the airline operates free seating policy this means that you have more seats to choose from. Basically, using online check-in saves you time at the airport, by avoiding check-in and boarding gate queues. Europe low cost airlines generally offer this feature to all passengers holding an EU/EEA passport and when traveling with hand luggage only. Other airlines may offer Bag Drops and Self Check-In Kiosks for those with hold baggage.

That’s it for today. Tell me your experience with online check in. Do you like it or not?


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Ryanair is one of the biggest and most established low cost airlines in Europe. It flies from UK and Ireland to over 100 destinations around Europe. They are often the cheapest on routes where they compete with other low cost airlines. They are infamous for flying to remote and secondary airports. Consider this when calculating the price off your trip.

You can book your cheap air flights ticket through their website or by calling their Reservation Centre. Payment is done via credit or debit card. Some fees apply. Ryanair has its own Ryan.com credit card. You can get some extra free flights just for joining and later again for using it.

Ryanair does not issue tickets. At check-in you need booking reference and a Photo ID. Check-in desks close at 40 minutes before flight departure. There is a possibility of an online check-in for EEA passengers. It is very useful for those with only hand baggage. It allows you to check in (online) 72 – 4 hours before flight, so you can skip airport check-in and go straight to the boarding gate. Passengers who check-in online get priority seating.

Check-in baggage allowance is 20 kg. But note that it is not free. You have to pay 5 € per bag. Fee for excess baggage is 5.50 € per kilo. You can take on board only one hand baggage of maximum 10 kg weight.
They have a free seating policy.

Important: Same as EasyJet, Ryanair is a point-to-point airline. They don’t offer connecting flights service. If you miss your second flight because the first was late they will not accept liability or refund you any money (even if both flights were theirs).

UPDATE: I have written some update regarding hand baggage and hold baggage rules here.

Hope this helped you plan your trip and get your cheap air flights ticket. Take care and have a nice flight! :-)

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In the article about EasyJet it was mentioned that since EasyJet does not issue tickets you need a booking reference and some Photo ID to check in.

Now, question is, what type of Photo Id is acceptable?
Most low cost airlines are not very precise. They just say they accept a valid passport or national identity card. This usually means:

- A valid passport
- A valid National Identity Card issued by a Government of a European Economic Area (EEA) country.
- Valid UN Refugee Convention Travel Document issued by a Government in place of a valid passport.
Some airlines may accept valid EEA driving licence with photo on domestic flights.

The same applies for children under 16 who are travelling with an adult. There are some situations when children can travel without a Photo ID, but that depends on the airline you are using, country you are citizen of and country you are flying to.

Please check the carrier regulations for more information and when in doubt which Photo ID to use – just use your passport.


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This is the first part of the “Europe Low Cost Airlines” series.
EasyJet is one of the largest low cost airlines in Europe. They operate an ever-expanding network offering cheap air flights on 267 routes between 75 key European airports. (At least so they were on the date of writing) For this year they announced new routes for Split and Rijeka in Croatia, Marrakech in Morocco and Istanbul in Turkey.

You can book their tickets same as most low cost airline tickets - by going to their website, or by calling their sales center. On the website you can get a ₤10 discount on return flight.
Payment is done via credit or debit card and some handling fees apply. Advertised prices do not include airport taxes, which you will also pay.

Since Easy Jet does not issue tickets, all you need for check-in is your booking reference and some form of Photo ID. Check-in desks are open from two hours till 30 minutes before flight departure. Make sure you are there on time since low cost airline tickets are non-refundable. If you have only hand baggage, you can check-in online. EasyJet is introducing self-check-in kiosks. They are already operational at Nottingham East Midlands, Geneva and Berlin.

You can take only one piece of hand baggage with you. Free hold baggage allowance is 20 kg. Charge for extra baggage is ₤5 per kilo. They are very strict about it, so better weigh your baggage before you leave home.

EasyJet operates a free seating policy based on priority boarding system. This means, the sooner you check-in, greater the chance that you will find the seat you like.

Important: If you are having connecting flights leave enough time between flights to collect your baggage and check-in again.

UPDATE: I have written some update regarding hand baggage and hold baggage rules here.

Hope I helped you find some low cost airline tickets with Easy Jet. Take care and have a nice flight! :-)


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This is the first post in the “Cheap Air Flights - Travel Tips” series, which will explore some common characteristics of low cost airlines and cheap air flights.

Cheap air flights are a great way to travel, and I am not going to advise you against them. I only want to highlight some points that you must be aware of. Points, that all travelers should pay attention to, while planning their trip.

1. Price of the ticket. - Beware of advertised prices. They always exclude fees, taxes etc. The price you see in the ad is not what you will pay.

2. Departure and destination airports. – In order to lower airport fees, low cost airlines use smaller airports. These airports can be far away from the city you are going. Count on some extra expenses because of it.

3. Hidden fees and taxes. – Beside the price of the ticket, you will pay fees like, credit card handling fee, airport taxes, sometimes even fuel surcharge. Remember that if you want to change any booking details, it will cost you. In addition, there are charges for baggage, reservation for seating etc.

4. Tickets. – Most low cost airlines operate a ticketless service. All you need at check in is a booking reference number and a Photo ID. This is great, since your ticket can’t be lost or stolen.

5. Baggage allowance and excess baggage fees. - All low cost airlines are very strict about baggage allowance. Weigh your baggage before living home. Usual free allowance is 20 kg, and excess baggage fee - 5 € per kilo.

6. Connecting flights. – Leave enough time between flights. You have to collect your baggage and check it in again. You will not get refund for the missed second flight because the first was delayed.

7. Check-in, boarding and seating. – Most airlines open their check in desks two hours before departure. If you are late, there is no refund. The same happens if you don’t get to boarding gate in time. These airlines often operate a free seating policy based on priority boarding system.

8. Food. – Free food is usually not served during flight. It is available for a fee.

9. Time your booking. – Flight fares get more expansive as flight date approaches. Book your flight as early as possible. Also, mid-week flights are the cheapest.

10. Wouldn’t you get a better deal with a main carrier? – And finally ask yourself, wouldn’t you get a better deal with a main carrier. Honestly, sometimes you would. Following the competition from low cost airlines, flag carriers (like British Airways) have cut their prices on more competing routes. You can find their cheap airfares on routes like London – Rome, for instance. Point in favor of main carriers is that they use main airports, which are easily reachable.

Hope that these cheap air flights travel tips were helpful to you. Remember that it’s easiest to get cheap airfares with travel comparison sites.
Have a nice flight!


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If you are trying to get cheap airfares, you may try different approaches:

1. You can go to your travel agent. Explain your wants and needs to them, and he or she will gladly help you get cheap airfares. Note: This way can be more expansive.

2. You can go to the office of your preferred airline, and get cheap airfares there. Note: Most of airlines with cheap air flights prefer if you use their website to book your ticket. (They will in fact offer you cheaper airfares and other benefits if you buy your tickets this way).

3. You can visit the website of a low cost airline. However, in order to find the best cheap air flights ticket you should visit more than one airline and compare your findings. Note: this approach can be very time consuming.

4. You can go to the travel comparison website, such as cheap flights finder Cheaptickets.com to find your deal there. This is probably the best way to get cheap airfares, since it enables you to see all cheap air flights at a glance and you can spot the bargain straight away.

It’s up to you. Choose your method and get cheap airfares.


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