Air Berlin is running a campaign to sell 5,000 packages of what they call a “City Tour Pass”, which in fact is simply miles in their Topbonus programme. However, they are pitching it as a certain number of European flights (which normally cost 10,000 miles one way). Although not obvious at first glance, they have provided a list of destinations that are actually available for 10,000 miles return until 28 February, 2015. (which is half of the usual price)
You can essentially buy 50,000 miles for €299 or 70,000 miles for €389. This works out to 0.55 euro cents per mile for the larger package. More details are available here. The promotion will end on 15 December, 2014, or earlier if the 3,000 packages of 70K and 2,000 packages of 50K sell out before then. Topbonus members are limited to one package each.
The best use of Air Berlin miles is unlikely to be European flights (as they will add taxes & fuel surcharges, although you can pay 17,500 miles per flight to avoid those…). You’ll probably find that the majority of Air Berlin’s European flights are available for 4,500 or 7,500 Avios, which most of my readers probably find a lot easier to earn.
As a result, you’re more likely to find outstanding value with Etihad, which doesn’t partner with very many other frequent flyer programmes (American Airlines AAdvantage comes to mind though). Check out the award chart here.
That 70,000 mile package could, for example, get you from Europe to Africa one-way in Business Class on Etihad. For €389 + taxes & surcharges that’s likely to be a great deal and you could probably get home with miles in a different programme. For a few more miles, you could also get to Asia or Australia. I’m tempted to buy a package to try out Air Berlin’s award booking process myself, but I’ve probably got way too many miles already in other programmes that I ought to burn first…
This is certainly a speculative purchase, but the terms & conditions do offer a 14-day cancellation period. So, if you buy the miles for immediate use, but can’t manage to use them for your desired purpose, you can always request a refund.