Airberlin announces new direct route from Los Angeles, California, to Berlin, Germany

The USA is Berlin’s most important market overseas, as can be seen by the 180,000 Americans that visited Germany’s capital from January through August, 2011. That is why it is so exciting that airberlin has announced a new, direct route from Los Angeles to Berlin that is set to begin on May 11, 2012. From then on, travelers will be able to take the Airbus 330-200 direct, with three flights going out per week.

Airberlin is the first airline to offer nonstop flights from the west coast of the United States to Berlin. The tourism industry in Germany’s capital plans to work with the airline to heavily and successfully market the new route.

For more information, go to visitBerlin.

Boeing moves flight attendant call button

It happens on many flights: you or a seatmate is groping blindly for the reading light or trying to plug earphones into to the armrest, accidentally hitting the flight attendant call button. This may happen several times per flight, causing flight attendants needless trips up and down the aisle to check on embarrassed passengers. It’s a pet peeve on the Gadling team, among both crew and other travelers.

Not anymore. The new Boeing 737 airplane, unveiled this week at the Paris Air Show, has finally corrected this design flaw. The call button has how been moved away and distinguished from the reading light button, to prevent future mistaken “dings.” Other new design elements for the most popular passenger jet include LED lighting and higher overhead bins to provide more headroom. Airberlin will be the first airline to receive a new 737. “On every flight somebody pushes the wrong button. It is an issue for flight attendants,” said pilot Tim Techt.

Photo courtesy Flickr user gurms

Suspected bomb on airplane was a “dummy”

Yesterday’s potential bomb on an Air Berlin flight from Namibia to Germany turns out to have been an American-made “dummy” used by security officials for training, BBC reports.

The “bomb” consists of a detonator, wires, and a ticking clock and is put in a suitcase and through the system to measure the efficiency of an airport’s security. The device did not contain explosives and was detected before being put on the plane, so score one for Namibian airport security. But here’s the catch–there was no security test going on. So either it was put on by accident (unlikely) or someone decided to create a scare. Local police are investigating and with tourism being such a big money maker in Namibia, whoever was responsible faces some serious consequences. I wonder what the inside of a Namibian jail looks like?

The first wind we had of this new development came from Gadling reader Sabrina, who read about it on German news. Vielen Dank, Sabrina!

Breaking news: Suspected bomb found on German airline

A flight from Namibia to Germany was delayed earlier today after a suspected bomb was found in a suitcase. The package included a detonator, batteries, and a clock, the BBC reports. Details are unclear at this moment and it is not known if the device was an actual bomb or simply meant to intimidate.

The suspected bomb was found before it was loaded onto an Air Berlin flight from Windhoek to Munich. The flight was delayed for several hours as all passengers and luggage were checked. It has now safely completed its journey.

Germany has recently upped its security because of intelligence that an attack was imminent.

An interesting detail in this case was that the suitcase had no destination sticker, suggesting that it did not go through normal check-in procedures.

[Photo courtesy user Arcturus via Wikimedia Commons]

Air Berlin’s two-for-one promo

Air Berlin, the German low-cost carrier that gets typically great reviews for its various old-school perks seldom associated with budget airlines (assigned seating, checked bags carried through to connecting flights, and free snacks, drinks, and newspapers) is promoting a great special offer, today through June 28.

The offer sees the airline selling two-for-one Berlin-Miami and Berlin-Dubai fares. Some of Air Berlin’s beginning fares are already quite reasonable, so the two-for-one offer is nothing to be sneezed at. The lowest fare I was able to find for both Berlin-Dubai and Berlin-Miami flights is €408, a decent deal for a single traveler. For two, €408 for a round trip Berlin-Miami or Berlin-Dubai fare is a downright steal.

Helpfully for American tourists, this offer also applies to journeys originating in Miami. Air Berlin’s deal thus provides a cheap route for South Florida-based travelers to one of Europe’s most exciting cities. The Berlin-Dubai two-for-one offer also provides a great opportunity to inexpensively extend a Europe jaunt to Dubai.

Remarkably, as of right now, there are Berlin-Dubai flights still available at the starting €408 fare for travel during the high-demand weeks around Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

While the two-for-one flights have to be booked by June 28, the travel period covered by the promotion is broad. The two-for-one deal can be booked for travel between November 1 and April 30, 2011.

(Image: Flickr/woody1778a)