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Air Berlin’s frequent flyer program top bonus has filed for insolvency on August 25, 2017. This the latest sad chapter in the history of Air Berlin, which collapsed earlier in the month when its main banker and major shareholder Etihad Airways refused to pump any more cash into the stricken airline. The collapse finally came despite the German government tossing €150 million into the airline to avoid travel chaos over the summer.

Air Berlin Topbonus

According to a statement on the Topbonus website, the program has filed for insolvency. This will affect members as follows:

  • Mileage accrual and redemptions are now suspended
  • Topbonus is unable to determine when accrual and redemptions will resume
  • Status benefits with partner airlines will still be honored for the time being
  • Award tickets already booked with partners will also be honored
  • Holders of Topbonus co-branded credit cards will be contacted by their card issuer with further information.

Air Berlin Topbonus Logo

Overall

It is a sad state of affairs when an airline goes under, and frequent travelers lose their hard-earned points and miles; however, there might be some hope. According to the Financial Times, while many rival airlines are interested in the assets of Air Berlin including EasyJet, Condor, and Lufthansa, one consortium led by a German industrialist Hans Rudolf Wohrl, is interested in acquiring the whole airline and returning it to profitability. So there maybe hope after all!

Air Berlin’s Topbonus Program Files for Insolvency
5 (100%) 7 votes
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Comments

  • Ohhh. Not good. I almost had a free flight gathered up.

  • While this does not affect me, it makes me wonder if miles programs are generally as stable or unstable as the airline they are affiliated with. I would have just assumed that all miles programs are part of the airline, in which case, the airline filing for insolvency (or bankruptcy) would include the miles program. In this case, apparently, the airline had previously filed for insolvency, and the miles program files separately, a week later. If the miles program is a separate legal entity owned by the airline, I assume that the miles program could file for insolvency or bankruptcy without the airline doing so before or after. While it would seem to be bad customer relations for an airline to let that happen, and not provide it with additional funding if necessary, the possibility that other airlines mileage programs might be legally separate would make their points, basically, like a gift card not backed by the company the gift card is redeemable with.

  • I was always tempted to start collecting these miles, but happenstance always seemed to intervene with some other better/more pressing deal. Guess it’s a good thing I never invested anything in this program.

  • I remember hearing rumblings about this like a year ago. Interesting to watch how it will play out.

  • Hmm I thought the German government was bailing out the whole airline

  • That’s too bad customers can’t use their miles. Hopefully their miles gets transferred to another airline.

  • So, what happens to all the travellers who have accumulated points with this programme?
    Will they get some type of compensation for their points worth.

    • That’ll be for the courts to hopefully figure out. I don’t know enough about German law to understand how it would work — if they get anything.

      • If it was the US, they would be unsecured creditors, and the program might have no real assets except the points. Perhaps, that would make the whole program a creditor of the airline. Of coarse, we don’t know what German law is, and as you stated, will have to wait and see.

  • Are they part of any alliance?

  • It is sad to see the potential end of Air Berlin and Topbonus. One of the best features of the program was the co-branded credit card that allowed you to earn Oneworld status entirely through expenditure, although I think it was only available to German or Austrian residents. I don’t think any other cards allow you to do that since they time many years with American Airlines when all points counted from any source.

  • Airberlin flights were a great way to get across the Atlantic with very low charges/fees. This is truly a sad development and I will certainly miss AB for that reason.

  • angelo fonseca says:

    How bad. Next to Alitalia, another European company in bankruptcy.

  • I guess I will never get my 500 miles out.

  • I have 4750 miles and I always failed to book some flight while there are their offers at reduced price.
    Now I won’t cry should I lose these miles, but if they are converted in another programme will be better!

  • woe to the unaware. keep the good info coming.

  • Flew with Air Berlin once before, not bad. Still have 1500 miles in my account.

  • With airberlin reportedly shutting down all its longhaul operations by early October, the end is nigh.

  • Will Airberlin be offering customers an opportunity to transfer accrued miles to a different One World partner of their choice? or are all miles lost forever once the program shuts down?

  • Guess I lost my few thousand miles. Use or lose I guess

  • Sad cause AB was one of AA best redemption for flights to Europe. Hopefully they wil restructure and come through insolvency

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