Bye Bye airberlin and topbonus

Germany’s second largest airline, airberlin, filed for insolvency just over a week ago. Today I received an email from their loyalty program, topbonus, which is filing for insolvency as well.

The airline was unable over the last years to make any profit, even tho with the support of Etihad. Earlier this month Etihad stopped financing airberlin which led to the steps they took now. I am surprised that they were able to keep operating that long without making any profit over the years.

One of the hardest hit will be for all the loyal topbonus customers who can’t use their miles anymore at the moment. The topbonus program is completely frozen right now. You can’t earn or redeem miles until further notice. It’s unclear if there will be any way to save your valuable miles or transfer it to Etihad eventually or the buyer of airberlin.

I have accumulated just over 10,000 miles with airberlin but never flew a single mile on their airline. They were very generous with crediting miles for signing up for newsletters and websites. My plan was to use my files for an intra-Germany flight to visit a friend this winter. Let’s see if this will still be possible.

As of right now hang in there and wait what happens. You can’t do anything else anyway. Earning miles either by flying airberlin or any partner airline, with their credit card or any other way is suspended until further notice. Airberlin will still grant you the status privileges which come with your current topbonus tier.

The German government is supporting airberlin right now with a 150 million Euro loan. Well, we should call it “gift”. Because if the airline was unable to make any money the last couple of years, how would they be able to pay back that money? They will have to use all the money they will get from filing insolvency.

Pictures like these once below will be soon some of the past. Take your chances as long as you can. The date, when airberlin stops all operation is not set yet as well as what will happen to the airline. If it gets sold partially or as a whole piece. Lufthansa is interested in the airline as well as some others. Let’s see what happens. I hope I get at least to fly once on the airline before it vanishes. The airline had very competitive prices in most markets.

The airline’s website, as well as the website of their loyalty program, can still be accessed.

airberlin at Berlin-Tegel airport

Airberlin De Havilland Canada DHC-8-402Q Dash 8 @ TXL

airberlin A330-200 taking off from SFO

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