As part of the bankruptcy process for airberlin, the topbonus program is being liquidated. Those with miles in the program are potentially eligible for compensation, though the final amount per mile hasn’t been determined.
I have a handful of airberlin miles from… actually, I don’t know how I came by them. I have flown airberlin dozens of times within Europe, but I can’t remember intentionally crediting miles to topbonus. They’ve run an assortment of promos over the years, so you might have some mysterious miles as well.
Emails from the “insolvency administrator” have been arriving in my inbox with some frequency, but as with much of the mail I receive, I postponed doing anything about it until Rapid Travel Chai reminded me that it needed to be dealt with today, or never.
At this point in time, you have three choices should you have topbonus miles:
- Join the general claim, potentially getting €0.0036 per mile
- Opt out of the claim, and start your own proceedings in the German court system
- Move on with your life and think fondly of the heart-shaped chocolates
Should you want to join the general claim, you have until 11:59PM Central European Time today (5:59PM US Eastern) to register.
Registering for potential airberlin compensation
This process took about three minutes, but the compensation website is only in German. Enabling Google Translate in Chrome is the way to go here.
To start, you just have to enter your name and your topbonus number:
You will then see the number of miles associated with your account (2,500 in my case), and the procedural documents, which might be useful if you’re more heavily invested in topbonus than I am.
In joining the claim, you are given the estimated payout for your miles, and asked to accept or adjust the amount. It’s worth reiterating that none of these amounts (or even the possibility of a payout) are set in stone, this is merely part of the process.
From there, you will be asked to enter your address. So you don’t have to learn this the hard way, non-Germans will want to enter “[CITY], [STATE]” in the “Place” field. The country list is in German and doesn’t auto-translate:
- “Vereinigte Staaten” is “United States”
- “Großbritannien” is “United Kingdom”
- Others, such as Canada (Kanada) and Australia (Australien) are more intuitive, but again, you can look up your country on Google Translate
The form also asks for your bank information, but there’s no need to enter it at this point. Should a payout be confirmed, you’ll be contacted, and can submit your details at that time.
Again, this is just the first step in the process, so nothing is guaranteed, but if you have a quantity of airberlin miles it’s probably better to register and participate in the general claim than not.
If, like me, you only have ~$10 worth of miles, it’s probably not worth jumping through these hoops — I did it so I could take screenshots and continue receiving updates on the proceedings — but of course everyone values their time differently.
Either way, you have until 11:59PM Central European Time today (5:59PM US Eastern) to register a claim for airberlin topbonus compensation.