A week ago airberlin filed for insolvency, after Etihad withdrew their financial support. Airberlin has a spun off frequent flyer program, and unfortunately that program isn’t in much better shape. As of a few days ago, you can no longer earn or redeem miles with airberlin’s topbonus program. Even their co-brand partners are suspending mileage earning, so that their co-branded credit card no longer awards miles.
I explained in a past post why topbonus is in such bad shape. Generally speaking a spun off frequent flyer program wouldn’t file for insolvency so quickly if they had been run as an independent, for profit company. But as I explained, topbonus is 70% owned by Etihad, and in many ways it was being run solely as a way to allow more foreign ownership of airberlin assets.
Today topbonus has filed for insolvency, as I was expecting. Per their website:
topbonus, the frequent flyer program of airberlin filed for insolvency on Friday, 25th August.
This unfortunate development follows the decision last week by airberlin to file for insolvency.
Given airberlin’s current situation and the consequential impact on the frequent flyer program, topbonus was left with no other option.
The earning and redemption of miles remains suspended; the account access to review your profile and miles balances and your topbonus membership remains valid.
I feel bad for those with topbonus miles. The terms of the program state that they have to provide 18 months notice before terminating the program, but I suspect that them going out of business gets them out of that obligation.
I imagine in the coming days it will no longer be possible to earn or redeem partner airline miles for travel on airberlin. As of a couple of days ago airberlin award availability was removed from American’s website, and I imagine that’s only the beginning.