Last Day To Submit Airberlin Topbonus Compensation Claim

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.

Bottom line

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.

Comments

  1. 9 euros. Once I had a claim for a few dollars and the judge decided that no one under $10 would get their money.

    I think they should do similar thing here. Donate all under 10 euros claim to charity fighting the exploitation of women of golden showers by sick old grumps.

  2. There is a report on the same webpage which specifies the percentages they expect to be paid out. Unfortunately, it not only requires command of German languange but also knowledge of the German bankruptcy legislation, which is vastly different from that of any other country I know (including neighbouring countries such as Switzerland and Austria, or the UK where Topbonus Ltd was registered).

    I wonder why the case is in the German system and in not on the UK one? At least, it would be much more tranparent for all of us!

  3. My, UK, bank charges me to receive funds from overseas. So I’d be out of pocket even at 100% valuation.

    Think I’ll let this one slide ☺

  4. @ Shannon — Respectfully, these are all my screenshots. I received all the emails as well, and linked to Stefan in the top of the post.

  5. RIP to the best mileage programme ever. Way better than US Dividend Miles, BMI or Alaska Miles.
    JFK-HKG-FRA on CX J? 42K Miles + 80€ Taxes.
    LAX-SYD-DXB-LHR on QF J? 42K Miles and 130USD taxes.
    TXL-LPA-DUS (a distance like two transcon returns)? 15k Miles including all taxes.

    Award availability extremly wide open, excellent upgrade options, getting awards in full fare booking classes? Earning top tier emerald status completely free (and 100k miles) without setting a feet on a airplane by visiting the local supermarket every day?
    Oh lord, I LOVED topbonus.

    Regarding the insolvency: I would bother claiming anything. Topbonus is more than bankrupt. I have written off my way to many miles.

  6. We’ll thanks for the heads up. Would have been even better if you had sent out the email more than 18 minutes before the deadline. Claims it was sent from your server 23.41 Central European Time.

  7. Is this a joke? How can you inform others when the deadline is so short or even close already? What is the sense of giving an information in such shorthand notice?
    By the way those Topbonus members with more points or miles way over 500.000 of more are already informed earlier. Let us see how much compensation they will really get.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *