Top Bonus, the frequent flyer program for Air Berlin, has officially filed for bankruptcy. This bankruptcy filing came only a week after Air Berlin filed for insolvency. Flyers will no longer be able to gain points on any remaining Air Berlin flights or use any saved points or rewards. Nonetheless, members of Top Bonus should hold on to their frequent flyer member accounts in case a new company purchases the plan during insolvency proceedings.
Top Bonus had already put a stay on redeeming points or earning any new points as of last week when Air Berlin filed for insolvency protection. Since many people in the industry hoped that Air Berlin would somehow pull through this filing, Top Bonus refrained from filing for bankruptcy immediately at their announcement.
However, Air Berlin, the second largest carrier in Germany, was unable to find a way to stay afloat. Investors have not been happy with its performance for the last decade, and the government would only provide the airline with a bridge loan to cover flights that have already been purchased. The government was only willing to do this to ensure that German citizens can return home.
Etihad Airways, the airline which pulled its investments from Air Berlin this month resulting in the bankruptcy filing, also owns a large portion of Top Bonus. In 2012, Etihad took ownership of 67 percent of the Top Bonus program. It has not been indicated if Etihad pulled funding from Top Bonus which in turn caused the company to turn to insolvency, or if Etihad will take a loss as a result of the cessation of Top Bonus.