It’s relatively common that competing loyalty programs will offer a status match to status customers of an insolvent airline so it might be a good opportunity to apply for an Air Berlin Topbonus Status Match at this point.
First off: Keep in mind that Air Berlin Topbonus has currently halted all redemption options for their members who are now (at least temporarily) unable to redeem their miles for either flights or merchandise.
The website for the official Topbonus Status Match Campaign is still active (access here).
The match is open to 7 other countries in addition to Germany including the U.S. which has previously been excluded after Air Berlin tuned back the program, adding residence requirements.
This time however Air Berlin added another twist for customers based in the U.S. and requires an existing booking for an AB long haul return flight for the current calendar year.
The website makes it seem quite easy but this offer comes with the caveat that matches from other oneWorld Airlines are not possible. Neither is the outright match for U.S. based customers as I outlined above.
To get everything on track you have to follow these steps first:
- Email Air Berlin at email@example.com and provide the following information:
- Your topbonus number
- A legible scan/photo/copy of your other valid frequent flyer card
- Your application will be reviewed and processed by the Service-Team.
Customers residing in the following countries (respectively having their account address there) are eligible under this new promotion:
Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway and USA
All the European residents will receive an immediate status of a corresponding tier for 12 months during which they are able to re-qualify for the status collecting the usual required number of miles. There will be no match to Air Berlin Platinum Status (oneWorld Emerald) even though it has been confirmed that Lufthansa HON Circle members can indeed match to Air Berlin Platinum.
Air Berlin Topbonus Gold comes with Sapphire Status which gives you decent oneWorld Elite benefits including Lounge Access to Business Class Lounges.
This is a good offer for all eligible customers who want to obtain an easy oneWorld Sapphire status and who have a current elite membership with a competing non-oneWorld program. I wonder though if the applications are actually being processed right now as the company as well as their frequent flyer program are understandably in a disarray right now.
Given the current situation of Air Berlin and the restrictions on the topbonus program I do not recommend to start collecting miles there at this given time but rather apply for the match and let it rest, then see what opportunities come up.
For customers not residing in the listed countries or U.S. residents who don’t want to book a flight for this promotion alone, it might be possible to change your address to friends/family or business associates overseas. As far as the existing reservation goes you could always book a flexible ticket and cancel it after the status match is approved. Maybe even a mileage ticket since the T&C don’t explicitly mention that it has to be a revenue ticket.
These are the Terms and Conditions for the Promotion at the time of this article:
Status Match promotion terms and condition for frequent flyer programmes from other airlines:
- You must register for topbonus before requesting Status Match.
- Status Match applications must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Please attach the following information:
- A scan of your current valid frequent flyer card for which you are requesting a Status Match
- Your topbonus number
- As a status card holder with an alternative frequent flyer programme you will be awarded the corresponding status with topbonus for a probationary period of 12 months (Platinum Card excluded)
- Within this probationary period, once you achieve the required number of status miles or flights pro rata, you will be awarded the status for a further year:
- Collect 25,000 status miles or 24 flights within 12 months and you will be awarded a Silver Card
- Collect 50,000 status miles or 24 flights within 12 months and you will be awarded a Gold Card
- A Status Match is available for Silver and Gold status and may only be applied once and once only for the same status
- This Status Match offer is valid only for select frequent flyer programme of other airlines
- This offer is only available in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway and USA.
- Customers with residence in the US must prove a booking confirmation incl. booking number of an airberlin long haul flight between US and Europe (return ticket). This flight must be operated by airberlin and take place in 2016.
- A Status Match with another oneworld® airline is not possible.
- The right to make alterations is reserved to topbonus Ltd., and may be carried out and/or be withdrawn at any time without giving prior notice. topbonus Ltd. reserves the right to reject customer requests for this campaign without any reason or in case of a suspicion of fraud.
- In addition to the Terms and Conditions of this promotion, the topbonus Terms and Conditions (available to view at www.airberlin.com/topbonus) and the airberlin general Terms and Conditions of carriage (available to view at www.airberlin.com) also apply to all flight bookings in the order listed.