Airberlin & NIKI Exit Oneworld On October 27, 2017

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Oneworld finally made an announcement regarding the Airberlin yesterday confirming the exit of both Airberlin and NIKI out of the alliance as of October 27, 2017.

Airberlin Oneworld Exit

British Airways, Finnair, Iberia and Royal Jordanian have all extended status match offers for Airberlin Topbonus members to keep them flying on Oneworld.

Here’s the announcement from Oneworld (access here):

airberlin will cease participating in the oneworld® alliance with effect from the close of business on 27 October 2017, following the filing by Air Berlin PLC & Co. Luftverkehrs KG’s (“airberlin”) for the opening of insolvency proceedings over its assets.

airberlin’s affiliate NIKI – which joined oneworld alongside airberlin in March 2012 – will no longer fly as part of oneworld at the same time.

oneworld will continue to serve more than 1,000 airports in almost 160 countries worldwide.  The withdrawal of airberlin and NIKI from the alliance will mean a dozen destinations – half of them regional cities in Austria and Germany and the rest southern European holiday spots – leaving the alliance’s global network. 

oneworld will maintain a strong presence in airberlin’s Germany and Austria home markets.  Ten other oneworld member airlines serve a total of 13 destinations across the two countries, linking them with the alliance’s global network.  Throughout Europe, oneworld member airlines will continue to fly to more than 230 destinations in some 40 countries.

A number of oneworld member airlines are making a tier-status matching offer to members of airberlin’s topbonus frequent flyer programme, enabling them to maintain their Emerald, Sapphire or Ruby status when flying with any oneworld member airline.  For details, see individual member airline’s frequent flyer websites, specifically

  • British Airways.
  • Finnair.
  • Iberia.
  • Royal Jordanian.

For further information on the current situation at airberlin, including advice to customers with bookings on flights it has cancelled, see airberlin.com

The following arrangements will apply in the withdrawal of airberlin and NIKI from oneworld:

airberlin closed its flights for new redemption bookings by members of its and partner airlines’ frequent flyer programmes as it filed for insolvency two months ago.  airberlin has confirmed that redemption flights already booked by members of other oneworld airlines’ frequent flyer programmes for travel on airberlin on or before 27 October 2017 remain valid.  If you have a redemption flight on airberlin booked for 28 October 2017 or later, or if the airberlin flight for which you hold a redemption booking is not operating, please contact your frequent flyer programme. 

airberlin topbonus cardholders have not been able to make redemption bookings for flights on any airlines since it filed for insolvency.  Redemption flights made before then remain valid.

Earning frequent flyer rewards and tier status points

Most oneworld member airlines, other than airberlin, have indicated they will honour frequent flyer reward miles/points and tier status points earned for flights on airberlin by their frequent flyer programme members for a period, up to and including 27 October 2017.  Refer to your frequent flyer programme for details.

airberlin topbonus cardholders have not been able to earn frequent flyer tier status points or mileage rewards on any airline since its insolvency filing.

Lounge access

Emerald and Sapphire tier members of other oneworld airlines’ frequent flyer programmes may continue to use airberlin lounges, in line with oneworld’s existing arrangements, until the close of business in 27 October 2017.  airberlin lounges will not be available as part of the oneworld offering thereafter. 

airberlin topbonus Platinum and Gold cardholders will be able to use the lounges of otheroneworld member airlines until the close of business on 27 October 2017, in line with oneworld’s existing arrangements.  They will not be able to use these other airlines’ lounges as part of theoneworld offering thereafter.

Other frequent flyer benefits

Members of all other oneworld airlines’ frequent flyer programmes will continue to receive all other oneworld frequent flyer services and benefits (additional baggage allowances, priority check-in, boarding, waitlisting, etc) when they fly on airberlin until the close of business on 27 October 2017. 

Likewise, members of airberlin topbonus will continue to receive all other oneworld frequent flyer services and benefits when they fly on the other oneworld airlines until the close of business on 27 October 2017, when these services and benefits will no longer apply to them.

oneworld fares and sales products (including Explorer, Circle, Visit fares, corporate agreements etc)

All sectors on airberlin and NIKI booked and ticketed as part of a oneworld fare or sales product for travel before the close of business on 27 October 2017 remain valid.  For sectors on airberlin thereafter, or if a ticketed airberlin sector scheduled for before then has been cancelled, please contact the oneworld member airline that issued the ticket.

airberlin and NIKI sectors will not be available as part of any oneworld fare or sales product from the close of business on 27 October 2017.

Sectors on airberlin ticketed by another oneworld member airline

If you have been ticketed by another oneworld member airline for sectors on airberlin scheduled for departure on 28 October 2017 or thereafter, or for sectors on airberlin that will not operate before then, please contact the airline that issued the ticket.

Conclusion

The end of Airberlin has been painful and long winded process but at least passengers haven’t been stranded overnight at remote locations. Many did find, however, holding worthless e-tickets on an airline that had filed for bankruptcy hoping that they had paid using a credit card.

Couldn’t believe the number of emails we received over lost/delayed hold luggage with Airberlin and how incompetent the airline was reuniting passengers with their belongings. I guess that if you don’t pay for your handling agents they don’t do their jobs, right?

I hate to see less competition in Germany where Lufthansa can now more freely dictate prices……

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