Shattered (ex) frequent flyer program Air Berlin Topbonus has come through with a new redemption option making it possible again to book award flights, however only on Etihad Airways in Economy.
The option is currently limited for booking until 17th November 2017 with travel periods until 28th March 2018 so it’s recommended to act fast if you have Topbonus miles which you want to use up.
Topbonus has previously ceased all redemption option, then opened a pop up shop where members can redeem their miles on overpriced merchandise and magazine subscriptions as well as Sixt vouchers.
You can access the Topbonus website with Etihad Redemption details here.
Redeem your miles and fly with Etihad Airways from Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich or Zurich and Geneva to heavenly travel destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Asia or Australia. Benefit now from the reduced mile offers:
- For 25,000 miles* you can fly to the Gulf states, to South and Central Asia
- For 30,000 miles* you can fly to Africa and the Middle East
- For 35,000 miles* you can fly to South East Asia and the Far East
- For 50,000 miles* you can fly to Australia
*all of the above are one way flights
Booking period: 19th October 2017 2017 to 17th November 2017
Travel period: 19th October 2017 to 28th March 2018
Award flights can only be booked by phone under our special hotline +49 69 15 32 53 484. You can reach our hotline Mondays through Fridays, from 9am to 5pm and on Saturday, 21 October 2017 from 9am to 5pm.
At the same time the Topbonus website shows under ‘Benefits’ for Etihad Airways that Air Berlin status benefits still apply:
On Etihad Airways flights, topbonus Silver, Gold and Platinum Card holders enjoy the Etihad Airways Partners (EAP) status benefits. A list of all benefits and terms & conditions can be found here.
I suspected that at some point Air Berlin and Etihad would cook something up that includes either the redemption on Etihad flights or a direct transfer to Etihad guest. I can imagine people who already redeemed their miles for the horrible merchandise and voucher options are a bit miffed now.
The times where the hotline is operational can only be called a joke. I can only imagine the wait times once actually calling in.
Even though it’s not the idea for everybody to use miles for Economy Class flights it’s better than nothing and if benefits of Topbonus status apply at least one is able to benefit from priority check-in and lounge.
As mentioned this is a limited time option and as always mileage seats are subject to availability. It’s also recommended to factor in fuel surcharges which are apparently a couple hundred Euro per round trip.