A LoyaltyLobby reader dropped me an email regarding weird practice that Etihad Airways, which owned 70% of Topbonus at the time it went to administration, is calling Topbonus issued award ticket holders demanding random extra payments.
Here’s the email from the reader:
maybe it is interesting for you : Etihad starts to call directly ticket owners of TopBonus Awards on EY metal. Yesterday I read on a german discussion group about this, today I was called.
Go to the end to read about this issue.
I have an TB-Award for Dec 30 AUH-ZRH on EY metal in C. I paid 70.000 TB-Miles + 29 Euros taxes for it when I booked the ticket. All the time the flight was shown as confirmed. Today I got a direct call from Etihad from Abu Dhabi and I was told on the phone that I have to pay additional 260 Euro’s fuel surcharge otherwise my ticket will be canceled by Etihad. As I have no choice I payed but I asked why the surcharge is so high as e.g. Etihad Guest just ask for AED 490 (113 Euro) for AUH-ZRH in C. No answer for that…
Airberlin went into bankruptcy and liquidation because Etihad decided that they would not provide more cash to this failing airline (no issue with this – enough is enough).
To get around the foreign ownership rules earlier, Etihad had purchased 70% of the Topbonus frequent flier program.
Here they are basically demanding more money from members of the Topbonus loyalty program that they control because the airline whose ticket stock the award tickets were issued (Airberlin) went bankrupt after they (Etihad) ceased funding. Deplorable. How low has Etihad really fallen on their business practices?
On a practical note, if the reader and others in the similar situation would like to travel, they probably need to pay this ransom and later dispute it with their credit card company or contact a lawyer.
How low has Etihad fallen? How much extra revenue do they really get here? Million or two at max. Just proves how little business ethics and consumer protection exist in the Middle East (none).
I really would like to know what is the current ownership structure of the Topbonus program. Etihad owned 70% of it at the time it went into administration after Airberlin collapsed.