Air Berlin filed bankruptcy on August 15. Their final transatlantic flight caused controversy on October 17th. They shut down completely on October 27.
The airline’s frequent flyer program was a separate company. topbonus was spun off at an insane valuation as a way to:
- Funnel additional cash to the airline without Etihad running afoul of foreign ownership rules
- Exercise additional control over the carrier despite Etihad’s minority stake (tail wags the dog)
The program still exists. Through tomorrow only you can redeem miles for economy travel on Etihad and you have to pay fuel surcharges.
air berlin is no longer a member of oneworld, and the airline itself no longer flies, so topbonus elite status doesn’t get you much.
The rules for status matching in recent times included that US-based members had to actually have an air berlin flight to be eligible. That’s no longer possible. But eligible Europeans can get a match, which at this point is really just for shits and giggles.