airberlin is dying a slow and painful death – and it is an ugly one. Firstly the airline filed for insolvency after Etihad Airways withdrew their financial support, then they informed the members of their frequent flyer programme, topbonus, that “they can’t promise” that miles will be credited, and then the bank that issues the German topbonus credit card informed cardmembers the card would no longer award any miles.
While all of that was happening, American Airlines completely removed airberlin award space from AA.com – meaning that you can no longer redeem American Airlines miles for travel on airberlin. Well, British Airways has somewhat followed American Airlines and has removed airberlin availability for some flights – not entirely, but for some routes.
For example, Kraków to Berlin was always wide open for mileage redemption and it wasn’t unusual to find 7+ award seats on any given day. I’ve flown this route countless of times and there was never a time when I couldn’t find an award seat. Now, I’m not seeing any award seats on the KRK-TXL route. Similarly, I cannot find any award space between Vienna and Berlin – a very popular route.
That being said, availability using Avios still exists for other flights such as Berlin to Dusseldorf, which appears normally as it always did. I can’t figure out a pattern as to which flight availability has been scaled back – it seems quite random to me. Perhaps British Airways is preparing to completely remove airberlin flights using Avios but have just started the process so some flights are still bookable?
Either way, all of this is really sad. I’m actually one of the few that likes airberlin – mainly due to the fact that they belong to oneworld so Avios can be redeemed on their flights and you can travel around Europe cheaply as most destinations cost just 4.5k Avios one-way. I’ve flown airberlin lots of times and the cabin crew were always friendly and professional.