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One of the few U.S. bloggers I really enjoy reading is Gary Leff. He recently wrote a blog post about the fact that Air Berlin Topbonus is still status matching competing airlines. Naturally, he thought this was rather silly and pointless. And, to be fair, he may be right – after all, the only thing Topbonus members can do these days is earn and redeem on Etihad Airways (and rewards in Economy class only). Elite status is close to worthless since Air Berlin no longer exists and is no longer a member of Oneworld.
But what Gary missed is the opportunities BEYOND Air Berlin Topbonus. By status matching TO Topbonus today, you might be able to status match FROM Topbonus tomorrow. We’ve written about such opportunities recently on InsideFlyer UK, such as:
- BRITISH AIRWAYS STATUS MATCH + BONUS AVIOS FOR AIR BERLIN TOPBONUS ELITES
- IBERIA PLUS IS OFFERING A STATUS MATCH TO AIR BERLIN TOPBONUS AND ‘MILES & MORE’ MEMBERS
- FINNAIR STATUS MATCH FOR AIRBERLIN TOPBONUS AND LUFTHANSA MILES & MORE ELITES
- ROYAL JORDANIAN STATUS MATCH
So, I cannot see any possible harm in taking whatever status you have with a non-Oneworld airline and trying to match it to Air Berlin Topbonus. For that, you need to visit this website provided by Air Berlin. But here is a cut-and-paste of the main terms and conditions:
- You must register for topbonus before requesting Status Match.
- Status Match applications must be emailed to [email protected]
- Please attach the following information:
- A scan of your current valid frequent flyer card for which you are requesting a Status Match
- Your topbonus number
- As a status card holder with an alternative frequent flyer programme you will be awarded the corresponding status with topbonus for a probationary period of 12 months (Platinum Card excluded)
- Within this probationary period, once you achieve the required number of status miles or flights pro rata, you will be awarded the status for a further year:
- Collect 25,000 status miles or 24 flights within 12 months and you will be awarded a Silver Card
- Collect 50,000 status miles or 24 flights within 12 months and you will be awarded a Gold Card
- A Status Match is available for Silver and Gold status and may only be applied once and once only for the same status
- This Status Match offer is valid only for select frequent flyer programme of other airlines
- This offer is only available in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway and USA.
- Customers with residence in the US must prove a booking confirmation incl. booking number of an airberlin long haul flight between US and Europe (return ticket). This flight must be operated by airberlin and take place in 2016.
- A Status Match with another oneworld® airline is not possible.
Since you surely don’t care any more about your Topbonus account, reset your address to one of the eligible countries. The worst thing Topbonus could do is deny your status match request. But, if successful, you (or a friend resident in one of those countries) might receive a shiny card in the post and maybe, just maybe, you can use that status to match across to Iberia Plus, Finnair, or whichever of the Oneworld airlines works best for you. A long shot, but a completely riskless one…