The end is finally here for topbonus, the old airberlin frequent flyer scheme.
Whilst airberlin went into receivership last year, topbonus was a separate business which was 70% owned by Etihad.
Most loyalty schemes are cash cows, because the scheme is paid by third parties for points which are not redeemed, creating a cash outlay, for months or years. This was not the case with airberlin. To stop the airline bleeding cash, topbonus was not charging airberlin for miles issued on its flights until the point they were redeemed.
When airberlin went bust, topbonus had a huge liability to its members but no money to fund it with.
Ex-members were recently invited to make a claim for the value of their miles to the receiver, but this will not be settled until 2020 and is likely to only be for cents on the Euro. You still have until 15th May to make a claim if you have not done so.