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Odds that AB will cease long-haul operations?

Odds that AB will cease long-haul operations?

Old Sep 21, 17, 4:21 pm
  #1  
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Odds that AB will cease long-haul operations?

We have flights that were booked in May to fly from SFO to Duseldorf on 12/26 and then return from CDG to SFO 1/6. It totally escaped my notice that Air Berlin had declared bankruptcy until I received notice of a flight change last Friday (instead of flying from Paris to Berlin to SFO we were rerouted to fly Paris to Berlin to DUS to SFO).

I've been watching the developments over the last day or two trying to decide when to cut our losses and book alternate flights. Based on the latest reports, it sounds like the odds are high that all of the longhaul flights will be canceled soon (Reuters is saying 10/15). Any thoughts from experts or insiders on whether these reports are accurate?


How long should I wait to book an alternate flight? Since we're well beyond the period to file a chargeback claim with our credit card, and our credit card trip cancellation insurance doesn't cover financial insolvency, we'll be out everything we spent on the flights ($2300) if they're cancelled.

Last edited by mel2012; Sep 22, 17 at 10:28 pm
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Old Sep 21, 17, 7:25 pm
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Originally Posted by mel2012 View Post

How long should I wait to book an alternate flight? Since we're well beyond the period to file a chargeback claim with our credit card, and our credit card trip cancellation insurance doesn't cover financial insolvency, we'll be out everything we spent on the flights ($2300) if they're cancelled.
You have chargeback protection up to 120 Days from when the flight is cancelled (more in some cases) so you indeed will get the chargeback. It’s been covered in other posts on this board.

Last edited by jonnyincali; Sep 21, 17 at 7:26 pm Reason: Typo
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Old Sep 22, 17, 12:19 am
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Does your ticket number starts with 745?
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Old Sep 22, 17, 10:54 am
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Originally Posted by thbe View Post
Does your ticket number starts with 745?
Yes it does. What's the significance of that?
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Old Sep 22, 17, 10:58 am
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Originally Posted by jonnyincali View Post
You have chargeback protection up to 120 Days from when the flight is cancelled (more in some cases) so you indeed will get the chargeback. Itís been covered in other posts on this board.
Thanks, that's good to know. The first few articles I read on the subject were less optimistic, but I've found some good information supporting the 120 days from cancellation (up to 540 days from the date of the transaction). Now I really wish they'd just go ahead and cancel the flights already so I can book something else and not be in limbo.
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Old Sep 22, 17, 11:55 am
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Originally Posted by thbe View Post
Does your ticket number starts with 745?
Originally Posted by mel2012 View Post
Yes it does. What's the significance of that?
It designates the carrier that issued the ticket, in this case Air Berlin. You could have bought the ticket through another airline, and it will have a different number 001 is for American Air, 016 United.... The significance is that, had this not been 745, the carrier could have to accommodate you through its partners, perhaps a different routing. Being 745, the carrier is Air Berlin and being bankrupt, insolvent, the odds of being accommodated are none.
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Old Sep 22, 17, 1:02 pm
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Yes, it's extremely unlikely that those flights, in particular the TATL legs, will actually fly in December and January. If you want to do the trip, you should start looking for alternatives right now.
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Old Sep 22, 17, 7:33 pm
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Originally Posted by jonnyincali View Post
You have chargeback protection up to 120 Days from when the flight is cancelled (more in some cases) so you indeed will get the chargeback. Itís been covered in other posts on this board.
So what happens if you fly the outbound, and they cancel your inbound, and offers no rebooking? Can you still dispute it then?
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Old Sep 22, 17, 10:11 pm
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Originally Posted by glide_path View Post
So what happens if you fly the outbound, and they cancel your inbound, and offers no rebooking? Can you still dispute it then?
I would assume so, since they didn't provide all of the services you paid for.
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Old Sep 24, 17, 3:13 am
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The only question is, when your flights will be canceled, not if. There won't be any AB flights at the end of December.

As abrollins said, your tickets are issued by AB. So your only chance is the credit card chargeback. As geosch said, if you still want to fly, you should look for alternatives now.

An interesting question is, if the chargeback is only possible, if the flight is canceled already or if you can start the chargeback after the airline became insolvent. If you transfer AB's situation to US terms: AB is like under chapter 7 (liquidation), not like under chapter 11 (reorganization).

I think, the only 745 tickets with a chance of being valid even after the end of AB will be topbonus awards. I have a topbonus award on EY metal in January and there may be a chance that they will accept the 745 ticket.
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Old Sep 24, 17, 9:18 am
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Why do you think 745 award tickets are more likely to be honored than paid 745 stock tickets on non-AB metal?
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Old Sep 24, 17, 12:35 pm
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Originally Posted by geosch View Post
Why do you think 745 award tickets are more likely to be honored than paid 745 stock tickets on non-AB metal?
There is no one but AB, who will pay for paid AB tickets. And AB will be out of business very soon.

But there is the chance, that EY/topbonus will pay for the award tickets, especially those on EY metal.
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Old Sep 24, 17, 1:21 pm
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There is no chance TB is going to pay something either. In their FAQ they state:
topbonus has issued effective and valid award flight tickets. topbonus Ltd. has already paid the ticket fee to the flight operating airline. Consequently, youíre issued award flight booking remains valid as booked. The fulfillment obligation must be met by the flight operating airline. Please contact the airline directly if this obligation is not met.
Meanwhile it seems unlikely that they actually paid the operating instead of the ticketing airline, it's clear that they say 'we already paid, don't expect anything from us'.
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Old Sep 24, 17, 1:28 pm
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Originally Posted by freakazoid View Post
There is no chance TB is going to pay something either. In their FAQ they state:
Meanwhile it seems unlikely that they actually paid the operating instead of the ticketing airline, it's clear that they say 'we already paid, don't expect anything from us'.
We will see.
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Old Sep 25, 17, 2:23 am
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It seems a chargeback is no longer possible Amex stated as AB is in the process af being liquidated they will not accept chargeback requests.
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