On Tuesday the 15th of August, Air Berlin officially filed for insolvency. It seems the withdrawal of financial support by Etihad was the final straw for the German carrier. Operations will continue as normal for the next few months thanks to an emergency loan from the government.
But what happens now? Our in-house lawyer, Stefanie, explains what you need to know.
Flight disruption claims (flight delays, cancellations and overbookings)
refund.me will of course continue to pursue new and existing claims entered via our website. We will inform and coordinate closely with you if any relevant developments unfold over the next few months.
As long as the carrier operations continue (which, currently, they will), passengers are still entitled to standard legal requirements in the event of flight delays, cancellations and overbookings. We therefore highly recommend you to promptly submit any older or currently arising claims.
What happens to flights that have already been booked?
According to the most recent update, flight operations should continue until the end of November 2017. If any further interruptions occur, ticket holders who booked directly with Air Berlin can apply exclusively for a refund of the ticket cost as an insolvency claim.
If you don’t want to hold on to your flight, you can choose to withdraw from the air transport contract. However, you’ll only be entitled to the legal rights according to laws of insolvency. Consumer lawyers currently advise passengers against any premature cancellations and recommend waiting for further proceedings.
If the flight was booked via another airline as a “codeshare flight”, and Air Berlin is the only operating airline, then don’t worry: the alternate airline (the marketing airline) must provide replacement transport.
If you booked your flight as part of a package tour, the tour operator is similarly required to make alternative arrangements.
What happens if the journey is already underway and a return flight is still pending?
As stated, Air Berlin has announced the continuation of flight operations for the next few months. However, make sure to contact the airline directly to determine whether the booked flight is still being provided. If Air Berlin does not carry out your booked flight nor provide any suitable alternatives, it’s unfortunately up to you to organise your own transport replacement.
Again, for those travelling as part of a package tour, we advise you to contact the tour operator directly. The same goes for codeshare flights: passengers should directly contact the marketing airline.
The course of the insolvency proceedings
We are unable to provide you with any further information regarding the course of the insolvency proceedings. For more information, please visit the Air Berlin website or refer to online news sources to stay up to date.
If you have any other questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.