GREAT DEAL: Free Elite Status for American Airlines Holiday and Winter Travel

Just in time for the holidays, you can have free checked bags on American Airlines. You can have Priority Boarding, too, which means you’ll get on the plane early enough that there’s still overhead bin space available. And forget long check-in lines, if you have to check in with a person rather than online or at a kiosk you get to use Priority Check-in.

These are benefits of “oneworld ruby” status, the entry-level status of American’s oneworld partners. (First checked bag, Check-in, security, and boarding)

American’s struggling oneworld partner airline airberlin will give out their Silver status — which is oneworld ruby — free for four months just for signup. You do not need to ‘match’ status, you don’t need status with another airline already to get this benefit.

The offer is in German:

But Google Chrome will translate the details for you.

When you sign up for this 4 months of status, it takes a few days to reflect in your account, so for Thanksgiving travel sign up now. The offer expires November 30 however it could be pulled if you wait (although it’s been bouncing around German sites for quite some time).

(HT: Mattg from Australian Frequent Flyer)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. “But Google Chrome will translate the details for you.”

    They (Google) shouldn’t be allowed to do that—-a derivative work in copyright and Trademark law. Think of all those poor college souls who took German classes, to now have an unregulated Silicon Valley machine render their minds completely useless. lol.

  2. Confirmation emails not coming through for accounts. Got it first account, but tried 3 other family members after and can’t confirm account because emails won’t come through.

  3. Thanks Gary, this is helpful!

    How do I enter my OneWorld Ruby account # when buying an AA ticket? Didn’t see a place to add it in my AA account.

    And this works on AA domestic travel, not just international?

  4. Google translates after I sign up for silver: “Congratulations – you as a member of Xing make in our action!” Lame

  5. @Jacob When did you sign-up? How do I check my status if I just signed up. I get the same message as @Steve

  6. “When you sign up for this 4 months of status, it takes a few days to reflect in your account”

  7. I’m platinum on American airlines and am actually traveling on air Berlin this week. Why would I sign up for the status on air Berlin though? Can I still earn miles on American instead if I do? What’s the overall benefit of signing up.?

  8. Hello Fellas

    AB Platini here, I did the step for my +INF and several family members.
    You need to use your “Business” E-Mail! Same like you use for your XING Account.

    You can change your email in the topbonus account easy.

    After three days, still no silver? Just write a mail to: (after you changed your email matching to your xing account).



  9. Gary said it takes a few days to reflect the higher status.

    Is this all automated once I input TopBonus Silver status number into an AA Reservation? Elsewise how do I invoke it to get the extra perks flying AA in Jan?

  10. I think you might need to credit the flight to AB to guarantee the boarding benefits (eg have the AB FF number and status on your boarding pass.) With lounge access you can show a physical card for the second program to get the benefits wile crediting to AA, but with the automated nature of the boarding process it could be a bit of a mixed bag.

  11. XING seems (by a basic google search) to be the German equivalent of LinkedIn…. I assume it’s that one. I made an account so we’ll see if it works.

  12. @Greg, you can change your frequent flier number to the AB one when you book a flight, and the miles will credit to AB. Or call AA to change your number if the flight is already booked. There is no way to do this yourself online. This will guarantee getting the benefits when you check in.

    You could as at the gate or in a lounge to change your number back to your AA number after you check in, although I recently had a gate agent refuse to accommodate me. I was however able to call AA after my flight and get it changed as I wanted my miles on AA. This is a YMMV situation.

    I also was recently able to get an agent on the phone to change my ticket to reflect both the AB number as well as my AA number, one for benefits and the other for miles accrual. I got extremely lucky as most agents will tell you it can’t be done or have no clue how to do it.

    Ruby status gets you checked bags and priority boarding/checkin. Some airlines offer priority seating as well. No lounge access though.

  13. Wow lots of questions and comments on this. My comment is that this also works if you already have an Air Berlin account. There is an option for this on the link.

    The other questions…Your AA tickets should reflect Ruby once this goes through as they are a Oneworld partners but as with all things IT related it may have times where it doesn’t. Try to make sure you have the same exact name on both accounts. Also you can optionally credit your AA flight to an Air Berlin FF# to ensure that it does.

    Air Berlin Silver is Ruby or basically the same as AA Gold so you don’t get lounge access or much but you can board in the third boarding group at the gate. They will call First Class and then they will call Ex Plats, etc. then the third group is AA Gold and One World Ruby so that can be helpful. You might even get upgraded on a random, elite-light route under 500 miles. You might, maybe, be able to pick MCE seats at check-in but as always YMMV.

  14. I registered for the instant silver a few days ago, it still reflects classic in my account. I also registered for the Xing website. Anyone has any updates? Thank you

  15. I singed up AirBerlin and got 300 promotional miles with Classis status. Then I enrolled this promotion. I changed my email (gmail) to my work email. I did the email verification again, and I now see 500 miles and Classic status. Do I need to make an account for Xing also? Anyone has any updates on receiving Silver status? Thank you.

  16. has anyone seen their account change to SILVER status yet? I remain in Classic despite signing up early last week.

  17. I signed up Nov 20th and have not seen any account changes either. Wondering if this is going to work or not.

  18. @Payal — First I received 300 points and “Classic” status, which of course is to say no status at all. Within one week, they added 200 points to my account — that is, I’ve now received the 500 points Gary originally spoke of — but I remain a “Classic” member, rather than Silver.

  19. Update (or lack of update): Registered on 20 November 2016, account still not updated to silver. So yeah….

  20. This is the email response I received:

    thank you for your e-mail.

    In your topbonus account is no company e-mail address.
    However, a corporate e-mail is a prerequisite for this action. Additional changes to the e-mail address are not accepted.

    Your request for the silver upgrade can not be confirmed, as not all required conditions for this action have been fulfilled.

    If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

    Best regards

    Your topbonus Service-Team

  21. So, because we used our personal emails instead of our business emails — despite my wife owning her own business — airberlin/topbonus won’t let us change our email addresses and thus we are screwed . . . . do I have that right?

  22. I also received the same message and replied back (on Friday, no response yet) that we did use company email addresses (in her case, an actual corporation / in my case, the school district I work for). AND, we have XING accounts with those same email addresses.

    I noticed in their email they referred to “company” email and right afterward they refer to “corporate” email. Not all companies are corporations, so I really don’t know what their standard is/was for suitable addresses, and if that’s just a translation issue or a meaningful observation.

  23. American told me they will not give priority seating or one free beg for one world ruby.
    Complete waste of many hours.

  24. @Gene, if the frequent flier number attached to your ticket is the one that is Ruby (Air Berlin) the benefits will be automatic. You will not receive benefits if your ticket is not linked to that frequent flier number.

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