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Remember that Avios devaluation from last week? British Airways is jacking up the number of Avios you need to redeem for mid- and long-haul Business Class awards and for First Class awards. Of course, I said it was no big deal since the best Avios awards are short, direct, economy redemptions on awards without fuel surcharges.
Iberia and British Airways are owned by the same company but maintain separate loyalty programs that both call their miles “Avios.” You can freely convert British Airways Avios to Iberia Avios as long as you have both accounts and they’ve been open for at least three months. Open your Iberia Avios account now to start that clock for the existing benefit of Iberia Avios and the upcoming one that this post is about.
Iberia and British Airways Avios currently have identical charts.
The Current Reason to Use Iberia Avios
The current reason to use Iberia Avios is to book Iberia flights.
Iberia collects far lower fuel surcharges on its own award flights than British Airways collects. For instance the same New York to Madrid flight in Iberia Business Class costs 40,000 British Airways Avios + $456.
The same flight costs the same 40,000 Iberia Avios + 75 euros ($85.) That’s a savings of $371 by using Iberia Avios for an Iberia flight.
For other partners, Iberia and British Airways collect identical surcharges, so I find it easier to use British Airways Avios for all other awards.
The Reason to Use Iberia Avios April 1
Iberia Avios is changing its chart April 1. (The BA Avios changes happen April 28.) Most of the changes mirror the negative changes to the BA chart, but Iberia is adding an Off Peak Season and it lowers the price of awards from the United States to Spain for much of the year.
For the off peak season, flights to Madrid from:
- New York and Boston are 34,000 Iberia Avios one way in Iberia Business Class
- Chicago, Miami, and Los Angeles are 42,500 Iberia Avios one way in Iberia Business Class
The off peak season is all the dates below NOT highlighted in red. The only summer dates included are in early June and September. Most of the rest of the year other than Christmas and New Year is off peak.
There is good award space on Iberia in Business Class, often for two passengers during all of the off peak windows including those in the summer. You can search this on iberia.com or ba.com.
Iberia A330s and “new” A340-600s feature fully flat 6’6″ beds in Business Class. The A340-300 and old A340-600s feature angled seats. Check your operating airplane carefully.
The Bottom Line
Starting April 1, this will be a great chance to book a one way Business Class award to Europe for 34,000 miles. Of course, like all Avios awards, you will need to pay extra Avios for each segment of your award including the connecting flights. That means if you don’t live in New York, Boston, Chicago, Miami, or Los Angeles, or you don’t want to go to Madrid, your award will cost more miles.
Open your Iberia Avios account now, and in three months, you can freely transfer British Airways Avios to Iberia Avios to take advantage of the deal.