Iberia’s award sale is still on-going providing for economy class tickets priced at 10K each way from select US cities to Madrid and business class tickets priced at 20K each way. Travel must be booked by January 7, 2014 and completed by April 8, 2014 . All flights must be operated by Iberia. Applicable US cities include: Boston, Chicago, Miami, and New York.  Flights from LAX are just a tad more, priced at 12.5K in economy or 25K in business.  Now, there are some fuel surcharges and taxes, though they are much lower than those imposed by British Airways.

Now, for those of you who have only found value in redeeming British Airways Avios for short distance hops or for flights to Latin America…or those who have never redeemed their BA Avios at all, this is a great opportunity to redeem flights at a 50% discount and pay just minimal fees. You can search award availability directly on Iberia’s website (clicking through one day at a time) or you can see business availability using your ExpertFlyer account.

A few notes:

  • You can transfer points between your British Airways Avios account and Iberia Plus account, HOWEVER both accounts must be open for at least three months before transfers are allowed.  Transfers occur instantly and you can access the combination page here. If you try to make the transfer and have not been a member for at least three months, you’ll receive a technical error message. Don’t have an Iberia Plus account? Sign-up for one now so that you can start the three month clock and take advantage of any future promotions (link defaults back to Spanish, click USA in the top right hand corner and then Iberia Plus to find the English registration form).

Avios Combine

  •  You can also transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to Iberia Plus.  Iberia no longer appears on the AMEX transfer page but you can call the number on the back of your card to request the transfer. Unfortunately, these are not immediate and can take from 24-48 hours.
  • For economy to price at the 10K level, you must find availability within “Blue Class”, economy awards available in regular economy class will price at 15K.  The taxes / fuel surcharges on the 10K and 15K economy awards are identical at $79.71

Iberia Avios Levels Iberia Economy 10K Iberia Avios Economy

Iberia Avios Economy 15K

  •  Business class will price at 20,000 Avios and $93.51 in taxes.

Iberia BusinessIberia Avios Business 20K

  •  Availability was sporadic but still pretty decent. There were many days in January, February, March, and a few in April with at least one business seat. For two, I found the best availability to be in January and March, not that there weren’t a few in February and early April as well. These were for New York searches. Boston seemed to have the best availability at the time of my search.
  • If you haven’t had an Iberia Plus account for at least three months and you don’t have any Membership Rewards points, both Avios.com and British Airways Avios are running award sales as well, though you’ll be paying the crazy taxes / fuel surcharges.
    • The British Airways sale can be accessed here and is for 50% off Avios flights in World Traveller (Economy) class. Valid flight dates are January 6th – May 31, 2014 to or from London and New York, Chicago, Washington, Boston, Toronto, Dubai, Denver, and Shanghai.BA Avios Sale
    • The Avios sale can be accessed here and includes the same eight cities from/to London as noted above. Find out about the Avios program here which is separate from both the BA and Iberia programs. This program as well will impose the high taxes/fuel surcharges. However, I’d sign-up anyway in case you want to use one of their airline partners that are not available via British Airways, specifically those within Europe that have small to moderate fees (Flybe and Monarch Airlines).

Avios Unmissable SaleAvios Sale Pricing

HT – One Mile At A Time

Posted by Adam | 3 Comments

I’m a big fan of Heathrow Express and now I like it even more since beginning today you can earn 100 Avios for each trip (200 for business). Now, this is the “other Avios“, but they are combinable with your British Airways and Iberia Avios accounts.

Dear Mr Point Me to the Plane,

We’re thrilled to announce that you can now collect Avios with Heathrow Express. That means by the time you reach Heathrow from Paddington you’ll have collected at least 100 Avios. Heathrow Express is the fastest way to travel between central London and Heathrow. The non-stop express service departs Heathrow every 15 minutes, taking just 15 minutes.

How to book your Heathrow Express tickets

You can only collect Avios when you buy your tickets online, or on your mobile phone via Avios. And as there are no barriers at the station, it means you can book right up to boarding the train.

• Simply visit www.heathrowexpress.com/avios
• Choose Avios Travel Rewards Programme as your reward
• Enter your Avios membership number
• Buy your tickets
• Show your booking confirmation email or SMS message on board

The Avios Team

Related

Heathrow Express British Avios

Posted by Adam | 3 Comments

In response to my post last week, Why the British Airways Card Offer Still Makes Sense,  I’ve received several emails asking for recommendations on uses of Avios points for long-haul flights, unfortunately there aren’t many of value!  Again, I’d take a look back at that post for short and medium haul options that present a much higher return on your points.  However, in this post we’ll take a look at a few of the long-haul options.

Given the outrageous surcharges on flights to Europe, redemptions from North America to South America are a great value with no fuel surcharges on any LAN or American operated flights.

JFK – EZE (Buenos Aires, Argentina) or GRU (Sao Paulo, Brazil) or GIG (Rio, Brazil) on American-> 25,000 each way in coach (2X in Business and 3X in first) and $23.70 in charges.

JFK – LIM (Lima, Peru) on LAN -> 20,000 each way in coach (2X in Business and 3X in first) and $45.70 in charges

JFK – SCL (Santiago, Chile) on LAN -> 25,000 each way in coach (2X in Business and 3X in first) and $23.70 in charges

Another decent value proposition are Cathay and JAL awards to Asia.  On these redemptions it’s important to keep in mind that  AA awards normally require fewer miles on these routes and BA charges surcharges on both carriers.

YVR – HKG (Hong Kong) on Cathay -> 30,000 each way in coach or 60,000 in Business and $186.39 in charges

These same one-way flights on the exact date were $5130 in Business and $2989 in Coach.  If purchasing round-trip the flights were $8297 in Business and $5960 in Coach.

YVR – NRT (Tokyo, Japan) on JAL -> 25,000 each way in coach or 50,000 in Business and $337.29 in charges 

These same one-way flights on the exact date are $4989 in Business and $1029 in Coach.  If purchasing round-trip the flights were $5067 in Business and $1649 in Coach. While neither the HKG or NRT option are the best use of your points, they do present a significant savings if you were to outright purchase a business class fare. As stated in the short-haul post, it’s also important to set a value for the BA Avios points you’ve received. One should keep in mind that essentially only a $95 annual fee was paid for the 100,000 Avios points.

Now, it seems that almost all of the emails I received want to know better ways to redeem their points to Europe for a summer holiday.  Take a look back in the short-haul post for the Aer Lingus redemption options, which are by far the best value for your Avios points when redeeming for Europe, thanks to One Mile at a Time for the info.  However, let’s see just how bad the BA redemptions are…

BOS – VCE (Venice, Italy) flying on BA or Iberia -> 55,000 each way in business + $439.48 or 27,500 each way in Coach and $290.67 in charges

These same ROUND-TRIP flights on the exact same mid summer dates are $3780 in Business and $1366 in Coach.  At the one way prices above, you’d be using your miles AND paying $878.96 in Business and $581.34 for Coach.  A savings of $2901.04 in Business but only $784.66 in Coach.  At these levels I’d definitely advise against coach, however business is not a horrible deal.  Yes, you are spending $878 for a ticket but the same ticket would cost almost $4000 on these dates.  For those of you really wanting to fly business to Europe this summer, it’s not a horrible value. Keep in mind the value proposition changes based on the city you are flying into.  Venice is one of the most popular tourist destinations.  Let’s take a look at Rome…

JFK  – FCO (Rome, Italy) flying on BA or Iberia-> 55,000 each way in business + $456.40 or 27,500 each way in Coach and $301.40 in charges

These same ROUND-TRIP flights on the exact same mid summer dates are $2841 in Business and $1359 in Coach.  At the one way prices above, you’d be using your miles AND paying $912.80 in Business and $602.80 for Coach.  A savings of $1928.20 in Business but only $756.20 in Coach.  At these levels I’d probably forgo both options, however similar to what I mentioned above, for those set on flying business to Europe this summer it isn’t horrible.  You will be paying $912.80 for a business class round-trip ticket to Europe during the prime tourist season.  Again, if you accumulated these points by signing up for the BA card, you’ve only spent $95 out of pocket.

To conclude, I’ll continue to use my Avios points for the short hops to the Caribbean and Hawaii as well as to South America (and potentially Asia).  However, when redeeming for business tickets on select routes, you can certainly make a European trip this summer work for you.

Does anyone have any other enticing long-haul options using Avios?

Posted by Adam | 19 Comments

home top