Long-haul flights with Iberia have always been a sweet spot when it comes to redeeming Avios. An award flight from Madrid to e.g. New York, Boston, or Chicago only costs 34,000 Avios and €140 in business class! No other program offers them so cheaply.
So far, however, there has been a small inconsistency. These low prices were only available if the booking was made through Iberia Plus – and not through the BA Executive Club. This can be avoided by transferring points, but this is often hampered by technical problems – just like most things are on Iberia’s website.
Now there’s good news: As reported by One Mile at a Time, the fees at the Executive Club have now been reduced to the level of Iberia Plus. The detour via Iberia Plus is therefore no longer necessary to book cheap award flights.
Three years ago, we detailed the sweet spot for redeeming Avios for Iberia’s business class. For a one-way Madrid – New York business class flight in the offpeak season, the following values applied at that time:
- Iberia Plus: 34,000 miles + €107.75
- Executive Club: 34,000 miles + €240.93
Taxes & fees have increased moderately since the post was published. At the beginning of the year, Iberia Plus charged around €140 for the award, while the Executive Club charged around €100 more.
This difference no longer exists. With both programs, the business one-way costs exactly 34,000 Avios and €139.37 in surcharges. Incidentally, €59.37 of this is for real taxes and fees and €80 is the “fuel surcharge”:
Some Advantages and Disadvantages Remain
Even if the flights now cost the same, there are still differences between redemptions via Iberia and BA. For example, if you want to rebook/cancel an award flight with Iberia Plus, it costs €25. British Airways, on the other hand, charges €42.50 for such a change.
In practice, however, the ongoing technical problems with Iberia Plus are at least as important. I’ve often had issues with simply not being able to log in to Iberia’s website – and my Travel-Dealz colleagues complain about Iberia’s website just as often. I’ll gladly pay the higher cancellation fee if I don’t have to bother with Iberia’s website in return.
They still exist – good news from the world of points & miles. Iberia flights to the US East Coast are the sweet spot for spending accumulated Avios. Now this way is even easier because a transfer of points to Iberia is no longer necessary. However, it is conceivable that the surcharges will also increase in view of the fuel prices.
At this point, the attractive transfer bonus for Amex Membership Rewards points should be pointed out again. Qatar is currently giving you a 40% bonus, giving you a total of 1.12 Avios per MR point. It should then be possible to transfer the points from Qatar to British Airways.
Cover Picture: Ditmar Lange