Exploring the limits of Reward Flight Saver via Iberia

I am a huge fan of the Avios ‘Reward Flight Saver’ redemptions, which cap your taxes and charges at £27 for a return Economy ticket and £37 for a return Business ticket.  I wrote more about it here.

I decided to spend some time last week exploring what is actually possible with Reward Flight Saver tickets issued by Iberia.  (Remember that you can transfer your BAEC or avios.com points over to Iberia Plus using the ‘Combine My Avios’ feature.)

Why did I do this?  Well, Reward Flight Saver redemptions are available on direct BA or Iberia redemptions where the main flight is under 2,000 miles.  Flying from London on BA, this covers everything down to Marrakech and Istanbul.  You also fly to Moscow using Reward Flight Saver – now that this route has gone to 747’s with long-haul seating, this is your only chance to experience First Class or Club World whilst paying the heavily reduced level of Reward Flight Saver taxes.

However …. were there any interesting Iberia redemptions under 2,000 miles from their hubs in Madrid or Barcelona?  After all, Madrid is a lot further south than London, so in theory it should open up a number of different Reward Flight Saver destinations within a 2,000 mile radius.

I was, therefore, disappointed by what I found.  Most of Iberia’s routes are to Latin and South America.  There are only two routes, both ex-Madrid, which offer a Reward Flight Saver opportunity not offered by BA.  These are Dakar in Senegal and Nouakchott in Mauritania.  Neither of these are likely to be top of any tourist itinerary, although obviously the routes will be of interest to those in the UK with family in the region.

Madrid to Dakar prices out (return) at 30,000 Avios plus Euro 27 in Economy or 60,000 Avios plus Euro 37 in Business, with the flight stopping at Gran Canaria on the way.

Madrid to Nouakchott is the same, with an identical stop.

A Reward Flight Saver flight from the UK to Madrid to connect with these services would cost 15,000 Avios plus £27 in Economy.

Reward Flight Saver flights are also available on Comair from South Africa – I will take a look at these in a future post.

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Comments

  1. What routes would you like to see IB offer that would not be possible from LON?

    • Good question! To be honest, I didn’t really know what fits into a 2,000 mile radius south of Madrid which is why I did this exercise. Frankly, if I lived in Spain, I would be shocked by the long haul routes of IB as they go to few major business centres and you are reliant on foreign airlines choosing to fly to Spain from wherever you want to go.

  2. The only places you can get to from BCN that you can’t from London (or Madrid, for that matter) are Cairo, Tel Aviv, Beirut, Amman and Damascus.

    Lanarca doesn’t actually qualify on BA, but does from Spain.

    When flying from Spain, Star Alliance through FRA/ZRH has always been the cheapest and most convenient for me. EK via DXB may also be an option. I suppose you don’t see many Spaniards in Asia, so there is less demand.

  3. I have been investigating using Iberia Plus to use up some of my UK Avios. Living in South Wales I was interested to see that you can book flights to Spain/Majorca etc from Cardiff for only 15,000 Avios (return). Iberia appear to code share with Vueling as these are all low cost carrier flights. For 60,000 Avios +£100 for a family of four to go to Majorca I think it is a good deal.

    • Very interesting! I think I need to dig into this a bit more when I am back from holiday and see what else is out there for non London redemptions.

      • pazza2000 says:

        Yes, I for one would appreciate this dug into a little greater. I think there might be a few interesting oppourtunities on IB that we have yet to uncover.

  4. There is a Manchester – Madrid direct flight on Air Nostrum that I think falls under the reward saver as well. Will do some more investigation…..

  5. dark_horse says:

    Reward Flight Savers are indeed available to and from South Africa. I’ve recently got a couple of seats one-way from Mauritius to Johannesburg in order to connect up with a BA mainline flight home, all for the princely sum of 20k Avios and £25 [sic] each.

    Here’s hoping the incoming flight isn’t late though; they’re on separate tickets… :-O