Executive summary: instead of charging for partner airline redemptions by segment, Iberia is using an ‘all-in’ pricing chart. This will make some redemptions cheaper than booking via BA.
(If you are new to Head for Points, welcome! Please consider bookmarking the site or sign up for our daily emails via the box in the right hand margin.)
Here are the other articles in this series you may have missed:
This article looks at the cost of booking Avios flights on airberlin, American, Qatar, Qantas etc after the forthcoming changes. Will it be cheaper using ba.com or iberia.com to book?
Remember that, using ‘Combine My Avios’, you can move your points freely between BAEC and Iberia Plus. The only conditions are that your Iberia account is 90 days old and has ‘earned’ 1 Avios point. This is easily done via e-rewards or an Amex Membership Rewards transfer.
British Airways has made its position clear:
- Partner awards will be priced flight-by-flight, like BA redemptions
- They will use the BA pricing chart below but ALWAYS using the ‘peak’ pricing
Iberia is doing something completely different.
They have a got a totally separate chart for awards using just one partner airline (or Iberia and one other partner airline).
This chart prices your Avios redemption based on the distance of the entire trip, return, irrespective of segments. The rules say that you MUST book a return flight and it must return to the same airport from which you departed.
Take a look at this which is from their PDF booklet explaining the changes:
Let’s look at a few examples:
airberlin from Berlin to Abu Dhabi in Business Class. BA wins:
- Current BA price: 50,000 Avios return plus tax
- New BA price after 28th April: 75,000 Avios return plus tax
- Price if booked via Iberia (5800 miles return): 100,000 Avios plus tax
London to Doha on Qatar Airways in Business Class. Iberia wins:
- Current BA price: 80,000 Avios return plus tax
- New BA price after 28th April: 120,000 Avios return plus tax
- Price if booked via Iberia (6520 miles return): 100,000 Avios plus tax
London to Perth on Qatar Airways. Iberia wins:
- Current BA price: (2 x Zone 5 + 2 x Zone 7 flights): 200,000 Avios return plus tax
- New BA price after 28th April: (2 x Zone 5 + 2 x Zone 7 flights): 300,000 Avios return plus tax
- Price if booked via Iberia (18098 miles return): 270,000 Avios plus tax
The downside of Iberia Plus redemptions is that they are non-refundable and non-changeable on carriers other than Iberia. You may therefore prefer to see the saving you make booking via Iberia Plus as a discount in return for losing your cancellation flexibility. It is also likely that you will need to book via Iberia’s Spanish call centres.
Coming soon: tier point and Avios credit when flying partner airlines, a summary of the winners and losers