More UK-Spain Summer sun routes launched by Iberia – possible Avios redemption ideas

I have written before about the new Iberia services which are starting from Manchester (September) and Edinburgh (March).  These will offer a direct route to Madrid, bookable with Avios points, and an easy option for connecting to an Iberia long-haul Avios redemption.

This all seemed a bit too sensible for Iberia’s route planning department, though.  With Iberia now back in profit, anything goes!

At least, that is what is seems like.  I can’t think of any other reason for the launch of London Luton to Vigo.  Wherever Vigo may be. (In Galicia, it seems, photo below).

The route will be operated by Air Nostrum / Iberia Regional on Thursdays and Sundays between 15 July and 27 September.

Seats are now available for Avios redemptions at ba.com.  It is 15,000 Avios + £30 in Economy (no Reward Flight Saver on Iberia but taxes out of Luton are low anyway) and 30,000 Avios + £43 in Business.

If you are thinking of booking for cash, look at iberia.com and Air Nostrum as prices and baggage allowances can sometimes vary.

Vigo

More logical are two new Summer routes launched by Iberia Express.  The only surprising thing here is that they are being flown from Heathrow – and Terminal 5 at that – where we are always led to believe that British Airways is struggling to find slots.

The new routes are:

Heathrow to Tenerife North (3 flights per week from 29 March)

Heathrow to Las Palmas / Gran Canaria (4 flights per week from 30 March)

The tax is not great, unfortunately.  Las Palmas is 20,000 Avios + £114 return in Economy or 40,000 Avios + £64 in Business.  I have no idea why Business is £50 cheaper, I think ba.com is treating the surcharges incorrectly.  The pricing for Tenerife is the same.

In Economy, you are better off booking via iberia.com and using Combine My Avios to send your points across.  Las Palmas in 20,000 Avios + £59 in Economy, for example, saving you £55 per person.  Business Class, on the other hand, has taxes of £80 which is more than ba.com wants!

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to see our latest articles on earning and spending your points and click here to see our list of current Avios promotions.)

Hats off to IAG as Iberia returns to profit - and why you may be flying it more often
Anyone received Avios points from a Flybe service yet?
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Comments

  1. The TFN service is currenty extremely cheap, so cheap that it might be an error… £133 return possible.

    • MAD-TFN can usually be had for 99 Euros so £133 doesn’t seem too unreasonable if you can get the lowest price.

  2. Don’t be so dismissive of Vigo, or of the whole region, Galicia, just because you’ve never heard of it. This is one of Spain’s most authentic areas, which thankfully doesn’t get overrun by tourists in the same way as other parts of the country. The reason for this is mainly because of the weather. You’re never guaranteed sun, but that doesn’t matter because the food, people and natural rugged beauty make up for it. Flights to Galicia (Vueling offers flights to 2 different airports) are usually booked solid, especially in August when the large community of Gallegos living in the UK go home for the summer.

    • I second that – beautiful countryside, great food, amazing old cities like Pontevedra and Santiago de Compostela. Well worth a visit.

  3. andystock says:

    Would these 2 routes not be better served by Gatwick than Heathrow too free up slots at Heathrow?

    • Exactly – they are even taking T5 stands at a time when BA is having to move services into T3 due to overcrowding at T5. It may, possibly, be ‘slot sitting’ for BA if they cut some business flights over the Summer.

  4. Colin MacKinnon says:

    Would add: be careful of Air Nostrum business!

    When they flew MAD-GLA, we booked the brother- and mum-in law in business…..

    Same seats (but less legroom than the emergency exit), none of the Business perks (like parking at MAD etc), but you got a sandwich and lounge access.

    Not really worth it! (bit like I hear BA Club Europe is going, but we take Easyjet now)

  5. Weird how there’s a service to Vigo but nothing direct to Valencia! Even the connecting flight via MAD gets you in around midnight, which isn’t massively convenient.

  6. AlanYoung says:

    LTN / VGO
    Seats are now available for Avios redemptions at ba.com. It is 15,000 Avios + £30 in Economy (no Reward Flight Saver on Iberia but taxes out of Luton are low anyway) and 30,000 Avios + £43 in Business.
    Is this only by telephone as I cannot see anything via the BA.com site?

    • Are you searching on a day the flight is operating? Search for a redemption from “London (all)” as BA.com doesn’t understand Luton airport, but it will find the flight for a redemption that way.

  7. Air Nostrum used to fly to Vigo from Gatwick……

    This is good(ish) news but I am already booked to Bilbao. It’s a schlep from there but I will have to console myself with the fact that the BIO flights just clip Band 1 so 9k avios.

    • And I think even tho’ Valencia is Spain’s 3rd city, it’s proximity to Alicante which has a huge range of usually cheap flight options is what deters operators.
      I haven’t flown to VLC for 10 years. (GB airways then)

  8. Great! Now my girlfriend and i can go back to Vigo direct. Instead of the LHR-MAD MAD-VGO.

  9. The reason why they are starting the LTN-VGO service is beacuse the Vigo council is heavily subsidising Iberia regional (Air Nostrum) to operate from VGO. The local newspapers quote 3.55 million euros for 3 years of operations (flights from VGO to other airports, not just LTN). As subsidies to airlines are illegal by EU laws, they do it by signing a “tourism promotion agreement”, where Air Nostrum is supposed to advertise Vigo and Vigo gets the flights.

  10. can you book through iberia plus and the change your loyalty card to BA to get lounge access and that?

    • Yes, although you can also book from BAEC, searching for a redemption from “London (all)” will find the flights – as they don’t have Luton configured.

      • How do you change it I booked it through IBeria but cannot seem to find how to change from my IB number to BA number.

  11. More routes says:

    Iberia Express just announced today a daily LHR-PMI flight from 1st April.
    Also today Vueling announced a 4x per week MAN-BCN route from 19th June.
    Lots of new UK-Spain routes bookable with avios :)

  12. Vigo is my hometown ald known for its Football team Celta de Vigo that play in Spanish First Division ( Premier League). It is 200 km from Porto, 75 km of Santiago de Compostela ( very known Catholic Pilgrims place ).

    Galice is not well known outside Spain, but in Spain it is considered the green lung of Spain and has the best White Whine ( Albariño) of the world. Every 1st Sunday of August and week therefore the Wineparty is a cultural thing and good party. Also the best Seafood and mussles come from Galice. A mussel-platform was the start of “LA Vuelta” Spanish equivalent of Tour debFrance.

    Very special thing. We are descendants of CELTS and the bag pipe is our national instrument. Many links are between us and Irish people.

    I hope to helped you a little bit with this unknown Gem :-)

    Also Gallegos like me we love to party. A local supermarket made a lot of videos called : Vivir Como Gallego! Check YouTube.

  13. Iberia has just announced a 25% avios sale. Buy your ticket by 26/2 for travel between 29/3 and 15/7.