From July 2nd, Iberia is letting you use Avios to pay for part of the cost of a cash ticket. “All your Avios count and they also discount” is the catchy slogan they are using.
British Airways launched a similar ‘part pay with Avios’ scheme last year. I wasn’t very excited about that – although it is better than it was at launch after tweaking – and I am even less excited about this.
I WAS a little excited when I got the email. I was promised the ability to save 25% of my flight cost using my Avios points, which could have been substantial for a long-haul flight.
In truth, you can’t.
I did a test booking from Madrid to Buenos Aires for late September. The economy ticket came out at €1,137. The maximum discount offered to me was €113 – for a cost of 25,950 Avios.
This is a terrible deal. €113 is £89. That works out at 0.35p per Avios!
This is shocking. Remember that it is almost impossible to get less than 0.5p per Avios point even if you use all of your points for hotel bookings, car hire, champagne, sports tickets, Eurostar tickets or one of the hundreds of other random things that avios.com can sell you!
I then tried a short-haul flight from Madrid to London. On a €217 flight the maximum discount was €30. That would cost me 5,575 Avios. This is a slightly better result as you get 0.43p per Avios. I still wouldn’t go near it though.
For some reason this deal is also only available on flights that start in Spain. If you try to book London to Madrid then you are not offered the discount. It is also not available on BA flights, only Iberia, Iberia Express and Vueling.
If you want to know, full details can be found on the Iberia website here.