BA’s sister airline, Iberia, has announced that it is re-launching flights to Havana in Cuba after a hiatus of a few years. This is an ideal opportunity to visit before the influx of American tourists begins, which will surely change the character of the island forever.
There will be five flights per week from Madrid starting from June 1st.
ba.com was having a problem finding availability yesterday. The flights are showing OK on iberia.com. You should book via Iberia anyway as the taxes will be SUBSTANTIALLY lower – Iberia does not add fuel surcharges to Iberia redemptions if you book via its own website, but ba.com does.
You can move Avios points from British Airways or avios.com to Iberia Plus via ‘Combine My Avios’, as long as your Iberia account is 90 days old and has earned at least 1 Avios point. This can done with an Amex Membership Rewards transfer, crediting a BA flight or even by buying a small number of Avios.
Economy tickets from Madrid to Havana cost 50,000 Avios points return plus £95.40
Business class tickets from Madrid to Havana cost 100,000 Avios points plus £110.40
You should book your connecting flight from the UK to Madrid separately to avoid paying long haul Air Passenger Duty.
As a Zone 6 flight, this trip will actually get CHEAPER for bookings after April 1st if you fly off-peak. Note that this is off-peak on the Iberia calendar and not the BA calendar, so weeks like UK half-term are off-peak! Economy flights will drop to 42,500 Avios return whilst Business Class will fall to 85,000 Avios return. Redemptions on peak dates will stay the same in Economy and increase to 125,000 Avios return in Business.
The route will be flown with an Airbus A330 with the new fully flat business seating.
Don’t forget that you can also get to Havana with Virgin Flying Club miles (a Tesco and Amex Membership Rewards partner) on a direct flight Virgin Atlantic flight from Gatwick – remember that Virgin is currently offering a 30% bonus on Tesco transfers. Virgin has a short guide to Havana on its website. You may be able to mix and match Iberia and Virgin availability to get your preferred dates.
PS. Iberia is also launching flights to Medellin and Cali in Colombia starting on July 3rd.