For anyone bemoaning the lack of Avios availability on British Airways flights to South Africa, there is some good news.
Iberia has announced a new ‘three flights per week’ service from Madrid to Johannesburg from August 2016.
It will depart on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays, using a new Airbus A330-300 with a two class configuration.
The 23.45 departure time is convenient if you are travelling down from London after work, with the return landing into Madrid at 6.35am – meaning you still have a chance of getting back to your desk in London before lunch!
A return flight in Business Class is a bargain 85,000 Avios plus just €182 (£132) of tax. Economy (blue class, ie Iberia’s cheaper redemption bucket) is 42,500 Avios plus €162. This is off-peak pricing, which covers most of the last third of the calendar year under the Iberia Plus scheme (you can see the Iberia peak and off-peak calendar here).
You MUST book through Iberia Plus to get this pricing. If you book via ba.com you will get a large fuel surcharge added to your ticket. As long as your Iberia Plus account is 90 days old and has earned 1 Avios point (a transfer from Amex Membership Rewards would do it) you can use ‘Combine My Avios’ on ba.com to send them across for free.
To put this in context, a flight from London to Johannesburg on BA using Avios on an off-peak date will cost you a whopping 125,000 Avios + £523 – although, with Iberia, you need to factor in the cost of getting to Madrid.
Iberia availability is also very good – the standard two business class flights per seat are there – so you may be able to find seats for dates in early Autumn 2016 where British Airways is currently sold out.
Once in South Africa, you can book connecting flights around the region, including down to Cape Town, using Avios points on Comair, a British Airways franchise partner.
(Want to earn more Avios? Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)