How to use ‘part pay with Avios’ to book Iberia, Vueling or Air Nostrum flights

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‘Part Pay With Avios’ for British Airways flights booked at ba.com has, apparently, been very successful since it was launched.  It allows you to redeem your points for a discount against a cash ticket, although you are not allowed to pay the entire price with points.

Unlike an Avios reward flight redemption, you will still receive tier points and earn Avios when you take the flight.  All you have done is to use Avios to make a standard cash ticket cheaper.

There are also no availability constraints.  ‘Part Pay With Avios’ is available on all British Airways flights in all classes, and on direct American Airlines flights to or from the UK.  It is also available on Iberia flights from the UK which are codeshared with BA.

You can find full details of ‘Part Pay With Avios’ on the BA site here.

The downside of ‘Part Pay With Avios’ is that it isn’t great value unless there is a special promotion running.

On short haul European flights, you currently receive between 0.48p and 1.0p per point.  The value gets worse the more points you redeem, but it can be decent value if you just redeem a handful (eg £10 off for 1000 Avios or £20 off for 2600 Avios).

Iberia Part Pay With Avios

You can’t use PPWA on most Iberia flights via ba.com, but …..

The only Iberia routes you can book on ba.com are those which originate in the UK.  You cannot, for example, book Madrid to Lisbon or Madrid to Milan.  For these, you need to book on iberia.com.

You can also use ‘Part Pay With Avios’ if you book via iberia.com.

It’s not just Iberia mainline.  You can also use Avios for bookings on Iberia Express, Vueling or Air Nostrum.  You can also use it to book British Airways flights by calling an Iberia call centre.

Iberia calls this feature ‘Avios & Money’ rather than ‘Part Pay With Avios’, although for simplicity I have used the latter term throughout this article.

There some odd residency restrictions to note.  You can only use this feature if you live in Spain, France, Netherlands, Belgium, United Kingdom, Germany, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Israel, USA, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Russia and Switzerland.

The Iberia website requires your Avios to be in the Iberia Plus loyalty programme.  You cannot log in with a British Airways ID.

In order to get your Avios into Iberia Plus from British Airways Executive Club, you will need an Iberia Plus account which can be opened quickly at iberia.com.  To do the transfer, your account will also need to fulfil the following two conditions:

your Iberia Plus account must be 90 days

your Iberia Plus account must have ‘earned’ 1 Avios – the easiest way to do this is to transfer in some Amex Membership Rewards points or credit a flight, hotel stay or car hire

You can then use ‘Combine My Avios’ on ba.com to move your points to Iberia Plus.  If you get an error message, the workaround is to move your points from ba.com to avios.com and then from avios.com to iberia.com – this will work 95% of the time.  In order to log in at avios.com, you will need to open a free account at Aer Lingus Aer Club or Vueling Club.

But is Part Pay With Avios worthwhile on Iberia?

Unfortunately, the answer is ‘not really’.  Unless you are getting all of your Avios for ‘free’ via business travel, you won’t want to redeem them at the rates Iberia offers.

This is what I was quoted to reduce the price of an economy Iberia flight between London and Madrid:

Part Pay With Avios on Iberia

£8 discount for 1,850 Avios (0.43p)

£43.46 discount for 9,000 Avios (0.48p)

£72.44 discount for 15,000 Avios (0.48p)

£115.90 discount for 24,000 Avios (0.48p)

£144.87 discount for 30,000 Avios (0.48p)

This is really, really bad. 

On ba.com, you can get 1.0p per Avios if you redeem a small number (1,000 Avios usually) and it usually gets no worse than 0.48p.  Getting 0.48p however few Avios you use is simply shocking.

(If you are looking to book a Vueling flight, try using ‘Part Pay With Avios’ at vueling.com which should give you a better deal.)

Unless you are Avios rich and cash poor, I would advise against using ‘Part Pay With Avios’ on iberia.com.  The option is there if you want it, however.

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Comments

  1. A handy reference article, thanks.

  2. “There are also no availability constraints. ‘Part Pay With Avios’ is available on all British Airways flights in all classes, and on direct American Airlines flights to or from the UK.”

    Not really true. It’s not available on all sector – NBO is one which comes to mind

    • Yes this we found recently as our daughter was trying to get to NBO Dec 26th. Could have done with reducing her tkt price, but no use. Annoying.

  3. For obvious reasons, I am delighted that this scheme is such a success. My in laws spent a year building up a stash of avios, then, despite my exhortations, used them to part pay for their long haul economy flights 🤦‍. All the more redemptions for the rest of us!

    • Though arguably they were making a real saving on the flights compared to getting business redemptions which in their mind were not a “real” saving as they would never pay cash for them.

  4. ChrisBCN says:

    If you want to use part pay with avios on Vueling, this is not the best way to do it.

    You are better transferring your avios into Vueling, where you can part pay as much as you like for around 0.5-0.55p per avios.

    This way you get a marginally better avios value, but more importantly the far lower flight price that Vueling will offer you vs the Iberia site.

  5. Thank you for this. You may recall I emailed you, Rob, some weeks ago for advice on upgrading flights booked via Iberia’s website with Avios, and you weren’t sure what the process was, so I’ll provide my findings here for general reference. To summarise, Iberia only allow upgrades with Avios for cash bookings if you have booked your tickets via the telephone helpline.

    I booked flights with Iberia through their website, using cash, and I had read their FAQs beforehand to establish that they do allow upgrades with Avios.
    Unfortunately, their advice directs you to contact the Iberia Plus Service Center to upgrade with Avios, and I duly did so via email. The response was that the Center exists only to give general information, and cannot perform upgrades.
    “We are sorry to inform you that through this department we can only provide support about the Iberia Plus Program. However, as general information, we can mention that the Upgrades are offered through the website, via email or during the check-in at the airport only if there is enough space or availability. If you cannot see this option through -Manage your booking- or you have not received any emails from the Upgrade¿s department is because the business or premium cabin for the flight is already full.”
    I directed them to their own website FAQs which said otherwise, and as they had provided a dead URL to follow for the correct telephone number to speak to, I asked them for the correct URL, which they did two days later.
    The advice on contacting my UK Iberia helpline was that I could only upgrade cash bookings with Avios if I had purchased my tickets via the telephone helpline! They quoted me 80,000 Avios to upgrade a Bogota – Madrid premium economy fare to business; and 80,000 for the other direction too (economy fare to business).
    I repeated this to them and asked them to confirm that it was 80,000 Avios regardless of whether the upgrade was from economy, or from premium economy, to business. They said yes!
    As the cash price to “bid” for an upgrade from PE to business was just £200, I said thanks but no thank you!

  6. Charlieface says:

    Rob, have you seen the Vueling Avios & Money options? Some of them come in at 0.45p/Avios, arguably an absolute bargain. Although the maths only work when the cash tickets are very high.

  7. Yes , burnt those million suckers two or three time over I would guess. Mind you I had some amazing fun doing it..

    Still got LH reward flights to Barbados (again), Mumbai(241), Havana & Nashville(241) all booked and lined up.

    To coin Genghis I “earn em and burn them” as fast as I can. We all a long time dead and I am determined to see as much of the world as I can.

    Cant remember all of the trips in the last two years but off the top of my head done NYC, Boston , Vegas, Phoneix , LA , SFO, Bangkok, Koh Samui, Hong Kong, Singapore, KL , Penang , Muscat , Dubai, New Orleans, Helsinki, Tallin, Jersey, Langkawi, Oslo, Barbados , Punta Cana, Peurto Rico, Costa Rica, St Lucia, Florida…… There is probably more, not all award flights but the majority , most in Business with a few in First and some economy or PE. Most on Ba but some on other carriers.

    Always wanted to travel and now seem to spend a lot of time doing or planning it. I must admit I worked my Ar5e off for many years to be able to take advantage of this whist young enough to hit it hard.

    Of course the Million airmiles from Avis did help a tad..

    Cheers from Barbs…

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