If you’ve ever looked at Iberia‘s international flight network you may have been struck by how odd it is. Case in point: there are no nonstop flights between the Spanish capital and Washington DC whilst it seems to serve every corner of Latin and South America.
Interestingly, Iberia did serve Washington DC from Madrid until 2010, just before it merged into IAG with British Airways.
Iberia is now re-launching Washington DC, almost a decade since the last flight.
The route begins on 1st May 2020, five times a week. The timings are as follows:
IB6131 departs Madrid at 3:50pm and arrives in DC at 6:55pm
IB6132 departs DC at 8:30pm and arrives at 10:15am the next day.
The flight is to be operated by an A330-300 with 29 business class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration (pictured). You can see our review of the Iberia business class product on an A330 here. It is a good product in an alternating arrangement that lets you choose between a more private or more open seat.
There is very good Avios redemption availability
Redemption availability on this new route is very good which is unsurprising since it has just been launched.
A business class return costs 68,000 Avios off-peak, as you can see from Iberia’s own reward chart. Peak dates will cost 100,000 Avios return.
Yes, just 68,000 Avios return for Business Class. Why does Iberia charge substantially fewer Avios for flights from Madrid to the US East Coast, compared to what BA charges from London? We don’t know!
Bear in mind that Iberia also has a slightly different peak and off-peak table versus British Airways, which you can see on the Iberia website here.
Don’t forget that taxes and carrier surcharges are significantly less than British Airways, so a redemption is considerably cheaper than with BA. However, YOU MUST BOOK ON THE IBERIA SITE TO GET THE LOWER TAXES.
Here is proof. Madrid to Washington DC booked on iberia.com, with tax of £157:
Madrid to Washington DC booked on ba.com (exactly the same flight) for £385:
You save £228 per person by booking on the Iberia website using Iberia Plus Avios.
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.
And don’t forget Guayaquil
In June we reported that Iberia was also launching a direct flight to Guayaquil, Ecuador, which is a great place to start if you want to fly to the Galapagos.
The route starts next month on 13th December, operating three times a week. A redemption in Business Class is 102,000 Avios off-peak or 150,000 Avios peak, return. You can book now on the Iberia website.
If you want to learn more about how to redeem Avios points via Iberia Plus, to save a fortune on taxes and charges, take a look at this article in our ‘Avios Redemption University’ series.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (February 2023)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 21st February 2023, the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is increased to 35,000 Avios from 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.