New low tax Avios redemptions on Iberia to San Francisco, Washington DC and Dallas bookable
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Last year, Iberia announced it would be (re-)launching three routes to the US – San Francisco, Washington DC and Dallas Fort Worth.
Iberia has now confirmed the start date and loaded the flights into the system. As these are new routes, seats should be wide open for Avios redemptions.
Unlike British Airways, Iberia does not guarantee a minimum number of seats available for redemption per flight, although in practice you can normally find at least a couple of business class seats.
All three routes are due to start on the 1st June, in time for the summer holidays.
Iberia to San Francisco
Iberia has been operating flights to San Francisco on and off since 2018, mostly as a seasonal route over the summer. The flights returned in 2019 but were suspended in 2020 and 2021 due to covid.
The route will resume slightly later than originally planned, with flights restarting on 1st June under the following schedule:
- IB6193 departs Madrid at 12:20 (midday) and arrives in San Francisco (SFO) at 16:15.
- IB6174 departs San Francisco at 17:50 and arrives in Madrid at 14:10 the following day.
There are three flights per week on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays. Flights have been loaded until the end of September.
Iberia to Washington DC
It’s been over a decade since Iberia flew to Washington DC, so unlike the flights to San Francisco this is more of a relaunch than a service resumption. The schedule is as follows:
- IB6131 departs Madrid at 12:10 (midday) and arrives in Washington DC (IAD) at 15:15.
- IB6132 departs Washington DC at 16:45 and arrives in Madrid at 06:30 the following day.
There are four flights per week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Flights have been loaded until the end of summer schedules in late October. It’s not clear if Iberia will extend the route through the winter.
Iberia to Dallas Fort Worth
The flight to Dallas truly is a new route. The rationale is to feed into what is a major American Airlines hub city.
The schedule is as follows:
- IB6146 departs Madrid at 15:55 and lands at Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) at 19:50.
- IB6146 departs Dallas at 21:25 and lands in Madrid at 14:00 the following day.
There are four flights per week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and flights have been loaded until the end of October.
What can you expect from these flights?
All three of the new flights are operated by an A330 with a 1-2-1 business class layout. The seat is identical to Iberia’s (now retired) A340s which we last reviewed in 2017 here.
Iberia is the home of low tax Avios redemptions
Avios redemptions on Iberia offer exceptional value, especially given that British Airways has recently increased its carrier-imposed surcharges on all long haul flights.
For example, Iberia prices up a return redemption in business class from Madrid to San Francisco as 102,000 Avios and £220.80 in taxes and charges on an off-peak date:
Meanwhile, on a British Airways flight from London, you can expect to pay 125,000 and a stonking £735 in surcharges on an off-peak date:
That means that you are saving 23,000 Avios AND a massive £515. Flights to Washington DC are even cheaper.
That said, part of those savings will be eaten up by getting to Madrid in the first place, and are reliant on you willing to take a connecting rather than direct flight.
British Airways and Iberia also have different peak and off-peak dates, so the price gap can be even starker. There are some days where BA is charging the peak San Francisco rate of 150,000 Avios and Iberia is only charging 102,000. The Avios peak and off-peak calendars for 2022 are here.
The prices above are also only for redemptions via the Iberia website. If you try and book the same Iberia flight on ba.com you will be charged a higher rate. You can use the Combine My Avios tool to shift move Avios from your BA Executive Club account to Iberia Plus.
Remember that you need to book your flights to Madrid separately rather than on a connecting itinerary in order to avoid the higher taxes departing from Heathrow and fully realise the savings.
Our ‘Avios Redemption University’ article about low-tax Avios redemptions on Iberia goes into further detail.
If you are planning to head to San Francisco, Washington DC or Dallas this summer then the new Iberia flights offer an excellent opportunity to save some money (and Avios!) on redemptions, for the inconvenience of an indirect flight.
You can book on the Iberia website here.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (March 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.
SPECIAL OFFER: Successfully apply for either of the Barclaycard Avios credit cards by 2nd April 2023 and you will be entered into a free draw to win ONE MILLION AVIOS! Full details are on the application forms here (free) and here (paid). This competition is exclusive to Head for Points readers. T&C apply.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard
25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review
Barclaycard Avios Mastercard
5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review
British Airways American Express
5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
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.
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review
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.
British Airways Accelerating Business American Express
30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review
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.
Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. The bonus on American Express Business Gold is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.
American Express Business Platinum
Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 30th March) and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
60,000 points sign-up bonus (to 30th March) and free for a year Read our full review
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.