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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.

Iberia Avios redemptions

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 Avios redemptions

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:

Iberia Avios San Francisco pricing

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:

New low tax Avios redemptions on Iberia to San Francisco, Washington DC and Dallas bookable

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 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 (May 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:

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 30th May, the sign-up bonus on the Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard is doubled to a crazy 50,000 Avios! Apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 30th May, the sign-up bonus on the free Barclaycard Avios Mastercard is doubled to 10,000 Avios. Apply here.

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

CRAZY 50,000 Avios for signing up (to 30th May) and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

10,000 Avios for signing up (only to 30th May) and an upgrade voucher at £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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.

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

60,000 points AND a £200 Amex Travel voucher until 13th June! 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.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus 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.

Comments (69)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Mike says:

    “avoid the higher taxes departing from Heathrow”
    Other non -London airports are also available !!

  • BJ says:

    Seems very odd that Iberia have not flown to DC for a decade, presumably they lost out to American carriers or just codeshared AA.

  • Pablo says:

    Worth pointing out that cash fares to these new destinations are sub £1100 return in August, September and October.

    • Qrfan says:

      I really don’t understand why people would redeem avios in this way. For me the main value in avios is getting direct flights from London that are otherwise expensive. If you’re willing to start in Europe then you’ll find such good cash fares that a redemption makes little sense, especially when you consider the value of the status you earn and the miles generated on the cash ticket. I’d love to know how many people actually use this redemption vs exEU cash.

      • Rob M says:

        I guess part of that would depend on how cash/ avios rich you were. And whether you value the status. For me as an example, my local airport is NCL – so I’d need to connect anyway. And I almost never fly with BA other than J or F avios redemptions – so the status doesn’t mean too much to me – although would be nice for free seat allocation. (Most of my other flights are LCC). If I didn’t have 241s and/or fancied to add a city break to Madrid, this could be a great redemption. Of course, cash would be even more attractive if it worked out better to use my avios in nectar and just buy the tickets cash!

      • JRich says:

        Lots of people don’t live in London….

      • Jonathan says:

        An added benefit of starting your flights outside the UK is the ability to enjoy mini city break where your long haul flights start and finish before and or after your main trip, or in the nearby areas.

        A travel suggestion that isn’t often mentioned !

        • qrfan says:

          I’ve done plenty of exEU trips so I agree with that, but I pay for them cash because with the lower fares if you pick your departure point it’s a far better deal tha redeeming avios, regardless of tax.

        • Hugh says:

          We flew from Mad to Hav to use the Avios we got through the amazing Iberia offer a few years ago. The overnight stay in Mad was definitely part of the holiday and in no way a hassle! In fact we discovered while we were there that the Davis Cup was happening and managed to get tickets to see GBR so it became one of the highlights. I would definitely do this again, even without the tennis!

      • Colin MacKinnon says:

        No1 is that in the “old days” Avios flights were refundable (for clarity, with Iberia, only Avios flights on Iberia aircraft).

        Direct out of London obviously the best option – notwithstanding price – if you live near London. If in Scotland, it is as easy to take a Low Cost Carrier to Madrid and have a nice night out in Spain (trains, metro etc to Madrid Airport from the city) and then a flight in the late morning.

        When flying out of London, we also go the day before. Less stress than a 5am start for an early morning BA flight which might get cancelled with fog, snow, wind etc. Then you have the hassle of re-routing.

        Doing this next week – off to see Magic Goes Wrong in town before spending the night at Heathrow.

        Status never worries me. When flying Business Class, we get lounges etc. On shorthaul, we usually go direct from Scotland with a LCC.

        Oh yes – and on Iberia you get better food than BA, and fabulous wines! (With the exception of food from Cuba to Madrid, which was actually worse than BA First out of Denver!!)

        • BlueThroughCrimp says:

          And, while I’m obviously the minority, it depends where you are in Scotland too.
          I’ll spend the night before in the airport hotel when travelling with the parents there days. I’m past getting up before 5am for a 10-11am departure from Edinburgh, and it’s not a nice airport to go through any more.

          The AWPR has massively improved access to Aberdeen from the South, making the travelling there as easy to get to as EDI, and it’s got plenty of airport hotels.

          The last Long Haul I did with the parents, it was drop the car off at ABZ, train to INV, and a night there before heading off. We flew back in to ABZ. Saved a fair bit of tax, had a nice relaxing night before departure.

          • BJ says:

            A day and a night in the city priornto an INV departure is a very pkeasant and civilised way to travel.

          • BlueThroughCrimp says:

            BJ – Even better when the Marriott construction hadn’t finished and they booked you in to the Culloden House Hotel at the same rate (~£50), and with transfer to the airport in the morning included!
            I doubt I’d be as lucky again in any travel arrangements.

      • lumma says:

        Madrid isn’t really that difficult to get to, and is a decent city to visit as part of a two centre holiday.

        Personally I feel that dropping 100,000+ avios and £700+ on a direct return from London is madness when I could keep the points for something else and fly economy for less than £400 in most instances, but I’d definitely take one of these routes.

      • BJ says:

        It’s the avios-rich/cash-poor thing and vice versa to some extent. There is also the difference in peak dates versus BA. Some use it because it provides oppirtunity for a break in Spain as an additional benefit. Some love to try other airlines. Comments on HfP demonstrate clearly the lengths some people are prepared to go to save £1 or earn 25 avios 🙂

        • meta says:

          Although slightly irrelevant for this article, BA also don’t fly direct to some destinations that Iberia does. Cuba, Peru, Colombia, etc.

          • Jonathan says:

            I’m almost certain BA very recently did a route to Lima from LGW, whether or not this has been suspended / scrapped due to the pandemic, I don’t know. Although BA might not fly to Colombia, I’m not sure off the top of my head, their offerings are hard to compete with particularly AA, since they’ve got extensive Latin America network mainly through MIA

          • meta says:

            @Jonathan BA dropped Lima and doubt they’ll return any time soon.

            But if you go via US and AA you then have to clear US immigration plus it’s also a stopover and you definitely pay even more Avios, though less surcharges. And the added benefit is that you have no EU261 protection on AA.

          • BJ says:

            It would be a great option if Iberia were to expand East too.

      • Wilson says:

        As a young professional working in London, even ex-EU fares for £1100 are outside of my budget. I presume the majority of people at my age would be prioritising on saving up for a house deposit / fully utilising their ISA every tax year.

        HFP is the only reason that I am able to occasionally travel in business class. I redeemed MAD-LIM for 125k avios + £180 fees and it was a really great experience (alternative was a direct economy flight for £700). As I see it, I’ve saved £400+ after factoring in positioning flights and it includes a mini city break to Madrid.

        • Scott says:

          Your way of looking at this is illogical – 125k Avios are worth £1000 at Sainsburys, etc. via Nectar. That plus the £180 fee is what you spent on the flight.

          • meta says:

            Only if you shop in Sainsbury’s. I loathe Sainsbury’s food and their selection is poor. I only have Sainsbury’s local in my area and whenever I tried delivery half of the items didn’t show up. I got fed up after two months.

          • Wilson says:

            There wasn’t the Nectar conversion back when I did the redemption, and even if there was, there is only value if I shop at Sainsburys/eBay. The problem is that my local supermarket is Morrisons so nectar points isn’t useful to me.

            As I recall, the cash price of my ticket would’ve been £1200 for MAD-LIM so I didn’t get a great deal in terms of pence/avios. However, I’m not going to wait for the price to be higher before I redeem in order to make my redemption more ‘worth it’.

            In my mind, money can be invested but avios cannot so I try to burn my avios stash as much as possible. Happy for recommendations from other readers on the best strategy!

        • Londonsteve says:

          As others have commented on here you didn’t save £400+, you spent an additional £480 (at least) on the MAD-LIM flight alone, plus positioning flights (let’s not include the city break costs because you’ve got something tangible for your money – an extension to your holiday). However, I totally get where you’re coming from and like you, I would also have flown to Lima the same way. £480 return for the additional comfort of J on IB is well worth it. If cash fares were in the region of £1200 return one has to consider whether it’s worth spending Avios to begin with, but you may not have sufficient cash at your disposal, the Avios might have cost you very little to collect (or nothing) and it’s only because of your Avios stash you can consider flying long haul business. In my book if a redemption gets 1ppm I go for it as I consider it ‘value for money’, assuming in a different world I would be happy to buy the same product or service for the implied cash price. A best case scenario and one that frequently plays out is where MAD-LIM is £2k return for cash while a revenue fare routing direct from London in J is £3k or more. That makes the reward seat from MAD a real bargain, quite apart from which I really enjoy IB in J whereas BA CW is lame and I resent giving them even 2 pence to fly in it. I’ll be less resistant when all aircraft are Club Suite converted but with the very high YQ on reward seats I wonder if I will EVER deem this a good redemption opportunity. £800 in cold hard cash is a lot of bread on top of a large pile of Avios, I would rather pay £400 and fly on a revenue ticket in Economy on a relatively short flight to the US east coast, for example.

        • BJ says:

          I suspect most of them are concentrating on running up card debt and then worrying about the consequences.

      • Londonsteve says:

        @Qrfan I can understand the benefit of using miles to redeem direct from London where there is a proper saving over a cash ticket, but what about people for whom money is not free flowing and even the implied cost of a redemption fare is too high to justify? You point out that cash fares are frequently good from Europe but the fact that you don’t avail yourself of this opportunity even though you are aware of it implies that making the saving isn’t important to you. Customers like you are the reason why BA YQ charges are as high as they are; because there are enough people that will pay for the convenience of flying direct from London. Even though I am London-based, I would never pay the very high BA taxes and charges on a redemption flight and would always seek to get better value for my miles, whether that involves starting from Madrid or Bangkok if necessary. My money is more important than shaving a few hours off a journey, quite apart from which as an AV geek the experience of flying on different airlines and via different airports is part of the fun. I would never collect Avios if all I could do with them is fly to North America in BA yin yang CW. How tedious an opportunity, I would rather buy a cash fare and fly Economy.

        • meta says:

          @BJ Did you know that Iberia flies to Tokyo and Maldives? I believe Shanghai pre-pandemic too.

  • meta says:

    Because people are usually Avios rich and cash poor. Unless you’re using 241 voucher or have children, direct from London will cost you nearly £2k perhaps more when you think about avios and surcharges vs £1.3k from Madrid.

    Another factor is that I loathe BA, so they can charge their fake taxes to someone else.

    • qrfan says:

      Rob keeps telling us that most of the people on this site are London based financial analysts on mid 6 figures. They can’t be both that and cash poor! :-p

      • meta says:

        I am most certainly not in that category. I also think there is a hugr difference in readers and commentators. The majority of readers don’t scroll through comments/forum 2-3 times a day…

        • Jeff77 says:

          Yes I’d imagine they’re too busy working.

        • The Savage Squirrel says:

          Don’t know about anyone else, but lots of my clients have cancelled today due to “danger to life” storm warnings (despite it being sunny and calm here, and hundreds of miles away from any storm zones)….. so here I am doing exactly that rather than working. Not that I’m on a 7 figure salary, unfortunately 😀

      • Dr Tom says:

        That is certainly the right profile to present to prospective advertisers. Working in education, I don’t think I’ll will ever need to worry about how to spend a 6 figure salary. There are plenty of people with the MSE mindset, or how to get the best value from limited resources, here as well.

    • Mikeact says:

      @meta. I understand you loathe BA.
      Does that mean I can add you to my list of folks on here…. ‘never going to fly BA again’ ?

      • meta says:

        No, I still fly and will fly BA, but considerably less than before. BA still offers a good short-haul network. I also sometimes like to fly BA one-way to get somewhere quicker and then fly back on another airline. That doesn’t mean I can’t hate them.

  • Peter says:

    If you book a separate ticket for the LHR-MAD leg, will Iberia be prepared to check the bags all the way through from LHR to the US or is it necessary to collect the bags at MAD and check them in again landside? BA will no longer check bags through if you have two or more separate tickets and perhaps Iberia take the same approach. If so, I imagine that would definitely mean allowing four hours or so as a minimum for changing at MAD. Overnight would definitely be more attractive in that case.

    • meta says:

      Iberia is same as BA. On your way back you can book it all as one ticket and will only be charged extra Avios and little bit of taxes. I always go the night before on the inbound.

    • Londonsteve says:

      As meta points out, this is only an issue on the outbound leg, so it’s only half the problem you think it is. Yes, if you are travelling on separate tickets (and you will have to be in order to save UK APD), you will need to collect your luggage in MAD and check in again for your onward flight. As many people here do, myself included, it makes the experience much more pleasant to stay overnight and avail yourself of the joys of Madrid, then check in early for the long haul sector on IB and enjoy your stay in the lovely Velasquez lounge. One feels like a traveller rather than a mere passenger getting from A to B as fast as possible.

  • PGW says:

    I’m not based near any London airport so I’m happy to take ex EU flights to save either cash or avios and have done so from several start points. What I like less is the faff on the return leg when all I want to do do is get home and IME open jaw fares almost always completely wipe out any savings.

  • dougzz99 says:

    That’s a fairly late DFW arrival for connections. I don’t think you could look at anything earlier than 21:00

    • kitten says:

      I looked at that same timing landing in DFW and thought “what are the hotels at Dallas Airport”

      Too much risk of landing late and missing any connection not on same ticket so would end up paying my own hotel anyway.

      Doesn’t phase me as I have long wanted to do something via Dallas as I gather it’s one of the few nice USA airports?

  • Fred durst says:

    Is anyone still flying the a340? It was a great plane.

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