Bizarre: You can’t book Avios flight tickets for babies or infants via Iberia Plus
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There is a lot to be said for spending your Avios on Iberia, and flying long-haul via Madrid.
As this introductory HfP article to spending Avios on Iberia explains, your taxes in Business Class will be rock-bottom and you may need fewer Avios too.
If you are a new parent, however, you should think twice.
Iberia does not allow you to book Avios tickets for infants.
By ‘infant’, we mean a child which has not yet had its second birthday.
Does Iberia really not let you book Avios tickets for infants?
It is, obliquely, mentioned on this page of the Iberia website:
Can I use my Avios to buy a ticket for my baby?
You cannot use your Avios to buy a ticket for your baby. To issue a ticket for a baby associated with a reservation bought with Avios please contact your Iberia Plus service centre.
When you read the paragraph above, there is an implication that you can’t buy an infant ticket online, but that the service centre can fix it for you.
When you ring the service centre, you are told that an infant ticket will cost 10% of the CASH cost of an adult ticket.
It isn’t clear exactly what fare the 10% is based on – is it the fully flexible price, or is it the cheapest cash fare available on that day?
It also isn’t clear if this fare is refundable or not.
How does this compare with British Airways infant policy?
If you book an Avios flight on British Airways via British Airways Executive Club, an infant will cost you 10% of the Avios and 10% of the taxes used for the adult tickets.
You can book it online too.
The rule seems to work slightly differently for partner airlines, where you pay 10% of the Avios but a low – but more than 10% – taxes figure.
Is the Iberia deal so bad?
IF (and this is a big ‘if’) Iberia prices the 10% off the cheapest possible cash ticket, it isn’t necessarily a bad deal.
Take New York. On a peak date, you are looking at 100,000 Avios + £130 taxes and charges for a return business class flight.
If Iberia had copied the British Airways Executive Club model of 10% Avios and 10% taxes, you would need to use 10,000 Avios + £13 for an infant. This is about £113 of value if you believe Avios are worth 1p each.
If Iberia charges you 10% of the cheapest cash ticket, and the cheapest cash ticket available on that day from Madrid to New York was £1,500 in business class, then you would pay £150 for your infant. There isn’t much in it.
However, if Iberia insists on pricing off a fully flexible business class ticket to New York, you would be asked for SUBSTANTIALLY more.
Having looked at a few discussions on Flyertalk, the majority (but, oddly, not all) comments said that it is 10% of the FULLY FLEXIBLE fare. One person reported paying $1,000 for a one-way infant ticket, based on a $10,000 one-way fully-flexible business class price – but as this was a one-way ticket, the price used could have been higher than usual.
If this really is how it works, it makes Iberia Plus redemptions for Avios a poor deal for most people with infants. It isn’t a terrible deal – in most cases it will remain cheaper than the equivalent British Airways Avios redemption – but most of the saving disappears.
Weirdly, British Airways WILL book you an Avios ticket on an Iberia flight
What is genuinely weird is that you CAN book an infant for Avios on Iberia flights if you make the booking via British Airways Executive Club.
The problem is that you don’t want to do this, because the taxes and charges are substantially higher when booked via BAEC instead of Iberia Plus. It is also impossible to book an infant ticket via British Airways Executive Club for 10% Avios to add to adult tickets booked via Iberia Plus.
If you have any experience of adding infants to bookings made via Iberia Plus, please let us know in the comments what it cost and how the process worked. I wouldn’t surprise me if the Iberia call centre made up the pricing as it went along.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (April 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:
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.
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.