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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.

You can't book Avios seats for babies via Iberia Plus

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?

Yes.

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.

It can’t.

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.

You can't book Avios seats for babies via Iberia Plus

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 points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2022)

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.

Until 18th July 2022 there is an astonishing special offer on these cards. You get 50,000 Avios on the Avios Plus Mastercard and 10,000 Avios on the free Avios Mastercard. You can apply here. We strongly recommend getting the Avios Plus card whilst this offer is running.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

50,000 Avios for signing up (A CRAZY SPECIAL OFFER!) and an upgrade voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

10,000 Avios for signing up (SPECIAL OFFER) 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 BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

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: The sign-up bonus on Amex Gold is increased from 20,000 Membership Rewards points to 30,000 Membership Rewards points until 19th July 2022. This card is free for the first year.

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of 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 10,000 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company 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 card

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.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits 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.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (12)

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

  • Gtellez says:

    Last year I booked a flight from Madrid to Male with avios for my wife, my 6-month old son and myself. We paid 250k avios plus aprox 400 euros taxes for the adults, then I had to call to add my son. They charged me 270 euros for him, I really don’t know how they calculated it, as the cheapest business class ticket was 4K euros at that time. Overall pretty good, we saved some money in comparison with BA and could spend a couple of days in Madrid visiting family and friends.

  • Tom C says:

    Slightly on topic, I booked J flights with Emirates Skywards last week and when adding an infant noticed it doubled the number of points required. I thought this was a mistake so phoned Emirates and they suggested adding an infant after the booking instead, but you can’t use Skywards and can only pay in cash.

    So whilst not the end of the world, it was weird to see that our 1 year old daughter, sitting on our lap, cost more in cash than our other own tickets.

  • SamG says:

    BA are actually quite an outlier allowing Avios to be used & online booking – I know at least Singapore Airlines and Avianca charge the 10% of cash fare as I’ll be using them before mine are 2 – you have to call in to book

  • aseftel says:

    To add to the minefield of infant ticketing, Emirates don’t allow you to book award tickets for infants in business or first:

    To enjoy reward flights with your family, you only need to spend 10% of the Miles value of an adult reward ticket for infants below two years. Please note that infant reward tickets are only eligible for use in Economy Class.

    Upgrade rewards with Skywards Miles for infants are permissible from Economy Class to Business Class and Business Class to First Class

  • Andrew says:

    I had the same problem with booking flights in JAL with Alaska Airmiles. Needed to a single ticket for SIN to HND, then HND to KUL. For one of the flights there were only fully flexible tickets available so was expensive.

    • Ciumpy says:

      Added an infant to a iberia avios booking a month ago , was unable to reach the english support line so I ended up calling the spanish line. The whole process took around 90 minutes (communication difficulties played a part but some actions took way too long, for ex pricing and getting the quote for the infant fare took around 20 minutes). It was a one way booking in economy with 2 segments, the most flexible fare costed around 300 euros, I ended up paying 42 euros for the infant

  • Sam says:

    In late 2019 I added an infant onto a business class redemption for Madrid to Tokyo return, they charged me €800+ so as you said above I assume it’s based on full fare price. It also seemed as if these prices are to deter infants as we got literally nothing for this money, no food, no bassinet and the cabin crew seem genuinely annoyed we had brought a very well behaved infant with us. She accidentally pressed the call button once and we got a stern telling off. Also the whole process was a real faff, the call centres were very unhelpful and would love referring me to a generic email address which would then tell me I need to call up

  • P4D says:

    “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.”

    Rob, can you check if this is still accurate? I added my baby to our companion voucher booking LHR JFK return in Club and they said they would charge ~£120 which is certainly more than 10%, closer to 20%. When I questioned the agent they gave some “oh maybe taxes went up recently” but this was before the recent increase BA charges. Maybe the agent just got it wrong?
    Thanks

  • Dev says:

    Just bite your lip for 2 years and forget reward flights… that what I did with my elder son, and now doing with my younger one!

    (Another 18 months to go)

    • Rob says:

      We took a break after our first but we jumped straight in with No 2, mainly to avoid No 1 missing out on trips. Old BA Club World works really well with a middle pair.

      • Dev says:

        And new Club Suite (or any Airline switch individual “pod” J seats!) are a pain with young kids!

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

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