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Iberia to operate some British Airways flights from Heathrow this Summer

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In a sign that it is still struggling with the ramp-up in flights this summer, British Airways has now tapped sister airline Iberia on the shoulder to operate select flights from Heathrow Terminal 5.

The major hold up is with crew training and security clearances, which are currently taking over 100 days on average. Although BA has enough planes to go around, the only way it can bring in crew at short notice is by leasing an entire aircraft complete with staff, something called a ‘wet lease’ in the industry.

Iberia to operate British Airways flights

Iberia Express is already operating around 25% – 30% of BA’s flights out of Gatwick and Finnair is also operating some flights from Heathrow Terminal 3. Rob was recently on a BA flight operated by Titan Airways on a Boeing 757.

Anyone with an existing booking will be emailed if the flight is to be operated by Iberia. It is also displayed quite prominently when you make a new booking, although it looks like flights have only been loaded a week or so in advance:

You will still get Club Europe and Euro Traveller food and service, and the aircraft seats are virtually identical, so it won’t be hugely different from any other BA flight. That said, you can change your flight to a BA-operated service from Heathrow or another London airport if you so wish.

Feedback from people who have flown the Iberia Express services from Gatwick has been very positive, almost entirely because of the cheerful cabin crew. That said, this is an opportunity to switch to a potentially better timed BA-operated flight at no cost ….


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How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (August 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 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 card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

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Barclaycard Avios card

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There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

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British Airways BA Amex American Express card

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You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

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The Platinum Card from American Express

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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.

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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.

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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 (95)

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

  • David S says:

    Flew TAP this week. No shortage of aircraft or crew. Crew were super friendly and efficient. BA simply doesn’t have good Strategy, Planning or Operations

    • Rui N. says:

      TAP is having huge problems with lack of staff, and pilots are currently discussing striking over mandatory overtime…

  • ChrisC says:

    Flew BER – LGW a few weeks ago. Other than the branding on the plane and the staff uniforms most passengers won’t have even been aware (or cared) this wasn’t a BA operated flight.

    Only one moaner in CLUB though IMHO was trying to catch them out with some silly questions. He tried to make a thing of the coffee being served in paper cups but they basically told him it was what BA had given them.

    As an aside it was paper cups on BA operated AMS-LHR last week so the great cup shortage of 2022 still lingers but there were cups on LCY – AMS.

    Crew was good. Was an issue with not being able to find things in the cart but have had that anyway with BA crew.

    And absolutely no issue with the correct TPs and Avios crediting a couple of days later as normal.

  • mkcol says:

    Off to Kimpton Toronto a week on Sunday, so remind me & I’ll let you know if the secret social works 😁

  • Alex says:

    Just received an email about LHR-CPH being operated by Iberia. It says service will be the same but you may be required to wear a mask. Maybe a BA-operated flight would be preferable in this case?

    • Gordon says:

      There is no requirement to wear a face covering in Denmark, But the airline may request you to wear one.

    • planeconcorde says:

      I have just received an email about a late August FCO to LHR flight will now being operated by Iberia. It says “there should be no change to the service you receive on board, however you may be required to wear a mask. will be the same but you may be required to wear a mask.”

  • Peter Douglas says:

    Back to the Kimpton secret password… two free cocktails at the Fitzroy this evening.

    • Steve says:

      Ooo, staying at the Fitzroy on Friday for The Killers at the Emirates, wonder if I get any extras for being a Diamond Elite?

  • Gormlesstraveller says:

    “Unfortunately, we felt the impact to customers holiday was too great and took the difficult decision to cancel the flight.”

    What does this actually mean?!

    • Peter King says:

      It means the flight has been cancelled, which bit was hard to understand ?

    • ChrisC says:

      Perhaps that the delay would be so significant that the passengers would have very little time on holiday compared to the original schedule?

  • Meyers says:

    I got a box of fudge at The Clocktower Kimpton in Manchester a few weeks ago for using the ‘just chilling’ password….oh, and a nice little booklet explaining the history of the building!
    I also got a lovely upgrade but that was more to do with being a Diamond and Ambassador 🙂

  • Paul says:

    A word of warning
    Last week I flew Tel Aviv to Madrid
    Ticketed business class with Iberia through BA on a 4 way ticket
    I am GGL
    They switched planes last minute so ended up on 5hour flight with zero service of any description, no blankets pillows water or amenity bag
    Seat in front of me
    Uncomfortable seat that of course hardly reclined
    In addition non existence service and begrudgingly was given a plastic glass of water
    So keep in mind you pay for business and get nothing for your money
    Disgraceful and I won’t fly Iberia again
    I wonder what BA might do to compensate as it’s not what I paid for and wasn’t happy on a longish flight

    • Rob says:

      You don’t qualify for compensation because none of the things you mentioned are contractual.

      When Tel Aviv was long haul, BA would occasionally swap your flat bed for a Club Europe seat and refuse to compensate unless threatened.

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