This 50% Off Iberia Avios Promotion — Now THAT’S a Unicorn!

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Update 8.25. According to Frequent Miler, the 50% off Iberia Avios Promotion is now officially working on both sides of the Atlantic! 

My previous Iberia posts:

You Can Still Fly to Europe in Iberia Business Class for 25,000 Points; and Award Space Is Fantastic — Plus Cheap Nonstop Flights to Barcelona

Iberia Business Class Service Has Gotten Better and a Short Review of Iberia T4S Lounge in Madrid

Why You Shouldn’t Trust Amex’s Transfer Time Frame to Iberia, and My First Ever Hi-Speed Rail Travel in Europe

Avios: Iberia vs British Airways: Which Avios to Use to Fly Iberia in Spain?

Awesomeness and Dysfunctions of Iberia Plus: How to Use the First and Skirt the Second | Iberia Peak Dates, Award Space and Prices, Fuel Surcharges and More!

I read about this new promo on OMAT first and didn’t think much of it. I had a misconception that it was a promo limited to residents of Spain as it was reported by OMAT, so I wasn’t really excited about it. However, later on, I had a lively exchange with Nick from Frequent Miler about this new Iberia 50% off Iberia Avios promo, which prompted me to head to the Iberia site and see for myself. This is what I found.

The gist:

  • You can book a flight on Iberia, Iberia Regional, or Iberia Express for 50% off in any class of service. Transcontinental flights start at 8,500 Avios for an Economy seat, 12,250 for Premium Economy and 17,000 for Business
  • You must book by August 31, 2020 and travel by March 15, 2021.
  • Everyone seems to be eligible whether you’ve received an email or not, at least for now. Just go to Iberia.com, log on, and book like you always do.

Availability in Business Class is superb, at least from New York

I checked March 1-15 between New York and Madrid for 2 people and found that there was award space almost every day (2 days were unavailable from JFK and 1 day from MAD). As a reminder, Iberia flies between Madrid and: Boston, New York, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco (seasonal), and Washington DC.

You won’t see the discount until you click on your flight

In my newly acquired enthusiasm, I was eager to book a totally speculative flight next spring and totally forgot that I didn’t have enough Iberia Avios even on the discounted one-way flight in Business — I only had 14,125 Avios.

When you search for an award, you don’t see the 50% off discount right away. It’ll show you the regular prices of 17,000, 25,000 and 34,000 for Economy, PE and Business Class award tickets respectively.

However, when you click on the class of service you’re interested in (Business in our case), the new windows with the 50% off prices open up below: since I don’t have 17,000 Avios in my account the system offers me a ticket for 11,050 and $179.34 (it basically offers to sell me 3,400 Avios for $110, LOL). But the most important part is that the Iberia Avios Promotion seems to work fine for everyone (once again, I did NOT receive a promotional email from Iberia, so I don’t see how they would be able to cancel the ticket obtained via the normal booking channel).

Here is a screenshot of a Premium Economy ticket (I do have enough Avios for that one).

But COVID …

Yes, I remember.

Will we even be able to travel in the Spring of 2021?

Your assumption depends on whether you’re the half-empty or half-full cup kind of guy.

I think we will. There are countries you can legally travel to even now, which doesn’t mean you should, but there are a whole 6 months between now and March.

But even if we won’t be able to travel, Iberia charges 25 Euro for cancellations “up to 24 hours before the flight.” You’re risking 25 Euro for a chance to fly in a great Business Class seat to Europe for 34,000 Avios. AA and others charge 60,000 miles in Economy.

This is the most amazing Unicorn I’ve ever laid my eyes on!

If you’re interested in Europe, this promotion is better than every other offer we’ve seen so far that has involved Iberia. At least better than whatever I have seen. Ever!

Remember that Etihad deal on Brussels Airlines for ~18K/36K miles with Etihad miles in Business that was killed about 3 years ago (I think)?

I believe this one is better in some ways. Of course, there are modest fuel surcharges on Iberia (later about them), and the promo end in March 2021 is problematic because of COVID-19, but I believe arriving in Madrid puts you in a better position because Iberia has a dirt cheap network, should you wish to travel beyond Madrid (and yes, you should wish that, IMHO).

How good a network? Very! (Click to enlarge).

 

I blacked out long hauls so they don’t distract, since you probably won’t fly to Spain to go to another corner of the world (although with these prices you just might 🙂 ).

Just under a 5-hour flight, Tel Aviv is one of the longest (if not the longest) of Iberia’s medium hauls, and you can have it in an A-330’s lie-flat seat for 10,625 Avios — half of the regular 21,250 Avios price. That’s ~54,000 Avios for a Business Class round trip between Boston, New York, or Chicago and Israel.

So what does it cost?

Just take 50% off the numbers below.

OFF-PEAK PRICES

City Economy Blue Economy Full Premium Economy Business
NYC, Boston, Chicago 17K 22K 25.5K 34K
Miami, Los Angeles 21,250 27,750 31,750* 42.5K
San Francisco 25,500 33,250 51K

PEAK PRICES

City Economy Blue Economy Full Premium Economy Business
NYC, Boston, Chicago 20K 28K 35K 50K
Miami, LA 25K 35K 43,750* 62.5K
San Francisco 30K 42K 75K

* No PE between Madrid and LAX/SFO.

Iberia has peak and off-peak dates. Most dates between September 15 and March 15 will be off-peak, but Iberia hasn’t published its 2021 calendar yet. You can refer to this page for 2020 (and an idea how it’s going to look like in Jan-Mar 2021).

How much are taxes and fees?

Here are a few examples. The prices are per round trip and include all taxes, fees, and fuel surcharges.

  • JFK – MAD, Economy: $145
  • JFK – MAD, Business: $168
  • LAX – MAD, Economy: $191
  • LAX – MAD, Business: $213

Where to get Iberia Avios

British Airlines BAEC or Aer Lingus, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Amex Membership Rewards, Marriott Rewards.

Transfers from Chase are reportedly instant, while transfers from Amex can take from 48 hours to 7 days. Yep, 7! Read my sad story and weep. Don’t know about Marriott.

If you have a BAEC Household account, you can’t transfer Avios between BA and Iberia.

And your Iberia Plus account should be open for at least 3 months.

To recap

This 50% Off Iberia Avios promotion is not just a great deal — it’s the best ever for a Business Class seat to Europe.

But — COVID-19!

Still, the worst that can happen is you’ll lose 25 Euro if you have to cancel your trip and redeposit Avios..

You have until August 31 to book and March 15 to travel.

If you already have enough Avios, this is a no-brainer, IMHO.

If you must transfer from Amex, well, there is a slight risk it wouldn’t reach your account on time or they could cut the promotion short for whatever reason.

Are you going to take advantage of this one or sit it out?

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Matt

This is indeed terrific, but my only question is whether Iberia will refund taxes+fees back to your credit card as a refund instead of issuing airline credit. You’d think this would be a no-brainer but I cancelled an award with Jetblue recently and they would only refund the $11.20 taxes as Jetblue credit to my travel bank. I think most other airlines are only doing refunds as vouchers as well. I’d only want to tie up a few hundred dollars with Iberia knowing I could directly get it back if i cancel.

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