Transatlantic Business Class for Just 20,000 Miles

Both Head for Points and Loyalty Lobby are writing about the Iberia award redemption sale.

You care about an Iberia sale because:

  • Iberia is an American Express Membership Rewards transfer partner.
  • If you have an Iberia account that’s been open three months and has earned even 1 point, you can transfer British Airways Avios into Iberia.

In some ways it’s not surprising to see this sale, since British Airways is having one. And I rather dissed that one.

But what’s more interesting about the Iberia sale is:

  • Iberia adds lower fuel surcharges to Iberia flights than British Airways does.
  • There are even some routes in business class available

Book by November 15 for travel between December 1 and January 31.

With this sale, Madrid-Chicago is just 20,000 miles one-way in business tax. Expect taxes and fees of less than $150.

You can book Madrid-Chicago-Madrid, or Madrid-Chicago, but not Chicago-Madrid-Chicago. So this is useful for US residents for a return from Europe.

In general Iberia tends to have quite good availability in business class between the US and Spain.

Somewhat surprisingly, availability during the sale period isn’t strong. Here are the flights that currently have 2 or more business class award seats available on the route:


About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. A couple weeks ago I redeemed 50,000 IB Avios for a trip in late Jan from MEX to MAD in J. Then I saw the sale a couple days ago and had to laugh. So I parted with the 25 Euro to cancel the booking (thanks, Avios!), and rebooked the same seat immediately for half the points.

  2. Why is it surprising that availability during the sale is poor? 99% of airline or hotel sales I have ever seen have hardly any availability; they just do the advertised rate in one or two places so it’s not false advertising.

  3. CW, availability is low because Iberia is a small airline with rarely more than one flight a day on any long haul route. You would not expect huge numbers of seats to be available close to departure. Which makes it slightly odd to be honest that they have the sale at all.

  4. @Raffles – that all may very well be true, but I wasn’t even getting to that level of logic. I was just responding to Gary’s post, where he remarked that “Somewhat surprisingly, availability during the sale period isn’t strong”. And I was just making the admittedly snarky counterpoint that I’ve hardly ever seen an airline sale with strong availability.

  5. I often see route sales where availability is good, they are putting the routes on sale precisely because they’re underbooked. And Iberia availability (as I show in a link in the post above) is often quite good. What’s more this isn’t exactly peak business travel time. So I was relatively surprised by the sparse availability.

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