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A lot of American AAdvantage members miss transatlantic award space on oneworld partner Iberia, because Iberia awards don’t appear on American’s website.
Iberia flies between Boston, New York JFK, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles and Madrid. And award space booked far in advance is very good in business class right now.
Iberia has a good business class product — fully flat and the Airbus A330s with all aisle access but with seats staggered for density.
Here’s award space for 2 passengers in business class Boston – Madrid for next June.
Even better, here’s the New York JFK – Madrid route.
Also fantastic is availability for Miami – Madrid, another American Airlines hub that’s easy to reach.
Chicago – Madrid isn’t as good, but does offer availability in at least one direction nearly half the days of the month.
Los Angeles – Madrid isn’t available in business class for two or more in June, but availability is quite good in July.
The caveat here is that July 17 is 331 days from now and as far out as you can book awards using American AAdvantage miles. However you can book the rest of the month already if you’re using British Airways, Iberia, Qantas (a Citi transfer partner), Cathay Pacific’s AsiaMiles (Citi and American Express transfer partner), etc. Otherwise you’ll need to wait a few days.
American charges 57,500 miles each way for business class between the US and Europe. You can add connecting flights in the US (on American or Alaska Airlines) to reach the city with award space to Europe, and you can add onward flights in Europe beyond Madrid to get to your destination.
If you have British Airways points (for instance, transferring from the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or takingn advantege of the current bonus to transfer American Express Membership Rewards points), you’d normally pay big fuel surcharges for these awards.
However you can both save miles and avoid giant fuel surcharges by transferring your British Airways Avios to Iberia and booking from your Iberia account.
- Open an Iberia Avios account
- Earn points in that account in any amount
- Wait three months from account opening
Then you’re eligible to transfer from BA to Iberia. Iberia charges lower prices for these flights than BA does, and the fuel surcharges are closer to $50 than $500 when booked via Iberia. The easiest and quickest way to make an Iberia account ‘active’ (having earned points) is to transfer 1000 points in from American Express. This is why it’s good to have an Iberia account, and make it active, so that you can hop on an opportunity to use British Airways Avios without big fuel surcharges for transatlantic travel.