Iberia Joining Joint Venture Partners American and British Airways With Premium Economy

During American’s earnings call last week they explained the argument behind their new premium economy and the timeline to rollout.

  • As a joint venture partner with British Airways, they’ve seen BA sell these seats at a premium.

  • Airbus 330-200, Boeing 777-200, 777-300ER, and 787-8 planes with be retrofit with premium economy over next 18-24 months with completion expected by June 2018.

It shouldn’t be a surprise, then, that another joint venture partner Iberia — owned, like British Airways, by IAG — will be introducing a new class of service to long haul aircraft starting in 2017 with retrofits expected to be completed in 2018: ¡Turista Premium!

Iberia announced this week that it will install the seats on 37 of its long-haul aircraft, the first of which will be available to passengers in the summer of 2017.

The oneworld airline will install the seats on eight of its Airbus A330-300s and on 13 of its A340-600s. Those planes will be reconfigured with the new seats from mid-2017 and into 2018. Iberia’s new A350-900s will come factory-equipped with the cabin on the 16 of the jets that the airline will begin receiving in 2018, the carrier says.

The products look very similar, and should be thought of as US domestic first class with foot bars or foot rests depending on the seat. And of course come with upgraded boarding privileges, checked bag allowance, and meals.

American Airlines isn’t selling its premium economy yet, they’re still working on the IT but plan to initiate that in February for flights in April. Presumably once that happens AAdvantage will offer a premium economy award chart, including for redemption on its joint venture partners (and also likely allow upgrades from coach to premium economy rather than business).

Iberia award space is usually good in premium cabins shortly after schedules open but doesn’t necessarily open further as travel approaches.

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. Do you have any idea when American let AAdvantage members book premium economy awards on other OneWorld members?

  2. That’s potentially bad news when you consider how fewer avios are currently needed for iberia plus redemptions than for British Airways.

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