A couple of weeks ago Iberia was offering 9000 bonus points per booking. And they confirmed this was any ticket, no matter how cheap, one way and you wouldn’t actually need to fly to get the points — since the points would post quickly, and expire if unused by December, even for travel next year.
This deal meant you could buy 90,000 points for under $300. But I held off writing about the promo until Iberia was confirming the details of their offer in multiple places, though I still wrote “In any deal like this there’s risk – the biggest, I think, is that things don’t happen automatically and Iberia’s customer service just isn’t very good.”
Two hurdles developed over the last 10 days:
- Iberia frequent flyer numbers were dropping out of reservations.
- Iberia was freezing new accounts that had signed up to take advantage of this offer. That didn’t completely surprise me, I’m sure there are people who were opening multiple accounts. I suggested some people would want to scale by doing this offer for each member of their family, but in that case I was suggesting real people..
Now Live From a Lounge reports on Iberia’s security review of new accounts and refusing to honor bookings made on an Iberia website that differs from a member’s country of residence (e.g. a Thailand resident using a UK website) but offering full refunds for ticket purchases made in furtherance of the promo.
Dear Mr. X:
Regarding your request, we inform you that we have checked your Iberia Plus account details and we noticed your country of residency is THAILANDIA, we are sorry to inform you that our 9,000 Avios promotion was not valid for this country.
For this reason, it is not possible for us to credit the corresponding 9,000 Avios, since there is a discrepancy between your Iberia Plus account and your booking¿s country of issue.
We kindly recommend you to contact our Customer Service Line at the phone number (+1) 800 772 4642 and request the total reimbursement of your tickets.
Also we would like to inform you that your Iberia plus account has been blocked for security reason. In order to activate your account, it is necessary to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a signed copy of the Rectification Data Document and a copy of your ID or Passport.
You can download the Rectification Data Document from the link below:
When you send us the documents, please write your Iberia Plus number in the email subject.
We apologize for the inconveniences this may have cause you.
Your Iberia Plus Service Center.
I view this as good news. First, don’t panic. The promotion was ill-thought out by Iberia. It was more generous than they would have wanted to be. It was also taken advantage by customers at scale, which is a benefit, it’s easy for a company to stick it to or ignore one customer by Iberia is going to have to deal with this.
We’ll just wait it out and see how it resolves, but in the mean time they’re already seeming to understand that if they don’t honor the offer the absolute minimum they’re going to have to do is refund tickets.