Transferring your BA Avios to Iberia Avios can be a great way to save money on award travel. Tickets run at the same mileage price point, such as my recent award from Madrid to New York is 40,000 Avios using BA Avios or Iberia Avios – the difference occurs on the fees side. I have used this in the past to save money on travel, and if you want a primer on the rules, and how you can actually transfer into a third Avios program please check out these two posts:
- How to Get some Iberia Avios– you need to have an account open for 90 days to receive BA Avios, and you must also have at least 1 Iberia Avios in that account.
- The Other, Other Avios Account – some interesting award options for those in the UK (or who can figure that part out)
Use airline miles to reduce travel expense – fly on Iberia using British Airways Avios as they are a partner airline
OR – Transfer from BA Avios into Iberia Avios and get the same flight for less money
Where it breaks down: Infant Fares and fee calculations
- British Airway’s policy 10% of Adult fare (including an Avios Award) plus taxes and fees
- Iberia policy 10% of full Adult revenue fare for that route, plus taxes and fees
There are some variables to consider, such as how much you value an Avios, and how much you value your time too. For example, when I pegged Avios at 1.3 cents each then IB is still cheaper, but you will have to decide for yourself whether transferring in to the IB program, and dialing into Madrid to add your lap child is worth it compared to quickly doing this online with BA.
Please note I took the number of $620 from the fee I was just charged by Iberia for these dates, my call was disconnected 7 times, and when I finally got an agent it took an hour to process the infant ticket. Also it is tied to revenue ticket pricing so that is another variable to factor in, and for me seems on the high side of 10% of a one way from MAD-JFK.
Transferring to IB Avios is something I would recommend for bookings without an infant lap child, but personally I wouldn’t bother again now that I’m not traveling quite as ‘light’ as I once did.
May seem minor, but I’d like to point out that there is a lot of talk here (which I agree with) about ethics, blogs not being shills, etc, but then there are statements like this, which contradict those principles:
The Other, Other Avios Account – some interesting award options for those in the UK (or who can figure that part out)
What’s there to figure out? You either live in the UK or you don’t. I’d hate to think we/you apply ethics as it benefits us/you. Seems small, but I’m sure that thinking pervades many aspects of the travel hacking game.
Ethics are a tricky thing, for me, I’m in NY but my family is in the UK, so I can use that address if I like (I have UK connections to banks, accommodation etc) so I’m not in the UK… But I can ‘figure that out’ the only issue is an address.
Another reason to think twice about Iberia-the reports are widespread that their customer support and ground ops people are just horrible. Good luck in the case of any irrops.
I heard that too – but if you are in Madrid and things fall apart, I’m not sure what much help having BA available would be either?