What You Need to Know About Booking Iberia Reward Flights

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Many readers are anxiously awaiting the arrival of 90,000 Avios into their Iberia Plus accounts. Others chose to sit out the promotion of the decade. Even though Iberia management are probably sorting through the wreckage as I write this, the promotion’s terms & conditions stated quite clearly that the bonus Avios would be arriving within 10 days.

Whilst we wait, it is useful to start planning how you are going to use these Avios.

For many people, Iberia Plus is mainly useful for booking Iberia reward flights. I have probably spent more than 1 million Avios via Iberia Plus, almost exclusively on Iberia Business Class long-haul rewards.

There are other reward options, but they aren’t as valuable. So there will be a feeding frenzy in the near future, as many travel hackers will try to spend their 90,000 Avios on Iberia reward flights. If you choose to sit out the feeding frenzy, that’s entirely understandable. I’m sure that InsideFlyer will be covering alternative Iberia Plus reward options over the summer and autumn. But many others are aiming for Iberia rewards, so this post is for you…

Short-haul Rewards to/from the United Kingdom

First of all, if you are flying on Iberia, you’re flying to Madrid. According to Wikipedia, Iberia (and Iberia Express) fly to the following British airports:

  • London Heathrow
  • London Gatwick
  • Birmingham
  • Manchester
  • Edinburgh
  • Cardiff

Iberia has no Reward Flight Saver. So the amount paid as taxes and surcharges will vary based on your departure airport.

Flights to/from London cost 6,500 Avios (off-peak dates) and 7,500 Avios (peak dates) in “Blue” class. (one way) This is your standard reward ticket class. Iberia Plus also offer a more flexible and available reward option for Economy class, but I won’t go into detail here.

Flights to/from Iberia’s other British destinations cost 7,500 Avios (off-peak dates) and 8,250 Avios (peak dates). (one way)

If you wish to fly in Business Class, you simply double the amounts mentioned above.

Long-haul Rewards to/from Madrid

Similar to British Airways Executive Club, Iberia Plus has a number of reward zones. However, Iberia don’t strictly follow the distance criteria.

Zone 5 Destinations

  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • New York
  • San Juan (Puerto Rico)

Off-Peak Date Pricing (One Way)

  • 17,000 Avios – Economy
  • 25,500 Avios – Premium Economy
  • 34,000 Avios – Business Class

Peak Date Pricing (One Way)

  • 20,000 Avios – Economy
  • 35,000 Avios – Premium Economy
  • 50,000 Avios – Business Class

Zone 6 Destinations

  • Bogota, Cali, Medellin (Colombia)
  • Caracas (Venezuela)
  • El Salvador
  • Guayaquil, Quito (Ecuador)
  • Havana
  • Johannesburg
  • Lima
  • Los Angeles, Miami (USA)
  • Mexico City
  • Panama City
  • Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paolo (Brazil)
  • San Jose (Costa Rica)
  • Santo Domingo

Off-Peak Date Pricing (One Way)

  • 21,250 Avios – Economy
  • 31,750 Avios – Premium Economy
  • 42,500 Avios – Business Class

Peak Date Pricing (One Way)

  • 25,000 Avios – Economy
  • 43,750 Avios – Premium Economy
  • 62,500 Avios – Business Class

Zone 7 Destinations

  • Buenos Aires
  • Montevideo
  • Santiago (Chile)

Off-Peak Date Pricing (One Way)

  • 25,500 Avios – Economy
  • 38,250 Avios – Premium Economy
  • 51,000 Avios – Business Class

Peak Date Pricing (One Way)

  • 30,000 Avios – Economy
  • 52,500 Avios – Premium Economy
  • 75,000 Avios – Business Class

Zone 8 Destinations

  • Shanghai
  • Tokyo

Off-Peak Date Pricing (One Way)

  • 29,750 Avios – Economy
  • 44,250 Avios – Premium Economy
  • 59,500 Avios – Business Class

Peak Date Pricing (One Way)

  • 35,000 Avios – Economy
  • 61,250 Avios – Premium Economy
  • 87,500 Avios – Business Class

Avoiding UK Long-Haul APD

Many readers understandably try to avoid connecting on separate tickets. The risk of a misconnect is often too great. Iberia Plus will allow you to combine your short and long haul flights onto a single reward. But not only will you pay the additional Avios, you will also be subject to the additional APD charged on long-haul itineraries. This is particularly relevant in Premium Economy and Business Class, and it doesn’t matter whether your flight to Madrid is in Economy!

Here’s an example…

London to Madrid to Bogota. One way. Economy to Madrid. Business to Bogota.

And a simple Madrid to Bogota one way in Business Class

You would have to pay the expected 6,500 Avios to start your itinerary in London, but you’d also pay an additional £170!

Here’s my advice. Fly the night before to Madrid – on a low cost carrier or a separate reward – and enjoy a great meal and a night on the town. Your flight savings will easily pay for the hotel cost, and you get to spend some time in a fantastic city.

On your return home, there should be no additional taxes or surcharges by connecting through to the UK on a single ticket.

As a matter of habit, I always book my Iberia flights as one-ways. There’s no cost difference and it allows you to be more flexible with adapting your itinerary to your precise needs.

Iberia Plus Reward Cancellation Fees

Only Iberia and British Airways rewards are cancellable! Keep that in mind to avoid being caught out by a partner reward.

But should you need to cancel an Iberia reward, it will cost you 25 euros.

A Strategy for the Next Few Days

Look at the destinations offered by Iberia. Figure out when you might be able to go on holiday. Search for award space ahead of time. Then… as soon as you see the bonus Avios hit your account… pounce! Even if your plans fall through, you’re only paying a 25 euro fee. Wait too long and you might miss out.

Normally I would ask what you are planning to book, but I know that it’s every man (or woman) for themselves at the moment! So good luck to all – I hope you manage to grab a Business Class reward or two…


  1. Rob Hutch says

    In the above example, travelling back from Bogota with destination final London, you’d still have to route back via Madrid, right?

      • Craig Sowerby says

        I’ve learned to tune out whatever individual agents say or what goes on social media. Especially since I know first hand that employees in Spain are given very little actual authority to commit their companies to anything specific.

        For me there is surely no question that Iberia will be reviewing how to ensure that the bonus Avios are indeed used in a bona fide manner before 1 December. But of course I’m just speculating about what that might entail.

  2. Tilly71 says

    Great advise Craig, its going to be a mess so best be prepared as I think redemptions will be gone quicker than all those €20 IB flights last weekend.

    • Russell Wilson says

      Agree with Tilly71. I’ve earmarked some hotels over Xmas just in case. Perhaps after the first sweep of award bookings they may release more on hard to fill routes.

      Surely IB aren’t going to send them out all at once?

  3. Mous says

    Silly question do child pay the same Avios as adult like on BA? How about Infant as well, can they be booked using Avios in Iberia ? Many thanks

    • Craig Sowerby says

      Children definitely cost the same number of Avios. I’m not sure whether there are select situations where they attract lower taxes / surcharges.

      As for lap infants, that is a subject that I keep meaning to research since few bloggers cover it. But since I don’t have an infant I never personally come across the situation. Best bet is to call Iberia Plus since you can’t book lap infants online anyhow.

  4. Boobaholic says

    How far ahead to Iberia make redemption seats available and bookable ?
    When would I be able to book for flights around September 2019 ?

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