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Avios-gate rumbles onwards… The Mail on Sunday is taking credit for convincing Iberia to remove the restrictions on Combining Avios between Iberia Plus and British Airways Executive Club. We first wrote about this restriction back in early July – click here for details – and here’s the link to the Mail article.
In its inimitable style, the Mail on Sunday wrote:
“As a result of the newspaper’s intervention, the Spanish airline has now removed onerous restrictions on the loyalty offer that left travellers feeling cheated – and experts claiming that customers had been ‘hoodwinked’.
It means British Airways customers will now be able to use the bonus Avios loyalty points in the way they believed the offer promised.”
This does seem to be a bit revisionist to me, but I’ll try not to judge too harshly, as I’m as big a fan of a good travel hack as anybody…
What Are the Implications?
Well, of course many Avios collectors will rush to transfer their bonus Avios to British Airways Executive Club. What I do want to highlight is my take on what implications this might have going forward…
Despite what those “hoodwinked” BA customers were claiming, the promotion’s terms and conditions were fairly clear:
The extra promotional Avios not redeemed by 1 December 2018 will be withdrawn from the customer’s account. The redemption terms and conditions are subject to the general terms and conditions of the Iberia Plus programme.
And the general terms and conditions of the Iberia Plus programme also clearly state that:
Avios transfers carried out between the programmes BA Executive Club, the Avios Programme (in the UK), the Iberia Plus Programme and any other programme which may use Avios as currency are not considered movements as they do not involve collection or redemption.
So, it seems pretty clear to me that Iberia Plus will be in complete compliance with all stated T&Cs if they take back these “unredeemed” bonus Avios on 1 December.
So What Will Happen in December?
Well… either Iberia Plus will quietly ignore the miles expiration aspect of the promotion and hope for no further bad publicity. Or a number of mileage balances will find themselves in heavily negative territory.
Will that matter? I suppose we will find out in December… Many people claim that they don’t mind abandoning an Iberia Plus account. I believe this to be incredibly short-sighted, but ultimately that is a decision people are free to make. Here at InsideFlyer UK Towers we LOVE Iberia Plus for its lower cost Business Class rewards and would be loath to find ourselves without a usable Iberia Plus account.
Will be see a “common Avios platform” this year? It has long been mooted / threatened… It certainly would involve a substantial dose of schadenfreude if a number of minus 90,000 Avios balances were merged back into existing BAEC balances.
Regardless, this promotion has provided wonderful entertainment for those of us who pay close attention to loyalty programmes. My bonus Avios are spent… via Iberia Plus! How about you? Have you gone down the British Airways transfer route? Or have you spent your Avios on an Iberia reward already?