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Iberia Plus has announced an “enhancement” of its Air Bridge shuttle service between Madrid and Barcelona. Not many true “shuttle” routes remain in the aviation industry, but Iberia persists with its service, despite strong competition from high-speed rail.
How does it work? You go to the airport and you hop on the next flight. Very simple and straightforward. And of course you’ll pay for the flexibility, which many Spanish companies do…
However, when using your Avios, it becomes a bargain. You can choose to pay 4,500 Avios + 25 euros – or the Avios & Money option of 900 Avios + 50 euros.
Even when using Avios, the principle remains the same. You go to the airport, hand over your Iberia Plus card to the agent, and hop on the next flight.
This flexibility is very valuable for any visitors to Spain who are planning on a multi-city tour, but don’t want to commit to a specific flight (or train) between Madrid and Barcelona.
What is Changing?
One of the downsides for many business travellers is that you cannot check-in online for an Air Bridge flight. So you might be unlucky enough to arrive to the airport just as check-in closes, or perhaps your desired flight has reached capacity. As a result, Iberia is implementing the option of online check-in – most often from your phone in the taxi to the airport. (as otherwise you would have simply bought a ticket for a specific flight at much lower cost)
But more importantly – for myself and any readers who spend their Avios on this service – is that Iberia Plus is changing the redemption cost. Commencing 7 May, 2019, Air Bridge rewards will now cost:
- 6,250 Avios for Economy (one way)
- 13,500 Avios for Business (one way)
You will also be able to earn slightly more Avios on Air Bridge paid tickets, but at a cost of 300+ euros, I doubt any readers won’t have merely redeemed their Avios…
Can I Do Much About It?
Another advantage of Iberia Plus rewards on the Air Bridge is that they are valid for a year, and are fully refundable.
So, if you think you might ever have cause to take advantage of Iberia’s Air Bridge shuttle between Madrid and Barcelona, you could redeem for one or two rewards in each direction – and have until April / May 2020 to use them. If the opportunity never arises, you should be able to cancel for a full refund.
Yet again a frequent flyer programme has made an “enhancement” that is bad news for mile collectors. But at least we have enough advance warning to make one or two Air Bridge reward bookings before the 40% price increase is implemented…