Iberia Has Released A Lot More Award Space (Inc Biz Class) – Will BA Do The Same?

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Even though the prospect of international here in Europe is still a little way off, many vaccinated people are hoping that the borders will open in time for a summer trip overseas.

In pre-COVID times, it would have been nearly impossible to book award seats this late, especially in Business Class – but Iberia has announced that it is releasing substantially more award seats, for flights starting from July 1st, 2021.

A quick look suggests that there are indeed many days where you can fly transatlantic in Business Class on Iberia. Roughly half the dates I looked at, using New York as an example, had Business Class availability.

How to Book?

Iberia Plus

Iberia Plus is your best choice for booking award seats on Iberia. Iberia Plus has a number of reward zones – even though each flight is priced individually – with Zones 5 & 6 probably being the best sweet spots.

Zone 5 options include:

  • 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 options include:

  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • San Francisco

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

Taxes and ‘surcharges’ tend to be ~£200 return.

What about British Airways?

Using Avios for Iberia Business Class redemptions can be a great option, but from a UK perspective, the big question is whether we might see Iberia’s IAG stablemate, British Airways, also boost award availability.

I wouldn’t take Iberia’s claim that they are freeing up more award space “forever” seriously. Fundamentally, it is market conditions that will dictate that. By the same logic though, it seems clear that IAG sees a benefit at the moment in encouraging people to use their Avios to book flights.

The situation at each IAG airline is unique, but it is quite possible that BA will also be boosting award space.

Bottom line

Because you can always cancel award flights for a small cancellation fee (or none based on the COVID policies of some frequent flyer programmes), you might want to consider a speculative booking for a late summer trip. It certainly makes more sense to use those miles on a Business Class seat… instead of paying cash for Economy and getting stuck with a voucher if you ultimately cannot travel…

Hopefully we’ll see something similar from BA soon!

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