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Currently it costs 4,500 British Airways Avios points for a 1-way, short-haul coach award flight on Alaska Airlines and American Airlines in the US.
After February 2, 2016, this will increase to 7,500 British Airways Avios points each way. Many folks are looking for an affordable substitute for award travel on flights under 650 miles.
While British Airways Avios points are still a good deal, there’s an alternative! By transferring British Airways Avios points to their partner, Iberia, you can book short-haul, round-trip coach award flights in the US for fewer points!
I’ll show you how to move your British Airways Avios points to Iberia to book cheaper award flights!
How Can You Save Points?
British Airways and Iberia are owned by the same company, and refer to their points as “Avios.”
But each airline has separate award charts and transfer partners. You can transfer points between British Airways & Iberia. That’s how you get a better deal!
A disadvantage of booking award tickets using Iberia Avios points is that they do NOT allow 1-way award bookings, like British Airways does.
But if you’re booking a round-trip, short-haul coach flight, you’ll save by transferring your British Airways Avios points to Iberia.
It will cost fewer miles for a round-trip, short-haul US partner flight using Iberia Avios points after February 2, 2016. Here’s an example:
Currently, a round-trip flight from St. Louis to Chicago costs 9,000 British Airways Avios points.
After February 2, 2016, this same flight will cost 15,000 British Airways Avios points .
Using Iberia’s award chart, this flight from St. Louis to Chicago would only cost 11,000 Iberia Avios points. This will save you 4,000 Avios points on a round-trip award ticket!
|British Airways Avios Points||Iberia Avios Points|
|St. Louis to Chicago Round-Trip (Present)||9,000||11,000|
|St. Louis to Chicago Round-Trip (After February 2, 2016)||15,000||11,000|
How Do You Transfer Avios Points Between British Airways and Iberia?
It’s important to note that before you begin the transfer process, you will NOT be able to transfer Avios points from British Airways to Iberia unless you have had both a British Airways and Iberia account for at least 3 months and have some sort of activity.
You can always transfer your Avios points back to British Airways if the seats you would like are not available with Iberia.
But it is important to check Iberia’s site 1st to make sure the seats are available.
1. Sign-Up for an Iberia Account
Let’s start with how to sign-up for an Iberia frequent flyer account. Because I suspect many (if not most) readers don’t have one.
If you don’t have an Iberia frequent flyer account, you can register for free online.
2. Connect Your Accounts
Log into the British Airways website.
Select the pull down menu for Executive Club and click “Manage My Account.” Then click “Combine my Avios.”
3. Transfer Your Points
After selecting “Combine my Avios,” enter your Iberia account information.
You’ll be asked to enter your details. When you confirm, your Avios points should transfer almost instantly.
Once you’ve transferred your British Airways Avios points to Iberia, you can book partner airline award tickets on the Iberia website.
How Do You Book Trips with Iberia Avios Points?
1. Log Into Your Iberia Account
Go to the Iberia website and log into your account.
Select the drop down tab for “Iberia Plus,” click “Avios,” then click “Using My Avios.”
Search for Award Flights
Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Go to book flights with Avios.”
Enter your departure and arrival city, and click “Flight Search.”
3. Find Low-Level Award Seats
The goal should be to always aim for low-level award seats, which are referred to as “Blue Class” by Iberia. Look for these seats specifically when you are searching for award seats.
Looking at several routes, “Blue Class” generally shows anywhere from 1 to 5 available award seats through Iberia. Award space is usually released ~1 year in advance and is available for most times of the year with the exception of major holidays.
4. Choose Your Flights
Choose the flights that work for you, scroll to the bottom of the page, and select “View.” You’ll see the price at the bottom of the screen.
This is a remarkable opportunity! Because you’ll only pay between 11,000 and 12,000 Iberia Avios points for a round-trip ticket, depending on the distance of the flight.
The fees for this flight are slightly higher than what you’d pay using British Airways Avios points. You’ll pay ~$20 for a round-trip flight in the US.
Both British Airways and Iberia should show the same available award seats as the American Airlines and Alaska Airlines websites.
British Airways Avios points are still a great option for short coach flights in the US compared to most other award programs. But you could get a better deal by transferring your British Airways Avios points to Iberia!
You can only book round-trip partner award tickets with Iberia Avios points. And you’ll have to move your British Airways Avios points to Iberia. But it could be a better option if you don’t mind taking a few extra steps to book your award flight!