It has been rumored for some time and now, thanks to a press release from Iberia, we know that the British Airways Executive Club will take its first step towards being a revenue-based program at some point in 2023.
While British Airways holds the dubious honor of having unquestionably the worst IT systems of any of the major airlines (they're a disgrace), its sister airline, Iberia, has its share of IT problems too and that's led me to believe that two issues that I've been having with my Iberia Plus account were down to IT incompetence. It turns out, however, that assumption may only have been partly correct.
For quite a few years, there have been a number of reasons why it has been a good idea for flyers to have an Iberia Plus account as well as a British Airways account despite the fact that BA and Iberia are sister airlines and share the same rewards currency. Quietly and without any apparent notice being given, British Airways appears to have removed one of those reasons.
The Caribbean is a hugely popular destination for travelers from both sides of the Atlantic but not only can it be an expensive place to stay, but it can also be an expensive place to fly to in any kind of comfort. Fortunately for miles & points fans, there's at least one very economical Business Class award available for travel between Europe and the Caribbean and it's an award that can open up travel to multiple destinations.
Iberia Plus is, you'll be unsurprised to hear, the loyalty program of Iberia - a sister airline to British Airways. Just like the British Airways Executive Club, Iberia Plus uses Avios as its currency of choice but there are a few significant differences between the two that should make Iberia Plus very useful to Avios collectors.
Over the weekend, it looks as if Iberia Plus took a leaf straight out of the IHG playbook and made a number of changes to the cost of select awards without giving members any notice at all. While it's always disappointing to see the cost of awards increasing, in this case it's especially disappointing as the changes see Iberia eliminating a number of especially good sweet spots.
Chase Ultimate Rewards has recently launched a promotion in which it's offering a bonus on points transfers to the three key Avios-issuing airlines - British Airways, Iberia, and Aer Lingus. With Avios being one of the best currencies to use for short-haul flights and with relatively few people flying anything but short-haul right now, this could be a promotion that's worth considering.
Unlike a lot of loyalty programs, Iberia Plus ignores the calendar year and operates its membership qualification year between April and March (I have no idea why). With six months still left of the current elite status qualification year, Iberia Plus has decided to extend the elite statues of all its members and it has launched a promotion offering double elite points.
Iberia is back with a new Avios sale and by most measures, this is very definitely a sale to consider if you're happy booking travel between now and mid-2021. The cost per mile is good, award availability looks healthy and with Iberia offering a few good low-surcharge award options there could be some good deals to be had here.
Iberia is the latest IAG airline to launch an Avios sale and it's offering travelers a bonus of up to 50% on Avios purchases made by 30 June 2020. If you're careful which Iberia website you purchase Avios from, this sale can offer an excellent opportunity to significantly reduce the cost of what may otherwise be a very expensive trip.