Fare Alert: USA – Spain Business Class From $1,760 Roundtrip (Oneworld)


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American Airlines and Iberia are both currently offering a very good Business Class fare for travel between New York JFK and Malaga in Spain for travel from August this year. The fare is easy to find, easy to book and, if you don’t particularly want to visit Malaga, I’ll show you how this fare can still be useful.

Headline Fare Rules

  • Reservation required at least 150 days before departure
  • Waitlist and standby not permitted
  • Outbound travel must be made Tuesday – Friday on the transatlantic sector
  • Inbound travel must be made Sunday – Thursday on the transatlantic sector
  • A Saturday night stay is required
  • Travel from turnaround must commence no earlier than 12 hours after arrival at turnaround
  • Maximum stay is 12 months from departure
  • No stopovers permitted

Fare Routing & Aircraft

The flights fly out of New York JFK and route to Malaga via Madrid.

As things stand in the schedules all of Iberia’s New York – Madrid flights are set to be operated by the airline’s brand new Airbus A350 aircraft….

Iberia A350 Business Class
Iberia A350 Business Class

…but, as ExpertFlyer shows, the last date on which the A350s are scheduled to operate this route is 26 October:

From 27 October Iberia’s winter schedule shows A330 aircraft operating between New York and Madrid (the A330 Business Class cabin is very similar to the Business Class cabin in the A350)

It’s entirely possible that Iberia hasn’t yet updated its schedule for Winter 2019/20 and that the airline’s A350’s will continue flying this route past the end of October….but just be aware of what the schedules currently show if you’re particularly keen to try out the A350.

Fare Availability

With the rule that these fares have to be booked a minimum of 150 days in  advance in place the good deal isn’t available for travel until mid-August…

…but its very easy to find from then through to the end of the current booking period (the beginning of February):

Searching & Booking

My suggestion would be to use the ITA Matrix search engine to find fights that work best for you (below is an example showing the search parameters I used for this fare)…..

…but Google Flights will show you the deals as well:

You should also be able to find these deals through most Online Travel Agencies too but don’t forget that some credit cards (like the Platinum Card from American Express) only offer bonus points when booking directly with an airline.

Here’s a trip priced up on American….

…and here’s a trip priced up on Iberia’s website:

Where To Credit The Flights

Most of you probably know this already but I’ll repeat it briefly for anyone new to this hobby – Iberia and American Airlines are members of the oneworld alliance and so these fares can be credited to any oneworld loyalty program.

I suspect that most readers will be crediting these flights to the American Airlines AAdvantage program so you’ll need to be careful tho choose the correct airline though which to book the deal.

Booking through either American or Iberia and crediting the flights to AAdvantage will see you earn 2 Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM) per miles flown (if you have elite status you earn a little more as you’ll get a minimum of 1,000 EQM on the short-haul sectors)….

…but you’ll earn Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQD) and Redeemable Miles (RDM) at differing rates depending on which airline you book with:

  • Booking through American Airlines (and crediting to the AAdvantage program) will see you earn RDM based on your status and the cost of your fare and will see you earn EQD based just on the cost of your fare.
  • Booking through Iberia (and crediting to the AAdvantage program) will see you earn RDM based on your status and the distance traveled and will see you earn EQD based on the distance travelled too.

Make sure you do the calculations and work out which way of booking earns you more.

Some may wish to credit these flights to the British Airways Executive Club where you’ll earn 320 Tier points and a little over 12,200 Avios from just one round trip.

If you’re not sure where to credit you flights you should probably check out the wheretocredit website which will give you all the information you need.

What If You Don’t Want To Visit Malaga?

The area around Malaga has some nice beaches and there’s some good scenery inland but there’s a strong chance that most people reading this post will have little interest in visiting a Spanish tourist resort town…..but that shouldn’t matter.

Flights from Malaga to all points in Europe can be very cheap indeed so you can use this Business Class fare to position yourself to Europe before flying on to a destination you really want to visit.

Here’s what Google Fights is showing as the costs of roundtrip travel between Malaga and select European cities for a randomly selected week in September:

Click to enlarge

You can fly roundtrip between Malaga and Berlin for just $46!

Yes, a lot of the cheaper flights will be on low-cost carriers like easyJet and Ryanair….but the legacy airlines aren’t necessarily always going to be very much more expensive:

This fare could be a nice way of getting across the Atlantic in comfort and then flying on to any number of incredible cities Europe has to offer.

Bottom Line

We haven’t seen too many sub-$1,800 Business Class fares for transatlantic travel recently so it’s nice to finally find one.

Iberia’s Business Class cabins are nice and the crews are generally very pleasant (at least that has been my experience) so this can be a genuinely very good deal if you can find dates which work for you.