One Good Reason to Book Your Iberia Award Flights via British Airways Executive Club

If you collect Avios from any of British Airways Executive Club, Iberia Plus or AerLingus AerClub, you are hopefully aware of two important features:

  1. You can Combine Your Avios between any Avios-based program – click here for details of CYA.
  2. The cheapest way to book a reward flight to/from Europe – both in terms of Avios and miles/surcharges – is to move your Avios to Iberia Plus and to fly on Iberia itself

An Example Why – New York to Madrid in Premium Economy on Iberia

If you wanted to use your Avios to fly on Iberia’s direct flight between New York and Madrid in Premium Economy, you can book it via British Airways Executive Club.

Because my example date is “off-peak”, you would pay 25,500 Avios + $280 for the one-way flight to Madrid.

Apologies for the British pounds, but my BA account is based in the UK

However, if you move your Avios over to Iberia Plus and book the exact same flight through Iberia Plus, you would pay those same 25,500 Avios, but you’d only have to pay $100.

For the vast majority of Iberia reward flights, therefore, you will want to move your Avios to an Iberia Plus account and book it from there.

But British Airways Executive Club is Great When Traveling with a Lap Infant

This conventional wisdom – book Iberia reward flights via Iberia Plus – falls apart when you are traveling as a family with a lap infant. Iberia Plus simply can’t cope with it. In order to add an infant to a reward booking, you will have to call Iberia Plus and pay 10% of the adult cash fare. If you are planning to travel in Premium Economy or Business Class, this will become quite expensive… especially if you like to book one-way reward flights for maximum flexibility.

British Airways Executive Club, however, has no problems with booking lap infant rewards on Iberia.

As an example, you could book 2 adults and 1 infant on this flight from Madrid to Chicago in Premium Economy class. The infant fare is always going to cost 10% of the Avios that an adult requires.

Again, apologies for the British pounds – £247 is approximately $345

Here’s what the 2-adult reward booking would cost if booked via Iberia Plus…

So, if you are trying to book a reward flight on Iberia with a lap infant, your choices are:

  1. Book via British Airways Executive Club and pay an extra 2,550 Avios + approximately $45 extra in taxes / surcharges.  Confirmed online, no hassles…
  2. Book via Iberia Plus and call their notoriously bad call center to add an infant, paying 10% of whatever the airline decides a one-way Premium Economy ticket should cost.

The Bottom Line

Not every combination of origin/destination, cabin, etc. is necessarily going to be as favorable as my Madrid to Chicago option shown above. Sometimes you still might want to book via Iberia Plus and call the airline later to add an infant.

But if you want a no-hassle way of booking reward flights to/from Europe when traveling with an infant, you might want to set aside conventional wisdom and see how much more British Airways Executive Club is charging to include your precious young one on your Iberia reward booking.

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