Iberia Switches to Revenue-Based Earning – British Airways to Follow…

Iberia Plus has finally announced the changes that I stumbled across two months ago. Instead of awarding Avios based on distance and the fare class booked, Iberia Plus members will earn Avios based on the actual airfare paid. It is worth noting that this change will only apply to IBERIA flights, not partner airlines. (including for the moment British Airways)

How Many Avios Will You Earn?

The amount of Avios earned will depend on your status with Iberia Plus.

  • 5 Avios per EURO for base level members (Clasica)
  • 6 Avios per EURO for Silver members
  • 7 Avios per EURO for Gold members
  • 8 Avios per EURO for Platinum members

Much ado is being made about the basis for “net spending”. The fare calculation used to calculate Avios is based on “your net spending, not including taxes or fees.” This has led many commentators to wonder whether “carrier-imposed surcharges” will be considered in “net spending” – i.e. the underlying airfare.

Luckily the original Spanish is much clearer – se aplica a tu gasto neto, sin incluir impuestos ni tasas. As a fluent Spanish speaker, I can assure you that carrier-imposed surcharges are in no way an “impuesto” or “tasa“.  This makes perfect sense, of course, since carrier-imposed surcharges are retained by the airline and are simply a different element of the underlying airfare received by the airline.

What About Elite Status?

There is NO change to how you earn status with Iberia Plus.  The existing “Elite Points” system will continue as is.

Click here for more details about how Elite Points works.

What About Partner Earning?

It is simply too complex – and probably illegal for antitrust reasons in many jurisdictions – for partners to share the underlying fare information. Therefore, Iberia Plus will continue to issue Avios for airline partners based on distance and fare class.

It is possible, however, that British Airways and Iberia will be able to share such information with each other.  (such that Iberia Plus members will also earn spend-based Avios on their British Airways flights)

I wouldn’t expect that British Airways Executive Club will be able to implement $ based earning on American Airlines, etc. – after all, AAdvantage has been revenue-based for awhile, but still awards miles for British Airways flights based on distance and fare class…

Who Cares?

I suspect that very few readers credit their Iberia flights to Iberia Plus – this announcement mostly affects Spanish residents. Unfortunately, however, the press release leaked the fact that British Airways Executive Club will be adopting a similar model in 2023. And that DOES interest more readers!

Iberia’s sister airline British Airways also intends to adopt this model at a later date.

British Airways will obviously adopt an Avios per POUND system, rather than euros. But otherwise the concept will be similar…

Bottom Line

Rather than burden this article with “the sky is falling” moaning or strategies to avoid the worst of these changes, I’ll save my thoughts for future articles and instead leave it open to you…  What do you think of these changes? Let us know in the comments section…


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