Iberia Plus in North America (+ Vueling)

Discussion in 'Other Airlines | Europe' started by Canadalentin, Apr 27, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Canadalentin

    Canadalentin Silver Member

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    Hi !

    I'll get to fly Vueling with an Optima fare in June (so I'll be able to start adding up Iberia Plus miles). I will also move from France to Canada in September, and there I will fly in North-American domestic routes a few times each year, including Canadian domestic routes. Even if I'm a loyal SkyTeam flyer and member of FlyingBlue, as SkyTeam doesn't have any partner for Canadian domestic flights and sometimes DL is ridiculously expensive and/or inconvenient out of YUL, I sure will have to cheat on them sometimes, preferably with WestJet in Canada and AA to the US. Also, I don't plan on flying with IB at any time...

    So here's my situation, and no need to say that I'm not aspiring to any Elite status as I won't fly that frequently, but from times to times I may get to earn some miles with OW and WestJet. So, here are my questions :
    • Fist of all, I don't think that I'd be able to earn AA miles with Vueling with an Optima fare but as soon as it unlocks earning with IB+, I may be wrong. Does anyone now if it's possible to use AAdvantage on Vueling with an Optima fare ?
    • How is IB+ for a North-American traveler ? Again, it's just about earning and using miles for award tickets, I'm not looking for any Elite status... I guess in my case all programs are more or less equal, but their reputation is really crappy, so it may be dissuasive.
    • In the long term, should I use IB+ for my Vueling flights in June and then for all the eventual AA flights in North-America (that means no miles earned on domestic Canadian flights) OR should I start using AAdvantage for AA and WestJet flights and give up earning miles with Vueling ?
    Thank you in advance :)
  2. David
    Original Member

    David Silver Member

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    Get back to basics. Vueling are not a oneworld member or affiliate, and they are not an AA partner.

    The only loyalty scheme options you have for crediting Vueling flights are:
    - Vuelings own scheme, which is called Punto and which is designed around regular Vueling flyers.
    - Iberia's scheme, called Iberia Plus (IB+).

    Given you circumstances, Punto makes no sense, so credit the flights to IB+.
    Did you get your IB+ number in at the time of booking?

    Next, IB+ uses 'Avios points' as its mileage currency, so you dont get IB Miles in your account, you get Avios points.

    Avios points are a common currency used by three different loyalty schemes. Iberia Plus (IB+), British Airways Executive Club (BAEC), and a third scheme which is irrelevant here - which is a separate mass-marked loyalty scheme for people located in the UK. (Rather confusingly that third scheme is called Avios.com/AviosUK - but there is nothing special about it, it is just a third scheme, all of them are equal in their use of Avios points).

    Each scheme has their own rules, t&C and partners, which vary a bit from each other.

    Now the important bit, you can move (subject to a couple of rules) any number of Avios points you want, free of charge, between your OWN accounts in the three different Avios points using programmes.

    So, if you had a BAEC account, you could move your Avios (subject to a couple of rules) from your IB+ account.
    BAEC does have a creditcard partner Canada, if you were looking to top them up, by other means than occasionally sending some flights there way.

    More importantly though, the rules for redemptions using Avios points from your BAEC account are much better than from an IB+ account. From BAEC, you can cancel/change a redemption award booking with partner airlines and get the Avios points back. From IB+, you don't get them back if it was a redemption booking on partner airline flights.

    Additionally, for North American internal flights, it should make no difference in terms of tax calculation whether you book form BAEC or IB+. So make sure you book from BAEC - due to the better rules, and the better call centres, etc, than IB+.

    As for using Avios points in north america, have a look in the BA section. Generally they are good for flight routes you can get as a single flight.

    Note: Although you can transfer Avios points (miles equivalent) between your BAEC and IB+ accounts, you can not move status points (called Tier Points in the BA scheme), so if there is any chance of getting status, send it all to one scheme. Even if you move the Avios points to spend them.

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