Whilst it has been somewhat forgotten amongst the Avios devaluation discussions, one positive change unveiled last month was the opening up of Aer Lingus and Iberia Avios redemptions to American Express 2-4-1 companion voucher redemptions. Full details are here.
It’s been a while since we reviewed Iberia on a long haul flight, although I did recently head to Madrid for the unveiling of Iberia’s brand-new business class seat. This is now flying to various cities including Buenos Aires, New York, Santiago, Lima and Bogota.
In this article I want to show you where you can fly on Iberia using your British Airways American Express 2-4-1 companion voucher. It is a follow-up to Rob’s pre-Christmas article on where you can fly on Aer Lingus long haul.
Where does Iberia fly long-haul?
I want to use this article to look at the Iberia route network. It is NOT an article discussing the costs, in Avios and taxes, of Iberia redemptions – we will do that another day.
For Summer 2023, these are the routes that will be operated:
From Madrid to the US and Mexico:
- Madrid – Boston
- Madrid – Chicago
- Madrid – Dallas Fort Worth
- Madrid – Los Angeles
- Madrid – Miami
- Madrid – Mexico City
- Madrid – New York JFK
- Madrid – San Francisco
- Madrid – Washington DC
From Madrid to Central America and the Caribbean:
- Madrid – Havana
- Madrid – Panama City
- Madrid – Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic)
- Madrid – San Juan (Puerto Rico)
- Madrid – San Jose (Costa Rica)
From Madrid to South America
- Madrid – Bogota
- Madrid – Buenos Aires
- Madrid – Caracas
- Madrid – Guatemala City
- Madrid – Guayaquil
- Madrid – Lima
- Madrid – Montevideo
- Madrid – Quito
- Madrid – Rio de Janeiro
- Madrid – Sao Paulo
- Madrid – San Salvador
- Madrid – Santiago de Chile
From Madrid to Africa and the Middle East:
- Madrid – Dakar (check aircraft type – can be short-haul at times)
- Madrid – Tel Aviv (check aircraft type – can be short-haul at times)
As you can see, Iberia has a very strong presence to the Americas. It opens up a lot of potential 2-4-1 voucher redemptions to cities such as Lima, Quito or Guayaquil which British Airways does not operate.
How do you connect to Iberia flights from the UK?
Both British Airways and Iberia have a good range of connections to Madrid from across the UK. There are usually more than 10 daily flights from London alone.
If you are looking for Avios seats I would initially search for the long-haul flight on its own and then see what connections can be added later. You don’t want to risk not seeing long-haul availability simply because the most convenient short-haul connecting flight isn’t available.
You will make a substantial saving by booking your UK-Madrid flight on a separate ticket, as this avoids long haul Air Passenger Duty. The downside is that your baggage may not be checked through and Iberia is not obliged to help you if you miss your connection.
Iberia and Iberia Express UK route network to Madrid:
- London Heathrow
- London Gatwick
Some of these may be seasonal.
Don’t forget that, for cargo reasons, Iberia normally operates a long haul aircraft on at least one daily Heathrow flight. You can enjoy the pleasures of a ‘proper’ lie-flat business class seat on the two and a half hour flight to Madrid.
How to use your American Express companion voucher on Iberia flights
Booking an Iberia flight using an Amex companion voucher is exactly the same process as if you were booking a British Airways flight, as it needs to be done from your British Airways Executive Club account.
Make sure you are logged in and then select ‘Book a flight with Avios’. You then need to tick the box to use your 2-4-1 companion voucher when entering your preferred destination and dates.
Remember that pricing will be driven by Iberia’s peak and off-peak calendar – see here – even though you are booking on the British Airways website. It will also use Iberia’s pricing chart which normally matches BA but includes some bargains, such as 68,000 Avios return in Business Class from Madrid to New York off-peak.
Using a 2-4-1 voucher, two people can fly from Madrid to New York in Business Class, off peak, return, for just 68,000 Avios and (for two people) £440 in total. Can’t complain about that ….
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 2023)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.
There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.