I’m Missing Out On The Promotion Of The Year, And That’s OK

On Friday, news about a new promotion from Iberia Airlines started to make the rounds on the frequent flyer message boards. Shortly after that, it showed up on many travel blogs. The promotion was so lucrative that many people believed it wouldn’t be honored. As it turns out, it looks like the promotion is real and will work for those who take advantage of it. I give credit to bloggers who waited until the airline confirmed the promotion would be fulfilled, as written, before sharing it with their readers. So what’s so fantastic about it and why am I sitting this one out?

Here are the details of the promotion, in brief:

  • Book any ticket on Iberia by June 24th
  • Receive 9,000 Iberia Avios
  • Maximum of ten tickets allowed (90,000 Avios Max)
  • Points needed to be redeemed by December 1, 2018

What threw bloggers into a tizzy was the restrictions that were not put onto the promotion

  • There is no minimum ticket price and one way tickets are allowed
  • You don’t actually have to fly to get the points; they’ll be deposited in your account within ten days of the ticket purchase

It didn’t take people long to figure out how to take advantage of this promotion.

  • Book the cheapest one way ticket you can find
  • Book ten of those tickets
  • End up with 90,000 Avios

Turns out, some of Iberia’s flights are really cheap. Like $28 USD cheap. So you can pay $252 and get 90,000 Avios. That’s a sweet deal. Some bloggers, like Mommy Points went all in for this promotion and bought 10 tickets for all four family members, possibly earning 360,000 Avios for $1,109.20.

So why am I not taking advantage of this once in a lifetime offer?

Limited Vacation Time

I only have so many trips I can make in a year. We already have our travel plans set for the remainder of 2018 and those trips are all focused around specific events. That means we just can’t cancel them or put them off until later. We’re booked until next year.

Promotion Restrictions

The Avios you earn with this promotion have to be used by December 1, 2018. Now, that means you just have to book the ticket, not complete the travel by that date. Still, I’m not sure what our travel plans will be in 2019. Maybe we could use these tickets? Maybe not.

Another problem for me is that these points need to be used through the Iberia Avios program. That’s not a program I’m familiar with. I could easily fix that by learning the best way to use these Avios. It looks like the main use of the points would to be to fly on Iberia. Checking on flights from their main hub of Madrid, Spain, I see that I’d be able to connect to most locations in Europe. The airport does look amazing and I’m sure we’d like to visit Spain eventually. We’re just not people who go somewhere only because it’s cheap.

Barajas_Airport_(Madrid)_(4684560779)

We do have a possible trip to London planned for next year so these points might come in handy. The problem is it would be focused around a specific event and I don’t know if I’d know the details of that trip by the beginning of December. I’d also have to pay for a flight to one of the cities Iberia flies from, which then increases the cost of using these points. Here’s a list of everywhere Iberia flies to/from Madrid.

Iberia A CoruñaAthens-E. VenizelosBarcelonaBasel/MulhouseBilbaoBogotáBoston,[19] BrusselsBudapestBuenos Aires–EzeizaCaracasChicago–O’HareCordobaDakar–DiassDubrovnikDüsseldorfFlorenceFrankfurtGenevaGranadaGuatemala CityHamburgHavana-José MartíJerez de la FronteraJohannesburg–OR TamboLimaLisbonLondon–HeathrowLos AngelesManagua (begins 1 October 2018),[20] MarrakechMedellín–JMCMexico CityMiamiMilan–LinateMilan–MalpensaMontevideoMoscow–DomodedovoMunichNew York–JFKOranOviedoPanama City–TocumenParis–OrlyPortoPragueQuitoRio de Janeiro–GaleãoRome–FiumicinoSan José (CR)San SalvadorSantanderSantiago de ChileSantiago de CompostelaSanto Domingo–Las AmericasSão Paulo–GuarulhosShanghai–PudongStockholm–ArlandaTel Aviv–Ben GurionTokyo–NaritaVenice–Marco PoloViennaVigoZagrebZürich
Seasonal: San FranciscoSan JuanSt Petersburg (resumes 30 June 2018), Split
Iberia Express AmsterdamBerlin–TegelBordeauxBirminghamCopenhagenDublinFuerteventuraGran CanariaLa PalmaLanzaroteLondon–GatwickLyonMálagaManchesterNantesNaplesNicePalma de MallorcaParis–Charles de GaulleRennesSantiago de CompostelaTenerife–NorthTenerife–SouthSevilleStuttgart
Seasonal: BucharestCagliariCardiffCorkEdinburghHeraklionIbizaKrakówMaltaMenorcaMykonos,[21] Oslo–GardermoenPalermo (begins 5 July 2018),[21] Reykjavík–KeflavíkSantoriniToulouse
Iberia Regional AlicanteAlgiersAlmeríaBadajozBolognaBordeauxCasablancaFrankfurtGranadaIbizaJerez de la FronteraLisbonLogroñoLyonMarrakechMarseilleMelillaMenorcaNantesNiceOviedoPalma de MallorcaPamplonaSan SebastiánSantanderStrasbourgTangierToulouseTurinValenciaVigo
Seasonal: BiarritzFaroFunchalMaltaOlbiaPerpignanSplit

Flying to Madrid from Florida is a little out of the way and I’ve already mentioned how we now like to be smart about being frugal.

map

I like this routing much more and we’d get to fly on Virgin Atlantic.

map-2.gif

I could also use the points to book flights on one of Iberia’s partners. In the US, their main partner is American Airlines. However, I already have a large amount of American Advantage miles and British Airways Avios that I can use for those flights (and can’t use them often because American hardly ever releases saver seats on flights I want to take). To use Iberia Avios on American flights, saver space would have to be available.

American_Airlines_Boeing_777-200ER_N775AN_PVG_2013-5-21

Possible Problems

It’s already being reported that people who signed up for new Iberia accounts to take advantage of this promotion are seeing that their accounts aren’t on the reservation. They are having to call the airline to fix this or send screenshots of their reservations. I’d imagine that some people will have to provide documentation to the airline to get their points at a later date. That’s adding a time element to the equation, and time = money.

Final Thoughts

I know that getting 90,000 Avios for around $250 sounds like an amazing deal. If you have a use for those points, this is a can’t miss proposition. However I don’t have a use for these points right now, nor can I think of one before the points would expire in December.

Deals like this were the reason I started writing this blog. Not every deal is for everyone. I know enough from experience that just because it’s on sale doesn’t mean you have to buy it, especially if you have no use for it. For all of you who went all in on this deal, I hope you receive your miles and get to fly somewhere wonderful with your Iberia Avios. I’ll keep my $250 – $1000 in the bank for now to pay for that coach seat to somewhere I really want, or need, to go. As always, Your Mileage May Vary.

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