Evolving on a Deal, The Naysayers & Why I Ultimately Went from “PASS” to Excited for the Iberia Avios Deal!

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iberia avios evolving

Evolving On A Deal

It’s amazing how the miles/points community reacts whenever there is a big deal. A couple of years ago British Airways had a truly amazing deal where you could redeem Avios and cash for business class tickets. I ended up earning status for nearly two years simply by taking a couple of flights.

When that deal first surfaced, I wasn’t quite excited about it. I mean I still had to spend 30,000 Avios plus $400 to fly to freezing London in January. Then, I started to come around. I realized I would earn almost 50,000 AAdvantage miles for the flight and of course progress towards status. By the time I booked my first solo ticket, I was ready to go all-in.

That lead me to search for family vacation itineraries. As I searched and searched, I found out the deal was even better than expected. Ultimately I was able to get my family four roundtrip business class tickets for 120,000 Avios + $244.56 all-in. Yes, it is perhaps the best deal I have ever scored travel wise.

iberia avios evolving
British Airways Business Class.

Naysayers Always Exist

But even then there were naysayers. People who didn’t evolve on the deal or come to understand its benefit like I did. That’s okay. The truth is that you can’t chase every deal and you shouldn’t. Everyone is different and everyone’s lives and needs are different. I see AMAZING deals on televisions all of the time, but I have too many of them. So I pass. 🙁

Which brings me to this past week’s Iberia Avios deal (Full details here). This one has attracted an interesting mix of people on boths sides. When I first heard of the deal (back when it was possible to get 10 tickets for $180), I wasn’t all too impressed. The price was amazing, but I just knew there had to be some catch, so I held off.

A Confirmed Deal Is One Worth Pursuing

As many of you know, the next day the deal exploded on a lot of blogs and we also decided to cover it here as well. Why? Because it turned out to be an amazing deal for one reason only. The company confirmed in writing that you didn’t have to fly the flights. Every “catch” that I had assumed would be there wasn’t. In other words, the value proposition had changed from being a huge hassle (still potential but less likely) to being a huge score.

The truth is this deal was amazing for those who can use the points. I spent $250 for 90,000 Avios which amounts to less than 3/10 of a cent per point. My plan to use these points was in place before I pulled the trigger. There is a lot of award space on the route I need them for and I will save a ton of money going in this direction.

Some worry that Iberia will find a way out of this deal and keep people’s money. To those people I simply ask when any company that has publicly confirmed a deal has managed to do that? I mean I could see a scenario (although unlikely) where Iberia tries to cancel tickets for a refund and not pay the Avios, but for them to keep the money? Not going to happen in my opinion.

iberia avios evolving

What More Do You Want?

Truthfully Iberia has confirmed this deal over and over again and I fully expect that the Avios will be deposited in people’s accounts as expected. I also expect that this will cost the airline a lot of money and thus they could fight back in other ways. Perhaps they’ll devalue their program or significantly restrict award space.

While that would certainly punish those who got these Avios, it would also make the company’s rewards program less attractive which arguably hurts them even more. They also can’t control partner award space so I suspect there will be plenty of uses for these points anyway. Yes, a lot of people will be booking popular routes, but there will be opportunity to use them before the December expiration.

iberia avios evolving
Eiffel Tower 2009. We flew for $209 roundtrip to Europe on a Delta mistake fare and received $1800 in vouchers along the way.

Taking A Chance

My final point is that this hobby is about taking chances. How many of us book mistake fares or low hotel rates to get outsized value. Sometimes these bookings stick and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes I end up wasting a lot of time for nothing. It sucks, but you can’t win if you don’t play. Having done this for awhile I win a lot more than I lose. The “risk” is worth it for me.

And I think that is why the Iberia Avios deal was so fun. A lot of people saw the risk as worth the payoff. It was also unconventional and harder to wrap you mind around so that added a little to the “fun factor” I would say. Once the company confirmed the deal, the risk was largely mitigated so I was ready to go.

Conclusion

In the end either you “get” a deal or you don’t. Sometimes I pass on deals and later regret it and I suspect quite a few people are feeling that regret right now. I also pass on amazing deals all of the time simply because I don’t have a need. I’m sure many of you are in that position as well. I guess what I’m trying to say is that the Iberia Avios deal is one of the better deals in a long time, but maybe not for you and that’s okay.

Did you pass on the Iberia Avios deal? Why did you not pull the trigger? Share your thoughts in the comments!


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7 COMMENTS

  1. At first I just did not think this would be true and waited a 36 hours before doing anything and I got points for the wife and I. It cost each of us $400 and we felt the reward was far greater than the risk. My balloon deflated a bit on Monday when I read on one blog you had to book through a special link. Nope, the lady at Iberia said that was not the case and she saw all my flights and they should all get 9K Avios immediately. As soon as they hit, I do have a place for those avios to go.

    I have thought alot about this and why are they doing. I am thinking that maybe they see this alot like companies see gift cards. Alot of people do not spend all the money on a gift card and the sponsor company keeps the money for doing nothing. If we consider space on a plan where you use points, it was probably going to be an empty or non revenue seat anyway, so one could consider the value of the avios to Iberia is really very little. It could be they consider all money coming in to be pure profit. If we do not fly the 10 flights then less fuel is used and those seats then go to stanby customers who actually pay. Then there are those Avios that may never get used. That again is pure profit.

    There is no financial obligation to Chase like they have with a mileage credit card.

    I would not be surprised to see more of this in the future. I do not think Iberia just decided one day on a whim to do this. They know full well what they are doing.

  2. I tried to get in on this on Sunday afternoon but couldn’t finalize purchasing my ticket. And knowing I needed to buy 10, I just gave up.

  3. Had to try three times for each booked ticket to get them to go through but after 24 attemps I bookes 8 one way tickets in about an hour. Hopefully they give me the points when I checked yesterday I see no activity on my iberia plus tab and The charges hadnt gone through on my card yet. Will have to look into it again today and see if anything posted on amex or iberia plus page of their site

  4. Lol, I did the same Delta $200 deal to Madrid! I would’ve pulled the trigger, but had issues booking successfully. That slow down caused me to analyze my schedule and I’d be forcing myself to use them so I ended up passing.

  5. I made a quick decision on a long weekend trip with TheWife, and bought just what I needed. Got 6 tickets for about $125, so if I lose out, not the end of the world. Iberia Avios is a quirky program, I’m afraid a lot of newbies are going to get burned on this one. Oh well, reality lesson.

  6. I love Iberia biz class to Europe and just booked tickets for Hubby and me to fly JFK to MAD to BRU next May… the day before the deal hit. This will be the third time for us. We have to get positioning flights from PIT. So we go early and enjoy the AA flagship lounge at JFK. I feel lucky to get the flights we want before they are gone!

    In my experience, I’ve had to book pretty far ahead to get the biz class seats i want. In normal times they go quickly. I thought with all those people getting Avios that have to be spent by Dec, I’d pass on that aggravation.

    We got our latest batch of Iberia Avios with the Chase card sign up to pay our taxes.

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