Update: The surcharge issue has been resolved (H/T: View from the Wing). Also, I am now seeing off-peaking pricing on some fall dates (34K each way in business class) as shown below.
Iberia has wide open business class award space on direct flights from Washington, DC (IAD) to Madrid in summer 2020. This is a new route starting on May 1, 2020 and at the time of writing, awards can be booked with Iberia Avios, American Airlines AAdvantage or other oneworld partners for multiple passengers on many dates during peak summer travel time in 2020.
- Iberia is starting a new route from Washington, DC’s Dulles Airport to Madrid in May 2020 and there is wide open award space on this route during summer 2020.
- Book at AA.com with American Airlines AAdvantage or Iberia.com (use the Advanced Avios Search tool) with Iberia Avios (or with other oneworld partners)
- New flight begins May 1, 2020
- Check the peak and off-peak calendar here, though I don’t see off-peak pricing from Iberia yet
Wide open summertime business class award space to Europe is always a big deal since it can be particularly challenging to find good options to cross the pond during the peak summer travel period. This often causes members of American Airlines AAdvantage to be frustrated with the inability to redeem miles for premium cabins to Europe without paying outrageous fuel surcharges on British Airways.
While this was reported early this morning by View from the Wing, I still see plenty of award space for two passengers in July 2020 on this route.
The catch at the moment is that fuel surcharges are ringing in at an incorrect price of $600. View from the Wing suggests putting your preferred itinerary on hold since you can get a hold for 5 days through AAdvantage, which should give AA plenty of time to work out the bug since taxes and surcharges should be less than $100 on this route.
Alternatively, the same flights can be booked with Iberia Avios (or other oneworld partners). Iberia charges 50,000 miles and $83 for flights from Washington, DC to Madrid (taxes are a bit higher on the way back from Europe) and I see the same availability at Iberia.com (use the Advanced Avios search tool linked under “the deal” above).
The downside of booking through Iberia is that you would not be able to add connections on either end since Iberia runs a distance-based program — or rather, you could have connections, but you’ll pay more Avios. If booking through AAdvantage, you can (at least theoretically) originate anywhere in the contiguous US and connect onward from Madrid for 57,500 miles. If Madrid were my final destination and I could position to Dulles easily enough, I’d probably just book through Iberia. Since Iberia is an Amex transfer partner and Chase transfer partner, it’s pretty easy to put together the miles for an award.
I flew Iberia’s business class on the A350 from Madrid to New York last year (pictured above) and it was much nicer than I expected. It looks like this route will be served by an A330 — I’m not sure if that also has the newer business class seats, but if it does it’s an excellent redemption in this case in my opinion.
Keep in mind that Iberia prices awards differently based on peak and off-peak dates. I’ve linked to a post with the peak/off-peak calendar under “Key Terms” above. Unfortunately, the availability pictured above on August 23rd should be off-peak, but as you can see it is pricing according to the peak rate. I
haven’t yet found any awards pricing at the off-peak level. Again, this is a situation where you could wait a day or two and perhaps that’ll get worked out — whether or not availability for summertime travel will still be there is anyone’s guess, but I wouldn’t put the probably at “high“.
Update: While I’m not seeing off-peak pricing on August dates, I do see off-peak pricing on some fall dates, with business class pricing at 34,000 Avios each way when booking through Iberia. That’s a great deal for business class to/from Europe when you can get it.
Overall, this is a great development and a way to get good value from your miles either way.
H/T: View from the Wing