Sep 13, 02, 12:21 am
Has anybody tried to get an Iberia award ticket with Qualiflyer? I just have called the Qualiflyer service center and they told me they could not see the availability online. They would have to make a formal request an in most cases there is no availibitlity. I should fly Swiss to Spain. This is very strange. I was thinking that Iberia would be a partner airline. Any experiences?
In the Flyertalk archives indeed there is little info on Iberia.
Iberia joined Qualiflyer as associated partner on 15 June 2002. Except for IB charter flights, Qualiflyer members can collect award miles on all scheduled Iberia operated flights in Economy, Business and First Class. On Iberia you can not collect Qualiflyer club miles, which are counting for Travelclub status. Note that when flying Economy on Iberia only 30% of actual miles flown in Y will be added to your Qualifier account. No Qualiflyer airline gives such a bad accrual rate.
Qualiflyer award tickets can be booked on all scheduled Iberia operated flights, again with the exception of IB charter flights and subject to availability. Recently I have learned a few things while putting together a routing Europe – South America – Europe with Iberia in C, a routing Europe – Hawaii - Europe with Swiss and American in F, and a routing Europe – Turkey – Europe with Turkish in C. When booking an award with Iberia you can only have IB and TP flights on the same ticket! No interlining between Iberia and any other Qualiflyer airline. Hence you can not have Iberia and any of the other Qualiflyer airlines like SN, LX, LO, AA, SA etc. on the same ticket.
The Qualiflyer Service Centre can not check availability with the Iberia system nor can Qualiflyer directly book an award flight with IB. The Qualiflyer agent has to issue a request to Iberia. Remark that the same is the case when you want to book a Qualiflyer award with American Airlines or with Turkish Airlines. My experience is that from Iberia the answer always came within hours. American Airlines answered within a week and Turkish was silent for months.
In my case Iberia was positive on all my different requests. I could optimise my itinerary before making the final booking. Qualiflyer is able to hold the reservation for several days. I presume the excellent flexibility with Iberia was because Iberia had joined Qualiflyer only a week before and I booked in C-class. My flights were booked for July – August, the busy season. After the ticket was issued and after I have flown the first segments I changed the dates. Again Iberia was positive on my requests. I suppose Iberia’s own programme does not bring that many award flyers.
The Qualiflyer Service Centre in Brussels could not print the award ticket. Even with an OK from Iberia on all my segments, SN Brussels Airlines was unwilling to issue the Qualiflyer award ticket. They said the reasons were computer problems. This is shear rubbish. SN Brussels Airlines simply do not want to print the ticket. It is a trick from Sabena days. I contacted the Qualiflyer Service Centre in Zurich. They had the Qualiflyer award ticket for Iberia issued on LX and I could collect it at the airport.
The intercontinental service of Iberia was good, above average and far better than most US airlines. In Iberia First seat width is 53 cm, reclines to bed, personal video screen. In business distance between seats is 133 cm, seat width 51 cm, recline 33cm (13 inch) personal video screen (not on the B-747 aircraft). In economy distance between seats is 82 cm, seat width 43 cm, recline 15cm (6 inch). Booking a Qualiflyer award in First when flying intercontinental on Iberia is not worth spending the extra miles.
The Velasquez lounge in Madrid Barajas is excellent both for C and for F passengers. The F lounge is smaller and quieter and has slightly better tapas. The C lounge has the same high quality level. Tastefully furnished, good choice of drinks and snacks. Separate room for TV and separate room for resting with excellent semi-beds. Excellent shower and bathing facilities. Fast internet connections in both lounges, free!
I will make a separate posting on the difference in Qualiflyer service by SN and LX.
[This message has been edited by kurz (edited 09-13-2002).]
Sep 13, 02, 3:39 am
thank you kurz for the excellent info!!!
Sep 13, 02, 9:02 am
A follow-up question: It was stated before on this board that Iberia can only be combined with TAP in award tickets. Does that include TAP's subsidiary PGA Portugalia, itself a QG partner airline? I'm asking because I need a particular segment AGP-LIS (only served by PGA) as part of an IB/TP award ticket.
Sep 13, 02, 10:46 am
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by HajoFlyer:
... TAP's subsidiary PGA Portugalia ... </font>
Portugália is an independent private company.
TAP is a public company, state owned.
They are not related. So you can´t use Portugália (NI) segments on a TP/IB award.
Sep 13, 02, 10:56 am
[This message has been edited by rucas0 (edited 09-15-2002).]