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Fly to Madrid for Fewer Avios This Fall

Fly to Madrid for Fewer Avios This Fall
Anya Kartashova

If you’ve thought about trading autumn in New York for autumn in Madrid, you have a compelling reason to visit the land of flamenco this fall. Iberia is discounting award flights to the Spanish capital by 25 percent if you book by March 27.

Get a Discount With Avios

To take advantage of the 25 percent discount promo with Avios, you must be an Iberia Plus member residing in the United States and travel between Sept. 1 and Dec. 14. The discount applies to one-way and return trips on Iberia-operated flights. LEVEL and Iberia Air Shuttle flights do not qualify for the mileage discount.

­You can book one-way flights in Blue Class, the least expensive economy class, for just 12,750 each way from New York City. Other U.S. cities where Iberia flies directly from Madrid are Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, and San Francisco (seasonally). Keep in mind that the Iberia Plus program uses a distance-based award chart, and not every city pair requires the same number of miles. The farther from Madrid you are (yes, I’m looking at you, West Coast), the more miles you need to book an award flight.

If you fancy a bed in the sky, a business-class seat will set you back just 25,500 Avios! It’s a perfect opportunity to fly up front for those who like to hoard miles for more trips in economy. And don’t feel bad! These redemption rates are lower than economy rates with most programs.

How to Obtain Avios

If you collect points with Chase or American Express, you can transfer your Ultimate Rewards points or Membership Rewards points to Iberia Plus at a rate of 1-to-1, no matter which program you use. The miles transfer instantly from Chase, which is great news as you try to snag the last few remaining seats in the premium cabin. Amex transfers take a bit longer, about a couple of days.

You also can transfer the Avios collected in the British Airways Executive Club program to Iberia Plus for free, as long as your accounts are linked and you’ve been a member of each program for at least 90 days.

If both of these methods are unavailable to you, you can buy a chunk via Avios.com. Unfortunately, the Groupon Avios sale we wrote about last week has ended as all the Avios packages have been sold.

Make sure to do the math before pulling the trigger, though. It looks like it’s not possible to buy 51,000 Avios needed for the round-trip redemption in business class, and the next package is 60,000 Avios. Purchasing that many costs $1,675—not a huge price to pay for a round-trip flight in a lie-flat seat, yet not as good as having the points in your credit-card accounts ready to go.

Will you book Iberia flights to Madrid at the reduced mileage cost?

[Image Source: Flickr/Ángela Ojeda Heyper]

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