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Booking an Avianca flight using Iberia Plus miles or Avios?

Booking an Avianca flight using Iberia Plus miles or Avios?

Old Apr 8, 15, 8:54 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: London, UK
Posts: 3
Booking an Avianca flight using Iberia Plus miles or Avios?

Hi all, first post, thanks for the great community!

I have a question. Reading around the web, it seems as if I should, in theory, be able to book an Avianva flight (London to Bogota) using Iberia Plus/Avios miles. I understand that this should be done through Iberia Plus. However, I have called them and both times I've spoken to them, they say that it's not possible to book Avianca flights through them, using Iberia Plus miles or Avios (I even asked about Lifelmiles).

So my question is: is it possible to book an Avianca flight using Iberia Plus miles/Avios? If so, how do I go about doing it?

Thanks in advance
lhw455 is offline  
Old Apr 8, 15, 6:04 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Programs: MUCCI
Posts: 5,701
Welcome to FT, and especially the Iberia Plus section.

Firstly some clarifications of terms:
Iberia Plus is the loyalty scheme of Iberia.
Iberia Plus uses Avios points as its (millage) currency for earning and spending.

Avios points are a common loyalty currency used by a few different loyalty schemes. (e.g. BA Executive Club - BA's frequent flyer scheme, IBplus - Iberias, Avios.com - a separate scheme, ...)
Each of these are separate schemes, someone can have accounts in each of them, each has their own balance of Avios points. Subject to some rules, Avios points (but not status points) can be moved between your own accounts in the different schemes.

The airline Avianca has it's own loyalty programme for it's customers, called LifeMiles (which replaced one called AviancaPlus). This scheme refers to its own millage currency as 'miles'.

Now, what loyalty point currency are you trying to spend. Lifemiles has nothing to do with Iberia Plus, or any of the Avios currency using programmes. Regardless of what you want to spend them on, the only person to talk to about Lifemiles miles is the Avianca Lifemiles programme. The currency only exists inside the universe of that programme.

Ok, so I will assume you have Avios points to spend. If you want to spend Avios points on Avianca flights this can only be done from Iberia Plus accounts - this is because Avianca are only a IB+ partner, they are not a British Airways Executive Club or Avios.com scheme partner etc.

Iberia, British Airways are in OneWorld alliance.
Avianca is in Star Alliance

But, as you have noticed, Avianca is an Iberia Plus partner:
http://www.iberia.com/web/webPartner...Partner=130093

That link has tables for how many Avios points you should need to redeem.

The footer of the redemption table also says it can only be done through the call centre.

So, to spend Avios points on Avianca flights, you need:
(1) To have an Iberia Plus account
(2) To move the Avios points into your IB+ account.
(3) To call Iberia Plus to do the redemption.

In terms of calling for the redemption, I'd try to work out yourself first if you think Avianca have reward seats on the date you want before calling.
Look in the Avianca section for how to check if they have seats available.
Also keep in mind they may make more seats available to their own members than they do to partners.
You could try using the ANA method etc to check for seats they are making avilable to *A members.

Personally, I'd only try calling IB+ if they are making seats available on to *alliance member airlines, if they are, they MIGHT be making them available to Iberia.


Hope that helps.

Hopefully someone else has actually redeemed from Iberia Plus on Avianca and can offer some advice.

(Other ideas: Fly LON to MAD on one booking, then do a separate booking MAD to Bogota with either IB or Avianca. That way you could avoid UK air passenger duty).
David-A is offline  
Old Apr 9, 15, 1:52 am
  #3  
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: London, UK
Posts: 3
Thanks for the clarification on several points, much appreciated!

Eventually, after contacting Iberia Plus via the UK number twice and having no success, I called the Spanish call centre number (not sure if they route to the same group) and spoke to a lady that did indeed confirm that I was able to redeem Iberia Plus Avios on Avianca flights. She did indicate that you can only book return flights via this method, and also due to recent changes was unable to confirm how many Avios I would need to redeem. However, she has promised that someone would call me back with the details.

I'll browse through the Avianca section to see if I can potentially figure out whether there are seats available.
lhw455 is offline  
Old Sep 9, 15, 5:12 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 13
Hello all,

Apologies for bumping an old thread, but I thought it better to do that than start a new one for something that will probably be dismissed pretty quickly! I originally posted this on HeadForPoints yesterday and was directed here.

I want to book some Avianca flights using Avios (MEX-PTY-RTB-MGA-MEX, next July). I called Iberia earlier and the slightly confused girl said she checked, but I’m not convinced she did as she couldn’t find one airport (despite me giving her the code) and understood “Taca Airlines” as another.

Does anyone know of a way of checking availability of Avianca flights for Avios redemptions? There seems to be plenty of availability on their ‘LifeMiles’ page.

From reading the posts on here, I suspect that my route won't be accepted anyway - unless the round trip counts as a "return"? It'd be brilliant to be able to do this as it's going to cost me £1500 for two at the moment...

Thanks for any advice!
supergraeme is offline  
Old Sep 10, 15, 10:45 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Barcelona, London, on a plane
Programs: BA Gold, TK E+, IB+, VS FC, Hyatt Globalist, MR Plat Prem, IHG Plat, Hilton Gold
Posts: 8,411
Originally Posted by supergraeme View Post
Hello all,

Apologies for bumping an old thread, but I thought it better to do that than start a new one for something that will probably be dismissed pretty quickly! I originally posted this on HeadForPoints yesterday and was directed here.

I want to book some Avianca flights using Avios (MEX-PTY-RTB-MGA-MEX, next July). I called Iberia earlier and the slightly confused girl said she checked, but I’m not convinced she did as she couldn’t find one airport (despite me giving her the code) and understood “Taca Airlines” as another.

Does anyone know of a way of checking availability of Avianca flights for Avios redemptions? There seems to be plenty of availability on their ‘LifeMiles’ page.

From reading the posts on here, I suspect that my route won't be accepted anyway - unless the round trip counts as a "return"? It'd be brilliant to be able to do this as it's going to cost me £1500 for two at the moment...

Thanks for any advice!
Far too ambitious using Avios. As far as I understand it, you can only book return flights on Avianca. You can't just add several Avianca flights into one itinerary, count up the miles and cross reference to the award chart.

As near as I can tell, there are no direct flights on Avianca between any of your proposed stopover points, so you'd be connecting in San Salvador each time. You could book a return between MEX and SAL, another return between SAL and PTY, another return between SAL and RTB and finally another return between SAL and MGA. Any misconnects and you're screwed since they would be on separate tickets.

And that is all assuming that Iberia Plus can actually book on Avianca's El Salvador and Guatemala affiliates and not just the Colombian main airline.

With a sale on buying Avianca miles, you might find it interesting to buy some of those and book as much of your itinerary as you can via LifeMiles. (although you might not be eligible if you don't have an account already) http://flyingpiggie.com/2015/09/avia...-buying-miles/
craigthemif is offline  

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