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Iberia Elite Treatment on the ground/IROPS

Iberia Elite Treatment on the ground/IROPS

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Old Feb 18, 19, 2:06 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Oct 2000
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Iberia Elite Treatment on the ground/IROPS

I tend to buy discounted business class tickets on a variety of carriers between Germany and the US. American Airlines program isn't very useful to me because of the spend requirement so am thinking of crediting my miles to an Avios program for low level Bronze/Gold elite. Since I'm generally booking business Elite status doesn't have much value to me but I'd like to hear from you in the Iberia forum what is the intangible Elite treatment like from Iberia? Would this be your preferred Avios program vs BA or Aer Lingus?

Thanks!
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Old Feb 18, 19, 5:43 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
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Originally Posted by EndlosLuft View Post
I tend to buy discounted business class tickets on a variety of carriers between Germany and the US. American Airlines program isn't very useful to me because of the spend requirement so am thinking of crediting my miles to an Avios program for low level Bronze/Gold elite. Since I'm generally booking business Elite status doesn't have much value to me but I'd like to hear from you in the Iberia forum what is the intangible Elite treatment like from Iberia? Would this be your preferred Avios program vs BA or Aer Lingus?
Thanks!
I don't think it really matters - ground operations and IRROPS are handled by the operating carrier. If you mostly fly IB then it would make sense to be IbPlus, but likewise if you mostly fly BA, then BAEC. Avios is irrelevant because you can transfer them around between programs.

I think a better question should be: how easy-difficult is it to achieve something meaningful, tier wise. It is said that it's usually easier to obtain status with BAEC - but if you frequently fly from Germany to US via Spain, then it would make sense to check IbPlus, since business flights between Germany and Spain operated by Iberia earn a lot of Elite Points.
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Old Feb 18, 19, 5:47 am
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Thanks tobsw.

I fly primarily to the US from continental Europe. So for example out of Berlin, Stockholm, Amsterdam, etc to the US. Always hunting for discounted business class rates that take me across the Atlantic for work in the US. IB makes sense because I do travel to Spain but also was wondering if Iberia treats it's elites better than BA which has such a captive audience in the London area. My other option is Aer Lingus since they have good sales out of continental Europe and the pre-clearance facility in Dublin.
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Old Feb 18, 19, 7:28 am
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What do you mean by, "Elite Treatment"? Being Elite doesn't give you treatment like a royal. What is more likely to happen is as IbPlus Platino you are likely to be treated better than a regular pax - but don't expect a personal treatment on each flight.

If the purser says hi! Thank you for flying Ib as a Platino member, it should be considered a success.

You won't be upgraded since there's no First Class on Iberia flights.

You will have preferential access to customer service at the airport and a special phone line.

And there's just one business lounge in Madrid - no Sapphire/Emerald separation.

Aer Lingus is good for Aer Lingus and likely for the other carriers on the TA joint venture once Aer Lingus is accepted. However, if you ever intend flying with other oneworld partners, there's "nada".

But it really depends what you expectations are by "Elite Treatment".
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Old Feb 18, 19, 12:50 pm
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Originally Posted by tobsw View Post
What do you mean by, "Elite Treatment"? Being Elite doesn't give you treatment like a royal. What is more likely to happen is as IbPlus Platino you are likely to be treated better than a regular pax - but don't expect a personal treatment on each flight.

If the purser says hi! Thank you for flying Ib as a Platino member, it should be considered a success.

You won't be upgraded since there's no First Class on Iberia flights.

You will have preferential access to customer service at the airport and a special phone line.

And there's just one business lounge in Madrid - no Sapphire/Emerald separation.

Aer Lingus is good for Aer Lingus and likely for the other carriers on the TA joint venture once Aer Lingus is accepted. However, if you ever intend flying with other oneworld partners, there's "nada".

But it really depends what you expectations are by "Elite Treatment".
Well, some airlines are really great at taking care of their frequent flyers in case of IROPS, being flexible about flight changes, how fast they pick up the phone, competency of agents when you call. For example with United, as a 1K, an agent picks up right away (very unusual for it to even ring), the staff are generally very competent and friendly, so if I arrive earlier at an airport I can usually ask them to put me on an earlier flight at no extra cost. And if there are any issues at the airport it's usually "Oh, you're a 1K" and they at least try to fix whatever the issue is. So I'd give United high marks (getting even better in fact) for how their 1Ks are treated. I'm curious how IB vs BA vs Aer Lingus.
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Old Feb 18, 19, 1:17 pm
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In your case I would just choose the programme of the airline you fly most often out of those three.
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Old Feb 18, 19, 1:31 pm
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If you want "quick" curstomer service, choose the FFP from the airline you are more likely to fly with, or book your tickets with.

An IbPlus Oro/Platino is not gonna help you solve quicker a problem with AA or BA, if the ticket is not ticketed and isued by IB. Likewise, IbPlus Platino wont give you any special treatment on AA or BA, except for oneworld Emerald services.

In Europe its very unlikely to see "if I arrive earlier at an airport I can usually ask them to put me on an earlier flight at no cost". You can ask, whether they put you on an ealier flight is another issue... it only happens if your flight is overbooked (IME) or you pay some cash.

If you like so much United Mileage Plus, why dont you carry on flying with them? In Europe Id go with BAEC if most of my travel is with BA (the advantage with BA is that they have a massive network to the US with multiple frequencies on some routes, so during IROPS thats very useful). Choose IbPlus if you tend to route via MAD with IB.
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Old Feb 18, 19, 1:47 pm
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I will continue to primarily fly with United/Star but if a One World or Sky Team carrier offers a better price for the route I'll be happy to fly them. With all the negative changes to frequent flyer programs we should be nimble, no?
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Old Feb 18, 19, 1:57 pm
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Originally Posted by EndlosLuft View Post
I will continue to primarily fly with United/Star but if a One World or Sky Team carrier offers a better price for the route I'll be happy to fly them. With all the negative changes to frequent flyer programs we should be nimble, no?
Makes sense. Id go for BAEC. It is likely that most of the times your itinerary will go via LHR if flying to US from Germany, in general easier to achieve status and you may enjoy an operational upgrade every now and again to First (if operated on the route)
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Old Feb 18, 19, 2:08 pm
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Ok, that sounds pragmatic. Thanks tobsw.
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Old Feb 18, 19, 2:20 pm
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I have nothing but great things to say about the Iberia Platino line. They are great about handling service requests and generally very flexible and have a lot more leeway than other agents.

Truly a bright spot in a mediocre airline. That said, I deal with them in Spanish and that honestly may influence things quite a bit if you need to speak in English. At the airport there's not much difference between oro and platino, at least in Madrid. Getting into F lounges elsewhere is nice, though.
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Old Feb 18, 19, 4:03 pm
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Originally Posted by EndlosLuft View Post
I fly primarily to the US from continental Europe. So for example out of Berlin, Stockholm, Amsterdam, etc to the US. [...] My other option is Aer Lingus since they have good sales out of continental Europe and the pre-clearance facility in Dublin.
Aer Lingus doesn't fly to Stockholm (one of the cities you listed). The only sensible Oneworld options for USA-Stockholm are AA/BA USA-LHR followed by BA LHR-ARN, or AY USA-HEL-ARN/BMA.

There's only a single daily IB flight between ARN and MAD, reduced to four times weekly during the winter I think. You have to spend the night at MAD when going westbound to the US and it's only so-so going eastbound, the LHR and HEL options being a few hours faster.
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