MAD - BCN availability for April 2020

Old May 16, 19, 5:05 pm
  #1  
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Question MAD - BCN availability for April 2020

Looks like Iberia hasn't opened any MAD -> BCN flights for April 2020 yet, even though they've opened other routes (MAD - BCN isn't showing in the booking engine or the online timetable). How far in advance do they usually open booking for this route?

For context, I'm looking at booking a trip (MCO - ORD - MAD - BCN) using AAdvantage miles and am seeing business class availability for the MCO - ORD leg on AA and the ORD - MAD leg on IB. I'd love to book the flights now to ensure I don't lose the availability for the two available legs and would (ideally) book MAD - BCN at the same time so my luggage could be checked all the way through from MCO to BCN. Worst case is I book MAD - BCN with cash later, which isn't ideal but not the end of the world.

Thanks in advance!
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Old May 16, 19, 5:37 pm
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Multiple recent reports that IB haven't opened their shorthaul schedule for S20 - that is, from the last Sunday of March onwards. We don't know why that is, but it's a common theme. It shouldn't be too much longer I'd expect.
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Old May 17, 19, 6:56 am
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Originally Posted by BA6501 View Post
Multiple recent reports that IB haven't opened their shorthaul schedule for S20 - that is, from the last Sunday of March onwards. We don't know why that is, but it's a common theme. It shouldn't be too much longer I'd expect.
Thanks! Do you think I'm better off waiting to have the entire route on one PNR (risking loosing the business class availability) or waiting for it to be released (and not having to deal with getting luggage and checking in again in MAD)?
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Old May 21, 19, 11:30 pm
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Originally Posted by levenhopper View Post
Thanks! Do you think I'm better off waiting to have the entire route on one PNR (risking loosing the business class availability) or waiting for it to be released (and not having to deal with getting luggage and checking in again in MAD)?
You can also consider the option of booking a Puente Aereo (Air Shuttle ticket) using your avios. They are valid for 12 months after purchase. This way you can secure now your business class redemption from the US and be sure you will fly on the first flight MAD-BCN with availability once you're there (during peak hours there are flights every 15-30 mins). Price with avios is 6250 avios plus 26EUR in taxes.

The only disadvantage is that you will need to go thru passport control, collect your bags and check-in again. However, Puente Aereo flights have a dedicated area in T4 (including security) and the check-in deadline is 15 mins, rather than the usual 55 min for domestic IB flights out of MAD.
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Old May 31, 19, 3:32 pm
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I ran into the same problem recently. My flights are from SFO to BCN with IB Avios in May 2020. I could get SFO-MAD but no flights to BCN were showing.
As there are only 2 J awards (and I needed 2) I decided to book the SFO-MAD segment and then book the other segment later. I now have the second segment but obviously they are under 2 different PNRs and speaking to IB agent it doesn't seem like they can link the 2 flights so that I don't have to pick up my luggage and recheck in Madrid.
Is that correct? It would seem reasonable to me that they should be able to link them as both flights are on IB with IB PNRs - not unlike a connecting flight with a different flight number (or even a different airline in the same alliance).
Could this maybe be accomplished at check=in at SFO?
TIA.
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Old Jun 1, 19, 2:49 am
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"Linking tickets" is an urban myth. You either have a single ticket PNR or you have two completely separate tickets. It doesn't matter whether they are with the same airline or not.

On rare occasions you can through-check on separate tickets, but IIRC IB has a policy to not allow this.

I hope that you left enough time between flights to retrieve your luggage at MAD and then re-check it. I usually recommend that you book a Puente Aereo (flexible shuttle) reward rather than a specific flight, because then you have zero risk... you simply hop on the next flight to BCN.
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Old Jun 1, 19, 3:36 am
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Originally Posted by craigthemif View Post
I hope that you left enough time between flights to retrieve your luggage at MAD and then re-check it. .
I hope I did. We arrive in MAD at 14:20 and leave at 18:00 - that should be enough time.
Flying in J on both segments - will that get us into the lounge at MAD?
PS What is Puente Aereo - is that booked with Iberia?
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Old Jun 8, 19, 1:40 pm
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Originally Posted by Paulchili View Post
I hope I did. We arrive in MAD at 14:20 and leave at 18:00 - that should be enough time.
Flying in J on both segments - will that get us into the lounge at MAD?
PS What is Puente Aereo - is that booked with Iberia?
You will get into the lounge on the MAD-SFO day only, since the ex-MAD ticket class is what counts. That should also be enough time, assuming no delays.
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