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Award flight from JFK to AMS via MAD upgrade ?

Award flight from JFK to AMS via MAD upgrade ?

Old Oct 1, 20, 10:19 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Wine Country, Finger Lakes
Programs: LFFRS BOD
Posts: 1,341
Award flight from JFK to AMS via MAD upgrade ?

So I booked a flight using Avios for myself and husband for Sept, 19,2021 arriving in MAD at 6:30 am and at 8:45 going to AMS.
When I booked it earlier this week I could only get the business class for NYC to MAD and economy for MAD to AMS.

I called today to see if I could upgrade since I could see that there was availability from MAD to AMS if booked alone without the US flight in business and the agent said NO , I would have to cancel the entire trip and book only from NYC to MAD on one flight then MAD to AMS on another.

I find this odd and not a good use of the ease of connecting flights with luggage since it would go through to final destination.

So I have plenty of time to see if the route I want in business will have something open up at a cost of 35 Euros change fee PP.
If for some reason I cannot find availability for that leg of the trip in business can I do the following ?:

Keep the existing flight but go ahead and book the single flight from MAD to AMS since it is the exact plane and flight time and take a loss of the 7, 500 miles pp that were used so we can fly in business for the 2.5hr trip.

Or I am I risking change of one of those flights at another time and having an issue with the luggage, but it would be easier to cancel since it's in business class. correct?

Losing the 15k is not ideal and costly seeing what it's worth but paying for a business flight runs $466 pp.

Is there another option I am not seeing?
thanks,
duranza is offline  
Old Oct 2, 20, 1:32 am
  #2  
 
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: 9,153
If you have more than one booking on the same flight, you run the risk of all of the bookings being cancelled. Don't book yourself a separate ticket on the same flight! It's not particularly wise to do so on any other MAD-AMS on the same day (unless you do it with KLM).

IB+ follows married segment rules. Award availability can be different for a JFK-MAD-AMS than a JFK-MAD or MAD-AMS separately but you MUST have availability on the JFK-MAD-AMS to book it as such. Normally it would be easier to find award space on the connecting option, rather than the direct flights, but these are strange times...

Personally, I would never waste money or miles on business class within Europe. Same seat, slightly better service and some food. Leave your booking as it is - you have 11 months to check regularly whether a JFK-MAD-AMS becomes available in Business Class, and then you can call to make the adjustment.
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craigthemif is offline  
Old Oct 2, 20, 5:56 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Programs: Executive Club
Posts: 490
I would definitely hold out to try to get the Business Class on a single booking. I do agree that the seats are just the same, but I tend to skip breakfast on the night flight to get a bit more sleep, have a shower in the lounge when I get to Madrid and then have breakfast on the next flight. If that sounds good to you, it's worth getting the second flight in Business.

Don't get two separate bookings as they won't through-check your luggage, and that means that first thing in the morning when you are feeling exhausted you would have to go and get your bags, then haul them upstairs and check them in, time when you could be having a shower and a coffee in the lounge.

Just also be aware that if you do cancel an award flight with Iberia, they say it takes up to 5 weeks to give you back the Avios. I'm not sure if they would want you to cancel and then rebook the whole itinerary if a business fare came up for the whole trip or if they could treat it as a change. If they don't treat it as a change and make you cancel, unless you have spare Avios to make the whole reservation again while you are waiting to be credited, this could be an issue for you.

One final idea is to change the country to Spain at the top of the webpage. You can still use the site in English. I find that sometimes you get different Avios availability on the Spanish site to the UK site.
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JessicaB is offline  
Old Oct 2, 20, 9:15 am
  #4  
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Wine Country, Finger Lakes
Programs: LFFRS BOD
Posts: 1,341
Thank you so much everyone for your insights and tips, I will keep what I have, and yes I have flown economy before in Europe and it's not that bad.
duranza is offline  
Old Oct 3, 20, 1:35 am
  #5  
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Join Date: Sep 2020
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By the time you land and transfer to the AMS you will not have time to go in the lounge and shower I am pretty sure of that. Iberia flights in Europe are pretty awful on horrible planes with no legroom, even in business class. Make sure you have masks to wear in MAD and also AMS. All be it last weekend in AMS there are so many staff and crew walking around with masks around their necks as no one seems to give a **** about the virus in Netherlands.
steveintaichung is offline  
Old Oct 3, 20, 1:38 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Programs: Executive Club
Posts: 490
Originally Posted by craigthemif View Post
By the time you land and transfer to the AMS you will not have time to go in the lounge and shower I am pretty sure of that. Iberia flights in Europe are pretty awful on horrible planes with no legroom, even in business class. Make sure you have masks to wear in MAD and also AMS. All be it last weekend in AMS there are so many staff and crew walking around with masks around their necks as no one seems to give a **** about the virus in Netherlands.
My flight always arrives at that kind of time and I have a 2 hour 30 min window, it's plenty. They disembark Business first, so you are first off the plane, and you're at the lounge in around 30 mins. 30 mins in the shower, time for a coffee and then a 20 min max walk to the gate. European flights board about 40 mins before they take off.
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Old Oct 3, 20, 8:55 am
  #7  
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Wine Country, Finger Lakes
Programs: LFFRS BOD
Posts: 1,341
I have flown business on Iberia before, as recently as Nov 2019 and the lie flat seats were wonderful, we did go to the Iberia lounge only because we had the Chase card and had business class seats for our return flights.
I have never felt a need to shower at an airport.
This flight is for Sept. 2021 and will certainly wear masks and sanitize our seating area.
I have also had the experience of having miles return pretty quickly within days and yes I would have enough miles from my husband's account to rebook.
So for now I will keep it as is.
thanks everyone for your experiences and advice.
duranza is offline  

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