31st December 2018 update: My final 9000 miles were credited. I then tried to find availability for reward flights and only managed to find one. I only have basic status with Iberia and so that restricted my searches. So I transferred the miles to BA and spent them there. My Iberia account now shows a negative balance and is effectively useless now – I’d like to close it but there isn’t a button to do that.

3rd September update: Three of my four flight bookings were credited – 27 000 Avios. I’ve since written to Iberia three times regarding the missing 9000 and so far no reply.

25th June update: All everyone can do now is wait 10 days and see if the points appear in their Iberia Plus Accounts. After that the next challenge will be finding award availability before December 1st 2018.

24th June 2018 update: I’m reading stories about how whole families have purchased ten tickets each – mostly on the Santander – Madrid route. As the lowest-priced tickets get harder to find, some have commented that it would be possible to purchase a fully-refundable ticket for January 2019, get 9000 Avios and spend them before December 2018, then refund the ticket. I’m starting to feel sorry for the marketing person at Iberia who came up with this offer – I’m sure they thought it looked good on a whiteboard!

Iberia have released a promotion that seems almost to good to be true: Book any one-way flight on Iberia/Iberia Express and receive 9000 Avios in your Iberia Plus account. Points must be spent by 1st December 2018.

I found one-way flights Santandar – Madrid in January 2019 for EUR 24. Note that you don’t have to fly on the flight to collect the bonus Avios.

9000 Avios, plus a service fee of around EUR35, should be enough for a European return flight in economy. And as Iberia is part of One World, there is the possibility of a London-Prague return on BA for EUR 60.

Their offer is only available until Sunday 24th June and if you don’t already have an Iberia Plus account then you may be cutting it fine. If you do register a new Iberia Plus account, use the same address details as your other One World loyalty cards – just in case your able to transfer the points out of Iberia Plus.

The deal is here: https://www.iberia.com/gb/offer/iberia-plus/win-a-trip-with-avios/

The cheapest fares I found were SDR-MAD in January 2019. Next cheapest were MAD-PMI in February 2019.

Here are some terms and conditions that are relevant:

  • You must book on the Iberia website for a flight operated by Iberia or Iberia Express – so don’t book a codeshare flight operated by BA or another One World carrier.
  • For each flight booked, Iberia say that 9000 Avios will be credited to your Iberia Plus account within 10 days of the booking, not the flight.
  • You don’t need to take the flight but you can’t cancel the flight and ask for money back.
  • You need to spend the Avios on award bookings by 1st December 2018. If you’re used to additional reward availability as a BA Gold, you won’t see this as a new low-tier Iberia Plus member.
  • Iberia say that if you transfer the Avios to your BA account, your Iberia Plus account will show a negative balance – but I guess if you only opened the account for this promotion, you may not care. Not sure if Iberia would try and claw the Avios back again though.
  • Maximum Avios from this promotion is 90,000 – so you can book ten flights.

This certainly looks like a good offer, although you can never be sure how it will play out. For example, if there are thousands of people with lots of Avios, you may find it difficult to redeem them before 1st December 2018. Nonetheless, I’ve booked a few Iberia flights just so I didn’t miss out.

There is also one extra possible bonus: If the flight, that you never intended to fly, is cancelled, you may be entitled to compensation under EU rule 261/2004.