News & offers: Iberia’s A350 business class first look+ how to use the promo Avios & BA route/lounge news

A350-900 Iberia

Iberia’s A350 business class

Iberia a350 business class cabin

Iberia A350 business class cabin

Iberia took delivery of its first A350-900 last week with a further 15 A350-XWB on order. The company responsible for the design, Mormedi, has revealed what the 31 business class seats will look like. They had a brief with three specific requirements on the existing Iberia business class seats; more privacy, increased storage space and being able to position a bottle on the cocktail table.

The centre seat pairs alternate in spacing, so some are perfect for people travelling together whereas the seats with the central tables would be better for solo travellers. The 1-2-1 configuration and wide tables make this a better business class seat than BA although you have less privacy in the window seats.

Iberia A350-900 seat map

I have chosen one of the window seats with the table by the aisle for my flight to New York which is the best option for solo travellers. I will be writing a full long haul business class review in a few months time.

The A350-900 will be on the following route:

  • IB6251/6250 to New York from 4 August 8 2018
  • IB6253/6252 to New York from later in the year

How to use your Iberia 9,000 promotion Avios

If like most people you received your Iberia Avios yesterday from the recent promotion you may be wondering how to use them. There are a few basic things to consider when booking:

  • You can redeem them on Iberia or any other oneworld airlines but they must be redeemed from your Iberia Plus account by 1 December 2018
  • oneworld airline redemptions do not have the same flexibility as Iberia
  • You can cancel or change redemptions on Iberia operated flights for €25 up to 24 hours before departure
  • Iberia flights have much lower taxes and charges than BA
  • Iberia flights have different peak and off-peak charts to BA
  • Iberia release rewards 360 days before departure
  • There is no Reward Flight Saver so taxes and charges on shorter flights could be more
  • You can find charts of all the miles needed for each airline here

You can see the Iberia 2019 peak dates below to help with your planning. If you book BA flights on Iberia Plus they will use the BA peak/off-peak dates instead.

What are some of the best redemption?

Ideally, I would recommend using on Iberia if you can as the taxes and charges are substantially lower than BA. The seats are also better than BA although the service and food is not anything special.

Belo are some suggestions of what you could use them for – some may need a top-up from your BA account using combine my Avios. Another option is to pay slightly more cash but less Avios as I did to secure my Buenos Aires flights with Roving Reporter for next year today.

The Buenos Aires Cabildo located in Plaza de Mayo

All Avios prices are per person return off-peak on Iberia.

  • New York, Boston, Chicago, San Juan Puerto Rico for 68,000 Avios plus £158
  • Miami for 85,000 Avios + £175
  • Buenos Aires, Santiago for 102,000 + £198.90 or 86,700+ £378.90
  • Johannesburg, Havana, Lima, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Miami, Panama, Quito, Rio de Janeiro, San Jose, Costa Rica, Santo Domingo, Sao Paulo for 102,000 Avios
  • Tokyo or Shanghai for 119,000 Avios

 

Havana, Cuba

Havana, Cuba

American Airlines are also worth considering if the taxes and charges are a concern, Most of their charges are around £70 return when booked through Iberia although the Avios needed are much higher at 150,000 for Miami return for example.

 

 

BA News

Sao Paolo flights increase

Monument of independence in Ipiranga, Sao Paulo, Brazil

If you are looking for Avios redemptions on BA for Brazil, BA has added to extra flights per week to Sao Paolo for the winter 2018 season starting on 29 October 2018. The two extra services will operate with the B787-9 in addition to the daily B777-300.

The seats are on sale now so you may be able to get some Avios redemptions with the additional capacity.

New York refurbishment delayed

BA New York JFK Galleries Club lounge

New York current JFK Galleries Club lounge

British Airways have been undertaking a major refurbishment at their terminal at New York’s JFK airport with both the check-in area and lounges getting a make-over. Last time I visited they had done the First check-in area and the First lounge was closed for refurbishment. The First lounge is now due to re-open in September 2018 with work then starting on the Club lounge. This is now due to reopen in Spring 2019. I have not heard what the plans for the Concorde Room are. Originally all the work appeared planned to finish this year but as usual with lounges, the timings have slipped.

6 Comments on "News & offers: Iberia’s A350 business class first look+ how to use the promo Avios & BA route/lounge news"

  1. Hi Michele, thanks for a great update on Iberia!! As we’re probably all guessing that long haul Iberia Avios redemptions in the next year could become tricky to find by the weekend, I just wanted to pass on a couple of suggestions in case helpful. Iberia offers Avios redemptions as one-ways and the taxes seem to be exactly half of the return cost. This enabled us to book B/C flights next February into Buenos Aires and back from Santiago – the tax was actually £35 less than a return to Buenos Aires. There’s a daily KLM flight between the two which takes a couple of hours and saves a return connection. Similar thought on Brazil, the one way back from Rio uses fewer miles and is less tax than the return from Buenos Aires – great way to build in a vist to Iguazu Falls using internal TAM flights for anyone who’s never visited. Or if there’s no return Avios availability.

    When researching Argentina-Chile availability I noticed that Iberia added last week a third daily flight on some days to Buenos Aires in Jan/Feb. It could be using the planes freed up by the A350s coming in. It had 2 B/C redemptions available on most days when I booked earlier this week.
    Thanks again Michele and good luck everyone!
    Simon

    • Thanks Simon. Certainly when I looked yesterday there was a surprsing amount of availiblity especially on New York. I booked a one way to JFK previously and then back on Aer Lingus to do some reviews later this year. Interesting they have added extra Buenos Aires flights as that should help with what will be a popular redemption no doubt! Glad you managed to use them. I think some of the people who were saying it would all end in disaster will have to eat their words now…..

  2. For TAM flights within Argentina and Brazil, that should read LATAM now of course!
    Simon

    • 😀 I will let you off! You will have to look out for the series of articles starting soon from our newest reporter Claudio who is Brazilian. Should be lots of interest for your trip.

  3. Hi Michele,

    An update with Iberia avios offer, yesterday my 9k avios were on my account. I booked the reward flight but things didn’t go as well as I expected: 1) 10k were need for a December weekend in MAD from LIS ( I only had 9k); 2) “combine my avios” in BAEC was not working – on flyertalk people were already confirming this – so I couldn’t transfer 1k avios; 3) but Iberia app was allowing me to make the booking using 9k and 10$ extra – I couldn’t change the currency to Euro. The website insisted my IP was in USA – I was doing this on my mobile phone while working out on my spinning bike – took me one hour to complete the booking!! The good news was that expert flyer was showing only awards in U fare (J) but Iberia app had rewards in Y. So I booked a return flight using the 9K and payed $61.60…the same booking without avios would have cost me €69.34. Well, not a so good deal but it is done 🙂

    Susana

    • I had an issue with combine my Avios but did manage to transfer on my second attempt!

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