American Airlines’ Website Now Lets You Book Iberia Awards

Jun 12, 2017

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Last week, we noticed an interesting development on American Airlines’ website. For the first time, Iberia award flights started showing up on certain routes. Sure enough, on AA’s partner airline website, there was a new banner “You can now redeem AAdvantage® miles on aa.com for award travel on Iberia.”

The problem was that only intra-Europe flights were showing up in searches. Even Iberia flights that had award availability showing on ExpertFlyer, British Airways’ website and Iberia’s website weren’t appearing on AA.com. We reached out to AA to see if AA.com bookings were only limited to intra-Europe flights. Thankfully, that’s not the case.

Iberia US rote map
Iberia’s transatlantic flights are now bookable on AA’s website.

Now, it seems that AA.com is operational for Iberia award bookings. However, there’s a catch: You can’t use the homepage search tool; you must use the advanced search tool. For example, here’s the difference in results between the homepage search tool and the advanced search tool for the search of Los Angeles (LAX) to Barcelona (BCN) on July 27:

AA Iberia comparison between homepage and advanced searching

Before this change, Iberia award bookings were available by calling AA and booking over the phone. But, it wasn’t as easy for the general AAdvantage member to find these awards. You’d have to use British Airways’ website or subscribe to ExpertFlyer to see award availability — or just hope that the dates you wanted were available when you called.

So, the addition of Iberia awards to AA.com is certainly an improvement for the AAdvantage program. Most transatlantic options you find on AA’s website are still on British Airways — complete with massive fuel surcharges — thanks to American Airlines’ AAtrocious AAward AAvailability. But now you’ll periodically see Finnair and Iberia options. For some dates and routes, Iberia’s award availability is all that you’ll find for crossing the Atlantic:

AA search Iberia biz availability

Without the Iberia award availability, this search wouldn’t have any MileSAAver-level results.

Unfortunately, American Airlines still hasn’t added premium economy awards to its award chart. So, you can’t book Iberia’s solid premium economy product with AAdvantage miles. However, you can book Iberia economy or business awards.

AA mileage Level flight

In addition to Iberia flights, you can also redeem AAdvantage miles for LEVEL flights. However, considering the low cost of LEVEL revenue flights and the taxes/fees running about $95 one-way on awards, it’s probably going to be better to book LEVEL flights outright. And now, you’ll even earn some AAdvantage miles from these flights.

Are you planing to redeem AAdvantage miles for Iberia flights?

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