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Update 3pm Eastern: Iberia’s corporate communications department has now responded to several questions from The Points Guy regarding the issues outlined below. You can read the airline’s responses in full and our analysis of them in our most recent story on the matter.
Last week Iberia offered a promotion allowing customers to receive 9,000 bonus Avios per flight for simply buying Iberia or Iberia-family operated flights. You could earn up to 90,000 Avios if you bought 10 flights, some of which were very cheap regional hops. During the promotion, representatives from Iberia stated in various forms that these bonus Avios would post 10 days from purchase, the flight did not have to be taken and the promotion was legitimate.
It’s now been roughly 10 days since the beginning of the promotion and eager participants are waiting for their Avios to post. Unfortunately, some hiccups have been reported in a variety of forums and social media, including the following:
- New accounts, most likely created to take advantage of the promo, have been locked and cannot logged into. Some readers report Iberia phone agents requesting proof of identification via email in order to confirm the account is legitimate. Another reader says he tried to log in on the app unsuccessfully, requested a PIN reset and then was able to log in.
- No bonus Avios have posted in any accounts yet. One reader told me a customer service rep said it would be 10 business days before miles posted, which would be Wednesday, July 4 (or July 5 if Iberia is honoring the US Independence Day holiday).
- During the promo, many participants reported their Iberia Plus number was deleted from their reservations after ticketing and had to be manually re-added.
- Some tickets bought on the last day of the promotion didn’t ticket until the following day, putting into question whether those bookings would count as eligible for the 9,000 bonus Avios.
Then late Monday night, Live from a Lounge published the following email from Iberia to a resident of Thailand who participated in the promotion:
Regarding your request, we inform you that we have checked your Iberia Plus account details and we noticed your country of residency is THAILANDIA, we are sorry to inform you that our 9,000 Avios promotion was not valid for this country.
For this reason, it is not possible for us to credit the corresponding 9,000 Avios, since there is a discrepancy between your Iberia Plus account and your booking¿s country of issue.
We kindly recommend you to contact our Customer Service Line at the phone number (+1) 800 772 4642 and request the total reimbursement of your tickets.
Also we would like to inform you that your Iberia plus account has been blocked for security reason. In order to activate your account, it is necessary to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a signed copy of the Rectification Data Document and a copy of your ID or Passport.
While this email brings up several more questions, it’s not proof Iberia will honor or not honor the promotion for US residents. Others in the TPG Lounge have noted that addresses in Thailand may not have been eligible for the promotion to begin with. Rather, the key here is Iberia offering the customer a full refund. That means in my mind, you’ll either receive your Avios or your money back.
It’s still too early to say what’s going to happen with this promo, but Iberia’s representatives made it reasonably clear that this promotion was legitimate. It’s also important to note that Iberia’s IT isn’t the best on even a good day, so it’s possible some of these issues are related to everyday hiccups. Still, the recent events and email from Iberia add another layer of concern as to what’s been occurring over the last 10 days in Spain.
In any case, while my own thoughts about this promotion were skeptical, Iberia certainly should do the right thing and give the bonus Avios to people who used legitimate Iberia Plus accounts for the promotion. I’ve sent an e-mail to Iberia on behalf of TPG and its readers asking about these developments. Stay tuned for more info.
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