Iberia devalues American American Airlines award chart

May 19, 2021

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We predicted airline program devaluations would be coming as travel resumed. Now, there’s another instance to report: As first reported by NerdWallet, Iberia’s Avios program has quietly devalued its American Airlines award chart.

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In addition to increasing most award redemption rates, Iberia will be pricing out awards by segment rather than just distance.

Here’s a quick look at what’s changing:

Most awards will cost more and are priced out by segment

This goes without saying, but most awards will cost more under Iberia’s new award chart for American Airlines. For example, the cost of round-trip business-class awards from the East Coast to Europe are increasing from 50,000 Avios each way to 62,000.

And, Iberia now prices awards by segment rather than total flight distance. That means if you’re booking flights with a stopover, you’ll redeem more Avios than if the flight were nonstop.

One-way awards are allowed

On a positive note, Iberia now allows one-way award redemptions. This is great for those times when you either can’t find award space both ways or don’t have enough Avios in your account for a round-trip ticket. The added flexibility of one-way award bookings is a silver lining to an otherwise disappointing development.

Bottom line

This devaluation is bad news for travelers, but it’s not entirely surprising. Europe is opening back up to American travelers and all those miles we’ve been buying, earning and hoarding over the last year are a liability for airlines. Given the opportunity, airlines will take advantage of increased demand (and high summer fares) to minimize the cost of these miles and increase revenue. Devaluations are the way to do that.

If you’re sitting on any airline miles, I would recommend redeeming them as soon as possible. After all, we’ve already seen Delta, Southwest and Virgin Atlantic devalue their award charts. We’re almost certain more are coming.

Featured photo by EQRoy/Shutterstock

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