Iberia reverts to pre-devaluation prices for off-peak awards from Chicago, Los Angeles

Jul 8, 2021

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This May, we reported that Iberia Plus corrected prices for flights from Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) and Los Angeles (LAX) to Madrid (MAD). Iberia was previously pricing awards one category below its distance-based award chart.

Now, it looks like Iberia backtracked on its decision and again lowered prices to pre-correction rates.

Iberia off-peak awards from Chicago to Madrid again cost 34,000 Iberia Avios one-way in business class, down from 42,500 Avios. Likewise, awards from Los Angeles to Madrid cost 42,500 Avios in business class instead of 51,000 Avios.

Economy and premium economy awards were lowered to historical prices. Chicago to Madrid can now be booked for as low as 17,000 Avios in economy and 25,500 Avios in premium economy on off-peak dates, compared to 21,250 Avios and 31,750 Avios, respectively. Further, Los Angeles to Madrid prices at 21,250 Avios and 31,750 Avios in economy and premium economy, respectively, as opposed to 25,500 Avios and 38,250 Avios.

Let’s take a closer look at these changes.

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Iberia lowers off-peak award prices for some cities

(Photo by Christian Kramer/The Points Guy)

As discussed, Iberia historically priced off-peak awards from Chicago and Los Angeles to Madrid lower than its published award chart. For reference, here’s a look at Iberia’s distance-based award chart for off-peak awards:

Distance (miles) Off-peak economy Peak economy Off-peak premium economy Peak premium economy Off-peak business class Peak business class
0 – 650 4,500 5,000 9,000 10,000
651 – 1,150 7,500 8,250 15,000 16,500
1,151 – 2,000 10,000 11,000 20,000 22,000
2,001 – 3,000 11,000 12,500 21,250 31,250
3,001 – 4,000 17,000 20,000 25,500 35,000 34,000 50,000
4,001 – 5,500 21,250 25,000 31,750 43,750 42,500 62,500
5,501 – 6,500 25,500 30,000 38,250 52,500 51,000 75,000
6,501 – 7,000 29,750 35,000 44,250 61,250 59,500 87,500
7,000+ 42,500 50,000 63,750 87,500 85,000 125,000

Now, flights are pricing out at the pre-devaluation rate. Here’s an example of an off-peak flight from Chicago to Madrid this December. The flight is 4,202 miles long annd should theoretically still cost 42,500 Avios per Iberia’s award chart. However, it’s pricing out at 34,000 Avios.

ORD to MAD Iberia off-peak award
(Screenshot courtesy of Iberia.com)

Likewise, here’s an example of a flight from Los Angeles to Madrid pricing at 42,500 Avios one-way in Feb 2022. This flight is 5,845 miles long, so it should cost 51,000 Avios per Iberia’s award chart.

LAX to MAD Iberia off-peak award
(Screenshot courtesy of Iberia.com)

The airline also corrected the price of flights from Mexico City (MEX) and other cities in Central and South America this May. These are also back to their pre-correction prices. Madrid to Mexico City shot up to 51,000 Avios in May but has since reverted to 42,500 Avios.

MEX to MAD Iberia off-peak award
(Screenshot courtesy of Iberia.com)

This change is no mistake either. Iberia’s award “band” definition states that flights to/from Chicago, Los Angeles and Mexico City to/from Madrid are again in bands 5 and 6, respectively.

Cities in Iberia's award band 5 and 6
(Screenshot courtesy of Iberia.com)

TPG has confirmed this pricing change across multiple off-peak dates. Awards previously pricing higher are once again at their old rates for the rest of 2021 and 2022.

Related: The cheapest ways to book a trip to Spain with points and miles

Bottom line

It’s great to see Iberia backtrack on its decision to raise the cost of off-peak prices from Madrid to Chicago, Los Angeles and others. This change reopens a massive sweet spot for American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards points. We’re hopeful that these prices stick and are not corrected again in the future.

Feature photo by Christian Kramer/The Points Guy

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