Issues Persist For Some Customers on Iberia’s 9,000 Avios Promotion

Jul 22, 2018

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The Iberia saga of 2018, which might be appropriately titled “The Pursuit of 90,000 Avios,” continues to experience highs and lows. The good news is over the last 72 hours, it appears the vast majority of promotion participants — including those who created new, legitimate Iberia Plus accounts for promo purposes — have now received their Avios. However, there are definitely still members who are waiting to receive the promised bonus, even some who did not create new accounts to take advantage of the promotion.

For those who either created a new account or had some other extenuating circumstance, the process certainly hasn’t been without frustration and effort. Iberia required new account holders to submit documentation confirming his or her identification, after which customers often underwent a series of back and forth emails with temporary PINs to log into the (frozen) new accounts, which ended up not working. Call center agents all had different answers to repeated queries, and for more than a few members, the promised deadline of awarding Avios within 10 days of purchasing the qualifying flights came and went with no Avios deposited.

But in recent days, it appears that the promotional Avios were released to many customers who had been required to confirm their identity, or those who had to go back to their flight reservations and re-add frequent flyer numbers which had dropped off after ticketing. I’m also aware of another glitch where a last name was added twice to reservations — after a lengthy series of correspondence, that customer has received their 90,000 Avios.

Other Promotion Confusion

Further complicating matters this week was an apparent freeze on the ability to book partner awards for a few days, which appears to have now been corrected. Also, some promotion participants didn’t realize that the original promotion terms and conditions note that promotional Avios are not allowed to be transferred to British Airways. Some customers had hoped that by transferring the Avios over to BA, the December 1 redemption deadline to use the promotional Avios could be usurped, but that technique will not work.

Also, as we’ve previously noted in our guide on “The Best Ways to Use 90,000 Iberia Avios,” Iberia partner bookings must be round-trip. Only Iberia, Iberia Express, Vueling, British Airways and LEVEL-operated flights can be booked as one-ways, so don’t try and look for American Airlines one-way award flights or else the online engine (which has its own struggles) will give you an error message.

Award Space

As predicted, premium cabin award space is definitely now tighter, but within a few minutes, I still found business class available from New York (JFK) to Madrid (MAD):

There are also still plenty of economy seats from my cursory searches, so there’s ample opportunity to get your family over to Europe on Iberia-operated flights with your 90,000 Avios. Just remember that the December 1 deadline to have them redeemed will be unforgiving.

For those who still haven’t received their bonus Avios, the takeaway from others who’ve gotten them after much back and forth is to be persistent. Iberia is not exactly the most customer service oriented airline, and there doesn’t appear to be a magic button in this case that finally makes the Avios appear. Rather, just plugging away at the airline with multiple phone calls/emails/tweets seems to finally shake the Avios loose.

If you’re still struggling, we’d like to hear your personal experience, so let us know in the comments below. Be sure to add any amplifying information on your situation which may have caused the delay.

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