American Airlines Awards Are Bookable through Iberia Again
One of the cheapest ways to book a domestic flight in the U.S. is to use Iberia Avios to fly on American Airlines. It can save thousands of miles compared to using American AAdvantage miles for the exact same flights – and we’ll highlight some examples shortly.
But for months, those bookings have not been available. Whether it was an IT issue or something more sinister, you’d get an error any time you tried to search for a round-trip flight on American within the U.S. And even calling Iberia to book these flights using Avios didn’t work.
Luckily, things have changed. Flights on American Airlines have returned to the Iberia.com search engine, The Points Guy First reported.
This is good news, as booking AA flights in the U.S. using Iberia Avios can save you some serious miles. Of course, we can’t blame you if you’re avoiding American altogether due to some serious problems with getting flights out on time.
But there are some great sweet spots that are worth considering. And it’s all because of how – even when you use them to fly on American
Iberia uses a distance-based award chart, which means the savings are typically best with shorter flights. Flights under 600 miles round-trip price at just 11,000 Avios, while journeys between 601 and 1,000 miles come in at just 12,000 Iberia Avios. Flights up to 2,000 miles cost just 17,000 Iberia Avios, which still gives you some solid savings.
Here’s a quick example. American will typically charge you 25,000 AAdvantage miles for the round trip from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) to Washington, D.C.-Reagan (DCA). But because those flights are under 2,000 miles total, you need just 17,000 Avios to book the exact same flight.
But it can get even better. British Airways has long been the go-to way to book domestic flights within the U.S. on the cheap using miles, but the airline charges on a per-segment basis – so if you need a one-stop flight, you’ll be charged separately for both segments of the journey. That’s not the case with Iberia, which measures based on the total distance of your round-trip flights – regardless of how many stops it takes.
Thrifty Tip: Use GCmap.com to punch in your airport codes and measure the distance of a flight.
So if you need to make it from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) to Grand Rapids (GRR), Michigan, you could book American flights through American – typically for 25,000 AAdvantage miles. Booking with British Airways, it’d be 30,000 Avios for the same flights.
But Iberia doesn’t care that you have to make a stop in Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) on the way to Michigan. The flight is under 1,000 miles round-trip, so it prices at 12,000 Avios.
You’ll always pay some additional cash fees when booking through Iberia, but these savings are worth it.
That said, there are some caveats to keep in mind. Iberia requires round-trip bookings when using Avios to fly with American Airlines – you can’t book a one-way flight. And much like American Airline’s economy web specials, you generally can’t cancel or change AA flights booked through Iberia.
It took a while, but this great sweet spot has finally returned. If you’re up for flying American Airlines, booking with Iberia could save you a lot of miles.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.