For the mileage that most airlines charge to fly in economy, Iberia business class is one of the cheapest ways to get to Europe using miles … in style. Here’s your ticket to do it next year.
We alerted Thrifty Traveler Premium members last week to wide-open award availability to fly Iberia business class from the East Coast or Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) to Madrid (MAD) through spring 2023. You can currently book at least two seats most days from January all the way through April 2023 on the Iberia flights from Chicago, New York City (JFK), Boston (BOS), Washington, D.C.-Dulles (IAD), and Miami (MIA).
These flights typically start at just 34,000 miles each way, which is an absolute steal. There’s also scattered availability later this year, but things really open up for a trip to Spain in 2023. Here’s a look at award availability from JFK – dates in green are bookable through Iberia for just 34,000 miles each way.
Thrifty Traveler Premium members get award space alerts like this one first, along with cheap domestic and international flights.
Even at 34,000 Iberia Avios each way – or 68,000 Avios roundtrip – it’s cheaper than what most airlines charge for economy, making it one of the best deals in points and miles. You’ll pay about $120 to $160 in fees for a one-way to Europe or $250 to $280 on a roundtrip, which isn’t half-bad for flights that typically cost $4,000 or more!
Don’t have Iberia miles? You can get them easily: Iberia is a Chase transfer partner as well as an Amex transfer partner, which means you can send points from cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, the American Express® Gold Card, or The Platinum Card® from American Express straight to your Iberia account. Both transfer on a 1:1 basis – while Chase points transfer instantly, Amex points typically take 12 to 24 hours.
Some of the best availability has dried up since we first sent this to Thrifty Traveler Premium members last week, but there are still plenty of flights available. Flights from New York are the easiest to grab along with Miami, where Iberia’s distance-based award pricing pushes the final cost a tad higher.
There’s great availability from both Chicago and Boston, too, though you’ll have to be a bit pickier as these routes only fly three to five times weekly. And while you can book flights from Washington, D.C.-Dulles at these rates, that seasonal service doesn’t restart until late March 2023.
You should find similar availability for the trip home to make a roundtrip booking using your points. If you’re planning a trip around Christmas or New Year’s, you’ll pay a bit more thanks to Iberia’s peak pricing rates.
Thrifty Tip #1: Don’t live in Chicago, New York, or Boston? Consider booking a positioning flight using cash – or miles – to get there and hop on your business class flight. And even if you don’t want to spend time in Spain, you could use this award to get across the Atlantic and then fly on elsewhere for cheap!
After two-plus rough years of European travel, things have really opened up. Many countries across the continent allow travelers with only proof of full vaccination, including Spain – and you won’t need a supplementary COVID-19 test to get in, either. Proof of recent recovery from COVID-19 also works for entry to Spain.
Luckily, Iberia makes it cheap and easy to change plans if need be. The airline charges a flat $40 fee to change the dates of your flight or cancel to get your miles back. So you could lock in a trip with this amazing glut of award space then reconsider later on if necessary.
Booking with Iberia can sometimes be a bit of a pain, as its website is a bit wonky and its customer support call center in the U.S. is hit or miss. But at these prices, it’s worth some extra legwork.
Thrifty Tip #2: Can’t get your Iberia award to go through? Try again using a different internet browser. Keep reading for more instructions, or just read our complete guide to booking business class flights using Iberia Avios.
Iberia business class may not win win awards for the world’s best business class, but it’s more than competitive with other airlines’ business class seats. It’s a comfortable lie-flat bed for the seven-plus hour flight across the Atlantic with some really good meals onboard … all for the typical price of flying economy.
Read our full review of Iberia business class from Chicago to Madrid.
Flying out of Chicago, New York City, or Miami, you’ll even have access to American’s Flagship lounges, which are among the best business class lounges in the U.S. And Iberia has its own lovely lounge in Madrid for international business class departures.
How to Book
Iberia is a member of the Oneworld alliance, so there are a number of ways you could book.
One option is using American AAdvantage miles. But the airline charges 57,500 miles each way, so you’ll use up a bigger part of your balance as well as some extra fees. British Airways is another option, as these nonstop flights across the Atlantic would also cost 34,000 miles each way. But with atrocious cash fees on these bookings, forget about it.
So that leaves us with Iberia Avios: with low mileage rates and moderate fees, it’s easily the best option. Critically, you can book Iberia awards up to 361 days in advance – which brings us to all the way to mid-May 2023. Iberia’s site isn’t the easiest to navigate, but it’s worth a bit of extra work.
You’ll want to scope out the award availability to ensure the dates you want to fly to or from Europe are still available – but with this much availability, that shouldn’t be a challenge. If you want to be sure, searching through American Airlines for flights available at the 57,500-mile rate is a good place to start – if it’s bookable at that price, it should be good to go with Iberia.
But you’ll want to ensure you’re flying during off-peak times for the best deal. Fortunately, Iberia is incredibly generous with what’s considered off-peak next year. Only dates in red will incur a higher charge.
Head to Iberia.com and log in to your Iberia Plus account – or register if you don’t already have one.
From there, follow the link to Iberia’s award search tool. Other search platforms on Iberia’s site will not function correctly. Iberia doesn’t always play nice with airport codes, so you may want to type in the city name (“Chicago”) rather than ORD. And be sure you search for as many seats as you need and tick the “My dates are flexible” box.
Get a “restricted access” error? Iberia’s award search tool has a nasty habit of logging you out. Log back in and repeat the process – the second time should be the charm. Scroll through the dates and pick the nonstop Iberia business class flight that works!
You’ll pay a bit more for the longer flights from Miami (MIA) at 42,500 Iberia Avios each way, but it’s still a bargain.
Once you’ve found the flights you want, it’s time to transfer your points and book!
Still need help? Check out our step-by-step guide on how to book these flights!
This is a great chance to book a trip this year or next to Europe in some serious style on the cheap. Iberia offers the cheapest way to fly business class to Europe.
Use this wide open award space to lock in a trip to Spain next year in style!