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You Can’t Use Iberia Miles to Book American Airlines Flights Right Now

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It might sound odd, but using miles from the Spanish airline Iberia is one of our favorite ways to book domestic flights in the U.S.

British Airways gets all the love for the best workaround to book American Airlines. But you can often book short flights within the U.S. for cheaper using Iberia Avios. These flights start at just 11,000 Iberia Avios round-trip when you can often expect to pay 15,000 miles or more using either British Airways or American Airlines miles for the exact same flight.

There's just one problem: You can't actually book AA flights using Iberia miles right now. 

Any attempt to book an American Airlines-operated flight through Iberia.com results in the same error message. The Points Guy first reported the issue.


Iberia American Airlines


This issue actually goes all the way back to mid-April, when we first noticed this error message. At this point, it's unclear whether it's a simple IT issue or a permanent change in how you can use Iberia Avios.

Back in May, Iberia said in an email that “our IT department is working to fix this issue as soon as possible, therefore, we kindly recommend you to try to complete the booking in few days.”

It's still not available. Nor is it possible to book by phone. An Iberia phone agent said yesterday it's not possible to book any American Airlines flights with Iberia Avios right now. Again, he said they expect that ability to return in the next week.

But these deadlines have come and gone with no change.


Our Analysis

Workarounds that allow you to use airline partnerships to book flights for fewer miles are one of the most exciting parts about using points and miles. And this Iberia workaround to book AA flights has been lucrative.

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 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, you need just 17,000 Avios to book the exact same flight.


Iberia American Airlines
An old screenshot of an AA flight booked with Iberia Avios


But it's not possible right now. We're hoping this ability returns as promised and will update you if and when that happens.

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.


Bottom Line

Our fingers are crossed that this workaround returns in short order. If not, it could be a blow to one of the best ways to book domestic flights in the U.S.


Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

5 Responses

  • Why would anyone (with half a brain) want to book a flight on American Airlines?
    Worst. Airline. Flying. Today.
    Hands down.
    Avoid, avoid, avoid.

  • I been having same problem since April I even called and they couldn’t make the reservation and asked me to call American 😮

  • Thank you for this post – this issue needs more attention. Just tried booking a US RT flight on the iberia website unsuccessfully.
    Most of the top search results when I searched this issue all direct to clickbait TPG posts that falsely claim iberia avios can be used for one way AA bookings in the US –

  • For several days, I am trying to book American flight with Iberia avios. I keep getting this message
    we can’t show you the flights
    For reasons beyond the control of Iberia, we can’t show you the flights available at this time

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