Iberia

Details Of LEVEL, IAG’s New Transatlantic Low Cost Airline

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IAG, the parent company of British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and Vueling, has been saying for a while that they plan on starting a new longhaul low cost carrier. Legacy carriers globally are struggling to compete with Gulf carriers (like Emirates) as well as low cost carriers (like Norwegian). So IAG is taking the “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” approach, by launching a new low cost carrier based in Barcelona.

LEVEL, IAG’s new low cost carrier, will initially operate two A330s between Barcelona and the U.S. West Coast (Los Angeles and Oakland), with quick growth after that. Tickets go on sale today at flylevel.com, and start at $149 one-way.

In June of this year LEVEL will be launching service between Barcelona and four destinations:

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Great Deal: Get 25% Off Iberia Business Class Awards

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Through February 14, 2017, the Iberia Avios program is offering 25% off select economy and business class awards. The promotion is valid for travel in the following markets:

— To/from Madrid to Zurich, London, Wien and Moscow (valid for travel through June 14)
— To/from Madrid to Bogota, Medellin, Johannesburgo, Miami, New York, Boston, Chicago, Panama, Shanghai, Mexico and Lima (valid for travel through June 14, except the month of April)
— To/from Madrid to Santiago de Chile, Buenos Aires and Havana (valid for travel May 1 through June 14)

The offer is valid for new bookings only. The promotion is only valid for travel over off-peak dates, which means that the following dates are excluded: April 7-18, April 21-24, April 28-29, May 2-3, May 6-8, and June 9-12).

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Transfer Amex Points To Iberia With A 50% Bonus

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Through December 15, 2016, the US American Express Membership Rewards program is offering a 50% transfer bonus to Iberia. Amex points usually convert into Iberia Avios at a 250:200 ratio, so through this promotion Amex points convert into Iberia Avios at a 250:300 ratio.

That basically means you’re getting 1.2 Iberia Avios per Membership Rewards point. The bonus is hard coded into the transfer ratio, meaning that you can take advantage of the transfer bonus as often as you’d like.

A while back Tiffany wrote about the benefits of using the Iberia Avios program. While it’s very similar to British Airways’ program, there are also quite a few differences. Iberia also has a distance based award chart, but it’s slightly different in terms of redemption rates.

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British Airways, Iberia, And Aer Lingus Are Adding Wifi On Shorthaul Flights

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In May of this year, IAG (the parent company of British Airways, Iberia, and Aer Lingus) signed a deal with Gogo to install their 2Ku satellite technology on 137 longhaul planes. This includes up to 118 British Airways, 15 Iberia, and four Aer Lingus planes.

I had long criticized British Airways for their lack of wifi on longhaul flights, given that most other airlines had at least announced the intention to install such a service, even if it hadn’t been done. IAG expects to complete the installation of wifi on 137 planes by 2019, though that schedule is always subject to change.

Well, it looks like IAG is going all out, because they’ve just announced that wifi is coming to shorthaul planes as well.

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Iberia Is Introducing Premium Economy On Longhaul Flights

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Iberia has just announced that they’ll be rolling out a new premium economy product across most of their longhaul fleet as of summer 2017. Iberia’s A330-300, A340-600, and upcoming A350 aircraft, will all feature the new cabin. As of now, the first destinations to get the new product will be Bogota, Buenos Aires, Chicago, and Lima.

While there can be a lot of variation in terms of the quality of business class hard products, for premium economy there’s not that much variance.

Here’s a video Iberia made about their new premium economy product:

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Great Deal: Cheap Business Class Tickets From Europe To The US

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Per flyingsophie on FlyerTalk, there are some incredible discounted business class fares available from various points in Europe to the US for travel on oneworld (they’re not available in the other direction, from the US to Europe). It seems the good fares are available mostly out of Germany and Switzerland.

The catch is that outbound travel has to occur on any of the following dates:

— November 22-29, 2016
— February 10-April 15, 2017

So as you can see, the fare is valid for over Thanksgiving and then again next spring. There’s a Sunday night minimum stay required on all these fares.

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Earn Up To 50,000 Bonus American Miles For Transatlantic Travel

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American is back with a promotion they seem to run a couple of times a year, offering a significant number of bonus miles for transatlantic travel. They seem to offer this promotion in periods where business travel is historically slow, which includes summer and winter (the last such promotion ended on January 31, 2016).

The promotion is marketed as offering up to 50,000 bonus AAdvantage miles for transatlantic roundtrips on American, British Airways, Finnair, and Iberia.

Through this promotion you can earn bonus miles at the following rates per roundtrip, for a total of up to two trips:

— 25,000 bonus miles for first or business class tickets
— 15,000 bonus miles for premium economy or select full fare economy tickets
— 2,000 bonus miles for other economy tickets

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The Most Bizarre Mileage Purchase Deal I’ve Ever Seen

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I’ve done some ridiculous things for cheap miles over the years (not as ridiculous as Ben going to a hair-replacement consultation at 16; that one still wins), but when it comes to buying miles the process is typically pretty straightforward.

We often see bonuses on buying miles, or targeted promos for elites — in those cases either the miles themselves are discounted, or you receive more miles for the same base cost. It’s pretty simple.

But have you ever heard of buying a coupon to then buy discounted miles?

Iberia and Groupon.es are doing just that, with a deal that’s more than a little odd, but could potentially be pretty lucrative.

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Review: Iberia Arrivals Lounge Madrid Airport

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My original plan was to head straight to the Hilton Madrid Airport for the day upon landing, though on the breakfast menu from my Iberia flight I noticed something surprising:

“Arrivals Lounge
If you prefer to rest, we offer the possibility of having breakfast in the Arrivals Lounge of Terminal 4 at Madrid-Barajas Airport from 06:00 to 11:00 AM (local time).”

I wasn’t aware that Iberia had an arrivals lounge at Madrid Airport, and upon Googling, it seems like it’s actually something they only added last year.

Here’s how the arrivals lounge is described on Iberia’s website:

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Review: Iberia Business Class A340 New York To Madrid

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I was excited to finally sample Iberia’s longhaul business class product. I flew American’s business class between New York and Madrid just a few months ago, so was curious to compare the two products, since I’d be sampling them both on the same route. Iberia is also the last transatlantic oneworld airline I’ve yet to review — I’ve already reviewed airberlin, American Airlines, British Airways, and Finnair transatlantic business class.

I boarded through the forward door, where the head purser pointed me towards the right aisle upon presenting my boarding pass. Iberia’s A340-600s have one massive business class cabin, given the large area between the first and second doors of the plane.

Iberia’s business class cabin consists of a total of 46 seats, spread across 12 rows in a 1-2-1 configuration (the first row doesn’t have two seats in the center row due to the location of the galley).

Iberia’s business class seats are staggered, and specifically the Solstys-style staggered seats. That’s to say that the seats are positioned differently in alternating rows. These are the same seats offered on airberlin, Alitalia, Etihad, etc.

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Introduction: O-man, IB Crazy AF

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To those of you who have been asking for more creative trip report titles, there ya go. Punny, eh? 😉

The motivation for this trip started with my desire to fly Oman Air. I’ve flown most of the other major carriers in the region, including Emirates, Etihad, Gulf Air, Qatar, Royal Jordanian, etc.

But when it comes to business class products, Oman Air has always intrigued me more than any of those airlines. They’ve historically had a business class product which looks a lot more like first class than business class, though their new planes are being delivered with a different business class product. So I really wanted to try their old product before it eventually disappears.

Fortunately that opportunity presented itself when I stumbled upon some great Oman Air business class fares between Frankfurt and Bangkok (routing via Muscat in both directions). Unfortunately the time I had to take this trip was very limited, as I hoping to squeeze it between my trip to Changsha on Hainan, and my trip to Colombia, which gave me only about a week to play with.

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How To Transfer Avios From British Airways To Iberia

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For the past few years, the gold standard for short-haul economy flights has been British Airways Avios awards, which offered the option to redeem as few as 4,500 miles for American Airlines and Alaska Airlines flights.

Now that BA has eliminated the 4,500 point bracket from their redemption chart, the shortest flights have become more expensive, requiring a minimum of 7,500 points each direction. When these changes were first announced, I suggested the Iberia program might be a good alternative, particularly for those needing multiple short segments.

The Iberia program can actually be quite useful in general, particularly if you have Ultimate Rewards or Membership Rewards points. You can also transfer your British Airways Avios over to Iberia, though there are some quirks to the process. I thought I’d go over the process of setting up and linking accounts, which you’ll want to do if you think you might *ever* want to make an Iberia redemption.

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My Iberia A340 Business Class Flight In 10 Pictures

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Buenas Tardes from Madrid! I just flew Iberia’s business class from New York to Madrid, as the start of my latest journey, where I’ll be reviewing business class on Iberia, LAN, Oman Air, and Air France.

I was excited to finally check Iberia off my list. I’ve flown them shorthaul a few times in economy, though this was my first time flying with them in a premium cabin, let alone on a transatlantic flight.

And I was especially excited about it because I’ve now sampled all transatlantic oneworld business class products, including airberlin, American Airlines, British Airways, and Finnair.

By the end of the week I’ll have finished publishing my Hainan Airlines trip report for my trip to Changsha, so you can expect the Iberia trip report early next week.

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I’m Booked: Iberia, LAN, Oman Air, And Air France Business Class!!!

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Yesterday I wrote a post entitled “Which Oman Air Business Class Itinerary Should I Book?”

As I explained in the post, my goal this year is to review as many new airline products as possible. I’m off to a good start with that goal, as I already flew Finnair business class and Air India first class, and shortly will be flying Hainan Airlines business class, which I’m excited about.

Yesterday my post was about the decent Oman Air fare I saw between Frankfurt and Kuala Lumpur. For ~1,750EUR I could fly from Frankfurt to Muscat to Kuala Lumpur, which would allow me to sample Oman Air’s new and old business class products (Oman Air is one of the few airlines where the old product is what I’m more excited about).

Well, I’m a complete idiot, because what I failed to realize is that I could actually fly roundtrip business class for less than the price of one-way business class, as pointed out by a reader in the comments section. I looked at a few potential routings, and eventually decided I’d rather fly to Bangkok than Kuala Lumpur, given that Oman Air has their own lounge in Bangkok, which I’d like to review.

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