What To Do If Your New Iberia Plus Account Is Locked

It’s been a big week here at OMAAT already!

After posting earlier this week about not panicking if you could not access your Iberia Plus account that you opened to take advantage of the ‘promo of the year,’ then came the excellent news that the bonus Iberia Avios had begun posting, but only for those accounts opened before the promotion started.

Both Ben and Tiffany have older accounts, so received their Avios.

I opened a new account, and could not access it for the last few days. Rather than contacting Iberia, as every person seemed to be given a different story and instructions, I planned to wait until the dust settled and official word came from Iberia as to what to do to unlock the account, rather than jumping through hoops that may not actually achieve anything.

As of today, there appears to be two officials steps to take if you have a new Iberia Plus account you cannot access.

1. Check Your Emails

Today I received the following email from Iberia Plus regarding the promotion, and my account:

Dear customer,

Thank you for your interest in the Iberia Plus programme.

It is a standard requirement of our programme to check the registration details for your Iberia Plus account. To help us do this, please email a copy of the official identity document you used for registration to clasica@iberia.es. The subject line of the email must include your Iberia Plus number in order for us to process it and you must send it to us by 31 July (GMT+2). If the documentation is not received before this date, we will be unable to register you for the Iberia Plus programme and you will not have access to any of the associated benefits.

If you took part in our recent 9,000 extra Avios promotion for the purchase of tickets at Iberia.com, please attach a copy of any tickets purchased during the period and send it to us by 31 July 2018 in order to collect your Avios.

Once we have verified your identification and proof of ticket purchase we will award the Avios due—as per the campaign terms and conditions—to your account.

Kind regards and we hope to see you on board again soon.

The Iberia Plus team

To summarise (and read between the lines):

  • Iberia is aware that fake accounts have been opened, by people taking advantage of the promotion (i.e. someone’s dog). To be honest, I didn’t even think to create an account for someone other than myself. In hindsight I could have created one for my parents, but I’m glad I didn’t as they would be confused if I asked them for their passports!
  • To ensure each account is legitimate, I must provide a copy of my official identity document (i.e. my passport), together with a copy of any tickets purchased for the promotion by 31 July 2018.
  • Avios will then be awarded if I do this, and have met the other terms and conditions of the promotion.

2. Unlock your account

As I wrote about a few days ago, I cannot currently access my account.

People who have contacted Iberia about this have been told to email in proof of identity, which you are already doing as part of Step 1. If you’re in no hurry to redeem your Avios by all means do this as it is the simpler option. However, I would much rather have access to my account sooner, rather than later.

And there is a work-around, thanks to some wonderful OMAAT readers earlier this week.

Firstly download the Iberia app. Then attempt to log in, using your Iberia Plus number and existing PIN.

It should return an error message.

So then click ‘Forgot Your PIN?’ and you will be taken to another screen to re-enter your Iberia Plus number and then the email registered with the account.

Check your emails, and you will be given a temporary PIN to use on the normal website.

Now I tried to enter these details on Iberia.com, but just got a spinning wheel for several minutes, followed by an error message.

However, entering my Iberia Plus number and recovery PIN into the Iberia app did grant me access to my account.

No Avios yet, but at least its unlocked.

And I was VERY pleased to see in ‘Your upcoming trips’ that all 10 of my bookings were still there with my Iberia number attached!

My position on this

I’m not surprised or annoyed that Iberia has decided to do this. I wasn’t panicking when I wrote the last post, I’m still not panicking now.

It’s perfectly fair that anyone who opened an account in the name of their dog, thereby breaching the terms and conditions, does not receive the bonus Avios. Those people won’t be able to get a refund on the tickets or the Avios.

That’s the price you pay for breaching the (very fair) terms of the offer.

Given there are likely to be tens of thousands of people sending in their documentation, I would recommend:

  • Doing it as soon as possible and
  • Being patient, as it will take them some time to review everyone’s and approve the Avios

I am far more frustrated about the sudden new rule that these bonus Avios cannot be combined into an Executive Club account. I maintain a very active Executive Club account through legitimate flying and credit card spend, and had planned to move the bonus Avios to British Airways as soon as possible.

I’m not very familiar with the Iberia Plus program, and expect award inventory to be very carefully controlled until December 1st as goodness knows how many people madly scramble to redeem their Avios before the December 1 deadline. Had I known this rule when the promotion began (they seem to have changed their minds recently) I probably would have sat this promotion out.

Bottom line

The rollercoaster of this promotion continues, and it’s been very fun to take part so far. This is what makes this hobby exciting.

It’s not surprising or unfair that Iberia has added some evidence requirements, as I imagine they suspect many people used fake names for accounts and bookings.

I’ll be sure to update you on any progress, as I know a lot of you are in the same position as me. If you have any additional data to report, please comment below.

What are you spending you 90,000 bonus Avios on?

Comments

  1. While the bookings are “there”, if you click on them in the app, it says “Booking not found”.

  2. OK I got email back from Iberia today after sending in their ID requirements.They missed my ID passport pdf as only looked at the form.

    However, they said I need to send in tickets and ID to claim my Avios before July 31 and I would get my Avios in my account.

    Fortunately I did receive 9 emails with ticket numbers. I never received an email for 10th but have the locator code. I sent all of that to them..hopeful and still waiting

  3. James, I am in exactly the same position as you in the sense that mine was a recently opened account which was blocked in the last few days. I have gone & reset the PIN through the app & can now login.

    I also received the email asking to supply passport copy plus copy of all 10 tickets purchased.

    I have sent them a copy of my passport. Just wondering if I should also email them copies of my tickets booked? What do you suggest?

  4. James, I never received any emails from Iberia about account problems, nor did my wife for her account. So I had to call Iberia Plus, and the agents have been supplying contradictory information which in every case has turned out to be wrong. So more days wasted for me, while I sadly watch the supply of award tickets I need evaporate.

    And they keep moving the goalposts. Now they are asking for copies of the tickets purchased to be sent to them? And again I never received an email about this, just read about this from other people’s experience.

    And they are only occasionally sending auto-reply acknowledgments of having received my emails containing the documents that are asking for, meaning I have to keep resending them.

    I understand your point about the problem of fraud, but that is a reality long baked into promotions, and should have been factored in before the promotion was announced. So many other companies have dealt with this in a much better manner. Seriously, this is not a professional way to run a promotion.

  5. James, I am genuinely confused. Did you mean you had planned to move the bonus avios to British Airways? Even though Iberia stated from the very beginning that any points moved would cause your Iberia account to go negative?

    “…and had planned to move the bonus Avios to Iberia as soon as possible.”

  6. Reiterating above – this was blindingly obivous from near the outset. initially the question was whether an account could go negative and then it was quickly clarified that they couldn’t be moved. Very fair IMO.
    Meanwhile…

    “To be honest, I didn’t even think to create an account for someone other than myself.”

    Did you read a single other blogger on this topic over the past few weeks?? Or just hear about this 3rd hand? It’s like saying I never thought to refer my partner for a CC sign up bonus. Really? Lots of people were discussing that very idea.

    There is a huge amount of (mis)information flying around. The above isn’t even fact checked on the basics and its peddling single sourced info. I don’t want to start sending 60 bookings into Iberia if that’s not necessary. I’m holding steady on this and waiting for clarifications.

  7. Changing the PIN will *not* unlock your account.
    It will give you access to your account information.
    Even if you have been credited with the Avios, you will not be able to book until the account is unlocked (i.e., verified by Iberia via form and copy of passport/document).
    People are getting this 100% wrong.
    It appears that the steps needed to get the Avios (adding Iberia Plus number to bookings prior to the 24th plus meeting program conditions) is separate from unlocking the account to use them.
    If you changed your PIN and found Avios in your account, and then received the following message when trying to book:
    “To be to use your Avios we ask that you contact your Iberia Plus Customer Service Centre: (+34) 91 374 24 42. We apologise for the inconvenience.”
    Your account is locked.
    Hope that helps.

  8. This is a huge screw up by Iberia. I’ve done everything requested and still getting a run around. Iberia is worse than unhelpful. I’m convinced that they are clowns and I should not voluntarily book with them ever again. How Not to Run a Promotion 101 by Iberia.

  9. @RJB – If you are this upset because the airline is validating the flood of new accounts you should really avoid this hobby in the future, for the moment there is absolutely nothing to be upset about, all signs point to the airline honoring the promotion for all real people. There was nothing in the terms about you getting your miles before everyone else.

  10. @Anthony Steve

    But there was something in the terms about getting the Avios 10 days after purchase….

  11. @Carter – Sure, but by all accounts, there are a fair number of people who decided to try to register for people that don’t actually exist. So, it seems reasonable for Iberia to verify accounts that have history, since a portion of the participants decided 90,000 per person simply was not enough for them. It’s unfortunate, but if people want to be upset at someone I’d suggest focusing on the people who submitted fake identities.

  12. @Another Steve – Perhaps Iberia could have started trying to validate the accounts of people they don’t trust sooner, rather than waiting to do so until after 10 days have passed since the promo closed.

    I still haven’t had any email from Iberia and no Avios posted, and it’s after the 10 day period they promised. They’ve broken the terms of the promotion, it’s as simple as that.

  13. I have a feeling I’m in a completley different situation, I’ve had my IB account for over 1 year, and still havent gotton my avios. Also, even though I booked through the link, while logged into my profile, and despite my IB number showing on the booking confirmation email, my number isnt sticking to any of the reservations. Everytime I try to add the number I get a success message, but then when I look into the booking again its not there. Is anyone having this problem as well??

  14. I received the same email yesterday and immediately replied. Somewhat irritating to have to attach 10 copies of tickets. Also annoyed that I added my new IB number to a British Airways flight I took on Monday. Pointed this out in my reply that surely this goes someway to verify my genuine identity….a flown international sector where passport/ID date required at check-in.
    Also due to fly MAD-LHR later in July, have not yet added IB number to that booking and not sure I want to while this is ongoing.
    As an aside I do have some concerns about IB asking potentially hundreds or even thousands of new customers to email passport copies, I wonder how compliant such a request is with the new EU GDPR.

  15. @ Rjb — even though Iberia are part of IAG, one of the worlds largest and most sophisticated airline groups, even they didn’t expect the promotion to be as popular as it was.

  16. @ Robert — Ben has been reviewing airlines without wifi this week so hasn’t been able to post every hour of every day. The three of us have been working together to cover the various aspects of the Promo Of The Year so you all have the information you need. Tiffany and Ben have their Avios, while I’m in the same boat as those who don’t.

  17. @ mangoceviche — yes I had planned to have a negative Iberia balance. If I had to open an Iberia account last month to participate in this promotion (while having had a very active Executive Club account with earnt status for years), it shows my level of interest in the Iberia Plus program!

  18. Quite excited. After several years of reading this blog, this is the first time i took the plunge into the “hobby”.

    I got the Avios for the 7 trips MAD-PMI but not for the 3 trips SDR-MAD that i booked. Haven’t received the “xx avios posted to your account” email that Ben wrote about either.

  19. “… yes I had planned to have a negative Iberia balance…”

    And this is why we can’t have nice things

  20. In the same boat as @Josh Greenberg here. I can access my welcome page on the Iberia Plus site after requesting a new PiN via the app but attempts to modify the new temporary PIN or any other tasks were met with error messages.

  21. Iberia’s web site has crashed repeatedly. Iberia has not responded to requests for assistance by email or by Twitter. Their phone support is non-existent. They did manage to email me an account number that I don’t know and did not create. I did send them a copy of my ID and verification form four days ago for an account that I did create. I have heard nothing back. Iberia has changed the terms of their promotion after the fact which may not matter in case they never get their IT mess straightened out.

    Irrespective of their botched promotion, there is still no way to upgrade from PE to J despite having offering PE for almost a year.

    As part of “one of the worlds largest and most sophisticated airline groups” I stand by my assertion that Iberia has no idea what they are doing.

  22. James, my dog shares the same credit card as me, so I am responsible for the charges that he made on his now locked Iberia account. What should we do?

  23. I had an older Iberia account fortunately, so my 90k posted on Tuesday. After searching for availability with AA.com’s excellent award calendar, I found BA F availability to Seattle next spring that works perfectly for my schedule. Ticketed FCO-LHR-SEA in Y/F for 91,500 + $211 on Iberia.com. I had no trouble transferring 1450 avios from my BA account to top it off. I’m very happy with that extraordinarily low co-pay for BA F, as other European routes I considered were $100-300 more. J on FCO-LHR added 6k miles and $200 in tax/YQ, so not at all worth it.

    My parents both created new accounts which are locked, so I helped them to submit the documentation. Hope all the BA availability doesn’t dry up in the mean time… They had planned to transfer them to BA to use on Alaska flights, as was my plan originally.

  24. Received the following Twitter DM from Iberia this afternoon:

    “Hello, the clients who created the IBPlus account during the recent Avios promotion will receive an email today regarding the account blockage and the Avios credit. Please wait for our colleagues’ email and check the spam folder. Kind regards”

    A few agents I spoke to today also mentioned that I should expect an email from Iberia shortly regarding the promotion.

    I have been struggling with the fact that I inadvertently (I received an error message when I first entered all of my info so redid it but apparently the system did generate a number) created 2 accounts and booked using the second account # and logged into the second account which Iberia has now closed. I managed to get the first account unlocked (@Josh Greenberg has it 100% correct above) however getting someone in the Iberia bureaucracy to credit me for flights booked during the promo but tied to an account they have now shut down seems like a pretty huge ask which is irritating beyond belief since by “struggle” is 100% due to their website’s shoddiness when trying to create a new account. Stay tuned I guess.

    And @James, @Lucky and @Tiffany thanks for providing good coverage of this promo, I disagree with the comments that you have not provided useful or accurate info.

  25. @PW – me too! It’s been past 10 days and I didn’t *just* create an account, I’ve had one for a while.

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