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This week, Iberia Plus sent out an email to its members announcing that — effective November 2022 — it will be moving to revenue-based Avios earning. Just like that, members will no longer earn Avios based on the distance flown. Going forward, Avios are earned per Euro spent and your elite status.
In an Iberia press release, the Client Loyalty Director, Silvia Morán, stated:
“We think this is a more fair and transparent way to reward our more loyal members, with a model that they have been requesting for some time and which is also more in line with other industry loyalty programmes”
Perhaps Iberia does not appreciate the irony of the image in their email. The hand at the window representing travelers trying to escape the clutches of the program after their latest announcement!
New Iberia Avios Earning Rates
Effective November 1, 2022, Iberia will no longer award Avios based on distance flown. Now, the airline has shifted to a revenue-based model where you will earn Avios per Euro spent. The number of Avios earned will depend on your elite status within the program:
The new earnings are as follows:
- Classica members earn 5 Avios per Euro.
- Plata members earn 6 Avios per Euro.
- Oro members earn 7 Avios per Euro.
- Platino members earn 8 Avios per Euro.
- Infinita members earn 8 Avios per Euro.
- Infinita Prime members earn 8 Avios per Euro.
Stealth Status Bonus Devaluation
The new earning model represents a stealth devaluation of the current status category bonuses. Before this change, the bonuses are as follows:
- Classica earns no bonus.
- Plata members earn a 25% bonus on miles flown.
- Oro members earn a 50% bonus on miles flown.
- Platino, Infinita, and Infinita Prime members earn a 100% bonus on miles flown.
If you take the 5 Avios per Euro as the base earning rate, the new bonus structure is 20%, 40%, and 60%. That's a devaluation from the previous 25%, 50%, and 100% earning rates.
British Airways To Follow Suit
In the same statement as Iberia, British Airways announced that it would move to a revenue-based Avios earning model. According to the Head of Retail and Customer Relationship Management at British Airways, Ian Romanis stated:
“We congratulate our colleagues at Iberia for introducing this change and we look forward to joining them in 2023. More announcements will follow about what this change will mean for our Executive Club programme, which will unlock even more opportunities for our Members to earn Avios when they fly.”
“Unlocking even more opportunities” is underwhelming at best. Generally, most travelers will pass on the opportunity to earn lots of Avios if the price is having to pay higher fares to earn them!
Considering how British Airways structures its fares (with high levels of taxes and fees), this is not great news. Basically, if British Airways adopts the same model as Iberia, Avios earnings will be heavily hit. However, we will have to wait and see what BA comes up with for next year.
Undoubtedly, Iberia's move is negative for most travelers. And British Airways' changes are likely to be negative as well. The only travelers that will be celebrating this change are big-spending corporate travelers. That should come as no surprise as it is an industry trend towards basing everything on revenue.
How are you taking the change? Will it affect your loyalty to Iberia? Let us know in the comments below.
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