Iberia backing out on the 90000 Avios promotion?

7 hours ago, I wrote about Iberia blocking new accounts. At that point in time, it was more a suspicion, but now it seems I have some solid proof about the Iberia 90000 Avios promotion being a no-show.

Iberia actively encouraged people to book tickets and not fly them if they wanted, all weekend this promotion was ongoing. Their PR department indeed sent out confirmations to various people on BoardingArea and other frequent flyer websites about how people could just book their tickets and not fly them and could still receive the 90000 Avios.

Yesterday was the first day after the 10-day time limit for many people to receive their Avios. Turns out the Avios did not turn up in their accounts. Iberia had various reasons for that.

Iberia blocking account on Security pretext

It turns out, Iberia may have had a change of heart now. Various data points indicate that all new accounts opened over that weekend are blocked currently. A comment on another website stated that Iberia will be contacting new account holders by Thursday.

Iberia Plus Error

And now comes the first real instance of how Iberia is going to hide behind their T&C which were initially very broad and accommodating, but now being used as bait and switch. It seems if you don’t have an address in the 8-10 European Countries the promotion was valid for, you are out of luck. Here is an email a reader received,

Dear Mr. X:

Regarding your request, we inform you that we have checked your Iberia Plus account details and we noticed your country of residency is THAILANDIA, we are sorry to inform you that our 9,000 Avios promotion was not valid for this country.
For this reason, it is not possible for us to credit the corresponding 9,000 Avios, since there is a discrepancy between your Iberia Plus account and your booking¿s country of issue.
We kindly recommend you to contact our Customer Service Line at the phone number (+1) 800 772 4642 and request the total reimbursement of your tickets.
Also we would like to inform you that your Iberia plus account has been blocked for security reason. In order to activate your account, it is necessary to send an email to clasica@iberia.es with a signed copy of the Rectification Data Document and a copy of your ID or Passport.
You can download the Rectification Data Document from the link below:
https://www.iberia.com/ibcomv3/content/EN/PDF/desbloqueopin.pdf

When you send us the documents, please write your Iberia Plus number in the email subject.
We apologize for the inconveniences this may have cause you.
Best regards,
Your Iberia Plus Service Center.

Iberia 90000 Avios promotion: Reasons to not honour

There are two parts to this communication, and let’s go with them one by one.

  • Iberia is implying country website should be the country of your residence: Iberia has 10 days later clearly indicated that if you did not live in the country on which website you booked the ticket, this promotion is not for you. For instance, a Thai address on Iberia Plus account booking via the UK website does not qualify. They are asking people to call a certain phone number to request reimbursements on their flights.
  • Iberia is asking new accounts to confirm identity: Iberia is blocking all new accounts. It sometimes happens that people may have opened fictitious accounts to get more Avios. For instance, in the name of their Dogs. Iberia is now requesting copies of Identity proof to unblock these accounts.

While I believe they are within their rights to request people for ID, I am not sure how does this go with the new GDPR rulings just brought out. I am not an EU privacy expert you see. But the intent is now confirmed, Iberia is not going to honour the Iberia 90000 Avios promotion. They are going to find all loopholes to be not on the hook for these Avios.

And somehow, this feels like that the big guy wants to win here. I can understand their intention to confirm genuine accounts. But I find their new logic unacceptable that you need to be in the country of booking your tickets to be able to honour this promotion.

For instance, they don’t even operate an India website where I can buy tickets, for instance, on Madrid – London. So logically, I would be redirected to their Spanish website, and be charged in EUR since that is how the country of origin prices tickets. Why would they take customer money on other days and allow them to fly and today be very unforgiving of the very same fact?

Similarly, hey big guy, you sold many more tickets than you anticipated, so now you want to refund the monies. What about anyone else who perhaps has a change of heart and does not want to fly you. You would charge them a hefty fee for cancelling those tickets.

I am not sure how does this sit with the EU laws and I am looking for experts to comment on that part. But in the meanwhile, all you need to know is Iberia is not planning to give you those 90K Avios easily.

Update: I went through Manage my Booking to tickets, and the Iberia Plus numbers don’t show there anymore. Although they show on the initial ticket confirmations that were sent to my account.

Have you heard more from Iberia Plus? We could use all the data points we get at the moment. 

Pingbacks

Comments

  1. I live in london, did the IB promo on 1st day it came out and got 90000 Avios today. I had my IB account for over 2 years.

  2. Check the Flyertalk thread. Half a dozen folks have commented that theirs just posted, with screenshots. Sorry Ajay, I know this doesn’t fit the narrative.

  3. The height of irony, your most commented article by a mile is the one you created with a sensational headline.

    90% say clickbait, 10% support your headline.

  4. Its seemed to be classic case of “Too good to be true” and it turned out that way. I was indeed enticed to buy tickets as you described last week but than got hold of my emotion and finally came out unharmed.

  5. Huh, i booked on the spanish website, and I can’t remember the exact wording of the T&C, but it seemed pretty clear that you had to live to be resident in the countries where the promotion was available. Misstranslation to english maybe?

    As far as the clamping down on fake accounts it seems like a good thing. Hopefully it means they’ll actually honour the promotion for legit bookings.

  6. Absolutely no issue from a GDPR/EU law point of view. A company is able to store your personal data if they require it for their business (and have the appropriate controls in place). Given that they’re flying you somewhere it’s perfectly normal for them to hold your passport details.

    • @Andrew, Thanks for the insight. They already have my Passport number on record. What they are asking for is a copy of the passport biometric pages I guess.

      • I doubt they care about the biometric data. They simply want some evidence that the passport number you’ve given them is genuine

  7. LOL! I guess all of them screaming click-bait are working for Iberia. I agree with Ajay. They aren’t giving the 9k Avios and will tell lame reasons or a loophole out of their T&C.

  8. I wouldn’t say IB is not honoring the promo but it is your blog and you can do whatever you want. However, I do admit that you lost a point here. I can see why you get emotional: maybe your country of residence is not included in those countries but I read your emotions are running high because you couldn’t take advantage of the promo. I would have appreciated more cooled down tone and neutrality, otherwise, you lose readers…

    • @ken, this is not emotional at all. The T&C and subsequent declarations were crystal clear. And why is it that no one got their points, not just the new accounts. Haven’t heard one chap getting the 9K per flight yet.

      • Ajay: the promotion was pretty clear and aimed at residents of the countries listed – even though the language used was poorly converted from Spanish. I

        For people not trying to exploit the promotion – Iberia accountholders who received the promotional email (because they already had an account, and an address in one of the countries listed) – I’d wager they are MORE LIKELY than not to receive 90,000 Avios points. Irrelevant of that, your article is pretty poor – just because YOU are having problems with the promotion it does not mean everyone is.

    • I agree with Ken – I was not a fan of this post. It rubbed me the wrong way, but I can’t pinpoint where.

      trying to be constructive here…

  9. Sorry but to all the jokers in the comments, how is this click bait? It’s evidence that Iberia are backing out. The country of residence requirement was never a part of the T&C.

    • Well a Reader did point this out earlier.

      Hi Ajay
      Does the below info still work in favor of those booking from India?

      ‘The promotion is available when the tickets are bought on iberia.com in the following countries: Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Russia, United Kingdom, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Mexico and USA, regardless of the origin of the flight. So, you will get the 9,000 Avios, if you book a flight from Athens to Madrid, or from Johannesburg to Madrid, etc… operated by Iberia, on any of the iberia.com sites mentioned above’

      Cheers
      S&S

      • @Swastik, what you state was not even on the T&C page. And that supports the case that these country websites need to be used, not that you need to be residing in these countries. Clearly Iberia does not understand English, and that is where the mess came from.

        • Hi Ajay
          I had sourced that part of tnc from what loyalty lobby had quoted was ‘from tnc shared by Iberia’.
          I didn’t provide source but didn’t make it up either 🙂

          Cheers
          S&S

          • @S&S, the point is, they need to be held accountable to what they quoted in public and not what they thought they quoted in their minds.

  10. “Confirmed: Iberia backing out on the 90000 Avios promotion”

    That’s your headline, and it’s simply not true. You wanted us all to click on it to read about how none of us are going to get our Avios, which is what we all think when we talk an airline is backing out of a promotion. Saying that it’s not misleading because it happened to one person is weak. I bet any problem has its share of similar cancellations.

    Even if you disagree, I think this comment section tells you that your headline is super misleading and you should change it.

  11. It is clearly not “confirmed” in any way, shape, or form. That is most certainly a misleading and disingenuous title and you know it. Congratulations on snookering some extra clicks. I will not make the mistake of visiting your blog again.

  12. On the plus side, they’re offering to refund the tickets.
    They could just as easily take a different tack.
    Seems to me that they are weeding out fraud and verifying that the terms were met.
    The article title is misleading in that it makes it sounds like Iberia is doing something underhanded when it appears that they are just preserving their rights.
    I bet there are a number of airlines that would find a way to withhold the Avios *and* keep the money.

    • @Josh, Thank you for being the voice of sanity. I can’t have a 1600 word title. So I need to put the most efficient summary out there. That summary for the moment is that Iberia has focussed efforts on not giving the miles the way they promised last week to various people.

  13. Nothing has been “confirmed” horrible clickbait taking advantage of nervous people.

    The majority of people booked from their own country’s websites.

    • @Tony, I wouldn’t want to break the bubble. but I see the signs and read the tea leaves. Iberia is trying to wriggle out of this and that is all I am writing about. They have now started the efforts to not honour the promotion, and they will find various reasons to not give the Avios to various people. That’s the way it looks like. And why are people nervous, really? I mean, ideally, it was a straightforward transaction and you’d get the 9K Avios per flight booked, right?

      • You can see the signs and read the tea leaves all you want, but until you have more data points from people who booked from countries that were actually eligible for this promotion (unlike you who broadcasted this blatantly without reading the terms and conditions), I suggest you stop your irresponsible blog posts that unnecessarily promote fake news. FlyerTalk is entertaining enough, didn’t need you to add to the mix

        • @A Fake news is an American Term indeed. And the broadcasts really happened from the American blogs. I don’t see why you are pissed. If we all get our Avios and we go home happy, then there is no problem at all, right? And besides, who decides the interpretation of the very loosely written T&C? Iberia does. Don’t claim to know everything A. Thanks for your comment.

    • @Sandy, where is the lie. Iberia has told someone that they won’t honour the promotion. So what is a lie here, tell me? Would you expect them to issue a press release confirming that they won’t give you the Avios?

  14. Total clickbait. Content does not support the title that you have chosen to use. The other readers who feel the same way are not alone.

    • @tim, please explain how is a statement of facts a click bait. Iberia has in as many words said they won’t honour the Avios to a reader.

  15. That’s a bait title, you’re talking to a narrow subset of customers. I would imagine most customers met the guidelines. You should change the title.

    • @Joe, wait till Thursday when most Iberia customers would be saying the same thing we said. You are more than welcome to have a different view, however.

      • Again, you’re taking a very small sliver of an issue and extrapolating. I fully expected them to dissect the actual terms, of my Iberia number wasn’t included at time of booking, etc. You didn’t qualify by the terms, sucks to be you.

        • @Joe, that is the point. 10 days ago they were very accommodating and encouraging everyone to book without having to fly. 10 days later, they are now in finding ways of not honouring it. Is there a problem telling people that they shouldn’t expect the Avios. Fine, a subset has been not awarded the Avios coz of new accounts. What about the others who had old accounts but still did not receive the Avios on Day 10?

  16. Spain is always a challenge, ever been to spain, their customer service in everything, from banks to trains to restaurants is poor. when this popped in my mailbox I knew this wont work out….the twitter reply must have been given by some call center fellow who had no clue about the program…..

  17. Garbage, misleading headline. Surprised boarding area let’s this kind of clickbait fly. The text of the article does not support the bold claim in the headline. Just more speculation and a waste of my time.

      • With all due respect, I believe you are missing the point with most comments here. “Confirmed” means that one has multiple data points to support a fact. As of the time you wrote your post, you have one data point from one of thousands of people who took advantage of the promotion. The basic objection is using the word “confirmed” based on one person not meeting alleged T&Cs. I would suggest changing that word to “1 DP:” or “Future Possibility:” or some such header that better describes your content and your readers will not scream clickbait. Accuracy in journalism is important!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *