Iberia’s new revenue-based earning scheme has gone live. And whilst it looks simple at the headline level, it’s a little more complex in the real world.
What loyalty status earns what?
Let us start at the beginning. In theory, it sounds passable with earnings starting from €1 = 5 Avios, depending on your status level.
Status levels – Image, Iberia.
Dependant on your status level will depend on what you earn:
- Clásica = €1 = 5 Avios
- Plata = €1 = 6 Avios
- Oro = €1 = 7 Avios
- Platino/Infinita/Infinita Prime = €1 = 8 Avios
You will still earn Tier Points in the usual way, as this is not part of the change
Simple enough. Except it is not.
Earnings will be based on net spending, including ancillary purchases and carrier-imposed charges but excluding taxes and fees.
Do you know how much fees and taxes make up part of your fare? You’re going to want to know very shortly.
And it gets messier from here…
It seems that this change got enough Iberia riled up enough to make some quick changes, so certain routes will get extra Avios per euro spent.
- Air Shuttle: +1 Avios
- Latin American routes: +2 Avios
So, there are exceptions before we start. This bodes well for Avios calculations.
Iberia’s examples – worked out in detail
On Iberia’s site, they’ve provided two examples – Paris and New York, with a near-top tier status. Interestingly they never mentioned the lower tiers. Thankfully, I have the power of Microsoft Excel to help.
Interestingly, they haven’t priced these as singles or returns – In this assumption, I’m working on returns
For those of you on the lower levels of a loyalty programme, it’s going to bite more. Let us compare to BA Blue, where Iberia fare slightly better than base Blue earnings.
Compared to the New York Example on the BA site:
In addition, bringing services with your ticket will also qualify for Avios (eg additional luggage, flexibility options and so on) will qualify for Avios earnings too – adding further complexity.
This needs to be a LOT simpler.
I’m going to be blunt. Iberia has made this complex for the sake of being complex. The logical thing would have been to calculate against a full fare and call it there.
But no, taxes and fees are excluded – this makes the calculation hard for the consumer. Plus some routes get bonuses to confuse the matter.
And as such, it’s opaque as hell.
Even running through the booking service, I got the headline numbers on earing on a return flight between London and Madrid. I hunted hard – could I find a fare breakdown?
Near enough impossible. They do break it down – into taxes, fees and surcharges.
Surcharges earn Avios, so you have ZERO IDEA how much you’re earning and what part of the fares you’re earning on.
However, if you’re a loyal Ibiera member, there’s not a lot you can do sadly. Well, there is –
And if this comes to British Airways (and a variant will)
A word of advice to the Loyalty Teams who are going to be putting this into action next year. They will need to two things:
- Reduce complexity and simplify
- Reduce opacity
Otherwise, customers will look elsewhere and that their loyalty with them.
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