Last week, the blogs and frequent flyer world was abuzz with excitement. There was a potentially huge deal. Purchase a flight on Iberia, get 9,000 Avios. Do this up to ten times, for a total of 90,000 free Avios.
There were a few concerns, the main one being that the 90,000 Avios had to be used (or at least used to make future reservations) by December or forfeited.
People bought up cheap domestic Iberia flights, initially as low as $19 per flight, later in the week, as low as $29 – $35 per flight. The purchasers had no intention of actually taking those flights, but the Avios are earned within ten days of purchase, not flight. Thus, for somewhere between $190 and $350, people hope that they will receive 90,000 Avios – an amazing deal. If it works.
People did this deal for themselves and for entire families. And probably for unborn children and dogs too, who knows. There are risks, but the frequent flyers calculated them and decided it was worth it.
And so the excitement and flutters begin (see, 13 Stages of a Mistake Fare).
I often take part in mistake deals and ones such as this, but I did not.
I did not jump in initially, for a number of reasons.
Point Hoarding. I know you are going to hate me for saying this, but I already have a lot of points and miles. I know more is better, but I need to use more miles before I keep amassing more. Obviously, I need to plan a trip to somewhere like Australia, right?
December Deadline. I did not like the December deadline. I work full time, only get a limited amount of vacation time (a generous amount but not unlimited) and cannot always take trips on a whim. I already have trips planned through April 2019. On top of this, if I want to travel with my boyfriend, it would have to be during school holidays, another annoying hurdle. So, while there’s always room for another trip here or there, the pressure of using the Avios by December was to me a turn-off.
Risk. There is the risk that Iberia will kabash this deal. I’m not sure how or why, or the odds of it happening, but it could happen. If you look through the forums and blogs, people are already speculating who they would sue or go after in the event the deal is not honored. Really?
I Was Sick. Honestly, I had the flu or a bad cold with a fever when this all went down. This might be the overwhelming reason that I did not jump on this. My head hurt too much to pay attention. So, I put the blanket over my head (or my head in the sand). I admit that, on the last day of the promotion, I got the non-participant remorse and actually looked into the deal, but by then I couldn’t find my Iberia password and the bargain flights were few and far between. So, I said, let it be.
I wonder what Iberia is going to do with all those empty short-haul flights?
Maybe they’ll sell last minute tickets?
Just like mistake fares, and credit card deals, cheap points are exciting. It means MORE TRAVEL, and I’m all in favor of that. So, I’m hoping the Iberia deal works for all those who took the chance and we can all TRAVEL MORE and MORE.