Thanks To The DoT, I Finally Got My Iberia Avios Back! Don’t Forget To Redeem Or Transfer Your Promo Iberia Avios Now!

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When things go wrong with the airlines I’ve turned to the DoT to complain and have had good results. They have a convenient online complaint form here if you ever need it.

A couple of months ago, after delaying our outbound flight and forcing us to fly to NYC, American cancelled our return flight from NYC to Cleveland.

I called Iberia for a refund of my Avios at least 2 dozen times, probably more. Sometimes they promised a refund would be coming, sometimes they said we took the flight, most of the time they said I reached the wrong department and that I had to hang up and try again as they didn’t have the ability to transfer me to the right department.

I Tweeted Iberia and they wrote back that I needed to email them.

I emailed Iberia and they wrote back that I needed to call them.

I Tweeted American and they said to go pound sand.

So I filed a DoT complaint against Iberia and American and waited.

Iberia wrote back that we took the flight, which was impossible as it was cancelled. American wrote back to deal with Iberia as we used their miles. Eventually the DoT put them together and American told Iberia that they did cancel the flight and that we didn’t use the tickets.

Iberia needed a certified letter from American stating this, and eventually American got this to them.

Iberia has now finally refunded the miles, though they said they still need to investigate about a refund of the taxes paid.

Meanwhile though, the promotional Avios officially have to be used by December 1st!

I have nothing that I need to book currently, so I transferred the Avios to British Airways.

You can combine points via this link via the BA site. Sometimes that link doesn’t work so you can also try this link on the Iberia site to combine points.

Will Iberia claw back the Avios from BA? Will Iberia put my account into a negative balance and/or ban me?

I have no idea, but I guess I’m about to find out!

What will you do with your Iberia Avios?


This wasn’t the first time the DoT helped me out of an jam with a cancelled American flight.

When American had the nerve to cancel our flight to London, strand us overnight in JFK, lose our baggage, and refuse to cooperate in providing a refund, the DoT stepped in and took care of business. It took a good amount of time, but it was resolved in the end.

The DoT also helped me cancel an American award ticket for free after the electronics ban went into effect, as that materially changed the flight.

When Emirates cancelled $65 tickets from the Maldives, people filed DoT complaints and Emirates reversed course and honored the tickets.

I recommended filing DoT complaints against Southwest when they changed their terms overnight to stop allowing hotel mileage transfers to count toward companion pass. And sure enough, Southwest relented and honored the deal for another 3 months.

After Delta’s epic $50 first class tickets to anywhere in the US, including Alaska and Hawaii, some people with reservations that weren’t ticketed were able to get them honored thanks to the DoT.

Alitalia offered a coupon that made tickets from JFK to Israel under $400 round-trip and then cancelled the tickets by adding terms to the coupon used. I recommended contacting the DoT and Alitalia decided to honor them in the end.

JAL offered the cheapest option to fly Emirates Shower Class, but last November they stealthily added $1,700 in fuel surcharges without warning to that redemption option.

People who transferred Starpoints to JAL were left holding miles that were effectively devalued without notice. JAL refused to waive the fuel surcharges or return their Starpoints. Generally speaking, once you transfer points to an airline, they are stuck there.

I recommended that people complain to the DoT.

DDF member “rileywiles23” wrote to the DoT back in November. It took 2 months, but JAL responded that they will indeed refund his miles back into Starwood Starpoints.

Several other readers booked Emirates First Class tickets with fuel surcharges after transferring points before there were fuel surcharges and the DoT had JAL refund those as well.

Have you filed a DoT complaint? Share your results in the comments!

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21 Comments On "Thanks To The DoT, I Finally Got My Iberia Avios Back! Don’t Forget To Redeem Or Transfer Your Promo Iberia Avios Now!"

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Jacob

Can avios points be used in the states

Woof

If you use them for AA, the trip needs to be return flights and there are no changes allowed.

sal

That is the case with IB. BA allows one ways and you can cancel.

Jacob

Dan Sure is not an answer how would be helpful

Yochai

2 years ago Alitalia had a glitch that economy bookings showed 2 checked bags. The airport supervisor said she knows about the glitch but I have to pay for the extra bag. Filed 2 DOT complaints and Alitalia just claimed that it’s an error and I had to pay. DOT didn’t help.
Another time, El Al wouldn’t cancel my ticket within 24 hours of booking because I booked from an Israeli IP address. I complained to DOT and they refunded it within 2 days

ZCN

Trying to transfer Avios to BA or via Avois.com and I’m getting an error message. The details on the accounts match exactly. Anyone else having issues?

R

My understanding was you couldn’t transfer them. That was what the terms said

I booked a flight but I may need to change it. We’ll see what happens when I try to do that

buschoi

I spent hours trying to figure this two nights ago. I ended up using avios.com (opened from Aer Lingus – there is a blog post somewhere on how to do this) pulling miles from Iberia. That’s the only way it works for me. Then I use Avios.com to transfer the miles to BA.

I tried for a week to use the Iberia Avios. I have a few flights coming up to and from Spain in December, so I could use them on Vueling and Iberia flights. Iberia’s site keeps declining my credit cards (tried more than 20 cards from AMEX, Citi, Chase, BOA, Barclays). Reading the bad experience people have with phone rep, I didn’t even try calling in and just gave up.

Erica

Same thing for me (card payments erroring out) until I followed their terms of using the Avios on only Iberia metal. Then all my transactions, both US to/from Spain and within Spain) were instantly processed & approved. Booked a business RT LAX-MAD. Score!

dan

I called BA, because I had the same issue. The agent was great, and informed me that my birthday wasn’t in my BA profile. He told me to upload my passport to https://www.britishairways.com/ecsupportingdocs/ and 24ish hours later I am now able to transfer in and out of BA. Luckly my info on avios.com and Iberia matched and I was able to transfer that way.

NMN

I’m having the same issue. Anyone know of a workaround?

dan

See my reply above “I called BA, because I had the same issue. The agent was great, and informed me that my birthday wasn’t in my BA profile. He told me to upload my passport to https://www.britishairways.com/ecsupportingdocs/ and 24ish hours later I am now able to transfer in and out of BA. Luckly my info on avios.com and Iberia matched and I was able to transfer that way.”

Moshe P

Hi Dan. BA canceled my flights 1.5 years ago (security reason, I used a credit card not in my name to pay the fees) and finally (after much hassle) agreed, 2 months ago to return my avios. They still haven’t done yet. Should i go to Dot? Should I wait till they ‘process’ the refunnd? TY

Bob

My Iberia flight from Athens to Madrid, more than two years ago, was delayed six hours while they checked on whether the plane was safe to fly because of a dent in or near a cargo door. (It was.)

My claim for flight-delay compensation has been grinding its way through the system slowly. The British company to which I assigned it emails me every couple months to report that it is awaiting the next step, something to do with Spanish courts. They told me earlier this year I might have to go sign some documents at a Spanish consulate, but so far that has not happened.

Eliteflyer

Neither combine Avios link works for me. I wonder if they took it offline due to the pending expiration.

Mo

No, worked fine. 10 minutes ago.

Sam

I hope Riley got old spg Points, not new lower valued points.

Yed

“Will Iberia put my account into a negative balance and/or ban me?”
Yup, negative balance for me at least…

Mark

Is there a government agency we can file a claim against an hotel ?

chaim

dan just curious did you get all 6000 miles back or just 30000 considering you did fly the way there

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