EXPLAINED: IB Iberia Plus Gold


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Iberia Plus Gold is one of four elite tiers that make up Iberia’s frequent flyer membership program with Gold being the second-highest elite status tier that can be achieved – after Silver status.

As Iberia is part of the Oneworld Alliance, Gold status is equivalent to Oneworld Sapphire, meaning (at least to a degree) it will offer similar benefits when travelling with other Oneworld member airlines.

A member of the Oneworld Alliance since 1999, Iberia is Spain’s flagship airline. The leading carrier between Europe and Latin America, its Madrid hub serves around 135 destinations in 47 countries throughout Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the Americas.

Iberia’s relationship with Oneworld is not only closely linked with the alliance but also with British Airways. After British Airways and Iberia merged, Avios became the default currency for Iberia. Although there are some similarities between Executive Club and Iberia Plus, they operate separately.

Oneworld & Iberia Plus

As with everyone Oneworld member airline, there are two different types of collectible currencies that members accrue simultaneously. Status Points (SP) and Reward Currency (RC) which can be exchanged for airline benefits and rewards.

How To Collect Elite Points

When you travel with Iberia, any Oneworld partner airline, its subsidiaries, or in some specific cases non-Oneworld member airlines you will earn Elite Points. It is important to highlight that Elite Points are only given on revenue tickets (paid with money) and never with award tickets (purchased with miles).

Every member starts at Iberia Plus Clasica which is the airline’s entry-level tier. It is the most basic and is available to everyone as it does not come with any benefits except the ability to earn Status Points and Reward Currencies. Silver, Gold and Platinum status on the other hand are earned and come with a varying degree of benefits.

Unique to Iberia Plus is Iberia Singular – its invitation only card – not too dissimilar to British Airways Executive Club Premier or American Airlines Concierge Key

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Additionally, Iberia Plus also has lifetime tiers called Iberia Plus Infinita and Infinita Prime which are earned after flying with the carrier for a significant period of time.

As a reminder, Elite Points can only be earnt by actually flying, not by signing up to credit card deals. There is no other use for Elite Points other than setting your elite status – they cannot be spent in any way. As you can expect, moving up the ladder within Iberia Plus is completely dependent on the number of Tier Miles accrued within a given year, and like Avios, expire after a set time – in this case, Elite Points expire on March 31st every year..

As Iberia uses a Zone Based system. The general rule is that Elite Points are usually earned based on the distance of the flight and the fare class that you travel in.

The Iberia Plus program works a little differently than to other Oneworld members. Some differences include:

  • Status Points Calculations – Iberia Plus, like Cathay Pacific Marco Polo and British Airways Executive club use a zone-based model to reward loyalty, this is in contrast to SriLankan FlySmiles and Royal Air Maroc Safar Flyer which are mileage-based or American Airlines AAdvantage which is revenue-based.
  • Miles On Renewal –Iberia Plus requires you to meet the same threshold to renew, this is similar to Japan Airlines Mileage Bank but is in contrast to Royal Jordanians Royal Club, for instance, which requires fewer Status Points to requalify.
  • No Mid-Tier Bonus Unlike its alliance counterpart Cathay Pacific, SriLankan does not offer mid-tier status target perks to its members.
  • Lifetime Status Like American Airlines, British Airways and Finnair Plus, Iberia does offer lifetime status to its members.
  • 12 Months plus remainder When you reach a higher elite status tier your accrued miles do not reset. In fact, you get to use the remainder of your current membership year at the higher tier in addition to the higher tier you have renewed at. This is in contrast to Cathay Pacific and SriLankan which reset upon reaching a higher tier and your membership renews at that point effectively giving you only 12 months to enjoy the perks.
  • No Soft LandingIf you do not reach the required Tier Miles required to re-qualify in the following year you will be dropped back to Classica – this is in contrast to British Airways and Sri Lankan which does have a Soft landing policy.

Benefits Of Iberia Plus Gold

There are multiple Benefits to Iberia Plus Gold including:

Note there are some specifics to each benefit that do not apply when specifically travelling on an Iberia ticket with LEVEL where the flight number begins with IB26XX.

  • Extra Award Miles – When travelling on eligible flights on Iberia you will receive 50% extra Avios irrespective of class of travel.
  • Priority Check-in – Gold members have access to Business class check-in desks when flying internationally or domestically on either Iberia or any other Oneworld member airline irrespective of class of travel.
  • Priority Boarding When travelling in Iberia you will board in Group 2 and when travelling with a Oneworld member carrier you will board near or at the front with Oneworld Sapphire holders.
  • Fast Track – Iberia Plus Gold cardholders are entitled to fast track at Madrid when on flights operated by Iberia. Fast track is for you and a companion or children under 18 when travelling with you.
  • Guaranteed Economy – In Economy class, guaranteed bookings must be made in full-fare fare-class Y. Reservations must be made up to 24 hours before departure. This is only valid for flights on Iberia.
  • Extra Luggage Allowance – With Gold status you are entitled to an extra 23kg on top of your standard allowance when on flights marked and operated by Iberia. On Oneworld member airlines this becomes 15kg. The Airlines baggage Policy can be found here.
  • Complimentary Parking at Madrid or Barcelona – When you fly with Iberia, the carrier will offer you free parking at the airport.
  • Retain Membership while on Maternity or Paternity – retain membership from when you receive your medical report to 6 months after the birth of the child. You simply need to email a copy of your medical report or maternity leave certificate to [email protected] to have it applied. This applies to adoptions as well.

Lounge Access

Iberia Plus Gold members get Business class lounge access for themselves at lounges in Madrid so long as the transit is more than 4 hours.

You will also have free access along with a guest to Lounges offered by Iberia when travelling on flights operated and marketed by Vueling (Madrid, Barcelona, Frankfurt and Paris-Orly airports).

Iberia Plus Gold customer, you have access to OneWorld partner lounges for themselves and a companion when travelling on a OneWorld member airline.

Routes To Earn Iberia Plus Gold

The only way to reach Iberia Plus Goldis to fly with Iberia, a Oneworld partner airline, its subsidiaries, or in some specific cases a non-Oneworld member airline and accrue Elite Points.

To achieve Iberia Plus Gold status with miles you will need either:

  1. accrue 2,250 Elite Points in one year; or
  2. fly 50 sectors with Ibera and Oneworld

To renew you will need to accrue the amounts again.

Calculating The Number Of Elite Points Earned

Iberia calculates the Elite Points accrued on the carrier on zonal system calculated from Spain to and from the arrival or departure region. There are no percentage multipliers, rather each region has a fixed value that needs to be referred to to calculate the Elite Points – which can be found here.

However, flights on Oneworld member airlines are calculated on a miles-based system grouped into set brackets and is dependant on the class of travel.

In short, Elite Miles are affected by the route, the carrier you have flown with, and the class of travel.

There are some specific points worth noting when reviewing the fare rules which are worth considering, for example:

  • Iberia does not specifically differentiate American Airlines 2 class and 3 class domestic flights so long as the ticket is credited as First class then you will earn at a first class rate.
  • Additionally, the carrier does not differentiate the earnings chart for Japan Airlines domestic and international offerings as many other carriers do.
  • All are credited equally and flying with one carrier will earn the same rate as another – Which is not the case with Srilankan

Members may submit a retroactive claim within 6 months of the date of the booking provided that you have the ticket and boarding pass. However, any transactions made more than 6 months prior to the your enrolment date in the program are not eligible.

The simplest and best tool for finding out how many Tier Miles you’ll earn on any flight is to use Iberia Plus Elite Points Calculator.

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