Last week I wrote a post about how I transferred the 90,000 Iberia Plus Avios I “earned” through the best deal of the year over to British Airways Executive Club which expired immediately due to inactivity for 3 years. I chose to make this transfer for a few reasons, first and foremost, I hoped to extend the life of my Avios beyond December 1, 2018 (we’ll see if that works out). Second, I hate dealing with Iberia on award travel. Their website never shows the correct availability and their customer service reps make United’s CSRs look like Chick-fil-A employees.

Many of my fellow bloggers and hobbyist friends thought this strategy was risky and could land me in hot water with Iberia. I saw someone mentioned in a comment on another blog that covered my experience, that they thought Iberia could come after me to collect the debt. But my favorite comment of the bunch suggested I let my Iberia account go negative and then file a Right to be Forgotten request under the EU’s new GDPR laws. Even if that worked, (since I’m not an EU or UK citizen I don’t have protections under this law), I feel like it would be bordering on fraud and I wouldn’t recommend you try it.

If my Iberia account goes negative, it goes negative, I don’t really care. If Iberia and BA merge their Avios programs, and my account is still negative, I don’t care. Very little use of my Avios is what go me into this whole mess in the first place. As with any venture in this hobby, risk and reward are closely tied. Ms. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus said it best…

cartoon of a woman in a car with a dragon on her shoulder

Image Credit: Magic School Bus (PBS)

I spoke with BA Executive Club customer service last week after noticing the points had expired as soon as they hit my account, and was told that it would take a week or so to get a decision regarding my request for point reinstatement. I received the following email yesterday evening:

“Dear Mr Hitchcock

Thank you for contacting us regarding your expired Avios.

Your 90,900 Avios are now available for you to redeem and are not due to expire until 5 August 2021.

This date will change each time you collect, spend, purchase or transfer any Avios.

One of our conditions of membership is that if you have no eligible activity on your account for a period of three years, your Avios are removed.

I hope this information has been useful to you.

Best regards

British Airways Executive Club”

I appreciate that BA made the situation right and even returned an extra 900 miles that expired back in March. I know, that their program terms state that they can turn my account inactive after 3 years, but if they’re going to do this, they shouldn’t accept the transfer to an inactive account.

Final Thoughts

Yes, it turned out okay in the end, but If you’re going to make a similar transfer from Iberia to British Airways, make sure your accounts are active and in good standing beforehand. One of the easiest ways to keep your account active is to use the British Airways Shopping Portal every now and then to reset the clock. My mistake was a stupid and simple one that almost cost me a lot of points, time and effort. But, it could have happened to anyone. I hope you get a good laugh out of it happening to me though.

What are you going to do with your Iberia Promo Avios?