Evolving On A Deal
It’s amazing how the miles/points community reacts whenever there is a big deal. A couple of years ago British Airways had a truly amazing deal where you could redeem Avios and cash for business class tickets. I ended up earning status for nearly two years simply by taking a couple of flights.
When that deal first surfaced, I wasn’t quite excited about it. I mean I still had to spend 30,000 Avios plus $400 to fly to freezing London in January. Then, I started to come around. I realized I would earn almost 50,000 AAdvantage miles for the flight and of course progress towards status. By the time I booked my first solo ticket, I was ready to go all-in.
That lead me to search for family vacation itineraries. As I searched and searched, I found out the deal was even better than expected. Ultimately I was able to get my family four roundtrip business class tickets for 120,000 Avios + $244.56 all-in. Yes, it is perhaps the best deal I have ever scored travel wise.
Naysayers Always Exist
But even then there were naysayers. People who didn’t evolve on the deal or come to understand its benefit like I did. That’s okay. The truth is that you can’t chase every deal and you shouldn’t. Everyone is different and everyone’s lives and needs are different. I see AMAZING deals on televisions all of the time, but I have too many of them. So I pass. 🙁
Which brings me to this past week’s Iberia Avios deal (Full details here). This one has attracted an interesting mix of people on boths sides. When I first heard of the deal (back when it was possible to get 10 tickets for $180), I wasn’t all too impressed. The price was amazing, but I just knew there had to be some catch, so I held off.
A Confirmed Deal Is One Worth Pursuing
As many of you know, the next day the deal exploded on a lot of blogs and we also decided to cover it here as well. Why? Because it turned out to be an amazing deal for one reason only. The company confirmed in writing that you didn’t have to fly the flights. Every “catch” that I had assumed would be there wasn’t. In other words, the value proposition had changed from being a huge hassle (still potential but less likely) to being a huge score.
The truth is this deal was amazing for those who can use the points. I spent $250 for 90,000 Avios which amounts to less than 3/10 of a cent per point. My plan to use these points was in place before I pulled the trigger. There is a lot of award space on the route I need them for and I will save a ton of money going in this direction.
Some worry that Iberia will find a way out of this deal and keep people’s money. To those people I simply ask when any company that has publicly confirmed a deal has managed to do that? I mean I could see a scenario (although unlikely) where Iberia tries to cancel tickets for a refund and not pay the Avios, but for them to keep the money? Not going to happen in my opinion.
What More Do You Want?
Truthfully Iberia has confirmed this deal over and over again and I fully expect that the Avios will be deposited in people’s accounts as expected. I also expect that this will cost the airline a lot of money and thus they could fight back in other ways. Perhaps they’ll devalue their program or significantly restrict award space.
While that would certainly punish those who got these Avios, it would also make the company’s rewards program less attractive which arguably hurts them even more. They also can’t control partner award space so I suspect there will be plenty of uses for these points anyway. Yes, a lot of people will be booking popular routes, but there will be opportunity to use them before the December expiration.
Taking A Chance
My final point is that this hobby is about taking chances. How many of us book mistake fares or low hotel rates to get outsized value. Sometimes these bookings stick and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes I end up wasting a lot of time for nothing. It sucks, but you can’t win if you don’t play. Having done this for awhile I win a lot more than I lose. The “risk” is worth it for me.
And I think that is why the Iberia Avios deal was so fun. A lot of people saw the risk as worth the payoff. It was also unconventional and harder to wrap you mind around so that added a little to the “fun factor” I would say. Once the company confirmed the deal, the risk was largely mitigated so I was ready to go.
In the end either you “get” a deal or you don’t. Sometimes I pass on deals and later regret it and I suspect quite a few people are feeling that regret right now. I also pass on amazing deals all of the time simply because I don’t have a need. I’m sure many of you are in that position as well. I guess what I’m trying to say is that the Iberia Avios deal is one of the better deals in a long time, but maybe not for you and that’s okay.
Did you pass on the Iberia Avios deal? Why did you not pull the trigger? Share your thoughts in the comments!