I was very proud of myself for booking a flight from Madrid to Chicago on Iberia business using British Avios. It was considerably cheaper than flying British metal. That triumphant moment was cut short when a helpful reader reminded me that I should’ve booked directly on Iberia.com which cuts the fuel surcharges in half.
Anxious, I called BA and cancelled within the 24 hour time period. This time they refunded my money and points instead of forcing me to take them to small claims court. Next, I logged in to my BA account and tried to initiate the transfer. I received an error stating that my Iberia account was not recognized. I logged into my Iberia account and tried it there. It recognized my BA account but the transaction resulted in an error when I tried to transfer the points.
I thought the issue was the zero balance on my Iberia account. I went to Amex and tried to transfer points but, once again, I received a message saying that my Iberia account was unrecognized. I called BA which said it would have to investigate the matter. That could take 7 business days. I called Iberia which asked if I had opened my account in 90 days. A recently opened account could trigger the same error. I opened the account 5 years ago so that was not the problem. Iberia said it would have to investigate the transfer and sent me an ID verification form. They said it would take 7 days to process that.
In the mean time, Iberia validated my account and I was able to transfer 200 points from Amex to my Iberia account. Interestingly, neither BA nor Iberia cited my zero account balance as the reason that the transfer did not go through.
Now I wait and hope that the flight will still be available…in 7 business days.