|Subject: Re: British Airways or Iberia|
I'm really surprised that American wouldn't work with you on finding a mileage ticket to Madrid. They fly daily non-stops from Miami after all.
First, I would call back, maybe even a few times, until you find an agent who will work with you. There is no reason why they should have all award seats blocked during low season. On the contrary, I have found that American is one of most accommodating airlines for making award seats available.
If you're forced to choose between British Airways and Iberia, I'd advise BA all the way. My experience with Iberia is that on short hauls they aren't too bad if you can ignore the surliness and unhelpfulness of their service personnel. The long international flights I've taken with them (in coach), have been truly awful-- packed planes, excruciatingly tight seating, and openly hostile attendants and gate agents. I've vowed to never fly them again.
Joel, in Chicago