After a quick airside transit via bus between T3 where Qantas arrives and T5 where my Iberia flight departs, I rush through the international transfer and security to tentatively catch an earlier flight to Madrid. Security is a little tedious at T5, there are long queues everywhere and the whole security experience can be traumatic for some. Heathrow is really plagued by heavy regulatory constraints which unfortunately tarnish the image of what should be a great airport to transit through. Unfortunately the earlier flight is closed when I finally arrive at the gate, which is really frustrating as boarding has not even commenced. I am told the flight is half empty… Oh well looking at the bright side I am going to walk about and try to spot planes. See bonus at the end of the report.
My flight is a litlte late
Although the inbound plane seems to be on schedule. Seen here landing and taxiinig to the gate
Boarding is a breeze as our flight is also half empty. I have a window seat but just above the wing so my view is somewhat obstructed.
There is another Iberia airbus parked next to ours. This one is in the new livery, which I find dull at the very best….. And I am sure they paid a lot of money for the re-branding…
Our plane reflecting in the glass wall of T5
Taxiing out of T5
The seat pitch is pretty bad. Lucky I have no one next to me, and that it is only a 2h flight. I am not comfortable at all…
The economy class cabin. Beyond the partition is the busines class section
Wish I could show you food, but there is no free meals on this flight. I am not even sure if they offer free water! Anyway, again it is a short flight compare to my 24h ordeal from Sydney, but still a little very small something would be much appreciated….As a principle I would never spend a cent buying food on board an aircraft. ConsequentlyI had no interaction with the crew whatsover. So I look at my window…somewhere over France. You can see the dark contrail of an aircraft which just flew under us.
Madrid airspace is congested we are told. Our plane makes a few loops before eventually landing but since we are in the middle of a storm it is not very pleasant
Full flight path
Very wet Sunday afternoon in Madrid
A very rare sight for me: Boliviana de Aviacion 767. Beautiful livery by the way (And Bolivia is a great country, please visit it)
I am amazed at the size of Madrid Airport. It is huge! It is a cold and miserable day. I jump into a taxi to get to my hotel
Bonus 1: Paseo de la Castellana (where my hotel and Spain office is located)
View from my room
Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, just before the Real Madrid - Almeira game late April. The stadium is actually visible from our office.
Room service: Jamon Iberico!
Bonus 2: Plane spotting at LHR T5 LHR T5 offers a fantastic variety of planes to spot. However it is not always easy to take good and unobstructed photos. So great quantity but no always great quality.
Virgin Atlantic A330
British Airways 787
American Airlines 767
British Airways 747-400 (One world Livery)
Virgin Atlantic 787
Turkish Airlines 777-300 abording landing and climbing….what an amazing sight…
A short hop from LHR to MAD but after my long journey from Australia and a long flight time due to airspace congestion it felt like a long flight. Punctuality was so so....Crew was...ok I suppose. Seat comfort was very poor and cabin outlook was far from great despite this aircraft to be quite new (delivered March 2013!) In fact the cabin looks so dull it feels like the plane was really old. Boarding in LHR was smooth and fast. In Madrid I went through the terminal very quickly. The terminal T4 is very spacious and has a nice architecture. A very pleasant experience.
BA and IB code share is very confusing. My flight IB3175 was booked online on the Iberia website. However it is operated by British Airways and has the BA514 flight number. BUT the plane, flight deck and cabin crew are Iberia's....
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