Review of Iberia flight London Madrid in Economy

Airline Iberia
Flight IB3175
Class Economy
Seat 14F
Aircraft Airbus A320
Flight time 02:40
Take-off 26 Apr 15, 10:50
Arrival at 26 Apr 15, 14:30
IB   #57 out of 93 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 323 reviews
By 3294
Published on 13th May 2015
This trip report covers the third legs of a 6 legs trip from Sydney to Madrid that I took recently.

A380-842 VH-OQB QF1 25 -Apr -15 SYD/DXB 24F PremEco QANTAS AIRWAYS :
A380-842 VH-OQB QF1 26 -Apr -15 DXB/LHR 52C Economy QANTAS AIRWAYS:
A320-216 EC-LVD IB3175 26 -Apr -15 LHR/MAD 14F Economy IBERIA; You are here!
A340-642X EC-LFS IB3164 30 -Apr -15 MAD/LHR 36D Economy IBERIA: Coming soon
A380-842 VH-OQK QF2 30 -Apr -15 LHR/DXB 22B BUS QANTAS AIRWAYS: Coming Soon
A380-842 VH-OQK QF2 30 -Apr -15 DXB/SYD 83G Economy QANTAS AIRWAYS: Coming Soon

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
photo IMG_4360photo IMG_4363

Although the inbound plane seems to be on schedule. Seen here landing and taxiinig to the gate
photo IMG_4335photo IMG_4357photo IMG_4359

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.
photo IMG_1004

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…
photo IMG_1009

Our plane reflecting in the glass wall of T5
photo IMG_1013

Taxiing out of T5
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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…
photo IMG_1003

The economy class cabin. Beyond the partition is the busines class section
photo IMG_1007

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.
photo IMG_1020

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
photo IB3175 LHRMAD approach

Full flight path
photo IB3175 LHRMAD

Very wet Sunday afternoon in Madrid
photo IMG_1027

A very rare sight for me: Boliviana de Aviacion 767. Beautiful livery by the way (And Bolivia is a great country, please visit it)
photo IMG_1024

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
photo IMG_1028

Bonus 1:
Paseo de la Castellana (where my hotel and Spain office is located)
photo IMG_4371

View from my room
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Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, just before the Real Madrid - Almeira game late April. The stadium is actually visible from our office.
photo IMG_1046

Room service: Jamon Iberico!
photo IMG_1035

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
photo IMG_4228

British Airways 787
photo IMG_4234

American Airlines 767
photo IMG_4241

British Airways 747-400 (One world Livery)
photo IMG_4294

TAP A320
photo IMG_4325

Aeroflot A319
photo IMG_4255

Virgin Atlantic 787
photo IMG_4268

Turkish Airlines 777-300 abording landing and climbing….what an amazing sight…
photo IMG_4285

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Cabin crew5.0

London - LHR


Madrid - MAD



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....

Information on the route London (LHR) Madrid (MAD)

Les contributeurs de Flight-Report ont posté 35 avis concernant 2 compagnies sur la ligne London (LHR) → Madrid (MAD).


La compagnie qui obtient la meilleure moyenne est British Airways avec 7.3/10.

La durée moyenne des vols est de 2 heures et 19 minutes.

  More information


If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 136291 by
    tn92 174 Comments
    The seat pitch does look terrible! And you do have a good principle there about not spending on aircraft food, because most of the time, it won't be worth it! For myself, I don't possess that perseverance and thus at times, I'll fall into the trap and buy food onboard. xD
    On a side note however, some airlines in Asia do offer meals at relatively attractive and competitive prices! Thus, it's definitely worth trying their selections when you get to fly on them.

    Despite the really narrow seat pitch and the lack of service on this flight, I enjoyed reading the first half of your FR series and look forward to the rest! QF1 looked like a great experience and the photographs from your spotting session in London are awesome too!
  • Comment 136335 by
    NGO85 GOLD 1917 Comments
    Thanks for sharing this FR!

    Ouch! That is knee-crunching seat pitch, not even acceptable on a short hop. The cabin visually looks nice and new, but that is just unacceptable seat pitch. Normal drink service on this flight?

    Beautiful tourist bonus, and even more beautiful plane spotting at LHR! It's usually very hard to get that beautiful of a picture of your own plane landing, lucky! Also, the OB B767 is indeed a rare sight!
    • Comment 315924 by
      flywunala AUTHOR 155 Comments
      I did not even bother asking for water but I suppose they would serve water/tea/coffee free of charge....yes the seat pitch is really dreadful. The plane spotting was good indeed, and weather might have been cooperative as sun could have created unwanted reflection on the glass...Yes there were a few South American beauties at MAD, Avianca for instance..
  • Comment 136436 by
    SebastianRDCD 23 Comments
    Nice Trip Report! I liked it very much. One time i had to go to La Paz,Bolivia ans was very, difficult. I first had to go from London Heathrow to Paris with AF A321, then Paris to Lima with a 77W then Avianca Peru from Lima to La Paz. It was a very long flight!La PAz airport was very messy, though La Paz was quiet nice. To Return to London was La Paz to Lima with AV then LIM to AMS with KLM 77W then City Jet to LCY!
    • Comment 316011 by
      flywunala AUTHOR 155 Comments
      Thank you Sebastian, well you should write a FR about that trip, I would like that very much....I have actually flown into La Paz, quite an amazing place. Love it in fact. That makes me think that I should be able to write a very short report about that flight (between Sucre et La Paz). Stay tuned!
  • Comment 136437 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6359 Comments
    When you have a long trip like that the last short flight always seems to be super long. I remember once after flying SIN-NRT-MSP-DCA, I was fine on the long hauls, but once I got on the 2 hours MSP-DCA it felt like it was the longest flight, it was so miserable. Looks like IB didn't make much of an effort at all on this flight...not even passing through with water? I guess they're turning into an LCC. Although I'm a oneworld Emerald, I have very little desire to ever fly IB. I know they have a really nice longhaul J hard product, but from what I read, everything else is sub par. Awesome planespotting at LHR. What are you talking about, the quality is great! Thanks for sharing.

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