Review of Iberia flight Madrid Chicago in Economy

Airline Iberia
Flight IB6275
Class Economy
Seat 40L
Aircraft Airbus A330-300
Flight time 09:45
Take-off 12 Jan 20, 11:35
Arrival at 12 Jan 20, 14:20
IB   #102 out of 142 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 215 reviews
KOJ97
By 1467
Published on 23rd February 2020

Greetings fellow flyers.

For a while (roughly a week, I contemplated on releasing this FR but I just went for it as I haven't seen any Iberia Economy FR in a while (at least not that I can recall). 

This will only cover the longest route of my flight back to the states from my parent's house in Spain. The flight plan was as followed:

Sunday January 12, 2020

IB 413 XRY-MAD 0815-0930 (A319)
IB 6275 MAD-ORD (This FR)
AA 2346 ORD-DFW (738)
AA 5830 DFW-HOU (CRJ9)

Normally I just take the straight flight from Madrid to Dallas but for whatever reason (I did not reserve this flight as that was taken care by the travel agent for my educational leave). I was placed on this route which I had a concern already as I only had roughly 90 minute layover in Chicago and I knew that if the flight to Chicago was even slightly delayed, it could mean trouble. But I decided to bite the bullet and go with it. (More on that later)

 
 


Jerez to Madrid


My day started at 0450 AM and left the house around 0630 and took about 25-30 minutes to Jerez Airport. 
A little note about the airport, while there is technically a rail service to the airport from Jerez and sometimes Cadiz, I recommend that you do not depend on it as the frequency throughout the day is scarce. 

Anyway, I checked and my check-in bag was checked all the way to Houston with a pick up in Chicago. And after saying goodbye to my parents, I headed off to small security and was air-side in less than two minutes. Then boarding started around 0750 and everyone was on board about 10 minutes till scheduled departure time. The rest was uneventful as it was only a 55 minute flight. We landed in Madrid bang on time and I headed towards Terminal 4 Satellite Concourse via underground people mover.  


Before boarding


Arrival at the gate:
By the time I arrived in the satellite terminal, I had about an hour to spare so I headed to Burger King for breakfast (even though the food I had was not breakfast), ate and made my way towards our gate S50. As with any U.S bound flights, there were passport check before I was released into the waiting area for the U.S bound flights in which at this time was my flight and another to Miami. While I waited for boarding to began, I saw something that I have not seen on this website as a flight-report. And that was 737-800 of Ceiba Intercontinental operated by Portuguese White Airways. This will fly later that night to Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.     


photo img_20200112_110225-25108-54832

Boarding


Boarding:
Boarding started roughly on time and here's something I found strange/interesting:
Iberia does boarding by groups (1-4) I saw a lot of people boarding on Group 2 that didn't look like frequent flyers but turns out as I researched later "Priority boarding Group 2: members of Iberia Plus Plata, oneworld Ruby, Premium Economy, Air Shuttle and Economy customers who have checked in their cabin bags." (Iberia.com) so possibly some were there because they checked in their bag? Also both Groups 3 and 4 has 2 lines and from what I can tell, there's no difference which you pick for your group as everybody just jumbles up when their respective group is called. I was lucky and chose the side was let through first for Group 3.

While getting on board I took some pictures of my aircraft that will take us to Chicago.
A330-300
EC-LYF "Juan Carlos I"
6.3 yrs (Delivered November 13, 2013) from planespotters.net

As I got on, the crew greeted my more of the less happy and directed me towards my seat 40L. 


photo img_20200112_110937

departure and take off


When I arrived at my seat, there was already a pillow and blanket set in my seat. And I was lucky enough to have a room in the overhead compartment bin to store my heavy backpack (with my instrument and souvenirs for my friends). According to seatguru, the seat pitch was 31 inches wide in length and 18.1 in width, for a person who is 5'11 it was comfortable enough to not make me squiggle during the flight much except times here and there. Honestly, I was lucky that I got an window seat as the flight was practically full in all cabins. As for IFE, mine was very responsive, but the only strange thing I found was that anytime I connected my phone via USB plug, it lagged quite a bit to a point that I just used the plug that was under and between the seat. And in terms of selections, they had quite a variety of films and television from both Spain and the rest of the world. What I found interesting and a bit unexpected was that in the music section, there were sections for J-Pop and K-pop. Now I can understand J-Pop as Iberia does serve from Madrid to Tokyo Narita but K-pop, well as far as I know they do not serve to South Korea but I guess there was some demands or something (or maybe for the sake of diversity and popularity). 

Although the boarding went smoothly we actually did not take off till about 40 minutes past departure time for reasons unknown (probably paperwork or something) and when they told me the flight time I was starting to get a bit worried as that would shorten up my transit time in Chicago even more than already was. But at that point I was ready to just leg it as fast as I can in Chicago. Anyway, as we pushed back, the crew did their standard safety briefing and briefed us on flight time and everything else. While that was going on, I looked outside and saw two things that I've always liked to see. First was the Iberia A340-600 in old Iberia livery with the new logo on the engine. As those are getting more rare nowadays, it was something that was worth a view. The second was newer A350-1000 operated by Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong left a bit before us. There were a few aircrafts before us so we waited about 10 more minutes before it was our turn to take off from runway 36L into the blue skies. (Sorry for the bad shots on the A346 and the A350, I couldn't get a better angle than that…..   
 



Meal service


About 90 minutes into the flight, they began the  meal service with a pre-meal drink which consisted of pineapple, apple, or orange juice and  water. I took orange juice as I stopped drinking on board (not because I had some misconduct or anything but for sake of my own as i'm mildly lightweight). When the meal came around which consisted them of asking meat or pasta. I picked the pasta which was a tortellini with pomodoro sauce and that was accompanied with green beans, bread with butter, salad and a cake. And honestly, that one was better than the pasta that I had in the AA flight from DFW to MAD before and the cutlery were actual metal rather than a plastic much to my surprise. After a while, the crew came around with tea or coffee and I picked coffee as my beverage of choice. 

The second meal was offered about 90 minutes prior to our arrival in Chicago. The meal consisted of sandwich, yogurt, granola (which I didn't realize till after I ate the yogurt and  I accompanied that with Fanta Lemon. And a tea afterwards. This one wasn't bad but I also didn't really have a high expectation when it came to pre-arrival meal.  


photo img_20200112_130026photo img_20200112_133251

Arrival and connection rush


Due to late take off and weather, we landed into Chicago about 40 minutes late, which meant I would definitely not make it to my next flight to Dallas Fort-Worth. But the landing was very pretty since I haven't seen snow in several years now (last time was 2017 in Texas). But the second I was let out, a lady with the express connection was waiting for me and gave me a new boarding pass. I used my Mobile Passport App and breezed through immigration, customs and went towards the re-check in counter for AA for my flight to Dallas then to Houston. Luckily, the lady at the counter gave me a different boarding pass as there were multiple flights to DFW from ORD throughout the afternoon. Anyway, the connection to that said gate wasn't the best nor the worst, as it took forever to get to the next terminal from the International Arrivals Pier. 



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Verdict

Iberia

8.1/10
Cabin7.0
Cabin crew8.5
Entertainment/wifi8.5
Meal/catering8.5

Madrid - MAD

8.0/10
Efficiency7.5
Access8.5
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Chicago - ORD

5.8/10
Efficiency5.0
Access3.0
Services7.5
Cleanliness7.5

Conclusion

Iberia to me hasn't failed me too much in terms of service, (I had worse in some of the U.S Carrier). Catering this time was actually pretty good and FA were mostly friendly as they didn't look like they hated in what they did. So if you get a chance, at least try it out in their Inter-European segments to see what sort of experience you'd get.

Information on the route Madrid (MAD) Chicago (ORD)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 3 reviews of 1 airlines on the route Madrid (MAD) → Chicago (ORD).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Iberia with 6.9/10.

The average flight time is 9 hours and 35 minutes.

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