Review of Iberia flight Madrid London in Business

Airline Iberia
Flight IB3162
Class Business
Seat --
Aircraft Airbus A330-300
Flight time 02:35
Take-off 11 Jan 24, 07:40
Arrival at 11 Jan 24, 09:15
IB   #49 out of 94 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 344 reviews
KévinDC
By SILVER 555
Published on 3rd April 2024

Introduction


Welcome to the fourth review in this transatlantic series of flights. 

Like every year, we flew back to Europe for the Holidays. After several weeks visiting with family and friends it was time to head back home to Southern California. As usual, we flew back through London to catch the nonstop BA flight to San Diego. We were able to book one of the oneworld hub-to-hub widebody flights from Madrid, which is always nice for a 2-hour flight.


routing


Reviews in this series:


Routing


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check-in & lounge


The only problem with trying to catch one of the widebody flights is that it's pretty early in the morning with a 7:40AM departure time. This schedule makes sense for Business travel, especially for day trips, but it's never fun getting up at 5AM to catch a flight, hah. 

We arrived at the airport a little before 6AM. It was very quiet at the Business class counters—there was no one in the queue. For busier times, 3 of the 8 Business check-in positions are reserved for oneworld Emeralds, which is nice for us.  


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Check in took no time and we breezed through Fast Track security with no line there either. From security, we took the escalators down to the lower levels to catch the underground train to T4S, the satellite terminal for non-Schengen flights. 


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It only takes a few minutes to get to T4S on the train. 


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Once at T4S, passengers going to the non-Schengen international S gates must go through passport control, which is usually very quick. 

We then headed to the Iberia Velazquez lounge—the entrance is located inside the duty free area in the centre of the concourse, which can easily be missed for those not familiar with the terminal. 


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The lounge was very quiet at this early morning hour. 


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It's usually pretty quiet in the morning as there aren't many non-Schengen departures in the morning, until the main transatlantic banks mid-day. 


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There's a decent selection of hot and cold options for breakfast, though lunch and dinner times have much more interesting food. I wasn't really hungry yet and didn't get anything knowing there would be breakfast on the flight. 


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boarding


It was a short walk from the lounge to gate S21/22. Boarding was already in full swing when we arrived at the gate. 


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Business class boarded from Gate S21, while Economy boarded from S22, so each cabin had its own jet bridge. 


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Iberia's A330s are equipped with an older generation of the popular STELIA Aerospace SOSTYS seat model. While these cabins were installed in 2017, it is still a solid Business class product affording direct aisle-access to all passengers and converting to fully flat 76" (193cm) long beds. 


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Legroom is very good, and the foot-well is not constraining due to the openness. 


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The window seats in odd-numbered rows are closer to the aisle and do feel a bit exposed, but that's not an issue for me as I'm travelling with family. 


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Each seat has a 100v volt AC power outlet and a USB port. No USB-C, as that wasn't yet popularised when these cabins were installed. 


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Seat controls and the touchscreen in-flight entertainment remote are found on the side console. 


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This A330 is equipped with Wi-Fi, like most Iberia aircraft.


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The in-flight entertainment is available from gate-to-gate. There's a good amount of content in multiple languages. The system on the A330s is beginning to show its age vs the newer A350s. Navigating the IFE can be a bit slow and buggy at times. 


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The flight map is nice and modern. 


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the flight


Boarding wrapped up on time and we pushed back shortly thereafter. The new safety video, showcasing different areas of Spain, played as we taxied to the departure runway.  


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Taxi time is always short when departing from T4S as the runway is right by the terminal. We took off as the sun began to rise. 


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The Wi-Fi was available once the aircraft was over 10,000ft in altitude. 


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Business class passengers, as well as Iberia Plus members, have access to free messaging through the Wi-Fi. 


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For everyone else, messaging plans begin at 3,49€ while full browse & stream plans begin at 5,99€


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The meal service began shortly after level out at cruising altitude. The friendly cabin crew offered two choices this morning: a hot and cold option. I went for the omelette, which is nothing fancy, but well-cooked with good flavour. 


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The cabin crew were efficient and came through the cabin several times to check on drinks, etc. 


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Rare sight of snow-covered Normandie all the way to the sea as we headed out over the English Channel. 


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Towards the end of the flight, the chief purser came through the cabin to thank every passenger individually and offered a chocolate. He also thanked us for our loyalty as oneworld Emeralds, which is always a nice touch. 


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Beautiful sunrise colours as we reach the English coast. 


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No holding pattern this time, but we came in for landing from the west, which is quite rare in my experience. 


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A beautiful cloudless winter day in London…another rarity, and in sharp contrast to the stormy weather we'd had a few weeks earlier through Heathrow. 


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Taxi time is a bit longer when landing from the west as the aircraft has to make its way all the way back to Terminal 5. 


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We reached the gate a few minutes ahead of schedule. 


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Off to the train and transit security we went. 


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Thank you for reading!

See more

Verdict

Iberia

8.4/10
Cabin8.5
Cabin crew8.5
Entertainment/wifi8.5
Meal/catering8.0

Iberia Velázquez Premium Lounge - 4S

8.0/10
Comfort8.0
Meal/catering8.0
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Services8.0

Madrid - MAD

8.8/10
Efficiency8.5
Access9.0
Services8.5
Cleanliness9.0

London - LHR

8.4/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.5
Services8.5
Cleanliness8.5

Conclusion

It's always nice to be able to catch one of the widebody flights on this busy oneworld Hub-to-hub route. A comfortable and spacious seat, in-flight entertainment, good catering, and a friendly crew made for a very pleasant 2-hour hop up to London.

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

Les contributeurs de Flight-Report ont posté 40 avis concernant 2 compagnies sur la ligne Madrid (MAD) → London (LHR).


Useful

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

10 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 648097 by
    SerialdesignationN 15 Comments
    NIce report! Fying on a widebody is always fun
  • Comment 648191 by
    jettoajet GOLD 71 Comments
    Thanks for the Flight Report, Kevin! A landing to the West... with clear skies?? Unbelievable😅. I have to say for such a short flight it seemed very pleasant, also thought the chocolate was a nice touch, and being thanked for your status. The flight map looks great, and combined with that gorgeous sunrise, sensational.

    What do you think Iberia is going to do with these A330's? I feel like they are perfect for these 2-hour hops but with KLM, AF, and BA (and LH if they ever roll out Allegris😅) having much more competitive products now (with doors in J), do you see a refurb coming soon? Anyways, thanks for sharing! I look forward to reading the last segment to San Diego!
    I look forward to the last segment!
    • Comment 648234 by
      KévinDC TEAM SILVER AUTHOR 6718 Comments
      A landing to the West... with clear skies?? Unbelievable😅

      Hah yeah I think it's happened maybe 2 or 4 times in the bazillion times I've landed at Heathrow.

      and LH if they ever roll out Allegris😅

      The 1st new frames with Allegris cabins are about to be delivered. As far as the refurbs on existing subfleets, that's a whole other story. LH won't have any semblance of a consistent and competitive product for many years yet.

      do you see a refurb coming soon?

      I see a refurb for sure...soon, I don't know. The A330s aren't terribly old--the 300s are about 10 years old and the 200s are even younger about 7 years old, so I see them sticking around for a while. Honestly in the markets where Iberia usually stick the A330s the product is on par with the competition. They tend to stick the A350 in more lucrative markets. There will need to be a refurb within the next few years because the seats, though only about 7 years old, are starting to have issues, especially the IFE and seat controls are starting to get buggy.

      Thanks for stopping by!
  • Comment 648214 by
    Chibcha SILVER 552 Comments
    Sad you missed the scenic approach to LHR... I'm taking this flight this summer, is the upgrade worth it?

    Thanks for sharing!
    • Comment 648235 by
      KévinDC TEAM SILVER AUTHOR 6718 Comments
      Sad you missed the scenic approach to LHR...

      All good, I don't mind changing it up every now and then. Though there would have been great views of the city with such a clear day!

      I'm taking this flight this summer, is the upgrade worth it?

      I always buy Business class outright, so I can't really say if paying for an upgrade is worth it; however, considering how so very basic IB Economy service is on intra-European vs how good Business class service is, I would think it's worth it. On the rare occasions where I've paid for upgrades, my general rule of thumb is anything below $100 (or EUR) per hour of flight is a decent deal---but that's just my personal view.

      Thanks for reading!
  • Comment 648355 by
    ThomasDutch SILVER 639 Comments
    Excellent report as usual Kevin, though I'm still considering whether this open footrest is desired or not as I feel it could also be somewhat of a downside by having people hit your foot regularly when walking through the aisle. Did you test by any chance the wifi's speed level?
    • Comment 648374 by
      KévinDC TEAM SILVER AUTHOR 6718 Comments
      Thanks Thomas!

      I'm still considering whether this open footrest is desired or not as I feel it could also be somewhat of a downside by having people hit your foot regularly when walking through the aisle.

      I've never personally had my foot or legged knocked into, but I can imagine people in higher traffic area would if they let their legs hand out too much, which I don't, but I've seen some do it. I would normally prefer one of the seats closer to the window, but this row just works best for us when travelling as a family and so I have to be on one of the aisle-side seats.

      Did you test by any chance the wifi's speed level?

      I didn't use the Wi-Fi on this flight, but I have in the past and while it's not super fast, I was able to upload photos and videos to social media with no issues. I've never done an actual Speedtest on IB (only on BA), but the speed is descent enough to do a zoom call from experience.

      Thanks for stopping by!
  • Comment 648423 by
    ChrisB GOLD 3413 Comments
    Hi Mate and thanks for the report.
    Lucky to have a wide body jet on an european flight - although nothing uncommon on this route.
    Terminal is not crowded at this time de la muerte lol
    True that the lounge entrance could be mistaken for any shop but inside it is just massive and super quiet.
    The cabin isn't the newest of course but still it is a good 1 2 1 set up.
    Screen is large which would allow you the watch the barbie movie properly ahah.
    Breakfast seems nice, I wonder if it is the same served as a second service on long haul?
    • Comment 648469 by
      KévinDC TEAM SILVER AUTHOR 6718 Comments
      Hey Chris, thanks for your comments!

      Lucky to have a wide body jet on an european flight - although nothing uncommon on this route.

      Yeah there's a few widebodies a day on this route, but only this really early flight in the morning. But I get it, it makes sense for business traveller who want to get to meetings or the office in the morning.

      True that the lounge entrance could be mistaken for any shop but inside it is just massive and super quiet.

      It is, it's a huuuge lounge, which is nice as it never really gets too crowded.

      Screen is large which would allow you the watch the barbie movie properly ahah.

      Haha, I watched it on the outbound flight from JFK to LHR.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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