Review of Iberia flight Madrid New York in Business

Airline Iberia
Flight IB6251
Class Business
Seat 6A
Aircraft Airbus A330-300
Flight time 08:55
Take-off 04 Mar 14, 12:15
Arrival at 04 Mar 14, 15:10
IB   #102 out of 142 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 213 reviews
Leadership
By SILVER 17949
Published on 27th April 2014
Dear members,

We just arrived at Madrid from Paris Orly after an uneventful flight.
All of us were very excited to try the “new Iberia” with their new Business Class seat on what should be their flagship route to New York.

Let me remind you our routing:

  1. Paris ORY - Madrid (Iberia, Business, A321)
  2. CLICK HERE
  3. Madrid – New York JFK (Iberia, Business, A330-300)
  4. [YOU ARE HERE]
  5. New York JFK – Los Angeles (American Airlines, Business, A321)
  6. [NEXT]
  7. Los Angeles – London LHR (American Airlines, Business, B777-300ER)
  8. [SOON]
  9. London LHR – Paris ORY (British Airways, Club Europe, A320)
  10. [SOON]

Before that let’s check out the lounge at Terminal 4 North


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This lounge is big and well decorated, but it’s quite crowded and we struggled finding 3 seats together

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There is two buffets area situated on each side of the lounge

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Salad bar

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Cheese and smoked salmon (very fat and tasteless unfortunately)

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Hot potatoes pie

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There is also a selection of wraps and sandwiches

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And a wine cellar

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You can also enjoy a nice view on aircraft

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There is an additional security check for US bound flights

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Once again boarding is disorganized and there is no real priority

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And with only one jetway connected at door 2L, we have to wait

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The least I can say is that we were not warmly welcomed onboard, I was taking pictures and one of the stewardess shouted at me that pictures were not allowed inside the aircraft!

My first impression of the cabin was mixed, these seats are full flat and full access but it does seem quite tight.

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Once seated I really liked the privacy offered, and my first negative impression faded away.
Pillow, blanket, headset and literatures, everything is on your seat, I don’t find it practical

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At that time I was still looking to “enjoy” my flight with IB

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Seat controls and touchscreen handset

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Cleaning could have been done better

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The amenity kit is wrapped

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Content is ok with lotion, socks, earplugs, toothbrush.

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A Pre departure beverage is offered, no champagne of course, it’s cava who is doing the honor

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Next to us an another A330-300 but still carrying the old livery

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Safety video is played, modern and fresh

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A CRJ900 from sister company Air Nostrum

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And, a B737-800 from the competition: Air Europa

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T4S

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Airshow

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Nice scenery outside

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Let see what is on offer today

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One starter, choice of 3 entrées and 2 different desserts

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The meal menu is then simple, but the wine menu on the contrary is very confusing:

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Choice of 3 reds

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And 2 whites

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And regular spirits

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But ala Air Europa you also get the price of these bottles, 12€/bottle…

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Yes IB is screaming, “we are a cheapo airline!” even in Business

Hot towels are handed out for lunch

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Aperitif with your choice of drink

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G&T

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Accompanied with chips, green olives and peanuts

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Starter is presented on a tray, with the salad, consommé and cheese.

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Apple, celery and nuts salad

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Iberian pork loin confit with green asparagus and onion with yuzu dressing

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Veal consommé

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For the entrée, I choosed the fish option:
Meagre back with Pedro Ximénez wine sauce

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And I got to try a second dish:
Mozzarella tortelli pasta with vizcaina sauce and aromatic herbs

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Entrées are given individually when the passenger is ready and not with the use of a trolley

Cheese is a joke, and the bread is very dry
Valdeon blue cheese with grapes

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While the crew keep saying us that pictures are forbidden for security reasons, they let the flight deck door open for a long time…

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Orange cream tartlet
My espresso took a long time to arrive and was far from piping hot

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Chocolate and water are then offered

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Pretty basic toilet

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Business Class cabin mid-flight

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The seat is fully flat

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There is a bar to help yourself, but you are not allowed to gather there

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Back in Economy, there is a nice mood lighting

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Comfortable seat

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Same IFE

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At that time, the 3 of us were discussing at the aft galley, but two present flight-attendants quickly said that we were not allowed to stay here being it a US bound flight!

Few seconds later one of the FA literally pushed me to go to the cabin, I said “Do you mind saying ESCUSE-ME?”, the FA replied “I AM WORKING”, I said “I AM THE CUSTOMER”
This crew is clearly bellow everything.

Back to my seat, let’s have a review of the IFE

Headset

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Handset controller

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System is very modern and react quickly, however the selection is limited

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Overflying Canada

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Windows blinds are opened

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This is what you see when you are in Business ^^

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Airshow, I think this route is not using NATs



Oshibori again

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Everything on one tray

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Iberian ham and sausage, chicken cold cut and cheese
Tomato and extra-virgin olive oil


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Seasonal fresh fruit

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And an espresso to round-up this light meal



Welcome to JFK

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B747-400 British Airways

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And we parked at Terminal 7, next to an A330-200 of Aerolinas Argentinas

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Video:
See more

Verdict

Iberia

5.5/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew1.0
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Meal/catering4.0

Iberia Velazquez VIP Lounge

7.0/10
Comfort7.0
Meal/catering7.0
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Services7.0

Madrid - MAD

8.0/10
Efficiency8.0
Access7.5
Services7.5
Cleanliness9.0

New York - JFK

6.8/10
Efficiency9.0
Access6.0
Services6.0
Cleanliness6.0

Conclusion

Let’s face it, we were disappointed with our experience with Iberia and this is entirely due to cabin crew attitude, they were rude and impolite with us, they have no manner and no common-sense to serve passengers.
We were particularly shocked with their sensitivity with pictures taking and gathering in galley, they said that it’s for security reasons but I have never heard of any airline who forbid passengers to gather, this was even more ridiculous when the cockpit door were kept open for a long time and with the curtain not closed.
Fortunately 2 stewards were more professional and understanding when we explained them that we were upset by the way we were treated by their colleagues.

Beside that the catering is very average and I would rate it bellow Air France, presentation if fine though, and everything was fresh.
The wine cellar is comprehensive but showing the price tags of bottles is clumsy, and I need to penalise the lack of Champagne.

Lounge is nice but can get crowded at peak hours, quality should be improved and more warm dishes should be offered.

Cabin and IFE are top notch, from the latest generation and everything looks very new. The seat is very comfortable and is offering a very nice privacy with enough storage and a perfectly flat bed.

All in all, I have a mixed feeling, on one side the hard product is very nice and on par with top carrier, but on the other side the rudeness of the crew and the average catering make me want to stay away of Iberia at any cost!

Thanks for reading, your comments are appreciated :)

Information on the route Madrid (MAD) New York (JFK)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 6 reviews of 1 airlines on the route Madrid (MAD) → New York (JFK).


Useful

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

The average flight time is 8 hours and 31 minutes.

  More information

31 Comments

  • Comment 106923 by
    Mathieu 2094 Comments

    Hi,

    Thank you very much, nice report.

    I like the Cabin and the catering, but the flight attendants look like horrible.

    Why did you report in english ?

    See you,

  • Comment 106924 by
    Esteban TEAM GOLD 11726 Comments

    Thanks for sharing, IB crews are as bad as their reputation. The catering does not look impressive and the J cabin looks really cramped.

  • Comment 106925 by
    Scott05 563 Comments

    Thanks for this report !
    Very sad that with so much investment in the hard product, everything is ruined by the crew.
    Did you send a complaint letter to IB ? At least to point out the difference between the FA speech and their actions (opened cockpit door...)
    I hope the rest of the trip proved to be better ^^

  • Comment 106928 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5252 Comments

    Thanks for this first review of IB's new A330 Business Class. Clearly a great hard product, but the soft definitely needs work. Iberia FA's have a poor reputation for service and this report is no exception. Thanks for sharing! Beautiful pics as always

  • Comment 106933 by
    marathon GOLD 9561 Comments

    What a welcome on board ! that places IB on par with CA in J, according to recent reports, and that is not a compliment. The security reason is the most ludicrous I could think of, given that all other airlines allow pictures.
    The cockpit door was left open ? haha, this is the reason why they require the PAX remain seated and prohibit pictures : to improve the pilots' comfort ! at the expense of that of the customers (no, the passengers).
    If you saw that kind of FA behavior in a comedy, it would not seem real. Fact is stranger than fiction !
    I like the aesthetics of the cabin, but this layout only offers one window seat ou of two next to the window.
    No, the cheese offering is no joke, just the reference zero of the scale in J.
    I wonder who would choose to fly IB on this route after reading this report. I wouldn't. Thanks for this FR !

  • Comment 106970 by
    Avionero 77 Comments

    Thanks for this excellent report with incredibly sharp pictures.
    I'm sorry to read again about the rudeness of Iberia's crews... If I were you, I would try to contact Iberia's customer service (if they have one) and complain about the crew impoliteness. Not even Air Koryo forbid cabin pictures...
    The Business cabin looks modern but too boring. Everything in gray colour. The Economy cabin looks better with those red armrests.
    May I ask you what camera were you using? ;)

  • Comment 106973 by
    jetsetpanda 2294 Comments

    Thanks for the warning and reminder to stay away from IB.

    Your experience of the crew is shameful and should be addressed to upper management. No paying customer should tolerate this type of treatment - from the shouting advising that picture taking is prohibited to the physical pushing by a crew. To be honest, I am not surprised given the previous accounts of negative experiences that I have read from other sources.

    I flew IB once from JFK-MAD and I was lucky that I had a professional crew in Y. My expectations were low, but fortunately I was pleasantly surprised. A FA greeted me warmly when I was walking to the back cabin and was permitted to stay in the galley for as long as I wanted when I stretched my legs. At one point I was reaching for the water bottle and the FA grabbed it and poured it in my glass. Acknowledgements for thank you were replied and the whole crew attitude was just very professional. I don't know if the fact that my interactions were in Spanish made a difference but I hope that was not the case.

    The catering looks deficient in some areas, particularly the salad and the cheese plate. Even AA serves a more generous one on their domestic flights and it is done as a separate course. The toiletries in the WC placed inside cups with napkins reflects poorly on a J cabin, not to mention the nameless brands for toiletries.

    • Comment 293357 by
      Leadership TEAM SILVER AUTHOR 4620 Comments

      Glad you had a nice set of crew on your IB flight, I must say I am not kind of using them again because of that, and as you said catering is nothing to write about.
      Thank you for your long comment.

  • Comment 106988 by
    Caribel 113 Comments

    Very appreciated your sharing of this FR with the Anglophone audience. I see you were able to experience Madrileno hospitality in all its glory. Having watched a fair share of Pedro Almodovar's films, the proper response to being assaulted by a FA is to ask:Pero te has vuelto gilipollas, tia?. Using his majesty's best Castilian accent, of course.

    The European Sea Bass is an original offering. Was the skin crispy? Otherwise, it should be served as a fillet. I confess looking at the superb quality pictures forced me to open a Rioja Tempranillo reserve 2007 to drink along your meal pictorial.

    Most cavas provide enough complexity to satisfy the majority of passengers. I would rather have the airline offering a Chateau d' Yques sauterne than a Salon.

    Hope you had time to enjoy the art museums and gastronomical scene NY offers.

    Hasta la vista!

    • Comment 293358 by
      Leadership TEAM SILVER AUTHOR 4620 Comments

      lol, thanks for your funny message.
      Because it was a US bound flight, we didn't want to go into conflict with FAs.
      The skin of the fish was not crispy, but the overall meal was quite pleasant and tasty.
      If you wanna enjoy wine up in the air you should fly with QR or EK, they have a very nice and plentiful selection.
      Thank you :)

  • Comment 107015 by
    KL651 TEAM 4476 Comments

    Thanks for this anticipated FR.

    So far the promises of a new IB are far from being kept...

    The I am customer sentance may not have been the right thing to say though her behaviour was unacceptable.

    Clearly her attitude showed she didn't deserve her job and something like if you were trying to do job, at least you'd be polite.

    What did the two professional and understanding crew members tell you?

  • Comment 107023 by
    Chibcha 432 Comments

    Looks like IB is finally putting itself up to date with their hard product, it looks awesome both front and back. It's a shame the lame soft product ruins the experience.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Comment 107093 by
    lagentsecret GOLD 11936 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this FR

    Gorgeous pictures as usual

    The lounge is too crowded and obviously lacking of hot food and better beverages

    I'm amazed by the cabin and the seats : it looks great and comfortable

    The catering is not appetizing at all

    The behavior of the crew is on par with IB reputation, even a bit worst

    See you soon for the next leg

  • Comment 107105 by
    Durian 1171 Comments

    Thanks for sharing. To be fair to the crew on the no-gathering-at-the-bar point, this had also been mentioned to the pax on my SIN-LAX on SQ due to US security requirements. But I guess it's also how it was told to you...
    The rest of the arguments by the crew are pure BS. They should rebrand IB as Vueling, there's not much difference.
    It would be interesting that yd75 translate his FR into English, to get the IB experience first hand.

  • Comment 107213 by
    eminere™ 274 Comments

    I sincerely hope you made a formal written complaint to IB corporate about the errant crew.

  • Comment 107723 by
    Flysim 518 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this great FR, stunning photos ! Love the wingviews.

    FORTUNATELY Iberia is (still) improving their hard-product.
    Nothing else to say, and I personally have the same feedbacks towards crew and catering (FR is to come)

  • Comment 124155 by
    caverunner17 1 Comments

    I just got back from an ORD-MAD-ORD trip in Economy with their A330 (although in economy)

    I'll mirror what you said -- Hard product is great. Even beats Delta's newly refurbished 767's.

    But the soft product is severely lacking, especially for a European airline. My flight was pretty much empty -- I think by rough count, around 100 people on ORD-MAD and only 70 people on MAD-ORD. Enough that I had entire middle row to myself to lay down and there were rows of window/aisle combos completely empty.

    On the way to Madrid, dinner service didn't commence for over an hour after take off. The only drinks offered were Orange Juice, Water, Red/White wine, Coke and Diet Coke, and Sprite. They came around once for coffee/tea, and then disappeared. Lights remained on in the cabin for at least another hour and a half, if not longer. We were woken up an hour+ or so out from Madrid over the intercom and breakfast began.

    On the way back, it was the same. Way too long to get food out then just disappearing for 7 hours until the pre-landing meal.

    I won't comment on food quality (it wasn't that good) or quantity since it's economy, but it's below even the US carriers internationally.

    I just never got the impression that the crew actually wanted to work. It's the little things that make the difference. Making a round or two of water mid-flight. Or hell, on Delta last year, The FA kept bringing me beers every hour or so, without me even asking! Or Swiss a few years back, I asked for an extra chocolate or two mid flight as a snack. The FA brought me a whole cup full of them.

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