Welcome to my new flight report! This one features the return flight of my long-weekend trip to London last December (you can see the outbound flight here:http://flight-report.com/en/report-6974.html). This one is a little more interesting as the plane is an A340, I hope you like it!
We enjoyed a lot our visit to London, the weather was fantastic, I guess we were lucky. One of the things I liked most about London were the planes flying over the city, my sister and her boyfriend got tired of me saying “Wow! An Emirates A380!” “Look! That’s an Air Canada 767” etc. They didn’t understand how I am able to recognize planes in the distance.
After a long ride on the tube we arrived at T5 with lots of time to spare. I must say that although being designed by the same architect, T4 at MAD is much more beautiful than T5. Wooden ceilings and marble floors at T4 really make a difference. Check-in was a breeze but the same can’t be said about security, which was a little busy. This time I was able to change seats for free at check-in online, the fare was the same as on the outbound flight, so it is strange, maybe there was a computer glitch when I checked-in for the previous flight. I noticed that there were no counters dedicated for Iberia. I wonder what happened to the former Iberia staff at LHR, I hope they didn’t get fired. I also wonder the reason why BA has dedicated counters at Madrid Airport instead of Iberia taking over BA’s check-in.
Entering the Departures Level
Bag drop counters
Cheap Boarding Pass
Once in the airside of the Terminal we went to Starbucks to have something to eat and waited for the gate to be announced. Boarding time was 18:00 and at 17:15 it hadn’t been announced yet, so we went to BA info desk to ask about that. The charming agent said that it would be announce soon. At 17:30 the gate finally appeared on the FIDS, it was C53, so we went underground to take the APM to the C concourse.
Very useful sign
The view from Starbucks, the Terminal was packed!
Going down to the APM station
The first sight of our plane. She was Beatriz Galindo, EC-GUQ. First time I flew on that frame
BA A380 preparing for Hong Kong
This one for Luanda
Boarding was called at 18:00 as expected and it was a little chaotic, most passengers proceeded to the priority entrance and staff didn’t seem to care, if I were flying Business Class I would have got a little upset, but this time it was not the case. The load factor was again low so it didn’t take long.
Apparently the pilots forgot to retract the spoilers…
The plane was what Iberia refers as “342”, internally it is known as Caribbean configuration. Some years ago Iberia decided to change 7 A340s configuration from 36J 218Y to 24J 265Y, as Business Class demand to some destinations as HAV, SJU, UIO, SDQ etc. was weak. Today Iberia doesn’t fly to Caribbean destinations anymore but they send the planes to any destination, although they are resuming SDQ in September. Nowadays every A340 has this configuration, the last A340 with the old configuration and seats was returned to lessor few weeks ago.
Apart from increasing the number of Economy Class seats, Iberia replaced them. These new seats feature adjustable headrests and power outlets. They don’t have PTVs, but I think that power outlets on long flights are better than nothing. Business Class is the same that you may find in any other A340 of the fleet, except for the ones that have been refurbished with new interiors. The central screens on the wall were replaced by 37” ones, and the old CRT retractable screens were replaced with LCD screens. I think that a long haul flight would be bearable on that plane, and much better than on an A340 with the old Economy Class, which was quite uncomfortable in my opinion, apart from looking outdated.
Our assigned seats were on the back of the plane, my sister’s boyfriend is afraid of flying so when entering the plane we asked the purser if we could be reseated in the front of the cabin, she replied that there shouldn’t be any problem, she took note of our seats and asked us to wait until the closure of the gates. The load on this flight was again low, about 50 passengers in Y and 5 in J.
The view of the cabin
Legroom was enough: 31. The backrest of the seat was a little hard, tough
Seat recline was generous. It also moved forward the seat cushion, decreasing legroom but getting a more comfortable position
Power outlet, there was one between every two seats
Control panel. A little bit outdated but nothing compared to those on AA's 767s that are ancient :)
When it was departure time we were not leaving, the captain came over the PA and said that they were waiting for more cargo. At 18:40 the pallets arrived and were loaded in the aircraft. At 18:44 the gates were closed and a FA came to us and said that we were free to go to the front. After doing so the push back didn’t seem to start… After a moment or two the captain came over the PA again and informed us that the tow truck was damaged and that they will send another one as soon as possible.
The view from my new seat
At 18:50 we finally taxied to runway 27L. Take off was powerful and the flight was uneventful. This time I didn’t buy anything from the cart since I was full of Starbucks pastries. Later I noticed that the control panel of the seat next to me was not working, so I called the purser and she said that she would report to maintenance in order to get it fixed.
I changed to the other side of the plane in order to see terminals 3 and 2. I tried to make a photo of the Virgin planes but the photo is blurry, sorry for that
I think that eyeshades are advisable for those sitting in front of that screen during a night flight
We arrived in Madrid with a 20-minutes delay. We parked at T4S and had to took the APM back to the Main Terminal. At 22:45 we were waiting for our bags that came out at 23:00.
T4S with the Control Tower
Docked next to Isaac Albéniz (a famous Spanish musician) nowadays that plane wears the new livery
Heading to immigration. There were no lines and went through quickly, the police officer that checked my passport was an asshole.
New shops in the baggage claim area
London - LHR
Madrid - MAD
It's nice to fly a widebody on a short haul route. The plane was in perfect condition, the seats were comfortable and I was able to charge my phone.
The crew on this flight was nice and friendly. I got minimal interaction with them as I didn't buy anything onboard, but they were very attentive with the seat change request.
The flight wasn't punctual but the Captain kept us informed, maybe the cargo issue was Iberia's fault, but the broken tow wasn't. In any case, a 20 minutes delay is not much.
In conclusion, I was satisfied with my experience with Iberia and wouldn't have a problem to fly again with them.
As I always say, feel free to comment, I will be happy to respond.
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