This was my first long haul business class flight with Iberia Airlines. Typically, on transatlantic routes, my choice usually defaults to British Airways due its non-stop flights from London, and occasionally with American Airlines for the same reason. I snagged a very good deal, paying only €1229 for Algiers-Madrid-New York-Los Angeles-Madrid-Algiers – all in business cabin. (New York to Los Angeles transcontinental flight was on American Airlines, which was a very good product.) This entire trip nicely yielded me 500 tier points for my British Airways Executive Club frequent flyer account.
The check-in at Madrid Airport Terminal 4S was quite speedy, and so was the security checks; probably because I arrived very early for my flight.
I had the pleasure of using the Iberia Premium Lounge Velazquez. Access to this lounge is available to Iberia business and first class paying passengers, and One World Emerald and Sapphire members regardless of class of travel. It is located in Terminal 4S (Satellite) – International and Non-Schengen Areas, airside after security.
It is an impressive new lounge with generous open spaces. It is modern contemporary in design and receives lots of natural lights as it faces the airport tarmac. The lounge is well equipped with business facilities, spacious seats, a quiet relaxation area, showers, inside washrooms and kids’ facilities. The seats are very comfortable and have power and USB chargers attached next to them.
The dining areas are at both flanks of the lounge. The food was equally nice with a good spread of hot and cold buffet. On my visit, there was paella, grilled hake, roasted chicken breast, vegetarian sushi, pasta, salad, mini burgers and Spanish omelette amongst others.
It is definitely one of the more comfortable lounges that I have patronised and would not hesitate this for a very long layover.
It was a bit chaotic. Despite the call to board, we had to wait quite a while before we boarded the aircraft as it was not quite ready to receive passengers. After a further thirty minute delay, we finally made our way to the aircraft via the airbridge.
Cabin and Seating
The business class layout in this Airbus 330-200 was 1-2-1. The initial impression was that it looked quite average, maybe because the upholstery, flooring and colours looked drearily dull.
All the seats had full direct aisle access, a feature that is highly desirable in premium cabins. For maximum privacy, go for the window seat; I was seated in 1C – a window seat. It was in a staggered arrangement – 1C, 2A, 3C, 4A, 5C were all window seats.
The seats looked a bit tired and the cabin was not very clean. I had to sweep away some dirt from my seat and tray. The amenity kit was placed on the side storage. The toiletries were contained in a cheap foamy bag (something you do not want to snug into your cabin bag).
The seat transformed into 180° lie flat bed. There were the usual preset modes on the seat control panel. Overall, I did not find the seating totally comfortable but adequate. Power outlet and USB connections were incorporated.
A three course menu was available for selection. Shortly after take-off, we were offered drinks and snacks. It was followed by the main course.
I chose the grouper fish for my entrée. The food presentation lacked class and did not look inviting. Essentially, it was a baked fish served with smashed up spinach. The fish was over-cooked and tasted bland. Needless to say, I left a lot on the plate.
Despite the below than average inflight dining experience, the cabin crew were quite pleasant and obliging, but lacked personal touches. Do not expect to be addressed by your name.
The inflight entertainment looked a bit dated too. It was dead on departure and the crew took over two hours to get it running. The screen size was about 11-12 inches. A reasonable selection of the latest Hollywood movies was on offer, but I did not find anything exciting to watch, so I picked to see a couple of old classics.
Onboard internet was available at a fee but I did not sign in to try.
Despite a delayed departure, we arrived New York on time. Overall, it was a pretty average experience flying this Iberia’s business class. There was nothing to really ‘wow’ you. The inflight dining and entertainment were far from the best. The cabin could also have been cleaner. But if you value privacy and direct aisle access over others, this Airbus 330 is a solid choice. Iberia Airlines recently introduced the Airbus A350-900 aircraft type, operating between Madrid and New York and vice versa. This new aircraft is substantially superior than this oldish A330-200 in all aspects.
Airline Review: IB6253 Iberia Airlines A330-200 Madrid to New York Business Class
Date Flew: 09-APR-2018