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Airline: Iberia Lineas Aereas
Flight Number: IB6171
Class: Business Class
Aircraft: Airbus A330-200
Delivered: October 2016
Flight Duration: 12 Hours 25 Minutes
Distance: 5,845 Miles
This was our first time flying Iberia’s longhaul business class product on their Airbus A330, so we were very excited to see what the business class experience is like with the Spanish carrier. Iberia opted for the Solstys-style lie-flat seats for their business class product. All seats are forward-facing and are configured in a 1-2-1 staggered configuration. Each business class seat has direct aisle access (without having to step over your neighbor). The service from the senior crew working our flight was actually very good. The flight attendants we interacted with during the flight were friendly and prompt with our orders. The biggest disappointment for me on this flight was the catering. I thought the food quality and selection was rather poor, considering this was a 12+ hour flight. We were hoping to taste some good Spanish dishes, but sadly did not get any on this flight
What I liked:
The seats – I thought the Solstys seats were very comfortable for sitting, lounging, and sleeping. It offers plenty of storage space and you get a nice ottoman to rest your feet on when lounging. I was able to get some 6 hours of sleep on this flight, which is fantastic. As a tip: For solo travelers, the even-numbered window seats offer the most privacy, as the seats are closer to the window than the Aisle. On the flipside, the odd-numbered center seats are “honeymoon seats” that are ideal for couples traveling together.
The service – The crew that we interacted with were very charming, and eager to please. They offered us a pre-departure beverage before takeoff. They were also quick to respond to our requests and were very professional.
The Iberia Lounge in Madrid – The Sala de Velazquez lounge in MAD is probably the best lounge in the airport. The lounge is very spacious and offers plenty of comfortable seating. The self-serve buffet offers offers a decent selection of hot and cold dishes and snacks. There is also an espresso machine and very good selection of hot and cold beverages.
It was OK:
The Onboard amenities – A business class amenity amenity kit and noise canceling headphones were offered to all business class passengers, which is pretty standard nowadays. A full-size pillow, duvet, and mattress with good padding was also available at our seats. The lavatories, although very clean only offered a hand soap. No other toiletries were available in the lavatories.
What I didn’t like:
The catering – I am a fan of Spanish food. This is actually the reason we go to Spain, so needless to say I was excited to try Iberia’s Spanish-inspired catering. The starter I ordered which was fava bean salad with veggies was tasteless and did not look appetizing. Meanwhile, my companion ordered the Sardines in olive oil. Sadly he also did not like his dish (which was shocking since he is a big fan of spanish canned sardines). He mentioned that sardines did not taste right and the dish overall was disappointing. For the main, I ordered the beef cheek in Rioja reduction. It was an OK dish, but some parts of the meat was way overcooked and almost inedbile. My companion ordered the Gambas al Ajillo (Spanish-style garlic prawns), which he said was pretty good, but the dish only had 4 very small prawns. For dessert, we both had the chocolate ice cream, which was delicous! –It was the highlight of the meal. The second meal service was done 90-minutes prior to arrival. I ordered the Spanish Omelet, which was served cold with chorizo, marinated zucchini, and cheese on the side. The dish tasted fine, but I thought it was rather “light” considering we have been on the air for 10+ hours. My companion opted for the seafood pasta dish, which again was rather small and only contained 3 small pieces of shrimp this time. The only consolation I would say is Iberia offers an extensive selection of very good Spanish wines.
No Personal Air Nozzles – Sadly this plane is not equipped with personal air nozzles to keep you cool during the flight. The cabin was also kept rather warm during the flight. Not the end of the world, but just so you know…
I’ve read the reviews and seen the horror-story trip reports of Iberia business class, but was it really that bad? Short answer is NO! I actually thought the flight was rather comfortable. The Iberia Lounge in Madrid was nice and offered plenty of lounge seating and a decent amount of food and beverage offerings. The lie-flat seats were very comfortable. I was able to sleep for a good 6 hours during the flight and arrive at LAX well-rested. The onboard amenities were pretty standard. The service from the crew was friendly, casual, and the crew did a good job in attending to our requests during the meal service. The only real letdown was the in-flight catering. I really hope the Iberia puts more thought and attention to their in-flight meals, especially for long haul flights.
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