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Iberia, AA, And BA Accross The Pond  
User currently offlineCarnival air From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (7 years 3 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 5048 times:

Hello! I am flying Iberia for the first time. We are going from NYC - MAD - LIS in Business Class. What can I expect for the flights food wise, entertainment wise, seat wise, etc. How does the experience compare to other airlines.

I am flyin AA back from London in Business too. How are they and how does it compare to IB?

First time going accross the pond in these airlines so I am looking forward to trying their service.

IB's aircraft is an A340 (I think 600), then an A320, an MD88, BA 737 in the MAD - Lon route (Business Class too...how are they? what should I expect?), and an AA 777.


Oh yes...its 4 of us flying, any good seats in Business that you guys would recommend? Any seat we should avoid?

Thanks for all your help!!!!

17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineCarnival air From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (7 years 3 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 5035 times:

Oh yes, I forgot to ask...are the IB and AA Business Seats the new ones? Are they fully reclinable?

User currently offlineMEACEDAR From Lebanon, joined Oct 2006, 753 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (7 years 3 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 5035 times:

I would try www.seatguru.com. They have all the answers you are looking for.

Have a nice trip! Don't forget about a trip report.


User currently onlineMAH4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 32776 posts, RR: 72
Reply 3, posted (7 years 3 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 5035 times:

Quoting Carnival air (Thread starter):


Oh yes...its 4 of us flying, any good seats in Business that you guys would recommend? Any seat we should avoid?

One of the rows on AA's 777 in business (I believe row 11) doesn't have windows. I personally love windows, so I avoid row 11.



a.
User currently offlineQantas787 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (7 years 3 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 4942 times:

Any of the BC seats on an IB 346 are fine except for the fact they forget to turn the temp down and it can get very hot in the cabin. Enjoy your trip. BTW I don't think seatguru has IB on it yet.

User currently offlineUPPERDECKFAN From Spain, joined Jun 2007, 992 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (7 years 3 months 1 day ago) and read 4836 times:

Quoting Carnival air (Reply 1):
are the IB and AA Business Seats the new ones? Are they fully reclinable?

IB J seats are lie-flat so they get between 160º and 170º recline with a 72" pitch

AA J seats are old standard J seats with leg rest and 60" pitch, so definitely IB advantage.

Quoting Carnival air (Thread starter):
then an A320, an MD88, BA 737 in the MAD - Lon route (Business Class too...how are they? what should I expect?),

On short haul on IB you'll get a meal or a snack depending on time of the day and the seat next to you will be empty, but the J seat is the same as Y seat, so these are the main differences between J and Y on IB short-haul.

On BA short-haul you get a different seat in J with a little better pitch and width.



744,742,741,772,773,762,732,735,738,752,727,717,DC10,DC9,M82,M87,319,320,321,343,346,L1011,CRJ2,CRJ9,E190,ATR42,DSH8,
User currently offlineVV701 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 7531 posts, RR: 17
Reply 6, posted (7 years 3 months 22 hours ago) and read 4729 times:

Quoting UPPERDECKFAN (Reply 5):
On BA short-haul you get a different seat in J with a little better pitch and width.

To the best of my memory the poitch is 34 inches.


User currently offlineGatoVolador From Spain, joined Apr 2007, 435 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (7 years 3 months 17 hours ago) and read 4527 times:

Quoting Carnival air (Thread starter):
I am flying Iberia for the first time.

¡Bienvenido a bordo!

Quoting Carnival air (Thread starter):
We are going from NYC - MAD - LIS in Business Class. What can I expect for the flights food wise, entertainment wise, seat wise, etc.

Regarding the JFK - MAD experience, your terminal is T7 (the one owned by BA). The check-in counters of Iberia are at your right hand side. You'll see the big screens indicating them with the IB and OneWorld logos. As you are flying business plus, you have a Business Class pax counter, so I'd use it to speed check-in up. The check-in is done by British Airways agents wearing BA uniforms (they are very kind, so no problems at all with them!). They will give you two boarding passes, one for each flight as usual, and send you baggage directly through LIS.

The terminal is very small, so it's very easy to navigate and to find the gate (you won't have problems to see it because I don't know why, but us Spaniards are used to form a queue 3 hours before the departure    ). When the IB flights leave (at 6pm and 9pm), the terminal is completely overcrowded with the two IB / UA / BA flights, so if I were you, I'd try the lounge (brought to you also by BA).

Once onboard, relax. JFK is served twice with a mix of A340-300 (250 seats) and A340-600 (350) aircrafts. I hope you get the best one, which is the -600 (newer and with a cleared and lighter cabin). Both aircrafts have a 2 - 4 - 2 configuration in economy and a 2 - 2 - 2 in business plus. If I were you, I'd take the window. I particularly enjoyed seeing NYC at 9pm and so on. Regarding the row, I wouldn't care, since business plus seats are huge, however, I'd choose the last rows in order to have a view of the cabin (otherwise, you only see the galley.)

The Business Plus is a very good product. I think you won't regret. The seat fully reclines making a 1,90m long bed, and has quite interesting options such as massages, flatter or stepper positions, etc. A nice video & music on demand service is provided (headsets are free) with personal PTVs onboard. Also free newspapers are handed out, as well as the Ronda Iberia & business class magazines. (Don't miss the screens showing what is happening outside... I found the camera very interesting if you like to see how an airport works).

Once airborne, the dinner arrives 30 - 60 minutes before landing, but before an appetizer is distributed. I never tasted the Business Plus menus, but I'm sure they will be at the same level of other business class products served in any European airline, and regarding the wines, IB offers a "bodega plus" that worth a try. Furthermore, a bar is available to you during the flight, so if you can't sleep (I don't think so, A340 are very quiet), try to have the nice sandwich club or any of the others done by Ferran Adriá (strange but tasty).

Two hours after taking off, the lights are shut down (I dislike this...) and everyone try to sleep. If you do not want to, you have a personal light which is useful (don't look me like that... it's true... I even read a newspaper... it's quite amazing to see that you're the only one awake... ). Once the sun rises, the FAs ask you to close your window shade to avoid passengers that sleep to be disturbed by the sun. (Ougggh!!! Alone in the dark once again   )

Two hours before landing, the lights are switched on and the crew comes with the breakfast, which is something I particularly liked. And a short time before, you land (attention... before landing MAD you'll see that the zone is very bumpy...   ... ). And guy... you're done... the flight was very short (compared to other IB long haul flights), wasn't it?

MAD T4 is the new Iberia's hub. I already used it twice (both times was to connect flights) and I found it a splendid airport. You'll arrive the T4-S (Terminal 4 Satélite) building, that holds flights from/to non-European Union destinations. You'll have to clear immigration procedures (if you take the 6pm flight, you'll have tons of people coming from the Americas, so it can be somehow not very smooth) and then follow the panels to get your gate (they will bring you to the "Automatic People Mover": a train that leads you to the T4 main building). Also take into account that each letter has a colour, and that the T4 columns change their colour as well to match the one on the letters, so just see where your colour is, and go straight.)

There is a lot of shops and restaurants there, so you'll see that a 60-120 min connection is really not that boring. (    Notice that your boarding pass will not show the concrete gate, so you need to look at the screens at the airport to see which one is yours... but take into account that they are shown 60 min before the departure, and until this moment they only indicate a bunch of gates marked by letters... so reach any gate with the letter they indicate, and 60 min before the departure see what your specific gate is. Don't worry, they are quite close from each other...). In case of problems, just look for a "chaqueta verde" (green jacket) guy: they are AENA (airports authority) employees that assist passengers. If you have problems with IB (you have missed you connection or whatever), go to the "mostrador de tránsito" (transit desk).

At MAD, Americans are usually shocked by what you guys call "Spanish chaos", meaning that there is no specific procedures to board the aircraft (by rows or whatever), but don't worry, because this kind of "chaos" (which in my opinion is not that TEEEERRIBLE, jaja) won't make you stay on the ground. So, as we say in Spanish, "quien avisa no es traidor".

The MAD - LIS flight might disappoint you a bit. Air travel is very popular in Spain (since we mostly prefer it to the train) and there is a LOT of low cost competition, so the product is very basic compared to other countries. No PTVs (Iberia had IFE two years ago but dropped it! snif, snif....) and other "frills" on short flights. However, in business class you get a free meal, so it's not that "boring". Plus, when you take a short flight after an A340 flight, everything seems small and pretty simple.

The 320 cabin is vey nice. Iberia has currently two kind of cabins: the old one (designed for a full service) and the new one (it's prepared to maintain a decent pitch in densified aircrafts, and in order to do that, seats are not that huge, tray tables are smallers, the magazine pocked was put above to have more legroom,etc.). The MDs are not so nice. In my opinion they look quite old (... but well maintained) and are very noisy compared to 320s. However, they are all leaving the fleet.

Regarding crews, the ones of the A340 are old and not very skilled to speak in Engligh (this is because long hauls are better paid than short hauls, and senior crews take them over young FAs), but sometimes friendly. Depending on who you get, you'll probably fing them shy or "rude" (people that don't speak in Spanish usually call "rude" people that don't say constantly "pardon", "excuse me", "I was wondering if...", "could you please...", "would you be so kind as to...", but just take in mind that in Spanish we don't use all these formulas very frequently, and rudeness is often measured by how do you pronounce it: its not the same a "shut down your cell phone" that a "SHUT DOWN YOUR CELL PHONE    , so take this into account...: it's just two diffent ways to speak to the customers, and many usually misunderstand it because they expect an... "anglosaxon" way of speaking).

The A320s are very nice in my opinion. Again, you can expect whatever, but the younger FAs (and in particular males), I think they are very customer oriented.

Quoting Carnival air (Thread starter):
BA 737 in the MAD - Lon route (Business Class too...how are they?

Don't worry, BA won't let you indifferent. They Euro business class (Club Europe) is similar to the one of IB, but as I told you before, IB is more basic, so BA has a different cabin in Eco and in Business (with more legroom) and has IFE. FAs seem very friendly, and for sure they will be more talkative and kind that in IB (because of the same language).

Quoting Carnival air (Thread starter):
I am flyin AA back from London in Business too. How are they and how does it compare to IB?

Well, it seems they have a new Business Class... For sure it's great.

Have a nice trip, enjoy Europe, and make us 5 cents (with pics, please) once back at home. (This forum has a "trip reports" area, so... please, try it!).


I give you some links just to figure out what to expect:

IB A340-600 business plus cabin:
http://www.aviationcorner.net/show_photo.asp?id=23496
http://www.aviationcorner.net/show_photo.asp?id=4086
http://nl.airliners.net/photos/middle/8/2/9/0960928.jpg

IB A340-300 business class cabin (darker and older), with the open bar at the end of the picture...http://www.aviationcorner.net/show_photo.asp?id=14494

IB 320 old cabin in blue (as I commented, BC cabin and Eco cabin are the same, but in BC the central seat is not occupied)
http://www.aviationcorner.net/show_photo.asp?id=5570 (IFE was sadly removed...)
http://nl.airliners.net/photos/middle/7/0/5/0540507.jpg
http://nl.airliners.net/photos/middle/9/6/8/0244869.jpg (business class)

IB 320 new cabin in grey (everybody says the new RECARO seats are super comfortable!)
http://nl.airliners.net/photos/middle/6/0/2/1168206.jpg

MD tourist class cabin (2-3 configuration: only the middle seat is blocked in the 3-seat column). As you can see, it has a 80s look. jajaja.
http://nl.airliners.net/photos/middle/7/2/4/0472427.jpg

God, I liked these videos!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leo_Tx1Goxs (at the end you see the Business Plus cabin)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JR5e1Exk_v0

The automatic people mover
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHt69S2fDC0

Some T4 photos
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=319038

[Edited 2007-06-19 19:48:42]

[Edited 2007-06-19 19:54:33]

User currently offlineUPPERDECKFAN From Spain, joined Jun 2007, 992 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (7 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 4385 times:

Hey, GATO VOLADOR, I'm going to take advantage of your huge advertising post to ask you something:

Why IB doesn't share counters and lounge with BA at ORD as they do at JFK?

I hate to go to that ugly AA lounge at ORD where there are thousands of people and no food and drinks for charge........

By using AA concourse they even have to transfer the aircraft from int'l terminal for boarding, they can avoid this operation and have J customers much more happy going to the BA lounge instead of AA's.



744,742,741,772,773,762,732,735,738,752,727,717,DC10,DC9,M82,M87,319,320,321,343,346,L1011,CRJ2,CRJ9,E190,ATR42,DSH8,
User currently offlineGatoVolador From Spain, joined Apr 2007, 435 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (7 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 4370 times:

Quoting UPPERDECKFAN (Reply 8):
Why IB doesn't share counters and lounge with BA at ORD as they do at JFK?

Any idea... I suppose it is because T7 in JFK is owned by British Airways (because of that kind of "air shuttle" between London and NYC). Chicago might be different. As far as I know, BA doesn't have any own terminal there and consequently does not have any own handling agents. (Not sure but I assume it...)

However, I wonder if BA agents at JFK are real BA workers or just a subcontractor with BA uniforms, just as IB does outside Spain and actually BA is doing in Barcelona and Madrid as well.


User currently offlineJRDC930 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (7 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4358 times:

Hi, i ve only flown on IB once, but AA many times and BA 3 times, but i can tell you hands down IB and BA make AA's economy and business class products look like crap (which they are), expect meals on IB and BA along with free booze and ... Gasp! friendly FA's. IFE is better too, at least on BA.

Have a good trip!  Smile


User currently offlineUPPERDECKFAN From Spain, joined Jun 2007, 992 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (7 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4353 times:

Quoting GatoVolador (Reply 9):
I suppose it is because T7 in JFK is owned by British Airways (because of that kind of "air shuttle" between London and NYC). Chicago might be different. As far as I know, BA doesn't have any own terminal there and consequently does not have any own handling agents. (Not sure but I assume it...)

BA doesn't have their own terminal at ORD, as no foreign airline has, it just a matter of do the same every other airline does (BA, AZ, KL, AF, AI, VS, etc) that is boarding from the int'l terminal.

Now I can see the point, it's a matter of using AA handling instead of contracting independent handlers, most likely they get a better deal from partner AA than from other handlers.

I hope IB is finally bought by BA if that means IB customers being able to enjoy BA customer service standards worldwide.



744,742,741,772,773,762,732,735,738,752,727,717,DC10,DC9,M82,M87,319,320,321,343,346,L1011,CRJ2,CRJ9,E190,ATR42,DSH8,
User currently offlineKstateinALB From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 749 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (7 years 2 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 4322 times:

Because I have flown the JFK-LHR-MAD-LHR-JFK route with BA, I can say that it was an excellent journey with them.

The JFK-LHR route, flown with the 747, at least on my flight, was excellent. I was very surprised to see how good the service of the flight crew, they were absolutely great. The aircraft does have PTV's, and I do say the food was great, and I still miss the Banoffee pie thing, I LOVED IT!!!

The LHR-MAD route is either flown by a 757, A319, or A320. I had both the 757 and A319 on my trips. The A319 was great, had leather seats and good pitch, as well as the Airshow, which I thought was great on that ride. They served a sandwich and fruit, as well as soft drinks. Overall, a pleasant ride on that a/c.

The 757 was pretty good, but not as good as the A319. Cloth seats in the back, obviously leather in Club World, but the pitch was not as good back in Y. Still had same meal service and the like, but no Airshow was presented. Was a nice ride though, I cannot lie how nice it was to have that 757 take off...

Overall, a great experience, and I thought I should share to you about it.



ALB, DTW, ORD, MDW, MCI, JFK, LGA, LHR, MAD, MSP, IAD, DCA, MCO, ATL, CVG, TUL, MHK, PHL, PIT, DFW, DAL, CLT, IND, AUS,
User currently offlineGatoVolador From Spain, joined Apr 2007, 435 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 4304 times:

Quoting KstateinALB (Reply 12):
I was very surprised to see how good the service of the flight crew, they were absolutely great.

You're right, the crews are very committed at BA.


User currently offlineBaexecutive From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 744 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4285 times:

On Club Europe (BA) you will have a separate cabin and a few 'nice' extra's that you don't get in Euro Traveller (Economy/Coach)

* Upgraded menu (with complimentary drinks)
* Champagne
* Molton Brown products in the WC
* Blanket and Pillow
* The most attentive yet understated cabin crew in the air

Quoting UPPERDECKFAN (Reply 11):
BA doesn't have their own terminal at ORD, as no foreign airline has, it just a matter of do the same every other airline does (BA, AZ, KL, AF, AI, VS, etc) that is boarding from the int'l terminal.

Yes BA is the only foreign airline that owns a terminal in the United States! The staff employed in the terminal are sub-contracted to BA.


User currently offlineRogerbcn From Andorra, joined Sep 2006, 1209 posts, RR: 20
Reply 15, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 4277 times:

Hola Carnival Air!

I guess you got pretty much all the information you needed for your flight from Gato Volador... so I will only add my personal experience on IB flights.

I have quite flown IB Business Plus product quite often in the last years and have to say that their product is quite consistent.

Cabin: It is really nice, the new seats are very comfortable and when fully extended they give a decent space to sleep if you do not mind the awkward angle that is formed by the seat.

Food: I would rate it as excellent, although I would prefer they took orders the beginning of the service for one of the 3 main dishes offered. I would personally avoid the pasta dish, unless you are vegetarian, and go to one of the others as they are prepared following on of Spain's most awarded cooks, Sergi Arola (he owns a 2 stars Michelin restaurant in Madrid, La Broche, worth a visit). Wines are excellent on IB fights, all coming from best Spanish wineries. Give them a try! Just one thing, in short long-hal flights like JFK or ORD, breakfast is usually sere in a rush and it is not as consistent as it is when you come back from EZE, GIG or SCL after 11 hours flying.

IFE: You get your personal screen with an excellent AVOD system... Nothing to say here, just the usual choice of films, jukebox and games you may find on any intercontinental flight.

Service: Ay, ay, ay! I think IB needs to work harder in this aspect. I don't really understand how they want to attract the best customers, those paying full fares, with such a poor attention they give their passengers. Don't expect anyone coming around taking orders for you dinner, let it alone calling you by name. After taking your jacket, the will be coming around delivering you a nice set of toiletries with enough items for your flight and maybe worth keeping for the gym. What I like best is the shoe bag, really useful to store shoes in your suitcase when traveling around. They will deliver then a pre-take off drink: I always go for the cava, better to celebrate it before it all starts. Once service is completed, disappearance act, no one around except for one flight attendant at the galley reading something. The mid-flight munchies are nothing special, just some sandwiches, fruit and drinks to help yourself.

But what really puts me own are the toilets, there are just two bottles of toiletries there poorly stored. It is really a shame when you compare it to other companies.

I wish you, anyway, a pleasant flight.

Salut!

Roger  wave   wave 



"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
User currently offlineGatoVolador From Spain, joined Apr 2007, 435 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4263 times:

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 15):
with such a poor attention they give their passengers

Well, I don't know if "poor attention" is the expression that fits to describe IB's service, since in my opinion the FAs treat you well (in general). The problem is that, I don't know why, cabin crews stay in the galley after the meal service. I think it's quite logical, because there no much more to do (particularly during overnight flights, where everybody fall asleep), but us passengers would feel better if we saw one or two FAs (we don't need all of them!) walking down the aircraft from time to time (let's say each 20 min) in order to assist someone that eventually needed help, carrying some glasses of water to the offer them to the people that wants them, etc. Taking into account that there are a lot of FA in A340 flights, it wouldn't be so dramatic to FAs to split this task and each one have two or three " 10 minutes walks" in each flight. In addition, long haul FAs are well paid, and I assume someone that chose to become FA likes taking care of passengers, so... If I were FA I'd even enjoy being in charge of having two or three walks during the flight just to ask passengers if they want something, etc.

t'd be a measure without any cost and that for sure would increase the service perception of this airline.

Instead, the rule is that YOU have to go to the galley to ask for water, a Coke, a beer, some peanuts, or whatever. And as I said, I always have been well-treated by the crews (even some of them are very friendly), but I consider it's better to have one or two FAs having a walk by the aircraft that passengers going by themselves to ask this or that.

With some small changes (in the procedures), the service could be more pleasant.

[Edited 2007-06-24 10:45:18]

User currently offlineRogerbcn From Andorra, joined Sep 2006, 1209 posts, RR: 20
Reply 17, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 4258 times:

Hola GatoVolador!

Exatcly!

Quoting GatoVolador (Reply 16):
With some small changes (in the procedures), the service could be more pleasant.

Thats is what I was talking about: some more smiles, eye contact, the nice touch of taking orders for dinner / lunch and asking you by name.... it would for sure move IB to top ranks in the airline industry. Their product as far as cabin, seat, IFE... is very consistent and top ranked but the for sure need to work in passenger attention.

Sometimes you feel you are doing them a favor or, even worse, you are disturbing them... I think they must be aware that they represent the company and have a strong, if not the strongest, influence on passenger's opinion about it.

Just one thing, Intra-European crews seem to be much more attentive than their transatlantic fellow workers.

Salut!

Roger



"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
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