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Topic: Rating Transatlantic Iberia (to Bogotá)
Username: amsspot
Posted 2012-05-16 10:57:37 and read 12289 times.

Rating Transatlantic Iberia (to Bogotá)

Hey y'all and welcome to my 8th trip report. This time I will report about my return trip with Iberia to the capital city of Colombia. The flight took place about a year ago and I wrote this trip report shortly thereafter. Then, I totally forgot about it until right now.

I N T R O D U C T I O N

One part of my study (human geography) is an educative trip abroad. You can either choose to go abroad yourself to do research or join one of the official study trips organized by the University. The destinations of the official study trips differ each year. In September they got announced:

Shanghai and Beijing, China
Milan, Italy
Bogotá, Colombia
Toronto, Canada

What to choose? Milan is a little bit too close to home so I crossed that one out. A study trip to China would be nice. Toronto has always appealed to me too. Bogotá? No way! Why would someone want to visit Colombia anyway (Farc, drugswar, murder…)? Not a destination I would want to visit.
The student mates I hang out most with however, all decided that they wanted to go to Bogotá and they tried to persuade me to join them on this trip. I had a very deep thought. "I would never visit Colombia (or even South America) by myself", I thought to myself. This was the chance of my life to do such a trip. Still, Colombia; why would I want to go there? After talking to some who had been there I decided to join them.

B O O K I N G – F L I G H T S

How to get to Bogotá? By air of course, but that is not what I mean. What airline? Avianca, Air France, Lufthansa and Iberia all have direct flights between Bogotá El Dorado Airport and Europe. All flights were ridiculously expensive: €1000 and up. Delta and United offered flights via the USA for roughly the same price. But when I checked again a few days later I found myself a reasonable deal. Iberia: Amsterdam – Madrid – Bogotá for €630 (return, all in). Good price but not my airline of choice at all. Iberia's reputation is not that good: no PTV's, next to no onboard service, rude staff etc. I was not unwilling to pay a little bit more to get a better airline but paying €400 more just to get a better airline is a little too much. I booked the flights (in fact, 12 of the 13 students ended up booking a flight with Iberia).

Between the booking of the flight and the actually day of flight, Iberia changed the flying times several times. I don't mind when the departure time gets pushed back for 5 minutes, which happened twice. Approximately 4 weeks before the flight Iberia send me an e-mail about yet another flight change. This time I had to contact them via telephone. I did and got the message that the flight from Madrid to Amsterdam got cancelled. She offered me to rebook me on a later flight from Madrid to Amsterdam but this would mean a layover for FIVE hours! When I asked if I could also have the evening flight from Bogotá to Madrid (rather than the afternoon flight) she said that was possible as well. In the end I just accepted the later flight from Madrid to Amsterdam with the very long layover.

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The route to Bogota.


C H E C K – I N
I checked in online and choose my seats. The flight from Amsterdam to Madrid was scheduled to be operated with an Airbus A321 and the transatlantic flight would be with one of Iberia's A340-600s. I choose two seats on the right hand side of the aircraft just after the wing.

My mates and I met the day of departure at the airport at half past 5. Roughly two hours prior departure time. We encountered a very long queue at the baggage drop off/check in. It took 45 minutes to get to the desk. She took my luggage did not say anything. When I asked her if I had to do anything with my luggage at Madrid she yelled to me. "No, it goes straight to Bogotá, NEXT PLEASE!" This was the Iberia I was expecting.
We had to rush through customs to get to our gate. We arrived just in time. Many passenger already queued for the gate.

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Airline: Iberia
Flight: IB3215
Route: AMS-MAD
Aircraft: Airbus A321-211
Registration number: EC-ITN
Aircraft name: Empuries
First flight: 12 December 2003
Previously in service with: Iberia is the first operator of this aircraft.


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Photo © Karl Nixon
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Photo © Daniel Villa León-Canary Island Spotting


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Photo © R.Hesse



Departure was a little late. We took off from the Kaagbaan and climbed to our cruising altitude. After a while the buy on board service started. The cabin crew was not as bad as I had expected. Not very friendly either. The cabin was bright and the seats were fine. Just a regular Airbus A320 cabin. Not much to say about it. No overhead tv-screens. Legroom was ok.


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View from my seat.

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Climbing over the clouds.

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Buy on board service.

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Descending to Madrid Barajas.

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Left hand turn.
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Minutes before landing.

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On short final.

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Iberia all around us: this must be Madrid Barajas.

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Avianca at Madrid. I was going to see a lot more Avianca planes at Bogota El Dorado.

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Arriving at the gate.


After about 2 hours we arrived Barajas airport. We were a little late and had to rush to catch our connecting flight. We took the underground to the other terminal and walked to our gate. The waiting area was quite full. In fact a student mate who did not check in online was on a standby list as the plane was fully booked.

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Airline: Iberia
Flight: IB6585
Route: MAD-BOG
Aircraft: Airbus A340-642
Registration number: EC-IZY
Aircraft name: Ignacio de Zuloaga
First flight: 17 September 2004
Previously in service with: Iberia is the first operator of this aircraft.


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Photo © Ricardo Morales - Aviation Photography of Mexico




It was time to board. Luckily, all of us were granted on board. The flight attendants on board did not say much when we boarded. The stewardesses at the front door were busy talking to one another and only said "ola" occasionally. I walked through the dark cabin to my seat in the rear section of the cabin. The other flight attendants were even less interested. On my seat I found a package with a pillow and a blanket.


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It took ages to board the plane.

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Massive engines on the Airbus A340-600.


The safety video was played on the overhead monitors and then we taxied to the runway. They played music during taxi and take off and showed images of the tail camera on the screens. The take off role was long but not at all noisy. I found the A340-600 is a very quiet aircraft.


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Taxing to the runway for take-off.

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Up in the air.

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Buh bye Europe.


CABIN
Although the plane is quite new, the cabin looks old-fashioned. The seats are from your grand mum's Iberia. Not that they weren't good. Just not the newest seats available on the market. Legroom was sufficient for me. I'm not very tall at all but I did not hear any complaints from my student mates either and they are all very tall. The seats recline. Not able to say if they recline a lot or not. No PTV's, just overhead monitors and those screens are placed only over the middle row. So it is quite impossible to see them if you are seated on a window seat. (more about IFE later on).
During the entire flight the lighting conditions were poor. It was very dark inside the cabin: even while boarding and disembarking. Of course there were lights in the overhead panel. What I found rather strange is that you were not able to adjust the flow of air. I used the lavatories in the back of the plane and they were clean.


.
The cabin.


IN FLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT
Well, to be quite honest the view out of the window was the best entertainment during the most part of the flight. Not that there was a lot to be seen outside, but it was better than the flight information they showed on the overhead screens. Come on Iberia, during a 10 hour flight I expected just a little more than one single movie! The movie was good though. I had a good laugh when I watched it. After the movie was played we got the flight information again: boring!
There was also audio. I think there were about 8 channels.

FOOD AND DRINKS
During the flight we got three "meals". The lunch which we got about 2 hours after departure was the main meal. I could choose between pasta or rice and I choose the pasta. I got a tray with a pasta with ketchup, an uneatable roll. A spoonful of coleslaw and a spoonful of tuna salad (tasted awful i.m.o.).The dissert, a small cake was good though. We got a drink with the meal and afterwards the cabin crew came through he cabin with tea and coffee.
Halfway in flight, we got served a package with two loafs of white bread. I found them tasty, some of my travel mates disgusted them. Yet again we got offered something to drink with it.
The pre arrival snack consisted of a box with yet another uneatable roll (sorry, they were so hard that I just could not get through them), a cake, a yoghurt and a Mars chocolate bar. Tea and coffee were offered afterwards.
If you were to be thirsty during the flight you could have gotten something from the galley. Not that anyone ever told us this.


.
Lunchtime.

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Mid-flight-snack.



FLIGHT ATTANDANTS
"Their long-haul flight attendants in coach are usually 90+ years old and it looks like they do castings for them, to quality you must be very rude and unwilling to help!" is a quote I once read on this forum. I am afraid to tell you that this is true. They were indeed all quite old and stubborn.
No: "thank you" or "you're welcome" from the crew. In fact the flight attendants did not even look at us when she handed the drinks and or snacks.
When they unpurposely hit someone with the trolley when they rushed over the aisle they got mad with the passenger. That is a total different way to handle with such an accident. I expected to hear a "sorry" or something like that.
They were so not enjoying their job that I tried to make them laugh. Here's a piece of advice: don't even try to!


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Somewhere above the Caribbean.

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Descending over Colombia.

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Colombia is so green from in the air. Just amazing.

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Minutes before arriving.
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Still descending.

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Arrived at Bogota.


After nearly ten hours our captain landed our plane at El Dorado Airport. It had been a very long flight and I was glad to be on the ground again. Iberia offered a "decent" product for the price I paid for it. Just don’t expect the best food, a reasonable IFE or a single smile from the flight attendants on board.

Bogota
Bogota is a large city. For the regular tourist there may not be a lot of touristic attractions. For people who are interested in urban planning or human geography it is a fascinating city. People are friendly and I did not feel unsafe at all.

Thank you very much for reading my flight review. As always, comments are welcome!

Best regards,
Miles

My other flight reviews
Logging the Saab 2000: In Sweden Of Course
Logging the Saab 340: In Sweden Of Course
Return Trip To Cartagena De Indias With Aires
Securing my Miles on a KLM Fokker 100
Truly Irish: Aer Arann
My First Turboprop Flight With FlyBE
Blasting away to CPH on a SAS MD-82
Goodbye to KLM’s F50, or not?
Great flight with Baboo

Topic: RE: Rating Transatlantic Iberia (to Bogotá)
Username: gabrielchew
Posted 2012-05-16 11:21:50 and read 12183 times.

Nice report Miles - shame Iberia was, well Iberia! Colombia is such a beautiful country - I really want to go back for a few weeks in the dry season.

Quoting amsspot (Thread starter):
The destinations of the official study trips differ each year. In September they got announced:
Shanghai and Beijing, China
Milan, Italy
Bogotá, Colombia
Toronto, Canada

Nice choice of places! I went to Nanjing in China for my year abroad

Quoting amsspot (Thread starter):
I booked the flights (in fact, 12 of the 13 students ended up booking a flight with Iberia).

Nice you all flew together. Our group all flew LHR-CPH-PVG with SK.

Quoting amsspot (Thread starter):
In the end I just accepted the later flight from Madrid to Amsterdam with the very long layover.

Annoying they changed the times on you.

Quoting amsspot (Thread starter):
"No, it goes straight to Bogotá, NEXT PLEASE!" This was the Iberia I was expecting.

Very rude staff

Quoting amsspot (Thread starter):

Well, to be quite honest the view out of the window was the best entertainment during the most part of the flight. Not that there was a lot to be seen outside, but it was better than the flight information they showed on the overhead screens. Come on Iberia, during a 10 hour flight I expected just a little more than one single movie! The movie was good though. I had a good laugh when I watched it. After the movie was played we got the flight information again: boring!
There was also audio. I think there were about 8 channels.

Ha, it's like flying 10 years ago!

Topic: RE: Rating Transatlantic Iberia (to Bogotá)
Username: falkerker
Posted 2012-05-16 12:17:20 and read 11908 times.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 1):
I really want to go back for a few weeks in the dry season.

I hope it starts any day now LOL, it´s been nothing but rain and floods for a few months...

On a brighter side of things, awesome TR! Very glad you enjoyed your time here and I hope you´ll come again soon (not on Iberia, for god´s sake)

Topic: RE: Rating Transatlantic Iberia (to Bogotá)
Username: globalflyer
Posted 2012-05-16 12:18:58 and read 11897 times.

Hi Miles. wow what a nightmare of a service. I have not read anything positive on IB. I do like BA's service and would think senior management would want to enfore a positive attitude. Oh well, just reinforces other choices. BOG looks beautiful. Great pictures! Thanks for sharing! Cheers, Will

Topic: RE: Rating Transatlantic Iberia (to Bogotá)
Username: RTWFlyer
Posted 2012-05-16 12:37:10 and read 11800 times.

Hi Miles,

thanks for this nice TR.

Sorry the flight was not nicer for you, but at least you did not expect too much.

Quoting amsspot (Thread starter):
FLIGHT ATTANDANTS
"Their long-haul flight attendants in coach are usually 90+ years old and it looks like they do castings for them, to quality you must be very rude and unwilling to help!" is a quote I once read on this forum. I am afraid to tell you that this is true. They were indeed all quite old and stubborn.
No: "thank you" or "you're welcome" from the crew. In fact the flight attendants did not even look at us when she handed the drinks and or snacks.
When they unpurposely hit someone with the trolley when they rushed over the aisle they got mad with the passenger. That is a total different way to handle with such an accident. I expected to hear a "sorry" or something like that.
They were so not enjoying their job that I tried to make them laugh. Here's a piece of advice: don't even try to!

  

I always thought the US airlines on overseas flights are pretty bad when it comes to their Flight attendants, but this is really worse than I could imagine.   

Thanks for your effort.

Greetings RTWFlyer

Topic: RE: Rating Transatlantic Iberia (to Bogotá)
Username: 777jaah
Posted 2012-05-16 13:18:24 and read 11603 times.

I'm glad you had a great time in Colombia. Great TR, thanks for sharing.

How long did you stayed in Bogota?? You visited any other places in Colombia??

Quoting amsspot (Thread starter):
"Their long-haul flight attendants in coach are usually 90+ years old and it looks like they do castings for them, to quality you must be very rude and unwilling to help!" is a quote I once read on this forum. I am afraid to tell you that this is true. They were indeed all quite old and stubborn.
No: "thank you" or "you're welcome" from the crew. In fact the flight attendants did not even look at us when she handed the drinks and or snacks.
When they unpurposely hit someone with the trolley when they rushed over the aisle they got mad with the passenger. That is a total different way to handle with such an accident. I expected to hear a "sorry" or something like that.
They were so not enjoying their job that I tried to make them laugh. Here's a piece of advice: don't even try to!

The worst part of all?? They have the same attitude in J. Only flew with them once and their attitude was terrible, very unprofessional, extra rude, and completely unfriendly. Curiously, FA's on the intraeuropean sectors, were really nice, very responsive to human interaction and always looking forward to make you feel served, comletely the opposite to their intercontinental service.

Quoting RTWFlyer (Reply 4):
I always thought the US airlines on overseas flights are pretty bad when it comes to their Flight attendants, but this is really worse than I could imagine

I've flown with AA a couple of times in J and Y, and trust me, IB's FA's are the worst, although not by much really...

Topic: RE: Rating Transatlantic Iberia (to Bogotá)
Username: MFC
Posted 2012-05-16 13:52:27 and read 11434 times.

Nice trip report! I've flown Iberia several times (short and long haul) and I must admit that I have seen rude and uninterested FA's, but also I have encountered excellent ones. Anyway, I don't find fair to judge them for their ages, you simply can't fire someone because it is old as long as they are capable of doing their job. The thing that Iberia really needs to improve is their Economy Class seats ( in some A340-300 is disgusting ) although I find A340-600 seats comfortable. In all cases PTV's are urgently needed. I have read that they are going to refurbish all long haul cabins and improve customer service ( something really difficult in my opinion) so we'll see if in the next years Iberia has a decent product.

Looking forward to read your return trip report!

Thanks for your writing.

Martin

Topic: RE: Rating Transatlantic Iberia (to Bogotá)
Username: IrishAyes
Posted 2012-05-16 14:37:38 and read 11254 times.

Thank you for the TR! There are few reports on Iberia's long-haul Y product on these forums, but now i can totally understand why: it's nothing to report on.

In fact, it looks like it sucks. What a sham considering it is a OW alliance member. IAG ought to be ashamed. No wonder IB is to blame for the shabby financial performance of the company, over BA.

Not worth the price, IMO. Will avoid IB like the plague.

Topic: RE: Rating Transatlantic Iberia (to Bogotá)
Username: IBERIA747
Posted 2012-05-16 15:00:12 and read 11140 times.

Interesting report. Thanks for sharing.

Quoting amsspot (Thread starter):
during a 10 hour flight I expected just a little more than one single movie

Strange, since Iberia normally shows three movies plus other short videos on flights longer than 8-9 hours. Unless there was a problem with the video system, they should have shown at least 2 movies.

Anyway, there's no excuse for still not having an up-to-date entertaiment system on their long haul aircraft, even more when the competition has taken many steps forward in that area, leaving Iberia as one of the very few (and perhaps the only major airline flying between Europe and Latin America) which still doesn't offer personal video screens on these routes (Aerolíneas Argentinas doesn't offer them either although a few second-hand aircraft have them installed by their previous operators. That is an absolutely mediocre airline in every aspect, and arent a major carrier).

Anyway, IB has announced that, starting next year, most of their long haul fleet (A346s and the long awaited A330s if they ever arrive) will start getting a new economy class cabin which will include those damn PTVs. About time!!!.
The A343s, however, will only get new seats, but no PTVs.

The current Business Class (Business Plus) will also be replaced by a new one.

Quoting amsspot (Thread starter):
During the flight we got three "meals"

That first meal looks a bit poor indeed. Those menus lasted for years and many people were tired of getting always the same thing, but to be honest, some of them were not bad. Thankfully, that has changed and improvements can be seen on their Y-class meals which have usually been acceptable.

Quoting amsspot (Thread starter):
If you were to be thirsty during the flight you could have gotten something from the galley. Not that anyone ever told us this.

Every time I've flown IB longhaul (and I've done so dozens of times), it has been announced on the PA system that theres bar service at the galleys for almost the entire duration of the flight. The service is finished right before the last meal is served.

Quoting amsspot (Thread starter):
No: "thank you" or "you're welcome" from the crew. In fact the flight attendants did not even look at us when she handed the drinks and or snacks.

.

This is changing, but it's not exclusive to Iberia. Unfortunately it's one of the most common occurences in Spain. Let's say, and I'm not trying to justify anything, it's part of our culture.

Anyway, and since this is not an Iberia bashing session (am I right when saying this??), it's interesting how many people ignore these details when flying other "OMG-they-are-so-good" carriers (which quite often have their fair share of garbage under the carpet), but don't think it twice to talk about it when it has to do with Iberia...

There's a very famous user in this forum who had an unpleasant flight with Iberia and took the time to write an unltra-detailed report heavily criticizing the airline, which of course, he has the right to do. However, the same user (who has repeatedly said he dislikes Iberia), admittedly had a good flight with them on the way back and, strangely, forgot to write a report about it.

Quoting globalflyer (Reply 3):
I have not read anything positive on IB.

There are several reports with good comments about them in this forum.

I'm writing a trip report on a recent trip to Guatemala City on Iberia. And...guess what?. It was outstanding.

Quoting 777jaah (Reply 5):
FA's on the intraeuropean sectors, were really nice, very responsive to human interaction and always looking forward to make you feel served, comletely the opposite to their intercontinental service.

So, the long haul crews were bad, according to you, and you pointed that out. Fair Enough.

On the other hand, and again according to you, crews on intra-Europe flights were very nice.

Quoting 777jaah (Reply 5):
trust me, IB's FA's are the worst

After your previous comments, this is your general concept about them. Interesting.

I don't know. I must be some strange kind of human being, or I may be so dumb that I like to take the time to look at the bigger picture, but on every flight and every airline I have flown with, there has always been AT LEAST one unpleasant crew member, and I bet it's been more or less the same with most of the people sharing their travel experiences with us.
It's interesting to see people sometimes being bashed here for critizicing the service onboard some of the airlines which are rated "5-stars" as if they were untouchable. However, and when it comes to certain carriers, sometimes it feels as if making bad remarks about them was mandatory.

You can flame me now.  Big grin

[Edited 2012-05-16 15:28:25]

Topic: RE: Rating Transatlantic Iberia (to Bogotá)
Username: IBERIA747
Posted 2012-05-16 15:18:51 and read 11084 times.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 7):
IAG ought to be ashamed. No wonder IB is to blame for the shabby financial performance of the company,

I think you should do some research first about the problems Iberia is facing, the markets it caters compared to those served by BA, the current situation in Spain, etc, etc, before jumping into premature conclussions about Iberia's bad performance in the last couple of years. Also, don't forget IB entered IAG with over €2bn in cash (which didn't come out of nowehere), while "the great BA" was struggling only a couple years ago.

It would be interesting to see what would happen if BA suddenly loses a big % of the premium market share between Europe and North America, for example. Being as good as they may be (i've flown with them several times and it was far from being excellent), their financial performance would be hit.

Topic: RE: Rating Transatlantic Iberia (to Bogotá)
Username: ZaphodB
Posted 2012-05-16 16:23:27 and read 10890 times.

Quoting globalflyer (Reply 3):
I have not read anything positive on IB.

I don't have a problem with their long haul product ... I know its a minority view but other than the map I couldn't care less about PTVs - in fact if it means a box under the seat I'd rather not have it. The window, my iPod and QC15s are all the IFE I need. The seats are pretty comfortable by modern standards and the 340 is my wb of choice now that the L10 is history. A far as the crew goes, maybe they're just in a better mood on Miami runs because I've never personally encountered the dragons I read about on here and I'm guessing I have a bigger sample size than most - I don't have a whole lot of options because of a lack of mainline carriers at ALC. The food does seem to have deteriorated in the last year or so.

[Edited 2012-05-16 16:25:24]

Topic: RE: Rating Transatlantic Iberia (to Bogotá)
Username: Bananaboy
Posted 2012-05-17 01:06:06 and read 9860 times.

Thanks for posting this report - have never flown IB so good to read about them.

Quoting amsspot (Thread starter):
. I got a tray with a pasta with ketchup, an uneatable roll. A spoonful of coleslaw and a spoonful of tuna salad (tasted awful i.m.o.).The dissert, a small cake was good though.

   That has to be one of the nastiest, pathetic looking Y class meals that I have ever seen - and given how much I've flown UA Y class in the past, that's saying something. What with that and the "friendly" service you had on board, it's almost as though they are punishing you for travelling with them! Very disappointing.

Mark

Topic: RE: Rating Transatlantic Iberia (to Bogotá)
Username: MSS658
Posted 2012-05-17 01:08:13 and read 9857 times.

HI

Great report, thanks for sharing!
Seems like IB has not changed at all during the BA takeover.

Greetings
Marc

Topic: RE: Rating Transatlantic Iberia (to Bogotá)
Username: amsspot
Posted 2012-05-17 02:51:56 and read 9682 times.

Thank you for the comments. I did not expect so many comments on this kinda boring trip report.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 1):
Annoying they changed the times on you.

Very annoying indeed. Even more so when you consider I also flew from Cartagena to Bogotá the same day and I had a very long layover in Bogotá as well.

Quoting falkerker (Reply 2):
I hope it starts any day now LOL, it´s been nothing but rain and floods for a few months...

I have heard from locals that the distinction between the dry and wet season is becoming less pronounced. You get more and more rain in the dry season?

Quoting globalflyer (Reply 3):
I have not read anything positive on IB.

Well, here is a positive note on Iberia. They are cheap (at least for these flights). Seriously, €600 vs €1000.

Quoting RTWFlyer (Reply 4):
I always thought the US airlines on overseas flights are pretty bad when it comes to their Flight attendants, but this is really worse than I could imagine.

I have flown Delta quite a few times and their flight attendants are way better that the ones I had on this Iberia flight.

Quoting MFC (Reply 6):
Anyway, I don't find fair to judge them for their ages, you simply can't fire someone because it is old as long as they are capable of doing their job.

I totally agree. You can get the best senior FA.

Quoting IBERIA747 (Reply 8):
Strange, since Iberia normally shows three movies plus other short videos on flights longer than 8-9 hours.

On the return flight they indeed showed more movies.

Quoting IBERIA747 (Reply 8):
Every time I've flown IB longhaul (and I've done so dozens of times), it has been announced on the PA system that theres bar service at the galleys for almost the entire duration of the flight.

Maybe they did announce it but I just did not hear it because my Spanish is not so good and it was hard to understand what they were saying in English

Still, when we found out about the service and went to the galley we were sent away rudely because the FA were busy.

Quoting 777jaah (Reply 5):
How long did you stayed in Bogota?? You visited any other places in Colombia??

I stayed in Bogotá for 10 days. We had to do a little research project in Bogota and also went to a local university. After 11 days in and around Bogota I visited Cartagena for 3 nights. Lovely city!

Topic: RE: Rating Transatlantic Iberia (to Bogotá)
Username: IBERIA747
Posted 2012-05-17 03:07:56 and read 9636 times.

Quoting ZaphodB (Reply 10):
I've never personally encountered the dragons I read about on here and I'm guessing I have a bigger sample size than most

Same here. I've flown Iberia across the Atlantic no less than 60 times, and my experiences with them have been fine most of the time.
Like I said before, I am not denying that sometimes I have seen grumpy staff on Iberia aircraft, but it doesn't mean it has happened on all flights, and not all the crew members had the same attitude. In all my flights with KLM, American, Delta, Iberia, British Airways, TAP, LAN, Taca and Air France (among others), there have always been nice and rude crew members on the same flight.

I'm not afraid to say that while their service has been average on most flights, my best long haul flights have been with Iberia, and the best ground and cabin staff I have ever found have been with this airline. I don't know if the way I treat them has had anything to do with the results, but I have recieved outstanding service from many of them, often ending up in nice conversations both on the ground and during the flight, exchange of emails, and even a cockpit visit during the flight onboard an A340 without even asking for it., . And, no...I'm not crazy, which is what many people would like to say, cause I admit that I have also seen and dealt with very rude staff a few times.

Funnily enough and contrary to the majority's opinion and general perception (mine included), the best IB ground staff I have found has been precisely here in Madrid. The worst BY FAR has been in latin american airports such as Panama City, Guatemala City, Quito (all of them should be fired) and Guayaquil.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 12):
Seems like IB has not changed at all during the BA takeover.

And why would it have to change?. I mean...last time I checked, and opposed to what many people would like to hear, BA doesn't own Iberia. There has been no takeover here. Now William Walsh emptying Iberia's cash reserve in the name of IAG is another story. Walsh wants BA to own IB and everything else inside IAG, and he's working towards that goal. Making Iberia smaller and weaker is part of the process.

[Edited 2012-05-17 03:29:17]

Topic: RE: Rating Transatlantic Iberia (to Bogotá)
Username: flightsimboy
Posted 2012-05-17 09:44:17 and read 9189 times.

Quoting amsspot (Thread starter):
Toronto, Canada
Quoting amsspot (Thread starter):
Toronto has always appealed to me too

Maybe you'll come here next time  
Quoting amsspot (Thread starter):
We encountered a very long queue at the baggage drop off/check in. It took 45 minutes to get to the desk. She took my luggage did not say anything. When I asked her if I had to do anything with my luggage at Madrid she yelled to me. "No, it goes straight to Bogotá, NEXT PLEASE!" This was the Iberia I was expecting.

Why would you ask her that? Not like your bags were going to come out at Madrid?

Quoting amsspot (Thread starter):
Aircraft: Airbus A340-642

Gorgeous!!

Quoting amsspot (Thread starter):
Well, to be quite honest the view out of the window was the best entertainment during the most part of the flight.
Quoting amsspot (Thread starter):
After the movie was played we got the flight information again: boring!

The views outside are the best inflight entertainment outside the aircraft, and the flight information map is the best thing inside the aircraft  

Topic: RE: Rating Transatlantic Iberia (to Bogotá)
Username: EddieDude
Posted 2012-05-17 13:58:53 and read 8941 times.

Quoting amsspot (Thread starter):
Why would someone want to visit Colombia anyway (Farc, drugswar, murder…)? Not a destination I would want to visit.

Seems erroneous pre-conceptions are deeply rooted and that is quite a shame. I can't speak with full knowledge because I have never been to Colombia, but it is very high on my list of places to visit. I have only heard great things about Bogotá and the rest of the country, and if it is not this year, I will definitely go in 2013. Fortunately, all the guerilla, insecurity and drug problems you mention are confined to some remote regions and otherwise are a thing of the past.

Topic: RE: Rating Transatlantic Iberia (to Bogotá)
Username: amsspot
Posted 2012-05-17 14:15:58 and read 8907 times.

Quoting EddieDude (Reply 16):
Quoting amsspot (Thread starter):
Why would someone want to visit Colombia anyway (Farc, drugswar, murder…)? Not a destination I would want to visit.

Seems erroneous pre-conceptions are deeply rooted and that is quite a shame. I can't speak with full knowledge because I have never been to Colombia, but it is very high on my list of places to visit. I have only heard great things about Bogotá and the rest of the country, and if it is not this year, I will definitely go in 2013. Fortunately, all the guerilla, insecurity and drug problems you mention are confined to some remote regions and otherwise are a thing of the past.

I know they are and I am not proud at all I had these preconceptions. Sadly, when we hear something about Colombia in the Netherlands it is usually related to these things. But when you see through these stories and actually go to Colombia you will find that Colombia is gorgeous country. Everyone who has been there will say so.
I highly recommend Cartagena to you if you are going to Colombia. It's so beautiful!

Topic: RE: Rating Transatlantic Iberia (to Bogotá)
Username: ZaphodB
Posted 2012-05-17 17:10:46 and read 8760 times.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 15):
The views outside are the best inflight entertainment outside the aircraft, and the flight information map is the best thing inside the aircraft

  

Topic: RE: Rating Transatlantic Iberia (to Bogotá)
Username: Checo77
Posted 2012-05-17 17:49:24 and read 8709 times.

Amsspot,

great TR!!! Nice you enjoyed Colombia!!!

I have never flown IB and I never intend to. Was AV much more expensive? AV is much better choice!!!

The meal looks ew. And the FA´s: typicall IB.

Have a great one!

Adam

Topic: RE: Rating Transatlantic Iberia (to Bogotá)
Username: lychemsa
Posted 2012-05-17 23:30:50 and read 8459 times.

I would have thought that now that BA owns them they would teach them customer service.

I flew IB from NYC to GVA. The food was a lot better than on AA, UA. Good legroom but no entertainment. Crews were in their 30s but borderline rude, reserved, nasty.

I liked Madrid airport.

As to Bogota there was a bomb there a few days ago.

Topic: RE: Rating Transatlantic Iberia (to Bogotá)
Username: MFC
Posted 2012-05-18 05:05:37 and read 8240 times.

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 20):
I would have thought that now that BA owns them they would teach them customer service.
BA do NOT owns Iberia. IAG owns Iberia as well as BA. IAG is a Spanish registered company and several shareholders are Spanish ( Bankia, El Corte Inglés... ).
I invite you to check out their profile: http://www.iairgroup.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=240949&p=aboutoverview

Anyway, I will be very happy if BA teaches Iberia customer service but, as has been said above, Iberia staff can be very good at that. They are working on offering a much better product, so in a year or two I'm sure we'll see a very improved Iberia.

[Edited 2012-05-18 05:06:35]

Topic: RE: Rating Transatlantic Iberia (to Bogotá)
Username: Knightsofmalta
Posted 2012-05-18 12:32:42 and read 7933 times.

Hi Miles

Thanks for the interesting report. Iberia really are a seriously crap operation. Thanks for the reminder, now I remember why I've refused to set foot on an Iberia aircraft in recent years.

Cheers,
William

Topic: RE: Rating Transatlantic Iberia (to Bogotá)
Username: mdavies06
Posted 2012-05-18 20:59:31 and read 7567 times.

I have flown IB a few times and once long haul. On that long haul flight the crews were ok. They were very attentive but they were not rude nor rush through the service. They did not come across as unprofessional either. I think all in all they were ok.

As for IFE I can easily do without it. In fact I can do with my ipod only. I would be more than happy to fly with IB again anytime.

Quoting IBERIA747 (Reply 14):
Quoting MSS658 (Reply 12):
Seems like IB has not changed at all during the BA takeover.

And why would it have to change?. I mean...last time I checked, and opposed to what many people would like to hear, BA doesn't own Iberia. There has been no takeover here. Now William Walsh emptying Iberia's cash reserve in the name of IAG is another story. Walsh wants BA to own IB and everything else inside IAG, and he's working towards that goal. Making Iberia smaller and weaker is part of the process.

Are you saying this seriously or as a joke? IAG has done something to make IB stronger, like launching IB Express for example?


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