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Iberia IB 6165: 08/FEB/09: MAD-BOS: Y Cabin  
User currently offlineAbrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5129 posts, RR: 55
Posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 30786 times:

Feedback always appreciated.

Trip Report: 071
Flight Category: Y-ILR (See Report End)
Date: 08 Feb-09 (See Report End)
SDT/SAT/Dur/Delay: 1340/1535/07:55 hrs (Delayed by 04:14)
Flight: Iberia IB 6165, 3410 miles
Routing: MAD-BOS
Aircraft: 343
Seat: Economy, 8A

I > Background:
After a week of work in Madrid and a quick trip to Canary Islands, I decided to make a quick trip to Boston to visit some friends. Iberia had some remarkably cheap tickets and I hesitantly decided to try them despite all the horrible reports here and on Skytrax. Interestingly, there are very few A.Net reports on MAD-North America (especially in Y), and this is the first report on the MAD-BOS flight.

II > Pre-Flight:

a) Before Airport:
Iberia (Líneas Aéreas de España), is the national airline of Spain. Based in Madrid, it offers flights to 102 destination in 29 countries and is a major player in the ex-Latin America market, and a prominent member of the oneWorld alliance.

Iberia’s website at www.iberia.com has come a long way and is actually efficient to use. I was able to quickly book and pay for my ticket which arrived electronically within 30 minutes. While I could view my ticket online, I could not do anything else with it. Also, the inability to chose seats was annoying. Perhaps, because it is one of my pet peeves  Smile. A quick call to the surprisingly nice Iberia office in the U.S. solved that. Interestingly, the Iberia hotline in Spain refused to give me seats. Weird!

b) At Airport:
Madrid’s Barajas airport has come a long way and T4 where IB hubs is a truly nice experience. As a “Comodoro” (the most pretentious name of a ‘status’ holder on any airline), I was able to use the IB-J class checkin. The agent was super nice (a first for IB ground staff) and was able to comply with my request for a bulkhead window. After a quick goodbye to a friend (with many benefits – haha), I proceeded through quick security screening and immigration to take the train to the intercontinental gates. Along the way, I stopped by and sampled Iberia’s flagship J lounge. While much better than what they had in the past, it would not be winning any prizes anytime soon. While it had majestic windows affording some majestic views of the tarmac, the clean uncluttered design unfortunately translated to the lack of amenities offered. Food and beverage option was much below what an airline flagship lounge should possess.

40 minutes prior to departure, I made my way to the boarding gate. As in many European airports, I was surprised that no pre-boarding occurred for J class passengers or Elite FF members. Instead boarding was called and there was a haphazard queue to get onboard. I am continuing to think that “ILBST” actually applies to all of the warmer weather countries in general .

There is something very classy about Iberia’s logo and the 343 looked had an understated elegance in the red and yellow of the airline. Entering the cabin though, one immediately realized how old these birds were and how outdated the Y cabin looked. While J had been upgraded to newer generation seats, the Y cabin appeared tired and very late 1980s/early 1990s. I don’t think Iberia had ever bothered to upgrade their cabin. Since loads were extremely light (and I have a feeling IB might make their BOS operation seasonal), boarding took a fast 15 minutes and doors were closed soon thereafter. Load was a poor 40% in Y and around a equal percent in J.

Then the fun started. I knew something was wrong when we pushed back just 400meters and just sat there. Time passed by without any form of annoucements. After about 40-45 minutes later, as passengers started getting antsy (especially in J), the pilot came over the PA to announce that there would be a mechanical delay due to the self de-icing component on the plane. We returned back to the gate and the pilot mentioned that the delay would last 30 minutes. At some point, the 30 minutes turned out to be around three and a half hours (!) where we just basically sat on the plane with NO annoucments whatsoever. During the entire time, NONE of the cabin attendants came by. There were no beverage runs. Attendant call buttons (like on most Iberia long-haul flights) were unanswered. When I went back to get some water and ask for the delay, the surly lead FA actually had the nerve to tell me that “we would go when we go”. Customer service is obviously not something these FA’s knew about. After a delay of over 4 hours, in equally blasé manner, the plane just started moving. Frustrated passengers who were standing around decided to just return to their seats and soon we were off to Boston. Absolutely remarkably (and unacceptably), not a single apology was mentioned by any member of the Iberia crew. Just poor.

Airport - External:

(Madrid’s super nice Barajas T4)


Check-in:



Airport - Internal:

(Internal)


(FIDS)


(Post Security)




Scenes of the tarmac:



(Beautiful 340)


Lounge




Boarding:

(Gate area)


III> In-Flight:

a) Service Schedule + Impressions:
Soon after take-off, there is a drink service followed by lunch. Duty free sales happen thereafter. 60 minutes prior to landing, a small snack is distributed. The Iberia cabin crew is not to be seen during ANY other part of the flight.

b) Aircraft + Seats:
Iberia’s 343 looked worn out. While the seat themselves are comfortable and have decent legroom (especially in bulkhead and exit rows), they are shabby and filthy. Seat recline is definitely above industry average, but nothing can take away from the feeling that you are in the middle of a erstwhile smoke-filled college bar where the couches have not been cleaned (or changed) since the Nixon era. The bathrooms were equally nasty and the dull lighting made me feel onboard a 707 rather than a jet flying in 2009.

Aircraft:



Views from Aircraft:

NONE

General Seat Views + Seat Legroom

(Generous bulkhead seat)


(Even better, exit row)


Seat Recline + Angle View:

(Above industry recline)


(Angle view)




Cabin:






c) Meal + Beverage:

One of the better things about Iberia is that food and beverage quality remains above average – especially when compared to its rivals on intra-continental flights. For lunch, choices included chicken or beef. I chose the chicken which was generally good and came with surprisingly fresh vegetables. The salad was dry and the cake was a little too staid for my liking. I was also appreciative of the generous wine supply which included some very decent Spanish white and reds. Mid-flight (if one made their way to the galley), a small cup of café was served with biscuit. Again, above average! Prior to landing, a snack was served. I found this relatively nasty with really poor presentation. 2 pieces of meat with a hard inedible bun is not my kind of food. Having said that, overall one of the better Y cuisine (and beverage) on trans-Atlantic crossings.

(Lunch)


(Café)


(Pre-arrival snack)


d) Inflight Entertainment:
Using CRT screens is probably not a good idea these days. IB’s IFE consisted of some non-descript movie being played on loop 3 times over an almost 9 hour period. Sound and picture quality was generally bad.

(“In-flight magazines”, Boarding Passes, etc.)


e) Crew:
There are reasons why some consider Iberia to have some of the worst attendants staffing intercontinental flights. I always maintained that the level of whining on sites such as Skytrax was unjustified (http://www.airlinequality.com/Forum/iberia-2.htm) – even after compensating for better recent reviews (but then again, I have an inside story on why that is). However, this experience cystalized in my mind why their crew consistently rank so badly. It is actually really simple. It is because they ARE this bad. It blew my mind away that during the 4+ hour delay no one came around to apologize or offer water or basic amenities to passengers. It blew my mind that during this entire delay, no one bothered to attend to a single FA call button. In fact, the whole FA call button should have been taken out on from any aircraft given to Iberia as it seems that they don’t understand the utility of the button itself. There was no help during boarding, no greeting, no smiles, nothing. They basically served the beverage and the two meals and then disappeared. If you made the effort to go the galley, they might have given you something. But it was clear that the actual job for them was a HUGE thing and they clearly were not here to make you feel welcome. Finally, their disregard for safety (plane just started moving after the delay) was just absolutely unacceptable. Overall, probably one of the worst in-flight crew that I have encountered in recent memory.

IV> Post-Flight:
Arrival at BOS was smooth and the usually smooth BOS immigration meant that I was at the company of my annoyed friends in no time.

V> Impressions + Scores:
Iberia is cheap. There no absolutely no doubt about it. From a customer interested solely to get from point A to B, Iberia is probably a good value proposition. However, it should not pretend to try to do anything more. I have had significantly better service from LCC carriers charging me for everything and being courteous about it. Heck, I would pay to get better crew! Iberia’s ground experience at MAD has improved considerably since I was last there. Besides that, Iberia continues to be a really crappy airline. The delay and the lack of apology were unacceptable. The crew just sucked. There was NO IFE on a 8 hour flight. The only possible redeeming feature was an edible meal and generous beverage service. Unless you are a broke college student or had no options, I would fail to gather why anyone would fly Iberia. They are still around because they have been able to exploit their prominence in the Americas to build a strong hub network at MAD. Other than that, they suck. Sad really, because they “represent” one of Europe’s most hospitable countries with great warm people. Two thumps way way down.

1.0 > RESERVATION: 7.0
2.0 > CHECK-IN: 9.0
0.5 > LOUNGE: 6.0
0.5 > BOARDING: 5.0
2.0 > SEAT: 6.0
0.5 > AIRCRAFT OVERALL AMBIENCE: 4.0
1.0 > IFE: 3.5
2.0 > CREW: 1.0
2.0 > FOOD: 6.0
0.5 > BEVERAGES: 7.5
0.5 > A.KITS + OTHER FREEBIES: 5.0
0.5 > DISEMBARKATION: 6.0
1.0 > ON-TIME RECORD: 1.0
WEIGHTED OVERALL IMPRESSION (WOI): 5.16
(Pre-flight WOI of all reviews: 6.48)
* Weighted Overall Impression (WOI) aligns scores with what matters most. Weights are indicated alongside each category.
(Scores are based on comparison with other airlines in THAT class of service – No comparison of Y vs. F for example)

VI> Other Trip Reports:

PREMIUM:
8.64: Turkish Airlines (59): JFK-IST: 11/2008
8.61: Air Canada (49): YYZ-SCL: 06/2008
8.11: Aeroflot (33): MOW-DEL: 09/2007
8.04: Korean Air (40): NRT-ICN: 10/2007
8.02: Delta Airlines (24): JFK-CDG: 08/2007
7.46: LAN (55): YYZ-JFK: 09/2008
7.82: Singapore Airlines (06): EWR-SIN: 09/2006
7.14: Swiss (52): SCL-GRU: 06/2008
7.02: Qatar (68): DOH-JFK: 01/2009
6.96: Etihad (61): JFK-AUH: 12/2008
6.93: Delta Airlines (18): SEA-JFK: 11/2006
6.84: ConViasa (65): CCS-DAM: 01/2009
6.81: Air Canada (17): ICN-YYZ: 10/2006
6.70: KLM (32): EBB-AMS: 08/2007
6.36: Privatair (60): MUC-BOS: 12/2008
6.25: Korean Air (45): NAN-ICN: 10/2007
6.11: TAP Portugal (53): GRU-OPO: 06/2008
5.75: Singapore Airlines (16): CCU-SIN: 10/2006
5.64: NorthWest (46): ICN-NRT-SEA: 10/2007
5.39: LOT (54): WAW-JFK: 06/2008
5.07: TACA (66): JFK-SAP: 01/2009
4.42: Air France: CDG-JNB (25): 08/2007

ECONOMY: Long + Medium:
9.26: Air India (48): JFK-DEL: 02/2008
7.38: Avianca (01): BOG-LIM: 07/2006
7.07: Sri Lankan (62): KWI-CMB: 12/2008
6.41: American Airlines (58): LHR-BOS: 11/2008
6.26: Jet Blue (21): CUN-JFK: 02/2007
6.06: Air Canada (04): YYZ-YVR: 09/2006
5.89: USA 3000 (19): PUJ-BDL: 01/2007
5.85: Spanair (69): MAD-LPA: 02/2009
5.79: Air New Zealand (42): RAR-NAN: 10/2007
5.46: TAP Air Portugal (23): OSL-LIS: 05/2007
5.19: Air Europa (70): LPA-MAD: 02/2009
5.16: Iberia (71): MAD-BOS: 02/2009

ECONOMY: Short
8.56: Paramount Airways (38): BLR-MAA: 09/2007
8.56: Kingfisher (64): HYD-CCU: 12/2008
8.24: Kingfisher (14): IXA-GAU: 10/2006
7.87: Indian (34): BOM-MAA: 09/2007
7.72: Alliance Air (13): CCU-IXA: 10/2006
7.57: Indian Airlines (10): DEL-CCU: 09/2006
7.23: West Jet (03): YYC-YVR: 09/2006
7.15: JetLite (37): BOM-GOI: 09/2007
6.70: Spice Jet (09): CCU-DEL: 09/2006
6.63: Air Fiji (44): NAN-SUV: 10/2007
6.63: Jazeera (67): DAM-KWI: 01/2009
6.58: Air Tran (02): EWR-MDW: 08/2006
6.48: Air India Express (63): CMB-MAA: 12/2008
6.44: CO Micronesia (39): ROR-YAP: 10/2007
6.41: Pacific Sun (43): NAN-SUV: 10/2007
6.37: Skybus (47): SWF-CMH: 02/2008
6.33: Kenya Airways (29): NBO-BJM: 08/2007
6.33: Sky Europe (56): LTN-BTS: 10/2008
6.31: Indigo (15): GAU-CCU: 10/2006
6.31: easyJet (57): BUD-LTN: 11/2008
6.22: Air Link Swazi (28): MTS-JNB: 08/2007
6.22: Air India (36): HYD-BOM: 09/2007
6.13: Adam Air (07): SIN-CGK: 09/2006
6.13: Air Rarotonga (41): RAR-AIT: 10/2007
6.00: Transairways (27): INH-MPM: 08/2007
5.95: Air Canada (05): ALB-YYZ: 09/2006
5.85: SAS Norge (22): OSL-AES: 05/2007
5.81: LAM Mozambique (26): JNB-MPM: 08/2007
5.69: Air Deccan (12): IXZ-CCU: 10/2006
5.67: Rwanda Air Exp (30): KGL-NBO: 08/2007
5.07: Go Air (35): MAA-HYD: 09/2007
5.00: Sky Airline (51): IQQ-SCL: 06/2008
4.96: Valuair (08): CGK-SIN: 09/2006
4.78: Air Comet Chile (50): SCL-IQQ: 06/2008
4.74: Fly 540 (31): MYD-LAU: 08/2007
4.33: Viva Aerobus (20): ELP-MTY: 02/2007
4.11: Air Sahara (11): CCU-BOM: 09/2006

(Note on Codes: Y – Economy, J – Business, F – First :: I/D – International/Domestic :: SR/MR/LR – Short/Medium/Long Haul)
(Note on Date: Dates are modified to be +/- 3 days from actual flight date to not reveal actual flight pattern)

VII> Other Pictures:

NONE


Live, and let live.
39 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineMSYtristar From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 30706 times:

Wow, that is incredibly bad, especially for THE national airline of Spain, as you said.

Note to self: avoid Iberia!


User currently offlineCityofAthens From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 30487 times:

Disappointing. Interestingly enough I have heard good things about Iberia crew on European flights, perhaps they have 2 different divisions of crew depending on route/aircraft? Your post highlights just how airline staff can either make or break a flight/journey.

Thanks for the report.


User currently offlineAbrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5129 posts, RR: 55
Reply 3, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 30432 times:



Quoting CityofAthens (Reply 2):
Disappointing. Interestingly enough I have heard good things about Iberia crew on European flights, perhaps they have 2 different divisions of crew depending on route/aircraft? Your post highlights just how airline staff can either make or break a flight/journey.

Thanks for the report.

= You bring up a fascinating point. I have (almost always) had good Iberia crew on European flights and really crappy ones on intercontinental ones. Same has been true for Air France. Good crew on European flights ... and some of the worst industry crew members on intercontinental flights. Anyone with inside information have ideas why?

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineMHTripple7 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1109 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 30400 times:

Thanks to this TR, I will make it a personal effort of mine to avoid IB at all costs! A four hour delay is understandable, but the way it was handled was ridiculous IMO. Besides the new terminal in MAD, it seems this airline has nothing good to offer! Thanks for sharing this excellent TR.

User currently offlineTeme1976 From Finland, joined Feb 2008, 22 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week ago) and read 30285 times:

Thanks for your report!

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
We returned back to the gate and the pilot mentioned that the delay would last 30 minutes. At some point, the 30 minutes turned out to be around three and a half hours (!) where we just basically sat on the plane with NO annoucments whatsoever. During the entire time, NONE of the cabin attendants came by

Exactly the same happened when I travelled with IBERIA from MAD to MEX last February. It was a late departure, 0.50 am or something. We were already at the end of runway, when the plane suddenly turned and returned to the gate. There was a very short announcement from the cocpit, only in spanish. Suddenly all the lights went out and we stayded at the gate approx. 2 hours. No further information was given at any time and none in english. Around 3 am we finally took off. People onboard got quite angry, because no information were given and no drink service either. Flight attendants sat in the galley reading magazines with tiny reading lights. Luckily I travelled in J and managed to make my self comfortable. The service through out the flight was not impressive at all. Fortunately the return trip was totally opposite with a lovely crew on aboard. Definitely makes a difference.


User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8588 posts, RR: 54
Reply 6, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 30064 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Great report as always, thanks!  Smile

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
there are very few A.Net reports on MAD-North America (especially in Y), and this is the first report on the MAD-BOS flight.

- I get the feeling people avoid travelling long haul with IB.............

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
While I could view my ticket online, I could not do anything else with it. Also, the inability to chose seats was annoying. Perhaps, because it is one of my pet peeves

- Mine too.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Along the way, I stopped by and sampled Iberia’s flagship J lounge. While much better than what they had in the past, it would not be winning any prizes anytime soon. While it had majestic windows affording some majestic views of the tarmac, the clean uncluttered design unfortunately translated to the lack of amenities offered. Food and beverage option was much below what an airline flagship lounge should possess.

- Agreed, while a nice place to relax, it is far far off of the BA Terraces quality for food/drinks etc, that said, they do have some decenrt Rjoca, but that should be a given in Spain!

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
We returned back to the gate and the pilot mentioned that the delay would last 30 minutes. At some point, the 30 minutes turned out to be around three and a half hours (!) where we just basically sat on the plane with NO annoucments whatsoever. During the entire time, NONE of the cabin attendants came by. There were no beverage runs. Attendant call buttons (like on most Iberia long-haul flights) were unanswered. When I went back to get some water and ask for the delay, the surly lead FA actually had the nerve to tell me that “we would go when we go”. Customer service is obviously not something these FA’s knew about. After a delay of over 4 hours, in equally blasé manner, the plane just started moving. Frustrated passengers who were standing around decided to just return to their seats and soon we were off to Boston. Absolutely remarkably (and unacceptably), not a single apology was mentioned by any member of the Iberia crew. Just poor

- Just amazing!

I've had some decent crews on eurpoean and domestic IB flights, even had an upgrade for being a BA Silver member, however the issue does appear to be long haul IB crews, such a shame as I love Spain and it's people, I'd quite happily live there!

Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineRleiro From Venezuela, joined Jan 2006, 499 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 29902 times:

Hi A, thanks for the report:

One of the wrost traver experiences were with IB. After purchasing a non stop ticket from SCQ to CCS, in 24 hours and without prior notification they changed the schedule (SCQ - MAD - TFN - CCS)... Never again.

Saludos,

Roberto.



A proud SVZM Spotter!
User currently offlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17147 posts, RR: 10
Reply 8, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 29728 times:

Nice TR, as always

The food that IB offers looks really good. But unfortunately your experience seems really bad. Most shocking part is that they didnt look after the pax during that lengthy delay. When I last time flew on CO and we had a delay, because of a ground stop ordered by EWR the f/as checked with us during the whole delay, gave us the earphones for free and so on. We never felt abandoned.



Thank you for sharing

B747forever



Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6456 posts, RR: 38
Reply 9, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 29340 times:

Another nice TR, thanks for sharing! Wow, I can't believe how many EU flag carriers there are who I will be cautious in flying with.. MAD looks stunning but too bad it can't be matched by having a world class airline flying out of it. Is there much difference in their product offered on the A346 in comparison to this? Not much IFE by the looks of it. Not very many screens in that cabin..

The crew sound terrible. I guess it pays for someone to try out these flights so that the rest of us don't have to endure the same experiences!  Silly

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Interestingly, there are very few A.Net reports on MAD-North America (especially in Y), and this is the first report on the MAD-BOS flight.

I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact it wasn't worth writing home about  Wink


Regards,
Nicholas



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4757 posts, RR: 25
Reply 10, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 29318 times:



Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
After a quick goodbye to a friend (with many benefits – haha),

Hehehehehe... Boy do we love these subtle hints.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
During the entire time, NONE of the cabin attendants came by. There were no beverage runs. Attendant call buttons (like on most Iberia long-haul flights) were unanswered. When I went back to get some water and ask for the delay, the surly lead FA actually had the nerve to tell me that “we would go when we go”. Customer service is obviously not something these FA’s knew about. After a delay of over 4 hours, in equally blasé manner, the plane just started moving. Frustrated passengers who were standing around decided to just return to their seats and soon we were off to Boston. Absolutely remarkably (and unacceptably), not a single apology was mentioned by any member of the Iberia crew. Just poor.

Are you surprised by this given the constant reviews about the airline?

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
There was no help during boarding, no greeting, no smiles, nothing. They basically served the beverage and the two meals and then disappeared.

... which is absolutely unacceptable from a customer service standpoint. Of course their apologists would always say "if you need something, go get it from the galley!" but that would be missing the point completely. I agree, the service levels are sometimes better on LCCs.



Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineSemsem From Israel, joined Jul 2005, 1779 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 29260 times:

I flew IB to New York 2 years ago and actually liked it. The seat was comfortable on the A330 and the food was good and portions generous. The coffee was the best I have had on a plane. I liked Madrid Airport.

The fact that they have no video screnes at each seat did not bother me. The crew were cold like ice. The Madrid Airport parking had been bombed a few weeks before. The main terminal is beautiful and spacious.

However mileage credit for Y is measly 33% on AA Advantage.


User currently offlineIrishAyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2240 posts, RR: 15
Reply 12, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 29117 times:

jajajaja...I lived in Spain at one point and NEVER flew IBERIA. Instead, I had the pleasure of using other OW airlines out of T4 so that I could appreciate the terminal and skip on the airline.

Really sad though, I am sure IBERIA once was a great carrier at some point...thanks for the report, though. I think that after more people read it you may be more certain in your forecasting that it WILL become a seasonal flight...



next flights: jfk-icn, icn-hkg-bkk-cdg, cdg-phl-msp
User currently offlineUN_B732 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 4289 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 28942 times:

Iberia usually publishes the cheapest fares for Moscow to Boston. Now I see why. No way am I taking IB. I've always thought they're a low quality carrier, and this just confirms it.

Any chance you could e-mail me your "inside story"? I have a couple of ideas..

-A



What now?
User currently offlineCambrian From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 619 posts, RR: 5
Reply 14, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 28669 times:

Great trip report. We don't see many IB reports at all here, and with good reason! I cannot believe the action of the crew during the delay. Was anything happening in J? On several LX flights that I have taken (albeit in C), I have even been offered a drink whilst in the hold waiting to land at Heathrow!

I have only flown within Europe and to the Canaries with IB. In C class they are nothing to write home about, and the food is often indescribable. I recall a flight that I took, VLC-LHR, and even the crew did not know what the mess on my plate was... On most of my flights the cabin looked totally worn out, even on relatively new aircraft. How do they manage that?

This confirms my view to avoid IB at all costs. In fact, I also feel that one world in general is not a quality alliance. The airlines are just too patchy. AA and IB- avoid like the plague. BA- they are doing you a favour, so behave. CX- a truly world class airline. LAN- a quality carrier, but with a limited network for Europeans.

I defected to Star about 5 years ago, and never looked back.

Based on this report, you should change your user name to Cierralosojos!  Smile


User currently offlineAbrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5129 posts, RR: 55
Reply 15, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 28607 times:

Thanks a lot for your comments and feedback. It seems that several people have had similar experiences with Iberia.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 6):
I love Spain and it's people, I'd quite happily live there!

= Mark, you and me both! I actually do see myself living in Barcelona or Madrid in the next 5 year horizon.

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 10):
Hehehehehe... Boy do we love these subtle hints.

= What are you talking about  Wink?

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 12):
I think that after more people read it you may be more certain in your forecasting that it WILL become a seasonal flight...

= Well. Besides my report, I think it has more to do with the fact that the numbers for BOS-MAD I suspect would be pretty weak. Can someone with quick access to T100 data clarify?

Quoting UN_B732 (Reply 13):

Any chance you could e-mail me your "inside story"? I have a couple of ideas..

= I will when I have a second. What are your ideas  Smile?

Quoting Cambrian (Reply 14):
Based on this report, you should change your user name to Cierralosojos! Smile

= LOL.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offline777jaah From Colombia, joined Jan 2006, 1403 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 28438 times:

Once again a superb TR. Thank you.

Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 1):
Iberia continues to be a really crappy airline



Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 1):
The crew just sucked

I'm flying J BOG-MAD-LGW next month with them. Hopefully service is not as bad as yours in Y, but somehow, I feel I won't get the service I paid for.....I'll let you know. I will have the chance to try both european and intercontinental crews.

I still think that some latin carriers could offer a better and warmer service than any other of the legacies....


Cheers


777jaah



Next flights: AV BOG-ADZ-BOG, AV-UA BOG-IAD-ORD-IAD-BOG, BOG-FLL-BOG, LA BOG-MIA-BOG J
User currently offlineKaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12593 posts, RR: 34
Reply 17, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 28409 times:



Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(but then again, I have an inside story on why that is). However, this experience cystalized in my mind why their crew consistently rank so badly. It is actually really simple. It is because they ARE this bad.

Thanks Abrelosojos; again, a terrific report from you; I really hope that other websites and airline rating companies use some of your reports; they are the best I have seen anywhere - and I include Airline Quality and others among those.

On the quote above, would you be willing to share this "inside story", even if vague terms?

I have read many bad reports about IB, but it's clear that they have not improved at all. I can't help wondering (but I doubt) whether IB's poor quality has anything to do with the delays. I consider BA one of the better intercontinental (and indeed, short haul) carriers and I would hope that they would try and influence IB to improve their service standards. Of course, it'll take a lot more than PTVs and AVOD and snazzy seating; this is an area that needs a lot of psychology: understanding WHY the general attitude is so bad. Is it morale? Is it conditions? Or just a general failure to set and/or adhere to standards?

I don't speak Spanish myself, to my shame, but in your experience, how do you perceive IB's reputation in Spain?


User currently offlineSeemyseems From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2009, 971 posts, RR: 7
Reply 18, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 28283 times:

Does IB intend on giving their A340's PTV's?

Abrelosojos, yet another great TR!  Smile



seemyseems
User currently offlineSumma767 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 2569 posts, RR: 6
Reply 19, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days ago) and read 28198 times:



Quoting 777jaah (Reply 16):
I'm flying J BOG-MAD-LGW next month with them. Hopefully service is not as bad as yours in Y, but somehow, I feel I won't get the service I paid for

For what I have read, J product is a world away from the economy offering. You should have a comfortable seat, entertainment and good food and wines.

Quoting 777jaah (Reply 16):
I will have the chance to try both european and intercontinental crews.

I didn't think that IB flew MAD-LGW. Most likely a BA codeshare on a 734, no?
Are you travelling back from LGW as well?

Quoting Seemyseems (Reply 18):
Does IB intend on giving their A340's PTV's?

They will roll out a new economy product for long haul flights. Whereas IB have not actually specifically mentioned ptvs, I read it as a yes, but with opportunities for revenue. Pay per view for films, as jetBlue does?

Very good report as usual Abrelosojos. Given your wide experience and objectivity, we can confirm that persistent critism of IB goes beyond"bashing" and that there are real issues.

IB has done very well in recent years thanks to a good network linking Europe with a growing LatAm and limited competition. I would like to see them try harder. In the last "plan director" they spell out their failings -and that is a good start-, but it is now the small matter of implementing changes. Some more competition would help too.


User currently offlineSKY1 From Spain, joined Apr 2006, 879 posts, RR: 4
Reply 20, posted (5 years 7 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 27924 times:

Hola Alex

Another great, personalized TP (reconozco que te los "curras")

It's true IB has a problem with some employees and F/A's. They must make an effort in order to improve the customer communication, specially when there's a big delay cos an aircraft breakdown. I agree with you about have no any annoucments (or just 1 for a 4-hours delay) no beverages/sandwiches, no info, no service or getting a "we would go when we go" reply when asking is totally unacceptable.

But of course, I must to say IB has a good and reasonable on-time performance. I think you already know, this time you had a double bad luck, cos delay and cos the crew on duty. Saying IB is always offering a bad service is not to say the truth at all. The IB weakest point is precisely you might have a very pleasant flight or having a mediocre one. It's kinda like a lottery. I admit IB must work hard to attempt change such unbalanced behaviour because to have a good service it can't depending about what day, number flight or destination you fly. They're now making aware campaign for all their staff, specially the one who has a more direct contact with the customer to achieve a better uniformized and a better service. On the other hand, I wonder how could be your personal "mark" if had no been any delay. For sure, above 5.16.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 3):
Same has been true for Air France. Good crew on European flights ... and some of the worst industry crew members on intercontinental flights

Again, I say about IB is the same for AF. It's not fair to say AF has "the worst industry crew members on intercontinental flights". I've always had very good flighs with AF in both, European and Intercontinental legs. Maybe you has a "tend" to have bad luck in your IB & AF flights.

Quoting Semsem (Reply 11):
I flew IB to New York 2 years ago and actually liked it.

According to many posters in this web-site it is nearly impossible.  Silly

Quoting Semsem (Reply 11):
The seat was comfortable on the A330

A-340 you mean, right?

Quoting Semsem (Reply 11):
The coffee was the best I have had on a plane


It's not the first time you mention it, but I agree with you, I really enjoy the coffe which is served in IB. Perhaps it's because the mineral water that they use.

Quoting 777jaah (Reply 16):
I'm flying J BOG-MAD-LGW next month with them.

MAD-LGW is operated by BA. I hope you can have pleasant flight in both legs.

Quoting Kaitak (Reply 17):
I don't speak Spanish myself, to my shame, but in your experience, how do you perceive IB's reputation in Spain?

It depends about the person, but it's generally admited IB is better than UX and JK.

Quoting Summa767 (Reply 19):
I didn't think that IB flew MAD-LGW. Most likely a BA codeshare on a 734, no?

You're right.

Quoting Summa767 (Reply 19):
IB has done very well in recent years thanks to a good network linking Europe with a growing LatAm and limited competition.

IB having low competition to/from LatAm is a myth. It might be true in the 1980's but no nowadays. AF-KL is a real competition, no mention North American (ATL and MIA are great hub's to LatinAmerica) and Latino American carriers such AM, MX, TAM, AV, LA, AR and despite a more limited network UX and A7 (competition in prices, specially A7) If you want to avoid IB be sure it's easy to do. Fortunately we have an enough competition to choose.



Time flies! Enjoy life!
User currently offlineRICARIZA From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 2393 posts, RR: 26
Reply 21, posted (5 years 7 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 27826 times:

I really like your TRs... I really do. I have done this flight in J several times (MAD-MIA) but never in Y and your TR gave me a very clear picture.

THANK YOU!!



I miss ACES, I am proud of AVIANCA & I am loyal to AMERICAN
User currently offlineAbrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5129 posts, RR: 55
Reply 22, posted (5 years 7 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 27668 times:



Quoting 777jaah (Reply 16):
Once again a superb TR. Thank you.



Quoting Kaitak (Reply 17):
Thanks Abrelosojos; again, a terrific report from you; I really hope that other websites and airline rating companies use some of your reports; they are the best I have seen anywhere - and I include Airline Quality and others among those.



Quoting Seemyseems (Reply 18):
Abrelosojos, yet another great TR! Smile



Quoting Summa767 (Reply 19):
Very good report as usual Abrelosojos.



Quoting SKY1 (Reply 20):
Another great, personalized TP (reconozco que te los "curras")



Quoting RICARIZA (Reply 21):
I really like your TRs... I really do.

= First of all, thanks for all the kind words. Y'all are way too nice.

Quoting 777jaah (Reply 16):
I'm flying J BOG-MAD-LGW next month with them. Hopefully service is not as bad as yours in Y, but somehow, I feel I won't get the service I paid for.....I'll let you know.

= Iberia's J class is not bad. If you get the new seats, I think it is actually nice ... and the crew tends to care more. Also, I don't feel shortchanged as the price I paid was VERY low.

Quoting 777jaah (Reply 16):
I still think that some latin carriers could offer a better and warmer service than any other of the legacies....

= Completely agreed. On a Spain-Latin America flight, chances are that the Latin airline is usually better. However, reliability of some of the Latin carriers in the past have been questionable.

Quoting Kaitak (Reply 17):
On the quote above, would you be willing to share this "inside story", even if vague terms?

= Vague terms ... an email was sent out to flood the website from a certain person with interest in seeing Iberia "fake" a better reputation  Wink.

Quoting Kaitak (Reply 17):
I have read many bad reports about IB, but it's clear that they have not improved at all.

= Unfortunately, this flight would agree with it.

Quoting Kaitak (Reply 17):
I don't speak Spanish myself, to my shame, but in your experience, how do you perceive IB's reputation in Spain?

= Perhaps my Spanish friends can correct me on this. I have had this conversation with several Spaniards and they break it down to a few things:
1. IB was a state-owned airline with zero competition. Its employees were civil servants who could not be fired. That mentality has stayed with them.
2. As a combination of having received poor service during the state-controlled dictator years, general customer service expectations are poor and customer service culture is poor in Spain in general.
3. Spanish are famously laid back - this is usually a good thing - but it also manifests in a desire to break rules and be laid back about service rules and regulations.

Of course, I could be off the mark - would be good to hear objective views from the Spaniards.

Quoting Summa767 (Reply 19):
For what I have read, J product is a world away from the economy offering. You should have a comfortable seat, entertainment and good food and wines.

= J product is a world away.

Quoting Summa767 (Reply 19):
Given your wide experience and objectivity, we can confirm that persistent critism of IB goes beyond"bashing" and that there are real issues.

= Thanks. I try to report as is. Even on this flight, I acknowledged what worked.

Quoting Summa767 (Reply 19):
IB has done very well in recent years thanks to a good network linking Europe with a growing LatAm and limited competition. I would like to see them try harder.

= This is EXACTLY on the mark. Iberia has a formidable hub in Latin America and this positions them very well at Madrid and beyond. The only carrier which (in the short-run) can challenge them is TAP. However, would you rather fly via LIS or MAD? Besides, TP needs to strengthen their Latin network outside Brasil.

Quoting SKY1 (Reply 20):
I agree with you about have no any annoucments (or just 1 for a 4-hours delay) no beverages/sandwiches, no info, no service or getting a "we would go when we go" reply when asking is totally unacceptable.

But of course, I must to say IB has a good and reasonable on-time performance. I think you already know, this time you had a double bad luck, cos delay and cos the crew on duty. Saying IB is always offering a bad service is not to say the truth at all.

= I never said Iberia always offered bad service. Do not put words in my mouth. I have even mentioned that I have generally had good service from them on European flights. I have NOT had good service intercontinentally and it seems many agree. Again, as I always maintain, this is ONE flight ... and the TR is based on ONE flight.

Quoting SKY1 (Reply 20):
They're now making aware campaign for all their staff, specially the one who has a more direct contact with the customer to achieve a better uniformized and a better service. On the other hand, I wonder how could be your personal "mark" if had no been any delay. For sure, above 5.16.

= Score would probably not have changed that dramatically unless the crew was better. I place significant weight on crew performance - a crappy product can be saved by great crew. If you read my TR's, you will see several instances of that.

Quoting SKY1 (Reply 20):
Again, I say about IB is the same for AF. It's not fair to say AF has "the worst industry crew members on intercontinental flights". I've always had very good flighs with AF in both, European and Intercontinental legs. Maybe you has a "tend" to have bad luck in your IB & AF flights.

= It is not a question of me "tending" to have bad luck on IB and AF. Please do not be an apologist without facts. As people on this board and my TR's can attest to, I travel a lot. My experiences (and again, it is solely mine) lead me to believe that AF has the worst intercontinental crew. Finally, (and again), I have had good service with IB on intra-Europe flights.

Quoting SKY1 (Reply 20):
IB having low competition to/from LatAm is a myth. It might be true in the 1980's but no nowadays. AF-KL is a real competition, no mention North American (ATL and MIA are great hub's to LatinAmerica) and Latino American carriers such AM, MX, TAM, AV, LA, AR and despite a more limited network UX and A7 (competition in prices, specially A7) If you want to avoid IB be sure it's easy to do. Fortunately we have an enough competition to choose.

= Iberia still has a strong competitive position for both O&D and connecting traffic ex-Latin America. It is a fact. CDG entails a backhaul on many flights; AM/MX are too out of the way to be hubs and have limited European presence; AV does well only to MAD and CDG and primarily for O&D Colombia (and to a lesser extent Peru and Ecuador); AR, JJ, and LA are good players for deep Latin America ... but fail in terms of their European reach.

Quoting RICARIZA (Reply 21):
I have done this flight in J several times (MAD-MIA) but never in Y and your TR gave me a very clear picture.

= J is decent. I tend to make my J purchases based on seat, and IB's new seat is better than their counterparts.

Thanks again for the feedback.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From UK - England, joined Sep 2003, 5186 posts, RR: 55
Reply 23, posted (5 years 7 months 5 days ago) and read 27469 times:

Hi, Alex,

a real interesting read.
It sounds like onboard IB is not the place to be going comfortable to the States or
anywhere else longhaul.
When I remember that cramped feeling on IB intra-european Airbus planes,
also not the best impression.

Anyway, thanx for posting
and best regards,
Markus (FLIEGER67)



Next: London City connections!.
User currently offlineRcardinale From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 190 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (5 years 7 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 27374 times:

Hey I REALLY enjoyed this SA Linhas Aereas">TR as after you got off of this flight I boarded the SAME plane back to MAD!!! I went to GRX for 2 weeks on a school trip and took IB through MAD. Because you guys took a delay, our flight was very delayed going back. Although it was delayed, we ended up getting to MAD 1 hr late. I can agree with you 100% that the A340 is sooooooooooooo outdated I was SHOCKED when i saw cloth seats. Also the crew was pretty rude but it didnt stop me from booking with them again as I am flying them BOS-MAD-BOS for a total of $630 roundtrip in the middle of summer

25 Toulouse : Very detailed and interesting TR. I cannot believe the lack of communication and service during your 4 hour delay. No excuse for that. I would have go
26 777jaah : You're right. I'm flying IB MAD-LHR, on a 319. This time BA LGW-BCN, on J, and I'm 100% positive on this (also a 319). Sorry, but I don't completely
27 Debonair : It is very funny- I have flown a lot, also with many Spanish airlines. Very funny and never ever seen before, this country is holding three types of
28 Avianca : great report Alex! after my last IB flight (3,5 years ago I said never again, it was on a Fra-Mad-Ccs run including 12 hours dealy in MAD) but hey I w
29 Airxliban : Well done Alex what a good report! Your experience with the service on Iberia sounds very much like the customer experience in Spain actually! Am I ri
30 Abrelosojos : = The seats are not too bad - you shouldn't worry. They are dirty and not well maintained, but the legroom is decent and recline is above industry av
31 Avianca : I will do in the future thanks for the hint, actually I called directly Ccs office...
32 787seattle : Barajas looks like a one of a kind airport in terms of architecture. Great report. -You have quite the TR organization system there.
33 Avion660 : Maybe you have found out the same secret... it's possible to fly via MAD with IB fares, on an IB ticket but on some other metal. Just need to be care
34 Toulouse : Oh, I'm totally d'accord avec toi on that one. 7 years here, and am still baffled by the place (I love it and I dislike it all at the same time). 100
35 PlaneHunter : Hi Abrelosojos, excellent report as usual. I was expecting to read about a bad experience when I saw the title, but it turned out to be horrible! Actu
36 Abrelosojos : = Jaja. I have only had good experiences in Ireland. And, I have never actually flown EI . So I guess if it is disappointing I should not write a TR
37 Braniff747SP : I agree!! I am 13 years old, and they let me sit in the exit row, flying out of the US! Now, my aunt in Spain booked the ticket, (Knowing that an exi
38 LJ : Exactly the same reason why I decided to fly IB for our upcoming DUS-MAD-EZE trip. The price is just too good and will take the bad service and crapp
39 Varig md-11 : Very nice report ouvre les yeux It unfortunately comforts me in not flying IB long haul as your report sounds exactly similar to experiences of relati
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