The flight left from one of the gates right across immigration (can´t remember the number, though, and I don´t have my notes with me right now) so it was just a short walk from AA´s Admirals Club (which is the lounge used by IB for their premium class customers). The plane was boarded in approximately 15 minutes, which IMO was quite quick, as the flight was packed. The airplane was spotlessly clean inside, and it it was decorated (at least J class) wth some sketches by famous classical spanish painters (Murillo, for instance) which made the interior of the cabin look really classy. Unfortunately, IB is still using their same old coach seats which look rather outdated, and have no PTV´s.
The seats in J were of course better that their coach counterparts, although definitely nos as nice as the ones on CO´s Businessfirst (which is what I usually fly to Spain). Legroom was a little less, and the seats were not electronic, even though they had legrest/footrest which you had to push down. The seat itself was actually very comfortable while in the upright position (nice surprise).
There were two meal services: a lunch service right after take off and then breakfast before arriving in MAD. Even though you could choose from three main dishes, the three choices were offered to you from a cart where they were already served. (In this area, even though the food was quite good, CO´s BF meal service was clearly superior). Where IB beats US carriers, however, is in their cheese offerings, as they offer Spanish cheeses (un cabrales de cojones!!!) which US carriers normally don´t.
The flight was a longish 10:40 minutes, which was almost an hour longer than my last flight there on a 742 (9 hours and 45 minutes). I guess it has to do with the 340´s slightly slower cruise speed (at some moment in the flight we were flying at a very slow 788 km/h). The flight was smooth as silk without the slightest hint of turbulence, not even while landing at MAD. In fact, the seat belt sign was turned off right after take-off and was not turned on again, not once, until our final descent into MAD. Although this flight was quite an improvement over their flights on their old 747, I would have loved to see IB go for the 744 instead of the 343 and 346, but I much prefer a new 340 to a really old 747.
The cabin crew were polite, although a bit cold (maybe a few smiles would help?), although they were definitely better than my previous flights with IB (quite an improvement).
The IFE selection in J class (or in coach, for that matter) was a lot more interesting than the old made-for-tv movies that CO has been showing lately on many of their flights and all the channels in the J class ptv´s were working properly (something which I´ve never seen on CO, not even on their 777 when they were two weeks old).
So, would I pick IB for a transatlantic flight again if I was flying J? Well, much as I hate to admit it and based on this experience, I definitely would. Now, coach, that´s another matter. I would much rather fly another airline with "winged" headrests (to me, they make the difference between sleeping for a couple of hours or not sleeping at all).
I´m looking forward to the return trip which is scheduled to be on their 340-600.
IB MAD-OVD July 20, 2003
This was my fourth time on a CRJ and I must say I do prefer the ERJ (although the CRJ looks nicer on the outside). The low windows make me a little claustrophobic after a while. This flight was uneventful, and we were served breakfast (some pastries and coffee). It sure beats the bag of pretzels I was served on a lunchtime 1:50 minute-long ERJ CO Express MEX-IAH flight a month ago (also, there was no "you´re not welcome near the cockpit" PA announcement).
And the FA´s (there was 2 of them) had clean uniforms.
DoorsToManual From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 1, posted (9 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3555 times:
Thanks for the report or "Iberia - service update"
I myself flew their A340 from EZE to MAD last year; I would say the service was ok, but I guess I don't really have very high standards/don't complain that much. My choice was based on price alone, and they were, at the time, undercutting everyone else on the route like crazy - so much so, that I could purchase a separate return flight to LHR (my final destination) and still save over $100 instead of flying direct.
Yep, the seats weren't great, and there was little/no IFE, but as it was a dayflight, and I didn't sleep, I was ok.
I rank IB with AZ really - ok, they fly you from A - B, but nothing more (like Ryanair, really).
Aeromexico757 From Mexico, joined Aug 2000, 292 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (9 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3486 times:
Nice trip report!!
I am surprised with the experience you had with IB, because I have heard a lot of negative comments on their trasatlantic service, I think that the A340 helps a lot as they are much newer than the old 747 IB used to fly to MEX, also they have improved their on time performance since they started flying with the 340s into MEX. On the other hand I think that their service, at least in coach, is not improving.
Looking forward to your A340-600 trip report.
JOSEMEX From Mexico, joined Oct 1999, 1539 posts, RR: 29 Reply 3, posted (9 years 10 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 3420 times:
>>>It was to be my first transatlantic Iberia flight <<<
Ooops! I meant to say "It was to be my first transatlantic Iberia flight in several years".
>>>I rank IB with AZ really - ok, they fly you from A - B, but nothing more (like Ryanair, really<<<
>>>I am surprised with the experience you had with IB, because I have heard a lot of negative comments on their trasatlantic service<<<
It´s just that my expectations were rock-bottom, so I was pleasently surprised that they were not as terrible as the other times I´ve flown them. Also the cabin crews seemed younger than the ones on the 747´s, and in a much better mood.
Rojo From Spain, joined Sep 2000, 2395 posts, RR: 10 Reply 5, posted (9 years 10 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 3355 times:
I still prefer to avoid Iberia on flights to Europe!!! Only if their fares were very, very low I will choose them over another carrier. The problem is that I just looked at their fares for December to Mexico City and guess what??? they aren't low. I just booked my return trip from London to Mexico City on December 13 and amazingly AA quoted me the lowest fare via Chicago, so I guess American will be chosen one!!!!
By the way, my brother is in Asturias right now. He is in Pola de Siero visiting family. I was just talking to him over the phone and he was telling me that the weather is not so good... anyway, enjoy your trip!!!!