Ok, the best thing about my trip to Spain is for $550.00 I was able to take 6 flights! The LAX-FRA-BCN was $450.00 and BCN-MAD was $100.00, I probably could of done a little better on the BCN-MAD flight on air Europa, but I wanted to sample Iberias goods.
We got to BCN an hour and a half early and check in with no wait. Let me tell you BCN is one of the nicest airports I have been to. The spotting is just average but the overall look of the airport is really nice and the shopping is like going to the Beverly Center. While my wife enjoyed the shopping area I looked for planes. I saw British Midlands new colors on a 737-500, a Futura 737, Virgin Express, Alitalia MD-80 and every plane ever known to man in Iberias colors...
It was time to board. I was happy to hear we were being bused out to air stairs to board our A320. The A320 was one of the older ones (forgot to write down #) but was in pretty good condition. The inside was in even better condition. I think Iberias exterior colors fade pretty quick and the white really shows exhaust.
We taxied to the end of the runway and the pilot was allowed to keep the plane moving into the take off roll. The A320 sounded really good from over the wing as it took if in no time and turned south out over the Mediterranean. We began our turn towards MAD and soon after we were served drinks and a small snack. so far I was pleasantly surprised with Iberia. The FA's were all nice, but I was most impressed with the difference in space between Iberias A320 and LH's A319.
The flight was a bit bumpy as the weather started to deteriorate. Descent into MAD was a bit rough but the A320 handled it nicely.
We exited the plane on air stairs again and I was petty impressed with all the traffic at MAD. I first noticed a Continental 777 and a beautiful old Iberia 747-200 taking off...maybe to JFK.
We spent 3 days in Madrid, which at first I didn't like nearly as much as Barcelona but after 3 days it really grew on me and we had a lot of fun. For those of you who like trains we took Spains only high speed train to Sevilla. This train was realy nice and got us to Sevilla in 2.5 hours.
After 5 days it was time to return to BCN. We took a cab to the airport and hung out at the gate waiting to board our brand new 757!!!!! I was pleased the equipment specified on Travelocity wasn't changed. I really wanted a 757 both ways but I'm glad I had a good experience in an A320, I like them a lot better now.
After checking in our luggage with the nice Iberia ladies with funny boots I went to our gate to check out our plane and look for other aircraft. I saw our 757 and was pleased it was one of the new ones with 2 very powerful RR engines. Iberia seems to do a pretty good job filling airplanes. this one was packed and going to Athens after a quick stop at BCN.
When I got to my seat there was a lady in my beautiful new window seat, I tried to let her know that she had the aisle but she pretended not to understand what I was talking about and the FA said unless it was a big deal she would like me to just sit down in the aisle seat. I felt like making a fuss because I thought this woman was pretty rude, anyway I didn't, and unhappily took the aisle seat. We were seated a little in front of the RR engines and I thought what a great view I would of had, to make things worse she opened her newspaper all the way during taxi so I couldn't see anything out of the windows. Once the engines started spooling up for take off I just closed my eyes and waited for the awesome power be unleashed.
First of all the RR engines sound like no other and within about 5 minutes brought us up to around 30,000 ft. This baby was hauling ass!! My wife said the 757 wasn't as comfortable as the A320 but I didn't care I still think the 757 is like a Ferrari and the A320 is like a Saturn or Honda Prelude. Anyway the flight took us north east across Spain. From the left side of the plane I saw snow capped mountains, the Sierra something or others, when we got closer to BCN I think I could see the Pyrenees. It was a beautiful clear day.
Descent and landing at BCN was smooth. We embarked the plane at the gate so I couldn't get a great picture of EC-HIQ. The Iberia portion of my trip was very short and sweet.
I know i can't really judge an airline on 2 short hops but I would definitely fly Iberia again. I wish they would start a non-stop LAX-MAD in a A340-300... Maybe someday....
I will post the return flight to FRA-LAX on Lufthansa later this week.