Delivered May 2005
Iberia and BA both use long haul widebodies between Heathrow and Madrid. Despite costing more, for fun I booked Iberia’s evening A340-600 to Madrid.
As this was a late flight, I went for dinner at Gordon Ramsey’s Plane Food. The fast service was impressive. It's a good alternative to one of T5’s paid lounges.
T5C is normally used by long haul flights. So it was strange to fly from there. My aircraft was waiting at the furthest gate, sparkling in the sun. I picked up a newspaper on the jetbridge.
Sunset began as we taxied. This is one of the nicest pictures of Heathrow I’ve seen.
Iberia’s cabin decor is basic. The seats had a brown tinge, which these pictures don’t show. Despite being plain, the cabin was fairly comfortable.
Our crew handed out headphones, which I didn’t expect. The IFE had a reasonable range including American Dad. It was easy to use with a smooth touch screen. I could have charged my mobile with the USB, but did not.
My seat had a great wing view. Those giant engines were a reminder that this is a big plane.
Each seat pocket had a menu. Having eaten, I bought a small red wine and snacks. The wine was a little light but very drinkable. I’m unsure about the paper tray cover, it’s a little cheap.
With buy on board finished, I went for a walk. I’d flown a Qatar A340-600 once but didn’t leave the forward cabin. This is a big long plane, which hadn’t occurred to me before.
Having landed we taxied to T4S and I exited through Business Class.
This is Iberia’s intercontinental hub and most flights had left. It was very eery to walk through such a huge but empty building.
Overall, it has been a comfortable flight. Iberia offers a basic but polite service. For Av Geeks, taking a big long haul jet on a short flight is fun. LATAM
Delivered August 2017
After two nights in Madrid I was London bound. Well kind of. A Spanish aviation friend was flying to Frankfurt with LATAM’s 5th freedom service and invited me. So I gratefully accepted.
Iberia’s T5S Lounge is understated but very comfortable.
Iberia’s food and beverage is self-service, which I like. This Spanish Omelette looked and tasted delicious. Judge me for drinking in the morning, but such a fine Red Grand Reserva is a treat.
Our plane landed from its maiden service flight. Flying an aircraft’s second service sector was exciting.
LATAM’s cabin was configured in a dated 2+2+2 layout. The middle seats were best, giving a personal overhead bin and direct aisle access. Despite being dated, it was a very airy design.
Whilst at the gate a welcome drink and nuts arrived.
One advantage over more modern designs is lots of unobstructed legroom.
The meal service started soon after takeoff. No choice was available. Although cold, the ingredients were high quality. It tasted ‘first class’ and washed down well with some regularly topped up wine.
Shortly before landing, I explored economy. Compared to Lan Chile’s old A340s which plied this route, it seemed cramped.
Before long Frankfurt emerged from the cloud.
Our captain invited my friend to the cockpit. They chatted in Spanish for five minutes whilst I looked on and tried to appear like I knew what was happening.
I headed off to T2 for my connecting flight. Unfortunately, there had been a suspected tear gas attack, so I had to catch a bus.
I enjoyed LATAM, the catering was good quality, staff professional, but their business seat was outdated.British Airways Cityflyer
As is usual in Frankfurt, we were bused to the aircraft. That gave a great view of this Lufthansa 747-8.
The E-170 seemed tiny. I don’t like these planes as I find they fly rough.
However, I like the wide seat and extra legroom. When there is a light load, like this one, the E-170 is very comfortable.
I’d forgotten buy on board failed at Cityflyer. My G&T and snacks were gratefully received.
G&T and snack
We landed over Dartford and ten minutes later I was waiting for the Docklands Light Railway home. BA had been an efficient way from A to B and the G&T was appreciated.
Have you got experience of 5th freedom or long haul jets on short flights?