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rogerbcn
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Argentinian Holidays (iii) EZE-MAD-BCN On IB

Mon Sep 17, 2007 1:44 am

Hola!

That is the last part of my trip this summer....

26/08/07
IB6842 EZE-MAD-BCN
A340-642 EC-IOB "Julio Romero de Torres" Seats: 6K&L
A320-211 EC-FLQ "Dunas de Liencres" Seats: 1A&3F

Going back home started in a cold rainy morning in Buenos Aires. A taxi took us from our Buneos Aires B&B to the airport: long way... it's about 40 km from the city.

It was raining and cold when we arrived at Ezeiza-Ministro Pistarini Airport. We stored our jackets and raincoats into the suitcases and prepared for the Mediterranean summer again. It was supposed to be at about 25ºC when we would arrive to BCN the next morning.

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Rainy morning to say goodbye to a wonderful country and its people


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AR watching over passengers from Terminal A


Some days before we were watching TV and saw some news about the 'abrevalijas' (baggage snatchers), when they were scanning your luggage. My nephew was very concerned about it and did not want to miss his FC Barcelona (Visca el Barça!) shirts once home. It is interesting to see teenagers interests when you travel, 10,000 km away from home he bought several for his friends and himself, a lot cheaper than home, or so he said.

With all this background he decided to have his backpack wrapped.

While he was waiting in line I looked around terminal B. This terminal is the one used by all companies except by AR. It is modern, fresh, well lit, with good signing... Really a pleasure to fly from.

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Terminal B at EZE: roomy and crowded


There were lots of people when we arrived.. . All major companies have flights to Europe in the early afternoon to reach Europe in the early morning: AZ, LH, BA, as well as IB had their desks at full with long winding lines for check in.

We were walking towards Business Plus desk as we were stopped by a security guard who asked us to show our ticket before proceeding to check in. Once he saw we were on the right line we reached the desk and in no time our three bags were checked home. We were reminded to pay our taxes before proceeding to security and given an invitation for the IB lounge. The lady there did her job nicely and smiling.. the last one we would see for the rest of the flight.

Two hours to kill: walking up and down the terminal until we decided to pay our departure taxes and go upstairs to proceed through security, a breeze, no lines and have our passports checked.

Once you are done with all the process you go through, it is the only way, through all Tax Free stores. Be careful, prices are displayed in US Dollars. We got some 'alfajores' (exquisite Argentinian cakes) and some minor stuff. Then we proceeded to IB lounge. It has improved since the last time I was there: it is well stuffed with all sorts of drinks, a couple of PCs and nice furniture all around. Toilets are outside, though. Food in the lounge is reduced to some sandwiches wrapped in plastic foil and some cookies... a little more choices would be nice: fruit, soup... are my suggestions.

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Great neighbor in a rainy day


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Our neighbor in a closer view bound for GRU and FRA


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Our 346: bar, restaurant and B&B for the next 12 hours


Our flight was announced and soon we started boarding. We reached the plane are were shown the way to our seats by the flight attendant at the door.

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Crowded gate in this 100% full load flight


We sat with a lot of room around; you could stretch your leg and not reach the in-front seat. Really roomy!

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Very generous seat pitch


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Roomy Business plus


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My nephew relaxing... he then slept solid for 4 hours


As the other passengers were boarding one of the flight attendants came around with a tray stuffed with cups of orange juice, water and cava. We went for the last one to celebrate our trip home after wonderful holidays.

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The best way to start a flight: cava + learning to use seat controls


Then came the menus and the amenity kid.

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Amenity kit


Five minutes prior to the announced time the door were shut and were taxiing to take off. It was still raining and the way to the runaway was quite fast, we were still turning when full power was applied to the engines and the plane started running along. The camera on the tail was showing the plane and after 46 seconds the front wheels took off, luckily the rest of the plane followed and we were airborne. It was very cloudy and soon the only thing you could see from the camera were the clouds, soon the rain transformed into snow and after about 15 minutes going through the clouds we could see the Sun again.

We reached our cruising altitude and service started right after. More drinks to come with roasted nuts. As they were served we were flying over Florianopolis; the starters came over Rio de Janeiro and the main course over Brasilia... nice views for a lunch.

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Cheers over Florianopolis


Menu Plus

Starters

Toast with virgin olive oil

Chicken consomé

Smoked salmon marinated with vermouth
Mesclum leaves salad and grapefruit
Virgin olive oil and Sherry vinegar

Main Courses

Beef sirloin grill with bacon onions and red wine sauce, potatoes with red peppers
Or
White tuna with tomato and olive sauce, green asparagus sauté
Or
Agnolotis of spinach and cheese with carrot tarragon sauce

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Starters... usually the best meal of the day


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Beef today was excelently cooked...


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Cake and cheeses with some sweet wine... Very tatsy


The non-smiling service, as usual for IB, was conducted with efficiency and then it was cleared before lights were dimmed.

Time to watch movies. I personally did not like the selection they had on today so I turned to music and route map. My nephew was sleeping like log when he reclined his seat fully. I tried to imitate him but there is no way I can sleep on a plane. The seat reclines fully and once you lower the armrests it is really wide and comfortable but there is a little angle that disturbs me every time I move.

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Sweet dreams at 360FL


The IFE, a very modern AVOD system, shows a selection of twelve movies, about a hundred music selections and some other general information channels. They are displayed in a 14" on-touch TV screen. I think IB has done a great job in upgrading their Business Plus product: great food, excellent selection of wines and spirits, very comfortable seats, nice cabin atmosphere. I think they could do better if you, the customer, does not always have the feeling that crews are doing you a favor when assisting you.

As I was listening to some music the IFE died out, both mine and my nephew's. some minutes later they came on again. I talked to the purser who had no idea about what was happening. The incident happened a couple of times later but it restarted automatically.

During my non-sleeping night I walked around the cabin: had some munchies at the mini-bar. I have to admit that the selection was better than in our ongoing trip to EZE: first there were fruits and sandwiches; then some yogurt were displayed and water and juices were always available. I think it was nice for a night flight. Not many people were around, most of the passengers were sleeping and some were chatting with the crew at the galley.

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Best way to spend flight time: looking at flight map


Somewhere over the Canary Islands we were woken up by the lights were turned on and breakfast service was started. It was around 4.00 am; if you ask me, not the best time for breakfast but after 10 hours on the plane it was about time to see some action. The night had turned clear and we could see the whole island of Gran Canaria with all the cities lights on. Really spectacular.

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Wake up! Breakfast is coming


First cleaning of all the leftovers from the night bar, then breakfast came; in my opinion it could be better: the chicken sausage was tasteless and the piece of what was supposed to be a potato omelet was surprisingly small.

Breakfast Service

Plain omelet
Chicken sausage
"Röesti" potato and mushroom sauté

Fresh orange juice
Seasonal fresh fruit
Yoghourt
Bun
Toasts and virgin olive oil

Colombian coffee anad herbal teas

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Full breakfast... quality needs to be improved


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Breakfast before reaching the Spanish coast


Once service was finished we were already descending towards Madrid. We went around for quite a while and finally we touched down in the most gentle manner I have ever experienced, it was like we were still flying. Breaking was hard though, full breaks and really hard stopping.

We reached the terminal and disembarked through the front door and we went through screening for our plane to BCN in a matter of minutes. The airport was deserted at this early time, around 6.30 am, and most of the shops were still closed.

We reached the lounge which had only about two more guests. I asked for the showers and I was handed a key that let me in the best experience after a long flight. The bathroom was spotlessly clean and fresh looking. The towels were as soft as they were brand new. I was lucky this time; last January, almost a year, after the opening of the new terminal they were still not working.

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Clean and well stuffed toilet.


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Time for a shower: Best thing after 12 hours flight


We had some drinks and after our flight to BCN was called we proceeded to the gate.

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Help yourself at any of the two bars


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IB lounge at MAD... empty at 7.00


Boarding system was curious, to say the least, they asked all passengers from Buenos Aires to board first, then the ones from Bogotá... and continued with all the American flights that connect to BCN in this thing IB calls Catalunya-America flights; same flight number changing planes in MAD.

The flight was so packed that some of the hand luggage had to be carried underneath. Service was again the same breakfast we had just had on our previous flight, well we had a tomato that again disintegrated in the oven.

Flight was excellent except for some mild turbulence at the beginning as we were reaching our cruising altitude. Then the rest of the flight was uneventful until we landed in BCN. We approached the city from the north over the sea which gave us a great view as we crossed over it.

We were parked at a remote stand so we were bused to the terminal and dealt with immigration procedures. There was quite a lane as some other flight from Morocco had arrived shortly before ours. The bags came in no time and finally our trip was over.

Just my last words to all the wonderful people we met in Argentina. From the customs officer that checked our passport at arrival to the taxi driver that took us to the airport all of them have contributed to make this a wonderful trip. ¡Gracias a todos! ¡Hasta la próxima!

Please feel free to leave any comments. Thanks in advance.

Salut!

Roger
"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Traveling is Living)
 
LHStarAlliance
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RE: Argentinian Holidays (iii) EZE-MAD-BCN On IB

Mon Sep 17, 2007 1:59 am

Nice Trip-Report


Moltes Gracies  Wink


Konstantin
Boycott The Olympic Games In Beijing !
 
EK20
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RE: Argentinian Holidays (iii) EZE-MAD-BCN On IB

Mon Sep 17, 2007 2:12 am

Thanks for that.

That sausage looks a bit undercooked though.  boggled 

 
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rogerbcn
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RE: Argentinian Holidays (iii) EZE-MAD-BCN On IB

Mon Sep 17, 2007 2:19 am

Quoting LHStarAlliance (Reply 1):
Moltes Gracies

Bitte Konstantin, ich danke dir für es lesen.

All the best!

Quoting EK20 (Reply 2):
That sausage looks a bit undercooked though.

Certainly it was... and as said breakfast menu was very poor compared to lunch, IMO.

Salut!

Roger
"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Traveling is Living)
 
FLIEGER67
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RE: Argentinian Holidays (iii) EZE-MAD-BCN On IB

Mon Sep 17, 2007 2:20 am

Hola, Roger,
thanx for posting part III of your "Southern" trip.
A good read and nice pics.

Quoting Rogerbcn (Thread starter):
Best way to spend flight time: looking at flight map

 checkmark  Love it, to follow all the exciting places!.

Quoting Rogerbcn (Thread starter):
Time for a shower: Best thing after 12 hours flight

I agree 100%

Quoting Rogerbcn (Thread starter):
Boarding system was curious, to say the least, they asked all passengers from Buenos Aires to board first, then the ones from Bogotá... and continued with all the American flights that connect to BCN in this thing IB calls Catalunya-America flights; same flight number changing planes in MAD.

Sounds stupid, never experienced such a boarding process.

So, hope to read more from you´re travels soon.

Best regards,
Markus (FLIEGER67)
Tripreporter.net
 
taichen
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RE: Argentinian Holidays (iii) EZE-MAD-BCN On IB

Mon Sep 17, 2007 4:34 am

Very nice report. I see IB has a decent business class product, but as you said their crews often leave something to desire. On the other hand, it is just a matter of chance.. Ib has always had a lack of consistency.

Does IB still have F class or it is only JY ?
 
lima
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RE: Argentinian Holidays (iii) EZE-MAD-BCN On IB

Mon Sep 17, 2007 6:12 am

Hello Roger,

Thanks a lot for the very nice trip reports. Very glad to read you and your nephew enjoyed during your stay in Argentina.


Sebastian
 
crdaus
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RE: Argentinian Holidays (iii) EZE-MAD-BCN On IB

Mon Sep 17, 2007 1:10 pm

Hola Roger y muchas gracias por su reportaje de vuelo. Your experience was similar to my own except that the crew on my flight were very friendly. Those seats are pretty good for business class don't you think? If you are interested my report on IB it is here: Iberia BusinessPlus GIG-MAD (With Pics) (by Crdaus Mar 13 2006 in Trip Reports)

[Edited 2007-09-17 06:11:32]
 
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rogerbcn
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RE: Argentinian Holidays (iii) EZE-MAD-BCN On IB

Mon Sep 17, 2007 11:39 pm

Hola!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 4):
A good read and nice pics.



Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 4):
Sounds stupid

Danke Markus!

Yes, I think this boarding system is weird. I think they do it because you have only one boarding card from the previous flight as these flights to BCN share the same number. The boarding agent has a list and crosses your name out of it once you go through. It is my guess that the list is ordered according to the origin of your flight and so the boarding process speeds up.

Quoting Taichen (Reply 5):
Does IB still have F class or it is only JY ?

Thanks for your comments Taichen. I think IB get rid of F class once the new Business Plus product was introduced.

Quoting Lima (Reply 6):
Thanks a lot for the very nice trip reports

¡Gracias a ti Sebastian! You have a magnificent country inhabited by great people. In my previous trips to Argentina I had already realised the beauty of your country and its people... that is why I keep coming back, and hopefully will in the future.

Quoting Crdaus (Reply 7):
Those seats are pretty good for business class don't you think?

Thanks Crdaus!

Yes I think seats are great. Very comfortable, lots of legroom and really wide. Like flying on your own armchair. Far better than the ones I have used on AA, DL, AC, KL, AZ...

Salut!

Roger
"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Traveling is Living)
 
semsem
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RE: Argentinian Holidays (iii) EZE-MAD-BCN On IB

Tue Sep 18, 2007 12:26 am

Thanks for showing what C is like on IB. I think June to August is not such a good time to go to Argentina (their winter); that's also when I went. I would like to visit Bariloche and Mendoza, as well as Punta del Este next door. Iberia should hire your nephew to do an advertisement for their C seats.
 
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rogerbcn
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RE: Argentinian Holidays (iii) EZE-MAD-BCN On IB

Wed Sep 19, 2007 2:12 am

Hola!

Quoting Semsem (Reply 9):
I think June to August is not such a good time to go to Argentina (their winter); that's also when I went. I would like to visit Bariloche and Mendoza

Thanks for your reply Semsem; I have been to Argetnina both in the austral summer and winter and, IMO, winter is the best time to visit Buenos Aires, the capital at its full, the tropical North has a warm weather, while the North west has a mild winter with beautiful sunny days and not a single drop of rain. For the South it is better the summer: more chances to go around and hiking. For Bariloche it depends i f you like skiing and how much money you want to spend: during the skiing season prices go up quite a lot. I still have to visit Neuquén and Bariloche during fall when tree leaves are at its best.

Quoting Semsem (Reply 9):
Iberia should hire your nephew to do an advertisement for their C seats.

I'll let his agent know!  Wink  thumbsup 

Salut!

Roger
"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Traveling is Living)
 
RICARIZA
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RE: Argentinian Holidays (iii) EZE-MAD-BCN On IB

Wed Sep 19, 2007 6:35 am

Great report Roger!! What a nice service from IB... glad to see that.

Thanks for sharing the pics..!!
I miss ACES, I am proud of AVIANCA & I am loyal to AMERICAN
 
dcrusafon
Posts: 330
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RE: Argentinian Holidays (iii) EZE-MAD-BCN On IB

Thu Sep 20, 2007 10:24 pm

Quoting Taichen (Reply 5):
Does IB still have F class or it is only JY ?

Since last year, there is only C Class with is much more better than the old First Class...

Nice report Roger. Can you tell me more about the experience with FA?

Two weeks ago we went to Santiago de Chile also in Business Class and I must say that I have the feeling that you're annoying them if you ask for something in the middle of the flight...I was so ungry that for the flight back I told to my wife "If I feel that I not threated correctly, I'll put a complain" But we were lucky and for the first time in Iberia, the chief cabin crew came to us and present himself and bla bla bla...

Here are some pic from the dinner in the way down to Santiago...

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Dinner in route to SCL
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Cold breakfast...
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Camera


Brgrds,

Dario
 
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rogerbcn
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RE: Argentinian Holidays (iii) EZE-MAD-BCN On IB

Fri Sep 21, 2007 2:06 am

Hola!

Quoting RICARIZA (Reply 11):
Thanks for sharing the pics..!!

Thanks for your comments... glad you enjoyed reading it!

Quoting Dcrusafon (Reply 12):
Can you tell me more about the experience with FA?

My experiences with IB flight attendants vary depending on the route. On European flights they seem to be on a better mood: they talk to you, look at you and you even feel you are a human being. I remember once flying MAD-TXL I was the only passenger on C and I had a nice talk with this FA attendant who told me she used to work on intercontinental flights some years ago, she was on her 50s, and I commented about how rude and poor customer oriented they are now she told me that the ones flying those routes are usually seniors on the company and they are tired but stick to those flights as they get more benefits.... nice way to present IB image to a competitive market such as transatlantic flights, I thought.

My experiences when flying across the Atlantic are usually poor: the purser introduces him/herself to passengers one y one when handing out the duty free items but that is pretty much it. When food is served FA are usally talking between them and you have the feeling that you are going to interrupt their conversation if you ask for something. You have to help yourself with the table cloth if you do not want a sharp look from the FA.... as said: they are doing you a favor when assisting you... very poor service.

I hope this short summary answers pretty much your question.

That is why I ave stopped flying IB, combined with the drop on flights from BCN it has not been a difficult decision to take.

BTW, love your photo showing the tail camera over the Andes... GREAT!

Salut!

Roger
"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Traveling is Living)
 
ba319-131
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RE: Argentinian Holidays (iii) EZE-MAD-BCN On IB

Fri Sep 21, 2007 5:27 pm

Good report Roger.

Liked the pictures, food looks ok.

Quoting EK20 (Reply 2):
That sausage looks a bit undercooked though

- Agreed and the potato cake thing is tiny!

Regards

Mark
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rogerbcn
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RE: Argentinian Holidays (iii) EZE-MAD-BCN On IB

Fri Sep 21, 2007 8:58 pm

Hola!

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 14):
Liked the pictures, food looks ok.

Thanks Mark... the food was very good indeed, especially the starers.

Salut!

Roger
"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Traveling is Living)
 
Comeflywithme
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RE: Argentinian Holidays (iii) EZE-MAD-BCN On IB

Tue Sep 25, 2007 1:05 pm

Thanks for your report I was wanting to read one about IB Business Class - looks okay to me.

I shall be emigrating to Argentina in November and your report has put me in the mood for the trip although I shall be flying BA this time.I flew MAD-EZE in economy with IB and found the service okay, must give business class a try some time, and I like the A340's.
 
jmy007
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RE: Argentinian Holidays (iii) EZE-MAD-BCN On IB

Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:33 am

Great TR!

Quoting Rogerbcn (Thread starter):
While he was waiting in line I looked around terminal B. This terminal is the one used by all companies except by AR. It is modern, fresh, well lit, with good signing... Really a pleasure to fly from.

I flew out of EZE a couple of months ago. While the air side international terminal is very beautiful, the air side is cramped, moldy, stuffy, out dated, and in parts, looks make shift (temporary). To me, it was far too small, with the amount of jumbo's parked at the gates, to cope with any large amount of passengers. And added to that, you have to pay nearly $15usd for airport tax just to get airside!

[Edited 2007-09-25 19:37:17]

[Edited 2007-09-25 19:37:55]
Cookies are the Gateway pastry. They lead to Éclairs and Bear Claws.
 
Comeflywithme
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RE: Argentinian Holidays (iii) EZE-MAD-BCN On IB

Wed Sep 26, 2007 6:53 am

Quoting Jmy007 (Reply 17):
While the air side international terminal is very beautiful, the air side is cramped, moldy, stuffy, out dated, and in parts, looks make shift (temporary)

Not in my experience? I think Ezeiza is a great airport apart from the older Terminal that AR uses.

Quoting Jmy007 (Reply 17):
And added to that, you have to pay nearly $15usd for airport tax just to get airside!

Well if they didn't it would just be added to your ticket price - no difference really.
 
B747forever
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RE: Argentinian Holidays (iii) EZE-MAD-BCN On IB

Thu Nov 01, 2007 11:40 am

WOW,

Great TR.

The pis are fantastic.

The food seems tasty.

Thank you for sharing.

B747forever.
Work Hard, Fly Right
 
st530
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RE: Argentinian Holidays (iii) EZE-MAD-BCN On IB

Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:13 am

Thanks for the great report, I have been looking for a report with pics on an IB 346 in Business Plus because I am doing MAD-UIO-MAD (with a stop in Guayaquil on the way back) next week. Everything looks great -- food, seats, etc. Also, glad you loved Bs.As. -- one of the coolest cities on the planet! Thanks again, especially for the pics -- I hope the flight attendants will smile on my flights more than on yours!

P.S. It looks like your 'nephew' really enjoyed Busines Plus!
 
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rogerbcn
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RE: Argentinian Holidays (iii) EZE-MAD-BCN On IB

Mon Nov 19, 2007 7:14 am

Hola St530!

Quoting St530 (Reply 20):
Thanks again, especially for the pics -- I hope the flight attendants will smile on my flights more than on yours!

Thanks for your comments. Yes indeed: seat, food and, especially, wine, are really great in IB. Just in case, take these  Smile,  Smile,  Smile along with you as they do not seem to come in handy on these flights.

Have a nice flight!

Salut,

Roger
"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Traveling is Living)
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: Argentinian Holidays (iii) EZE-MAD-BCN On IB

Sun Aug 17, 2008 6:35 pm

Another enjoyable report, Roger.

Quoting Rogerbcn (Thread starter):
Starters... usually the best meal of the day



Quoting Rogerbcn (Thread starter):
Beef today was excelently cooked...



Quoting Rogerbcn (Thread starter):
Cake and cheeses with some sweet wine... Very tatsy

Presentation is good, you say it was tasty - it seems dinner was excellent.

Quoting Rogerbcn (Thread starter):
I think IB has done a great job in upgrading their Business Plus product:

Now it's time to upgrade the Economy product...I know, hope dies last.  Wink

Quoting Rogerbcn (Thread starter):
Full breakfast... quality needs to be improved

I have seen numerous much better breakfast options in Eco!

Quoting Dcrusafon (Reply 12):
Camera

Amazing picture - interesting to know IB's A346s are also equipped with that feature.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
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rogerbcn
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RE: Argentinian Holidays (iii) EZE-MAD-BCN On IB

Sun Aug 17, 2008 6:55 pm

Hola PH!

Thanks again for your comments.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 22):

Presentation is good, you say it was tasty - it seems dinner was excellent.

It certainly was! I remember having a very nice dinner with excellent views.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 22):
Now it's time to upgrade the Economy product..

It really is.... together with warmer crews and some  Smile  Smile  Smile

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 22):
Amazing picture - interesting to know IB's A346s are also equipped with that feature.


It is indeed an amazing feature, especially during take off.

Salut!

Roger
"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Traveling is Living)

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