This is my review of the new Iberia fully flat business class seats on its A330 aircraft.
I was in Madrid on Wednesday and Thursday, taking advantage of the American Express Platinum offer of a free night at a Melia hotel. I will cover the hotel stay tomorrow.
Back in January I wrote an interesting piece on short-haul flights which use long-haul planes. I noted then that Iberia runs long-haul planes on the Madrid to Heathrow route on certain days.
When I booked my Madrid flight, I didn’t actually bother to check the operating aircraft. It was only later that I realised it was due to be operated by an Airbus A330. Iberia is taking delivery of eight of these during 2013/4, and all will be equipped from Day 1 with Iberia’s new business class product.
I was therefore a happy man when I stepped on-board and saw this:
And my seat (4A):
Note that all seats have direct aisle access, which is something you don’t get with BA’s Club World seat.
The seat goes fully flat. It is not incredibly wide, and tapers even further at the foot end. However, it is certainly more than acceptable.
(The only weird thing is that the TV does not fold away. You are staring at it for the entire flight, whether you want to or not!)
Even better, Iberia was running a proper hot meal service. Get on a BA Club Europe plane departing at 15.55 and you’d get 2 scones, each the size of a 50p coin!
Iberia, on the other hand, was offering this (and even gave out proper menus, I have left in the spelling mistakes!):
Fresh leaves salad with cherry tomatoes and daikon turnip
Breaded veal loin or baked salmon with bearnase sauce
Idiazabal cheese with prune
Yoghourt and mango cake
Assorted bread basket, extra-virgin olive oil
Selection of wines, soft drinks and spirits
Coffee and herbal teas
And very tasty the salmon was too!
If you have never flown a long-haul fully-flat business class seat, then why not give this a go? The one-way ticket in Business Class is only 15,000 Avios. (Read here for why you should book via Iberia Plus to get lower taxes.)
Make sure you look for the Iberia operated flights, and click on the flight number during the booking process to see what aircraft it is. You want an A330 to be certain of the new seat.
The flight in the other direction could be booked cheaply for cash if you didn’t want to use too many Avios.
You would also get access to the Velazquez lounge in Terminal 4S at Madrid airport (there is a second lounge, I believe, but I didn’t pass it):
This also has a decent hot food selection (pasta, fish, chicken – why can’t BA serve sensible options like this which satisfy everyone?):
The upshot of this trip is that I will be more positive about flying Iberia going forward, especially when it comes to using them for long-haul redemptions, as long as you can guarantee to be getting an A330. I’m not sure at this point how long it will take for all of the A340’s to get the new fully-flat seats.
PS. I always pronounced Iberia as ‘eye-beer-ee-ar’. It turns out it should be ‘eye-berry-a’, listening to the onboard announcements ….
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (November 2022)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,000 Avios.
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.