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Review: Air Nostrum business class from Ibiza to Madrid, booked with Avios

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This is my review of flying with Air Nostrum in business class.

After my underwhelming experience in the Sala Lounge Cap Des Falco, I got to board the Air Nostrum flight from Ibiza to Madrid.

This was not the most exciting flight in the world as you will see.  The reason we wanted to cover it on Head for Points is to highlight the fact that you can use Avios on Air Nostrum services.

Based in Valencia, with additional hubs in Madrid and Barcelona, Air Nostrum is focused on flights around Spain.  There are also a number of international routes, of which Frankfurt is the longest – it does not fly to the UK.

The airline operates as an Iberia franchise.  It is not owned by IAG or Iberia.

If you find yourself needing to fly around Spain or major cities in nearby countries, Air Nostrum is a potential option.

You can book Air Nostrum services for points via either the Iberia or BA Avios schemes.

The Air Nostrum business class experience

My one way Business Class flight from Ibiza to Madrid cost 9,000 Avios points and £15.60 in taxes, booked via Iberia Plus.  This included lounge access in Ibiza.

I only booked via Iberia Plus due to improved business class availability.  Looking at peak summer dates, the cost rises to 10,000 Avios plus £17.20 via Iberia Plus.  Book on and you only pay 10,000 Avios plus £7.80!  For the Ibiza to Madrid route, Iberia Plus also has options to use Avios to fly with Vueling which are not bookable on

Other business class benefits were few.  There was no priority line and not only did I end up being the last person in the boarding queue:

air nostrum ibiza to madrid 1

…. I also had to leave my carry on outside the plane:

air nostrum ibiza to madrid 2

…. as no larger items were allowed on board.

air nostrum ibiza to madrid 3

When I got on board I understood why. The plane was very small and very busy.

air nostrum ibiza to madrid 4

There were 12 business class seats in total and only four of them were occupied – which is why I found it more than annoying that I was at next to someone who also turned out to be an armrest hogger. Luckily they let me change seats.

air nostrum ibiza to madrid 5

We were served a sandwich and an alcoholic, soft or hot drink. With only four people in business class the airline had loaded …. four sandwiches. I got to ‘choose’ the last one which was some kind of eggy red pepper mash – I never found out what the other option would have been.

As I was still fighting my cough, I chose a coffee which was actually pretty good.

Economy passengers have a ‘buy on board’ service – I couldn’t see what was available.

air nostrum ibiza to madrid 6

In Madrid we got off the plane and I got my carry on back.

air nostrum ibiza to madrid 7

We had to walk to the airport building.  As the plane landed at the gate furthest away from the exit, it still took about 30 minutes to leave the airport despite being on a domestic flight.

air nostrum ibiza to madrid 8


Air Nostrum’s service is comparable with any other two-class low cost European airline.  It was perfectly ok for a short flight but certainly nothing special.

With 2×2 seating throughout, there is no real benefit to business class except for a seat at the front and lounge access – although, given that it was only 4,500 additional Avios over economy, I (well, HfP) was happy to pay it.  If you find yourself needing to fly to smaller cities in Spain, bear them in mind as an option.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (July 2024)

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:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

30,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points AND (to 27th August) £400 to spend at Amex Travel Read our full review

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 10,500 Avios.

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

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.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and FREE for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (47)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Nick says:

    No tier points achievable, I guess…?

  • James says:

    The CRJ is extremely tight in a 2-2 layout, and I certainly wouldn’t pay extra for ‘business class’ which isn’t 1-2 (like US airlines are) on this aircraft type.

  • R says:

    At least for IB codeshare flights they offer priority services, use it all the time… First to board, there’s no line but there’s an announcement, just make your way to the front. Works both for fare and OW status. Use them often from/into Madrid for LHR connections.

  • david cliff says:

    I travel to/from Alicante 7/8 times a year from Manchester. I often fly ALC-MAD-MAN on the return with Air Nostrum & Iberia Express. I can always get tickets for approx £75 one way and the transfer in MAD is just over an hour. A nice little journey and I collect Avios too !

  • Keith says:

    I don’t object to having to leave your carry-on at the steps, and get it back as you get off at the other end – quite common on US commuter flights.

    What really gets me is the KLM Cityhopper flights AMS – LHR (and maybe other routes). You hand in your carry-on as you board, then they put it in the hold – you collect it at the luggage carousel 🙁 I travel with hand luggage for short trips precisely to avoid the wait to collect a case – and I often have delicate items in hand luggage for a good reason!

  • Barry cutters says:

    Off topic.

    Need to fly to Dublin in two weeks time.
    Ba flights are £300 for the times i need.
    Aer lingus are £200.

    Can i get in the lounge at t2 if i fly aer lingus.?
    Im a ba gold

    • Alan says:

      I believe only if booked under BA flight numbers? (which are generally much pricier)

      • barry cutters says:

        yep as iv just realised .
        £102 for the aer Lingus flights in the end.
        Ba would have been over £300.

        As its a work trip I’m not bothered about the lounge as I can expense all food/drink anyway.
        Quite excited to go to T2 for the first time, and in fact use another carrier. I don’t think iv been on any other short haul flight that hasn’t been BA, Iberia or AA for at least 3 years.
        Which is some dedication for someone who flew over 100 sectors in 2016

        • Alan says:

          I quite like T2, flown from there with SQ a couple of times.

          That price differential sounds like pretty much what I’d seen before for EI vs BA!

  • Steve says:

    Air norstrum did have a few U.K. Services, including Glasgow to Madrid.

    I used to fly on an Air Norstrum service between Jerez and Madrid every week, it wasn’t buy on board then, but it was far far superior service to Iberia where the staff can be truly miserable.

    If I saw a route that had Iberia, Iberia Express and Air Norstrum then I would pick Air Norstrum based on my experiences with them.

  • Vivian says:

    Useful review. I’ll be taking my parents to Spain (their first time) in April and I’ve booked MAD-BIQ on Iberia (operated by Air Nostrum) to get to San Sebastian. The MAD-BIQ route was substantially cheaper than MAD-EAS.

    • dps says:

      Good decision! MAD-EAS is expensive because of IB monopoly and the comfortable, frequent coach from BIO to the centre of San Sebastian took me an hour and cost under €40 return.

    • Nick says:

      Surely BIO is easier access to San Sebastián/Donostia than BIQ?

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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