Here’s something we never knew – Iberia has a well-hidden arrivals lounge in Madrid’s Terminal 4.
Reader Lorcán emailed us with a mini review and some pictures as no one seems to know that this lounge exists. It turns out that it actually launched four years ago, but not only did Lorcán struggle to find it, he even struggled to find any Iberia staff who knew where it was.
EDIT: This lounge was still closed, post pandemic, in early 2023. It is not clear if it will ever reopen.
Where is Iberia’s arrivals lounge in Madrid?
There is no signage to the arrivals lounge. What you need to do is follow the signs to the train station on level -1 of Terminal 4.
The lounge is located within a transit hotel which is opposite the Madrid underground and commuter trains access points. When you get to level -1, do not enter the station but walk in the other direction – it will be in front of you although not well marked.
This is what you’re looking for – if you don’t see this, look for signage saying ‘Premium Air Rooms’ which is the name of the transit hotel:
The lounge itself was fairly small with about nine tables, each seating two people.
Lorcán was the only one using the lounge for the hour or so he spent there. It is quite clear that many people don’t know it exists, although with just nine tables this is probably sensible.
You can leave your luggage in a secured area so you don’t have to drag around your suitcases. The lounge also offered an ironing service and had a number of newspapers and magazines.
The breakfast on offer was very simple with a range of juices, cereals etc.
As well as the ‘Sala de Llegadas’ arrivals lounge, there are 22 hotel rooms which can be booked for 3 – 6 hours. These are run by a private company, not Iberia, and can be booked here.
Iberia’s VIP Arrivals lounge has excellent shower facilities that are part of the hotel rooms. If you are not arriving as a premium passenger, you can book the showers for a fee – the attached bedroom will be locked out so you can’t grab a quick nap at the same time!
Who can access the Iberia arrivals lounge?
The Iberia Sala de Llegadas arrivals lounge is available to:
Iberia business class passengers IF your final destination is Madrid – you cannot use it if you are connecting, which presumably disqualifies a lot of potential users
Iberia Plus Platinum cardholders, flying on any oneworld airline or Vueling
Iberia Plus Gold and Iberia Singular cardholders, flying on Iberia
Importantly, oneworld elite members are not eligible – if you have arrived in economy with a British Airways Gold card, you’re not getting in.
You must be arriving from a flight of at least four hours duration, so you won’t be popping in after your trip from London. It WILL be useful if you are taking a long-haul flight to Madrid.
Unlike the British Airways arrivals lounge in Heathrow Terminal 5, which we reviewed here, the Iberia arrivals lounge is open 24 hours a day.
Remember that long-haul Avios redemptions on Iberia are SUBSTANTIALLY cheaper in terms of taxes and sometimes require fewer Avios too. New York on an off-peak date in Business Class is 68,000 Avios return and around £175 in taxes, compared to 100,000 Avios and £600+ of taxes on British Airways, for example. You can learn more about redeeming Avios on Iberia in this article.
You can find more details on the Iberia arrivals lounge on this page of iberia.com.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 2023)
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 10,500 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.
EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.
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.