Just like the once a day British Airways Boeing 777 service between London and Madrid, Iberia also run a long-haul aircraft once a day between London and Madrid. Iberia usually operate an Airbus A340 on this route, however sometimes it is an Airbus A330. This service runs late afternoon from Madrid to London, and returns to Madrid early evening. This service is operated for the same cargo reason as British Airways. After taking the British Airways service on my outbound flight to Madrid, on my return I flew Iberia Business Class from Madrid to London.
Iberia business Class from Madrid to London
Iberia Business Class Check-in
After a six hour drive from Andalusia I arrived at Madrid’s Barajas airport and returned the hire car before heading to the business class check-in in terminal 4. There was no queue at check-in and as I had fast track security I didn’t have to queue there either. However, there was a 10 minute queue at passport control. The flight departs from terminal 4S, so you have to take the underground shuttle train from the main terminal to the satellite (4S).
Iberia Velázquez VIP Lounge
For this flight I used the Iberia Velázquez VIP Lounge in terminal 4S. The Iberia lounge was quite large and very spacious, with modern decor and offers great panoramic views across the airport. There were the usual alcoholic and soft drink offerings as well as a salad and snack buffet, and then later on hot food was served including pasta and rice dishes and also fish and chicken options. I had about an hour in the lounge so I enjoyed a small snack with a last few glasses of Rioja.
Boarding started about 45 minutes before departure and I boarded first when Business boarding was called.
Iberia Business Class Seat
This service is operated by a long-haul Airbus A340 and so each seat is a flat bed seat. Due to the layout of the cabin, each seat has direct aisle access unlike British Airways. I much preferred this seat layout to that offered on British Airways’ Club World cabin. There is a TV located directly in front, above the cubby hole housing the footrest. There is also a large side table located next to your seat (due to the layout this table is located above the cubby hole from the seats behind). The seat also had the added advantage of a built-in massage, which is a very nice touch. Something that I have not come across before.
Post from RICOH THETA. – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA
Food and drink
Shortly after boarding I was presented with a menu, detailing the onboard meal, with options only for the main course. All of the courses were served on one tray at the same time, pretty much the same as with Club Europe meals on British Airways. There was a full drinks service with all the usual options and I opted for a Rioja which paired beautifully with my steak in Córdoba sauce which I has selected for my main course.
The entertainment service was switched on, unlike the British Airways service, although I opted to have only the moving map on my screen. However, the inflight magazine showed a good selection of channels with Spanish and English options.
There were small cubby holes located around the seat to store small items and there was more than enough space in the overhead lockers for any carry-on baggage allowance.
Amenities and Onboard Perks
There were no onboard perks such as onboard bars and showers, but the seat area was more than adequate, extremely spacious and very comfortable.
Disembarking and Arrival
The flight arrived into Heathrow Terminal 5 and the front door was used to disembark the aircraft, so as I was in row 4 I was off the aircraft quite quickly. Due to the late afternoon arrival time Heathrow T5 was quite busy so it did take quite a while to get through passport control. The upside to this was that when I got to baggage claim my case was already there.
I don’t dislike the British Airways Club World product, but the Iberia business class product on their long-haul aircraft was significantly superior. I wouldn’t mind travelling on this service to and from Madrid again, or even further afield given the opportunity.