Trip Report – Iberia’s “New Business Class” A330-300 Review – BA Avios Transfer to Iberia for savings!

This was my first flight on one of Iberia’s new A330-300s, I flew from Madrid (MAD) to JFK in the 1-2-1 configured business cabin. This is the final entry in a nine part trip report from my travels to the south of France.

Iberia’s A330-300s were delivered back in February 2013 and operate on the MAD-JFK route (subject to swaps) as well as multiple other routes. Many Iberia A340/60s have been retrofitted with a similar business cabin. You can check the status of the A330s/40/60s cabin upgrades in this Flyertalk forum.

I wanted to try out Iberia’s new business class, but I didn’t want to spend almost $400 on taxes and fees when using BA Avios for the Iberia redemption. By transferring the necessary number of Avios to Iberia, I was able to book the exact same flight (for the same # of Avios) for $212.57…still way more than I’d normally spend on a (MAD-JFK) award flight but almost $165 less than the same redemption with British Airways.  Check out this post for more on moving Avios between accounts.

Iberia Miles Iberia Pricing

Even though we were at Iberia’s home airport and flying on an A330-300, we still took a bus out to the aircraft and boarded via stairs:

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Hola, welcome on-board, liking the subtle colors in Business…

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Once I sat down I was greeted and presented with an amenity kit which was stocked with L’Occitane product. :

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I was then offered champagne (sparkling wine), bottle popped right at my seat:

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The IFE is usable on the ground and headphones were presented with the amenity kit. The TV can be controlled via the modern remote or via scrolling directly on the screen. There were many new releases, but the library overall was not all that large.

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You can also connect your own device to view photos and videos and listen to music:

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The captain was a bit chatty, speaking for 10 minutes in Spanish and then 10 minutes in English. He provided many more details than normal (which as an airline geek I loved). He told us that we’d be flying at “39,000 feet or something like that so that we can use less fuel because it’s good to preserve money and it helps the environment.” He also told us that we had plenty of fuel and that he had just signed off on 17,000 gallons worth.

As mentioned above, the business cabin has a 1-2-1 layout and fully flat seats. I found the seat in the bed position to be comfortable, quite similar in terms of length to the Alitalia and Swiss upgrades.

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A blanket, pillow, and do not disturb sign were also provided:

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Outlets and USB ports at your seat as well as a small storage area…

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Once we took off, we were presented with a hot towel and the menu. Again, not that many choices – One meat, one fish, and one pasta option. I went with the halibut.  The salmorejo (a purée consisting of tomato and bread) with egg was excellent and the fish was quite good as well. The chicken stuffed with mushrooms and fruits was really nasty though…overall I thought the food was alright. I’d say that many of the starters were not edible, but the fish and salmorejo were good.  Lunch was another story, more on that below.

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The mid-flight snack area was sad – peanuts, soda, and water…I was starving! I should also note here that while service during boarding and meal time was good, flight attendants were absolutely nowhere to be found in the business cabin. At least three hours went by with not even one crew member walking through the business cabin!

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Lunch is not included in the menu because there actually are no lunch options. Everyone was given a plate of ham – even vegetarians and non pork eaters. I was told that any alternatives would have had to been made as a special request prior to the flight. Pretty ridiculous for business class on a long-haul flight.

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Related – Why the British Airways Card Still Makes Sense – Got it Again!

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Comments

  1. Iberia does not serve champagne but Spanish sparkling wine on Business Class. Their beverage/food service is very basic and really needs improvements.

  2. The flight attendants need to be walking through the business cabin more often offering a sandwich and drinks to customers. Like the reviewer says, it’s not good enough to disappear for 3 hours ! I, like the writer was also very hungry half way through my flight
    ( Madrid-Bogota)
    The staff are very friendly, but, the service mid-flight needs improvement.

  3. would anyone know if the Madrid-JFK flights are lie flat seats. It indicates it is an airbus 340 ( but does not state if its the 300 or 600 ) so I can’t tell by seat guru. thanks!

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