Trip Report & Flight Review – Iberia “Business Class” Nice (NCE) – Madrid (MAD)…but not business!

I wanted to check out Iberia’s “new” business class on the A330 as well as their updated MAD lounge both of which required a connection from NCE back to Madrid. The business class flight was operated by Iberia’s regional partner, Air Nostrum aboard a CRJ1000. This flight was included in my semi reasonably priced Avios redemption via a transfer to Iberia. The quick picture report is part eight of a ten part trip report from my travels to the south of France.

Boarding was in a lower level departure area of NCE with many other regional flights:

Iberia Air Nostrum NCE-MAD CRJ 100001   Iberia Air Nostrum NCE-MAD CRJ 100004    Iberia Air Nostrum NCE-MAD CRJ 100008 Iberia Air Nostrum NCE-MAD CRJ 100009

What was interesting about this business class flight was that there was no actual business class! There was an area at the front of the plane for 4 business passengers with different headrest covers but nothing else about the seats were different. Additionally, business passengers were allowed to choose a complimentary sandwich and drink from the buy-on-board menu (total savings of about  €10-11). Other than those few amenities, everything was the same as coach (besides the baggage allowance and boarding access). I’m not sure if this was an aircraft swap or if the flight was just too short for normal business service, as Air Nostrum’s website indicates meal service (on china) in business class. I’d say check with the airline if this is something that’s important to you (most of their flights are under 2 hours in duration). For me, I booked this last minute and was only concerned with a lie-flat A330-300 on the MAD-JFK leg.

Iberia Air Nostrum NCE-MAD CRJ 100016Iberia Air Nostrum NCE-MAD CRJ 100011 Iberia Air Nostrum NCE-MAD CRJ 100018 Iberia Air Nostrum NCE-MAD CRJ 100017   Iberia Air Nostrum NCE-MAD CRJ 100014  Iberia Air Nostrum NCE-MAD CRJ 100013

Menus of the Ryanair variety with somewhat standard pricing – €6 for a sandwich,€3 for a beer, and€5 for wine.

Iberia Air Nostrum NCE-MAD CRJ 100020 Iberia Air Nostrum NCE-MAD CRJ 100021 Iberia Air Nostrum NCE-MAD CRJ 100022 Iberia Air Nostrum NCE-MAD CRJ 100023 Iberia Air Nostrum NCE-MAD CRJ 100024 Iberia Air Nostrum NCE-MAD CRJ 100025 Iberia Air Nostrum NCE-MAD CRJ 100026

Not much space, but the entire flight duration was 1 hour and 50 minutes. Don’t expect power outlets, wifi, or snacks/drinks besides those that you can buy-on-board. Overall, an easy hop to NCE with an early arrival giving me more time to explore the updated Iberia Velázquez VIP Lounge.

Iberia Air Nostrum NCE-MAD CRJ 100028 Iberia Air Nostrum NCE-MAD CRJ 100029   Iberia Air Nostrum NCE-MAD CRJ 100032 Iberia Air Nostrum NCE-MAD CRJ 100033

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  1. There is currently no European airline that provides a real business class product for travel within Europe.

    You might be able to get a real business class product from SQ (Singapore Airlines) I think they fly Munich to Manchester. But is costs something crazy like 700+ Euros and might only be worthwhile as an award redemption.

  2. I flew that route in business many a time and I have always got “proper” business class with curtain, hot meal, and China. I find Iberia regional offering pretty strong to be fair.

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