Airline Review: Iberia Business Class A340-600 TXL-MAD-SJU
(deutsche Version) After visiting the North American continent for business so many times (link to other airline reviews), today I made it to the southern part. Since the chosen destination (Domenica, DOM) is not so easy to reach, I did the first part of the travel with Iberia. Originally, it was supposed to start from Berlin (TXL) to Madrid (MAD), then to Miami (MIA) und tomorrow morning with American Airlines (AA) to SJU. It was quite planned like this, but didn’t work out in the end. More about that later.
The take off from Berlin was scheduled for 7:20 AM, which is why I had to get to the airport early. Already knowing about the high passenger occurrence, I arrived at 5:30, when the check-in counter was just opened. Economy passengers were just moved from one queue to the other, which didn’t contribute to their mood, but the airport personnel was convinced of needing the space for business clients. Even though the new airport is not yet in use, they used the barrier tape from BER already.
Online Check-in wasn’t possible in this case, so I quickly checked in at the counter and directly received my ticket for Domenica. My luggage went to MIA, where it was late for one hour to my surprise.
After being advised about the lounge I went to “my” British Airways Lounge, which is just a few steps away from A13. After being greeted in the same nice way as always and having a little chat about the planned new airport and its’ problems, I had a little breakfast. So early in the morning, some fruits and cereal is enough for me. Absolutely on time, boarding started on 6:50, half an hour before take off. Iberia does not have a separate entrance for business class passengers in Berlin, other than British Airways.
Unfortunately we had a 45 minutes delay on the runway, which meant we could never be on time.
First part: TXL-MAD
The personnel, consisting of two, partly 3 stewardesses, are friendly in business class, but not outstanding. We were served a quite extinctive breakfast, indeed too much for me. Besides Croissants and jam there is also omelet, ham, warm white bread and olive oil. Also a bowl of fruits and a LC1 Drink is included. The breakfast was not only extensive, but delicious and because I cant see anymore of the British breakfast, this a was great alternation.
The seat is a typical A319 seat, whereas the middle seat in business class is not taken as usual. For the short flight of 3:15 hours this was not a problem at all. Instead of arriving at 10:40, we landed at 11 o’clock in Madrid, so I left the plane at 11:15. It was clear that I wouldn’t be able to catch the connecting flight. Anyways, I tried to make it on time to terminal 4. If you know where if have to go it’s relatively easy to make it. I found the signs confusing. Passport control had no fast track, but you can use the crew counter if your late on time. Security check also went through fast. Personnel were friendly and efficient, so I really made it on 11:40 to Gate U74. Unfortunately my luggage didn’t arrive as expected and since this was the last machine to MIA it would arrive tomorrow afternoon. Bad for me, because on 7:20 the flight to DOM takes off. So I decide to stay here and go to the Iberia counter.
(Annotation: My luggage stayed in MAD and now IB tries to get it to DOM somehow). Since I missed the flight anyway and I want to stay here I am quite relaxed and so is the personnel. Spanish serenity meets flustered Germans, which wasn’t conducive at all. I am asked to help as an interpreter, so the Sir in front of me can change his flight and understands how to get to the Middle East. He does not only get a new ticket, but also a voucher for lunch in a buffet restaurant in the terminal.
Now I don’t want to wait until tomorrow and suggest to get me a ticket for IB 6533 to San Juan, which takes off at 1:35 PM, which is in 1,5 hours. After phoning around I get what I wanted. So I get to see the huge Iberia Lounge in T4S and can move to Gate U72 completely relaxed.
I will travel to SJU since I’m not going to MIA. My hotel at MIA airport is cancelled and thanks to www.cubetravel.de I got a new one in SJU. Let’s see if Iberia pays for it.
But now I go the gate, where they have a sign for business class clients, but no entrance. I am not so keen on standing in a long queue today, So I ask if I can enter threw a special counter. When I entered the brown colored business class cabin I am the first passenger to arrive and being welcomed as such.
My clothing is being taken care of and put in my reach where I can see it. Not even 5 minutes later I receive the amenity kit. It’s nicely done and comes with a shoe bag, socks and all kind of stuff.
The seats in the cabin are ordered in a 2-2-2 arrangement, which makes 42 seats in 7 rows. The cabin is arranged in a way so that there is the possibility to use the rest room without waiting too long in front of it.
The middle rows are a little out of place, so you cannot see the guest but look slantly over his backrest. After my opinion, this loosens the cabin a little. The seat itself is kept in brown colors and harmonizes with the red-brown blanket and pillow. The blanket is a little thicker, consisting of several plies and has a comfy feeling, which makes a big difference to other airlines. I had a few hours of relaxed sleep here and didn’t freeze at all. At BA this is only possible with two blankets.
On the backrest of the front seat you find several bags and compartments, so you can store magazines, notebooks and such easily. In the middle you find a bottle of water, glass and a hook for the jacket. Under the middle armrest there is another compartment, where you can put the amenity kit. This was brought right at the beginning, together with three hot cloths during the 7:15 hours flight.
The control of the flight can be done with the panel in the middle. Here you can adjust skewness, back rest, height and foot area und put off or on the massage function. The table is not big only big enough, but quite stable, which makes eating very comfortable. Additionally, the table can be turned aside while eating, so can stand up – quite convenient. Later, the seat can be changed into a bed with the safed position, which is not 100% event, but very comfortable otherwise. So I could sleep well and write the lines before landing in SJU.
After receiving the menu right after the start, I received diner 30-35 minutes later. A good duration, which might be caused by having only me in the cabin from row 5 on.
The choice of foods consisted of a few Spanish starters, three main courses and two desserts. If you would like to know in detail what else there was, I took a photo of the menu for you.
After having all the starters, I decided to take lamb as main course. Even though it didn’t look like it, it was very tender and delicious.
Who knows me or reads my hotel and restaurant reviews, knows what dessert I chose. There was fantastic ice cream. Unfortunately all the guests chose to have it and I wasn’t planned to be on this flight, so there was no second potion. How sad indeed.
Before landing in San Juan we received a second meal. After European time it was already 8 PM. The meal consisted of Spanish ingredients, as to be expected wit Iberia, and was quite tasty.
I am very satisfied with my flight with Iberia Business Class, other than expected. The service was super friendly. The ladies and gentlemen took well care of me and always smiled when asking, what else they could do for me.
Also the organization on ground and the flight change went well, at least if you speak English, because I don’t know a word of Spanish. The seat in the A340-600 is a sophisticated and comfortable business class seat in which you can also stay for more than 7 hours. The touch screen has a manageable size and the inflight entertainment is okay, even though not the best of its’ class. I am not a big user of the IFE anyways.
The original routing TXL-MAD-MIA-SJU-DOM-SJU-MAD-TXL generated costs of 3.480 EUR and 420 status points in the One World Alliance (40-120-40-20-20-120-40). This puts you in the first status level of British Airways.