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Iberia A340 Business JFK-MAD: Hop Hop Across the Pond

A review on my trip on board Iberia Airbus 340 in Business Class from JFK-MAD.

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Some background.

Initially, I booked JFK-MAD return on Iberia’s New Premium Economy. But one week before the flight, I was offered an upgrade for only 224 Euros to Iberia Business for the JFK-MAD leg. Well, I took it in a heartbeat - who wouldn't?? However, the upgrade process was a bit of a pain. It took me five phone calls to make it right after replying to the email. But eventually I was able to get the upgrade and I selected seat 8A.

After spending 2 hours at the AA Flagship lounge, I was shocked to discover that the air train was not working and thus would need to take the bus for tranfers between terminals. In fact, transfer from T8 to T7 was especially horrendous as the buses only go in one direction. It needed to bypass T1/2/3/4/5 to get to T7 and it took me a solid 45 minutes to get across the terminals - if I had left the lounge 10 minutes later than I did, I would have missed my flight. Whew.

I do apologize for not having any pictures for Check In because of the rush. There were 2 priority lanes and rest were economy. I was the last to check in. However, one thing was that the agent did bring me up front through security which was a sweet treat given the long lines.

Boarding was rather chaotic. T7 was under construction thus seemed to be very disorganized. Hopefully it would be better after renovation (which I doubt).

However, the A340 was only connected to one jet bridge, which made it especially congested.

Finally, after all the wait and drama, I was directed to my seat 8A by the purser.

The cabin looked good but not enough to be called gorgeous. While I did like the color tone of the cabin, the finishing touches of Iberia’s staggered configuration was lacking a bit in my opinion. The seat itself was quite narrow and storage was practically non existent other than the shoe compartment. Worth to mention, if two are traveling together, there are "honeymoon seats" in the middle - though it is not preferable when traveling alone.

Awaiting at my seat was an amenity kit. The toiletries inside were L’Octane. However, the bag itself did look cheap.

I was offered a noise cancelling headphones. It was not Bose, but it sufficiently did it job I suppose.

The purser came around with pre-departure drink. With water, orange juice and Champagne to choose from, I gladly took a glass of OJ.

Push back was slightly behind schedule. We were surrounded by BA birds heading to LHR. There were a good number of them.

I looked into the magazine compartment and the wifi looks particularly interesting. I personally did not like when airlines price wifi by data. Boy, that reminded me the pain of the wifi onboard NH F IAH-NRT last year where I simply wanted to check an updated grade on a course. Well, guess what, after purchasing two $10 dollar plans, I still did not get to see them. That did not go well.

We took off with a delay due to the large number of departures. But the captain promised to make up for it on the flight.

An episode of Big Bang Theory never failed to crack me up. The entertainment system in general was adequate. The New Releases were however, slightly disappointing.

Shortly after take off, menu was distributed. I was offered to choose from Chicken, Fish and a Ravioli dish. I chose the chicken. Iberia offers a relatively intensive selection of beverages including teas, coffees, and soft drinks.

The service started with a hot towel. And then the table cloth was set.

The starter of the dinner service consisted of some cheese, a salad and some salmon. A classic starter - but I did completely enjoy it.

The main course followed. The presentation of the chicken was appetizing, but it was the taste that surprised me. Contrary to prediction, the chicken was EXTREMELY moist. The vegetables were fresh and tasty - I finished every grain of the dish. Wow. This was a stark contrast with the Chicken Supreme (which was extremely dry) I had on CX F (JFK-YVR) last year.

The dessert was a simple yet delicious sorbet with waffle pieces. Yum.

The service on the flight was perfectly smooth. The FAs looked like they wanted to be there, and the flow was on the plus side. One interesting observation: I WAS offered alcohol without being asked of my age (haha I guess I do look old).

At that time of the flight, I decided to change (into CX PJ xD) and use the time to check out the bathroom. Well, the bathroom was adequate with few basic amenities. Well, I did miss the SQ F bathroom.

After the meal, another hot towel service. The purser also came around with bottles of water.

The meal, in my opinion, was paced rather slowly. It took 2 hours to complete the service while the flight time is just over 6 hours - which left me about 4 hours to get a quick nap. The seat in the lie flat position is comfortable, but rather on the hard side. One general problem with the Solmestyle seat is that I felt slightly “bent over” when lying completely flat. Therefore, I slept in a lounge position instead.

I slept soundly for around 3 hours, and promptly woke up for the continental breakfast service.

The breakfast was good but uneventful. Perfectly adequate, and perfectly proportioned. Some bread, fruit, yogurt, a glass of orange juice and a cup of coffee - very European.

We started our descend into Madrid. We were to arrive around 30 minutes before schedule.

A time-lapse of the descent into Madrid.

At MAD, we were parked at a gate in the Satellite Concourse of T4. Disembarking started with Business Class/Premium Economy class. It was organized and smooth. Soon I was on my way to my connection flight to Barcelona.

Overall, this was an excellent transatlantic hop. The flight time was rather short, which made sleeping slightly “rushed”. Good quality of food, adequate seat, and friendly service - Yes I would do it again.

Overall- A-

Seat- 8/10

Staggered configuration - nice for transatlantic overnight.

IFE- 8/10

New screen, average content .

Food- 8.5/10

Nice food on Iberia!! seriously.

Service- 8/10

Nothing to fault. Perfectly fine.

Timeliness- 10/10

Early arrival into MAD.

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