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Iberia A340 Premium Economy MAD-JFK: Adequate But Nothing More

A review on my trip on board Iberia Airbus 340 in Premium Economy from MAD-JFK.

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I arrived from the shuttle service from Barcelona. Exact same service(zero to none) as the flight I took from Madrid to Barcelona. Please refer to the previous report.

On a side note, I was scammed for 80 euros at Madrid airport. But I blame it on my gullibility. Ah. I did not know what I was thinking at the time. Overall, not a great start to the grand trip.

At Check In, I was offered an upgrade again, this time for 300 Euros - which is not 224, but is still of great value by all means. However, just for the sake of this review, I decided to pass it.

Check In was efficient but rather dull. No sign of hospitality, but it is rather performed as a “process”. I have no problem with it by any mean.

There was no priority security offered to Premium Economy passengers. Good thing was that the lines are not too long.

After passing security, I made my way to the satellite terminal. It was rather quite far.

I was informed that the flight would be delayed for about an hour due to late inbound aircraft. Oh well.

At that point, I realized there is a priority pass lounge I could use, so I stayed there till boarding. It was great.

In case any one is interested in the tax return facility in Madrid, I could tell you it is quite pain free. My mom instructed me to buy a Rimowa in Barcelona since they had a 20% discount so I did have an experience with the facility. The lines were not long, and the officers were not picking on people unlike at some other places. However, be VERY careful about choosing the currency you want to be refunded in. They did try to trick me into choosing dollars. I got 53 Euros in the end (on the receipt it was 55 Euros and there were some processing fees).

My ride to JFK sitting there - you could see how crowded the jetbridge got.

Boarding was called by group. Again, I arrived late and there was only one single jet bridge connected so I have to suffer the long lines. Trust me, the line is REALLLLLLLLLLLY long. It took me a good 15 minutes to get seated.

The cabin was intimate and had a good vibe to it. I personally liked the color tone a lot.

I pre-booked my seat 11L. A window Bulkhead. I did have a seat mate next to me. Ahh. Struggles. But anyway, the seat looked comfy.

Awaiting at the seat there was a mini amenity kit - with the basic travel essentials (the business class content minus the L’Occitane products). Also there was a noise cancelling identical to the one offered in business class (however there is some issue with the outlet - unresolved throughout the flight - more on that later). There was a small pillow premium economy branded pillow as well.

We pushed back with a delay.

During taxi, I checked out the entertainment system. The screen looked smart and new. However, again, the selection of movies were good but not particularly great.

It was a beautiful day in Madrid. Enjoy the time lapse of the take off.

Bye bye Spain.

It was a day flight so I did’t particularly want to sleep. The seat in the full recline was meh…. kind of comfortable. I found the padding slightly too thin - sitting on the seat for too long made my REAR hurt. The footrest was not designed for taller people as it forced one to bend their legs. Keep that in mind when one is considering choosing the bulkhead. I guess it is premium ECONOMY after all.

Food. No menu by the way. After the stunning chicken I had on the inbound flight from JFK, I was expecting a lot. And Iberia certainly did not disappoint. Another equally stunning pork dish (I did not know what it was called as no menu was distributed - service glitch?). HOW COULD THEY MAKE THEIR FOOD THIS GOOD? But it was a single-tray service - which I am fine with in Premium Economy.

Then I tried to nap but just simply couldn’t. I just decided that I don’t fancy day flights. I tried to rewatch some episodes of the BBT.

Then I realized the headphone simply didn't work. I tried to call it to the FA’s attention by ringing the "call" button. I tried 3 times, each time for 2 minutes, and there was not a single FA responded. Wow. Then I waited. 10 minutes later, an FA appeared to collect trash in the cabin. I told her about the issue and she took the headphone. Then she disappeared into the galley never appeared again. Wow again. I just gave up. I was desperate to a point where I tried to fit my Apple earbuds in the holes, and surprisingly it worked. I guess - problem resolved?

I forced myself to spend 4 hours on the entertainment system and another one on my essay. Time passed…. QUICKLY.

I did not realize there was a pre-arrival meal. It is consisted of a sandwich, yogurt, a KitKat and some packaged cookies. It was pretty filling, but the quality could not rival with the previous meal for sure.

We started our descend soon after and we were to arrive an hour behind schedule. (It turned out to be 1 and half hour behind schedule as we circled a few rounds as we were waiting to land)

Time-lapse of landing.

I would say the flight was adequate for a transatlantic PE product. The flight had some great aspects but certainly revealed some shortcomings. As usual, food was spectacular, and there was a reasonably comfortable seat, and a fair IFE. However, there were various service glitches that I did not particularly enjoy. There was a huge gap in service that needed to be filled by consistency between business class and PE. Personally, I would take the upgrade to business every time (as long as it is reasonably priced) and fly in there nice C product. The trick is to constantly check emails from 2 weeks before the flight to see if there is a promotional offer. Or, if you want to take chances, ask at the check in counter.

Overall- B-

Seat- 6/10

Small and lacks padding. Recline is adequate however.

IFE- 7/10

New screen, but content can be better.

Food- 8.5/10

Only good aspect.

Service- 4/10

Horrible. No one responding to requests EVER.

Timeliness- 6/10

Late departure, late arrival.

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