Our business class check-in was perhaps the least friendly check-in ever. JT was skeptically greeted, as if the agent didn’t believe that he was at the right counter. After checking him in, she scolded him for taking pictures: “do not make photo in airport”. JT clarified: “Anywhere?”. She responded: “yes, do not make photo anywhere”. Whatever… we continued to take photos as we wished 🙂
|Iberia Business Check-in|
When Katie arrived, she received no warm greeting and only very curt service.
Although our Business Class passes gave us access to Fast Pass security, the Fast Pass door was locked with a sign saying Fast Pass did not open until 7am.
Since Fast Pass security was closed, we had to use the normal security queue. There was no line, but things went slowly due to clueless passengers and poor practices. One passenger in front of us had to have her bag scanned at least three times since they kept finding disallowed items in it. This really slowed things down as the person checking the monitors for the scanned items was also digging through this woman’s bag. A much better practice would have been to have another security person take the woman and her bag away for more screening.
When we reached the Sala VIP lounge we were surprised to see many people waiting outside. Apparently the lounge did not open until 5:45am. We waited with the crowd until it finally opened. Some ride Americans who were also in business class on our flight weaseled their way ahead of us once the doors opened, and then slowed the line by trying to get three more people than they were allowed into the lounge with them.
|Sala VIP Iberia Lounge check-in|
The lounge was rather large. We mainly wanted to eat some breakfast before our flight. The selection of oats, yogurt, cheese, pastries, bread, milk, coffee and juice was acceptable.
|Coffee and snacks in the Sala VIP Iberia Lounge|
|Spacious seating in the Sala VIP Iberia Lounge|
After eating breakfast in the lounge we headed for our H6 gate, about 10 minutes from the lounge. Boarding had already began so we were able to board immediately.
|Gate H6 for Iberia 3170 from Madrid to London|
Iberia Flight 3170 – Madrid to London
Madrid–Barajas (MAD): Terminal 4, Gate H6; Runway 15L; Scheduled: 6:55a; Pushback: 7:09a; Takeoff: 7:23a
London Heathrow (LHR): Terminal 5, Gate A23; Runway 9L; Scheduled: 8:25a; Landing: 8:09a; Gate Arrival: 8:38a
EC-IJN; Airbus A321-211; First Flight: Oct 10, 2002; 194 seats (8 B / 186 E)
Seat: JT: 3C (aisle), Katie: 3A (window), “Business Plus”
Business class consisted of normal coach seats with perhaps additional leg room and extra recline. They felt a lot like main cabin extra except that all of the middle seats were intentionally left unassigned. Strangely, there were no pockets in the backs of the seats. This meant there was no where to put phones, laptops, ect. The seats were not the most comfortable either, as they promoted slouching.
|Certainly not extensive legroom in Iberia Business!|
As for service when boarding, there was no welcome drink service or greeting (although a few elites – presumably above OneWorld Emerald – were greeted). Many different newspapers were brought through, although they mostly seemed to be in Spanish.
Despite taking off at 7:23am, breakfast and drinks were not served until 8am. Katie started to fall asleep blogging before breakfast.
Breakfast consisted of a fruit cup, selection of bread, omelet with overcooked veggies, juices, coffee, and a yogurt drink. It was pretty good overall, and certainly contained enough food. The service during the meal was excellent, with multiple drink refill options and quick removal of the trays at 8:22am.
|Breakfast in Iberia Business|
The seat belt sign came on slightly before 9am (Spain time) and we landed in London at 9:10am (Spain time).