Having frequented Iberia Business Class on numerous long-haul flights to South America and the West Coast, I never anticipated finding myself aboard again so soon. Across my last four flights, I was left with no compelling reasons to prioritize Iberia over other airlines unless they offered an exceptionally competitive price.
A noteworthy development at Iberia since late 2019/early 2020— is the introduction of their new A350 Business Class Suite. Unfortunately, it stands out as one of the most uninspiring and unappealing product launches I can think of. This certainly was not going to entice me to choose Iberia again.
My recent booking, however, was spurred by the rarity of securing a Business Class ticket to New York for under £1k—especially considering the current market conditions.
Surprisingly, amidst my reservations, I stumbled upon one significant positive change that might just tip the scales in Iberia’s favour for future considerations. Let’s explore this unexpected turn of events.
Route: Madrid – New York JFK
Flight no: IB6253
Departure Time: 16.20
Arrival Time: 18:55
Flight Time: 8 hours 30 minutes
Aircraft: A330-300 (Tail EC-MAA )
Seat: 6L Business Class
Check-In & Lounge
Madrid Airport is well designed and check-in was efficient. Even though you have priority, it was hardly needed when there were plenty of open desks as well as self check-in kiosks.
The Fast Track security sure gives you all the VIP vibes speeding you through to airside.
Not much has changed but I will share some new photos and some food selection in particular here:
I had lunch in the lounge and really enjoyed the dishes on offer. There was a fish and chicken casserole type dish, and various cold cut meats and salads.
There there was also some very autumnal choices, in the form of fried sweet potatoes and lentil..
and then pumpkin tarts for dessert ( there were off course many other standard dessert choices but who doesn’t like fresh seasonal treats ! )
Boarding Iberia Business Class
Like many other airlines now, Iberia texts and emails you when it is time to board, and that happened with an hour to departure.
Our designated gate S49 involved a brisk 10 minute walk to get too..
I did not rush to board early. In fact I may have been one of the last Business Class passengers to board, when Economy boarding was already in full swing.
They had a clear Business Class lane where you can go right through though.
I was greeted at the door by much more perky crews than I was expecting and shown to my seat…
This is a 8 year old aircraft. It was an all too familiar cabin now and somehow it still looks good.
I chose the true window seat 6L. Like many other Business seats these are all staggered so one person’s foot area extents into the side console area in front of them. Thus the seat alternatives between being closer to window or to the aisle.
Already placed on each seat were the same noise-cancelling headphones and amenity kits as they were back in 2019.
The bedding was slightly different with a set of paper wrapped pillow and blanket and then also a rolled on mattress pad that also doubles up as an additional cushion/ lumber support
The IFE still looked fresh and was very responsive..
Iberia welcome drinks choices are still water, orange juice or Cava, which is a spanish sparkling wine..
By the end of boarding it looked like it was a completely full business class cabin! And the crew did a good job of making sure everyone got their welcome drinks before we took off.
Iberia Business Class Amenity
As stated earlier, the amenity kit already in the seat was the same kit as from 2019 and so were the contents !
These are still a good offering for Business Class. I really like their combs, eye shades and the flight socks, which are all high quality. Having a facial mist is not something many airlines offer either!
Iberia Business Class To New York Service
We had a very gradual climb out. The service began within 45 minutes or so after take-off.
For reference here was the menu for the catering on offer:
One of the other big changes I noted in this flight was also the crew. They seemed much more friendly and service oriented. Could this be a concerted change by Iberia or it just happens to be because of the East Coast route of the flight?! I’m not sure.
Post take off service began with hot towels ..
Followed by drinks service. For some reason I felt like having the Sherry !
When I looked at the menu, I immediately knew what I wanted to have for starters and main, which is quite rare for me.
I had to choose the Octopus Timbale marinated with paprika and lemon on Sauted Peppers !
I don’t remember the last time I had Octupus even though I generally love seafood and have it fairly regularly…
As you can see this was beautifully plated, and unlike anything I’ve seen in Iberia before. This here is the dramatic change I alluded to in the title.
If you haven’t already figured it out, Iberia now caters from DoCo one of aviation’s best catering companies that supplies Turkish, Austrian and British Airways! Mind you airlines can still allocate varying budgets which can still differentiate airlines in this group.
Back to the starter, it was very nicely seasoned, but I found the Octopus rather too chewy, last time I had them I don’t remember them being so. I think Octopus needs to be cooked in very specific ways and this dish might have been overdone.
For the main, I decided to keep with the seafood theme and order the King Prawns, which came on a bed of Spinach and Basmati rice..
Again, this was a huuuge improvement over any mains I’ve had with Iberia. It wasn’t perfect though, it was far too mild for my liking and I ended up adding a few dashes of pepper to give it a little kick!
While I did not have any crew come check on me during the meal, the plates were cleared reasonably quickly when I was done.
For the next courses, you can either choose or dessert or cheese or both ! I opted for the homemade Hazlenut and Chocolate cake..
This was as good as it looked! It was much lighter than I expected too !
After the meal the crew were around to offer teas and coffees.
Iberia Business Class Bed & Entertainment
Being a dayflight there was hardly a need for a bed, but an hour after the meal, I decided to have a little nap in bed mode..
The seat easily turns into a nice flat bed, and I forgot in bed mode it is actually rather comfortable, and you don’t have any restrictions in the feet area.
The seat itself is reasonably padded but having the mattress topper really helped create more of a bed feel..
Since I am noting the positive changes here, I should state I also distinctly remember how great the pillows Iberia used to provide before ( and made a point of it in my Insta stories from 2019). They were fine, just not as plush.
Entertainment & WiFi
Most Iberia aircraft are WiFi equipped now. As a Business Class passenger or by joining Iberia Plus, you have free internet just for messaging.
If you need something more substantial, you can purchase a package which is super cheap at just 5.99 Euro. Some airlines charge over £20 for this !
The WiFi connection was pretty good throughout the flight
Iberia still has a reasonable selection of content as well. Despite being 9 years old the screen still looked good and the IFE controller was very responsive.
There was a good range of films as well as series and documentaries. I am always a little indecisive on choosing but chose to watch Avatar The Way of Water. It was only the second time, and found it even more disappointing ! I am now even more convinced some films just should not have a sequel !
When I had a wonder around after getting up I had a peak around crew rest area on the same level on the A330s.
On Iberia A340 they are on the lower level.
Iberia Business Class Pre-Landing Service
With an hour to go before we enter New York skies, our next meal choices were taken.
This was more of a snack meal, as usual for these flight lengths going Westboud. The choice was between Spanish Potato Omelette with Iberian ham and anchovies or Vegetable Millefuelle.
I opted for the later, which was served with some breadsticks..
It felt like a vegetarian lasagne but extra cheesy. I really enjoyed it !
Well, I am rather shocked to be saying not only was this Iberia Business Class To New York the best Iberia flight I’ve ever taken. But that it was actually up there amongst my best flights with any European carrier. This is a huge turn around from just a few short years ago when I considered them to be a very sub-par airline.
Yes, the hard product is still the same and even though they are rolling out a new Suite, it just lacks any excitement or anything innovative at all. Which then leads us back to this (for now base ) product flying in most Iberia long haul aircrafts. It is still a very solid product ! When you consider that there are newer generation Business seats rolling out that look nice but have uncomfortable compromises !
The most significant improvement here is off course the catering, which suddenly brings Iberia up amongst the top league of European carriers. But it was also good to note subtle improvement in other areas like the bedding and staff being more attentive. I am really glad to see Iberia breakthrough !