A member of the Oneworld alliance, Iberia operates an extensive network of flights to Europe, the Americas and Asia from its Madrid hub. In this review, we test the Iberia Airbus A340-600 Business class service from Madrid to Sao Paulo.
|Route||Madrid (MAD) to São Paulo (GRU)|
|Aircraft type||Airbus A340-600|
|Class of travel||Business|
|On-time performance||This flight departed 30 minutes late but arrived on time.|
This flight was booked as part of a Oneworld Classic Flight Reward booking. Individually, you could book an Iberia Business class seat on this route for 90,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer points + $159 taxes & charges.
Alternatively, at the time of writing, Iberia Business class seats from Madrid to Sao Paulo are on sale for around $2,430 one-way or $4,120 return.
As I was connecting in Madrid from another flight, I only had a short time to visit the Iberia Velázquez Premium Lounge. I wish I’d had longer as this was an excellent lounge. With enough space to comfortably seat 500 people, there’s a wide selection of buffet food available as well as an impressive wine & spirits bar.
All too quickly, my flight was boarding and it was time to step on board Iberia’s Airbus A340-600 for the trip across the Atlantic.
The Hard Product
The Iberia Business Class seats on the Airbus A340-600 are pretty good. It’s a very long cabin, laid out in a staggered 1-2-1 configuration.
If you like to look out the window, you’ll want to choose an even-numbered window seat. As you can see from the below Seatguru seat map, the staggered configuration means the window seats in odd-numbered rows are actually at the aisle. For couples, you might prefer to choose neighbouring seats in the odd-numbered rows of the middle section.
The Iberia A340 Business class seat converts to a fully lie-flat bed and bedding is provided. I found it very comfortable and managed to sleep well on this overnight flight. However, the footwell was narrow and I did find storage space around the seat lacking.
A well-stocked amenity kit and noise-cancelling headphones were also provided.
The in-flight entertainment system was very good, with plenty of variety and a responsive touch screen. On-board wifi was available as well, for a fee.
Business class passengers were all given vouchers for 4MB of complimentary internet use, which was useless as 4 megabytes is barely even enough to check your emails! My internet allowance expired in less than 30 seconds, making me wonder why they even bothered to hand out vouchers in the first place.
The Soft Product
The cabin crew were polite and professional, but seemed to engage much more with the Spanish speakers on board. English wasn’t their strong point. Fair enough – it’s a Spanish airline! But I found it a little strange that one of the flight attendants kept addressing me in Spanish throughout the flight, even though I told her repeatedly that I don’t speak Spanish and was replying to her in English.
Although this flight was scheduled to depart at 11.55pm, and boarding began punctually, the crew only started serving pre-departure champagne after midnight. We eventually departed half an hour late after waiting for some connecting passengers, but made the lost time up during the flight.
Here is the Iberia Business class menu for this trans-Atlantic flight:
And the drinks list:
Dinner was served shortly after take-off. It began with an assortment of appetizers, including a salad, cheese, chicken and a cold soup. I found it all a bit random, but everything tasted good. (Apologies for the blurry photo.)
This was followed by the main course. I chose the pork cheeks and was not disappointed!
A choice of desserts (cheesecake or ice cream) and sweet wines were offered after dinner.
Although the dinner service began fairly quickly, it took a long time for the crew to finish due to the size of the cabin. It’s a long business class cabin, and it felt a little like I was on an assembly line during the meal service.
After a good sleep, I awoke as breakfast was being served just over an hour before landing. Breakfast was served cold, but it was quite good. Tea and coffee were not available with breakfast due to turbulence.
Iberia A340 Business Class
Iberia’s long-haul A340 Business Class is a solid product. Despite a few minor shortcomings, the seat was comfortable, the food was good and I slept well on this overnight flight.