We recently reviewed our flight on British Airways in their Club World business class.
This was a trip to Madrid with the fare sale offered by BA. Iberia is the flagship carrier of Spain and part of the One World alliance. Here is our trip report from LHR – MAD.
Iberia Airways flight 3171 (BA code share 516)
LHR – MAD
Friday, 13 May 2016
Flight Time: 2+07
Seats: 1G and 1J
This was our connecting flight from BA 268 LAX – LHR. We had originally booked Iberia flight 3171 (BA code share 520) from LHR – MAD in their Business Class (product terms are important). However, after we spent about 40 minutes circling LHR we had a feeling we were not going to make it. In fact, have you ever made a connection in Heathrow? They give you this little ticket jacket with info on how to make a connection. A simple word of advice, if you don’t have at least 60 minutes from the time you step off your inbound aircraft, you ain’t going to make it!
LHR Connection Map
After we stepped off BA 268, at the A gates, we found out that our connecting flight was going out of the C gates. We had a scheduled 1+15 minutes to make the connection, however at this point we had about 43 minutes to make the connection. I knew we weren’t going to make it, in fact we had a back up plan, we called it, “operation A330-200 new Iberia Business Plus class seat!”
It’s important to note that Iberia has three different business class products.
The different classes are all dependent on what and where each airplane flies. We were booked in Business Class for our flight to Madrid.
Iberia domestic business class seat
Basically “Iberia Business Class” is a blocked off middle seat in main cabin seats and they call it Business Class on these short flights. However, we found out that the flight departing at 19:10 was on Iberia’s brand new A330-200, with Business Plus seats! Meaning, we were going to get the long haul new Business Plus seat!
Are you confused yet? This is where knowing your products can make all the difference!
Once we got off the inbound plane, we knew we were not going to make the connection. We went ahead and got in this awful missed connections line. We felt really bad for main cabin customers. The line was not moving at all for them. In fact, for us as business class passengers, it took over 30 minutes to get re-booked.
Making a connection at LHR
The BA agents were, OK, however, they wanted to put us on the next flight that left in an hour. We said, there was NO way we can make that flight! Seriously! We still needed to get through security and then to the gate, which this gate was back at the A terminal, after we just walked to C. So we asked if we could get on the 19:10, AKA the NEW A330-200, with Business Plus seats and they obliged.
Security is strict in the U.K. You may think it’s bad with the TSA in the U.S. but U.K. security will search EVERY bag for ANY liquid. Also, make sure you take out ALL your electronics, I left a video camera in my bag and I got the dreaded BUZZER! The bag goes to the left and you have to wait for an agent to come and clear your bag.
Security at LHR
Now that we were through security, we made a quick stop at the British Airways Galleries lounge and then made the way back to the C terminal again, to get our flight. The gate number didn’t post until 50 minutes til departure.
British Airways Business Class Club Lounge
Once on-board we were greeted with a brand new A330-200! So new in fact, it was its certification flight.
The new Business Plus seat on Iberia is GREAT! Full flat-bed, tons of storage room and an IMPRESSIVE interactive touch screen IFE.
I loved how easy it is to use the tray table.
No pre-departure drink on this flight, however, they did come through with reading material.
After take off, the cabin crew handed out free WiFi cards to the Business Plus passengers. This was a great treat, free 30 minutes of WiFi. The only mistake was connecting to WiFi as they started the dinner service. It’s a bit hard to surf the net and eat at the same time. WiFi speed was comparable to GoGo, maybe a bit faster.
Dinner service was on one tray and you had a choice of the pasta or a hamburger. We both had the pasta. It came with a small salad and cheese plate.
After the meal service, refills of wine, soda and water were offered.
That was basically it for the service. Mitch played a bit more with the interactive touch screen IFE and I watched an episode of Downton Abbey.
Our final grades of Iberia Airways Business Plus
BA Galleries Lounge @ LHR: C
Comfort of the Seat: A
Cabin Space Seat Layout: A
Amenity kit: None Provided
Storage space: B
Inflight cabin crew service: A-
British Airways ground customer service: C-
Our final verdict is, if you are able to snag a new Business Plus seat on Iberia, do it! However, their old Business Plus seat is another story, which we will review later this week!