Who doesn’t love Madrid? Who doesn’t love a business class fare for $1,000 round trip? This trip report is from our flight we bought last fall with the British fare sale.
You can click here to read more about that fare sale.
You can click here to read about our other Iberia trip report.
In this trip report we take a look at the non-stop flight on Iberia Airlines from MAD – LAX.
Iberia Airlines flight IB6171
MAD-LAX Gate 153
Tuesday, 17 May 2016
Arrival: 16:10 same day
Flight Time: 12+30
Seats: 2A and 2C
Cost: $1,032 per person
I LOVE Madrid’s airport. It’s beautiful and very European! The ceiling appears to have wood accent with yellow and green columns. Beautiful airport.
Check in at the main counter was quick! Agent was friendly and directed us to the lounge!
Iberia has 3 lounges at MAD. The best lounge, IMO, is the Velazquez lounge in the satellite terminal and services all international flights.
It’s a great lounge, with a self-service wine bar, showers, grab n’ go and an espresso machine!
After having some breakfast at the lounge and taking a shower we were about 45 minutes away from departure and a 15 minute walk to the gate. We decided to buy an “emergency” backup sandwich from Starbucks “just in case.” We made our way to the gate about 40 minutes til departure to see that boarding had already started! We soon became “backed up” in the jetway.
As we were waiting in the jetway, we had a great view of our bird home. Welcome to EC-JGT, aka Rosa Chacel, a 20-year-old Airbus A340-300! That’s right, she was born in the 90’s and still lives today! You can find her on FlightRadar.com by clicking here.
As we were ready to board Rosa Chacel we noticed that she’s really starting to show her age with some “cracks” in her paint job!
OK, yeah, the plane was old. More on that later! We boarded and took our seats at 2A & 2C. Recognize who that is behind us?!
Taking a look at the magazine in the seatback pocket it outlines all the features of this “revolutionary” business class seat…from the 90’s!
Awaiting at our seat was a sealed pillow and blanket.
Leg room was EXTREMELY generous, especially at the bulk head.
As we settled into our seat wine and juice were offered.
Followed by stylish amenity kits with some of my favorite products by L’occitane.
At this point, Mitch turns to me and says, “I think that’s someone famous behind us?” Of course, DUH, it’s Nick Jonas! We were trying not to be obvious and take a selfie with him behind us, however, the FA saw what we were up too and offered to “take our pic.” She did an AMAZING job getting the pic we wanted!
At this point, the door was closed and we are ready for take off!
Seeing how this plane is over 20 years old, she’s really showing her age.
As we lifted off the ground we heard a small thud, as you can see the seat trim fell off into the floor.
Mehh, at this point we are still climbing, so what else could go wrong? Seems the tape that held it on came loose, so we did our best to play airplane mechanic and fix it. Pretty good fix, right?!
The fantastic purser came around, introduced herself and offered menus.
The crew then came around and offered hot towels. I thought it was a nice touch to present them on a small ceramic dish.
We were then offered a beverage along with nuts and olives.
After drinks and snacks, the FAs came around and offered the first course:
- Warm bread and extra virgin olive oil
- Salmorejo with egg (which came straight from the box)
- Olivier salad with mullet caviare and quail egg
- Black “coca” with foie, pear and flowers
- Balsamic vinegar of Pedro Ximenez vinaigrette
- Servilleta cheese with quince sweet and dry apricot
Second course was up next. Mitch had the Retinto beef, foie gras and mushroom burger with piquillo pepper, and roasted red onion puree in creamy sherry sauce. Polrit had the Stone bass with lemon and olive sauce, with sautéed wheat and vegetables.
So, how was it? Mitch said the beef was basically Salisbury steak and the stone bass was over cooked and very dry.
After the main course, dessert was served.
- Aniseed pudding with honey and guava
- Cherry ice-cream with crepe topping
At this point, service was finished and it was time to get some sleep. I have to admit, as old as the seat is, it was EXTREMELY comfortable. Even though it sounded like you were drilling for oil as you were going down, the bed did go flat.
But the best feature of the seat was the “privacy” shade.
Half way through the flight I needed to use the lav. On my way to the back lav, I came across the self-service bar behind the last row. Not a bad setup.
As I turned the corner the 90’s were calling me. They asked if they could have their VHS tape deck back!
The lav decor was, um, interesting?! Maybe some moth balls would kill it?
At this point, I’m dying to see the rest of this 20-year-old plane. All I can say is, overhead TV monitors, projection screens and wall phones belong in a museum!
After my “self guided” tour, I decided to head back to my seat and see what’s on my IFE.
What was playing? Not much, a VHS tape was looping on channels 1 & 2. However, they had a small selection of videos on demand.
Seeing how there wasn’t anything good on, Mitch and I, as my mom would say, “talked talked talked.”
About two hours out, the lights came on and the pre-arrival meal was to be served.
- Iberico ham and chorizo sausage, chicken breast and cheese, tomato and extra virgin olive oil
- Seasonal fresh fruit
- Coffee and Herbal teas
How was it? Mmmm, let’s just say at this point our Starbucks emergency sandwich we had purchased saved the hunger pains!
Beautiful day as we descended into LA.
A quick landing into LAX and we headed straight to TBIT.
The plane was really old and showed her age. The crew was AMAZING, kind, genuine and engaging. They made the flight. The food was pretty bad, however, the “self guided” tour of the 20-year-old A340-300 felt like a blast from the past! The seats were comfortable, but, well, the pictures speak for themselves.
Our final grades of Iberia Airlines IB6171
Madrid lounge @ MAD: A
Comfort of the Seat: A
Cabin Space Seat Layout: A+
Amenity kit: B
Storage space: B
Inflight cabin crew service: A
Ground customer service: B
Have you flown the Iberia A340-300? How was it? Let us know in the comments!
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