Iberia Express Business Class, A321 MAD-PMI

This Series:

 British Airways Club Europe, Airbus A321NEO, LHR-MAD
Iberia Express Business Class, A321 MAD-PMI
➔ Melia Palma Marina
➔ Palma: City Guide
➔ Iberia Express A321, Business Class, PMI-MAD
➔ British Airways Airbus A321NEO, Club Europe, MAD-LHR

Introduction

After arrival from London, I had a wait of around 5 hours. Which would be pretty hard going with a lounge. However, as all the lounges in Madrid are currently closed, with no sign of reopening any time soon, it was a case of waiting around in the terminal.

After long process of waiting, wandering, waiting and a bit more wandering, gate K68 was finally shown.

As I reached the gate, EC-JEJ was pulling on to stand. I had flown this particular aircraft when it was with Iberia, all the way back in 2012.

Iberia Express A321

Iberia Express
I23912
Madrid – Palma
Airbus A321 EC-JEJ
Seat 1A
July 2020

Boarding

There were two boarding times advertised. At the gate, it said 15:00. In the app, 15:10 was advertised. In true Iberia fashion, both times came and went with no boarding taking place. 

When boarding did get underway, it was the same procedure as on British Airways – rear to front. Unlike British Airways however, the boarding process took an absolute age to complete. 

By the time I had finally made it on board, it was a good ten minutes past departure time. 

Iberia Express A321
Iberia Express A321

As there is a load of medical equipment over seats 1 ABC, I put my bag over seats 1DEF. A few moments later, the occupants of those seats turned up, had a bit of a moan that they were sat there and wanted to put their bags there. Too bad. There was room for mine and theirs anyway so I don’t know what their issue was. 

Iberia Express seating

Departure

Pushback came around 20 minutes behind schedule. A slow but steady journey over to the active followed, passing a number of Iberia long haul jets awaiting better days.

Once we were into the air, it was a fair bit bumpier than on the way in earlier in the day.

Once we had reached a sufficient altitude to clear the weather, the seatbelt signs were switched off.

Onboard Service

I wasn’t expecting much in the way of service on this flight. Even so, I was still disappointed. An announcement was made, that due to the current situation, it’s “impossible” to offer the usual onboard service. And that was that.

Impossible? Really?

As it turned out, it wasn’t impossible at all. A few moments after this announcement, the crew came around taking drink orders for those up front. This was pretty much all that was offered though. 

And thats all that was offered. Once I had finished, the empties were collected pretty rapidly. With no chance to get a second round, and definitely no refills offered.

Iberia Express catering 2020

From experience, Iberia Express didn’t offer an awful lot on domestic flights anyway, so I guess there wasn’t too much to cut back on.

By comparison, this is what was served on an Iberia Express flight between Madrid and Asturias in 2017. Not too much, but more than what was served today.

Iberia Express catering 2017
Standard Iberia Express domestic catering, seen in 2017

IFE

Usually, Iberia Express differ from Iberia mainline in this regard. The IFE is provided via a streaming service to your device. Not today though. No mention was made why this service wasn’t switched on, but I suspect it was down to cost cutting masked as COVID safety.

Not that it bothered me either way. I’ve taken a look at the system on previous flights, and there really isn’t anything of interest.

Leaving the Spanish mainland

Arrival

The arrival kind of snuck up on me! I was watching something on my iPad, happened to glance out the window and noticed that the world beneath us had gotten a lot closer!

After a few turns, touchdown came.

We were allocated a stand reasonably near to the runway. Despite the delayed start, we arrived on to stand pretty much on schedule.

Iberia Express A321

As this was a domestic arrival, it was a case of being routed through the terminal and out of an alternate exit designated for domestic arrivals. International arrivals have to follow a different route and no doubt have to have their QR code scanned. 

Other than this, the arrivals process wasn’t really any different to usual.

Verdict

A bit of a disappointing flight with Iberia this time around. I know, COVID, unusual times etc. But as far as I’m aware, Iberia are the only major airline in Europe to not offer anything near a usual service. No lounge, no food – not even a snack – not good enough really. Especially for a business class product.

Even British Airways have managed to provide something that almost resembles a normal service. And we all know the lengths they’ve gone to over the past couple of years to cut costs. 


https://www.iberiaexpress.com/en

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