➔ British Airways Club Europe, Airbus A321NEO, LHR-MAD
➔ Iberia Express Business Class, A321 MAD-PMI
➔ Melia Palma Marina
➔ Palma: City Guide
➔ Iberia Express Business Class, Airbus A321, PMI-MAD
➔ British Airways Airbus A321NEO, Club Europe, MAD-LHR
After a warm couple of days on the island of Mallorca, it was time to head back. Annoyingly, despite Spain being in the clear for travel from the UK when I left, within a matter of hours, the doors slammed shut! Meaning that upon arrival back into the UK I would have to go into isolation for 2 weeks.
Due to the reduced hours I had been working since March, I had more than enough leave to cover this, so it wasn’t that much of an issue. It was just a little annoying that not only the sudden nature of the closure, but also that I now needed to use two weeks holiday just for a weekend away. But it is what it is.
I decided to go for convenience over cost when it came to getting to the airport, by grabbing a taxi from outside the hotel.
This resulted in arriving a little earlier than I wanted.
As usual, I skipped the check in desk and headed straight for security. The fast track here is the automated queue jump type, where you’re never quite sure if it’ll actually work or not. Luckily it did, although there was no queue to jump.
Therefore I was through in a couple of minutes and after a brief wander airside, I made my way to the one and only lounge that was open.
I vaguely recall using this lounge before. But in the mean time, it’s clearly had a refresh. Despite it being reasonably quiet when I arrived, it filled up fairly quickly. It also appeared that the staff were very reluctant in letting people move from their assigned seats, so not too many pictures.
The food and beverage options were a little on the basic side. Although I recall that being the case all along, so nothing to do with COVID in my opinion.
All the food and drinks were served by the staff. To the point where they even carried it the couple of metres to your table rather than leave it on the side for you to take yourself.
Palma – Madrid
Airbus A321 EC-JDR
I arrived at the gate around 30 minutes before departure. Boarding was already under way when I arrived. However, once more it was being done from rear to front, so I still had more than enough time. It’s only when I started paying attention to what was going on, I realised that despite boarding being well underway, the inbound flight hadn’t even finished disembarking! Yet despite there being a huge mass of people on the jet bridge, the ground staff kept calling rows for boarding. Absolute chaos! And zero social distancing taking place. Not that you should really expect it anyway in my opinon.
When the call came for the final row to board, it appeared that we would be queuing all the way to Madrid.
After around 20 minutes in the queue, I was one of the last to board, as I had waited for the call for row 1…. yet the entire business class cabin was already seated comfortably. As such, despite being in row 1, my bag was shoehorned in somewhere around row 9. Ugh.
The doors were closed pretty much as I sat down. And a few moments later, we pushed back. Ten minutes adrift of schedule.
A quick taxi out followed and we were into the air just a few minutes after leaving the gate. With the advertised flight time being an hour, it meant that arrival should be just about on time. Although with another 5 hour layover in Madrid, it didn’t matter to me whatsoever.
Much like the flight to Palma, there wasn’t much of a service on board. Although unlike the previous flight, it was executed much better. One of the crew approached, apologised for the lack of food but said that they could offer a drink.
Unlike on the previous flight, light snacks were offered. A minor improvement but hardly groundbreaking.
What didn’t help was the waft of the crew meals filling the cabin. As I mentioned in my previous report, I understand things have to be different at the moment. But this is just Iberia being cheap in my opinion.
This setup isn’t unique to Iberia Express Business Class either. I’m led to believe that its exactly the same service on mainline Iberia too.
Iberia Express flights usually offer IFE in the form of a WiFi based system. However, once more, this appeared to be switched off.
Again, this is just Iberia being cheap in my opinion. I’m not sure how people using their own devices to access the entertainment can possibly aid the spread of any virus? Either way, I relied on my own device as per usual anyway.
The captain announced our arrival around 10 minutes prior to arrival. Once more, despite the less than punctual start, we would likely arrive early.
As it turned out, we did land early. However, we were assigned a stand over the far side of terminal 4. The end result being we arrived on to stand just a couple of minutes ahead of schedule.
Somewhat predictably, as soon as the seatbelt signs had gone off nearly everyone was into the aisle. Despite the crew not only announcing that disembarkation would be by row number, but then making repeated announcements for people to sit down. It’s all well and good the airlines implementing procedures to try and encourage social distancing. But it needs people to follow instructions in order for it to work effectively.
The end result being it was a bit of a struggle to make my way backwards to get my bag.
Another below average flight. Although at least the crew were a little better this time around. Not too much more to be said really!