Previous parts to this trip:
- Introduction: USA, September 2019
- Trip Report: TAP Portugal | Airbus A330 | London Heathrow – Lisbon
- Trip Report: TAP Portugal | Airbus A320 | Lisbon – Geneva
- Hotel Review: Crowne Plaza, Geneva
- Trip Report: Iberia | Airbus A320 | Geneva – Madrid
- Trip Report: Iberia | Airbus A350 | Madrid – New York JFK
After a slightly late arrival from Geneva, it was straight over to the lounge for a bite to eat.
I didn’t have too long there – just about enough time to eat and make a quick update to the website before moving on to the gate. No big deal though, as the Iberia lounge in Madrid is probably one of my most visited.
Boarding began at 16:10 as advertised, although we were then held on the jet bridge for a good fifteen minutes.
By which time, group 3 had started boarding through the other jet bridge.
I still made it on board before the masses though and was glad to see that seat 21A that I’d reserved shortly after booking did indeed have a TON of legroom. A lot more than premium economy in fact, just a row ahead. Although the downside of this seat was that due to the tables and IFE screen being stored in the arm rest, it was more than a little snug.
The seats themselves were identical to what’s found on British Airways new A350.
Pushback came a few minutes behind schedule but nothing too serious. There was a pretty short taxi over to the runway before we took off into the Spanish sun.
Shortly after departure the crew made the usual announcements, as well as mentioning that we were flying on the “New A350 flagship of the Iberia fleet”. Whether this is standard procedure or the crew member in charge was genuinely proud of the new plane, I couldn’t possibly say.
The crew started the onboard service around 45 minutes after departure. As I was at the front of the economy cabin, I was one of the first to be served. Meal choices today were either pasta or meatballs. I opted for the meatballs and it was quite possibly one of the best economy meals I’ve had.
Once the crew had finished serving up the main courses, they passed through the cabin once more offering more bread rolls. They followed shortly after with a second drinks round. Very impressive!
The service finished with no less than three rounds of coffee.
After this, the crew all but disappeared. Would it have been so difficult to do just a couple of juice runs?
There were a few drinks set up in the galley, but it was very much self service.
Once the trays had been cleared, I took a look at the IFE. The first thing I did was have a look to see how long this flight would be. Nobody had actually mentioned so far. The flight deck hadn’t made any announcements whatsoever, which is a common thing on Iberia I’ve found.
The system was a responsive touch screen. There was also a small control which was fixed in the centre console. It was pretty impossible to use when you were seated however, so using the touch screen is the way to go.
I must admit I didn’t really explore the whole system. For once I was able to find more than a few things to keep myself entertained for a few hours.
WiFi was available, and 20mb for free was advertised although I couldn’t get it to work. I didn’t pay for it, so can’t comment on the speed.
With around 1h45 until landing, the crew reappeared. The snack service was distributed. This consisted of a large box containing a ham and cheese roll, a cake slice, a yogurt and a kitkat.
Descent started with around 30 minutes left to run. As the approach was made over the ocean, there wasn’t too much to see for the majority.
We touched down pretty much on schedule and made a painfully slow journey over to terminal 7.
Luckily I was in the first batch of passengers off the plane, as there was just the one officer at immigration. This meant a bit of a wait, but I was stamped into the USA without too much hassle.
Despite prebooking a transfer to the hotel, I still ended up waiting thirty minutes in the arrivals hall for it, which was mildly annoying. Especially as they advertised many times that they would be there ready and waiting.
Admittedly, I had somewhat low expectations for this flight. Yet Iberia were good enough. The food was tasty, and although the crew did do a bit of a disappearing act, they were friendly enough. The major downside of this flight was the width of the seat. Whilst I had plenty of legroom, I found the seat a little on the narrow side. This isn’t an Iberia issue though. It was similar when I flew on Lufthansa’s A350 earlier in the year. Yet Airbus seem to advertise the A350 as having an eXtra Wide Body. I’m not so sure…