Trip Report: Iberia | Airbus A350 | Madrid – New York JFK


Previous parts to this trip:


After a slightly late arrival from Geneva, it was straight over to the lounge for a bite to eat.

Madrid TTS

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.

Iberia Lounge
Iberia Lounge
Iberia Lounge
Madrid t4S
Heading down to the gate

Boarding began at 16:10 as advertised, although we were then held on the jet bridge for a good fifteen minutes.

Gate

By which time, group 3 had started boarding through the other jet bridge.

Iberia A350

Onboard

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.

Iberia A350 economy
Iberia A350 seats
Iberia A350 seats
Unlimited legroom

The seats themselves were identical to what’s found on British Airways new A350.

Departure 

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.

A350 Wingview
A350 Wingview

Service

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.

Meal
Meal
Meal

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.

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.

Drinks

IFE

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.

Iberia A350 IFE

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.

Iberia A350 IFE

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.

Iberia WiFi
Iberia WiFi
A350 Wingview
Somewhere mid-Atlantic
Iberia A350 cabin overview
Mid-Flight

Second service

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.

Second service box
Box contents
Sandwich
Coffee

Arrival 

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.

Approach
Approach
Approach

We touched down pretty much on schedule and made a painfully slow journey over to terminal 7.

Arrival

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.

Arrival

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.

JFK Arrival
JFK arrivals hall

My thoughts

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…

www.iberia.com

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