First IB Long Haul Experience

Old Nov 28, 17, 1:31 pm
  #1  
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First IB Long Haul Experience

I swore off IB short-haul after an awful experience with them several years ago and had never had the chance to fly them long-haul until last week (I’m an AA OWE usually AA or BA transatlantic).

Was able to get a good deal on an Iberia PE transatlantic leg connecting on to JNB in economy on a BA codeshare (Iberia itself wasn’t selling PE on their own aircraft themselves)...so giving the Longhaul a try:

my experience:
both the economy and PE seats (Airbi 330-200 and -300) were better than what you’d find on AA. Service was atrocious—even my my ‘low’ AA standards! On the MAD-JNB sector the stew spent more time raiding the galley for her own pantry than preparing the cabin for landing — and made it to her jump seat somewhere between 50-100 feet from touchdown (and this was just bum in seat — no seatbelt fastened until right as we touched down). I was in 6A so was watching this whole thing unfold.

Is this his normal for IB? I’m used to indifferent service on US airlines—but this seemed to me a whole new level of disregard for safety and procedure than what I expect form US airlines.

It also seems like they hired the same folks that designed AA’s new lounges for their Valesquez (sic?) Lounge re-fresh ... maybe I was jet-lagged...but the pre-renovation Lounge last year made a very positive impression on me while the new one lefts me with the same thought I have in AA’s new lounges: who told them bright red cheap plastic looking chairs made a premium (or any) design statement, and why are things like that even produced!
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Old Nov 28, 17, 4:57 pm
  #2  
 
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I've seen that "buckle in as the wheels touch the ground" on IB quite a few times. Shocked me the first time, now quite used to it (along with bags under the seat in front in A319/A320 exit rows).
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Old Nov 28, 17, 6:08 pm
  #3  
 
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Originally Posted by schertz View Post
I swore off IB short-haul after an awful experience with them several years ago and had never had the chance to fly them long-haul until last week (I’m an AA OWE usually AA or BA transatlantic).

Was able to get a good deal on an Iberia PE transatlantic leg connecting on to JNB in economy on a BA codeshare (Iberia itself wasn’t selling PE on their own aircraft themselves)...so giving the Longhaul a try:

my experience:
both the economy and PE seats (Airbi 330-200 and -300) were better than what you’d find on AA. Service was atrocious—even my my ‘low’ AA standards! On the MAD-JNB sector the stew spent more time raiding the galley for her own pantry than preparing the cabin for landing — and made it to her jump seat somewhere between 50-100 feet from touchdown (and this was just bum in seat — no seatbelt fastened until right as we touched down). I was in 6A so was watching this whole thing unfold.

Is this his normal for IB? I’m used to indifferent service on US airlines—but this seemed to me a whole new level of disregard for safety and procedure than what I expect form US airlines.

It also seems like they hired the same folks that designed AA’s new lounges for their Valesquez (sic?) Lounge re-fresh ... maybe I was jet-lagged...but the pre-renovation Lounge last year made a very positive impression on me while the new one lefts me with the same thought I have in AA’s new lounges: who told them bright red cheap plastic looking chairs made a premium (or any) design statement, and why are things like that even produced!
Ha, this made me laugh. Flying IB J MAD-MIA again yesterday I finally realized what's to me the difference in crews between IB and US-based airlines. Flyers on US-based carriers are accustomed to varied crews - some great, some frankly just lazy IMO. But on IB, I always get the feeling from FAs that I've crashed a private dinner party and the hosts are annoyed I'm eating all their food and drinking all their wine. So if they're raiding the carts for their own stash, maybe that's how they see it when I ask for another glass of wine! And the look they give me when I ask for a few more nuts from the *giant* bowl they're serving from but only gave me like six.

As for the new lounge decor, I like it but different strokes... If IB could match their service - on the ground and in the air - with their hard products, they'd be knocking it out of the park.
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Old Dec 4, 17, 7:29 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
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Like you it was my first IB long-haul experience recently, to and from Havana in Business. Paid with Avios during their spring sale. The hard product is excellent, with plenty of personal space, flat beds and direct aisle access for everyone. The IFE system is user friendly and loaded with plenty of movies. Good headphones, too. However, I would have expected more in the service department. Crew members varied between robotic to disinterested both ways, after the meal service ended you needed to hunt down a top-up or even water. The pre-landing 'light meal' was thin, as was the breakfast on the return leg before touchdown. I've had better on short haul flights in Economy. On the upside the quality of the main meal was excellent both directions, as was the selection of wines. Just wish they were a bit more proactive in enquiring whether you're in need of anything - most people would just ask for a bottle of water.

IB appears to have a great punctuality record, Barajas is a seriously impressive home airport with oodles of space and good flying weather. Aircraft interiors are good, lounges are good. Crews need motivation and then it would be amongst the top 3 European airlines?
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Old Dec 12, 17, 4:03 am
  #5  
 
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Hey guys. Just yesterday I bought a discounted J class IB ticket to Santiago from Rome (return via Lima) and your posts got me scared. It'll be my first ever long-haul flight with Iberia.
Is it really that bad? I'm gonna fly A340 both outbound (MAD-SCL) and inbound (LIM-MAD). I don't have high hopes for the European flights but is it really that bad on TATL?

I have seen quite bad business class on AA on old 777 (with 7 not-really-flatbed seats in a row) but the food was ok. AA 787 (and even a re-modeled 777) is a different story. BA J has bad food, but would one really expect good food from the Brits? From your feedback I guess that shouldn't be expecting much from Iberia.
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Old Dec 12, 17, 6:05 am
  #6  
 
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The J hard product is good, not amazing, but good and definitely better than BA.

I find Iberia to be a good airline overall but just not very exceptional in anything.
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Old Dec 13, 17, 5:39 pm
  #7  
 
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Originally Posted by chil View Post
Hey guys. Just yesterday I bought a discounted J class IB ticket to Santiago from Rome (return via Lima) and your posts got me scared. It'll be my first ever long-haul flight with Iberia.
Is it really that bad? I'm gonna fly A340 both outbound (MAD-SCL) and inbound (LIM-MAD). I don't have high hopes for the European flights but is it really that bad on TATL?

I have seen quite bad business class on AA on old 777 (with 7 not-really-flatbed seats in a row) but the food was ok. AA 787 (and even a re-modeled 777) is a different story. BA J has bad food, but would one really expect good food from the Brits? From your feedback I guess that shouldn't be expecting much from Iberia.
I have flown with Iberia in Business four times between Madrid and Rio de Janeiro and loved it. The seats are excellent, the food is great, and the crew is as good and nice to you as you are good and nice to them. That's the impression I had - you interact, they interact (like with most airlines, I think). Perhaps I was plain lucky but I had no problems and would not hesitate to fly Iberia again. Food in Business short haul between Madrid and London was better than BA's Club Europe.

Not sure what you mean about bad food on BA J, I never had a bad meal on Club World or Club Europe. Again, plain lucky?

Enjoy you flights with Iberia and report on the experience when you are back.
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Last edited by LondonFlight; Dec 13, 17 at 6:16 pm
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Old Dec 14, 17, 9:51 am
  #8  
 
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Originally Posted by LondonFlight View Post
I have flown with Iberia in Business four times between Madrid and Rio de Janeiro and loved it. The seats are excellent, the food is great, and the crew is as good and nice to you as you are good and nice to them. That's the impression I had - you interact, they interact (like with most airlines, I think). Perhaps I was plain lucky but I had no problems and would not hesitate to fly Iberia again. Food in Business short haul between Madrid and London was better than BA's Club Europe.

Not sure what you mean about bad food on BA J, I never had a bad meal on Club World or Club Europe. Again, plain lucky?

Enjoy you flights with Iberia and report on the experience when you are back.
Will be flying Rio to Madrid next month. Out of curiosity, can you please share/PM the menu for this flight? Thanks!
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Old Dec 14, 17, 10:15 am
  #9  
 
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Originally Posted by l380 View Post
Will be flying Rio to Madrid next month. Out of curiosity, can you please share/PM the menu for this flight? Thanks!
Hi I380, the menus are updated so you are likely to be getting some other delicious options. Here are some examples:


Low sodium meal, replaced the original pre-landing snack which was a selection of cold cuts and manchego...


Olives or nuts before lunch, I was given both...


Salad, served before the main meal...


Fabulous roast piglet, it was sensational...


Low sodium meal. The chief purser was so apologetic and insisted that I had their normal main dish, the piglet... so I had both.


Pudding with a glass of Pedro Ximenez...


Starter, served with salad and soup (a delicious, very light broth)...


Cava. It was very cold and it was so nice that I went to the galley to ask what it was... Perelada Reserva, really good.


Chicken with vegetables, very good...


Strawberry sorbet and cheese... plus a glass of Rioja, Pedro Ximenez Nectar...


Pumpkin ravioli, delicious... I finished the chicken dish and mentioned to a crew member that it was so nice and I was wondering what the second option was like... so they came with the pasta for me to try.


Breakfast, a selection of cold cuts with cheese plus the nice omelette. Toast, croissant, yoghurt, expresso...


Food from the lounge in Madrid. I can't resist the empanada with smoked salmon and fresh cheese.


Some photos are a bit blurred because of the mood lighting.

Make sure you try their wines and also the Nectar Pedro Ximenez, a dessert wine that is served cold and is simply delicious.

Have fun and enjoy your flights!
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Last edited by LondonFlight; Dec 14, 17 at 11:17 am Reason: Some issue with the attachments, had never attached images here before...
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Old Dec 14, 17, 10:23 am
  #10  
 
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I had two experiences with IB Long Haul J. JFK-MAD and back. I had a really nice flight. I thought the service was very personal and I enjoyed the flight attendants on both flights. I wouldn't hesitate to fly them again.
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Old May 29, 18, 1:51 pm
  #11  
EdV
 
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I'm glad to find thread like this where people have issues. I just flew first IB TATL - BOS-MAD and man, was I not impressed.

The hard product was good - seat was comfortable, especially for a Y seat. Cabin was comfortable, good IFE, blankets, etc.

The soft product / service - ATROCIOUS. I've average ~150k miles / year on mostly OW and thought I had seen the worst of it from disinterested AA flight crews, EI crews at the bottom of the barrel right before leaving OW, BA crews who were very by the book. But man oh man, the IB crew I interacted with on this flight was just terrible. Outright rude to myself and most of the people around me I saw them interact with! When meal service came through I asked for a whiskey. Was told (loudly) that you have to pay for that. Okay, I'd like to pay for that. Then told again only when the bar is open. Naturally after meal service I went to galley and when eventually found an FA was told couldn't do that right now. I wanted to PAY for a whiskey! And speaking of, why am I to pay for alcohol on long haul? Are they that discount of an airline?

I did get a beer with dinner (a small 8oz can) and when found FA in galley to ask for another felt like I was pulling teeth. The seatbelt sign was on seemingly the entire trip (not necessary at all in my opinion) and people got berated to sit down once they couldn't wait and needed to use the rest room. The crew was basically nowhere to be seen for most of the flight.

So, is this normal or please tell me I just got a bad crew?
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