LHR-MAD IB3167 / IB3179 Equipment Swaps

Old Jul 8, 19, 3:55 am
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LHR-MAD IB3167 / IB3179 Equipment Swaps

Just wondering if anyone has any insight as to why the daily A340 MAD-LHR-MAD rotation has been returning to MAD as the IB3179 recently, as apposed to the usual IB3167 for which it's scheduled? I notice that these two flights actually depart within 5 minutes of each other, and arrive at the same time. Has anyone been on either of these 2 flights recently and experienced a last minute equipment change? I often aim for this flight when I go to Madrid, and would hate to book on the IB3167 and then find the widebody ends up operating the IB3179!
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Old Jul 8, 19, 1:28 pm
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Without the benefit of looking at the logs, my educated guess is that the two flights have been consolidated into one, using the larger bird. IB notoriously did this often in the heyday of the Puente Aéreo/Pont Aeri BCN/MAD shuttle.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 2:14 pm
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Originally Posted by ubiest View Post
Without the benefit of looking at the logs, my educated guess is that the two flights have been consolidated into one, using the larger bird. IB notoriously did this often in the heyday of the Puente Aéreo/Pont Aeri BCN/MAD shuttle.
They can't do that at LHR, otherwise they'll lose the slot. There are, indeed, two IB planes leaving to MAD 5 min apart, one narrow and one wide body.

Whiever, it seems lately the IB3179 is running with widebodies. But can't guarantee this will carry on in the future.
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Old Jul 9, 19, 2:26 am
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It's a FR24 error. The widebody appears as returning as IB3179, with the narrowbody as IB3167, but that isn't the case.

I think it's down to the callsigns having been swapped at some point (maybe because the sequence used to be IB3167/3179/3173, whereas it's now 3179/3167/3173). I've seen this happen a couple of years ago too.
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Old Jul 9, 19, 3:17 am
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Originally Posted by BA6501 View Post
It's a FR24 error. The widebody appears as returning as IB3179, with the narrowbody as IB3167, but that isn't the case.

I think it's down to the callsigns having been swapped at some point (maybe because the sequence used to be IB3167/3179/3173, whereas it's now 3179/3167/3173). I've seen this happen a couple of years ago too.
Thanks all for your ideas has put my mind at ease!

I think you're right about it being a FR error. Just checked the same flight history on PlaneFinder, and this is showing the widebodies operating the 3167 as normal.
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Last edited by travelsbyplane; Jul 9, 19 at 4:22 am
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Old Jul 9, 19, 4:31 am
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FWIW I flew on the widebody recently and regretted it.

T5C for starters. Then WAAAYYYY too many elites in the boarding area, resulting in the standard Spanish practice of pretending to look confused and jumping the queue. 300+ people trying to get roll-aboards into the overhead bins. (regular long-hauls have a higher % of people checking in heavier bags for longer stays away from home)

Essentially double the usual aggravation of an elite-heavy narrow-body route, and five times that of a leisure route.

I can understand potentially wanting to try out a long-haul J seat if you don't ever get the opportunity, but I would never fly Y "because I've never been on an A340".
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Old Jul 9, 19, 6:13 am
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Originally Posted by craigthemif View Post
FWIW I flew on the widebody recently and regretted it.

T5C for starters. Then WAAAYYYY too many elites in the boarding area, resulting in the standard Spanish practice of pretending to look confused and jumping the queue. 300+ people trying to get roll-aboards into the overhead bins. (regular long-hauls have a higher % of people checking in heavier bags for longer stays away from home)

Essentially double the usual aggravation of an elite-heavy narrow-body route, and five times that of a leisure route.

I can understand potentially wanting to try out a long-haul J seat if you don't ever get the opportunity, but I would never fly Y "because I've never been on an A340".
I find it quite agreeable to leave the South lounges about 45 min before the flight departure, and when I get to gate C5x, nearly all the J passengers are on board and no queues in the priority lane. However, on MAD-LHR-MAD narrowbodies, I do find it quite useful to board at the beginning in Y, as of late, IB are routinely sending the last 15-20 passengers' trolleys down as checked luggage.
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Old Jul 9, 19, 7:56 am
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Originally Posted by craigthemif View Post
FWIW I flew on the widebody recently and regretted it.

T5C for starters. Then WAAAYYYY too many elites in the boarding area, resulting in the standard Spanish practice of pretending to look confused and jumping the queue. 300+ people trying to get roll-aboards into the overhead bins. (regular long-hauls have a higher % of people checking in heavier bags for longer stays away from home)

Essentially double the usual aggravation of an elite-heavy narrow-body route, and five times that of a leisure route.

I can understand potentially wanting to try out a long-haul J seat if you don't ever get the opportunity, but I would never fly Y "because I've never been on an A340".
Agree with you about flying Y on a route like this - I'd avoid if possible. Although over the last few years I've done this route on the A330/350 in J and have enjoyed it far more than the A319/320/321 in J. Guess I've been lucky so far! You're right this one does always depart T5C, though not an issue for me as I get myself comfortable in the T5B lounge, which has so far always been very quiet when I've been there on the run up to the 18:45 departure time.
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Old Jul 9, 19, 8:14 am
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The T5C "issue" applies to the three late IB flights in quick succession - by design, as passengers invariably go to the wrong gate.

There was a trial a few months back where the two late narrowbody flights would leave from T5A, but this obviously wasn't a success.
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Old Jul 11, 19, 11:43 am
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I remember when I took the widebody IB flight last 3 times, it was T5B. And the narrow body flight was right next to the IB A340 or several spaces apart.

Yes I often wondered why they did not rotate the narrow body from another Spanish city like LPA or AGP.
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Old Jul 11, 19, 4:51 pm
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I've never seen the A340 at T5B - I don't think it can even fit there (isn't there some max length restriction at T5B?)
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Old Aug 6, 19, 7:38 am
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Originally Posted by craigthemif View Post
FWIW I flew on the widebody recently and regretted it.

T5C for starters. Then WAAAYYYY too many elites in the boarding area, resulting in the standard Spanish practice of pretending to look confused and jumping the queue. 300+ people trying to get roll-aboards into the overhead bins. (regular long-hauls have a higher % of people checking in heavier bags for longer stays away from home)

Essentially double the usual aggravation of an elite-heavy narrow-body route, and five times that of a leisure route.

I can understand potentially wanting to try out a long-haul J seat if you don't ever get the opportunity, but I would never fly Y "because I've never been on an A340".
I quite like the widebodies on the MAD route. And the A340 in Y has 2 - 4 - 2 so assuming you can get the window seat it's actually quite a nice Y config as far as I am concerned. Plus of course if you upgrade you are definitely getting a nice product. And some of the A340s have the PE cabin bookable as Y as well on that route.

Originally Posted by BA6501 View Post
I've never seen the A340 at T5B - I don't think it can even fit there (isn't there some max length restriction at T5B?)
Funnily enough I though I had in fact been on this. But it's been a while since I've flown that way (I am usually BA metal outbound, IB returning, for scheduling reasons). Last time I departed on an IB heavy out of T5 it was definitely B gates but it was the A330 so this proves nothing about whether the 'flying cigar' runs into some sort of max length issue. I'd be a little bit surprised though. There seems to be no issue getting 747s and A380s parked up. And the -600 is only 2m longer than the fuglybus.
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