If you have not been following along this was the outbound section of my month long vacation that began with a great deal on a one-way car rental from my home in South Bend to Chicago and visited the American Airlines “Flagship Lounge”. Why not fly from South Bend you ask? Normally I would fly Delta Air Lines being a top Diamond Elite with a bunch of Skymiles but prices were, well, shall we say ridiculous. Even from Chicago take a look at what a similar date as I flew would run later this year:
Yeah disgusting and those prices are PER PERSON. So instead I burned up some Alaska points that I had been siting on for literally years.
The price was 75,000 points each plus $32 in tax. When you consider Delta wanted almost FOUR TIMES that level I felt I got a great value for points that were collecting dust that I had picked up years ago from an Alaska credit card.
But I had been warned about Iberia that the product was old and the food was nothing to get excited about. To be fair Iberia has announced they are going to refresh these seats and the new ones will have doors (everyone seems to want doors nowadays).
Our inbound jet was delayed due to strong head winds so we could have stayed in the lounge for almost an extra hour but we wanted to be the first to board for some mostly clean cabin photos. The strange gate area layout did not make this easy. Now some cabin shots:
We had chosen, in the middle of the cabin, the “honeymoon suites” as many call them, that is, you are sitting VERY close to your seat mate. Closer than any seat I have ever flown (well in business or first class that is). In fact my wife, who tends to sleep on her side, encroached a bit with her knee in my seat (but that’s OK).
A few things to take note of. The seats that open to aisle are tight and the aisle itself is tight. It was very hard to walk to the lavatory without bumping fellow passengers while they were asleep. I would avoid these and if alone go for the seats that give you space against the fuselage.
For an old seat, I found it comfortable but not overly impressive. Foot well space was rather tight as you can see.
Controls were simple and easy to access even when laying down. Even though these seats are older everything worked as it should.
USB power, standard power and headphone plug placed low making it a bit awkward to plug in. The strange water bottle holder low I also don’t understand.
After menus and some sparkling wine it was time for the appetizer course.
It said chicken salad. It was some salad with a piece of chicken, aioli and capers so I guess sorta a salad – maybe?? It was fine but unremarkable.
Dinner was equally OK but overcooked and lacking much flavor. I was hungry so it worked (yes I know not very high praise but there you are).
I could have had more than one of these desserts and the wafer crisps little bits in the bottom were fantastic and I wanted more more more!
After dinner drinks were two choices. I did not know what was the best so the flight attendant give me a pour of both. One was very nice and the other undrinkable. I can not tell you the one that was good (I know bad blogger – sorry). On to bed.
With these seats very dated I appreciated the rolled up cover that went completely over your seat / bed. A nice touch with the pillow and blanket that were both comfortable. But there was one big issue.
See something missing? Yep – vents. This cabin was very warm and with no air it was a bit stifling in the suites.
I slept through breakfast so no shots of what was offered but considering how dull the rest of the food was I doubt I missed much and was just as happy grabbing breakfast in the lounge in Madrid as we had a number of hours before our next connection.
Overall it was a completely adequate flight. The service was simply top notch by the Iberia crew and the seats, entertainment and food all worked and worked well for the price in miles and tiny fee in taxes to get from home to Lisbon connecting via Madrid.
It will be interesting to fly these jets again once the new seats are installed and if the price stays the same (or lower) in points I will fly this again compared to the current disgustingly over priced Delta Skymiles awards in 2023. – René
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Thanks for the review. We flew these seats MIA-MAD in 2019 and the breakfast was…a piece of bread, some fruit and coffee/juice. Madrid lounge was much better and you didn’t miss anything.
As a fellow south bender I also find SBN to be very expensive. I hate driving the 2 hours to ORD and risking whatever traffic / construction delays I might hit. But to save several hundred dollars a person it’s worth it.
@Mike – Truly. I have a good post on the way that, depending on how far out you book, may help both of us.
The desert looks just like the main…. LOL!