it comes to flying, we have many choices today, from budget to high end carriers (what is considered a high end carrier now a days? We will discuss that on another post). If you are like me, you probably book flights and other services like hotels, rental cars, etc., based on different criteria like price, layovers, duration of flight, service and loyalty, we all want to rack up those precious miles if all possible. I know this is important for me, I usually try to stay loyal to as few airlines as possible, for example Delta, since it has its HUB in Atlanta, where I used to live.
However, when it comes to cashing my miles, I usually find that redeeming miles with Delta means using an exorbitant number of miles compared to other carriers, for example if researching a flight from Atlanta to Madrid using miles, Delta will charge a minimum of 35,000 miles plus taxes each way, compared to 22.500 on American airlines on the same dates.
Because of this, sometimes I rather just buy a ticket on the airline that has the best deal on the route I am looking for. Recently I needed a flight back from Europe and after a lot of research, I decided to book a flight on Iberia.
Iberia has not always had the best reputation, although they have a long history, they have had their ups and downs. Non-the less, this time it seamed like a good idea to fly with them. I was flying out of Madrid Barajas airport and had a chance to visit the Iberia Lounge. I have been to many lounges and Iberia’s Madrid Barajas in Terminal 4 S is now one of my favorites.
The lounge was large and distributed in a way that made a lot of sense, food and drink in one side, plenty of seating, tables and outlets throughout, plenty of magazines and newspapers for anyone interested, no need to hog any publication here.
The food was plentiful, varied and fresh, I was there during breakfast hours and there were plenty of Spanish staples, mini sandwiches, cold cuts, fruit and snacks, constantly being replenish, to sustain anyone before and thru a long flight. In addition, there were plenty of restrooms and showers for those travelers needing to freshen up before their next leg or before heading to their next destination.
The bar area, which is right around the food section, was well stocked with different wines, liquors and cava, as well as plenty of choices for soft drinks. Overall, my experience at Iberia’s Madrid Barajas lounge was a good one, I definitively recommend it and would visit again if I ever find myself at this airport.
Now let’s talk about the on board service; the flight was on time, Iberia claims to be “the Worlds # 1 on time airline” . I was relieved to see that the aircraft was an updated one and it had an entertainment system that offered somewhat of a decent selection of movies and shows, (even though some shows like “the Handmaid tale”, only offered 1 episode from an entire season), none the less, there was enough to keep me entertained in the 10 + hour flight to Miami.
During our flight we had 2 services, a lunch that was average and your basic airline food, nothing to rave about and about 1hour ½ before landing we were offered a box with a yogurt, a candy bar and a pastry, also very average. I wish there had been service in between, but other than a flight attendant walking thru the aisle offering water once and coffee another time, that was the extent of service, I believe that for a long-haul flight, this is less than adequate, there should be at least 1 0r 2 drink and snack services in between meal services, especially for a transatlantic flight.
Over all, I found Iberia to be an average airline that offers a service that like many other airlines has lost its touch with its consumer. In an era where consumers demand more, I am surprised how airlines have managed to take away more and more and still make unbelievable profits all while having the worst consumer satisfaction.
Also, why is it that with economy passengers being the bulk of the airlines business, get the worst service of all? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect white glove service in economy, but after all, we are paying passengers and I do expect to be treated with respect and dignity and good service, we don’t need to be treated like the cattle of the transportation industry.
If airlines improved their service, even just a little, it would create positive ripples around the world, maybe passengers would enjoy flying again and instead of being angry, frustrated and on edge, causing many of todays issues, like in flight fights and or problems causing delays, plane turn arounds, people being kicked off flights, maybe we would all enjoy flying again ….
Iberia, overall, if I had to fly again to or from Europe, I would consider flying with you again , so please , I hope you use my words and those of many others, to improve and strive to be better and different than other average airlines out there, if you are already “the Worlds # 1 on time airline”, this means you are already doing something right, so while you are at it, try working on being the best airline you can be, passengers will notice and they will come…