Iberia introducing new business class starting on Miami route as of next month!

Iberia introducing new business class starting on Miami route as of next month!

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Last year Iberia announced a new business class product, which would be installed on their new Airbus A330 aircraft. The new business class product looks very similar to the ones offered by Emirates and Etihad, so should be a solid product for transatlantic travel.

Here’s a video of the new product:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dwxlZrmouc

And here’s a seatmap of the new product (as you can see it’s a staggered business class configuration):

Anyway, Iberia is taking delivery of their first Airbus A330 later this month, and airlineroute.net has published the initial schedule, which is as follows:

Madrid – Dakar IB3328/3329 09MAR13 – 16MAR13 Day 6 (Previously planned to operate in Feb 2013)
Madrid – London Heathrow 20FEB13 – 13MAR13 Planned A330-300 service scheduled on selected flights
Madrid – Luanda eff 08MAR13 2 weekly flights (Previously planned from 01FEB13)
Madrid – Miami IB6123/6124 eff 06MAR13 Daily (Previously to start from 01MAR13)
Madrid – Rome IB3230/3231 16MAR13 1 flight only (Previously to operate 1 weekly in Feb 2013)
Madrid – Tel Aviv 22FEB13 – 13MAR13 Planned A330-300 service scheduled on selected flights

So as you can see the first daily longhaul destination for the Airbus 330 will be Miami, starting March 6, 2013. You can then find Iberia’s summer 2013 schedule for the Airbus A330 here, which includes flights to Boston, Chicago, and New York.

Currently Iberia’s business class product is angled flat, so leaves a bit to be desired. That being said, this new product will make this one of the best transatlantic options on OneWorld. When redeeming American AAdvantage miles, huge fuel surcharges are assessed for travel on British Airways, though they’re at most 30 Euros for travel on Iberia.

Similarly, if you use British Airways Avios for travel on Iberia fuel surcharges are assessed, while if you transfer them to the Iberia Avios program (either from British Airways Avios or directly from American Express Membership Rewards), there are no fuel surcharges.

So there are some easy ways to experience this product without paying huge fuel surcharges, which is a huge win for OneWorld flyers.

(Tip of the hat to William)

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  1. Sofia

    Thanx for replying.. i've searched a bit too, and it looks like it really is so... now only 25 days until my flight to confirm that!

  2. lucky

    @ Sofia -- That route seems to be operated by an A330, so that does feature the new business class product.

  3. Sofia

    Does anyone know if it's flying Madrid-Luanda already? i'm flying next month... economy class, but still...

  4. Willy

    First one arrived:

    http://tinyurl.com/newiberia330

  5. Larry

    Lucky -- IB c seats currently are really good. It's one of the best business products to get to Europe. Nearly 7 feet long, individual video, fully flat. There are lots of things on the web suggesting it's an angled product, but it's really not. Or, if it is, it's not noticeable. It's a great seat. I imagine the new seats will be an improvement, but IB is a tremendously underrated product now that their...

    Lucky -- IB c seats currently are really good. It's one of the best business products to get to Europe. Nearly 7 feet long, individual video, fully flat. There are lots of things on the web suggesting it's an angled product, but it's really not. Or, if it is, it's not noticeable. It's a great seat. I imagine the new seats will be an improvement, but IB is a tremendously underrated product now that their entire longhaul fleet has been upgraded to flat seats. One downside to the old seats is that 2 of every 6 are windows so don't have access to the aisles. However, for those with companions, the older configuration is much better. If you want to sit side-by-side in the new configuration, you can't have a window. That's a bummer for me. Also, there are only 5 pairs of couples seats on the new configuration, and one appears to be blocked for advance assignments on some flights. Also, until we start getting trip reports, I'd be reluctant to select seats 8e/g on the new configuration. Something weird going on there -- they are back to back with middle seats in row 7. They may turn out to be the best seats on the plane, but until we know, the options for pre-seat assignments on 330 routes for couples can be a bit tough (though getting someone to change might not be that hard if they are solo).

  6. lucky

    @ Siso -- I do, but it'll be a long time before American has their new business class on a decent number of their flights to Europe. Aside from London virtually all their Europe service is on 767s, and there are no plans to reconfigure those planes. But yeah, I do think American's new business class is a bit better.

  7. BrewerSEA

    @lucky

    Iberia's current seats on the A340s are already fully lie flat, they removed a row of J and increased fares to compensate way back in 2009. They're pretty comfortable, though I've only experienced them on MAD-LHR.

  8. Siso

    Lucky, dont you think the new AA business would be a better product? I know you said the best transatlantic but I quite liked Cathays business and am looking forward to AA finally getting the same seats.

  9. William IV

    These are the exact same seats that Alitalia offers on some of their reconfigured aircraft. I flew this seat from JFK-FCO in October and it was INCREDIBLE. Hands down the best business class product I have flown (Ok I haven't flown Singapore yet....). The product is very private, and also offers great paired seats for couples. There is ample leg room (so no foot cubby problem like Lucky saw on Brussels recently). I honestly have...

    These are the exact same seats that Alitalia offers on some of their reconfigured aircraft. I flew this seat from JFK-FCO in October and it was INCREDIBLE. Hands down the best business class product I have flown (Ok I haven't flown Singapore yet....). The product is very private, and also offers great paired seats for couples. There is ample leg room (so no foot cubby problem like Lucky saw on Brussels recently). I honestly have no negatives to say about this seat. Just booked a flight on the new Iberia A330, so I'll report back in a few months.

  10. nikdro

    @lucky - according to their website, it seems they are planning on installing it fleet wide, although it says "gradually equipting its long haul fleet" so who knows how long they are planning on taking. It is kind of buried on the business class page. http://www.airberlin.com/en-GB/site/landingpages/business_class.php?et_cid=14015&et_lid=6760031&et_sub=[en-GB]service_business

  11. lucky

    @ nikdro -- Yes, it seems to be roughly the same product, though I don't believe Air Berlin is installing the new product fleet wide. Service on Air Berlin is generally quite good, while on Iberia, it's, well, efficient.

  12. Lantean

    @Peterson

    BA business class seats suck... worst set up ever.

  13. nikdro

    @lucky will this be comparable to the new business class Air Berlin is currently installing? Have you had any experience with the service on either airline?

  14. lucky

    @ Peetyrd -- Generally quite good. Not amazing or as readily available as BA, for example, but more readily available than AA.

  15. lucky

    @ Petersen -- Except British Airways has eight across seating in business class on many of their aircraft. Here it's four across. I don't think it's fair to say the products are similar.

  16. Peterson

    @lucky : "I’d argue this product is better than BA’s current business class (at least in terms of hard product)"

    They're both flat bed and both have aisle access for all seats. Only difference would be all forward facing and lack of YQ on awards (probably will be aligned with BA very soon).

    The only real advantage to me would be transiting at the beautiful Barajas instead of the mess that is LHR T5.

  17. Ryan

    Lucky, IB's J seats are currently fully lie-flat. They removed a row of seats about 18 months ago to make the existing seats lie-flat.

  18. Nick

    Pity they no longer fly to JNB, the destinations from MAD are somewhat limited.

  19. Peetyrd

    How is their award availability with partners or through their own program?

  20. Rami

    IB suffers from poor ground service, government worker mentality and poor coordination when something goes wrong; not sure if any staggered seating and fancy Spanish wine can compensate for that.

  21. Willy

    Flying JFK-MAD-ORD this summer but it looks like my timings are off for grabbing this new product unfortunately. The 330 to JFK flies the early timing which I'm loathe to use. The ORD flight is on staggered days and not on my day sadly. But, this being IB, I can only suppose that this schedule won't stick at all. I give myself 50-50 chances.

  22. lucky

    @ Petersen -- Except those mostly aren't OneWorld airlines. I'd argue this product is better than BA's current business class (at least in terms of hard product), and it'll be years before American has anything but angled flat on a majority of their transatlantic routes. Finnair only sometimes has their new configuration to JFK, and otherwise it's the old angled flat product.

  23. Peterson

    It'd be nice to try the product ... if the unions aren't striking every other week.

    "this new product will make this one of the best transatlantic options on OneWorld" ... isn't that a bit of grading-on-the-curve ?

    Only counting Euro-based carriers, I can already think of AY, LX, SN, OS all using the exact same seat (among others). Additionally, BA/VS/LH/AZ/AB also have flat beds in one form or another.

    Flat-bed is par for...

    It'd be nice to try the product ... if the unions aren't striking every other week.

    "this new product will make this one of the best transatlantic options on OneWorld" ... isn't that a bit of grading-on-the-curve ?

    Only counting Euro-based carriers, I can already think of AY, LX, SN, OS all using the exact same seat (among others). Additionally, BA/VS/LH/AZ/AB also have flat beds in one form or another.

    Flat-bed is par for the course by 2013, not a premium feature anymore.

  24. lucky

    @ Daniel -- Yep, hope to try it in the first few weeks it's out.

  25. Daniel

    Do you plan to review this? I thought IB's soft product was significantly better than LH and LX in Y (though hard product suffered with no personal AVOD), curious to see how it compares in business.

  26. wwk5d

    I like this style of staggered seating much more than the style they use on Austrian and Swiss. Everyone gets aisle access, and couples get to sit together and still have some decent privacy. Of course, couples can't enjoy a window seat like they can on Swiss and Austrian, but oh well.

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Sofia

Thanx for replying.. i've searched a bit too, and it looks like it really is so... now only 25 days until my flight to confirm that!

lucky

@ Sofia -- That route seems to be operated by an A330, so that does feature the new business class product.

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