Iberia Is Adding Flights Between San Francisco And Madrid

Filed Under: Iberia

It has been a while since we’ve seen Iberia add a new route to the US, so this is pretty exciting. Iberia has announced that they’re adding a seasonal summer flight between San Francisco and Madrid in 2018. The route will operate 3x weekly (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays) between April 25 and September 28, 2018, with the following schedule:

IB6175 Madrid to San Francisco departing 12:25PM arriving 4:00PM
IB6174 San Francisco to Madrid departing 6:00PM arriving 2:15PM (+1 day)

The flight covers a distance of 5,984 miles in each direction, and is blocked at 12hr35min westbound and 11hr15min eastbound.

Iberia will operate the flight with an A330-200, featuring 19 business class seats, all of which are fully flat and feature direct aisle access. Personally I quite enjoyed my flight in Iberia’s business class last year, and would fly their business class any day over British Airways’, so I think this is a great new option for oneworld flyers.

Presently Iberia’s US destinations include Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York, so it’s nice to see them adding service to a second west coast city.

The other fantastic news about this route is that at the moment Iberia has one business class award seat on every single flight in both directions. Typically getting award seats nonstop between the west coast and Europe using oneworld miles can be tough.

For example, you can redeem just 57,500 AAdvantage miles for the one-way ticket, which is a good value.

However, there’s a catch. Ordinarily carrier imposed surcharges on Iberia are very mild when redeeming American AAdvantage miles. While a one-way business class ticket on British Airways will cost you $500+, when redeeming on Iberia you’ll typically only pay ~$100. For whatever, reason, this flight has the full carrier imposed surcharge you’d pay on British Airways, as American is trying to charge $506.10 for a one-way business class award.

So at first I thought it was a glitch on American’s end, though it looks like this is actually on Iberia’s end. For example, when redeeming Iberia Avios, you’d pay a total of 179.24EUR for a roundtrip business class ticket from New York to Madrid.

Meanwhile for San Francisco to Madrid they’re charging 888.20EUR roundtrip.

Hopefully this issue works itself out soon. I’m not sure there’s anything American can do since it’s Iberia mispricing the flights.

Bottom line

It’s great to see Iberia adding another longhaul flight to the US, even if it’s only seasonal. On one hand I’d optimistically like to think that it may be year-round if it does well, though I doubt it. Iberia also only seasonally flies to Los Angeles, and that’s a market with a lot more connection opportunities for oneworld flyers.

Anyone considering taking Iberia’s flight from San Francisco to Madrid?

(Tip of the hat to TravelSkills)

  1. Lucky, I think they use some kinds of summer/high season price. If you search the same flight SFO-MAD on April 25, it will be 51K + $500, not great and in miles, it’s very cheap. Don’t forget that Iberia operates LEVEL, a low-coster from OAK-BCN.

  2. Just checked on dates for August: available for $ 1049+ in fees + 57K miles each way.
    Not good indeed.

  3. I just booked one way BCN-SFO on AA for 57.5k and $272 fro 13 June. Since I live part time in Barcelona, I have used nearly every possible bis combination between the two cities. It’s rare to find a good connection in biz saver on AA. LHR is among the worst of all airports (T3> T5=sucks), and I can avoid it and the inferior BA product. Thanks for the tip!

  4. Not sure what the overlap between BCN and MAD markets are, but it’s worth pointing out both Level and Norwegian already fly to OAK as of this year.

    Seems like fairly significant Bay Area capacity increase to Spain in a short time.

  5. After reading this article, I did my research and came up with the same high fees. Because I have a lot of interest in this route, I engaged in a conversation with Iberia over Twitter questioning why such a difference in fees between their US routes (I checked the breakdown cost and showed Iberia was charging almost 1K in fees for SFO>MAD). Finally after some back and forth they escalated the issue and their team took a look. Seems like it was some sort of bug and it should be down to $400 now.

  6. @Carla, Unfortunately, not so.
    Tried to book SFO to MAD nonstop on Iberia through AA’s web site, leaving 8/15/18 and returning 8/22/18.
    With miles: 115,000 RT + $1049.56.

  7. MisterM,

    I suspect we will see more airlines imposing the taxes and surcharges, given how cheap airlines have become

  8. I took an Iberia flight in business between JFK and MAD last year (I believe it was the same flight you reviewed a few months previously). I really enjoyed the experience. The seat was comfortable and I thought the food was pretty good (though my wife was less enthusiastic). Not sure I would ever be flying SFO-MAD, but I would absolutely fly Iberia business again.

  9. I just flew TAP Portugal in business class , MAD-LIS ( first class of course, for the feeder leg), LIS-MIA, for $1,070.

    On this vacation I had flown AA from MIA-Santiago in Business for 57,500 miles, then SCL-MAD in business class for 87,500 miles.

    All three long haul lights were in the 1-2-1 configuration.

    The TAP business class was in their new A330 NEO, and was comparable to AA’s 777-200 and superior to IB’s A340-600.

    The TAP hard product has virtually the same privacy as AA’s business class. IB’s has you open to all fellow passengers except if you’re seated in odd numbered window seats, in which case you feel a bit more secluded.

    TAP’s onboard service was closer to AA’s first class on its 777-300 than it was to IB’s business class. Sorry, IB. Just saying.

    There are instances where it’s better to just pay, as I did on TAP, and save your miles. Incidentally , I booked and paid for that flight 8 months previously. The walk-up fare the day of the flight was over $2300.

    I want next to fly LIS-SFO. I was thinking of using miles to fly in IB’s business LIS-MAD-SFO, but will have to weigh paying the onerous surcharges with paying outright for TAP’s non-stop LIS-SFO.

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