Review: Iberia Lounge Madrid Airport (MAD)

Review: Iberia Lounge Madrid Airport (MAD)

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NAME: Iberia Premium Lounge Dali
Airport: MAD
DATE: February 2022
REVIEW RATING:
BEN SAYS: The Iberia Lounge Madrid gets all the basics right -- it's airy and spacious, has modern seating, has a solid food & beverage selection, and offers showers. Don't arrive early to use this lounge, but it's also not a bad place to kill some time.
27

After a lovely two days in Madrid, it was time to start our journey to Oman. This involved first flying from Madrid to Milan on Iberia (we decided to add a connection in Milan so that I could review Qatar Airways’ Boeing 787-9 between Milan and Doha). I’ll review Iberia’s A320 business class in the next installment, but first wanted to review Iberia’s Schengen lounge at Madrid Airport.

Iberia business class check-in & security Madrid Airport

We arrived at Madrid Airport (MAD) at around 9:30AM, two hours ahead of our 11:30AM flight to Milan.

Madrid Airport Terminal 4

MAD’s Terminal 4 is a stunning terminal architecturally, though otherwise I don’t find it to be particularly easy to use.

Madrid Airport Terminal 4

We quickly found Iberia’s premium check-in counter, which was the only quick part of the check-in process. There was quite a line, and initially only two people working.

Iberia premium check-in Madrid Airport

After queuing for around 15 minutes, they opened a couple more check-in desks. About five minutes later we were finally helped. We had to provide all of our documentation for entering Oman, and the agent was quite friendly.

Iberia premium check-in Madrid Airport

On the plus side, Madrid Airport has a fast track security line, which is separate from the other checkpoints. I’ve always found this to be painless, and this was no exception. The ladies working the checkpoint were even super nice. Ford had a butterfly-shaped key in his bag (long story), and the lady working the scanner couldn’t get over how cute that was.

Madrid Airport fast track security
Madrid Airport fast track security

Iberia Premium Lounge location

Once through security we headed straight for the Iberia Premium Lounge Dali, which is Iberia’s lounge for domestic and Schengen passengers (if you’re traveling on a non-Schengen flight, there’s the Iberia Premium Lounge Velazquez, located in a separate part of the terminal after going through departure passport control).

The lounge is located on Level 2 of Terminal 4. As soon as you clear security, just keep walking and you should see the entrance to the lounge straight ahead. Don’t take the elevator down a level, even though the signage can be a bit confusing.

Iberia Premium Lounge Madrid exterior

Iberia Premium Lounge hours & entry requirements

The Iberia Premium Lounge Madrid is currently open daily from 6:30AM until 11PM, which should cover a vast majority of departures (though perhaps not some very early morning departures… is that even a thing in Spain?).

As far as access goes, this lounge is open to all premium oneworld passengers. This includes all passengers traveling in oneworld first & business class, as well as all oneworld Sapphire & Emerald members. You just need a same day departing boarding pass on a oneworld airline.

Iberia Premium Lounge Madrid entrance

Iberia Premium Lounge seating & layout

The Iberia Premium Lounge Dali is over 20,000 square feet, and has seating for over 450 people. One cool thing about Madrid’s Airport is how high the ceilings are, and this lounge benefits from that, as the lounge is “open air.” There are three main seating areas.

The first seating area is just inside the entrance, and is the busiest. Many people go to lounges and just plop down in the first available seat, so if you value a quiet area, I’d recommend avoiding this space. This space has some communal high-top seating, leather chairs in rows, and some smaller tables. There’s also a buffet in this area, though I’ll talk more about food in a bit.

Iberia Premium Lounge Madrid seating
Iberia Premium Lounge Madrid seating
Iberia Premium Lounge Madrid seating
Iberia Premium Lounge Madrid seating
Iberia Premium Lounge Madrid seating

Then the second sitting area is a bar area of sorts, with a bunch of coffee tables with four chairs each, plus some booth seating.

Iberia Lounge Madrid seating
Iberia Lounge Madrid seating
Iberia Lounge Madrid seating
Iberia Lounge Madrid bar area

Lastly there’s another sitting area in the back, which is about the same size as the one in the front, except it doesn’t get nearly as crowded. This area consisted mostly of dining tables with two seats each. There were outlets at each of these tables, which was a nice feature. There were also glass shields between tables — I’m guess that’s new since coronavirus?

Iberia Lounge Madrid seating
Iberia Lounge Madrid seating
Iberia Lounge Madrid seating

Then the back of the lounge had more traditional lounge seating arrangements, with rows of chairs.

Iberia Lounge Madrid seating
Iberia Lounge Madrid seating

Also in the back of the lounge was a video game area, though I’m not sure if it worked, and didn’t see anyone using it.

Iberia Lounge Madrid video games

Iberia Premium Lounge food & drinks

The lounge had two main buffet areas — one in the front of the lounge, and one in the back of the lounge, which had identical setups.

Iberia Lounge Madrid buffet

Lunch was just being put out as we arrived. For a regional lounge, I thought the selection was excellent. There was fresh fruit, sandwiches, olives, pastries and cake, several salads, soup, and a variety of other hot dishes.

Iberia Lounge Madrid buffet
Iberia Lounge Madrid buffet
Iberia Lounge Madrid buffet
Iberia Lounge Madrid buffet
Iberia Lounge Madrid buffet
Iberia Lounge Madrid buffet
Iberia Lounge Madrid buffet
Iberia Lounge Madrid buffet
Iberia Lounge Madrid buffet

There were a couple of drink stations as well, with self-serve coffee, soft drinks, water, and beer.

Iberia Lounge Madrid drinks
Iberia Lounge Madrid drinks
Iberia Lounge Madrid drinks
Iberia Lounge Madrid drinks
Iberia Lounge Madrid drinks

Then the bar area bar also had one of those machines that dispenses wine out of bottles.

Iberia Lounge Madrid wine

Iberia Premium Lounge Madrid bathroom & showers

The Iberia Lounge had bathrooms around the center of the lounge. In the mens section there were urinals, stalls, and a shared sink area. The bathrooms were kept pretty clean.

Iberia Lounge Madrid bathroom
Iberia Lounge Madrid bathroom

The Iberia Lounge Madrid also has seven shower suites in the back.

Iberia Lounge Madrid showers

To get a shower room, you just have to go to the reception desk, and you’ll be given a four digit code to enter one of the rooms.

Iberia Lounge Madrid showers

The shower rooms are pretty nice, and have walk-in showers, sinks, and toilets.

Iberia Lounge Madrid showers
Iberia Lounge Madrid showers

Bottom line

The Iberia Premium Lounge Dali at Madrid Airport is solid. While I wouldn’t arrive early to use the facility, the lounge is spacious, airy, modern, and has a good selection of food and drinks. On top of that, the lounge has shower suites which are readily available, which is useful for those coming off a long haul flight and connecting onwards.

This lounge exceeded my expectations, and is much better than many other Schengen lounges. In fairness, travel still hasn’t fully recovered, so maybe the lounge used to get much busier.

If you’ve visited the Iberia Lounge Madrid, what was your experience like?

Conversations (27)
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  1. Crystal Guest

    Ben, you can’t tell us that there’s a long story involved with why Ford has a butterfly shaped key, and then not tell us! :P

  2. Scudder Guest

    I comfortably spent a 3-hour layover here in early January, after an early arrival from the US. My biggest gripe was that there was no shelf/ledge within the shower itself on which to set my cava.

    This is what I call a "high-quality problem".

    1. Shaun Guest

      I like your style!

      Don't mind if I use your phrase "high-quality problem" from now on to correct those hypocritical, mediocre types who rationalize all problems by calling it "first-world problems" (as if they have any real affinity folks like me who actually do come from developing countries!!!).

  3. Carlos Guest

    "is that even a thing in Spain?)" What is this supposed to mean? I guess a stereotyped (and false) sort of comment that should be left out.

    1. JFSV Guest

      Agree. I also do not know what is meant with that.

      Is that statement meant to say that Spaniards never wake up early (whether to take an early flight or to operate the lounge earlier than 6.30am)?

    2. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Carlos -- It's supposed to mean that Iberia doesn't operate many early morning flights. Looking at the schedule, Iberia's first scheduled flight out of Madrid in the morning is at 7AM, and most departures aren't until 7:30AM or later.

      There's absolutely nothing wrong with that, but at major hubs in the US, the first bank of flights is typically at 5:30AM-6AM.

  4. Aaron Guest

    "For a regional lounge, I thought the selection was excellent"

    Regional lounge? Isn't this one of their primary lounges?

    I do wonder, how do smaller regional airports, like Saarbrücken Airport, operate with regards to Schengen and non-Schengen gates/areas, as they only offer a handful of daily flights to both Schengen and non-Schengen destinations?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Aaron -- Yes, it's a major lounge at a hub airport. What I meant by "regional" lounge is that this serves Schengen passengers, so that would include passengers traveling on regional flights.

    2. Aaron Guest

      But by that logic though, you could classify any lounge in the world as a regional lounge, no?

    3. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Aaron -- Not really, by my definition, at least outside of Europe? It exclusively serves those traveling on regional flights. That's not the case at most lounges around the globe.

  5. ChadMC Guest

    Iberia is almost always our preferred way to Europe. Although Madrid does not have quite the frequency or flight availability of Heathrow, as long as there are flights to where you want to be, it's hard to beat. They do have some of the best lounges anywhere in my opinion. The food choices are significantly expanded in particular the hot food at the other lounge in terminal 4S.

  6. Margaret Guest

    I'm always exhausted when in this lounge and so wishing they had more places to put your feet up to sleep. Think the red couch area is new (or in the other lounge). Is it so hard to add an ottoman or two?!?

    1. Max Guest

      They do have a rest area with lounge chairs and low light, at least in the 4S Terminal Lounge.

  7. Pierre Guest

    Both IB lounge areas in Madrid Terminal 4, T4 (Schengen) and T4S (non-Schengen) are excellent and among my favorite European ones. Contrary to BA LHR T5 F which keeps downgrading, they keep improving.

    The one sorry area is that they discontinued the huge wrapped towelettes which were so good that I would make 4 trips to the bathroom and steal as many as I could. Since everybody did the same and as they probably were...

    Both IB lounge areas in Madrid Terminal 4, T4 (Schengen) and T4S (non-Schengen) are excellent and among my favorite European ones. Contrary to BA LHR T5 F which keeps downgrading, they keep improving.

    The one sorry area is that they discontinued the huge wrapped towelettes which were so good that I would make 4 trips to the bathroom and steal as many as I could. Since everybody did the same and as they probably were quite expensive, this is surely why they removed them.

  8. Karol Guest

    Actually that wasn’t lunch. Proper lunch is served from 1 pm and selection of hot meals is better then the offer before 1 pm. The bar is very good when opened. The rum cocktail I had there was better than any drink I tried in OW first class lounges (QR, CX, QF, JL, MH).

  9. MilleFeuille Guest

    Loved this lounge. Last August 2021, I was awarded one of those "bid your offer" upgrades to domestic business class for my offer of 35 euros, earlier on the day of travel. I was just interested in the better seat and was delighted to hear that I also had access to the lounge.
    It was late morning and there was a big selection of well-prepared food on their morning menu. Lots of people around,...

    Loved this lounge. Last August 2021, I was awarded one of those "bid your offer" upgrades to domestic business class for my offer of 35 euros, earlier on the day of travel. I was just interested in the better seat and was delighted to hear that I also had access to the lounge.
    It was late morning and there was a big selection of well-prepared food on their morning menu. Lots of people around, but the variety of seating arrangements was good for comfort and privacy. I hope to spend time there again in April.

  10. Gal Rafiah Guest

    It is worth mentioning that there is another (and I think better) lounge on Terminal T4 (satellite building, where the flights to Israel departs from). It has better food and drink selection. I spent 3 hours there last December and enjoyed the food and drinks.

  11. Jerry Diamond

    I'm glad the showers are open. I've found it ironic how many shower facilities, where one is ostensibly there to clean themselves, have been closed for sanitary purposes during Covid.

  12. Khatl Gold

    Totally agree re your review of the lounge. It was a lot worse with food selections middle of last year (likely COVID related), so good to see they've now improved their selection. The non-Schengen lounge is even better, nowhere near as crowded with seating as this lounge, and having big open spaces and extremely light due to it being a bit narrower and having floor to ceiling windows .

  13. John Guest

    I agree with your assessment. As long as it isn't crowded, it's pretty decent.

    However, it should be noted that this lounge is often EXTREMELY busy (it was even during the pandemic).

  14. Carlos Guest

    I was there 2 weeks ago, I visited both lounges, they are without a doubt better than any lounges that you will find in the US.

  15. Andy Diamond

    I agree that the Iberia Dalí Lounge (Schengen) is one of the nicest regional lounges. It has a reasonable number of showers (regional lounges often have only one or two), which is very comfortable if you arrive from a long-haul flight and connect to a destination in Europe. The food and beverages are arguably some of the best, in particular after 2PM when they add the hot main courses (according to Spanish schedule, this is...

    I agree that the Iberia Dalí Lounge (Schengen) is one of the nicest regional lounges. It has a reasonable number of showers (regional lounges often have only one or two), which is very comfortable if you arrive from a long-haul flight and connect to a destination in Europe. The food and beverages are arguably some of the best, in particular after 2PM when they add the hot main courses (according to Spanish schedule, this is lunch time).

    However, I wonder why you haven't used their Velazqués (Intercontinental) lounge in T4S? I understand you were flying on QR to Doha and they depart in T4S. The Velazqués lounge is very similar in terms of food and drinks, but offers more seats with an apron view. Also it is after the train ride from T4 to T4S and after departure immigration control, which I always prefer, because I don't have to worry about lines once I get to the lounge.

    1. Jimmy’s Travel Report Gold

      Ben was flying on Iberia to Milan - then connecting to Doha, on Qatar, from Milan.

  16. Abidjan Guest

    Quite nice. Luck, really great to have your TRs once again. Great camera, btw.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Abidjan -- Thanks! Only an iPhone, heh.

  17. richyjoye New Member

    I visit this very often.... I agree that for a Shengen lounge it's not bad at all. The big red seats are not comfortable but there are many different areas that are quite welcoming. Still I believe the lounge in Barcelona is better, cosier, maybe the colours better also (but this is Iberia's red....). It was dead and not good during the COVID peak but now started to be better, the bar areas has re-opened,...

    I visit this very often.... I agree that for a Shengen lounge it's not bad at all. The big red seats are not comfortable but there are many different areas that are quite welcoming. Still I believe the lounge in Barcelona is better, cosier, maybe the colours better also (but this is Iberia's red....). It was dead and not good during the COVID peak but now started to be better, the bar areas has re-opened, the wine selection is now good enough. Not a place indeed to go hours before a flight to enjoy and chill, but between 2 flights or to spend 1 hour before a short EU flight, it's more than decent.

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Jimmy’s Travel Report Gold

Ben was flying on Iberia to Milan - then connecting to Doha, on Qatar, from Milan.

2
Ben Schlappig OMAAT

@ Carlos -- It's supposed to mean that Iberia doesn't operate many early morning flights. Looking at the schedule, Iberia's first scheduled flight out of Madrid in the morning is at 7AM, and most departures aren't until 7:30AM or later. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that, but at major hubs in the US, the first bank of flights is typically at 5:30AM-6AM.

1
Crystal Guest

Ben, you can’t tell us that there’s a long story involved with why Ford has a butterfly shaped key, and then not tell us! :P

0
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