Iberia Business Class Review: São Paulo to Madrid

At the end of last month, Simple Flying was invited by Iberia to Madrid to see the updated cabin of their Airbus A350 Next aircraft, the first of its kind in the world. I flew from Brazil to Spain on Iberia’s Airbus A330-300, from Aeroporto Internacional de Guarulhos in São Paulo to Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport in business class.

arrival and registration

The daily departure of IB6824 is at 15:40 local time. As a business class passenger, I have access to the LATAM Airlines lounge at GRU Terminal 3, so I arrived at the airport at 12:45, enjoyed the lounge and filmed content for a full lounge review. Iberia has a dedicated check-in lane for business class passengers and when I arrived there was one passenger ahead. Within four minutes, I was checked in, my bag was tagged, and I got my boarding pass. I had to go to a separate area to get my bag on the plane because my bag was considered outside of the standard size (it was a sports duffle bag). At 12:51, my bags have been checked and I’m on my way to security and passport control.

Simple Flying Video of the Day

Security and Passport Control

Photography and videography are not allowed in the security and passport control areas of the airport, so I don’t have anything for that part. It took 14 minutes to complete both steps, which is shorter than average, but not the fastest time I’ve ever experienced at GRU. The security rules for international flights from Brazil are standard, but for those living in the US, one thing stands out. Brazilian airports do not yet have body scanning technology, only metal detectors. After x-raying carry-on items and passing through metal detectors, all passengers pass through passenger control before proceeding to the gate area. At GRU, there are two lines, one for Brazilians (which I would pass since I have dual citizenship), and one for foreigners.

latin american lounge

Almost all lounges in GRU Terminal 3 are located on the upper levels of the terminal and are accessed via escalators shortly after passport control. One minute walk to the lounge entrance. The lounge staff were friendly and reminded passengers that face masks are required in the lounge, as required by Brazilian health authority ANVISA, which came into effect on November 25. The lounge is spacious and modern and offers a variety of food and beverage options. I spent about 1 hour and 40 minutes in the lounge before making it to the gate to board my flight.

Stay tuned for the full lounge review.

boarding and departure

I cut it pretty close, leaving the lounge 35 minutes before departure, close to the final boarding call. From Gate 332, at the end of the terminal, the walk seems to take an eternity; at the gate, business class passengers are once again allowed through a dedicated line.

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Photo: Lucas Souza | Simple Flight

15:00 A few minutes later, I board and sit in seat 1C, which is the window seat on the left side of the plane.

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Photo: Lucas Souza | Simple Flight

At first glance, Iberia’s business class might seem nice, but one thing that’s pretty obvious is privacy. While most airlines don’t have doors on their business class seats, which offer some privacy, Iberia doesn’t. Still, the seats are comfortable and offer everything you need. Before departure, the crew serves beverages to all passengers in business class; the choices are champagne, orange juice and water.

Our plane was pushed back from the gate at 15:42 and at 15:55 we were on the runway ready to take off.

this seat; special seat; seat

The seats are equipped with everything you would expect in business class. There are pillows, blankets and mattresses on the seats. To the left of the seat is a small storage area for headphones and a travel case. Seat controls and in-flight entertainment screen controls are also located on the left panel, along with an armrest that can be lowered when in the lie-flat position. The footwell is a small space where a pair of shoes can be stored. The seat is equipped with a universal power socket and a USB power supply.

in flight

WiFi is available on the flight and the price is similar to what other airlines I’ve flown internationally charge. Business class passengers get free messaging throughout the flight, streaming costs €6 for an hour, €13.49 for four hours and €22.49 for the entire flight. I opted for the free message pack and used it for a few hours before bed since our arrival was scheduled for 6am? in Madrid.

Meal service with hot towels began shortly after takeoff, followed by drinks and the entire meal, which included a plate of vegetables as a starter. I opted for fish with potatoes and a delicious sauce, a delightful main course. After my meal, my dessert was passion fruit ice cream, which was also delicious.

After the meal was delivered, I was ready for bed, since there was a four-hour time difference between our arrival time and São Paulo and Madrid. I’m not sure if the flight attendant would have prepared the “bed” including mattress, blanket and pillows if I hadn’t asked myself. After falling asleep, I was woken up for my second meal, breakfast, about an hour and a half before landing.

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Photo: Lucas Souza | Simple Flight

i request corn cake Omelet with potatoes and breakfast with spinach dip. The meal also comes with a croissant and a selection of breads and drinks.

overall impression

This flight was my first time with Iberia, from check-in to the crew, the staff were amazing and provided excellent customer service. I enjoyed the meal service even though a friend warned me before the flight that he didn’t like the service at Iberia. Seats are comfortable and roomy, just lack privacy. Unfortunately, none of the crew spoke Portuguese, and none of the onboard announcements were made in Portuguese, which is the native language of the country of departure. Nonetheless, I would recommend Iberia to anyone considering flying to Spain and would fly with this airline again.

  • Iberia Airbus A350-941 EC-NDR


    IATA/ICAO code:
    International Baccalaureate/International Education Bureau

    Airline type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Madrid Barajas Airport

    year established:

    a world

    Airline Group:
    International Airlines Group

    Javier Sanchez-Prieto


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