The next time I plan a trip to Barcelona I will seriously consider flying Iberia Business Plus again.

Overall Impression One of the major reasons I decided to travel to Barcelona this spring was the possibility of flying directly and non stop from Miami to Barcelona in Iberia’s newly inaugurated luxury service with fully horizontal seats. Not sure of what to expected at the sometimes overcrowded airport in South Florida’s largest city I arrived at the Iberia counter three hours early. Check-in was speedy and I was pleased to discover I had been assigned an aisle seat as I had requested.

As a Business Plus passenger I was able to make use of the fast lane at the security entrance to the concourse. Once those unpleasantries were behind me I took the elevator to the airport lounge shared by Iberia with American Airlines and its alliance partners. The lounge was a comfortable and mostly quiet place to spend time while awaiting the departure of my flight. Just a few steps away from my chosen seat near the lounge reception there was a snack and beverage self service area which was refreshed several times while I was in the lounge.

Boarding was easy. Soon I was settled in an aisle seat in the center and middle of the Business Plus cabin chatting with my neighbor, an affable elderly lady from the suburbs of Barcelona who had been visiting with her family in Miami for a couple of months. I liked that the cabin seemed spacious (other business cabins I flew in around the same time had 10 to 20 percent more seats in a similar size space) and I never had to wait for the restroom facilities which were clean and odor free. After the meal service I could avail myself of the on board entertainment or try to sleep. With the press of a button (one of several buttons on my control panel) my seat stretched out flat, allowing me to lay down horizontally with the pillow and blanket provided for the remaining hours.

On my return home, I waited with my travel companions for our flight’s departure time at the spacious Iberia Miro international airport lounge, stepping out for something to eat (the lounge only served beverages and finger food). The flight was blessedly uneventful and the staff polite. I managed to catch a few winks of sleep before we landed. All in all my weeklong trip to Barcelona went well. The comfort of Iberia’s Business Plus service played a major role in that trip’s success and would entice me back. The next time I plan a trip to Barcelona I will seriously consider flying Iberia Business Plus again.

About The Airline Iberia is Spain’s largest air transportation group, and following its merger with British Airways in January 2011, it is, according to promotional materials, Europe’s third-largest and the world’s sixth largest in terms of sales. Iberia strives to be a market leader on routes between Europe and Latin America. IAG is the holding company of British Airways and Iberia. It is a Spanish registered company with shares traded on the London and Spanish stock exchanges. The corporate head office for IAG is in London, United Kingdom.

Iberia, its franchise partner Iberia Regional/Air Nostrum, and British Airways operate 1,750 flights to 204 destinations in 121 countries on a daily basis. Iberia operates 1,000 flights to 116 destinations in 45 countries with 161 airplanes. British Airways and Iberia are members of the Oneworld Alliance.

Class Of Service Business Plus, Iberia’s long haul premium class. As of this writing it was available on Iberia’s A340/300 and A340/600 aircraft used on long haul routes to 21 destinations in Latin America, five cities in the United States, Johannesburg, some flights to Tel Aviv and some domestic flights to the Canary Islands. The same aircraft was expected to operate the new route between Madrid and Luanda, Angola scheduled to begin service September 30, 2011.

Flights This flight was launched on March 29, 2011 and plans were in place for it to operate all year.There were three non-stop weekly flights between Miami and Barcelona on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. On other days passengers flying from Miami could also fly to Barcelona via Madrid once a day with Iberia.

Length Of Flight The transatlantic flight to Barcelona was nine hours long and the return slightly longer at approximately 10 hours.

Owned-Managed Since January 2011 Iberia, together with British Airways, had been integrated into the International Airlines Group (IAG), one of the world’s largest airline groups with 408 aircraft, flights to 200 destinations and more than 55 million passengers annually.

Seats Business Plus passengers, according to an airline spokesperson, had 87 inches of personal space and 12 extra inches between rows. The seat size was 190 by 66 centimeters and the seat width was 20 inches. The seats, which converted into a horizontal position, featured a folding armrest, an adjustable headrest and an extendible leg rest operated from a control panel located on the armrest. The passenger’s preferred position could be recorded in the seat (I only found out about this after the fights). The business cabin had been designed with an eye on privacy. The seat’s rigid exterior shell was designed to provide passengers additional private space and the seats included a privacy separator panel. Iberia executives had plans for a new design for the Business Plus cabins for 2012.

Services For Handicapped Iberia welcomed “passengers with reduced mobility (PRM), those passengers whose mobility is restricted by a physical disability (sensorial or locomotor), a deterioration of their intellectual faculties, age or any other type of handicap when using a means of transport, and whose situation requires special attention and the adaptation of the services placed at the disposal of all passengers to their needs.

Aware that due to their special personal conditions, passengers with reduced mobility require extra, specific, individualized attention and taking into account Spanish and international on board safety and rescue regulations requirements for the safe transport and comfort of such passengers and others on board Iberia offered those passengers: Accessibility to the aircraft, adaptation of the airline’s equipment and procedures, specific, ongoing staff training.”

Aircraft We flew on the new non-stop service between Miami and Barcelona on an Airbus A340/300 with 36 Business Plus seats and 218 Tourist Class seats. The airline had 19 Airbus aircraft in its fleet. The biggest plane in the Iberia fleet, the Airbus A340/600 with 42 Business Plus seats and 300 Economy seats could also be used on that route.

The average age of Iberia’s A340/300 fleet at the time of this writing was 12 years old. Iberia ordered eight Airbus A330 planes and signed options for an additional eight planes of this type to start updating its fleet. In late 2009, the Business Plus cabin of Iberia’s whole long haul fleet of 36 aircraft was completely remodeled and refurbished. A row of seats was removed to offer passengers more comfort: 2.20 meters of personal space and 1.88 meters of seat pitch. Between June 2010 and September 2010, Iberia changed the Business Plus linen, toiletry bag, pillows and covers.

Business Plus Cabin There were 36 seats in the Business Plus cabin (24 in our nose section) which had a medium red decorative theme and a configuration of two seats by each window and two seats in the middle for a total of six seats in each row. The 97 square meter large Business Plus cabin had 61 square meters of seating area and 36 square meters of service area including three toilets, (3 square meters), galleys (9 square meters), a self-service bar (1 square meter) and storage area (4 square meters). The distance between seats was 74 inches or 1.88 meters.

Bathrooms The Airbus 340 had three one square meter size (same size as economy) bathrooms for Business Plus passengers.

Meals For its most recent Business Plus class dining updates Iberia hired Paco Roncero, Dani García, Ramón Freixa and Toño Pérez, four gourmet Spanish chefs to design the Business Plus catering service. On offer during my flight were for Starters: Hot bread and extra-virgin olive oil, Potato and leek cold cream soup with crispy onion (from a box, a favorite), or Escarole salad with prawns and Romesco sauce; Mains: Roasted lamb shoulder and its juice with red wine and cinnamon sautéed peaches with parsley, Cod back with green sauce and vegetables sautéed and cuttle-fish noodles, or Spinach, meat and pine nuts lasagna with Bechamel sauce; Desserts: Spanish cheese plate with grapes, Mató cheese and honey pudding with berry sauce, or Cherry sherbert. The menu (in English and Spanish) also listed Bar Service, Expresso Coffee and Last Minute Breakfast (on flights of nine hours or longer) options.

The wines recommended by the Todovino Club sommelier for that month, and described in detail in a booklet with space for passenger tasting notes, were a dry and medium bodied 2009 Blau D.O. Montsant red and two whites, a light and dry 2010 Labores de Unzu D.O. Rueda and a dry full bodied 2009 Alejarién D.O. La Mancha. There were also two 2006 reds on offer as well as one cava sparkling wine, three appetizer wines, two dessert wines and selection of spirits including Absolut Vodka, two brandies, three whiskies (12 year blends), rum (Flor de Caña 12 year old and Bacardi Carta Blanca), and two gins (Bombay Sapphire and Fifty Pounds).

Only Spanish wines, chosen to complement the Business Plus menus based on Mediterranean cuisine, were on offer. The wine list, updated every three months, featured three red wines, two whites, three appetizers, two sweet wines, one sparkling wine cava and two Spanish brandy wines. Inside the wine list, there was a Wine of the Month recommendation, a selection made for Iberia Business Plus by TodoVino wine club and Custodio L. Zamarra, a National Gastronomy prize winner and Sommelier of Zalacaín restaurant. Each month a different wine was presented, representing the different styles, production methods and wine regions of Spain. Interested passengers were able to taste the wines (at the crew’s suggestion I sampled several of the wines) and take notes.

Airport Lounges Business Plus passengers had access to VIP lounges. Iberia, American Airlines and British Airways managed jointly a lounge at the airport in Miami, open on March 1, 2011 as part of a Joint Business Agreement on the routes over the North Atlantic. It had spacious seating capability, meeting and quiet rooms and a bar. A self service light snack section was refreshed regularly. At the Barcelona airport, Business Plus passengers had access to the Miro Lounge. The Miro lounge was new looking and spacious. It was divided into several adjoining areas: a game room with a billiard table, a quiet area for those wishing to lay down, a bar area with individual dining tables and chairs and a sitting area with a view of the airport. There were three computers with internet access for guest use, a self service bar and snack buffet with potato chips, olives and other finger food.

Amenities In addition to menus and informational magazines there was a blanket, a pillow, and a red and brown zippered toiletry bag on my seat. The toiletry bag contained brown socks, sleeping mask, lip balm, toothbrush and toothpaste, eau de cologne, earplugs, hair comb and brush in one, hair elastic band, shoehorn, brown shoe bag, moisturizing cream, face cleansing towel and an information leaflet about the products. There were some local and Spanish newspapers and magazines available on request from the cabin crew. There was a set of noise canceling headphones for use during the flight.

Also included on board were meals, snacks, alcoholic drinks including fine wines, sparkling wine and after dinner drinks. Ground amenities included access to the airport lounges which offered complimentary snacks, soft drinks and shower stalls.

Entertainment Each seat had a dedicated 10.4 inch popup touch screen to manage an on demand audio and video entertainment system with 26 video channels (12 current movies, seven TV series, seven documentaries, main screen channel, route map channel, channel with information about boarding gates during approach to the destination and another channel with ongoing information about the aircraft), 15 audio channels and eight video games.

From the touch screen, passengers could send and receive short SMS messages and e-mails (for a fee). Business Plus seats had an individual telephone (for a fee), a connection for PCs, ambient night light and assorted compartments. The seat also featured a massage function. An entertainment program magazine was available at

Ground Service Iberia Business Plus class passengers could take advantage of dedicated check-in counters and priority boarding lines in those airports that offered that service.

Business Plus passengers holding a full fare ticket booked on intercontinental flights operated by Iberia could book a complimentary limousine service with a luxury car and chauffeur for transfers from their home or hotel to the airport or vice versa. The service was available in Madrid, Barcelona, Santiago de Chile, Buenos Aires, Mexico City and Sao Paulo.

Business Plus passengers holding a full fare return ticket from Madrid and Barcelona airports for a flight operated by Iberia could use the complimentary pick up, parking and delivery service for private vehicles at Madrid and Barcelona airports.

Luggage The check-in luggage allowance was three pieces of up to 23 kilograms each.

Other The Business Plus class service was recognized with the Wines on the Wing 2010 by Global Traveler. The aircraft we flew on was the Concha Espina, named for a Spanish writer who died in 1955. Most of the Airbus A340/300 had been named in honor of important Spanish individuals.

Route Miami to Barcelona and Barcelona to Miami non stop

Cleanliness Excellent

Date Of Review May 2011

On Board Service Of the eight flight attendants on long haul flights on the A340/300, three flight attendants were assigned to the Business Plus cabin on Miami to Barcelona and Barcelona to Miami routes. Iberia flight attendants were trained according to international regulations. They also received customer service and specialized service training for new and modified services. The most recent flight attendant training had been in relation to the new menus in Business Plus class service.

Reviewers Article and Photos by Elena del Valle

Would You Fly With Them Again? Yes

Contact Information

  • Address:
    • 5835 Blue Lagoon Drive
    • Suite 350
    • Miami, Florida 33126
  • Phone:
    • 1-800 772 4642
  • Website:
  • Email: