Reviewing Iberia Premium Economy: Madrid-Buenos Aires

Reviewing Iberia Premium Economy: Madrid-Buenos Aires
Photo Credit: James Field/AviationSource

AviationSource was invited to fly onboard Iberia’s Premium Economy from Madrid to Buenos Aires. Join us on this adventure.  

This trip consists of reviewing the Iberia NEXT cabin for both Premium Economy and Business Class on these legs to and from Madrid.  

In this portion of the review, we will be reviewing the Premium Economy side of the equation.  

Without further ado, join us on this adventure spanning a total of 65 hours round-trip! The Business Class review will be out soon! 

Trip Report: Iberia Premium Economy Madrid to Buenos Aires… 


Reviewing Iberia Premium Economy: Madrid-Buenos Aires
Photo Credit: James Field/AviationSource

Flight Information: 

  • Flight Number: IB6841 
  • Origin: Madrid Barajas Airport. 
  • Destination: Buenos Aires Ministro Pistarini International Airport. 
  • Registration: EC-NVR 
  • Aircraft: Airbus A350-900 
  • Date: 28th-29th November 2023 

Connecting from London 


Reviewing Iberia Premium Economy: Madrid-Buenos Aires
Photo Credit: James Field/AviationSource
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Following my short flight from London Heathrow, I landed into Madrid at around 8:30pm, and proceeded onwards to transfer onwards to Buenos Aires.  

That particular flight was in Business Class onboard the Iberia Airbus A320neo aircraft. It was a pleasant flight onboard.  

Upon my arrival, I headed down to what would have been my second flight of the day (Or evening), and went to board onboard my ride down to the Argentinian airport.  

Reviewing Iberia Premium Economy: Madrid-Buenos Aires
Photo Credit: James Field/AviationSource

This portion of my 65-hour adventure was in their Premium Economy cabin, which has been updated under the NEXT program, taken out by Iberia.  

I then found out that EC-NVR would be my ride down to Buenos Aires from Madrid. As per Planespotters.net, EC-NVR is a 1.5 year old Airbus A350-900 that was delivered to Iberia back in September 2022.  

Boarding & Seat 


There was a significant delay when it came to the boarding process.

The reason for this was unclear, but rather than being off-blocks at 23:55 local time and boarding at 23:09, boarding had begun around 50 minutes after the initial boarding time.  

There was a long wait period on the jetbridge too as the aircraft wasn’t ready to take passengers. However, we got there in the end, and I took to my seat, being 12A.  

Reviewing Iberia Premium Economy: Madrid-Buenos Aires
Photo Credit: James Field/AviationSource

The Premium Economy seats on Iberia’s Airbus A350s are in a 2-3-2 configuration, and had enhanced legroom and recline functions.  

Premium Economy also gets you a blanket and a pillow for a bit more of a comfier sleeping experience onboard. The seat also comes with two USB chargers, power outlet and headphone jacks.  

As soon as most of the passengers were sat down in the Premium Economy cabin, I was welcomed by the flight attendants onboard (Although it is key to note they were aware of my presence in reviewing the flight).  

I was given a welcome drink, amenity kit and headphones for the long 12-hour slog down to Buenos Aires I had in front of me.  

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Reviewing Iberia Premium Economy: Madrid-Buenos Aires
Photo Credit: James Field/AviationSource

Once all formalities were completed, the aircraft pushed back and taxied out to what was an empty airport as we were one of the final departures of the night from Terminal 4S.  

Departure from Madrid 


Reviewing Iberia Premium Economy: Madrid-Buenos Aires
Photo Credit: James Field/AviationSource

At 00:30 local time, the Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines sent us out of Madrid Barajas on the Iberia A350, around 35 minutes behind schedule.  

Our departure took us south-west towards Portugal and to the South Atlantic Ocean, skimming the middle of the Canary Islands and the Portugese island of Funchal.  

It was from there that crew got up from their seats and started preparing the evening meal service, which was utilised to get us to sleep thereafter.  

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Meal Service 


Reviewing Iberia Premium Economy: Madrid-Buenos Aires
Photo Credit: James Field/AviationSource

The evening meal consisted of the following: 

  • Couscous salad in a creamy piquillo bell pepper sauce 
  • Roasted chicken breast served with celeriac mousseline and sautéed spinach 
  • Strawberry mousse 
  • Warm bread with cheese and butter. 

Overall, the meal itself was really tasty and fresh.

Unlike with some airlines, the food can taste quite bland and processed, but the overall meal was well presented and performed well as a way to fill you up before going to bed.  

The strawberry mousse did taste a bit too milky but it was nice. I think if I had an additional pot of that, it would make me feel a bit sick.

So something maybe for the caterers to focus on moving forward.  

What I did like about the food portion of this evening flight was that after departure, a video played on the IFE screen which detailed how the service was going to look on that front.

In this case, it would be an evening meal, followed by a savoury & sweet snack in the morning before arrival. 

Another critique was that the flight attendants did take a while to remove finished dinner trays to enable passengers to get a bit more comfortable and to get to sleep.

Around 20-25 minutes after I and everyone else had finished eating, the Premium Economy section was full of empty trays.  

Onboard Product 


Reviewing Iberia Premium Economy: Madrid-Buenos Aires
Photo Credit: James Field/AviationSource

Before going to bed, I thought I would go ahead and try out the onboard product itself, which mainly presents itself as the in-flight entertainment.  

Powered by Panasonic Avionics, the IFE does have a large range of TV shows, movies, audiobooks and much more to keep you entertained.  

The one thing for improvement was the interactive map on the IFE screen. During boarding and in-flight, I clicked on the map, which would cause the system to freeze, meaning a flight attendant had to restart it.  

Other than that, the system worked a breeze, with the TV remote being an interesting touchpad scroller which took a bit of getting used to.  

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As for the Amenity Kit, this consisted of your usual items being an eye mask, comfy socks, toothpaste & toothbrush. Whilst basic in it’s nature, it is the very essentials that you need for a long 12-hour night flight.  

The reclining feature on the Premium Economy seats were very good, but they did pose a challenge in terms of actually using it.

When you press the metal button to begin the recline, you almost have to shunt the seat with your back to get it down to a suitable angle.

It’s not too good from a PaxEx perspective, but once you got it handled, then it was actually a very comfortable position.  

I typically don’t sleep on flights as I just physically can’t. However, with this seat, I was able to get a strong couple of hours, which was very much needed for the arrival into what was a hectic Ezeiza Airport that day.  

There was onboard WiFi on the aircraft, with the pricing being as follows:

It is key to note that if you are in Business Class, this comes complementary to your airfare. As I was going to be sleeping soon, I didn’t find a need to have the WiFi.

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Descent into Buenos Aires 


Photo Credit: James Field/AviationSource

Before our descent into Buenos Aires onboard the Iberia A350 Premium Economy from Madrid, we were given a sweet & savoury snack, being a serrano ham sandwich & a Kit Kat to keep us going for our arrival.  

The descent into Buenos Aires was absolutely jawdropping, with the pilots trying to weave in and out of the inclement weather, but the clouds itself were just incredible to watch.  

It did feel like it took a while, but looking back at the flight’s playback, we did indeed take an interesting excursion to get set up for the approach into Ezeiza.  

Arrival 


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We then landed into Ezeiza around 26 minutes behind schedule, which wasn’t a surprise given the late departure, but as an enthusiast, I will take being on a plane longer as a good sign in my books.  

From there, we taxied to the stand, which took no time at all and then we disembarked and headed to security.  

Verdict of Premium Economy Long-Haul 


Photo Credit: James Field/AviationSource

Whilst there were a few niggly improvements to be made from that flight, it was a very pleasant flight from Madrid to Buenos Aires onboard the Iberia Premium Economy product.  

The fact I was able to sleep on an airplane is a big tick mark for me, and that does show the strength of the product.  

Food was plentiful (As was the red wine too), and the product was durable for the 12 and a half hour hop.

A lot of people would dread flying economy for so long, especially if there is not much room to move about, but it’s products like this which is why passengers should consider upgrading to Premium Economy if Business isn’t a financially feasible option.  

Overall, it was a strong product. Once they get the improvements out of the way, then they are on track to have a very solid Premium Economy offering going into the future, especially on routes like Buenos Aires within the Iberia umbrella. 

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To subscribe to our Emergencies, Accidents & Incidents Newsletter, CLICK HERE!

Click the photo to join our WhatsApp channel so then you can stay up to date with everything going on in the aviation industry!

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