What is it like to fly 12 hours in European business class in a single day? We tried this out with Iberia Express.
This trip report from Joris Wendt goes into detail on his journey from Berlin to La Palma, as well as the return flight.
Without further ado, let’s get into it…
Trip Report: Flying 12 Hours in Iberia Express’ Business Class…
I spent 12 hours and 10 minutes in a European business class on a single day. Join me on my journey from Berlin to La Palma and back to Berlin with Iberia (Express).
This all started 8 days prior to the flight when I started looking for cheap business class flights to end the year 2023.
I just needed to fly somewhere to accomplish a challenge I had with a friend of mine.
We were planning to fly in every single month of 2023, just like true avgeeks would do. This plan brought me all around Europe and to places I never planned to see.
Such as Riga, which I visited thrice in a year, Oslo, Norfolk (US), and Luxembourg.
These are just some of the destinations that all added up to a total of 47 flights in 2023.
Onwards to La Palma…
I had no plans whatsoever to fly to La Palma but found such cheap airfare I just couldn’t say no.
As I was limited in time and was just planning on doing a day trip, I proceeded to check out if there was a chance of flying to La Palma with a return on the same day.
And indeed, I soon found a date that would fit perfectly for me and then booked my journey across Europe.
This route would take me from Berlin to Madrid early in the morning, then on to La Palma, back to Madrid, and with the last flight in the evening back to my beloved hometown, Berlin.
All flights were operated by Iberia Express, an airline I’ve been willing to try for a very long time.
I arrived at the Berlin Brandenburg airport at around 5 am and checked in at the Iberia Business Class counter.
The process of checking in was flawless and I was immediately given all my four tickets. The friendly lady at the check-in desk had a lot of questions regarding my routing – Can’t judge her.
Iberia (Express) used the Tempelhof Lounge at Berlin Brandenburg airport, which is located at the southern end of the terminal.
The lounge offered a variety of cold and warm food for breakfast, as well as soft drinks, coffee, tea, and spirits. The food options were plentiful and delicious.
I headed to the gate and arrived just as boarding was getting started.
I settled into my seat 3F onboard a recently delivered A321neo. The crew warmly welcomed everyone on board and handed out menus just after boarding was completed.
The seat featured nothing but a USB Plug. The legroom on this flight was especially awful, with my knees touching the seat in front of me.
As we were taxiing out to the runway, I enjoyed the colorful mood light on this A321neo, which also featured the new airspace cabin Overhead bins.
After takeoff, I enjoyed the sunrise with some freshly pressed orange juice and a glass of champagne. We were soon served breakfast, which was quite delicious, but could’ve been presented way better. On this morning’s flight, a quiche with bacon and tomatoes was offered, which was cooked just right.
Soon after breakfast, I dozed away and woke up as we touched down in Madrid. After arriving at our gate, I immediately made my way to my gate for the flight to La Palma.
Boarding was just getting started when I arrived, I queued in the priority line and was onboard the A320 taking me to La Palma no more than 15 minutes after I left my flight from Berlin.
I settled into my seat 2F and was surprised to see a cat sitting in the middle seat next to me on the Iberia Express flight.
Luckily the passenger with the cat soon moved to another seat, which left me with a lot of space to spread out.
The A320 was offering more legroom but had definitely seen better days.
We left our parking position on time and soon headed out to La Palma.
After takeoff, the crew handed out some menus and orange juice, which, again, was freshly pressed. Soon after, we were served lunch, which, again, wasn’t presented very well.
We were served shrimp with broccoli, tomato sauce, and rice. The shrimp and broccoli were overcooked and the rice was rock-hard. Not what I like to see in Business Class.
While we were cruising over the Atlantic, I watched a movie and enjoyed the views. I can’t imagine a better way to spend the day.
Arrival in La Palma: Return to Berlin…
Soon we were starting to descend into La Palma, where I deboarded the Iberia Express aircraft, cleared security, and boarded the aircraft again.
I guess you can imagine the questioning face of the crew as I boarded the aircraft again.
On my return flight, I was seated in the bulkhead 1A.
The crew, being surprised I joined them to fly back to Madrid, took good care of me, bringing me the exact drinks I had on my inbound flight without me even asking.
Delays to Berlin, Inadequate Food…
I enjoyed some Pasta Napoli soon after takeoff and then again – took a little nap before we started to descend into Madrid. All in all, a spectacular crew on this second and third leg, chapeau!
Arriving in Madrid, I saw that my return flight to Berlin was delayed by over an hour.
After settling into the unspectacular business class lounge, I was constantly tracking the Iberia Express aircraft, which was taking me back to Berlin, which unfortunately had a delay upon departing Gran Canaria, therefore arriving delayed in Madrid.
As we were running close to hitting the night curfew in Berlin, we were lucky enough to get an aircraft and crew change, which made us leave Madrid with a delay of just one hour.
I was again flying an A321neo, which in fact, was the same aircraft that brought me to Madrid in the morning, though this time I was seated in 2A – again, with no leg room.
The flight was quite unspectacular; after take off, dinner was served, which again was shrimp with broccoli, rice, and tomato sauce.
The meal was as awful as on the other flight, though the dessert was really tasty. The crew was never seen again after dinner; overall, quite an unspectacular flight.
4 flights in European Business Class on a single day is way too much.
It was a fun thing to do, but nothing I’ll have to do again.
Crews on Iberia Express were so and so.
Some stood out with their service while being quite actively working in the cabin, while others just did what they had to do.
Overall an awesome trip, can’t complain too much.