Trip Report: Iberia (A330-300) Business Plus ORD-MAD

The Details

  • Flight: IB6274
  • Aircraft: A330-300
  • Class: Business Plus
  • Seat: 2L
  • Route: Chicago O’Hare International (ORD)-Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas (MAD)
  • Distance: 4,387 miles
  • Duration: 7hr 45min
  • Departure: 5:08PM
  • Arrival: 7:39AM

The Preflight

I was so incredibly excited for my first ever long-haul business class flight. This was the first time I’d be able to experience a lie-flat seat while flying and enjoy an international business class lounge.

Iberia is a joint venture partner with American Airlines and shares reciprocal lounge and elite benefits. While most international flights depart from Terminal 5 at Chicago O’Hare, Iberia departs from Terminal 3 which serves American Airlines. That meant I was able to experience the American Airlines Flagship Lounge.

Giddy with excitement, I arrived at the airport about three hours prior to departure to see the lounge and the food and beverage offerings.

The food was excellent along with an open champagne bar featuring Taittinger champagne.

I shamelessly tried to sample every single dish at the buffet.

Dried Meats and Cheese

After stuffing myself in the Flagship Lounge I made my way to the gate. Since all international arrivals have to deplane at Terminal 5, the plane was towed over from Terminal 5 to Terminal 3 prior to departure.

The Flight

Iberia’s A330-300s features 29 business class seats in a staggered 1-2-1 configuration.

airbus A-330

These lie-flat Stelia Solstys seats are 78 inches long and about 26 inches wide. Etihad Airways features very similar seats aboard their B777-300ERs for comparison. Since the seats are staggered, even numbered rows are closer to the window while odd number rows are closer to the aisle.

I was seated in 2L. Awaiting at the seat was a small pillow, thin blanket, and amenity kit. The seat controls were to the left of the seat and featured a massage function. With extensive options from reclining I had no problem getting comfortable.

There was ample leg room and I was able to spread my feet out when lying down. The IFE screen was responsive and handled the bright sun glare well.

Upon boarding, flight attendants came by with a tray of orange juice or water. Iberia does not serve alcohol on the ground for flights departing from the USA which is common for most international business class flights.

Menus were also provided. Iberia had an wine list featuring local wines from around Spain.

We pushed back on time and had a relatively short taxi to the runway before take-off. Once in the air, flight attendants sprang into action to get the dinner service started.

To start, I had a full-bodied Crianza red wine along with a ramekin of olives. I appreciated Iberia’s unique twist of offering olives instead of the usual mixed nuts.

Next, the appetizer was all served on one tray. Ironically, Iberia was serving Italian prosciutto instead of the classical Spanish jamon one would expect from the Spanish flag carrier. No complaints as the prosciutto was tasty. The mozzarella covered in pesto was flavorful as well. There was a small side salad featuring mandarin oranges and a small bowel of cold chicken consomme. The cheese plate featured a single slice of cheddar, single bar of guava paste, and a single grape… A bread basket was also offered and I had a cold whole grain roll.


For my main I elected for the grilled shrimp and scallops served with saffron sauce and Basmati rice. Both the scallops and shrimp were cooked tender and not overdone. However, the saffron sauce was very greasy and appeared unappetizing.

Scallop and Shrimp with Saffron Sauce

Dessert was the highlight of the meal. The caramel ice cream had just the right balance between sweetness and saltiness. I paired it was a strong glass of moscatel.

Caramel Ice Cream

Once the tables were cleared, flight attendants dimmed the lights and I finished the movie I was watching.

There was about four hours remaining in flight and I made my bed to try and nap a bit. Iberia’s pillow was very comfortable and I appreciated how thin the blanket was given how warm the cabin temperature was.

Lie-flat Bed

Breakfast was all served on one tray 90 minutes prior to arrival in Madrid. I was a bit disappointed with the tostada and croissant. While the bread was objectively good, I felt the breakfast was lacking some protein. A strong and bitter coffee helped wake me up and I also had a glass of orange juice.


We landed slightly ahead of schedule and had no wait to get to a gate. I had just a short walk from the gate to the Iberia lounge where I was to spend a few hours before my next flight to Amman.

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