Airline Review: Iberia Express Economy Class
flight experience from Madrid, Spain to Berlin Tegel Airport, Germany.
In March 2018 I had the pleasure to fly on Iberia Express – the low-cost subsidiary of Iberia. From their main hub in Madrid, Spain i flew back home to Berlin Tegel, Germany. Continue reading this Airline Review of Iberia Express to learn everything you need to know about the airline.
Booking the flight:
I booked this flight directly on the airlines website which i usually don’t do. Normally i use flight search engines to compare all flights and get the best prices.
The reason i booked on their website was a great discount on the Classic Tourist Class fare when signing up for their free Club Express membership. On this occasion it saved me around 17€ for a one-way ticket!
Iberia Express offers Tourist Class and Business Class on their flights. As always there are diffent options and price classes available.
For this flight i booked a Tourist Class “Classic” ticket because it includes checked baggage.
The lowest fare option would be Tourist “Express” with only hand luggage included.
The “Classic” fare allows you to change your flight for a fee, check-in baggage (up to 23 kg) and even selecting a seat. The Tourist “Flex” fare in addition allows you to use the Express Check-in counters at the airport.
Business Class fares allow you to bring two pieces of baggage, use the fast track security and visit the VIP lounge. Onboard they will serve a free meal in Business Class.
I had already checked-in online for my flight but since i had to check my baggage at the airport I got a proper boarding pass at the counter. The online check-in was easy and worked without problems. At the airport there were 4 active counters and several check-in kiosks serving a few flights from what i could tell. I was at the airport more than 2 hours before my flight so there wasn’t a very big queque infront of me. Nonetheless it took about 15 minutes before it was my turn.
That day boarding started on-time, however the aircraft wasn’t parked at the terminal so a bus had to take us to the aircraft on the apron. As a consequence the boarding process took a little longer than usual. In the end we pushed back from the stand about 10 minutes late.
Iberia Express Cabin:
Here comes probably the most interesting part of this review! What does the Iberia Express cabin look like, are the seats comfortable and most importantly what about the leg room?
On this Airbus A320 you will find the standard 3-3 seat configuration. The published seat pitch is only 28 inches in Economy/Tourist Class and 30 inches in Business Class (with blocked middle seat).
The seats are thin and not very wide but comfortable to sit in even on this 3 hour long flight from Madrid to Berlin.
Besides the usual seat amenities like a tray table and seat pockets Iberia Express also offers a coat hanger and USB charging ports between the seats. Only things you will not find are moveable headrests and reclining seats!
The overall leg room was ok for me (176 cm tall, slim). When you choose your seat in advance keep in mind that a small inflight entertainment box will reduce your personal space in the middle seats.
Side note: If you have booked the cheapest fare option you can’t choose a seat for free even during online check-in!
Like every other low-cost airline Iberia Express offers drinks and snacks to purchase onboard. Only in Business Class a meal is included (can’t review it since i have flown in Economy Class).
The prices are compareable to other budget airlines such as Ryanair and Easyjet. You can calculate an additional 6,50€ for a sandwich, 2,50€ for a 0,5L bottle of water or a 0,33L soft drink. They also offer alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine, whisky and gin & tonic with prices from 4€ up to 10€ for a small bottle. For all you money savers they offer a meal deal which includes a sandwich, a soft drink and a snack for 10€ (saves you an average of 1€).
The flight attendants were motivated, smiling and possibly selling more because of this. I bought a meal deal for 10€ which included a chicken ciabatta sandwich, a bottle of water and some crisps. Nothing to special but at least the sandwich tasted like something. Here is what it looked like:
Yes, you have heard it correctly! Another european carrier is offering a free entertainment service you can use onboard. On every Iberia Express flight you can turn on your WIFI (in flight mode) and connect to their server. After logging in to your free Club Express account you can watch movies, series, listen to music or track your flight on your smartphone or laptop. The amount of options was good for this short flight however i can’t review how well it works since i was unable to log in…
After the 3 hour long flight from Madrid we landed in Berlin Tegel with a small delay of 5 minutes. The deboarding process was smooth. In the end i had to wait about 20 minutes to collect my baggage. This is a commun issue at Berlin Tegel Airport and not really to blame on the airline. In the end i was happy my baggage arrived and was undamaged.
Conclusion of my Iberia Express flight:
Overall i really enjoyed the experience with Iberia Express. Everything from check-in to deboarding went smoothly. For the ticket price i have paid (50€ oneway; Tourist Classic) it is understandable they want to charge you extra for snacks and drinks. In fact even most legacy carriers in Europe do it nowadays which is kind of sad. Also i liked the idea of their free inflight entertainment system even though i wasn’t able to use it in the end. Another plus for me were the USB charging ports.
I would definitely recommend to fly Iberia Express and would choose them again on another flight.