Iberia Airline Business Class

I am looking at flights for this trip in 2023. Has anyone flown business class on Iberia Airlines? If so, what was your experience?

There is a nonstop from ORD outbound to Madrid and a one-stop inbound from Lisbon. I can then avoid Heathrow and Amsterdam. However, there are many unfavorable reviews on Trip Advisor, and others.

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Comments

  • We are flying TAP to Spain via Lisbon in November, it doesn’t get good reviews but the schedule was the best for our needs.

  • edited August 2022

    I've only taken Iberia within Europe and they were fine. I have no transatlantic experience with them. I, however, prefer flying European carriers (Air France, KLM, et al) over U. S. based carriers when flying abroad. Just my personal preference.

  • Iberia is based in Spain, so it qualifies as a European carrier. :D

  • edited August 2022

    TAP has been absolutely fine the several times I've flown them, incl. transatlantic, within Europe and to/from Morocco.

  • We flew Iberia, premium economy, this past June. Our Douro tour started in Lisbon and ended in Madrid. So... we had a connection in Madrid on our way to Lisbon. Nice flights and service. Like others have mentioned, we wanted to avoid Heathrow. There are numerous daily flights from Madrid to Lisbon. Tauck Air was initially suggesting Chicago to Philadelphia then Lisbon. Might have been on American. I told the rep that I prefer to get directly to Europe and if my flight from Chicago is delayed, I have more options in Madrid to get to Lisbon. A delayed/missed connection in Philadelphia would more likely require an overnight there and a day's late arrival in Lisbon. I think there was a thread posted earlier this year about a similar discussion. Some stated their preference for being delayed/stuck in the US. I think that would allow fewer options/flights. If you are starting the tour in Madrid you don't have that concern.

  • We learned a long time ago that Tauck does not offer all the available flights. They really seem to like. Chicago. We always do research first and then call Tauck. Even if they have contracts with the airline you want, they don’t always see the flights you do on their system

  • It seems like a lot of you that booked air with Tauck Air are spending as much time watching and trying to optimize your air routing as those of us that book our own air. Not to mention your phone calls and wait time with Tauck Air.

    I thought one of the reasons for booking your air with Tauck was so you could sit back and let Tauck do all the work. Curious.

  • For us, the main reason was not having to pay until the last minute and being able to cancel before ticketing if we found a better price. We like to hang onto our money as long as possible

  • I am curious. What do those who book their own flights do? Don't you spend time researching airlines, favorable departure and arrival times, and price points? What do you do when your flight is cancelled as mine was this week? My tour is next month. Do you get immediately through when calling your airline to discuss alternative options? Although I am a SkyTeam member with Delta's Skymiles and Air France Flying Blue, the notification of my flight cancellation from Tauck came day ahead of the notice from Air France. I did not have to wait when initially making the air reservation. The Tauck rep sent me directly to their air department. No waiting. But I had already done my research before speaking to Tauck air. I've not traveled nearly as much as most on this forum. This is my first experience with an international flight being cancelled (not because of weather, mechanical issue or bird strike). I've experienced all of those.

  • For us, the main reason was not having to pay until the last minute and being able to cancel before ticketing if we found a better price. We like to hang onto our money as long as possible

    I agree with British. Also, for some itineraries, I believe Tauck has special business class pricing. I allowed Tauck to book my biz class fare to India. It was significantly less than the rates posted on the airlines website. I check rates periodically throughout the year and for this tour, the airlines price always exceeded Tauck's.

    That said, I've also booked with Tauck early and watched the airline website. I cancelled my Tauck air booking for the Baltics/Russia tour as the fare available at the cut-off point with Tauck was $2000 cheaper on the airlines website.

    It cost nothing to allow Tauck to reserve a seat for you unless... in the case for the JE tour, I was informed this trip was considered exotic and the rules changed which meant I had to pay as soon as Tauck made the reservation. I declined. I would have declined anyway as Tauck didn't have contracts with Qatar which is the airline I chose for that tour.

  • I am curious. What do those who book their own flights do? Don't you spend time researching airlines, favorable departure and arrival times, and price points? What do you do when your flight is cancelled as mine was this week?

    Patrice Yes, I spend a lot of time researching my flights. I'm a plane snob, and type of aircraft is also important to me. I am well prepared when I call Tauck's air department. Often times, I present them with the flight numbers to see if they have those flights to offer.

    Fortunately for me, the only time I experienced an cancelled/significantly changed international flight (2020 JE tour), my flight had been booked via American Express. I didn't have to do anything but respond to AMEX-- "there has been a significant change in your itinerary--please let us know if you want to change or cancel the flight. If cancelled, please advise how you prefer your funds to be returned to you" --easy peezy

  • If not through Tauck, we generally book with Amex. When we had a Tauck tour canceled and had used Amex points, they gave us cash back. I’m not sure whether points-wise that was a good deal, it cash in hand always rules in my book

  • Part of PureLuxury's post (see below) got me wondering. Is there an EASY way on the Tauck website to get a listing of all tours that are considered 'exotic' and therefore would require payment at time of booking with Tauck air?

    PureLuxury
    I was informed this trip was considered exotic and the rules changed which meant I had to pay as soon as Tauck
    made the reservation.

  • edited August 2022

    This is definitely happening more and more, you never had to pay for flights in advance for any tour. If I recall correctly, the first tour we had to pay in advance was maybe The Patagonia one, and also a Costa Rica tour. So I assumed it was South American, Central Americans tours, but now I guess it’s more, which takes the advantage of using Tauck away

  • OK back to my question, how about the condition of the equipment, quality of the food and the attentiveness of the flight attendants?

  • I flew from Dallas to Madrid on Iberia, in Premium Economy, not Business class like you were asking about, in 2014 on my way to/from the Spain and Portugal tour. The equipment, quality of the food, and attentiveness of the flight attendants were all as expected.

    On the flight leg from Madrid to Lisbon we sat in the first row behind first class. Thank goodness it was a very short flight because the leg room was such I couldn't get all the way into the seat. The leg room was as tight as any flight I've ever been on. That said, I'm 6'6" tall.

    If you are going business class to Madrid and on to Lisbon then the leg room shouldn't be an issue on the Lisbon leg, even if you are tall.

  • TravelGuy - we flew business class on Iberia, ORD/Madrid/Lisbon, 5 years ago and were pleased with service, seats, etc. We did have a tight connection in Madrid and had to hustle to the connecting flight.

  • Lotusgirl. - Looks as if the connections are very tight Madrid to Lisbon. Under 90 minutes. Do you have to clear customs and recheck bags in Madrid? Is the Lisbon flight on the same concourse with the arrival in Madrid? I know it was five years ago and my trip isn’t until late next year but this will give me some sort of an idea as a start. Thanks.

  • We did not have to recheck bags - they were checked through to Lisbon. The passport check line was very short and did not take long. I do recall that the gate was not close. We actually ran part of the distance to the gate and had no time to spare.

  • For those who really collect and use points/miles, we discovered something on our very first Tauck tour when we used Tauck air to fly on Delta. When we got our Skymiles statement after the trip, we didn't get the miles I was expecting. I called Delta who directed me to the fine print. The fares Tauck paid Delta were considered unadvertised discount fares and by Delta policy earn fewer Skymiles than non-discounted tickets. Not a deal breaker but something people should know. I don't know if other airlines do the same.

  • Our bags in June were checked through. We were not rushed making our connection in Madrid to Lisbon. It was a long walk to the gate. Service and dinner (premium economy) was adequate. The over the ear head phones they passed out (not the earbuds in economy) did not work. The flight attendant said “That’s too bad, we don’t have extras.” My Bose noise cancelling airline adapter with two same-sized prongs, was not the needed style. Two different sized prongs needed on Iberia. Airbus A330. I’ve never had that happen. When I asked later, a different attendent brought a set that worked and apologized.

  • You also don’t receive hotel points for Tauck booked pre and post trip rooms.

  • cathyandsteve
    9:17PM
    we discovered this as well...anything TAUCK books for you...THEY collect the points...you do not

    Are you sure? We got Skymiles, just not as many as we would have booking on our own.

  • As to the discussion of Exotics- I can't confirm the list is accurate, but if you want to know which tours are classified as "Exotics" go to the Tauck website and enter "Exotics" in the big search window it will return a list of 35 tours.

  • It looks like this search returns all tours that are outside of North America and Europe. If that’s the criteria Tauck uses then using Tauck air for any tour outside those two regions won’t allow you to defer your air payment. It will have to be paid at time of booking.

  • edited August 2022

    We get the miles if we book with Tauck and very occasionally we get the points with hotels. Thay may be because we use our Marriott card if we are in Marriotts for incidentals. Tauck is using Four Sasons quite a bit these days and they don’t have a points system

  • edited August 2022

    Surprisingly, I got some points for intra-tour flights on Hawaiian Air. Only reason I signed up with their FF program, as I don't expect to go back there, was to get TSA Precheck automatically, rather than having to go to an agent to get my boarding pass, handed out by the TD, reissued.

  • Cathy - Tauck may not be receiving the points. They are purchasing hotels and air at wholesale prices so there may not be points awarded.

  • British
    5:23AM edited 5:24AM
    We get the miles if we book with Tauck and very occasionally we get the points with hotels.

    But do you get the full points you would have received if booking directly with the airlines? We got Skymiles, just not the full amount.

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