We had booked the shuttle bus to the airport for 0800, but there was one outside and leaving at 0750 so we jumped on that one, and were at the airport 10 minutes later. In contrast to Frankfurt, which we found to be very tricky to navigate, Madrid is a breeze. We went via Fast Track security, passing through in about 2 minutes, and then headed onto the train to get to the Satellite. As we had done the journey before, we knew exactly where to stand and where the lifts were to get as close to the front of the passport queue as possible. We made it back into the Iberia lounge by about 0820 which is good going!
We sat in the same part as before. They have very clear signage explaining their offerings – from 0600 they do snacks, including cereals and pastries, with a hot buffet of more substantial items coming online at 0900. At precisely 0857, a lady with a trolley of treats appeared to prepare the buffet and ensure it was ready for the 0900 time. I had some smoked salmon, but it all looked delicious. There were choices of mushrooms, bacon, grilled tomatoes and omelette, as well as cheese, the salmon that I had, bread and rolls. This is in addition to the snacks that are also on offer.
I had a wander along the lounge and saw the various areas available, including relaxation rooms with chaise longe, areas for working with office-style tables and chairs, and different combinations of seating. It was also very bright and airy, and certainly less crowded that the BA Galleries South in T5.
We boarded the plane as a nearby gate. The Boeing 767 was the final of our wide-bodied triptych and, to be honest, the poor relation. On board it has a 2-2-2 layout of the older-style seats.
The middle pair has the mini seat in the middle, giving more elbow storage room, but the outer seats (A/B and J/K) are pairs such that you don’t get the extra space from the ’empty middle seat’ afforded to a normal Club Europe seat. There is definitely a much more cramped feeling on this aircraft that the last three we had flown.
The 767 is operated to provided added cargo capacity between Madrid and London. On our flight, this delayed the departure due to the late-loading of some pallets. We therefore missed our slot and at one point the app was showing a delay of over 2 hours. Thankfully, as the Captain was explaining the situation, this was reduced to an hour.
Service on board was good. During the delay, we were offered water or juice. Once airborne, the usual snack was offered. I had pre-ordered the vegetarian option but the guy in the seat in front had already claimed it. I am not sure if he had ordered it or if I was just unlucky. The Cabin Service Director was very apologetic and came back later in the flight with the iPad to make a note to ensure that it was provided for the Dublin leg tomorrow. I just picked out the meat and ate the cheese and bread which was fine.
We landed and, after a short delay to wait for another plane to vacate the stand, we were off. E-gates at passport control were operational, so we got through relatively quickly and were soon on the Heathrow Express back to Paddington and the short walk home.
You can follow the whole journey here:
- Episode 1
- Episode 2
- Episode 2 and a half
- Episode 3
- Episode 4
- Episode 4 and a half
- Episode 5
- Episode 6
- Episode 7
- Episode 8