Iberia flight review: Gatwick to Madrid

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An Iberia flight from Gatwick to Madrid

Iberia flight from Gatwick to Madrid on a busy Thursday morning had a few setbacks but arrived in shape and on time

With Gatwick’s chances of securing the long-delayed additional runway receiving the vocal support of Mayor Sadiq Khan – and with senior ministers who had been thought to favour Heathrow now returning to the backbenches – now seemed a good time for my first flight from there in several years.

Iberia check-in

Fortunately I was untroubled by the ongoing calamities at Southern Rail, the train from Victoria arriving on time and depositing me barely a one-minute walk from the Iberia check-in desk, which itself ran smoothly with just a 15-minute wait. Security, likewise, was a breeze. 10/10

Boarding

A change of gate meant a lot of confused passengers standing around in a queue that didn’t move and, for 15 minutes at least, was left without explanation. When it did get going – once the long line of priority boarders had been whisked through – computer problems caused by the change meant manual checking and painfully slow progress. By the time everyone was on board and the plane was on the move, we were 40 minutes late. 5/10

The seat

The 28-inch pitch was a fairly tight squeeze and the lack of a decent back seat pocket – just the narrow slot for the flight brochures – was an irritation as there was nowhere to hold a bottle of water. But for an airborne time of around 100 minutes it was manageable. 6/10

Iberia in-flight service

Avoid the rear seats if you want anything from the trolley. Progress was so slow – as stewards either returned to base to restock or rolled the trolley up and down the aisle to let passengers through to the sole economy-class toilet, also situated at the back – there was barely 15 minutes remaining by the time they reached us. Fortunately they serve espressos so there was time to gulp my coffee down before landing. 5/10

Arrival

The time lost on departure was made back in the air and we arrived just 10 minutes late, at 14.30 local time. There was a shuttle bus from the outer reaches of Barajas airport terminal 4, but the baggage collect and customs all went smoothly and I was passing through exit and meeting my driver within half an hour of leaving the plane. 9/10

Verdict

With delays on departure and on board it was almost a surprise to arrive on time and fully caffeinated. But despite those frustrations this was a smooth and simple flight. 35/50

For more information:

Iberia

Gatwick

About author

Steve Yates

Steve Yates

Steve Yates is a freelance writer and sub-editor for Director

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