The Definitive Guide to Iberia’s Direct Routes From the U.S. [Plane Types and Seat Options]

Iberia Business Class

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Iberia is the flag carrier of Spain. Founded in 1927, Iberia is owned by International Airlines Group, which owns airlines like British Airways and Aer Lingus.

Iberia joined the Oneworld alliance in 1999 and flies to nearly 120 destinations in 45 countries, with a special focus on Europe-Latin America routes. With its central hub in Madrid, this Oneworld airline offers excellent routing options to/from Europe and onward to the rest of the world.

Iberia’s business class is generally accepted to be decent. With fully lie-flat seats in a staggered configuration, this premium product is consistently solid. Importantly, Iberia offers several nonstop routes to Spain, which is one of the world’s top tourist destinations.

If you are originating in the United States and headed to Spain, you want to book as direct a route as possible so that you can hit the ground running. Although Iberia’s core seats across different aircraft are generally the same, there are several important nuances to pay attention to when deciding which aircraft to fly on.

Interestingly, Iberia doesn’t have a vast network of routes like British Airways, so let’s get into the nitty-gritty and discuss Iberia’s direct routes from the United States. This discussion will be comprehensive and include the plane types operated on each route, along with which seats are best to book in each cabin of each plane.

Let’s get started.

Seat Options by Aircraft Type

Iberia currently operates 3 different aircraft on flights between Madrid and the United States — the A330-200, A330-300, and A350-900.

As you can see, Iberia has opted to operate flights to America solely using Airbus aircraft. Iberia’s A350-900 is their newest business class product. Let’s look at Iberia’s route summary chart to get a better understanding of Iberia’s routes, flight numbers, aircraft, cabin classes offered, and flight frequencies:

Iberia RouteFlight No.AircraftCabin ClassesFrequency
Boston (BOS) – Madrid (MAD)IB 6166A330-300Business, Premium Economy, EconomyFrom 3x weekly to daily
Chicago (ORD) – Madrid (MAD)IB 6274A350-900Business, Premium Economy, EconomyDaily
Los Angeles (LAX) – Madrid (MAD)IB 6170A330-200

A350 starting sometime in 2020

Business, EconomyFrom 3x weekly to daily
Miami (MIA) – Madrid (MAD)IB 6118/6124A330-300Business, Premium Economy, Economy2x daily
New York City (JFK) – Madrid (MAD)IB 6250/6252A350-900Business, Premium Economy, Economy2x daily
San Francisco (SFO) – Madrid (MAD)IB 6174A330-200Business, EconomySeasonal: 3x weekly from April 10, 2020 to late-September 2020
Washington D.C. (IAD) – Madrid (MAD)

{beginning on May 1, 2020}

IB 6132A330-200Business, EconomyUp to 5x weekly

Iberia’s route network is relatively petite, and you’ll also find that they vary their flight frequencies, depending on the season. You’ll notice that Iberia’s flight frequencies reach their peak from April to September, which aligns with the pre-summer and summer seasons.

Before we dive into the variation in aircraft configurations, let’s talk about how to best approach flying Iberia.

Best Points to Earn to Fly Iberia

Iberia’s mileage currency in their Iberia Plus loyalty program is called “Avios,” a name shared by both British romAirways’ and Aer Lingus’ mileage systems. You can transfer Avios among the 3 reward programs, which means you can combine Aer Lingus Avios, British Airways Avios, and Iberia Avios.

Depending on how you book, you may or may not be on the hook for fuel surcharges, especially for business class award tickets.

For example, booking Iberia flights using British Airways Avios would result in enormous taxes and fees of around ~$500 one-way. In contrast, booking the identical flight using Iberia Avios usually results in:

  • Lower redemption prices (~10-25% fewer Avios).
  • Lower taxes and fees (~$106 one-way).

Another thing to watch out for is peak seasonality. Iberia publishes its peak and off-peak dates, which means you’ll pay different prices depending on which date you travel on.

Iberia Avios can be earned through transfers from American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy.

Hot Tip: Looking for other ways to redeem Iberia Avios? Check out our best ways to redeem Iberia Plus Avios for maximum value!

If you’re looking to book using different means, here are some great ways to book Iberia flights:

Here are some great example redemptions you can make:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) or San Francisco (SFO) to Madrid (MAD) one-way in Iberia business class during off-peak season for 51,000 Iberia Avios + ~$106 in taxes and fees (off-peak economy is 25,500 Avios one-way and off-peak premium economy is 38,250 Avios one-way).
  • Chicago (ORD) or Miami (MIA) to Madrid (MAD) one-way in Iberia business class during off-peak season for 42,500 Iberia Avios + ~$106 in taxes and fees (off-peak economy is 21,250 Avios one-way and off-peak premium economy is 31,750 Avios one-way).
  • New York City (JFK) or Boston (BOS) to Madrid (MAD) one-way in Iberia business class during off-peak season for 34,000 Avios + ~$106 in taxes and fees (off-peak economy is 17,000 Avios one-way and off-peak premium economy is 25,500 Avios one-way).

Bottom Line: Using Iberia’s own miles, known as Iberia Plus Avios, is likely the best route for most travelers. This is due to the attractive points costs and the minimal taxes and fees you’ll pay. 

Iberia First Class Options

Unfortunately, Iberia doesn’t currently offer a long-haul first class product on any flights.

Iberia Business Class Options

Iberia Business Class
Iberia business class. Image Credit: Travel-Dealz.eu

Iberia offers business class options that can get you to/from Spain in comfortable and luxurious fashion. This is in stark contrast to low-cost carriers like Norwegian Air that also fly between Spain and the United States.

All of Iberia’s business class seats are 26 inches in width, 78 inches in pitch, and 78 inches long in bed-mode. This is actually quite a sizable footprint for a business class seat. The seats themselves are all arranged in a forward-facing staggered configuration.

We’ve ranked each of the aircraft configurations from best to worst. Keep reading for more!

Iberia A330-200 Business Class

Iberia A330-200 Business Class Seat Map
Iberia A330-200 business class seat map. Image Credit: SeatGuru

Our top winner, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, isn’t Iberia’s newest product. Instead, our winner of Iberia’s best business class is aboard the A330-200, flown exclusively to the West Coast.

While it might not make much sense that an older aircraft offers a superior business class product, we’re about to discuss why the A330-200 offers the best experience.

The first thing you’ll notice in the above seat map is the intimate business class cabin size. Since the A330-200 is a smaller aircraft, there is less space available to put in seats. The entire business class cabin is only 19 seats large, spread out across 5 rows in a 1-2-1 configuration with the rear starboard seat removed.

The seats are arranged in a staggered format, with honeymoon seats in the middle section of the odd-numbered rows. We believe the best seats for solo travelers are either 2A, 4A, or 2L. You’ll want to avoid 4L due to the close proximity to the lavatories.

The reason for this recommendation is because even-numbered seats on each side are true window seats, with a layer of separation from the side table. This is in contrast with odd-numbered seats on each side, which are really aisle seats, due to the lack of separation between the aisle and seat.

You’ll also notice that there are lavatories and galleys at both the aft and stern section of the business class cabin. That being said, we believe the best seats for couples are 3E and 3G. These honeymoon seats mean you’ll be close to your companion for the duration of the flight, making it easy to communicate with your seatmate.

As we mentioned above, you’ll find the A330-200 operated exclusively on Iberia’s longest U.S. routes to the West Coast:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Madrid (MAD).
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Madrid (MAD).
  • Washington D.C. (IAD) – Madrid (MAD) from May 1, 2020.

Iberia A350-900 Business Class

Iberia A350-900 Business Class Seat Map
Iberia A350-900 business class seat map. Image Credit: SeatGuru

Our next best winner is Iberia’s newest business class product. Boasting a technologically advanced aircraft and comfortable in-cabin environment with better climate control, business class on the A350-900 is great.

The A350-900 closely resembles the 787 Dreamliner in the sense that the composite makeup of aircraft walls retains humidity at a higher rate. This means that flying in this plane won’t dry out your sinuses, making your experience that much more comfortable.

Additionally, the fuel burn and noise level are significantly lower than the 777 or even the 787 Dreamliner. That being said, the cabin configuration of business class on the A350-900 is not as favorable as the A330-200, which is why it is second place.

In the A350-900 business class cabin, there are 31 seats arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration across 8 rows. The aft starboard business class seat in row 1 is missing, which is why the number of seats is 31 as opposed to 32.

You’ll notice that the rear of the cabin only has galleys, while the front of the cabin contains all lavatories, along with some galleys. As a result, you’ll find the most foot traffic towards the front of the cabin. As a rule of thumb, you’ll want to avoid the path of greatest foot traffic, so you should choose rear seats when possible.

The best seats for solo travelers are 6A, 7J, 5J, 4A, 3J, and 2A. These seats are extra private compared to the other seats due to the side table separating the seat from the aisle. These seats are also close to the window, which makes the seat that much better.

The best seats for couples travelers are the middle seats. For honeymoon seats, pick 3E/G, 5E/G, and 7E/G. However, try to avoid 1E/G due to the proximity to the lavatories.

You can find this A350-900 business class layout on the following routes:

  • Chicago (ORD) – Madrid (MAD).
  • New York City (JFK) – Madrid (MAD).

Iberia A330-300 Business Class

Iberia A330-300 Business Class Seat Map
Iberia A330-300 business class seat map. Image Credit: SeatGuru

Our last spot goes to Iberia’s A330-300. This particular A330-300 has more seats in the overall business class cabin than the A330-200. It is also a less technologically advanced, older product than the A350-900.

It is for these 2 reasons the Iberia A330-300 lags behind in last place. Within the cabin, there are 29 business class seats, which is 10 more than the A330-200, representing a 53% increase in seats. The seats are arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration across 7 rows with an extra seat in the rear right side of the cabin.

Lavatories and galleys are at both ends of the cabin, so you’ll want to generally avoid the first and last row for your own convenience. The best seats for solo travelers are going to be window seats in even rows, which are 2A, 4A, 6A, 2L, 4L, 6L, and 8L. 

On the other hand, the best seats for couples are going to be honeymoon seats in the middle of the cabin. These are in the odd rows and the seats are 1E/G, 3E/G, 5E/G, and 7E/G.

You can find the A330-300 being flown on the following routes to/from the U.S.:

  • Miami (MIA) – Madrid (MAD).
  • Boston (BOS) – Madrid (MAD).

Iberia Premium Economy Class Options

Iberia Premium Economy Class
Iberia premium economy class. Image Credit: Iberia

Of the 3 planes that Iberia flies to the United States, the A350-900 and A330-300 have premium economy seats.

Iberia decided to make its A330-200 a 2-cabin aircraft, featuring only business and economy seats. Iberia’s newest premium economy is aboard the A350-900. However, while the seats on the A350-900 will inevitably show less wear and tear, the bones and size of the seat itself are unchanged.

Iberia’s premium economy seats flown to the U.S. are 18 inches wide and have 37 inches in seat pitch. Since the industry average for long-haul premium economy seats is 19 inches in seat width and 38 inches in seat pitch, Iberia’s premium economy seats are smaller-than-average.

Nonetheless, Iberia periodically releases reasonably priced premium economy tickets, which could be a great way to either:

  1. Upgrade your premium economy seat to business (subject to award availability).
  2. Fly nonstop to Spain in reasonable comfort on any of their U.S. routes.

In any case, let’s talk about Iberia’s premium economy products, where to sit, and the seat maps.

Iberia A350-900 Premium Economy Class

Iberia A350-900 Premium Economy Class Seat Map
Iberia A350-900 premium economy class seat map. Image Credit: SeatGuru

Our winner of the best premium economy product goes to Iberia’s newest U.S. aircraft: the A350-900. Situated across 4 rows on each side and 2 rows in the middle, Iberia’s A350-900 premium economy cabin consists of 24 seats in a 2-4-2 configuration.

The seats are around 18 inches wide and 37 inches in pitch. The absolute best seats are in row 11, the bulkhead row. All 4 of these seats have extra legroom, which absolutely goes a long way in providing more comfort.

Also, the A350-900 provides much greater in-cabin comfort due to the humidity the aircraft retains within the fuselage. The aircraft also burns less fuel, which makes it much more environmentally friendly.

Just keep in mind that a galley is situated close to row 11, which may result in some noise hindrance. However, the bonus legroom is often absolutely worth it. Thus, you’ll want to select seats 11A/C or 11J/L if you have the opportunity.

The Iberia A350-900 can be found on these routes:

  • New York City (JFK) – Madrid (MAD).
  • Chicago (ORD) – Madrid (MAD).

Iberia A330-300 Premium Economy Class

Iberia A330-300 Premium Economy Class Seat Map
Iberia A330-300 premium economy class seat map. Image Credit: SeatGuru

Iberia’s A330-300 also has a premium economy cabin, unlike the older A330-200 variant. In this cabin, you’ll immediately notice a smaller configuration of 2-3-2. Also, there are 21 seats in a 2-3-2 configuration, which is 3 fewer seats than the A350-900.

There is a galley on the front-right section of the premium economy cabin. The best seats will be in row 11, which is where the bulkhead is situated. You’ll want to avoid seat 11A because the protrusion from the exit row door will undoubtedly hinder your legroom.

The best seat for solo travelers on this aircraft is 11C, which features more legroom and is far away from the galley. For couples traveling together, the best seats are 11J/L. When you sit in 11J/L, you’ll have the whole row to yourself plus tons of extra legroom from the bulkhead. Just be careful, though, because these 2 seats are close to the galley, which can be noisy at times.

You will find the A330-300 flown on these routes to/from the U.S.:

  • Boston (BOS) – Madrid (MAD).
  • Miami (MIA) – Madrid (MAD).

Bottom Line: The differences in Iberia’s premium economy are slim. While the seats themselves are identical, the design of the A350-900 and presence of preferential bulkhead seats (especially for couples travelers) makes the A350-900 the winner over the A330-300’s product. 

Iberia Economy Class Options

Iberia Economy Class
Iberia economy class. Image Credit: knaviation.net

If you’re one of the lucky travelers to have snagged an ultra-cheap economy ticket from the U.S. aboard Iberia, you’ll want to pick the best seat if you can help it.

There’s quite a bit of variation amongst the different economy cabins. However, you’ll find that these cabins are generally pretty tight, so picking a good seat is ever-so-important. The normal economy seat is 18 inches wide and 31 inches in pitch.

Let’s talk about the best economy class cabins on Iberia.

Iberia A350-900 Economy Class

Iberia A350-900 Economy Class Seat Map
Iberia A350-900 economy class seat map. Image Credit: SeatGuru

Our top winner for economy is the A350-900, which is somewhat contradictory to normal logic, because this is also the largest economy cabin. With nearly 300 seats (293 to be exact), you’re looking at a lot of rows.

Spread out in a 3-3-3 configuration, each of these seats is 18 inches wide and around 31 inches in pitch. The best seats for solo travelers are 38A and 38L, which are green-colored in the seat map graphic above. There’s no seat in front of either of these 2 seats, which means that you’ll have nearly unlimited legroom.

Conversely, the best seats for couples are 37B/C and 37J/K due to the exit row in front. You’ll similarly have the best legroom in these 2 pairs of seats. These seats aren’t perfect, however, because they’re very close to the lavatories.

The seats you must absolutely avoid are in rows 21, 36, and 54. Row 21 is a bulkhead seat, but it has extremely restrictive legroom. Row 36 is just behind the lavatories, so you won’t be able to recline your seat at all. Lastly, row 54 is all the way at the back of the plane and has restricted recline because there’s a wall directly behind your seat.

You’ll find the Iberia A350-900 flown on the following nonstop routes to/from Madrid and the U.S.:

  • Chicago (ORD) – Madrid (MAD).
  • New York City (JFK) – Madrid (MAD).

Iberia A330-300 Economy Class

Iberia A330-300 economy Class seat map. Image Credit: SeatGuru

Iberia’s A330-300 economy class cabin comes in second place. The cabin consists of 242 seats, mostly in a 2-4-2 configuration and tapering down to a 2-3-2 configuration towards the back of the plane. The seats are 18 inches wide and 31 inches in pitch.

On this aircraft, the best seats are located at 21D/E/G/H, 36 D/E/G/H, 37A/C, and 37J/L. All of these seats offer extra legroom, which makes your flight significantly more comfortable. In rows 36 and 37, you’ll be closer to the lavatories, so just be aware of that if you’re thinking of choosing those seats.

Notably absent are the side row seats in row 21, which actually have restricted legroom. So, avoid those for sure! Also, be sure to avoid row 35 and 52 seats due to the restricted recline.

You can find the A330-300 on the following nonstop routes to/from the United States:

  • Miami (MIA) – Madrid (MAD).
  • Boston (BOS) – Madrid (MAD).

Iberia A330-200 Economy Class

Iberia A330-200 Economy Class Seat Map
Iberia A330-200 economy class seat map. Image Credit: SeatGuru

Our last choice for Iberia economy is the A330-200. Similar to the A330-300, the seats are in a 2-4-2 configuration with a smaller 2-3-2 configuration at the back of the plane. As usual, the seats are 18 inches wide and 31 inches in seat pitch. Interestingly, the A330-200 has more seats, with a total of 269 in the entire economy cabin.

All of the lavatories are in the middle of the economy cabin, between rows 26 and 27. The best seats in the cabin are 6C, 6J, 8D/E/G/H, and 27C/D/E/F/G/H/J/L. These seats provide the best legroom. The absolute best seats for solo flyers are either 6C or 6J, due to the exit room legroom, the upfront location, and the fact that there are no lavatories nearby.

Here are the nonstop U.S. routes Iberia offers service on the A330-200:

  • San Francisco (SFO) – Madrid (MAD).
  • Washington D.C. (IAD) – Madrid (MAD) from May 1, 2020.
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Madrid (MAD).

Bottom Line: The rules for picking a great economy seat are simple. Pick the ones with extra legroom, preferably in the exit row. Other than that, you’ll want to avoid lavatories and galleys if possible. 

Final Thoughts

Iberia operates a small fleet of aircraft on its flights to the United States. There are currently 3 planes flown: the A350-900, A330-300, and A330-200. Each of these planes has its own unique configurations and layouts.

Iberia flies chiefly to gateway hubs and alternates between daily flights and seasonal frequencies. They have a relatively small network compared to British Airways.

Booking Iberia business class is very attainable with points. Award availability tends to be good when booked in advance, and there are ways to minimize taxes and fees, which we’ve written about above.

You’ll generally want to pick the A330-200 for the best business class layout and the A350-900 for the best premium economy and economy layouts.


FAQ

What's the best way to book Iberia first class?

Unfortunately, Iberia doesn’t currently offer first class. Therefore, there’s no way to book Iberia first class, whether it’s with points or cash.

What are the best ways to book Iberia business class?

The absolute best way to book Iberia business class overall is to use Iberia’s own booking program.

Iberia Plus has the best award availability of all the programs, and the award availability is excellent in advance. You can book Iberia flights using their distance-based award chart and peak seasonality.

Simply put, you can book off-peak business class flights one-way for 34,000-51,000 Avios, depending on how long your flight is.

Other options include using 57,500 American AAdvantage miles for a one-way flight or 122,000-150,000 Asia Miles for round-trip flights (one-ways aren’t permitted using Asia Miles). Another possible (but not recommended) option is to use 80,000-100,000 Japan Airlines miles for round-trip flights in business class. One-way flights are anywhere from 42,000-60,000 Japan Airlines miles.

What are the best ways to book Iberia premium economy class?

You can spend 25,500-38,250 Iberia Plus Avios for one-way tickets during off-peak season depending on which exact route you’re taking.

Alternatively, you can spend 86,000-100,000 Asia Miles for round-trip premium economy. Or, spend 30,000-46,000 Japan Airlines miles for one-way premium economy. For round-trip tickets, you can spend 59,000-70,000 Japan Airlines miles, depending on your routing.

What's the best ways to book Iberia economy class?

There are a number of different ways you can book Iberia economy class. The best way is to use 17,000-25,500 Iberia Avios for one-way flights. Round-trip tickets are simply double the price of a one-way ticket.

You can pay 22,500 American AAdvantage miles during off-peak season or 30,000 AAdvantage miles during regular season.

Using Asia Miles, you can book flights for 54,000-80,000 miles round-trip. With Japan Airlines miles, you’ll pay anywhere from 23,000-37,000 miles for one-way flights and 45,000-50,000 miles for round-trip flights in economy.

Stephen Au

About Stephen Au

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Stephen has been privileged to enjoy many premium cabin products and 5-star hotels. A petroleum engineer by trade, Stephen caught the travel bug in college when he traveled to Asia several times. After 2 years of continual promotions, Stephen quit his safe and secure career path in favor of entrepreneurship.

Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.

3 comments

  1. For an upcoming Chicago to Madrid flight, I booked my wife and I two premium economy tickets (seats 11 J,L) using Amex points (a total of 73k points using the transfer bonus) for a round trip ticket. We wanted business class but there were no business class award seats available (9 months in advance). Would they open up more business class awards closer to the date or am I “stuck” with the premium economy?

    • Hi Mark,

      Generally speaking, Iberia does not release more award seats closer to departure. Most of the business class seats are released far in advance (300-330 days prior to departure). While this doesn’t mean your chances are zero, you’ll probably have to see how the award inventory changes. Thanks for reading!

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