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Iberia Air - from US to Spain

dizzy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning for 2019
Hi All!

I just noticed that Iberia Air has flights from the US to Spain. Has anyone used Iberia from the US? What were your experiences? Good, bad, indifferent? How were they for arrival & departure times? Did it take long to get through customs?

Sorry for all the questions, I haven't traveled overseas before so it's all new to me! Thanks in advance!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Lourdes/Burgos/SdeC (train) 1977; CF 12,15,17; Finisterre 17; Lourdes/Aragones 18; Meseta again 2019
Hi All!

I just noticed that Iberia Air has flights from the US to Spain. Has anyone used Iberia from the US? What were your experiences? Good, bad, indifferent? How were they for arrival & departure times? Did it take long to get through customs?

Sorry for all the questions, I haven't traveled overseas before so it's all new to me! Thanks in advance!
Very good, on all counts! But not the cheapest....

Pax, JGE+
 
Camino(s) past & future
2012 SJPP-Burgos, 2014 Burgos-Leon, 2018 Leon-Santiago
Agreed. Customs and passport control are what they are no matter what airline you fly.
I find the European carriers are more liberal with luggage costs and sometimes have amenities that are lacking in American carriers, such as wine with meals, and interesting entertainment. Sometimes, however, these flights are serviced by Delta or American, with the usual depressing attitude toward their customers and their baggage.
 

mark connolly

Member
Camino(s) past & future
sept 2016 CF
sept 2017 Lourdes to SJPDP via Piemonte
SJPDP to SDC via CF
2019 CF (God willing)
Travelled from JFK to Madrid on my last camino on Iberia. No problems with the flight, etc. However, the flight arrived around 6:30am local time. There was a line for immigration. this was compounded by the fact another flight had also arrived from Mexico. In 2017, on my first camino, my flight via America Airlines arrived around 8:30am local time. Upon entering immigration, there were three lines: One for European Union passport holders, non European Union, and American passport holders. Obviously, me being a US passport holder, I went to the that line, presented my passport, stamped it, and I was on my way pretty much no questions asked. When I went last year, there was only two lines, EU and non EU passport holders. Went to the non EU line, waited about 20 minutes, presented my passport, etc., was asked a few questions, and went on my way. Don't why the American passport line wasn't open/available, it may be open certain hours, whatever. And don't why I wasn't asked any questions the first time and why I was asked questions the second time. (Plausible answer: we live in a post September 11th world). With that being said, I would default and assume there would be a wait at immigration when you arrive. Hope this all makes sense. Any other questions, I will be happy to answer. May I ask where you are flying from?

Good luck.

Buen Camino.

Mark
 

nathanael

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata
Hi All!

I just noticed that Iberia Air has flights from the US to Spain. Has anyone used Iberia from the US? What were your experiences? Good, bad, indifferent? How were they for arrival & departure times? Did it take long to get through customs?

Sorry for all the questions, I haven't traveled overseas before so it's all new to me! Thanks in advance!
I live in Canada and have had a flight booked from Toronto USA to Spain apart from too much security at US airport Iberia is a great experience. Good staff and food great with extra wine for your meals.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
Hi All!

I just noticed that Iberia Air has flights from the US to Spain. Has anyone used Iberia from the US? What were your experiences? Good, bad, indifferent? How were they for arrival & departure times? Did it take long to get through customs?

Sorry for all the questions, I haven't traveled overseas before so it's all new to me! Thanks in advance!
Living in South Florida, American Airlines is the dominant airline. So, I have been using them and their codeshare partner Iberia near exclusively since moving here three years ago.

Presently, I can fly Iberia nonstop from Miami to Madrid and connect to anywhere in Spain or Europe from there. Also, all AA and IB flights operate into and out of Terminal 4 at Madrid Barajas (MAD). Thus, your international to EU domestic connections are as smooth as possible (a relative term). But, not having to change terminals is a blessing and a BIG time saver. Finally, on this point, bus and train connections from T4 @ MAD are also as good as you could ask for.

If I use any other airline from South Florida, including AA, I have to connect through some place up north before departing foreign. On AA, for me, this means Charlotte or Philadelphia. Both are good airports, with Charlotte highly preferable. Connections interject confusion, time, drama, and uncertainty. So I minimize and avoid them if possible, especially within the US.

As regards actually flying on Iberia, I found a much higher 'value for money' on IB than on any US flagged airline. In my 45-years of flying internationally, they IMHO are among the best for comfort, service enroute, meals, beverages and overall consideration.

The economy seats on their Airbus A330 fleet are at least one-inch wider than any US flagged carrier flying Boeing airplanes. It DOES make a huge difference, not brushing thighs with strangers. Seat pitch / legroom is sufficient.

IMHO, and long experience, Meals are are superior to US airlines and the cabin crew is waaay better at customer service. Plus, all of the cabin crew can actually walk down the aisle without turning sideways or bumping into every seated passenger as they try to squeeze past...I think you understand if you fly US carriers...:eek:

The wine is free, even in economy, and it is always Spanish wine. So the Spanish experience starts as soon as you are on board.

The SOLE downside is that all announcements are in both Spanish then English. however, this is also relative. I used to fly UA from Washington DC to Belgium, when I lived there. On that flight, the announcements were all made in English, French, then Dutch. Besides, my Bose in-ear noise cancellation headphones nearly eliminate all outside sound, including announcements.

Final point, I have recently been upgrading my economy tickets to premium economy at check-in. The cost difference is usually USD 250 to 300 each way. But, in return you get a wider seat, that reclines further, with better meals, in a front section of the cabin. You also get an extra baggage allowance. As I regularly bring stuff for donation at the Pilgrim House in Santiago, this helps defray that marginal cost.

Most carriers, US and foreign, are rolling out a version of Premium Economy. Essentially, they took the former business class seats out of storage and changed the configuration from 3 - 3 - 3, to 2 - 3 -2 seats across. The results feel like first class, or what first used to be, at a fraction of the cost.

Hope this helps.
 

daesdaemar

Camino-holic
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles - twice
Flew Iberia twice from Miami to Madrid on to SdC then bus to Ferrol for the Ingles. Can't really say they were different from any other airline. These days all airlines are a bit of Purgatory here on earth.
 
Last edited:

Jeaninboise

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leon to Santiago
2014
(Pamplona to Burgos)
Hi All!

I just noticed that Iberia Air has flights from the US to Spain. Has anyone used Iberia from the US? What were your experiences? Good, bad, indifferent? How were they for arrival & departure times? Did it take long to get through customs?

Sorry for all the questions, I haven't traveled overseas before so it's all new to me! Thanks in advance!
I just booked a ticket with British Air- Iberia’s partner for $784 round trip from Boston for TWO of us. No checked bag- backpacks are small. Good luck.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

mlhhome

Really new member
Camino(s) past & future
Various (‘12, ‘13, ‘15, ‘16, ‘18)
I have only flown Iberia to Madrid and I have chosen three departure cites - Chicago, Miami and Dallas. As mentioned above, the customer experience on these extended flight has been worth every additional dollar. If you want to make your re-entry a smooth and hassle free experience, please obtain Global Entry. Otherwise, US Customs processing, baggage retrieval and airport transfers will quickly dampen your Camino glow.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2017
I flew from Boston-Madrid-Biaritz, then Santiago-Madrid-Boston. The ticket was less expensive than other combinations of plan, train or bus. I found I eria to be the typical european airline. You select your seats no more than 90 days in advance. Customer service doesn’t not or won’t speak English over the phone even though they sold the ticket in the US. They provide the minimum service possible. If you are flying with an AA credit card, be sure to have your boarding pass issued with “Priority” stamped on the pass at the check in counter. That way you get priority boarding and there is no problem carrying on your pack. Also get a free checked bag.

The flight was roomy and good. Interestingly, there were no call buttons on the flight. I went back to ask for something and found that the bar was open in the back. Stewards were happy to hand out what you wanted but they only passed through the cabin at the begining and end of flight.

My flights were all on time. All in all, a good experience.
 

FourSeasons

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Sept/Oct 2013
CF April/May 2016
del Norte (July/August 2019)
I live in Canada and have had a flight booked from Toronto USA to Spain apart from too much security at US airport Iberia is a great experience. Good staff and food great with extra wine for your meals.
I can't offer any experience regarding Iberia airline but YAY, happy to know there is plenty of security in America. There is no such thing as too much security. :D I actually never noticed too much security coming back into America after my international trips. I did notice though in Madrid the airlines going to America were in one section of the airport. Once you were through that portion of security and yes they check your carryon thoroughly taking everything out, you cannot go back out of that area. It wasn't a bother and I surely didn't see it as an inconvenience, it made me feel safe in this topsy-turvey world.

God Bless and Merry Christmas
 
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pjacobi

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015, St. Jean Pied de Port to Burgos
2016, Burgos to Ponferrada
2017, Ponferrada to Atlantic Ocean
Soon the non-EU line will become much longer! As benefit of Brexit, the Americans will be able to chat with the Brits while waiting.

-Paul
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Madrid, Frances and Finisterre (2015)
Camino Norte-2017; Camino Ingles from A Coruna - 2017

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
There is a new low cost airline, LEVEL, ( https://www.flylevel.com ) that is associated with Iberia in some way. It has flights from a few US airports.

See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Level_(airline)

From personal experience I'm not able to report on either airline.
So, is Iberia Express a thing of the past? I know that Iberia converted a lot of its internal flights to Iberia Express a few years ago. That seemed to have no effect on anything except (according to a flight attendant) that Iberia was able to resume flying those flights without complying with union contracts. I will say that Iberia or Iberia Express’ flights in Spain have absolutely the least amount of legroom I have ever seen. But I have no complaints about service at all, fly them every year.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
We have e flown both and had no problems. We had heard some horror stories about Level (the budget division of Iberia) but fortunately they were just rumors.

IMHO, the primary issue with LEVEL is that NYC JFK is their east coast US hub. This airport is among one of the worst in the developed world for access, customer service, convenience, and connections. I avoid it like the proverbial plague... Even Newark (EWR) is preferable, and that airport is the pits...

The only possible use for JFK is if your flight starts and ends there, and that is your destination. Even that is depressing...

I researched any possible use of LEVEL coming from Florida. All options, no matter how I approached it, required a connection at JFK. NO amount of savings is worth that inconvenience, in my four decades of experience and opinion.

So, I continue to take a shuttle or private hired car to Miami. They drop me at the curb, about 30 meters from the Iberia check in desk at Concourse E. The rest is easy-peasy.
 
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Tom Leonard

Boston Strong
Camino(s) past & future
Walking Sarria-Santiago Sept. 17,2015
Give yourself plenty of time at Madrid airport for return to USA.
It is a big airport and takes time . IBERIA is a decent airline and have used them from Boston for work and the Camino.
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
Hi All!

I just noticed that Iberia Air has flights from the US to Spain. Has anyone used Iberia from the US? What were your experiences? Good, bad, indifferent? How were they for arrival & departure times? Did it take long to get through customs?

Sorry for all the questions, I haven't traveled overseas before so it's all new to me! Thanks in advance!

I never had any issues with Iberia. They are great for non stops to Madrid.

Ultreya,
Joe
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF April 4- May 12, 2018
CP April 2019
I flew Iberia LA - Madrid last spring, got what I think was a good price $705. Rt with return flight out of Santiago. Both directions plane was only 1/2 full so got to use 2 seats! I’m with Tom about plenty of time in Madrid returning home, the international terminal is quite a hike from where flight from Santiago flight landed, long passport check line, then you must walk through all the duty free shops☹ but that would not be exclusive to Iberia. I would give Iberia a BIG👍
 

dizzy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning for 2019
Travelled from JFK to Madrid on my last camino on Iberia. No problems with the flight, etc. However, the flight arrived around 6:30am local time. There was a line for immigration. this was compounded by the fact another flight had also arrived from Mexico. In 2017, on my first camino, my flight via America Airlines arrived around 8:30am local time. Upon entering immigration, there were three lines: One for European Union passport holders, non European Union, and American passport holders. Obviously, me being a US passport holder, I went to the that line, presented my passport, stamped it, and I was on my way pretty much no questions asked. When I went last year, there was only two lines, EU and non EU passport holders. Went to the non EU line, waited about 20 minutes, presented my passport, etc., was asked a few questions, and went on my way. Don't why the American passport line wasn't open/available, it may be open certain hours, whatever. And don't why I wasn't asked any questions the first time and why I was asked questions the second time. (Plausible answer: we live in a post September 11th world). With that being said, I would default and assume there would be a wait at immigration when you arrive. Hope this all makes sense. Any other questions, I will be happy to answer. May I ask where you are flying from?

Good luck.

Buen Camino.

Mark
I would be flying from Dallas
 

dizzy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning for 2019
Thank you to everyone who has written about their experiences and travels to and from the Camino using Iberia. I think it sounds like what I may be using!
 

JR9162

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata (5/1/2018 - 1007 km in 39 days)
Camino France's (4/10/2019)
Got word from my TA that Iberia is no longer servicing Biarritz from Madrid. Wound up rescheduling me on Air France / Delta. Much better routing, can apply the trip to my Skymiles account. I get in Biarritz at 10am versus 4:30pm. Win win for me because I don't have to pay any additional for my tickets.
 

AnaRosario

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pomplano to Santiago (March 29-May 6 2018)
Hi All!

I just noticed that Iberia Air has flights from the US to Spain. Has anyone used Iberia from the US? What were your experiences? Good, bad, indifferent? How were they for arrival & departure times? Did it take long to get through customs?

Sorry for all the questions, I haven't traveled overseas before so it's all new to me! Thanks in advance!
Good news, I plan on returning to do #2 camino May 2020
 

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