Widebodies and Short Flights – with Iberia and British Airways
- Let’s do a challenge
- Off to Heathrow
- Points to be Made vs Economy Class and Beyond – Two idiots race across Heathrow
- Heathrow Terminal 5 and The British Airways Galleries South Lounge
- IB3167 London Heathrow to Madrid (BUSINESS CLASS)
- Crowne Plaza Madrid Airport
- Exploring a bit of Madrid
- Back to Barajas and the Iberia Lounges
- BA461 Madrid to London Heathrow (BUSINESS CLASS/BA FIRST)
- To the trains!
- Two sides of the IAG coin
In terms of trip reports, this one is filed as “This is mostly unexpected”, and pretty impulsive by my simple standards. This is the long-form version of my trip to Madrid, with lots of detail that I haven’t gone into in the snapshots.
Long-time readers might have noted that my grammar and spelling errors are heading on a downward trend recently (mainly as a lot of the content is round-trip into Grammarly first), however, things do sneak out without intention some times. My usual rules apply to those who have nothing better to do with their time than pick, pick, pick.
And yes. I spend more time proofreading than writing.
Right. With that done – on with the show!
Let’s to a challenge!
Tim from Points to be Made dropped a message in my inbox about doing a trip to Madrid. Now, that would be normally a medium “maybe” idea for the weekend out, and would be “as time allowed”.
Except the London – Madrid route has some “interesting” oddities in terms of equipment deployed on this route.
Primarily, the route offers Airbus narrow-body frames (A319, A320, A321 family aircraft) by both British Airways and Iberia – with the typical EuroBusiness offering you would expect (blocked dreaded middle seat and minimal legroom).
However, the combined route offers two wide-bodied operated planes as day – primarily to move cargo around with.
For those looking for flight numbers of these wide-body flights
- Iberia: IB3166/IB3167 – Airbus A340-600 or Airbus A350-900
- British Airways: BA460/461- Boeing 777 either as a 777-200ER or a 777-300ER
And these are consistent operations if we look at the FlightRadar24 data
BA460/461 Flight data – Moslty Boeing 777 operation (with the odd A321) – Data FlightRadar24
These flights are visible both in the British Airways and Iberia booking engines – and more importantly – available as a redemption seats
Thus, the net cost of this was £63.24 in cash and 25,500 Avios. Not as cheap as the cheapest reward flight saver flight – but still a stellar deal for flatbed seats for a 2 and a half hour flight.
Especially as this was booked two weeks out (by both of us!).
So yes, is this a chance to get Wide-body comfort on a short-haul flight? Entirely.
With that done, the next step was the joy of hotels. As both Tim and I are IHG users (and we’ve got our “mini-accelerates” in progress), we both chose the lazy option of the Crowne Plaza Madrid Airport. In addition, we would be arriving late in the evening – so, getting into Madrid when we arrived would have been an inconvenience.
But of course – this is all too simple.
As Tim was staying at the Holiday Inn Ariel (and I’ve done my penance there a fair bit), and we would be starting rather late in the day – we debated having a race between the hotel and Terminal 5.
Who would win? Well, if you’ve seen this article, you would know. But if you haven’t … stay tuned…
So, here’s the map for this trip.
Join me for the madness, along with Tim – and see how the wide-body experience is on intra-European Flights
Meanwhile a few days before.
What’s the term I’m looking for here – ah yes. “The best-laid plans of mice and men”.
The joy of flu slammed into me like a European High-Speed train going at full pelt. I work in a caring and sharing environment, so on Tuesday evening before the trip – the flu started to hit me hard.
Because my co-workers are and caring and sharing types.
Then the next few days – I was bedridden, hitting the Max Flu capsules, Vitamin C and orange juice. Mainly as I wanted to reduce the germ count, but not travel when I was feeling totally rubbish… because that’s no fun for anyone.
Least of all me.
And yes, it was touch and go until Friday evening. But I was better by the end of Friday evening.. If not totally right
Which for what I needed to do, would be enough…
NEXT: Off we go!
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