How to Make the Most of Economy Class on Iberia Airlines

You won't get anything fancy in economy on Iberia, but it's a solid option with a good selection of routes.

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Serving a half dozen destinations in the U.S., Spain’s flag carrier airline, Iberia, can take you to spots all over Europe or connect you to the rest of the world. An Iberia economy class review shows that these affordable seats on Iberia offer solid service and, overall, a good way to get to Europe or beyond.

Considering booking an Iberia economy class flight? Here’s what you should know.

What to expect flying economy class on Iberia

Iberia’s economy class offers friendly service and food offerings inspired in Iberian flavors. While not a luxurious experience, Iberia economy class will get you where you need to go in a consistent, good quality product.

  • Bag allowance. Most tickets in economy class on Iberia long-haul flights come with a checked bag free of charge, provided it doesn’t weigh more than 50 pounds and adheres to the size limits on their website.

  • Boarding. Under normal circumstances, economy class passengers would board the plane last, after business class and other groups. However, due to COVID-19, Iberia has rearranged boarding row by row, starting from the rear of the plane and moving to the forward cabin, to reduce contact between passengers.

  • Seats. The seats on both the A330 economy class and the A350 economy class on Iberia long-haul flights offer a seat pitch ranging from 30 to 32 inches between rows and are 18 inches wide. All seats recline, with the exception of those restricted by emergency exits. They are equipped with an adjustable-height headrest that can be arranged to provide more support on both sides of your head. Further, there are electrical outlets in each row with universal plugs, as well as USB ports to charge your devices during flight. The seat-back entertainment system in economy class uses a 9-inch touch screen for accessing movies, TV shows and music. Unless you’re flying on a basic economy fare, your seat selection is free.

  • Food. Your economy seat in any long-haul flight on Iberia comes with a meal prepared with seasonal ingredients, so it will vary by route and time of year. Passengers can select special meals up to 24 hours before departure: vegetarian, vegan, ovo-lacto-vegetarian, low-fat, kosher, Halal and Hindu meals are available on most long-haul flights.

  • Service. Iberia is not known for above and beyond on-board service. The service is friendly and certainly helpful, but you won’t find any unique offerings on Iberia that you wouldn’t get from any other airline.

Economy ticket types

Basic economy

Iberia offers two basic fares: Basic and Basic+ — both usually more affordable than regular economy fares. Basic+ entitles you to one free checked bag while the Basic fare does not.

Basic economy Iberia fares don't allow for free seat selection, but you can pay for your seat selection in advance to secure a lower fee. If you don’t choose a seat, you'll be assigned one at random. The airline doesn't guarantee that you’ll be seated near your travel companions.

Premium economy

Iberia offers premium economy on their long-haul flights, and there are a few differences that may help you decide to spend marginally more for one of these seats.

When flying premium economy, you'll enjoy a more spacious seat with 37 inches between rows and more than 19 inches of seat width. Your entertainment screen is upgraded from 9 to 12 inches, and the airline provides each traveler with a noise-canceling headset. In addition to an adjustable headrest, your premium economy seat has an adjustable foot rest, too.

Your in-flight meal service in premium economy is upgraded as well. The menu includes more Spanish-inspired items, served with more flair. Also, your premium economy ticket comes with two free checked bags up to 50 pounds.

Ways to get good value

Select seats near the back

Given the current boarding process — from rear to front — it may be worth selecting seats near the back to help ensure you’ll find space in the overhead bins so you’re not forced to gate-check any of your carry-on luggage.

Book with Avios

Iberia’s loyalty program is called Iberia Plus, and its mileage currency is called Avios. British Airways and Aer Lingus also use Avios, and partnerships between these three airlines give you more ways to get, use and transfer Iberia Avios.

Booking a flight with Iberia Avios is a great way to save cash. You can also book Iberia flights using the miles of a Oneworld partner airline like American Airlines, but your Avios will likely get you a better deal than your American AAdvantage miles.

For example, we found a flight from Los Angeles to Madrid that would cost you 21,250 Avios plus $102 in taxes and fees. The same flight Los Angeles-to-Madrid flight booked through American Airlines cost 30,000 AAdvantage miles plus $102.

Booking with miles includes one checked bag for free in economy. Basic economy fares cannot be booked with miles.

Only book award flights when your plans are set

Mileage tickets can be canceled or changed for about $30 (25 euros) for some fares. Avoid booking flights with points unless your plans are locked in.

Note that cash tickets don't afford you the same flexibility, issuing a voucher instead of a refund.

The bottom line

With its expansive route network, Iberia offers a wide array of connections. Through its hub in Madrid, you can connect to cities across Europe and around the world. Economy class cash fares come with some restrictions on baggage, refunds and seat selection.

Use Avios to book your flight to save money and enjoy some perks you don’t typically get with economy tickets.


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