woman eating in Iberia business class seat.
Business & Premium Classes

What It's Like to Fly Iberia Business Class

Lori Zaino

Lori Zaino

February 1, 2023

8 min read

Table of Contents

Iberia Airlines is the Spanish national air carrier. The airline dates back to 1927 and has flown over 900 million passengers since its inception. Iberia’s main base is in Madrid, Spain, and the airline is known as the gateway between Europe and Latin America.

Besides connecting Spain with numerous destinations throughout Latin America, it also serves several US destinations like New York (JFK), Miami (MIA), Chicago (ORD), Los Angeles (LAX), Dallas (DFW), San Francisco (SFO), and Boston (BOS), as well as other international destinations throughout Europe and spots like Tel Aviv (TLV) and Marrakech (RAK).

What to know about Iberia business class

Iberia offers a separate business class on most of its routes, but if you’re looking for an actual business class experience, you won’t find it within Europe on the airline’s short-haul aircraft, like the A321, A320, A320 Neo, and the A319. When flying business class on these planes, expect a higher class of service as well as a complimentary meal, but the seats are just glorified economy seats. The airline does block the middle seat and offer additional legroom for a more comfortable business experience, but these short- and medium- haul airplanes don’t provide a true, lie-flat business class with different seats or entertainment screens.

Now that Iberia has retired its A340 aircraft, it currently operates its full business class experience on the A330 and the A350. These are the planes where you can expect the traditional, lie-flat bed business class experience with all the bells and whistles. These planes fly mainly transatlantic from Spain to the Americas, with the exception of some flights to London Heathrow or Brussels from Madrid. 

Iberia is rumored to be redoing its business class on its newer A350 aircraft. However, we won’t see these new seats until 2023. 

Best routes for Iberia business class

Test Iberia’s business class on any of the transatlantic routes flying between Spain and the Americas. 

If you want to experience Iberia’s A350 aircraft, your best bet is to fly on a route from Madrid to a destination like Mexico City (MEX), Bogotá (BOG), Buenos Aires (EZE), Santiago (SCL), Lima (LIMA), Quito (UIO), or New York (JFK). The aircraft (as well as the A330) also occasionally operates occasional short-haul flights between Madrid and London (LHR) and Madrid and Brussels. Note that the A350 only sometimes flies the New York route, so it’s best to check which aircraft is scheduled before booking.

Test out Iberia A330 business class on all other transatlantic routes between Spain and the Americas. Beware that Iberia routinely swaps out aircraft (the A330 for the A350), especially on New York routes) so don’t be surprised if you hope to fly the A350 but end up on the A330.

If you really want to enjoy Iberia’s business class to the maximum, consider a longer route such as Madrid (MAD) to Los Angeles (LAX) or Buenos Aires (EZE) to get a full 12 to 13 hours of flying time.

Real deals found by Going in Iberia business class

  • $1,828 roundtrip to Barcelona
  • $1,975 roundtrip to Valencia
  • $1,979 roundtrip to Zurich

The Iberia business class experience at the airport 

Check-in and security

All Iberia business class passengers can check in through the dedicated lanes marked for business class passengers (and Oneworld elite members). Select airports may have special Fast Track security lanes for business passengers. Business class passengers can also board the aircraft (and exit it) first.

Iberia business class lounges

Iberia lounge.

The airline has three Iberia-branded lounges: the Iberia Sala VIP Dalí in T4 Madrid, the Iberia Sala VIP Velázquez in T4S Madrid, and the Iberia Sala VIP in Buenos Aires. Iberia’s own lounges have a variety of dining (including hot food) and drink options (alcohol included), as well as showers and different types of seating and workspaces.

Iberia business class passengers in airports without dedicated Iberia lounges will have access to other airport lounges, many of which are Oneworld Lounges. 

Baggage for business class passengers on Ibera

Business class passengers flying Iberia can usually check two bags at no added cost, each with a maximum weight of 23 kg (50 lbs) and a total of 158 cm (62 in) (height + width + length), but this can occasionally vary depending on the route. Some elite passengers may be able to check three bags at no additional cost. Business class bags are tagged as Iberia Priority but may or may not come out before other suitcases on the luggage belt.

Carry-on regulations may vary, but business class passengers can take either one, two, or three carry-on bags onboard, depending on the route.

The Iberia business class experience in the air

We’ll be focusing on the long-haul business experience on the A330 and the A350 planes in this informative guide, since the airline’s short-haul aircraft really feature just glorified economy seats.

Iberia business class seats

Iberia business class seat.

For now, Iberia offers the same business class seats on its A330 and A350 aircraft. Note that the configuration is different (the number of business class seats varies by plane version, but typically between 23 and 32 forward-facing seats). Still, the actual seat metrics are the same regardless of version and configuration. The business class layout is one-two-one on all versions of these airplanes.

Each business class seat fully reclines into a lie-flat bed (a 78-inch pitch) that’s almost two meters (6.5 feet) long and 26 inches wide. Thanks to the aforementioned configuration, each seat offers aisle access. The seats are like small pods, featuring various storage spaces and a reading lamp. Each one has its own personal entertainment touch screen complete with movies, music, and a remote. Personal entertainment screens on the A330 measure 15.4 in. and on the A350, 18.5 in. In my personal experience, the seats were wide and long enough to fit the average person, but especially tall or larger folks may find them to be a tighter squeeze.

Iberia business class benefits

Business class passengers also get a mattress to place over the seat, a blanket, a large pillow, noise-canceling headphones, and an amenity kit. Amenity kits come with earplugs, an eye mask, socks, a fold-up hairbrush, toothpaste, a toothbrush, and Germaine de Capuccini amenities: facial spray, hand cream, and lip balm in a small beige bag. The kits don’t feel as luxurious as some other airlines’ business class kits that have leather bags or feature more prominent brands, but they’re nice enough. The facial spray is especially refreshing during a long flight.

Each seat also has a USB port and an outlet that can fit U.S. or EU devices. Wi-Fi is available, but this service is route dependent, and the signal may be weak at times.

Iberia business class meals

Iberia business class meal.

Iberia’s in-flight dining menu is created by DO & CO and focuses on the Mediterranean diet. Business class passengers can expect a meal organized as such:

Aperitif: Olives, nuts, or Spanish cheese.

Appetizer: Choose from two items, something like roast beef and hummus or smoked salmon.

Main course: Choose from three items, like braised beef cheek and vegetables, grilled hake fish with risotto, or eggplant parmesan with Manchego cheese.

Dessert: Choose from three items, like chocolate almond cake, a cheese plate, or ice cream.

Meals come with real silverware and tablecloth and have unique Spanish touches like the salt and pepper shakers shaped like “Las Meninas,” which are ladies-in-waiting famously depicted by many Spanish artists (the painting “Las Meninas” by Velázquez is one of the Prado Museum’s most emblematic works).  

On most long-haul flights, business class passengers receive a second meal like breakfast or a snack, as well as additional snacks throughout the flight. Coffee, tea, and bread are also available during meals.

Business (and economy) class passengers can also pre-request the following special meals: Asian vegetarian, vegan vegetarian, ovo-lacto vegetarian, low-fat, low-lactose, low-calorie, low-salt, diabetic, gluten intolerant, baby meal, Kosher, Muslim and non-vegetarian Hindu.

Passengers may be able to check the menu ahead of time here by entering flight info. 

Iberia business class alcohol

Wine, beer, and spirits are complimentary for business class passengers on long-haul flights. Most beer and wine offerings are Spanish, such as Mahou beer or Rioja wines, though this depends on the route.

Iberia business class vs. first class

Iberia doesn’t have first class, only economy, premium economy (on some routes/aircraft only), and business. Iberia denotes these as Turista, Turista Premium, and Business.

How to book Iberia business class

service in Iberia business class

How much does it cost for a business class ticket on Iberia? 

Iberia roundtrip business class tickets usually start around $2,000 between New York (JFK) and Madrid (MAD) on off-peak dates but closer to $4,000 on peak dates. Prices can be as high as  $8,000-$12,000 roundtrip on routes from other U.S. cities or Latin American hubs.

However, you may be able to find a deal, as Iberia offers Business Promocional fares, which are significantly cheaper than Business Flexible fares. The main difference between the fare classes? Iberia doesn’t allow cash refunds on a Business Promocional fare but does with Business Flexible fares. Going has found our members deals as low as $1,800 roundtrip.

Business class tickets using Avios are priced based on distance, starting at 34,000 Iberia Avios one-way, off-peak from Madrid to New York, Boston, or Chicago. 

How to upgrade to business class of Iberia for free

If you want to upgrade your Iberia economy ticket to business class for free, good luck to you. This rarely occurs. However, if a flight is overbooked during peak holiday or summer dates and you’re a Oneworld elite flyer, there’s a small chance you could get upgraded for free.

How much does it cost to upgrade to business class on Iberia? 

Upgrading to business class on Iberia the traditional way (simply calling them to upgrade) is going to be expensive, as you’ll likely be quoted the price difference between the ticket you purchased in economy or premium economy, and business (assuming your ticket is even eligible for an upgrade). Expect to pay in the thousands in most cases. 

Another option for Iberia upgrades is bidding when available (this may be available more frequently on intra-European flights). Iberia typically emails passengers when bidding is an option. The higher the price you offer, the more likely you’ll get the upgrade. Bid up to five days before your flight, and if you get the upgrade, Iberia will notify you four days before flying. You may be able to snag an intra-European flight upgrade for less than $100 on off-peak dates, but transatlantic flight bids (when available) usually range well into the hundreds.

You can also try to upgrade your ticket during check-in (if there’s availability) at the airport for a set price the check-in staff quotes you.

How many miles to upgrade to Iberia business class? 

The final option for upgrading an Iberia ticket is by using Iberia Avios. Not all tickets are eligible for Avios upgrades — only economy classes Y, B, and H, and premium economy classes W are eligible for Avios upgrades. In order to upgrade, you’ll have to phone the Iberia Call Center. 

During peak season, upgrading an eligible flight in Zone 5 (New York or Chicago to Madrid) from economy to business costs at least 30,000 Avios one-way. During off-peak season, expect to pay at least 17,000 Avios one-way. View Iberia’s peak and off-peak calendar here.


Iberia business class isn’t quite as fancy as some other carriers, but it certainly makes for a more comfortable way to traverse the ocean than economy seating, especially considering the lie-flat seats that fully recline. 

And using Iberia Avios for business class tickets is an easy way to get a good deal, considering flexible point currencies like Chase Ultimate Reward points and American Express Membership Reward points transfer to the program. One of the best sweet spots is the 34,000 Avios off-peak, one-way from Chicago, especially since certain times of year in the United States, like Thanksgiving, are off-peak according to Iberia’s calendar, which ties in with Spanish holidays.

Read more about business class travel

Frequently asked questions about Iberia business class

What does Iberia business class include?
Iberia business class includes lounge access, a lie-flat seat, enhanced dining and alcohol options, a large entertainment screen, noise-canceling headphones, a pillow, a blanket, and an amenity kit, as well as priority check-in, boarding, and security/customs access.
Do you get lounge access with Iberia business class?
Yes, all business class passengers can access Iberia Sala VIP lounges where available. If the airport doesn’t have an Iberia lounge, Iberia business class passengers can enter other oneworld or participating lounges.
Do seats in Iberia business class lie flat?
Yes, Iberia business class seats are lie-flat—and almost two full meters (6.5 feet) long.
Is food served in business class on Iberia?
Yes, food is served in Iberia business class. Short-haul routes offer a complimentary meal, whereas long-haul routes in widebody aircraft offer extensive food service: a three-course meal with alcoholic beverages, as well as snacks and other meals in some cases.
How many checked bags do you get in Iberia business class?
In most cases, Iberia business class passengers typically get two checked bags, though this can vary by route, origin, and destination.
What are the best seats in Iberia business class?
The best seats in Iberia business class are on the airline’s widebody aircraft: the A330 and the A350. These seats are lie-flat and extend almost two meters. The best seats may also depend on your travel situation. Couples and families may prefer the two “middle” seats (both offer aisle access) on the A330 or A350 in order to sit closer to one another, while solo travelers should select a single window business class seat for more privacy.
Lori Zaino

Lori Zaino

Freelance Writer

Lori Zaino is a freelance writer based in Madrid since 2008. Although she's traveled to almost 60 countries, Spain remains her favorite. See her bylines in CNN, NBC, Forbes, Business Insider, Viator, Culture Trip,The Points Guy, and more.

Published February 1, 2023

Last updated December 21, 2023

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