Apart from regional flights operated by Air Nostrum, all flights are operated as two class planes (except long-haul where there are three) with a very good business class service - and no service at all in economy.
In Business short-haul there are fewer frills than you'd expect, and a highly variable service. Normally there are no hot towel, however immediately after take off you'll get the menus (there is a choice on trans-Europe flights, but not on domestic ones). Short-haul (even on 3 or 4 hours flights) the crew are very tardy with drinks, and there is usually only one service - with the food trolley (which always serves from the front). The meal is brought around on a tray.
Iberia A340-600 at Gran Canaria.|
You can get frequent top ups of whatever you are drinking, however the crew will keep their distance from you, so unlike BA or SAS where the staff like to chat to you in a premium cabin, in Iberia Spanish cultural differences come to the fore: here, if you pay for top quality, staff will keep their distance. As a result, if you want a drink, ring the bell. Gin is served from a big bottle in business class, not minitures, and will be poured infront of you, untill you say when, and served with a giant can of tonic. Alas, due to the delay in getting any drinks, you start with more gin than tonic, and end the other way round.
The crew are also useless at the clearing the cabins after the service, and will only do so after the coffee service. You can have Conac or Gin with your coffee (trolley from the back), but no other spirits, but if you have a drink on your tray the crew will ignore you and assume you don't want one.
In Economy you are, in effect, on a no-frills carrier. There is no free food or drink, but even more disturbingly you will find that on most flights none are on offer unless you request it. You have to ring the service bell, and then at their leisure a member of the crew will come out to you, and eventually bring you what you want. Then they will disappear off the galley for some change. The whole process takes so long you should ring the bell early in the flight if you want something to eat or drink. On flights over three hours, or to the Canaries, there is a trolley which works its way through the cabin from front to back selling food, however if you get the A340 on the Canary run, the crew normally do long-haul, and are often unaware of what they are selling.
Tu Menu Iberia's inflight service|
The one perk you do get if you fly economy domestic is that the crew will sometimes handout the free Spanish language newspaper Universal which, despite being overloaded with advertising is actually a decent enough read.
Iberia 747-400 at Madrid.|
One thing that many passengers notice in the premium cabin is that at Iberia the crew will keep their distance from you, unlike BA or SAS where the staff like to chat to you. Cultural differences come to the fore: here, if you pay for top quality, staff will keep their distance. As a result, if you want a drink, ring the bell. Equally, on Iberia passengers drink noticably less than on some European carriers: it will be thought odd if you request top-ups, however many passengers do.
In Business short-haul there are fewer frills than you'd expect, and a highly variable service. Normally there are no hot towels, nor menus. Service is always from the front of the cabin. Short-haul (even on 3 or 4 hours flights) the crew are very tardy with drinks. You have to ring the service bell, and then at their leisure a member of the crew will come out to you, and eventually bring you what you want.
Long Haul in Business things are better, and the crew are noticably attentive in the first couple of hours of the flight, and then melt away. There are usually pre-flight drinks after you board, however there is no Sparkling Wine on early morning depatures. There is then a newspaper trolley. The crew will come round with menus, hand out cold towels, and take your meal requests. The food is then pretty much unceremonially dumped in front of you, and you are left to get on with it.
The crew are also useless at the clearing the cabins after the service, and will only do so after the coffee service (if there is one), when they come round with spirits.
In economy long haul soon after takeoff the crew walk through handing out headphones, half an hour or so later they'll slowly start walking though with the food service, and finally there is a drink trolley from front to back, with a free bar on longhaul.
Ronda Iberia's inflight magazine|
The Agenda section is particularly good. It has long sections on events happening in Spain, divided into Arts sections, shows, shopping, and long reviews of Hotels. There are several long sections on destinations to travel to, of a varying quality, and with company and fleet news at the back, before the routemaps and the shopping section
For no obvious or apparent reason, the Iberia inflight magazine is named after a small area of Wales. It also supports the "Foundation for Urgent Spanish". It is such a pity therefore that it's own magazine bastardises English very badly. Some of the translations are hilarious.
Iberia has a pretty standard baggage allowance for each flight, but it is ever so slightly smaller than the usual cabin bag size.
Iberia Cabin Bags: Economy Class passengers can take onto Iberia flights, hand luggage of one bag with no defined weight limit (although you must be able to lift it) into the cabin, business class can take two. They must be no larger than 55cm x 40cm x 20cm (115 cm), including handle, pockets and wheels. Be warned that the width limit of 20cm is slightly smaller than most other airlines (who have 55x36cmx23cm) and it is rigoursly enforced. Rules on contents (such as liquids) apply. All classes can also taken one accessory, defined as a handbag, a small briefcase, a camera, binoculars, or a laptop computer bag.
Check in luggage: On domestic and European flights, economy class can check in one bag weighing 23kg, while business class can check in two bags up to a total weight of 32kg. On all other routes economy class can check in one bag weighing 23kg, full fare economy (Y) can check in two pieces, and business class can check in three bags, each weighing a maximum of 23 kg (but with the heavy bag charge waived to 32kg).
Silver Gold and Platinum Iberia Plus Frequent Flyers gain an extra one piece of checked in luggage allowance on European routes, but confusinly only Gold and Platinum are premitted an extra bag on routes to the US, and only Platinum / oneworld Emerald are permited a waiving of the overweight baggage limit on Iberia.
As always, these rules can change. Iberia's website has very confusing details of how much you can check in or take onto a flight, but it is not clear at all, and is mainly devoted to Iberia trying to sell you excess baggage.
Beware that if you take an Iberia codeshare in Business Class on British Airways, BA will limit you to only one cabin bag, whereas on Iberia you can take two. Odd, that.