Iberia or BA. - Malaga to Bucharest

Jan 7th, 2010, 08:13 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 833
Iberia or BA. - Malaga to Bucharest

I need to travel one of these two airlines for intra Europe flights. I can take IB and connect in MAD or BA and connect in LHR. I am on a business class ticket and I will have lounge access. I have been to the BA lounge in T5. Never been into the IB lounge in MAD. Both fligths are short, there is no difference in price, except a few $ in taxes since I am on a FF ticket. If I travel on IB I leave very early in the morning and arrive in the afternoon, I would fly Malaga to Madrid to Bucharest. BA leaves around 2 pm, I have a three hour layover in LHR and I would get me to my destination at midnight, the flight would be Malaga to London to Bucharest.

Here are my questionsbr />
If I travel on BA do I get a passport stamp in Spain and another in Romania on arrival? (Yes, I like getting passport stamps).

How do the 2 airlines compare, I've never flown IB?

What are the IB lounges like?

Overall, which is the better option?

Thanks in advance.
justshootme is offline  
Jan 7th, 2010, 09:40 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,062
I believe that Romania has applied, but not yet been approved for membership in the Schengen visa-free zone, so you'll probably get a passport stamp on arrival. You won't get one on leaving Spain or transiting LHR if you chose BA.

I'd choose IB via MAD myself, mainly because it looks like the BA itinerary would involve a terminal change (arrive T3, depart T5, which is a pain) while at MAD you'll arrive in the domestic portion of T4 but depart from T4S (short train ride between the two.)

If you haven't been to MAD it's a hoot - gorgeous, huge, architecturally quite dramatic (not that T5 at LHR isn't.) IMO the Velasquez (T4S) business lounge at Barajas is dy-no-mite, one of the best in the Oneworld system (okay, not like the F lounge in Sydney or the Wing/Pier in HKG, but really good.)

As for the on-board experience, IB's A320s have 3 x 3 in biz, but the center seat isn't sold. I've been very happy with service in J on the 320s (even on some long flights, e.g. MAD-TLV) - good food, wines.

BA's also have 3 x 3, although I think they may be using the "mini-seats" in the center, i.e., not a seat, thus allowing a bit more tush room. Food and bev will be okay, but on a late evening flight to Bucharest I don't know if you'll have a meal service or just a snack. IMO the quality of food on BA shorthaul business has really gone downhill lately.
Gardyloo is offline  
Jan 8th, 2010, 07:55 AM
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Thank your Gardyloo.I thought that I'd get an exit stamp when leaving Malaga on BA. Everytime I've flown from the Schengen zone to the UK I;ve had my passport stamped. I had thought that Romania was part of the Schengen zone, I made a mistake.

All BA planes I've been on for intra Europe flights have been 737s or A320s both have business class seating as 2-3. The centre seat on the 2 side (which has A and C seats) is the mini seat you describe. I haven't been on BA business class recently, and I know people who travelled last month and weren't happy with BA's business class long haul product.

I am also flying MAD to Malaga earlier in the trip, how can I check which terminal the flight will depart from? I would like to explore the T4S lounge. I have flown to MAD before, but I don't remember the airport too well, and I was using the last of my Star Alliance points so I wasn't able to enter the OW lougnes with my AA status.
justshootme is offline  
Jan 8th, 2010, 08:24 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,062
BA mucked around with the CE seats on the 737s and 320s last year, first going to 3 x 3 with the center seat blocked, then un-converted them (but all? Don't know if the refit is complete) with the "convertible" seats on both sides of the aisle, i.e. the same skinny middle as they has on the AC side on the 2 x 3 old configuration. So who knows? At least they're not selling the E seat (or B + E) on either/any configuration.

The Oneworld timetable shows flights to and from AGP using the Schengen side of T4 at Barajas (the IB/Oneworld terminal) so you'll have to wait till the flight to OTP to get access to the T4S lounge.

I don't know re the exit stamp. Last time I flew from MAD to anywhere non-Schengen I didn't get one; YMMV.
Gardyloo is offline  
Jan 8th, 2010, 09:21 AM
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Gardyloo, thank you for the information on the MAD to AGP flight.

The only flights I've had from MAD have been within the Schengen zone. I hope I'll get a passport stamp, who knows when I will return to Spain or Romania.
justshootme is offline  

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