Down to Argentina! LGW-MAD-EZE and back!

Member for

14 years 9 months

Posts: 114

Arrival at Gatwicks impressivly organised and tidy North terminal gave the beginning of this long trip a good start. I arrive at the empty row of check-in for British Airways at around 11.00am and greeted by a friendly check-in staff who (much to my surprise) is able to check me in to both my flights enabling me to get my desired seat on both flights and check-in my suitcase all the way through.
After getting my window seats i say my farewells to my family and go through immigration which must have taken at most 2minutes as the terminal was rather empty. Feeling a bit emotional from the farewells, i take a seat by the window at the terminal and not long later the BA flight to Madrid is called. The rather long trek to the gate brings us to the end of the terminal and boarding begins. I was pleasently surprised to see that boarding was done rather quickly and before i knew it i was sitting on the B737-400 of BA viewing out the window to the AA B767 to Dallas pushing back as we prepare for push-back.
After a wait for take-off we fly south and after reaching cruising altitude of 31000ft by the channel islands we are kindly served a warm pizza with greek salad and a choice of drink. The cabin crew were very warm and friendly to each of their passengers. Soon we land at Madrid Barajas Airport right on time and the short taxiing brings us to the gate at the very modern new Terminal 4s.


In Madrid i had quite a wait for my flight to EZE so, i decide to visit the other teminal building of T4. This might not have been a good idea as the terminal is HUGE and reminds me of Paris Charles de Gaulle. A 3minute underground train takes us to the main terminal and after 40mins walking, im out in the main airport. But i decide to go back and after waiting for ages i go to gate U40 to wait for Iberia flight to Buenos Aires. After a 40minute delay at the gate, we finnally begin the boarding process which was more like a rugby scrum. I cant beleive how desperate people get to get on! The Iberia staff failed to board business class passengers and children first.
Eventually i take my seat on row 34A, just in front of a gallery. The time it took from boarding to push-back was 1hr so i just looked out the window of the A340-600 viewing a company A340-300 to Montevideo board. The aircraft was clean and each passenger recieved a pillow and blanket. Along with earfones and socks. I was disappointed to see the cabin crew not pay attention to doing the saftey demonstration after stopping half way through due to a passenger trying to but a bag on the overhead bin. So, finally at 1.30am we took off, 1hr 35 mins late.

Feeling tired and fed-up we got fed a choice of chicken or pasta just when we flew over Lisbon which was at around 2.00am Spanish time. The A340-600 of Iberia somehow does not hav the individual tv's on the seat back so in order to view the inflight movie (Zorro and Oliver Twist....), you had to strain your neck! The meal was not bad, the chicken and rice was good, salad was dry and the cheesecake was vile. However, they offered bread twice and drinks. Soon after the cabin crew collected the meals and the cabin lights were dimmed as the only light shown was that of the TV. I fell asleep to the inflight music (12 channels) and awoke during the boring Oliver Twist (not ideal for 12 hr flights). I was quite annoyed to find that there was no cabin crew, NOT ONE, in reach during the middle of the flight. They left a tray of drinks in the gallery and disappeared. After endless time flying the lights finally swiched on and breakfast was served. This included cold ham with cheese and bread and orange juice. I went to the toilets just behind me and found myself picking up bits of tissue people through on the floor. I then returned and got given landing cards and soon later we landed at Buenos Aires (AT LAST!!).
Releived to get off the good aircraft but terrible airline, i went, after queing at immigration for 30mins, to get my suitcase. This didnt actually get there. Iberia is popular for being used as a south-american gateway so is used a lot for connecting passengers. There were 30 on my flight, from Germany, Holland The UK and France and none of their luggage, including mine, were left at Madrid. In the heat of the airport, i finally left the airport with the baggage claim 3hrs after arrival. The suitcase got to me in Mar Del Plata 5 days later.
Needless to say Iberia are an embarassment of a european airline. The aircraft was good but the airline and its staff are useless and should be classed as an airline of a third-world country. The customer service at madrid for my suitcase was useless, not answering the phones and i will never fly them again.
On the other hand BA was the complete opposite, they were friendly and reliable.
Iberia ranking out of 10- 4
BA ranking out of 10- 8.5

PS- I have pictures but they are to large to be valid on. If you would like to see them, please let me know.

Original post
Profile picture for user philgatwick05

Member for

14 years 11 months

Posts: 1,614

Great report - interesting to here your views - my brother went Heathrow-San Jose connecting in Madrid with Iberia last year and thought the Iberia experience was fine. What size are the photos?

Profile picture for user astraeus471

Member for

14 years 9 months

Posts: 171

Great Report, I would love to see the pics!