During my trip from Barcelona to Lisbon via Madrid (read trip report here), I had intentionally chosen a long layover at Barajas airport as I wanted to both see the famous wavy ceilings which created quite a ripple (yes, the pun is intentional) when the airport opened in 2006, and I also wanted to explore the Iberia lounge at its home base.
As I got done with my little terminal tour and purchasing the customary refrigerator magnet from the duty free store, I proceeded to Iberia’s business class Dali lounge in Terminal 4.
Considering Madrid is the home base for Iberia, my expectations of the lounges in Madrid being superior and larger that those in Barcelona were fulfilled. The lounge was huge, as well as very impressive to say the least.
Divided into 2 areas, it had large areas of comfortable seating which was soothing for the eyes to see and invited me to sink my tired muscles into and relax. The central area shown above had a spacecraft design to it, with little chairs, and fountains inside it along with a wide selection of reading material, though again it was dominated by Spanish selections.
After relaxing for few minutes, I grabbed myself a beer and started exploring the lounge. There were reasonable options for food, including salads, pasta, sandwiches, wraps and sushi rolls. I would have ideally liked to see more hot food options as well but as this lounge serves the Schengen area flights with usually small layovers, it appears Iberia decided to serve more “to-go” options. There is a large choice area of alcoholic, non-alcoholic drinks and a café.
Besides your typical coffee machine, the lounge served various pastries, croissants, cornflakes, milk and tea options. The lounge also had a fancier coffee machine, though I must admit I did not try it all.
Something rather unique in this lounge was this dedicated wine bar which serves a wide variety of wines. This bar, I was informed, also hosts regular tasting sessions, but to my loss, there was no such session during my transit. I was still able to lay my hands on couple of reds.
The Dali lounge also features a dedicated quiet area in the back that had little beds for passengers opting to take a quick nap between their flights. Given the long days and hectic schedules of business passengers, who comprise the largest share of premium passengers, it would behove other airlines to incorporate a similar feature in their lounge offerings.
The business area had the obligatory few computers, internet access, a printer and a fax machine. Iberia though has to remove one very irritating feature. The wireless internet was accessible only through 30 minute cards which, though the front desk gave with a smile, is disruptive to a business passenger. By the time I went for my third card, the staff on duty graciously offered to give me an extra one to save me the trouble of coming back. I had to decline her offer as my flight to Lisbon was due to depart soon.
Though the TV lounge was largely unoccupied, barring one keen viewer. Again considering this lounge mostly serves intra-European flights, the lounge shows the extent to which Iberia has gone to make this lounge a pleasant experience for the many needs and interests of the passengers it would carry.
Overall, It was a very enjoyable experience at the lounge, and clearly one of the best that Iberia has to offer to its passengers. Iberia may be in deep financial mess it appears they have not spared any expense in making this lounge a comfortable experience for the premium traveller.
I must admit thoroughly relishing myself during these six odd total hours with Iberia minus few niggles. These six hours compromised of two lounge visits, in Madrid and Barcelona each (read Barcelona lounge report here), as well as two flights on Iberia’s A320, from Barcelona to Madrid and then from Madrid to Lisbon. All of this cost me 9000 avios and Rs. 5771. It’s a price I would pay happily for so many firsts every single time.
All images in this article are the copyright of Vishal Mehra and used with his permission. Unauthorised use and/or reproduction is prohibited.