Flying to South Africa with Iberia

I’ve always enjoyed flying, more for the significance and the wish to arrive at a new place, and not for the flight hours, or being on a plane or the amount of wasted time at airports and security (always the worst part).

If for me, that traveling always means pleasure and nice things, is this way, imagine for those traveling constantly for work! And it’s for those and to those that the companies work constantly to improve their services, creating Lounges at airports and areas in planes, namely the Business and First class. where comfort and the amenities transform those “wasted” hours in much more appealing moments, both if you need to work or simply want to rest before arriving at a new destination.

For our last travel to South Africa, namely to Cape Town, the best flight we found was with Iberia, doing Porto-Madrid, Madrid-Johannesburg, and Johannesburg-Cape Town. Shorter flights, with a reliable company and fewer hours of connections, for sure the best option to go from Porto to the “end” of Africa.

Premium Lounge Velásquez

In this trip we had the pleasure to enjoy two of the Iberia Lounges at Madrid Airport, first, the Premium Lounge Velásquez and after, before returning to Porto, the Premium Lounge Dali, clearly named in a tribute to great Spanish artists.

Premium Lounge Velásquez
We were nicely welcomed and quickly led inside the Lounge, after confirming our accesses. A recently decorated space, with different areas of rest and work zones, with appropriate lighting, nice materials and all kind of connections so you don’t run out of battery, as usual in a good Lounge.

The food and drinks available are one of the most evaluated points by those using these spaces, surely we’re not in the middle of the craziness of the Middle Eastern companies, but there are plenty of Gins and other digestives, good Spanish wines and a wide selection of beer.

Food-wise the offer flows among salads, sandwiches, a cheese selection and of course some hot meals, and to finish, the always nice Häagen-Dazs ice creams that kept me company during the quick trip to our gate.

We arrived almost at the end of the boarding (the comfort of the Lounge led to that) and were quickly accompanied to the access gate to Business class, a very quick process and in few minutes we were comfortably seated with a nice cup of Cava in our hands.

 The plane
Well, the Airbus A330 is one of the most used commercial planes in the world, keeping the same lines of many other companies, the comfort, space, and entertainment are assured in the individual booths at Business class.

There’s the usual space to keep your personal goods, chargers, a specially thought table to place drinks and objects without restraining the passenger’s movements. Comfortable pillows, a blanket, socks, and of course a totally reclinable seat.

As usual, at the arrival we are welcomed with a glass of Cava or natural juice, to toast to another flight. Once ours was a nocturnal flight we started with a late dinner, with several menu options, resulting in some surprising moments. A fish salad with smoked fish and orange, dark bread, blue cheese and jam; and another salad with crunchy veggies and vinaigrette, were a surprising beginning of this on board meal.

Smoked fish and orange

Still drinking white wine, I then went for an Iberian pork cheek with mashed potatoes and vegetables (I’ve seen worst served in theoretically “good” restaurants).

Iberian Pork Cheek

To end our dinner, one of the good surprises was a carrot and spices cake, nicely paired with a Sherry glass (that made a great job helping me fall asleep).

 Carrot and spices cake

After some Gin & Tonic, some movies and some good hours of sleep, it was breakfast time, also with a great selection, omelet, smoked meats, toasts, laminated fruit, and the yogurts I usually keep in my fridge.  We were in good hands!


The Service we experienced was flawless at every level. Without a larger staff, they were always present, with special attention to our comfort and our needs during the flight.

A flight is not only about a comfortable bed (although sleeping well throughout a flight doesn’t sound so bad), or only about food and drinks, and about that, Iberia has a wide range of movies and tv shows, many of them in several languages (including Portuguese), tv channels, games and even some MB of Wi-Fi so no email gets unanswered during the flight.

I was able to see a series of movies, rest, sleep and enjoy the flight time to the max.

On our return to Madrid, after another comfortable night flight, we went to town for lunch and then returned to the Airport, to Lounge Dali, before heading home.

Premium Lounge Dali
Once again nicely welcomed and we arrived at another recently decorated space, very similar to the Lounge Velásquez, here with the advantage of enjoying a very pretty architectural area of the Airport.

A Lounge full of visitors, but still comfortable to rest while waiting for our return flight to Porto, enjoying some snacks and of course, the mandatory Gin & Tonic.

Flying like this is easy! Iberia was able to surprise me from the first to the last moment of this connection between Portugal and South Africa.

See you soon!

Versão Portuguesa

Photos: Flavors & Senses

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