First Look Inside Iberia’s Stunning Premium Lounge in Madrid
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For all the complaints about how air travel isn’t what it used to be, we’re actually in an amazing time of aviation. Never has flying been safer. Never has flying been cheaper in economy (inflation-adjusted). And, up front, never have there been more luxurious options. Emirates has a shower on its A380, Etihad has a three-room “Residence” and Singapore Airlines is launching a spectacular new first class product.
Air travel has also gotten better before you even leave the ground. While US carriers aren’t impressing in the air when it comes to luxury, American Airlines’ excellent new Flagship Lounges are making the ground experience much more pleasant. United’s Polaris lounge in Chicago is also turning heads, although the carrier won’t end up opening any Polaris lounges in 2017. And the American Express Centurion lounges make the American Express Centurion Card, The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum® Card from American Express even more valuable.
But overseas carriers are also upping their game, and today we got the first look at Iberia’s refurbished Velázquez Premium Lounge in Madrid’s (MAD) Terminal 4 Satellite building, which is home to many overseas flights. The new 26,900 square foot lounge is now open for up to 500 passengers at a time. Here are the details and a first look inside.
While this lounge is an Iberia lounge, it’s not just limited to Iberia passengers. Oneworld Sapphire and Emerald elites — equivalent to American Airlines AAdvantage Platinum, Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum elites — are able to visit the lounge when flying a Oneworld flight. In addition, business and first class passengers on the following airlines can access the lounge: American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Iberia, LATAM, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian and S7 Airlines.
However, physical access to the lounge is also limited to flights outside the Schengen area, as the lounge is located in the “Terminal 4S” section after exit immigration. From my personal experience two weeks ago, getting to this terminal can easily take 30 minutes from the check-in desk, even with fast-track security. So, make sure you get to the airport with plenty of time before your flight if you want to check out the new lounge.
Food & Drink
Foodies rejoice. In its press release about the new lounge, Iberia notes that “food service is the central focus of the new space.” And, the Velázquez Premium Lounge certainly seems to be looking to impress in this area, with a sit-down restaurant plus hot and cold buffets. In addition to getting a taste of Spain, there’s also “international fare — including sushi” available.
Spain is known for producing some excellent wines, and 22 different options are available in the lounge’s 753 square foot “vinothècque” — 13 red wines, 8 white wines and one rosé.
The lounge seems to be focused on helping passengers refresh, relax and recharge before their flight. There are “chaise-longues” for jet lagged passengers to conch out on for naps before or between flights. Each lounge chair has USB plugs, with international power ports at restaurant tables for passengers to recharge. There’s a children’s area stocked with games, game consoles and televisions. In addition, the lounge has six stunning showers for visitors to use before their international flight.
So if you’re a mid-tier or higher OneWorld elite, or premium class passenger on one of the eligible airlines, and passing through Madrid anytime soon, check out the refreshed Velázquez Premium Lounge. And don’t worry about a closing time — the lounge is open 24/7.
All photos provided by Iberia.
Are you looking forward to checking out the new Iberia Premium Lounge yourself?