Review: Iberia Business Class Madrid to Rome

a row of black seats on an airplane

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We didn’t select Rome as our first stop until quite last minute otherwise I would have preferred to fly economy from Madrid to Rome, but the award avail just wasn’t there when it came time to book.  Personally, the added cost of intra-Europe business class just isn’t worth it 99% of the time.  However, I was very lucky to find a flight from Madrid to Rome that fit nicely with my arrival from Chicago. That flight was booked using Iberia Avios I’d purchased earlier in the year during their 90k Promo, and when avail opened up on the 27th, I booked it, strategically thinking whatever trip we plan could be facilitated by my entry into Europe via Madrid.

The Deets:

  • When: December 2018
  • Where: Madrid to Rome
  • Aircraft: A321
  • Cabin: Business
  • Seat: 1C
  • Award Currency: British Airways Avios 15k
  • Duration: 2h25m


I actually avoided check-in by checking in online and then going through the connecting flights queue when I arrived into Madrid from Chicago. This flight was booked separate from my ORD to MAD flight and I didn’t know if I’d be able to transit this way, but since I needed to go through passport control either way…it ended up working.


My ticket afforded me the ability to utilize the Iberia Business Class lounge in Terminal 4. It’s quite nice and worth a visit.


As with most European airlines, gates aren’t announced until roughly 45-60 mins prior to departure and then boarding starts promptly 30 mins ahead of time. This was the case here and I boarded with priority.


Business class seating on almost every carrier and most every regional aircraft in Europe is just coach with a blocked middle seat. That was the case here. In fact, I’d have much preferred to fly coach and sit in an exit row or bulkhead and save the extra 7500 Avios, but avail never opened. One nice thing about my seat…1C was that it had extra leg room as the bulkhead ended at 1B.

a row of black chairs in an airplane


A quick and simple pasta that was tasty served with a fresh green salad. I didn’t indulge in the cake, but it looked quite nice.

a tray of food on a table


The service was very friendly and attentive. Personally, unless it’s attached to a longer itinerary and included in the price, flying business class intra-europe is kind of silly to me. Many of the seats in economy were open and thus quite a few passengers flew the same exact way I did, but without the meal service.

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based including Hyatt, Southwest, United, IHG, and Marriott.

Welcome Offer

Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. 

*you may find an elevated offer walking into a branch – see below

Annual Fee


Points Earned

Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards

  • Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
    • That’s $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠
    • Some people have seen Chase branches offering the following:
      • 75k Ultimate Rewards After $4k spend in 3 months + 10k Ultimate Rewards after $6k in 6 months 
  • 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Travel℠
  • 3x on dining, including eligible delivery services for takeout & dining out
  • 3x on select streaming services
  • 3x on online grocery purchases
    • (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit via Chase Travel℠
    • The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
  • 2x on all other travel
  • 10% Anniversary Bonus
    • Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel℠ and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver ( primary ), purchase protections, etc.
  • Points are transferrable to 14 Ultimate Rewards partners
  • Redeem in Chase Travel℠ for 1.25 cents per point
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
    • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver is my favorite
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024
  • $95 Annual Fee

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is exceptional starter card and offers transferrable Ultimate Rewards, and pairs well with other Chase cards.

If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash® , Ink Business Unlimited® you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners

Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

1 Comment

  • […] a very pleasant award flight on Iberia Business Class from ORD-MAD and then another one from MAD-FCO, I met up with my girlfriend and we hopped in a taxi to the […]

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