Just back from dropping my wife off at Heathrow for an Iberia flight and as so often seems to happen with THAT DREADED AIRLINE, I am steaming with fury. Why is it that Iberia are quite possibly the most complained about / awful airline operating to Latin America?
Years ago I worked as a Latin America flights specialist booking flights for clients all over the region. I would always ask “do you have a preferred airline?”. The most frequent response was:
“I don’t care who I fly with, as long as it is not Iberia.”
It was always the frequent travellers who went out of their way to avoid flying with Iberia. Those in the know avoid Iberia. Why is that?
1. Because their staff have no concept of politeness or being cordial to their clients. I find it so refreshing when I find a member of Iberia staff who is actually a pleasant person to have to speak to as almost all their staff seem to be rude.
2. Iberia staff are especially rude in Madrid. God forbid if you miss a flight connection there and have to do the enormous snakey queues to their “customer service” desks inside the terminal - you will probably get shouted at by the time you get to the front of the queue.
3. Many Spanish people consider themselves to be “superior” to their brethren in Latin America. Said differently, I have come across many Spaniards who seem to be racist towards Latin Americans. Sadly, on too many occasions have I seen Iberia staff behaving like this towards Latinos. A few months ago I saw a grumpy middle aged Iberia female flight attendant screaming - literally screaming - at an indigenous Latin American lady for a reason so innocous it left me feeling sick. What a disgrace.
4. The on board service on flights is equally appauling. I’ve had Iberia staff lean over my wife to take something off my tray whilst I was eating - without asking permission - so that they could give that item (I think it was butter?) to someone else. That is just bad manners and downright rude. Most on-board Iberia staff seem to have no manners. I now always expect bad service on Iberia flights - it is the norm to be treated like scum by them.
5. Madrid airport is a chaos. Compared to civilised airports like Frankfurt, the place is often a disaster involving massive queues, lost luggage and display monitors that regularly tell you to go the wrong terminal for your flight.
6. There is no personal in-flight entertainment on Iberia’s long haul flights - just the 1990’s system of everyone staring at the same distant little monitor.
7. You have to pay for food or drink on Iberia’s short haul flights (note that you don’t if you book a BA flight).
8. They frequently loose your bags. Iberia recently came top of a list of airlines in terms of the proportion of bags they misplaced (1 in 52!) - see this Daily Mail article for more on that.
So that is why I, and many others, will very happily pay extra money to fly with any airline other than Iberia. The airline seems to excel at one thing - making flying a stressful and unpleasant experience for their clients. Yesterday I met an honest Iberia staff member who actually said that even he avoided flying with his company because they were so bad. No kidding.
How to make a Complaint About Iberia
I have decided to stop putting up with it and complain about the incessant rudeness that I experience on Iberia flights. I likewise encourage everyone else to complain about this disasterous airline - Iberia complaints are handled through their website - see www.iberia.com/customer-relations/ and complete the online form.