Review: Iberia Arrivals Lounge Madrid Airport

Introduction
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Review: Iberia Arrivals Lounge Madrid Airport
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My original plan was to head straight to the Hilton Madrid Airport for the day upon landing, though on the breakfast menu from my Iberia flight I noticed something surprising:

Arrivals Lounge
If you prefer to rest, we offer the possibility of having breakfast in the Arrivals Lounge of Terminal 4 at Madrid-Barajas Airport from 06:00 to 11:00 AM (local time).

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I wasn’t aware that Iberia had an arrivals lounge at Madrid Airport, and upon Googling, it seems like it’s actually something they only added last year.

Here’s how the arrivals lounge is described on Iberia’s website:

Iberia-Arrivals-Lounge

As you can see, Iberia’s arrivals lounge is open to passengers arriving on flights of more than four hours, who are traveling in business class, as well as Iberia’s elite members (however, oneworld passengers don’t seem to be eligible for access).

Upon landing at Madrid Airport I walked down the beautiful hallway to the arrivals area. Madrid Airport is stunning, though has to be one of the most fitness-minded airports in the world. Walking at a German pace, it took me 20 minutes to get into the arrivals hall.

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Madrid Airport terminal

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Madrid Airport arrivals hall

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Madrid Airport baggage claim

Upon entering the arrivals hall, I turned right and took the moving walkway down a floor, to Level -1. This is also where the airport’s train departs from. There’s not any signage for the arrivals lounge, and the Iberia menu wasn’t specific about the lounge’s location, so it took me a while to realize that was the correct direction.

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Moving walkway to Madrid Airport arrivals lounge

Upon taking the moving walkway down a level I found myself at the entrance to the train station, so I turned in the opposite direction, where I noticed a nicely lit and stylish facility, which I assumed might be the arrivals lounge.

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Iberia arrivals lounge exterior Madrid Airport

The exterior indicated these were “Premium Air Rooms,” and that this was a “Premium Traveller” lounge. But then I also noticed the other side of the window indicated this was the Iberia arrivals lounge.

Iberia-Lounge
Iberia arrivals lounge exterior Madrid Airport

This facility actually has a few uses — this seems to be a contract facility for Iberia, which also offers hotel rooms, shower facilities, or just an area to rest. The Premium Traveller Lounge has 22 hotel rooms, which can be rented in blocks of at least three hours.

arrivals-lounge

Upon entering the lounge I was greeted by a nice guy at the reception desk on the left (on the right was a small business center). He made a photocopy of my boarding pass, and asked whether I wanted breakfast, a shower, or both. I really wanted neither, but rather to just look at the lounge. 😉

He brought me into one of the shower rooms, and I snapped a few quick pictures.

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Iberia arrivals lounge floorplan Madrid Airport

The shower room was quite large and in great condition, with a walk-in shower, toilet, and sink.

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Iberia arrivals lounge shower room Madrid Airport

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Iberia arrivals lounge shower room Madrid Airport

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Iberia arrivals lounge shower room Madrid Airport

The shower room also had individual toiletries, rather than those wall-mounted dispensers, which I hate.

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Iberia arrivals lounge shower room toiletries Madrid Airport

It’s worth noting that there’s a door to enter the shower room, and then in the back of the shower room there’s another door which leads into the bedroom. Of course that part is locked off unless you’re renting a room, so it’s a rather efficient concept they have — they can rent you just the shower room, or the combination of the bedroom and shower room.

In the back left of the lounge was the dining area, which consisted of a total of nine tables, each of which seats two people.

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Iberia arrivals lounge breakfast area Madrid Airport

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Iberia arrivals lounge breakfast area Madrid Airport

Then separated from the dining area by a glass shield was a small area for lounging, with a couple of couches and chairs facing a TV.

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Iberia arrivals lounge seating area Madrid Airport

The breakfast spread was quite good. There was a fridge with juice, water, soft drinks, yogurt, and several types of microwavable dishes.

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Iberia arrivals lounge breakfast spread Madrid Airport

Then there was cereal, all kinds of delicious looking pastries, cake, fresh fruit, etc.

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Iberia arrivals lounge breakfast spread Madrid Airport

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Iberia arrivals lounge breakfast spread Madrid Airport

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Iberia arrivals lounge breakfast spread Madrid Airport

There was also a Nespresso machine with some cookies on top of it, along with a good variety of Nespresso pods.

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Iberia arrivals lounge Nespresso machine Madrid Airport

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Iberia arrivals lounge Nespresso machine Madrid Airport

I wasn’t hungry and was going to wait until after my nap at the Hilton Madrid Airport to shower, so I just snapped some pictures in the lounge, and then sat in the dining area for about 15 minutes getting caught up on email while enjoying a coffee.

From there I headed outside to the shuttle center to go to the Hilton Madrid Airport.

Iberia arrivals lounge bottom line

I was really impressed by the innovative lounge Iberia uses at Madrid Airport. The reality is that Iberia probably doesn’t have the need for a purpose-built arrivals lounge, given that they don’t have that many longhaul flights arriving in the morning, and presumably a good number of passengers are connecting. This isn’t like British Airways at Heathrow, where they have dozens of flights landing in the early hours of the morning.

This facility was quiet, had great shower rooms, and also a very nice continental breakfast spread. Kudos to Iberia for this facility. The only real feedback I have is that I think they should provide more details about the arrivals lounge to passengers, since it can be tough to figure out where it is, and it’s not really Iberia branded.

What do you make of this sort of concept for an arrivals lounge?

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Comments

  1. Going in September and continuing on to Barcelona – hours later. Easy Business Class seats to snag but could not avoid the longish layover.

    Better to go to the arrivals lounge (and I appreciate your report about this) or use my Priority Pass to go to the La Revoltosa lounge for 5 hours? Does Iberia also have a departure lounge? Thanks.

  2. If you are connecting from long-haul business class (or flying business class to BCN), you have access to the IB departure lounges, which are much better.

    The Priority Pass lounges in Madrid are closed for refurbishing, but they will be back in September.

  3. Thanks for this review. In July my wife and I will be flying AA JFK to MAD overnight with a 4 hour layover in MAD before connecting on a IB flight to VLC.

    I am AA EXP. Do I get access to this lounge? I also have Priority Pass via Citi Prestige. Are there any other lounges that I can access during my layover in MAD?

    We’re flying back to JFK from BCN. Are there any lounges that I can access there?

    Thanks!

  4. So, for cash inter-Europe bookings on IB, when I enter my AA number in the reservation, it shows as “EN Iberia Plus Oro.” I wonder if the boarding pass alone would permit access. I have a flight from LGW to MAD in a few weeks and may give it a try — at worst they say no.

  5. I’m soon flying on ANA from SYD to HND, arriving at the ungodly hour of 5:30 am. Does ANA have an arrivals lounge at HND?
    Thanks, as always, for your great advice.

  6. @Larry.

    You missed the fine print; on flights over 4 hours.

    Flights from Stockholm might get access, HEL and IST will get access.

    LON -MAD is 2H25M, you will not get access.

  7. Hahah, thanks for the review. Didnt´t even know that Iberia offers a Arrival Lounge but reality looks a little bit cold and bring to me.

    For connecting passengers is the Madrid Airport VIP Sala Iberia Business Class Lounge is much nicer and get even in Couch access if you´re holding OW Elite Status (Sapphire / Emerald) with any OW-Airline.

  8. Thanks, Ben, for this review. I also noticed the invitation in the menu recently and equally wondered. I usually connect in MAD and go to the departure lounges. However, recently they seem to get very full, so this might be an alternative, at least if connecting into Schengen (T4). In this case you have to go through security control anyway and the walk to the arrivals lounge only seems to be marginally longer.

  9. Landing at ARN Stockholm from EWR as a Star Gold on SAS – is there an arrival facility there to freshen up / shower / eat before heading into the city for meetings?

    If not, what is recommended…? Thanks!

  10. Dear all,

    I am from Premium Traveller, the company who manages the Arrival Lounge and a wide rage of services inside the aiports. I am very happy to attend your requests.
    The Arrival Lounge is open 365 days from 6h a 23h.
    · You can accesss by online ticket purchase for 25,50€. The lounge acces and shower is 35€. Have a look to http://www.premium-traveller.com/en/air-lounges/madrid/arrivals-area
    Includes:
    – Catering
    – Domestic and international newspapers and magazines
    – Computer, Internet
    – Free Wi-Fi
    – Television
    – Lounge area
    – Luggage storage and coatroom
    – Shower pack consisting of a towel, gel and slippers

    I hope I have been able to help you,

    At your disposal,

    Kind Regards,

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