Iberia, never again.

So I’ve been in Baltimore now for a little more than a day. God it’s humid here. Growing up in North Carolina you’d think I’d not have such a problem with it but after 6 years of living in Berlin, with it’s low humidity, this is crap. True, I’ve visited the US twice in the last 6 years but not in the middle of summer.

Sam and Katie were nice enough to pick me up from the airport at 1am. After such a terrible flight with Iberia, it was really nice to see them and knowing that I was only a short way from a nice comfy bed.

As mentioned before, I flew with Iberia. That was the worst flight over the Atlantic that I’ve ever had. I don’t want to fly with them ever again. There planes are old and rickety, telephone staff poorly trained, in-flight staff impolite, and food bad.

The flight from Berlin to Madrid was actually alright. My check-in bags were just under the allowed 32 Kilo. I arrived at the airport with 2 60x60x60cm boxes, one weighing 38 and the other 42. I found out the day before that the allowed size for check-in luggage is 158cm after being told be one of the Iberia telephone staff that the size doesn’t matter; it just needs to be under 32 kilos. I wanted to reconfirmed because Annika thought that that couldn’t be right; she was right. My boxes were 180cm. They did say however that it’s possible that the staff in Berlin may let it through. “May” is not something one is able to plan on.

Anyway, when I got to the airport I was all paranoid when I noticed that my boxes would not even fit on the luggage belt. With this in mind, I went to a spare scale to weigh my boxes and sure enough they were over. The next 30 minuted were spent taking stuff out, cutting the boxes down to the allowed size, repacking and then sealing the boxes for the journey. After that everything was fine. If I had had the correct information from the start then I wouldn’t have had to go through all this trouble. That was the first annoyance.

As I said the first flight was alright. The flight from Madrid, however, was horrid. To start with, there was a short delay. That didn’t really bother me. Upon entering the plane my first thought was, “Hello 1975.” The plane interior was ancient compared with other airlines, the entertainment system was crap and the movies were Hollywood flops.

For the first 15 minutes of the flight the plane was creaking with every little bump. I don’t like creaky planes. The entertainment system consisted of a monitor in the front made of that light tan-colored plastic that old computer equipment is made of. The movies that they played were equally as bad; something with Woody Harrelson, Selma Hayek and Pierce Brosnan called “After the Sunset” (or similar), and the newer “Phantom of the Opera.” I think the food they served was dumped out of a can, partly reheated then left out for a day. The margarine was okay, though. When we were being served the stewardess walked beside my seat and while looking forward said, “Put down your table! Put down you table.”; not exactly a polite way to say it. I didn’t think she was addressing me until she had the food hovered above my lap. It was, however, theoretically cool that we were served 2 full meal.

Although we left Madrid late, we actually arrived at JFK 10 minutes before planned. That was nice. But almost 2 hours of sitting in the plane on the runway we finally got the notice that we had a parking place and would be able to leave the plane. The only real announcements about what was happening was at the beginning of the wait saying that we would have to wait 20 minutes and then at about an hour in saying that they were waiting for a parking space. This did not make the passengers happy. The passengers were doing all kind of things that aren’t allowed in a plane on the tarmac; using phones, standing up, going to the toilette. The stewardess kept telling everyone to sit over the PA. Of course, many travelers missed there other flighs due to the delay. This was a bad flight.

After that flight, I was happy to get into the terminal. I got through customs without problems and found the gate for the next flight. This was an American Eagle flight from JFK to Washington National (Sorry, I can’t call it Reagen.). The flight was delayed an hour. The flight itself was the nicest of the day. It was the first time I’d been in such a small plane; only 3 seats wide. We arrived shortly before 1am.

The good part about the flight was that on each leg I had likable neighbors. I think that was the only good part.

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