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Iberia Airlines offers more flights from Chicago to Madrid, plus better planes

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Traveling to Spain has always been a treat compared to other long-distance trips I have taken. Now those Spain journeys are going to be even more enjoyable.

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Iberia Airlines announced this week that the company will be increasing non-stop flights from Chicago to Madrid from the current seven to 10 per week.

That’s great news. I always fly to Spain out of Chicago and actually look forward to the flights, especially if I am in business class. I am one of those lucky travelers who can close my eyes and sleep on long flights.

To celebrate its changes, Iberia Airlines unveiled a new logo a few months ago. The new look keeps the colors of the Spanish flag while boosting the red as a symbol of vitality and creativity.

The new business and economy class seating sections in Iberia’s long-haul fleet were unveiled in February 2013. The eighth new Airbus A330/300 will join the fleet in April 2014.

Officials said the new aircraft is not only more comfortable, it is also more fuel-efficient. The twin-engine transcontinental aircraft offers substantial cost saving by consuming about 15 percent less fuel than the four-engine aircraft they replace.

Aboard the new Airbus A330/300 are 36 business plus class seats and 242 economy class seats. The extra-wide business plus seats unfold into flat beds that offer more room, comfort and privacy for travelers, while also providing direct access to the aisle from each seat. Reading lights are also more powerful in business plus, which includes more storage room for travelers.

Then there’s the new entertainment system in business plus. I seldom have time to watch movies when I am home so it is fun to find a good film to enjoy while I eat dinner on a long flight. On the new planes, the 15.4-inch touch screen is 50 percent larger and resembles new tablet computers in functional terms so it is easier to use. Entertainment information for the new planes notes that content changes every month and includes some 50 feature films, 80 television series and documentaries in a various languages, some 400 musical options, interactive 3D games and more.

There is also a 4.2-inch touch screen remote with a virtual keyboard, which can be used to make telephone calls and to send and receive text messages.

Both business and economy cabins are equipped with power and communications jacks in all seats. Iberia has announced that it plans to add Wi-Fi and GSM texting capability.

In economy class, seats are more ergonomic to offer more room and greater comfort. Economy passengers also have individual 9-inch touch screens to enjoy the same entertainment options as in business.

Iberia’s 17 Airbus A340/600s are being refitted with the new cabins. Six planes are already finished and the rest of the fleet is scheduled to be refitted by summer 2014. The Airbus 340/600 configuration offers 400 business plus seats and 300 economy class seats.

Now I have to schedule another trip to Spain to try out all these wonderful options. Just another reason to visit one of my favorite destinations.

For more information: Contact Iberia Airlines at www.Iberia.com/us/

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