Flying short-haul, but getting to travel on a long-haul aircraft is always fun. For the final part of our journey with Aeromexico from São Paulo to Barcelona (with a connection in Mexico City) we flew with Air Europa and experienced their 787-9 business class product.

Air Europa is an interesting airline. The Spanish company is part of the SkyTeam alliance, but doesn’t have anything like the footprint of Air France or KLM. If all goes to plan, it’ll shortly be taken over by IAG (which owns the likes of British Airways, Iberia and Vueling). In many ways, I think this is a shame, and question whether it will benefit passengers or simply further erode competition. Only time will tell. Overall, I enjoyed the flight and thought the Air Europa 787-9 business class product was very good.

Air Europa 787-9 Business Class Check-in

In São Paulo we were given our boarding cards for all flights in our itinerary, including our flights with Air Europa from Madrid to Barcelona. Our flight was departing from Madrid Barajas Terminal 2. Air Europa have a fairly large check-in area in the terminal, and although we didn’t use it this time, I have used it before. It can get busy, and usually takes longer than with Iberia, in my experience.

While Madrid Barajas is an impressive airport if you’re travelling through Terminal 4, the same cannot be said if you’re using terminals 1, 2 or 3. Despite the naming, they’re essentially just one terminal, divided depending on whether you’re travelling outside (terminal 1) or inside of the Schengen zone (terminals 2 or 3). The experience is always rather unremarkable.

Security & Lounge Access

You’ll be able to use the priority security lane if you’re travelling in business or have SkyTeam Elite Plus status. In my experience, security is an extremely efficient process in Madrid, and if you’re using the priority lanes, it never takes very long. Even though our flight was being operated by the 787-9, we were still departing from terminal 2 and the Schengen area.

Even though Madrid is their hub, Air Europa doesn’t have its own lounge facilities in the airport which feels disappointing. Instead, they use the airport-operated AENA lounges. If you’re travelling inside the Schengen area, there are two to choose from. You can either visit Puerta de Alcala in terminal 2, or Puerta del Sol in terminal 3. The first is better if you’re departing from a D gate, and the latter if you’re departing from an E Gate. Both terminals are connected though, and both lounges are only around 10 minutes walking distance from each other. To be fair, they’re considerably better than Aeromexico’s lounges in Mexico City.

We decided to use the Puerta del Sol lounge. It’s more spacious than the AENA Plaza Mayor lounge in terminal 4 and feels more relaxed overall. It isn’t anywhere near as good as the Iberia Business Lounge in terminal 4 though.

Air Europa 787-9 Business Class Cabin

Our flight was departing at 7:30am, and boarding was efficient. Priority boarding was poorly handled. There was a separate line, but the queues all ended up merging.

Air Europa 787-9 business class cabin

Having just flown with Aeromexico on their 787-9, I was curious to see how the products would compare. Of course, this would be a much shorter flight, but it was enough time to get an impression of the look, feel and comfort of the cabin. Overall, I was impressed, and it was a lot better than I’d been expecting from Air Europa.

787-9 business cabin

The interior looks sleek, and the 1-2-1 layout feels spacious. I also really like the way Air Europa has implemented its mood lighting system. It really made the cabin feel more relaxed for our relatively early departure!

Air Europa 787-9 business class cabin

The seats themselves were comfortable. It was relatively easy to adjust the angle using the touchpad controls. I found it a bit harder to find a position I liked than on Iberia’s A350 though.

We were sat in 3D and 3G. These are a good option if you’re travelling with someone. If not, you’d be much better choosing one of the window seats. There is a privacy screen, which you can use if you’d like some additional privacy though.

Air Europa 787-9 business class seat

Air Europa 787-9 business class seat controls

There was plenty of space. The tray table was a really good size, and it’d have been easy to work from, if you needed to.

787 tray table

The seat felt like it’d be comfortable for sleeping. Due to the cabin design, the seat also felt like it had good levels of privacy, despite the lack of door.  The footwell felt a bit narrow in lie-flat mode though. I also noticed there wasn’t a great deal of storage – and it was difficult to know where to put small items.

Air Europa 787-9 business class footwell Air Europa 787-9 business class storage

Connectivity and IFE

Our flight was connected with wifi. Unlike Aeromexico or Iberia, Air Europa still charges for messaging services onboard. It’d have cost €2 for this flight. The most expensive package was €12. I’m not sure if these are the same prices charged on long-haul flights, but would assume so.

Air Europa in-flight wifi options.

As you’d expect, all seats in business class are equipped with IFE. The 18-inch screens were really good quality. Unfortunately, the system wasn’t available for our short flight, so I wasn’t able to see how good the content is.

Air Europa 787-9 business class IFE screen

Air Europa 787-9 Business Class Food and Drinks

Considering we were only in the air for around 40 minutes, I wasn’t really expecting much more than a quick coffee. To my surprise, the service was much more elaborate. Upon boarding, we were offered a welcome drink of either orange juice or water. Considering this is such a short flight, I really wouldn’t have expected this and thought it was a nice touch.

Shortly after take-off, the crew began a food and drinks service. Overall, it was excellent and far beyond what I’d have expected on a flight of this length. Among the drink options was a detox juice. After a long-haul flight and 4 days of travelling, it seemed like a good idea!

Air Europa Business Class Breakfast - spanish tortilla and ham, with a detox juice and coffee.

Breakfast was a Spanish tortilla, ham and warm bread, accompanied by yoghurt and fresh fruits. Everything was of a really nice quality, including the fruit. It was slightly better than Air Nostrum in business class from Valencia to Madrid, for example.

flight breakfast close-up with bread, ham, and spanish tortilla

I was also offered a coffee and it was one of the best I’ve had in the air! I think it was Nespresso. Overall, especially considering the very short length of this flight, I thought everything was very good.


I wasn’t really sure what to expect from Air Europa. Prior to this flight, it’d been at least 5 years since I’d flown with them, and that was in economy. Overall, my impressions of their business class were good. The cabin felt new and was well-designed, and the service onboard was above what I’d expected.

Unfortunately, Air Europa doesn’t have the best reputation, and in economy they run a low-cost model on their long-haul flights (even though it can be  hard to find low-cost fares with them…)! Therefore I wasn’t sure if their business class offering would also have a more budget feel. On the ground, this is somewhat true, but in the air, they have a really good product and I’d be curious to try them out again on a longer flight.