What’s an Iberia Stopover

If you’re flying Iberia internationally from basically anywhere on their network, you’re pretty much guaranteed to be flying through Spain en route to your final destination, that probably means a stop at Iberia’s hub in Madrid. It’s an awesome city and to encourage people to actually explore Spain, rather than just flying through it, the flag carrier has implemented a free stopover service.

This is not a new concept and variants of this concept exist within the industry, take Oman Air Airlines, Turkish Airlines or Finnair’s Stopover Program for instance.

What’s on Offer with an Iberia Stopover

Stopovers are the bane of any traveller’s existence – there’s nothing worse than being stuck in an airport for hours on end with nothing to do. It’s, therefore, no surprise why the Spanish government wants Iberia’s help to promote Spanish tourism – I mean if you are going to do a stopover in the airport, you might as well make the most of it and treat yourself to a proper stopover and see the city.

This follows suit of other major legacy airlines who are trying to build out stopover programs which entice people to fly with them. For Iberia, the Spanish flag carrier centres its program around its hub in Madrid.

The program, aptly named “Hola! Madrid” allows visitors to spend up to six nights in the Spanish capital before continuing onward – with no additional cost to the ticket.

Since Iberia primarily operates North and South American routes in addition to its short-and-medium-haul European and North African destinations, it’s an ideal program for travellers from the America’s visiting Europe and vice versa.

Whats on offer with ¡Hola Madrid!

Iberia isn’t skimping on their new stopover program. Besides the stopover, Iberia has also partnered with several local companies to make your stopover stay as affordable as possible, some of the more beneficial provisions include:

  • Up to 6 nights free stopover when flying internationally with Iberia
  • 40% off stays at Melia hotels
  • Two free days of public transit
  • Up to 20% off certain museums and leisure activities
  • 3 free beers at Mahoe
  • 25% discounts on domestic flights during the stopover

Is this Madrid Stopover 2.0?

The current stopover program with Iberia is nothing new. The original version of the program was called “Madrid Amigo” and this too was supported by the Madrid city council.

As a fun fact, this program, while now defunct, existed around in the 1980’s – well before the formation of IAG and the Oneworld Alliance.

Information on Madrid Amigo is extremely scarce, even by FlyerTalk standards not much is mentioned. However, there are some clues as the good people of the internet managed to save some old literature explaining the program in some detail.

Comparatively speaking, Madrid Amigo was a more structured take on the stopover experience when compared to Hola! Madrid.

In fact, it’s possible to surmise that Madrid Amigo acted in some way as a precursor to the STPC programs we see today.  What you got was:

  • A nights complimentary stay in a 4* hotel in Madrid
  • Transfers between the airport to the city and back to the airport
  • Inclusive meals
  • A flamenco show, a visit to casino Madrid or a dinner and Spanish operetta

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Pinterest

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Airline Memorabilia

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Airlines Past & Present

How to Book a Stopover with Iberia

Booking is relatively simple, just go to the Iberia website specifically for Hola! Madrid and make the booking as you normally would – choosing the length of stay and if you want to take the stopover on the outbound or inbound leg.

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