by Rob Hard
Monday November 30 2009

If you have the flexibility, the best time to travel and avoid airport and flight delays is probably on Saturday – if it’s not the beginning of a holiday weekend. You’ll probably also find some of the best air fare rates on Saturdays.

Imagine a quick process at airport screening, your choice of seats in the waiting area of your gate, travelers who appear almost stress-free, clean airport bathrooms, and having an open seat next to you in economy seating on an eight hour flight. Too good to be true?

I flew Iberia on Saturday going from Chicago to Barcelona (one stop in Madrid), and this was my experience. It also doesn’t hurt that the Chicago Iberia staff are probably among the best when it comes to customer service.

On the flight, passengers switched seats so that nearly everyone was able to have an open seat next to them. It reminded me of the kind of airline travel experience from another time period.

This was the first trip in a couple of years that I’ve flown internationally in Iberia’s economy class vs. business class. Leg room, service, food – even the headphones – were all pretty good. The main drawback was that I missed having my own personal television with a choice of in-flight movies and entertainment located on the back of the seat in front of you which is pretty common for economy class on most other airlines.

Of course, 15 minutes into the flight, a woman moved from her row to an open spot in front of me. I recognized a certain look about the woman as she took her seat and glanced my way, and I knew it would be only a matter of time before she would shove her seat all the way back into my computer. Well, I had 90 minutes of uninterrupted space for my eight hour flight. Then she threw her pillow behind her head and allowed it to stick up so that it blocked my view of the TV screen, but I moved one seat over. Maybe I need to add this one to the airline etiquette list?

10 business travel etiquette rules for passenger 6B.