Review: Air Europa Economy Class Madrid to Milan (Boeing 787)

This review details my economy class flight with Air Europa from Madrid to Milan Malpensa on a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.


Having spent some time in the Puerta de Alcala VIP Lounge, it was time to find my boarding gate.

Air Europa’s Spanish domestic and Schengen flights all depart from Terminal 2 of Madrid Barajas Airport, which isn’t exactly on of Europe’s nicest airport terminals.

Fortunately, boarding commenced almost immediately when I arrived at the gate, so I didn’t have to wait for too long in the crowded and ancient terminal.

Priority boarding for business class passengers and SkyPriority customers was neatly observed by the gate agent.

However, given that we had a bus gate, the priority boarding didn’t matter much as I still ended up in an overcrowded bus.

madrid barajas t2 boarding gate
The boarding gate for my flight to Milan. ©Paliparan

Air Europa Boeing 787

The great thing about having a bus gate was that at least I got the opportunity to have a close look at the plane that would operate my flight.

I chose Air Europe over their competitors for two main reasons: The cheap price (just €35 for an economy class ticket!) and the fact that the flight would be operated by a widebody plane.

It’s not only great fun to fly on a widebody plane on a short intra-European hop, but it’s certainly more comfortable too than almost every narrow-body plane that you would usually find on such routes.

A Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner would operate today’s Air Europa flight from Madrid to Milan.

Boarding the Dreamliner by stairs and having a look at the massive wings and Rolls Royce engines never grows old.

air europa boeing 787-8 dreamliner
The Air Europa Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner that would fly me from Madrid to Milan. ©Paliparan
air europa boeing 787-8
Air Europa Boeing 787-8. ©Paliparan
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The mighty Rolls Royce engine of the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. ©Paliparan
Walking up the boarding stairs. ©Paliparan
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Look towards the cockpit of the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. ©Paliparan

Boeing 787 cabin

Seats in the economy class cabin of the Air Europa Boeing 787 are in a 3-3-3 configuration, which is similar to other European airlines such as Air France and KLM.

The front row and emergency exit seats on the Air Europa Boeing 787 are labelled as XL (extra legroom) seats.

These seats can typically be assigned for an extra fee at the time of booking.

Although even as a SkyTeam Elite Plus (Air France/KLM Flying Blue Platinum) member I still had to pay for these seats, I could assign all other standard economy seats for free at the time of booking.

I had therefore assigned myself seat 16A, a window seat in the second row of the economy class cabin.

However, if you don’t hold frequent flyer status and travel on a ‘lite’ or ‘standard’ fare, any advanced seat assignment will cost you extra.

economy class cabin boeing 787-8 air europa
The economy class cabin of the Air Europa Boeing 787-8. ©Paliparan
air europa boeing 787-8 dreamliner economy class cabin
Air Europa Boeing 787-8. Dreamliner economy class cabin. ©Paliparan

Air Europa Boeing 787 economy seat

The Air Europa economy class seat on the Boeing 787 is perfectly adequate.

Both the seat pitch and width are similar to other European airlines operating the Boeing 787, so you won’t find much of a difference there.

What I liked about the seat was the fact that it had an adjustable headrest – which definitely improves the comfort if you take a long intercontinental flight on the Boeing 787.

Every seat has its own in-flight entertainment screen with a good resolution.

Each seat in economy class also has a USB power port (below the in-flight entertainment screen) as well as a power socket (under the seat) to charge your electrical devices.

While the seat is perfectly fine for a long-haul flight, it’s certainly great if you fly on the Boeing 787 on a short-haul route as you’ll have more comfort and amenities than you would have on a narrow-body plane.

Air Europa operates the Boeing 787 on quite a few short to mid-haul routes, as the plane is also used on routes linking Madrid to Barcelona, the Canary Islands and Tel Aviv among others.

air europa seat 16a
I was seated in 16A directly behind the front row of economy class. ©Paliparan
seatback entertainment screen
The seatback entertainment screen on the Boeing 787. ©Paliparan
air europa economy class seat boeing 787
Standard economy class seats on the Air Europa Boeing 787-8. ©Paliparan
economy class legroom
Economy class legroom. ©Paliparan

Madrid (MAD) to Milan Malpensa (MXP)
Air Europa – Flight UX1065
– Boeing 787-8
Economy Class – Seat 16A
Departure: 7.40am
 – Arrival: 9.50am
Flight time: 2h10m – Distance: 715 miles
Price: 35 euro

mad mxp
It takes around two hours to fly between Madrid and Milan. ©Great Circle Mapper


Boarding didn’t take too long as the flight was far from full in economy class.

Perhaps one third of all the seats were occupied and many rows – especially towards the back of the plane – remained completely unoccupied.

Although someone ended up occupying seat aisle seat 16C, the middle seat in between us did fortunately remain empty.

Just like the day before, the weather this morning in Madrid was still a bit gloomy, with dark clouds in the skies and a bit of rain falling on the tarmac.

However, the views upon departure were still rather beautiful.

madrid barajas airport
Taxiing towards the runway of Madrid Barajas Airport. ©Paliparan
madrid barajas airport terminal 2
Passing by Terminal 2 of Madrid Barajas Airport. ©Paliparan
madrid airport terminal 4
Taxiing towards the runway. ©Paliparan
madrid airport terminal 4
Taxiing past Terminal 4 of Madrid Airport. ©Paliparan
runway madrid airport air europa economy class boeing 787
Lining up for departure on the runway. ©Paliparan
runway take-off
Accelerating down the runway. ©Paliparan
Airborne! ©Paliparan
madrid barajas take-off
Madrid Barajas Airport take-off view. ©Paliparan
climbing clouds
Madrid Barajas Airport take-off view. ©Paliparan
spanish countryside madrid barajas
View over the Spanish countryside. ©Paliparan
climbing clouds
Climbing into the clouds. ©Paliparan
take-off view
Take-off view. ©Paliparan
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Gorgeous sunrise colours above the clouds. ©Paliparan

In-flight service

On intra-European Air Europa flights, you have to pay for food and drinks when flying economy class.

Expect to pay €3 for water, a soft drink or coffee and around €7 for a sandwich.

As I already had breakfast in the lounge, I didn’t order any food or drinks during my flight.

air europa economy class menu
Air Europa economy class buy-on-board menu. ©Paliparan
air europa economy class menu
Economy class menu. ©Paliparan


The Air Europa Boeing 787 has an in-flight entertainment screen for every seat.

The selection of films, series, music and games seemed to be quite decent – although there are certainly airlines out there with a much wider offer.

Do however make sure you bring your own headphone with you as otherwise you’ll have to pay €3 for some basic earbuds!

I didn’t bother watching anything and just put on the route map while enjoying the views from the window.

air europa in-flight entertainment system boeing 787
In-flight entertainment system of Air Europa. ©Paliparan
air europa in-flight entertainment system boeing 787
Flight map. ©Paliparan
air europa boeing 787
I preferred to watch the view over the wing and engine of the Boeing 787 over the in-flight entertainment system. ©Paliparan
window view plane boeing 787
View from the window. ©Paliparan

Wi-Fi internet

The Air Europa Boeing 787-8 is equipped with Wi-Fi internet.

On my flight from Madrid to Milan, the Wi-Fi prices were €3 for a message pass, while the cheapest browsing pass was €8.

As I didn’t buy any of the Wi-Fi packages, I’m not in a position to comment anything about the speed and reliability of the internet.

air europa wi-fi internet boeing 787
Air Europa on-board Wi-Fi. ©Paliparan
wifi internet packages
Air Europa on-board Wi-Fi. ©Paliparan


A feature on the Boeing 787 which I immensely dislike are the dimmable windows.

Although each window has individual controls by which you can adjust the amount of dimming, the crew can override it for the entire plane.

Unfortunately, airline crews are rather fond of this as they often prefer to make the windows as dark as possible after they have completed the meal service in the hope that most passengers will go to sleep and leave them alone.

That was exactly what happened on my Air Europa flight to Milan, as soon after the food and drinks run finished, the crew immediately dimmed all the windows.

Needless to see, the dark blue hue made it extremely cumbersome to look outside and enjoy the views – and it was even worse for photography.

dimmed window boeing 787 dreamliner air europa
Dimmed window view. ©Paliparan
boeing 787 wing
It was extremely difficult to make some good photos due to the blue hue of the dimmed windows. ©Paliparan


Although my Air Europa flight was pretty unrememberable so far, it changed as we approached the border between France and Italy.

This border is formed by the Alps – and our flight path would take us right over this impressive mountain chain.

The views were absolutely magnificent.

It was certainly breathtaking to see some of the mountain peaks pierce right through the cloud cover.

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Flying over the foothills of the French Alps. ©Paliparan
french alps
View over the French Alps. ©Paliparan
mountains alps air europa boeing 787 dreamliner economy class
It was breathtaking to see the mountain peaks through the clouds. ©Paliparan
alps plane view
View over the Alps. ©Paliparan
air europa madrid milan flight alps
Gorgeous Alpine views on my Madrid-Milan flight. ©Paliparan
wing engine boeing 787 air europa
The wing and engine of the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner as it flies over the Alps. ©Paliparan
france italy alps plane view
Flying over the Alps between France and Italy. ©Paliparan
alps view
View over the Alps. ©Paliparan

Landing in Milan

Once we reached the other side of the Alps, we started our descent towards Milan Malpensa Airport.

The weather in Milan was equally dreary as in Madrid with some threatening grey storm clouds being visible in the distance.

Still, there were some fine views over the plains of northern Italy on our descent.

We even managed to land a bit earlier than our scheduled arrival time at Milan Malpensa.

descent milan malpensa
Descending towards Milan Malpensa Airport. ©Paliparan
boeing 787 wing
View over the wing and engine of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner as we descend towards Milan Malpensa Airport. ©Paliparan
milan malpensa landing view
The weather around Milan wasn’t that great. ©Paliparan
milan approach
Flying over a town in the wider region of Milan. ©Paliparan
milan malpensa airport descent
Descending towards Milan Malpensa Airport. ©Paliparan
milan malpensa landing view
Milan Malpensa landing view. ©Paliparan
milan malpensa landing view
Milan Malpensa landing view. ©Paliparan
milan malpensa final approach
On final approach towards Milan Malpensa. ©Paliparan
milan malpensa airport
Milan Malpensa Airport. ©Paliparan
milan malpensa airport
Milan Malpensa Airport. ©Paliparan
runway milan malpensa airport air europa boeing 787
Touchdown on the runway of Milan Malpensa Airport. ©Paliparan
milan malpensa airport boeing 787 dreamliner air europa
Taxiing towards the terminal. ©Paliparan
milan malpensa
Taxiing towards the terminal. ©Paliparan


My Air Europa flight from Madrid to Milan was perfectly pleasant.

On a short-haul flight within Europe, it’s a great pleasure to fly a widebody aircraft like the Air Europa Boeing 787 as it is much more comfortable than a narrow-body plane.

Air Europa’s economy class on the Boeing 787 is perfectly acceptable and for most in line with other European airlines – although there are a couple of areas where it falls short.

The seat itself is comfortable and has a decent amount of shoulder and legroom as well as a power socket and USB charging port.

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner of Air Europa is equipped with Wi-Fi internet and in-flight entertainment screens, so it’s easy enough to keep yourself occupied during the flight.

However, the service on board Air Europa isn’t as good as on most other European airlines.

Although the service by the crew was perfectly friendly, you can expect to have to pay for pretty much everything on board.

There are no complimentary snacks and drinks on intra-European flights in economy class on Air Europa.

Even on long-haul routes you only get one meal and a drink for free throughout the entire flight, which is rather stingy.

This extends to other areas too as you even have to pay for headphones on board.

However, as I was only taking a short-haul flight between Madrid and Milan I could easily overlook these couple of negative points and I therefore certainly wouldn’t mind flying with Air Europa again.

Trip report index

This ‘Trains, Planes, Beer and Tapas: A Trip to Prague and Madrid’ trip report consists of the following chapters:

1. Review: Ryanair Bucharest to Chania (Boeing 737-800)
2. A Rainy Chania Stopover
3. Ryanair Hell: My Bad Chania to Budapest Flight Experience
4. Review: T62 Hotel, Budapest, Hungary
5. Review: EuroCity Train “Hungaria” Budapest to Brno
6. A Walk Through the Historic Old Town Centre of Brno
7. Review: EuroCity Train “Metropolitan” Brno to Prague
8. Review: K+K Hotel Central, A Prague Art Nouveau Delight
9. Beer Boozing in Prague: Sampling Some Czech Brews
10. Praha Hlavní Nádraží – Prague’s Stunning Art Nouveau Station
11. Review: Leo Express Train Prague to Olomouc
12. Olomouc Guide: Baroque and Belle Epoque Beauty
13. Review: RegioJet Train Olomouc to Prague
14. Review: Erste Premier Lounge Prague Airport
15. Review: Air France HOP Business Class Embraer 170
16. Review: Air France Schengen Business Lounge Paris CDG Terminal 2F
17. Review: Air France Business Class Paris CDG to Madrid (Airbus A220)
18. A Madrid Tapas Crawl: Bar Hopping in Spain’s Capital
19. Review: Ibis Madrid Aeropuerto Barajas
20. Review: Puerta de Alcala VIP Lounge Madrid Airport
21. Review: Air Europa Economy Class (Boeing 787) Madrid to Milan (current chapter)
22. How To Transfer Between Milan Malpensa and Bergamo Airport

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Koen works as a freelance journalist covering south-eastern Europe and is the founding father and editor-in-chief of Paliparan. As a contributor to some major Fleet Street newspapers and some lesser known publications in the Balkans, he travels thousands of miles each year for work as well as on his personal holidays. Whether it is horse riding in Kyrgyzstan’s Tian Shan mountains, exploring the backstreets of Bogotá, or sipping a glass of moschofilero in a Greek beachside taverna, Koen loves to immerse himself into the local culture, explore new places and eat and drink himself around the world.

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