My Iberia Plus Santiago Suárez

Travel Tips: A chat with author and motivational coach Carlos Andreu

Carlos Andreu, Iberia Plus Gold member, is a life coach, speaker and the author of a book on happiness, From Coffin to Kite. We chatted with him after a flight (he flies Iberia more than 120 times a year) and asked him for some advice on how to maximise our travel experience.

Which destination do you travel to most often?

Since I live in Pamplona (pictured), my most common route is Pamplona-Madrid or Madrid-Pamplona.

Is there any item you always take with you, regardless of where you’re going?

In terms of material things, a backpack with my laptop, a notebook for writing and a book or paper to read. Besides that, excitement and anticipation.

In your book Del ataúd a la cometa (‘From Coffin to Kite’) you highlight the importance of living in the present, and recommend taking a trip on the spur of the moment...

Yes one can, and should travel spontaneously because it’s in the surprises of life where we find those flashes of happiness. And it’s when we’re preparing our trip that we’re truly enjoying it, because we’re still anticipating everything to come. All too often we forget about the ‘moment’!

What’s the difference between being a real traveller and a tourist?

If the goal of our trip is to create good memories – rather than to acquire things, or to tick monuments off a list – we’ll enjoy whatever we experience on that trip so much more. We end up being surprised by the many amazing things that happen on a trip that we’d become so accustomed to. There are so many when you travel by plane!

How can business travellers make the most of their layovers?

I wrote my first book on planes and during layovers, and I’m doing the same thing with the second. There’s no doubt that, for a business traveller, being an Iberia Plus Gold member offers fantastic advantages, like the Fast Pass to leverage their time and avoid the queues and inconvenience of security checks, and access to the VIP Lounge...

How do you recommend spending your time on board?

I use the flights to read books, reports, documents, and so on. So, when I get back home, I can spend all the time in the world with my family.

Of all the benefits that you get for being a Gold member, which is the best?

The Fast Pass and the VIP Lounges are great inventions and fantastic services. And the Gold/Platinum Customer Service Centre should be a school for what a call centre should be like.

Excluding flights, which Iberia Plus programme partner is your favourite for earning Avios?

I usually earn points by flying, paying with the Iberia Sendo credit cards, hiring cars with Avis and sleeping at other programme partner hotels, such as those from brands such as Accor and Marriott.

Which one of Iberia’s destinations would you fly to if tomorrow you had unlimited Avios?

Right now, I’ve got something like more than half a million Avios accumulated; that’s almost enough to fly to the west coast of the USA with my wife and six children. Flying Madrid-Los Angeles and seeing California together is a can’t-miss trip that’s only lacking a travel date.