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Changing Planes-- to and from Madrid
If you are going on to a domestic flight after passport control and customs, it can be a bit confusing. You need to take the train to Gates E, H, and J. I expected 3 stops on the train—one for each gate area—and I was concerned because I didn’t know which one I needed. The Departures board just listed EHJ as my gate!
It would have helped to know there was only one stop—to EHJ. Signs say how many minutes to each gate, but they indicate walking time after you get off. Once there, you go on foot down the appropriate hallway. The actual gate for domestic flights doesn’t appear until about an hour before the flight, so you just find somewhere to sit and wait. If you take the train the other direction, there is only one stop again, although gate information seems to be posted earlier for international flights.
Avoid Vueling Airlines
We used Vueling airlines in October, 2012 and feel that their advertising about luggage is purposely misleading. We were flying Madrid/Barcelona and had an extra baggage to check. The website says that if you pay in advance it will cost you only 12 Euro for each extra bag. When we got to the airport the fine print was explained to us. You can check an extra bag for 12 Euro but the bag can't weigh anything. The fine print says you can check that extra bag but you're still restricted to 23K total, even if you pay for the excess bag. After weighing the bags we were shocked to find that between us and our friends we owed 480 Euro in excess weight. Is there another airline that asks you to pay for the extra bag but then tells you it can't weigh even a kilo? Beware! Shame on Vueling.
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A note about Iberia
I've heard only bad things about Iberia and the more I heard, the more I wanted to fly with them. Yesterday, I got my wish.
Iberia isn't as bad as I thought of. Every other airline has to deal with delays, lost baggage, cranky personnel, etc. I have nothing to say but good things from the check-in employee to the pilot. Danny and I fly stand by with employee discount, so we always get the seats last. The check-in clerk said that there were 3 seats left but that there was a group with a tight connection so that he didn't think it was a problem.
Coming to the gate, Danny was given the last confirmed seat and the last thing I thought of was asking if I could go in a jump seat (as told by the check-in clerk). They asked and I got a "yes", so I got to go as part of the cabin crew. Dear didn't I have a blast or what? Those flight attendants were very nice and friendly, I saw them being very professional with rude people who wanted to go to the bathroom when the seat belt sign was on and the plane moving like if it was in a blender, people who would not turn off their mobiles when landing or taking off, etc. Even if the pilot had said no, the gate clerks said that the next flight was wide open and were willing to give me a ticket right there.
In short, I have nothing bad to say because I know they have the same problems as all other airlines.
Flying to Spain with KLM
Even though I'd been toying around with the idea of going to Spain for quite sometime, I ended up booking my entire trip quite rapidly because I happened to stumble upon a sale with KLM. It was my first time flying with them, and I have to say that it was a really good experience. Service was nice, food was pretty decent too, and they had a great movie selection! But for me the best part about flying with KLM was that my transfer in Amsterdam was sooooo quick and simple! Shiphol Airport is quite small for an international airport (only one terminal), so there's no danger of getting lost or having to run around to catch your next flight. Going through customs only took a few minutes, and I still had plenty of time left to enjoy a cold Heineken!
Liverpool to Madrid and back
I flew from Liverpool airport by Ryanair on the Saturday. Departed at 08.40 and arrived Madrid 12.15.
I was going to fly from East Midlands airport, as this would have been nearer to my home.
The flight out was at the same time as Liverpool and for the same price (1p! - well £14 when taxes etc added!), but there weren't flights out on Saturday, plus the return flight would have been departing at 06.35.
I found that Easyjet returned on the Monday at 17.25 arriving Liverpool 18.55, so although it cost a bit more (£42.02 including taxes etc) The time was more convenient.
When flying with these cut price companies it's worth considering the convenience of times as well as cost, so look at flying in and out with a different airline if it allows you more time to stay at Your destination!
Madrid Barajas airport (Aeropuerto de Barajas) is 16km North East of the city centre.
Buses, taxi and Metro all provide easy ways to reach the city.
I opted for the Metro.
It is located in Terminal 2 and 4 - well signposted. (it is about a 5 - 10 min walk from Terminal 1)
Please see my next tip for info re. Metro from Airport to the city
***API - It is now compulsary for travellers to Spain to provide information of each traveller prior to departure (name, date of birth, flight number, passport number).
Ryanair notified me of this a few days prior to departure, and provided an easy link to complete my details. Failure to provide this information will result in passengers not being allowed to fly!!! This security check will eventually apply to all other routes****
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Madrid Barajas Airport
Madrid Barajas Airport has three terminals. Terminal 1 is for most international flights. Terminal 2 is for domestic Spanish flights. Terminal 3 is for Iberia domestic shuttle and Iberia/Air Nostrum regional flights. Distance from city: 15km
To travel to city center from Barajas airport you can catch a taxi or bus or also take the metro.
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Delta is ready when you are...
I'm a bit biased (because I work for Delta Air Lines) but that's who has taken me to Madrid several times. Delta flies nonstop on nice Boeing 767s from Atlanta and New York. Delta also flies to Barcelona from Atlanta too.
I flew Munich - Madrid rtn with Lufthansa.
Bus takes you from Madrid airport to the Colon bus station.
The metro system was excellent, though I remember the carraiges were quite narrow in comparison to German ones. It was 130 pesetas per journey.
We flew with Austrian Airlines...
We flew with Austrian Airlines Group (Austrian Airlines, Tyrolean Airways, Lauda Air) directly from Vienna to Madrid. The return flight was with SpanAir, a rather fancy Spanish airline doing a code-sharing with AUA. My eldest brother who lives in London was using BA from London Gatwick. Most European airlines are going to Madrid. The airport Barajas is connected to the centre by metro, bus and taxis. Be sure to know the coorect fare beforehand. The taxidrivers usually try their luck…
Within Madrid you can depend on the vast Metro system. You can get everywhere very quickly and (the best!) very cheaply! We always used the Metrobús-10-trip-ticket for just 5 Euros. Within the central quarters: Centro, Sol, Palacio, Cortes and Embajadores you might even walk. Madrid is a very difficult place to get a good oversight of the place, so only go with a good map and a good sense of orientation. The Picture shows the train station Atocha.
If you are already in England take EasyJet to Madrid. The flight is about 2 hours long and you can get a ticket for about 60 pounds return or 120 dollars.
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