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hughakston Apr 10th, 2008 01:45 PM

Connecting through MAD-to check or not to check?
I am flying out this Saturday to Rome from Chicago via Madrid (ORD-MAD-FCO). Both flights are through Iberia and were booked together. However, I have a ridiculously short window during which to connect (1:15). I have read in several places that this will be extremely tight (perhaps impossible) given that I am landing at T4S and departing from T4.

Other than words of encouragement to uplift my battered psyche, my question is, can I save any time by checking my baggage through to Rome (assuming I can do so)? We had planned on carrying on given that we are concerned with lost luggage but if this would cause a longer delay getting through passport control and security at MAD, we probably won't want to do so.

Thanks in advance.

lincasanova Apr 10th, 2008 01:49 PM

you would NEVER catch a close connection doing that.. plus.. the hassle of taking your luggage up to departures, etc.. and re-checking would be bad news for anyone, even with more time.

luggage can easily take 30 minutes or more to arrive in T4

check all the way through.

Robert2533 Apr 10th, 2008 03:28 PM

Since you're booked through on Iberia, I would go ahead a check the luggage and take only your standard carry-on on board. You'll already have your boarding passes and Passport control shouldn't be a problem that you need to worry about. Why mess with luggage when you don't have to?

hughakston Apr 10th, 2008 03:41 PM

The concern with checking was the possibility of having our luggage lost.

My main concern here is whether it would take any more time to get through passport control & security if I have a carryon with me (I can't imagine it would take any more time). Any reason this assumption is wrong?

yorkshire Apr 10th, 2008 04:08 PM

I don't see why it would take any longer. That is what I always do.
With Iberia booking the legs together, you should be fine. If you are really worried, you might check to see when the next flight to Rome on Iberia is so you'll be in the know if the flight is late and you miss your connection.

Robert2533 Apr 10th, 2008 07:45 PM

If the flight were late in arriving, it would be up to Iberia to take care of things, not the passenger.

There is nothing wrong with checking you luggage when departing from home. The number of bags lost or misplaced vs the number of bags checked are small in proportion. We just went through Heathrow, flying from Madrid on Iberia and connection with BA to Seattle and checked our luggage, not worrying about the airline misplacing the bags (filled with great Spanish wines and contraband jamón).

yorkshire Apr 11th, 2008 07:21 AM

Of course it is up to Iberia, but if it were me, I would want to know the contingency--i.e., that there is another flight in merely a few hours or in several hours or the next day.

hughakston Apr 11th, 2008 09:49 AM

Thanks for the replies. I just wasn't sure whether checking your bags when you connect through one Schengen country to another would be like checking your bags when you connect from a non-US city through a US city (in that you have to pick up your checked baggage, clear customs and then recheck). From your responses, it looks like I should be able to check through and pick up my bags in Rome and clear customs there. Let me know if my understanding is incorrect.

Now if I can just get over my (perhaps) irrational fear of having my luggage lost.

yorkshire Apr 11th, 2008 10:06 AM

Yes, you can check through to Rome.

aw, don't worry. Lost forever is a rarity. Delayed happens, but I assume you will be staying in Rome and not immediately moving on, so even if delayed they'll be along soon (usually can be delivered to your hotel in that case).

There are precautions: Pack half and half so if one partner's things are delayed they are not without clean clothes. Also, take a change of clothes in your carry-on and of course anything valuable or that you cannot do without.
Iberia has a suitable carry-on policy (45 linear inches, 22 lbs), so I will be carrying on later this month and will report any difficulties.

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