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Help please navigating Barajas (Madrid) airport

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Mar 13th, 2015, 01:33 PM
  #21
 
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Haven't had to make a connecting flight for a couple of years, so what you're saying is that things and changed and anyone can now use the self-checkin machines for domestic flights. What about checked luggage?

4REF? There is only T4 and T4S.
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Mar 13th, 2015, 02:13 PM
  #22
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Wow. And here I had assumed that Madrid airport would be pretty easy to navigate. Sure wish I'd asked this question here before I booked the ticket. Well, forwarned is fore armed, I'm going to give it the old college try and have all my ducks in a row (to use lots of old-fashioned expressions.) Thanks to all. At least I'm not flying out of 4REF.
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Mar 13th, 2015, 04:57 PM
  #23
 
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Madrid is fairly easy if you are leaving and coming into T4, or leaving and coming into the other Terminals. But if you need to connect between T4, T4S and T1, etc.. it is a hassle.. ESPECIALLY if it entails re-checking luggage and getting on a bus with it, re-checking in, getting boarding passes, etc.

Hopefully you will make it.. just know where you are going.
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Mar 13th, 2015, 05:39 PM
  #25
 
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Lin - is it a hassle going between T4 and T4S ? We only have 2 hrs 20 min between planes and will have checked luggage. Thanks.
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Mar 13th, 2015, 06:08 PM
  #26
 
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No.. not at all. Long.. but not a total hassle but perhaps not as straight forward as many places.

There is a shuttle train and then a series of elevators or long escalators and depending on which section of T4.. it CAN take 20 minutes or so . Just be sure to look at the monitors BEFORE going to a certain train to make sure your flight has not changed into a different "section".

Yesterday two girls got down where the train to HJK goes, ( boarding pass info) but realized they wanted to go to "M" ( from the monitor info).

They had to go to HJK and turn around to get back to M where they flight had been changed to, because from where they were AT the HJK train, there was no way to reverse their route. All escalators were coming DOWN to the train, and they weren't allowed to backtrack back up towards security on the elevator.

Just check the monitors beforehand. It seems to take a long time to put the GATE number, but the SECTION (letters) has always been up for my flights when I had an hour or two in between. . So, you can't trust boarding passes 100% you were given hours earlier. Worst case ask at the service info desk.
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Mar 13th, 2015, 06:47 PM
  #27
 
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JulieV...I will be thinking good thoughts for you! I am glad you decided to go carry on only. It might make the difference for your connection.
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Mar 14th, 2015, 01:37 AM
  #28
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Again, thanks to all for so much useful information and tips. and Nepethe, thanks for the good thoughts. Sounds like I can use all the help I can get.
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Jun 28th, 2015, 08:14 AM
  #29
 
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Well, we survived Barajas this month. I was in a wheelchair at all airports (Reno, Dallas, Madrid, Malaga, and Almeria), and the assistants were wonderful friendly people who whisked us through using all the shortcuts. We spent about $75 on tips for them, and it was worth every penny. For having been updated recently, Barajas is not a "modern" airport. Buses to the planes and then hikes up stairs into the planes. Used Air Nostrum from Madrid to Malaga. Had a two hour delay on top of our four hour layover. We should have picked up our car in Madrid and driven south, as usual. Two of our guests also experienced delays with Air Nostrum.
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Jun 28th, 2015, 11:02 AM
  #30
 
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Glad you are back safely. I hope you are feeling well and had a great time.

Some planes still use buses and stairs. it must cost them less than the direct terminal jetway access.
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Jun 28th, 2015, 03:43 PM
  #31
 
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Thanks, Lin. We had an OK trip visiting places we had lived. Some disappointments but ... The trip back was brutal. Took 52 hrs due to plane repairs in Madrid, but AA treated us well with a hotel and meals plus more FF miles. We really can't complain. I do hope my foot problem will be solved, but I want more wheelchair service. My first time. Just fabulous. No one should hesitate to take advantage of this if needed.
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Jul 2nd, 2015, 05:48 PM
  #32
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Reporting back: Thanks to the tips I received here, we managed to make our connection to an Iberia flight to Asturias/Oviedo with even time to spare. I expect that the decision to not check any bags was the most critical. But it helped just to know what to expect (I was astounded by the trip from one terminal to another. It wasn't even on the airport tarmacs but rather on a freeway, such is the distance involved.

So we made the connection and did not have to purchase another flight and wait around, etc. That was all good. However, the business of stairs was especially difficult for us. Can't recall whether they were in Madrid or Asturias/Oviedo but DH wound up carrying both our carry ons, packed to the gills and pretty heavy, up two flights of stairs, reinjuring one hernia and causing another for which he must now have surgery. We will definitely be more careful and plan more time for connections on all future flights.
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Jul 2nd, 2015, 10:33 PM
  #33
 
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Did you notice the escalators and elevators? There are a number of them at Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas airport.
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Jul 3rd, 2015, 02:39 AM
  #34
 
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so sorry.. there are elevators even when you get off the plane.. but might not have been obvious.. or behind a strap barrier.. but once in T4 they are everywhere. T1-2 they may not be so obvious. I know what you are talking about. Next time advise crew you cannot do stairs.. and you will taken care of very well.

I hope your DH heals well and quickly. What a way to start a trip
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Jul 3rd, 2015, 09:26 AM
  #35
 
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And, one can't trust travel agents. Their knowledge doesn't include time needed to make connections, esp in foreign airports. My daughter missed her flight from Barajas to Almeria because of this.
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Jul 3rd, 2015, 10:02 AM
  #36
 
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>And, one can't trust travel agents< That's rather a broad statement. I guess you can add in the same breath that one can't trust doctors because they don't have all the answers.
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Jul 3rd, 2015, 10:25 AM
  #37
 
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Well, quite. In any case, we always check bags, and the relationship between AA and Air Nostrum allowed us to pick up our luggage in Malaga instead of going thru customs in Madrid. Nice.
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Jul 12th, 2015, 03:06 AM
  #38
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Sorry, I've been away and did not until now see the kind well wishes for DH. It was the Madrid airport that created the problem DH advises, but it was due to a non-functioning elevator which, of course, no one can foresee. The point is to thank you all for your helpful advice about how to move between terminals in Madrid and to forego checking luggage. It saved the day. Hereafter it's long conncection times and checked luggage.
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