Madrid Airport Questions

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Oct 20th, 2009, 06:09 PM
  #1
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Madrid Airport Questions

I already looked through a search on this topic, so I think I have a decent idea, but just wanted to make sure I understand completely.

I am meeting a friend in at the Madrid Barajas Airport for a vacation together. I am coming in on American Airlines, so I assume that will be terminal 4, and she is flying in on Easyjet, and I think that is Terminal 1. How long will it take for me to get to her terminal (her flight gets in a bit later than mine)? Is it a walk, or is there transportation between terminals? How close will I be able to get to her gate? - will they let me in the terminal without a ticket since I already went through customs? could i meet her at her baggage claim?

We then are going to take the AVE train south to Seville. We want to book the train ticket ahead of time. How much time should we budget to get to Atocha train station by metro on a Sunday from terminal 1? Her flight gets in at 9:10am. What is the earliest train we could make without it being too tight?

For our return train ride back on a Monday, by what time should we arrive in madrid to make a 6:00 flight?

Thanks!
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Oct 20th, 2009, 06:10 PM
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sorry, i meant to say an 8:00pm flight out of Madrid.
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Oct 21st, 2009, 12:40 AM
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All I can say is that it took me a lot longer than I expected when I went from the airport to Atocha and on to the train. Maybe I was in a fog.

First, from Terminal 4 to Terminal 3, I believe you could take the metro, although I have yet to visit Terminal 4. Your friend coming in on EasyJet will have to walk from Terminal 1 to Terminal 3 (about a 15-minute walk) to catch the metro.

If you prefer to do it the long, difficult way, you could get a shuttle bus to Terminal 1, and then walk to Terminal 3, but really the metro way would be easier.

Once you are safely on the metro at Terminal 3, take it to Nuevos Ministerios. Then get off and get the Cercanias train (I bought my ticket here). Within a few minutes, you will be at Atocha Renfe, and you can get your train to Seville. The Cercanias is much faster than the metro.

The main problem I see here is that you can't be sure when your plane, or your friend's plane, will arrive. It's not that rare for an EasyJet flight in particular, but also other flights, to have an hour or longer delay.

On the other hand, I think you need to prebook to get a cheap ticket.

So my solution would be to use luggage storage at Atocha Renfe, and then head over to Museo Reina Sofia and maybe one or two other great Madrid museums, or just enjoy Madrid until late afternoon, at which point you'd catch your scheduled train.

If for some reason you truly believe that there is little risk of a flight delay, count on the luggage obtaining, walking to metro, buying tickets, changing to the Cercanias (and buying that ticket), going through train security, and finding the AVE train spot to take about 1.5-2 hours.
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Oct 21st, 2009, 12:43 AM
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For the return, again, you are assuming the train will work perfectly on-time. With that presumption, I'd aim to be back at Atocha Renfe no less than three hours before your flight, and then proceed to take your desired transportation.
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Oct 21st, 2009, 01:48 AM
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I would take the free shuttle bus between terminal 4 and 1. Could take 10-12 minutes.

You will need to wait for her after she gets her luggage. There should be a café to the left or right when she comes out of her doors to look for you.

Then I would walk OUTSIDE to where the taxis are, and look for the busstop for the 1-euro airport bus that takes you to the Intercambiador Av. America.( By the time you WALK to the metro station for Terminal one, you could be sitting and relaxing on this bus).

It should be bus 200 or a number with 200 in it. Not confusing. It will say "Inter. Av America" on its header. No other bus has words even similar to those.

This bus takes you quickly above ground to the very edge of Madrid. Its last stop everyone gets off.(Avenida America, underground)

Here you can take a quick 8-10 euro taxi to Atocha OR catch the "circular" metro number 6 to Pacifico, then change to Atocha. ( only one change)

There is a customer service office downstairs ( one more level below where you came in) where the metro/bus pass machines are if you need help buying a metro ticket. But you can press 10 viajes..I think it is now 7.40 E, and you both use the same pass everytime you get on a metro or bus. There IS an elevator in this building that takes you to street level. Ask where it is. Otherwise you have an escalator most of the way and some steps to street level.

If you fnd a Tabacalera shop open in your terminals, you can usually buy this 10 ride ticket from them, thus being able to use it on your airport bus from the beginning.

I would avoid the metro as it is three different trains from the airport, plenty of steps, and can take up to 50 minutes of carefully watching your purse as it is notorious for thieves, on the train, platforms and at changing points.

You may want to store your purse IN your suitcase when you arrive, keeping out a bit of cash in a pocket to avoid all this management.

You should have plan B in case YOUR flights are delayed for weather or whatever. If you have pre-purchased tickets on the AVE, and one of the flights does not come in for several hours, will one of you proceed to your detination hotel? Although this is not that frequent, it DOES happen . Plan accordingly.

Enjoy your trip.
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Oct 21st, 2009, 01:52 AM
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Lincasanova, no doubt you are right about the thieves, although I have been lucky so far, but now with the Cercanias, there is no need to suffer three metro lines anymore (and it was suffering). Just the metro to Nuevos Ministerios, and then the Cercanias to Atocha Renfe. The worst part of that is the walk to Terminal 3, in my experience.
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Oct 21st, 2009, 01:56 AM
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When I flew to Madrid from London (Luton) on EasyJet, we did not deplane at Terminal #1. Since it was an Intra-EU flight, we didn't have to clear Passport Control or Customs.

Are you sure your American Airlines TransAtlantic flight ends at Terminal #4?? I usually fly Continental out of EWR and deplane at International Arrivals Terminal #1. That may have changed when the new Terminal #4 was inaugurated ...
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Oct 21st, 2009, 02:44 AM
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Willtravel.. yes.. that WALK.. is unreal. I just did it and believe me unless traffic is horrible and I fear missing a train or plane, I will never even consider it again.

Ned.. I don't know where you would have deplaned if not Terminal 1. Maybe 2. They are next to each other.

AA is partner with IBeria so they are in Terminal 4.

Continental and US Air are still in T1.
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Oct 21st, 2009, 02:48 AM
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Can all this be done with medium size rolling luggage bags?
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Oct 21st, 2009, 02:49 AM
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sorry - and are there taxis big enough for 5 people?
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Oct 21st, 2009, 04:32 AM
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Only 4 for a taxi. Madrid has no larger taxi vans. So you must get two cars for five.

Otherwise get a shuttle service. I have never used any, but I have seen some recommended or criticised here.
jonijam.. can WHAT be done? The bus/ taxi.. NO problem. The metro/ cercanias.. of course it can be DONE.. just a LOT more walking and pulling on the bag.

If you all take the bus to Madrid and from there two taxis directly to hotel.. would be easiest and best value, IMO. This is what I would do, but there are others who swear by the trains for the same reasons. We just like different things. Both are adequate if you do NOT take the regular metro from Atocha to Barajas or vice-versa. (Talk about walking!!! Not to mention the steps up and down and around).

If you do take a Cercanías train (light rail) do not bother standing in line at the "metro" window as they will not give you nor can give you any detailed info as to schedule or pricing. You must go to the "cercanías" machines or stand at the cercanías window for information.

Then be sure to know which direction your train must go, and what its last stop is as that is how it will usually be posted.

Over the years I have become more addicted to bus travel than underground travel. Just my nature. Only for long, with few changes, or very heavy traffic fears, do I see any advantages to the metro in this case.
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Oct 21st, 2009, 11:16 AM
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Thanks so much for taxi info. very helpful!
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Oct 21st, 2009, 02:38 PM
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thanks for all the replies everyone.
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