A Travellerspoint blog

Return to Ecuador

More hassle at Barajas Airport, Madrid

View Teaching and Travelling Abroad on 3Traveller's travel map.

I had a 17-hour wait at Terminal 4S, Barajas Airport. I arrived late evening so didn't think it worthwhile to leave the airport and check into a hostel when I could just spend the night at the airport for free. The time passed more quickly than I thought it would. I did a few rounds of the duty-free shops but didn't buy anything, explored, watched the second half of the Spain-Chile football match that appeared on a screen by one of the boarding gates, and read the three newspapers I'd brought from the UK. I tried to avoid reading any of the books I'd brought because I knew they'd have to last me until Christmas! In the early hours of the morning they showed all of a Brazil-Portugal football match, so I watched that as well. I changed a 10-dollar note into euros, but this only resulted in enough to buy a bottle of Coca-Cola Light, a chocolate muffin and a ristretto coffee. Even the cheapest sandwich cost too much after I'd got my drink, so the muffin was the most filling-looking option. I couldn't use my card because since I didn't tell HSBC that I would be at Madrid Airport, I thought that if I did use it here they'd think it was fraud.

A couple of hours before my flight departure I strolled up to the Iberia desk where I assumed I could get my boarding pass. There was a Frenchman in front of me having a tantrum in English at the Iberia staff, holding up the rest of us. Eventually I managed to see someone, but he insisted that I had to get my boarding pass from the LAN desk in Terminal 4! I pointed out that on my printed out flight confirmation it said that the flight was run by Iberia for LAN (after all, my flight in May was also run by Iberia for LAN and I'd got my boarding pass from the Iberia desk at Terminal 4S), but he insisted otherwise and was quite dismissive. Feeling panicky that I wouldn't get there and back in time, I looked around for some LAN staff to talk to, but the only one I managed to ambush couldn't tell me very much, only that if there were any LAN staff at my flight's boarding gate then I could speak to them instead. There weren't any at the gate though, because it was too early, so I had to go to Terminal 4 after all. Only Terminals 1, 2, and 3 were on the signs, however, so I had to go back downstairs to the information desk and ask for directions.

I had to go through passport control and use the connecting train to Terminal 4. Once I arrived I asked at the information desk where the LAN desk was; apparently it was on the second floor. Just then I noticed an Iberia desk nearby, so on the off-chance that they could print it off for me after all and the original guy had been misinformed, I went up to it and asked - lo and behold, they could and did print my boarding pass for me! I was right all along that Iberia could print it off. Luckily the baggage checkpoints were quiet so I sailed through that (apart from getting told off for not putting my laptop in a separate tray to the laptop case) and passport control and made it back to Terminal 4S with about an hour to spare.

After all this palaver I decided that at Christmas I would fly back with an airline that wouldn't take me through Madrid... This was the third time in a row I'd had hassle there!

Posted by 3Traveller 14:17 Archived in Spain Tagged football airport layover

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

Comment with:

Comments left using a name and email address are moderated by the blog owner before showing.

Not published. Required
Leave this field empty

Characters remaining: