I went through Madrid airport yesterday….

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This topic contains 16 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  capetonianm 11 Jul 2018
at 10:39
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  • travelworld2
    Participant

    ….in transit on Iberia from Lima to London. I had checked in at Lima and been give both boarding cards for Lima- Madrid and then Madrid- LHR. Following the signs for connecting flights, I presented myself at transfer security but was not allowed to proceed as I “had to get a stamp from Iberia”. I then went back to the Iberia flight connections desk where there was a queue of about 30 people, went straight to the front of it and asked for the stamp, which I was given very sullenly on my boarding card by the desk official. It then turned out that all the other people in the queue wanted the same stamp so I wasn’t very popular with all the rest. Apologies if you were in that queue.

    Does anyone know why a stamp is needed? It seems to serve no useful purpose, security or otherwise. Not sure how you get one if you have a boarding pass on your phone…


    canucklad
    Participant

    Hi travelworld2
    Just a quick question, did everyone require a stamp or just those flying to certain onward destinations ?

    Not sure about others here, but since the Brexit vote ( is there a correlation) I’ve found the once relaxed friendly “manyana” approach from Spanish officials to have changed to become more officious, more obstinate and at times deliberately awkward?

    Or am I just being paranoid ?

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    capetonianm
    Participant

    I am afraid that ‘sullen’ is about the best you can expect from ground staff and immigration officials at Barajas airport. They’ve always been horrid and Brexit has nothing to do with it.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    I am afraid that ‘sullen’ is about the best you can expect from ground staff and immigration officials at Barajas airport. They’ve always been horrid and Brexit has nothing to do with it.

    That reflects my experience, too. I was once detained by an armed policeman at Barajas, due to an omission by an Iberia employee and am still awaiting the apology, 36 years later 😉

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    CathayLoyalist2
    Participant

    Something to be aware of when using Barajas. If you are transiting with the itinerary on one ticket (one PNR) probably not a problem. If however you have two separate tickets but ask at check in on your inbound sectors for your bag to be tagged through to your final destination, assuming the airline will do that and that issue has been the topic of another post, it appears there is a system problem at Barajas. I had bought a PEY ticket with CX as follows MAD-HKG-SIN-HKG-MAD and used upgrade vouchers for the MAD-HKG-MAD sectors- That meant I had to purchase a separate ALC-MAD-ALC ticket. Iberia having lost my bag a few times, I flew to Madrid the night before the flight to HKG. Coming back I asked for my bag to be tagged to ALC which CX was happy to do. Problem was the bag never arrived and it has happened twice now. It appears that at Barajas even though the bag was tagged ALC, and Iberia s part of OW, it was not loaded at Barajas because the PNR did not match the Iberia PNR so I was told. I have on following trips since tagged the bag to Barajas and checked in again with Iberia using their PNR and all has been well. Strange occurrence that said Barajas has the worst record for baggage loss in Europe. Couple that with Iberia and IAG then you are not surprised.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    travelworld2
    Participant

    Cathayloyalist2- I was on one PNR and I’m pleased to say my bag made it, albeit last to reach the carousel despite being tagged as priority. Still, that’s T5 for you..


    capetonianm
    Participant

    I lived in Madrid for nearly three years and used to travel through Barajas 6-8 times a month, mostly on Iberia as it was hard to avoid them.

    I remember several unpleasant incidents.

    My g/f and I had been to Argentina on holiday and as she was on a staff standby ticket, we ended up on different flights BUE-MAD, whereas I was confirmed business class, so I took her suitcase with mine. When I arrived I was stopped by customs, which is perfectly reasonable and I have no problem with such checks. The official asked me what was in the luggage and I told him personal effects, clothes, etc, and that the one suitcase was my g/f’s. He asked me to open both cases and dug around in hers until he found some underwear which he then held up for public viewing and in a loud voice and in an attempt to humiliate me asked me if they were mine.

    He’d picked on the wrong person, I made an official complaint, in Spanish, to the senior on duty, and followed it up with a written complaint to the airport authority, the airline, department of tourism, and the Aduana. It’s not quite 36 years but I am still waiting for an apology from the Aduana, although I did get one from Turismo and from AENA.

    On another trip a thoroughly unpleasant Iberia employee told me on check in that there ‘were no window seats’ on a flight to LHR, which I knew to be a lie, specially since I was s/n 5 or something, so I asked him to show me the seat map on his screen, to which of course he said ‘you won’t understand it’. He showed it to me and I told him the transaction to book the seat I wanted.

    And another, I wanted to break a journey in BCN which meant booking another flight segment and reissuing a ticket (I was on a full fare business class ticket). The ticket office clerk told me the flight to BCN was full. I knew it wasn’t, so I got onto my laptop and booked a seat, went back to him, and said : “now reissue my ticket”. He was nonplussed to say the least and asked me how I’d got the seat, to which I said it was one of the remaining 82 empty seats on the flights and he didn’t need to know how I’d secured it. He huffed and puffed and cursed and swore about having to to reissue the ticket : “Joder, es mucho trabajo …” so I offered to do it myself.

    I have many memories of travelling on Iberia through Barajas, nearly all unpleasant.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    LHR_Fan
    Participant

    So my question is will I need to get a stamp on my boarding pass from somewhere at MAD as I’m booked (later in the year) PMI-MAD-LHR???? PMI-MAD is IB then MAD-LHR is BA and it’s all on one PNR.

    Also any advice on thru check in of my bags when departing PMI would be great. I’m presuming they’ll automatically do it????


    travelworld2
    Participant

    LHR-Fan- no idea. Both my flights arrived and departed from the satellite terminal. Whether or not the stamp is needed on non-EU connections only I know not. We weren’t advised of it before or on arrival. it was only when we presented ourselves at transfer security the issue was raised.

    As you are on one PNR your luggage should be checked through with no problem.


    PhilipHart
    Participant

    Not sure about others here, but since the Brexit vote ( is there a correlation) I’ve found the once relaxed friendly “manyana” approach from Spanish officials to have changed to become more officious, more obstinate and at times deliberately awkward?

    Or am I just being paranoid ?

    My diagnosis would suggest that, rather than being paranoid, you are suffering from a chronic case of Confirmation Bias 🙂


    canucklad
    Participant

    Hi Phillip, you’re probably right, although you’ll need to tell me what bias I’m supposedly confirming……

    As an experienced traveller and a person who is of an age where wisdom might now be entrenched I usually make my preconceptions of situations based on the “here and now” to try and avoid any hint of Apophenia. But I am human.

    My previous comment is based on past experiences of ease of movement through Spanish airports.

    Now passports are being checked, queues “seem” to form when once they didn’t… worst being at a small regional airport called Vigo, that took 90 minutes to clear a one aircraft (ours) arrival .

    So, as I said, you’re probably right, It’ll just be good to know what you’re right about !!


    Inquisitive
    Participant

    Reading about situation at Madrid airport, I need some advice.
    I will have to travel to Madrid from Singapore.
    Options 1 is fly to Barcelona and take train to Madrid.
    Option 2 is fly to Madrid via Middle East.
    Which one will be better?


    capetonianm
    Participant

    What are your criteria?

    Unless you have time to spare I can’t see much point in flying to BCN and taking the train, unless you particularly want to do the train journey, which is quite pleasant on the AVE. You will have to get from the airport to Sants station, which is no great problem unless you have a lot of luggage.

    I wouldn’t fly via the ME even if it’s a good connection. For me it would be KL or LX via AMS or ZRH, but that’s my personal choice, regardless of logic or price.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    canucklad
    Participant

    3rd option — is to use CX via HKG ….. almost guaranteed to deliver a great service

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    Options 1 is fly to Barcelona and take train to Madrid.
    Option 2 is fly to Madrid via Middle East.
    Which one will be better?

    I would not take the train etc, but fly LX via Zurich.
    As to the ME. I’ve been using EK quite a bit recently, and while I detest the midnight shuffle as everyone changes plane, it’s not too bad and much easier than FRA. Security is fast, lounges are, even if sometimes crowded, good and clean with an excellent choice of food and great service. So I would not put you off going that way.

    While I much prefer LH/LX, EK was half the price (once with a special offer a third of the price) and they throw in chauffeur drive at each end. For me that’s a saving of CHF 2,500 to CHF3,000 not counting the transfer, and for that saving, sorry Swiss, I’ll put up with the midnight shuffle!

    1 user thanked author for this post.
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