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Heads up re: Spain (MAD, BCN etc.) - Long passport / security queues Jun 2017 onward

Heads up re: Spain (MAD, BCN etc.) - Long passport / security queues Jun 2017 onward

Old Jul 4, 17, 6:34 am
  #1  
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Heads up re: Spain (MAD, BCN etc.) - Long passport / security queues Jun 2017 onward

There are new EU passport screening requirements that are causing, at least at MAD, major backups at immigration, at least to leave.

Today, we connected EU-MAD-US (or, we would have) and it took 122 minutes to get from aircraft door through passport control. At 4S, they had to turn off the up escalators to avoid a dangerous situation.

News article:
http://www.elconfidencial.com/espana...trasos_1409043

AA is not proactively notifying customers traveling from or through Madrid and offering to rebook for longer connections. I don't know if they will do this if you call (as much as I feel they should).

If you are leaving from Madrid, I recommend getting there early, at least until this is resolved.

(posting this here rather than another forum given the large number of AA flights and connections through MAD)

Last edited by JDiver; Jul 4, 17 at 8:13 am Reason: Repair malfunctioning web link
logicalrealist is offline  
Old Jul 4, 17, 6:50 am
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I got caught up in that mess Sunday as well... let's just say it was a bit surprising to sail through fast track security after check in, grab the train over to 4s thinking "piece of cake", only to get off the train and be greeted by a massive queue going up the escalators for a passport stamp. It seemed the hold up was mostly a technical issue - as in whatever system they're using to scan the passports must be connected by a dial modem from 20 years ago! Every time they'd put one on the scanner, the amount of time it took for the system to read it was painfully slow.
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Old Jul 4, 17, 7:48 am
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Thanks for the heads-up. I'll be flying out of MAD to the U.S. tomorrow and we'll plan to arrive at T4 earlier than usual.
Pedro M is offline  
Old Jul 4, 17, 8:14 am
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The Confidencial article illustrates the situation:

JDiver is offline  
Old Jul 4, 17, 9:26 am
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My wife and I got caught up in that mess as well when we returned from VCE on IB on June 27. People were trying to crowd into the line and it got ugly. We had two and a half hours to connect from terminal 4 to 4S and yet arrived at the gate five minutes before they started boarding our flight. We hurried as fast as we could, but the distances are significant at MAD.

There were only one or two people directing the line, and they were doing very little to help. However, one of them did say that this had been going on for about a week.
PakThomas is offline  
Old Jul 4, 17, 12:30 pm
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We flew MAD-BOS yesterday. The line at immigration filled the entire space allotted and was headed down the escalator. At one point it may have reached the train exits. I recommend allowing at least an extra hour. We had planned an hour or two in the lounge and didn't have a minute to spare.

Edited to add - the queue for EU citizens was considerably shorter.
FrogProf is offline  
Old Jul 4, 17, 2:19 pm
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Any news whether this only affects MAD? We are leaving from BCN on Thursday and would like to be prepared if need be.

Thanks
bd24133 is offline  
Old Jul 4, 17, 2:41 pm
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Bcn is often bad too. Check out the ba forum. With a non eu passport it's a crap shoot and could add an extra hour onto your timing
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Old Jul 4, 17, 5:53 pm
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Any word if this is true in Lisbon?
boerne is offline  
Old Jul 4, 17, 6:05 pm
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Originally Posted by bd24133 View Post
Any news whether this only affects MAD? We are leaving from BCN on Thursday and would like to be prepared if need be.

Thanks
FWIW we flew BCN-MIA on AA on June 29 and while the line to check in bags was moving a bit slowly we were able to walk right up to both security and the passport control kiosk with virtually no wait.
alggag is offline  
Old Jul 4, 17, 7:33 pm
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July 2nd was atrocious too at MAD. Almost missed our flight despite 1.5 hours to get from Terminal 4 to gate in 4S. Absurd.
Zigzagdc is offline  
Old Jul 5, 17, 12:54 am
  #12  
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& no line at 8:00am today, with only three booths open. If today is any indication, if you can get through before the morning connecting flights start arriving, it's much better.
logicalrealist is offline  
Old Jul 5, 17, 2:33 am
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We arrived at T4S at 8:57 and we were done with passport control at 09:05. Not bad considering how bad it had been in the previous days. Now we have plenty of time to relax at the Iberia lounge.
Pedro M is offline  
Old Jul 5, 17, 2:57 am
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Originally Posted by boerne View Post
Any word if this is true in Lisbon?
LIS is better than BCN and MAD in this regard. But EU/Schengen ports of entry/exit in the aggregate have gotten worse in recent years, even for EU passport users.
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Old Jul 5, 17, 3:40 am
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
LIS is better than BCN and MAD in this regard. But EU/Schengen ports of entry/exit in the aggregate have gotten worse in recent years, even for EU passport users.
HEL is really good. FINNAIR has a Moscow (SVO) - HEL - JFK connection that is 40 minutes....... The normal area was very fast the last time I was there, and there is an express lane for short connections. I think MAD is a good place to avoid for connections
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