BA 461 MAD-LHR Email warning advice

Old Aug 14, 18, 6:11 am
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BA 461 MAD-LHR Email warning advice

Boys, Him Indoors has to travel on this to LHR tomorrow (getting out of ALC isn expensive nightmare). We got one of these emails warning him to be at the airport at least 90 mins before departure as the controls were taking long. I know that these have been discussed before but I'd not seen one in a while. Does anyone have any thoughts or advice or indeed been on the 777 flight recently?

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Which is the best seat to take (I cannot believe that I have asked that1 )
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Old Aug 14, 18, 6:17 am
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Yes, it started last year - see this thread:
Emigration control delays from some European airports

and in the case of Madrid, assuming Fast Track I'm not sure one needs to worry too unduly. Leaving it until 60 minutes before departure may not be a good idea, though 90 minutes seems a bit over the top if you know how MAD works.

For the 777 I think a lot of the previous threads are in the Flub area, in other words how to get into the First cabin - and to save you searching, there isn't a sure-fast way of doing this. Some have managed it via MMB, others at the airport but it can't be taken for granted. Otherwise the best seats are usually the last window seat in any given cabin block, though I suspect aisle access is not much of an issue on such a short flight.
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Old Aug 14, 18, 6:34 am
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I took this on Sunday. No queues at all in the airport and I was through security in minutes (I didnít receive a warning email though). Itís a bit of a walk and the transit to T4S which is where this usually (always?) departs from - automatic passport gates also make things a bit quicker now. The refurbished lounge in T4S is very well appointed with food and drinks and a genuinely nice place to spend a bit of time.

On board were 11 (MF?) crew on the 777 and I couldnít fault the service. I got an opup to CE and ended up in seat 1A so no complaints there either. If in ET then see if they open up the PE cabin for use, if not then the front row of the WT cabin is a good bet, to my mind.

We also landed early so overall it was a very good BA experience.

(My only negative comment is that the unrefurbished 777 I was on was really showing its age - the state of the First cabin was really poor and had I paid to be on that aircraft in First for a long haul flight Iíd be very disappointed).
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Old Aug 14, 18, 6:34 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
Yes, it started last year - see this thread:
Emigration control delays from some European airports

and in the case of Madrid, assuming Fast Track I'm not sure one needs to worry too unduly. Leaving it until 60 minutes before departure may not be a good idea, though 90 minutes seems a bit over the top if you know how MAD works.

For the 777 I think a lot of the previous threads are in the Flub area, in other words how to get into the First cabin - and to save you searching, there isn't a sure-fast way of doing this. Some have managed it via MMB, others at the airport but it can't be taken for granted. Otherwise the best seats are usually the last window seat in any given cabin block, though I suspect aisle access is not much of an issue on such a short flight.
El Maestro speaks!

Bless you Honey - I wonder if anyone knows about the frequency/reliabiltyof train from Atocha station to T4?
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Old Aug 14, 18, 6:35 am
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While there is a Fast Track security screening at T4 main, I don't recall there being any Fast Track option at the Spanish Border Control desks in T4S after you've got off the transit, but c-w-s has probably been more recently than me.

It just seemed to be a massive Tensabarriered maze, one side for European Travel Area, one for not. Having waited several minutes in the European side, and it not moving very quickly, suddenly more Spanish Border Police arrived, they didn't open up any more kiosks, they just started hauling people from the front of the queue "Triage-style", performing a manual document check and based on that either letting you through or directing you to wait for a kiosk for "further inspection".

I'd say it took me about 7-10 minutes from transit to getting airside in T4S on that occasion - because I only got a manual document check. If I had needed to wait for a check at a kiosk, I can imagine it taking much longer.

I can't say for certain how busy this will be in the evening, I was travelling through during the peak mid-morning departure bank. When I've departed MAD in the evening it's mostly been on LCY or IB-operated flights which have gone from the non-Schengen bit of the T4 main building, which doesn't have this problem.

Other thing to watch out for is that last year, when the 777 flight was operating around the middle of the day, it was usual for it to be on a remote, so bussing was involved. I don't know if that has changed to a stand with a jetway for the later departure time.

As c-w-s says 60 mins is fine for a departure from T4 main - even less if HBO - but from T4S I'd allow at least a further 15 minutes. Sometimes even the transits seem to have big gaps in between.

Last edited by mjh0; Aug 14, 18 at 7:29 am
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Old Aug 14, 18, 6:39 am
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It depends on what time you pass through, but last time I was transiting in MAD during the mid morning it was very busy, with the queue snaking to the top of the stairs/escalators that take you up from the shuttle train. It eventually moved reasonably quickly, at least in the EU passports line, which then filters into three or four separate lines, however I then annoyingly found myself in the one line that appeared to be designated for the air crew and disabled persons to proceed to the front, of which there was an almost endless stream on that day, which meant that my queue moved about ten times slower than all the others. Not a great experience. You probably wont need 90 minutes, unless you want to use a lounge or like to leave yourself plenty of time before boarding.
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Old Aug 14, 18, 6:44 am
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A little while since I took the train from the airport. I found it a bit of a faff (goes from T4 I think) and the bus was a bit easier.

If you have time Atocha Station is a great architectural structure. Plus the memorial to the 2004 attacks....I lost a work colleague in the explosions.
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Old Aug 14, 18, 6:45 am
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Originally Posted by PUCCI GALORE View Post
Bless you Honey - I wonder if anyone knows about the frequency/reliabiltyof train from Atocha station to T4?
It's every 15 minutes, C1 or C10, takes 30 minutes. You need to allow a bit of time to get to the platform in Atocha, it's quite an edifice, sometimes it's easier to use a smaller station. Personally I think it's reliable but most of my colleagues prefer to use taxis, at 30€, rather than 2€ for the CercanŪas.

CercanŪas Madrid
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Old Aug 14, 18, 6:52 am
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Originally Posted by PUCCI GALORE View Post
El Maestro speaks!

Bless you Honey - I wonder if anyone knows about the frequency/reliabiltyof train from Atocha station to T4?
Last time I was there (in March) line C1 ran every 30 minutes. Metro is more frequent, but there's the "airport supplement" fee on top of a normal ticket, which isn't there on the Cercanias.
Edit: It does look like C10 has been extended to the airport as well.

signol
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Old Aug 14, 18, 7:00 am
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We flew back to LHR on the evening 777 flight in CE a fortnight ago. Departure was from 4S where there is no fast track through passport control. It was chaotic. EU passport holders to right hand side, all other passports to the left. They eventually opened 5 of the self service machines (no idea why the remainder weren’t opened). Under 18s(?) can’t use the self service and other passports weren’t working so they were being directed to the main chaos for a long wait.
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Old Aug 14, 18, 7:11 am
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Originally Posted by PUCCI GALORE View Post
Muccis can and will be awarded or upgraded.
Madrid is in Spain. Does that advice warrant a Mucci?
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Old Aug 14, 18, 7:29 am
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If it says be there at least 90 minutes before then I'd be taking that advice at face value. I don't like leaving these things to chance and ending up with a missed flight, knowing that I'm not endowed with c-w-s super traveller powers
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Old Aug 14, 18, 10:32 am
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It is indeed not security that is the problem in Madrid, but the passport check in T4S - which is where the 777 will fly from. It does really vary, from no queues to queues indeed all the way to the escalator, and snaking around the hall. Plus all the people that think they are going to miss their flight and who try and barge straight through the queues - many times it turns out their flight is after mine.

Hence the blanket advice from BA to turn up on time - ignore it at your peril.
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Old Aug 14, 18, 12:24 pm
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Thank you all Boys!

He is arriving at Atochas from Alicante and will go straight out to Barajas. He should be there 120 mins + before boarding so this should not be a problem.

Thank you all so for helping me to dispatch my husband to London! Yes, @Phil the Flyer and London is in the United Kingdom. No Muccis for you. They are for the deserving, not the Disgraceful.
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Old Aug 14, 18, 12:29 pm
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And Ubers are 15€ this summer - perhaps further reduced to 13€ as happened to me a few hours ago by not taking the toll road to T4 (which very few people take anyway). You need to use code VERANO2018 and order an "UberAIRPORT".
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