5 hours at MAD - what to do

Old May 14, 23, 1:59 pm
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5 hours at MAD - what to do

I find myself with a 5 hour wait between arriving at T4S and flying on to Barcelona from T4. Im wondering if anyone can recommend any area near the airport to go for lunch and a beer? I dont want to go downtown ideally as that might be just slightly too far for the time I have.

Also, I read about the Air Shuttle Service between MAD and BCN - is this a ticket type or a concept in general? Might I be able to change to an earlier BCN flight on the day, and where in T4 would I ask? I dont know exactly what category my ticket is, but it must the most heavily discounted business class fare bucket. OW Emerald if that makes any difference.

Many thanks!
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Old May 14, 23, 2:16 pm
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Air Shuttle is much more expensive than the ticket you bought for a specific flight. (even though you are indeed sharing the same aircraft) You can't just show up and talk your way onto an earlier flight. OWE is irrelevant.

Of course, it doesn't hurt to ask, but expect a no. I've actually gone to the Air Shuttle check-in (as OWE) once before with a normal MAD-BCN ticket and been sent back to the "regular" check-in desk, so IME they are quite protective of the perks you pay for with an Air Shuttle ticket.

5 hours is indeed not great, but you can certainly take the Cercanias train to central Madrid for a wander around. There's nothing at all close to the airport that would be any better than the T4 lounge. (or faster than the train FWIW)
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Old May 14, 23, 2:25 pm
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You could also book 3 hours at the Premium Traveler hotel in the terminal and catch some "z"s.
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Old May 14, 23, 4:27 pm
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Originally Posted by EDDLEGLL
I find myself with a 5 hour wait between arriving at T4S and flying on to Barcelona from T4. Im wondering if anyone can recommend any area near the airport to go for lunch and a beer? I dont want to go downtown ideally as that might be just slightly too far for the time I have.

Also, I read about the Air Shuttle Service between MAD and BCN - is this a ticket type or a concept in general? Might I be able to change to an earlier BCN flight on the day, and where in T4 would I ask? I dont know exactly what category my ticket is, but it must the most heavily discounted business class fare bucket. OW Emerald if that makes any difference.

Many thanks!
Despite what the other guy posted. I went to the One World business class ticketing desk which is landside terminal 4 main building. They were able to put me on an earlier flight to London despite my ticket being cheap economy O. They did charge me 30 change fee however, so it is worth a shot.

Also as OWE you should be able to get into the Iberia lounges which have decent views and food. You can also try to change the ticket there, but in my experience those agents aren't as helpful with things like ticket changes. Good luck!
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Old May 14, 23, 8:32 pm
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5 hours is about the worst amount of time possible. If you take the train into town you can probably make in in 45 minutes or so but keep in mind coming back the train can be notoriously unreliable for punctuality so I say 2 hours of wandering around. As mentioned the area around the airport is really quite spartan so not much to be had around there. Personally, I'd just download a movie to watch in the lounge
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Old May 15, 23, 2:25 am
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Originally Posted by jonr405
Despite what the other guy posted. I went to the One World business class ticketing desk which is landside terminal 4 main building. They were able to put me on an earlier flight to London despite my ticket being cheap economy O. They did charge me 30 change fee however, so it is worth a shot.
The difference between London and Barcelona is that IB doesn't sell a "shuttle" product for LHR and therefore there's no premium product to revenue protect. If anybody with elite status could just talk their way onto any MAD-BCN flight, news would soon get around that nobody needs to pay the extra for Puente Aereo...

But as I said, there's absolutely no harm in asking.
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Old May 15, 23, 5:24 am
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Thanks for all the really helpful replies.

Is there an outdoor terrace at any of the lounges in T4(s) (in addition to OWE, I also have Priority Pass/Amex Plat), or even a landside restaurant/bar?

That would make staying at the airport a much easier decision.
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Old May 15, 23, 7:03 am
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Originally Posted by EDDLEGLL
Thanks for all the really helpful replies.

Is there an outdoor terrace at any of the lounges in T4(s) (in addition to OWE, I also have Priority Pass/Amex Plat), or even a landside restaurant/bar?

That would make staying at the airport a much easier decision.
In 5 hours you can go downtown for a meal.

My advice, take the Metro Line 8 direct to Nuevos Ministerios, it's the AZCA financial district not the historic centre (think, Canary Wharf). You can then walk a couple blocks to the Ponzano street, lots of very nice and hip restaurants in that area. Enjoy a good meal at a place like "Candeli" or "Lana". "RavioXO" is in AZCA itself, from the same chef as famous "DiverXO".
If you get off at the previous station, Colombia, I can recommend the restaurant "Sagrario Tradicion".

Timing works well. It takes 1h to get off the plane, onto the Metro and arrive at Nuevos Ministerios. 2 hour meal. 1 hour to get back to the airport and you've still another hour to get to your gate. Easy.
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Old May 15, 23, 7:21 am
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The town of Barajas is one stop on the metro from T4 and has various cafes/bars/restaurants, though probably not as luxurious as central Madrid.
I don't have recommendations but Google maps shows plenty.

It's also walkable from Terminals 1/2/3.
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Old May 15, 23, 3:08 pm
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Originally Posted by Alpha Floor
In 5 hours you can go downtown for a meal.

My advice, take the Metro Line 8 direct to Nuevos Ministerios, it's the AZCA financial district not the historic centre (think, Canary Wharf). You can then walk a couple blocks to the Ponzano street, lots of very nice and hip restaurants in that area. Enjoy a good meal at a place like "Candeli" or "Lana". "RavioXO" is in AZCA itself, from the same chef as famous "DiverXO".
If you get off at the previous station, Colombia, I can recommend the restaurant "Sagrario Tradicion".

Timing works well. It takes 1h to get off the plane, onto the Metro and arrive at Nuevos Ministerios. 2 hour meal. 1 hour to get back to the airport and you've still another hour to get to your gate. Easy.
This is a great suggestion. And time to walk around and grab a tapas or four....
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Old May 16, 23, 11:01 am
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Are you sure that your lunchtime will overlap with usual Spanish hours?
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Old May 16, 23, 11:49 am
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Originally Posted by geronimo
Are you sure that your lunchtime will overlap with usual Spanish hours?
Might just make it; arrive at 1pm, depart at 6pm

I assumed this kind of layover was usual as the planes and crew need their siesta
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Old May 16, 23, 10:57 pm
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Originally Posted by EDDLEGLL
Might just make it; arrive at 1pm, depart at 6pm
Perfect timing for a Spanish lunch!
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Old May 16, 23, 11:11 pm
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These are all fun to discuss but I wouldn't even think about leaving the airport, if I were you...Will give you an 80% chance you will miss your flight.
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Old May 17, 23, 6:16 am
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Originally Posted by nk15
These are all fun to discuss but I wouldn't even think about leaving the airport, if I were you...Will give you an 80% chance you will miss your flight.
Are you extremely risk averse or know something that we don't? Please share with the group...
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