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Flight connections Madrid airport

We just got an email from Iberia airlines that our direct flight mid-May from San Francisco to Barcelona was re-routed via a stopover in Madrid Barajas airport.
They only left us 1.5 hrs to make the connection.
We have never been to Madrid airport (or to Spain) and are wondering if that connection time is reasonable since we will have to go through passport control?
We planned on meeting our children in Barcelona that day so really want to make it and not get stuck in Madrid. We see there are lots of trains daily from Madrid to Barcelona and are considering taking the train as a back-up. If so, would we need to buy train tickets ahead of time or could we make a last minute decision on tickets? Is it hard to get from the airport to the main train station? Thanks!

Posted by
1549 posts

Ample time and since your journey is on the same ticket any checked luggage will also be transferred.

Posted by
960 posts

I hope others are correct, but last month, it took me 45 minutes to get through immigration upon arrival from Chicago. There were several planes that landed at the same time making for a very long line. It would have helped if I had been one of the first off my plane, but I was not flying in First or Business.

Barajas is quite large - I would check which terminal you land in and where you depart from.

Taxi or public transport to Atocha - easy.

Posted by
1594 posts

My SO just transited at Madrid two days ago, also on IB and continued to another Schengen destination. He said that immigration lines were very long and that it was difficult to find the lounge at Madrid. However, since you are on a through ticket, if you cannot make you MAD-BCN flight, then IB should put you on the next flight to BCN.

There is a video on IB's website teaching one how to transfer at MAD.

Posted by
6821 posts

You may find this link to Madrid’s airport flight connections helpful. Once on the Barajas page, if you scroll down, there’s a link for estimated connection times.

Posted by
19 posts

Thank you all. Very helpful info and we will check out the Barajas page to be well prepared. Looks like there are 5 flights to Barcelona after ours so good chance we will make it same day even if very late.

Posted by
406 posts

Note that since IB changed your flight, you have the option to move to a day that they
do have the nonstop (it now looks like they have it Sun, Tue, Thu, and Sat, except the
11th for some reason).

It looks like United also has nonstops, every day. At this point I suspect it would be
expensive to purchase a one-way on UA, but you have the option to cancel Iberia
and get a full refund.