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Taxi from my hotel in Madrid to the airport

My trip to Spain is in March. Madrid is my last city. My flights home leave from Madrid at 9:00 am on a Saturday.

Should I book a taxi in advance on booking.com, or should I wait until the last minute when I am in Madrid to book a taxi? If I pick the second choice, after I check into my hotel in Madrid, should I try telling the employee at desk that "Necesito un taxi al aeropuerto a las 6:00 del sábado"?

As of today, booking.com gives me a price of approximately $29.08 US dollars, the "genius 10% discount", I guess because I have made enough reservations on the site. They say the non-genius price would be about $37.91.

Posted by
6841 posts

Don't book that until March 2022. The flight schedule could change.
It is good to try to speak Spanish; based on my 3 trips through Spain as early as 2002 more than likely the hotel agent speaks English.

Posted by
3893 posts

Will you be staying in city center? I took the train. It was about 3 euro and took about a half hour.

Also, I found many people in Madrid including the people that worked the front desk at my hotel were fluent in English.

Posted by
18911 posts

I would want to be at the airport a full 3 hours before flight departure time if not earlier. I think three hours was the usual guidance for an international flight pre-COVID.

Posted by
3222 posts

We too prefer arriving 3 hours early for international flights. When we depart from Madrid we take the metro. It takes about 40 minutes from the Sol station. The metro begins running at 6am so you’d get there a couple hours before departure.

Posted by
6721 posts

I would not book a taxi (or anything non-refundable) in advance. You have no idea how many times your itinerary may change between now and then. Don't box yourself in unnecessarily.

Posted by
9811 posts

Your hotel can book your taxi for you. For an early morning departure, let them know the day before. The one good thing about letting the hotel book it is that it will more than likely be with a reputable taxi company. Taxis make a lot of money from hotel referrals. They don't want to ruin that with giving bad service.

Remember, booking.com is making a commission from your booking. It may be cheaper just to book the taxi without a third party.

You'll know if the person at your hotel speaks English when you check in. More than likely they will speak enough English for what you need. They will also know the approximate taxi fare to the airport.

Posted by
657 posts

Thanks for your input. It looks like booking.com lets you cancel a taxi until 24 hours in advance.

Yeah you are probably right that I should wait until March or until after I check into the hotel before I book a taxi. I almost never wake up before 6am. I will be tired. A taxi will be the safest way to get to the airport.

In a short review of Hostal Dulcinea from April 2021, the writer complains that the staff doesn't speak English. Yeah I know that in some countries and regions, possibly including Madrid, English is one of the most commonly learned foreign language. I would prefer to keep my mouth shut, or say something in Spanish if I need to say something. Because I don't want them to think I am so naive that I think everybody in the world is an English speaker. I want them to think I am smart. Some staff might appreciate attempts for tourists to say something in Spanish. For all I know the employee at the hotel desk could be a foreigner who doesn't know English and doesn't know much Spanish either. I am good at learning the phonology/ sound pattern/ pronunciation of other language. Maybe most Americans don't make the effort.

Posted by
42 posts

Mike, did you end up postponing your trip? I thought you were going in October? Just curious because I am scheduled to go end of September/beginning of October and am on the fence still. Wondering what other people are doing.

Posted by
3222 posts

Most of the receptionists at hotels know some English. Learn a few phrases; enough to say good morning, hello etc. Even though you don’t know much you’re making an attempt. At that point, when you get stuck, you’ll find out the employees know more than they may let on. Unless things have changed, English is a mandatory course in schools for a number of years. Don’t over think this. You’ll do fine and during the course of your trip you probably even pick up a few phrases.

As somebody else stated, ask the hotel to reserve a taxi for you the day before you depart. Given the flight departure time, they’ll have a good idea of what time you should leave the hotel.

Posted by
657 posts

I should have taken my trip in October as originally planned. I already convinced the airline to let me reschedule my trip. I am not traveling in October. My trip is in March.

Posted by
21 posts

James. I scheduled a trip for 9/25 to 10/10 back in June and I am still going. It looked very dicey in late july when cases were peaking again and Spain still had no restrictions on visitors, but the numbers have come down a lot. With the rise in vaccinations, summer travel season ending, and restricting US visitors to only the vaccinated, I feel like the situation now is about as good as it will get in the short term. Unless something very drastic happens, my trip is a go.

Posted by
42 posts

@mshen1982

Thanks for sharing. Our trips are very close to each other. I'm scheduled to leave the 28th of Sept. and return Oct. 12.

I agree with your assessment about how the situation in Spain seems to be improving a lot. It's just with all this talk of Delta and breakthrough infections, I can't lie and say it's not on my mind. I think I am leaning on still going though. Just will make sure to wear a good quality mask as much as possible. I would really like for the CDC to lower the travel alert on Spain too. By my own calculations I believe with the descent in cases in Spain, this should happen with their next weekly revision next Monday. That would make me feel better too.

Anyway, didn't mean to threadjack. Thanks again.