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Airport timing advice


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
We fly into Madrid at 12.15pm. I see there are two Alsa options for Leon, one leaving at 13.30 and the next at 14.45. Do you think we have time to arrive, clear customs and walk to T4 for 13.30, or should I buy for 14.45?

Deleted member 67185

Do you need to recover checked baggage, or do you just have carry-on?
Camino(s) past & future
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
You could try for the earlier bus. If you miss it then you are out the fare but it is a drop in the bucket compared to the air fare.

I'm pretty sure I would buy tickets for the 14:45 bus. Don't forget that you also have to go though immigration in addition to customs.


Veteran member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: SJPdP-Burgos, (2015); Burgos-Sarria (2018); Sarria-Santiago (2018).
Frances (2020)
If all goes perfectly, you could make it. But keep in mind 12:15 is when the plane arrives, not when you are getting off. Factor in some time for that. And if you arrive close to other international flights that will means lines at immigration, although my experience is that they tend to move quickly in Madrid.

There are some very long walks, a tram to catch from T4-S to T4, and an escalator or elevator ride before you get to baggage claim and exit arrivals. However, the good news is the Alsa ticket booth and buses will be almost directly in front of you as you come out. All the best, and happy walking.


Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Definitely later.
Why start your camino with a nail-bitingly close connection? Even without bags, there are queues, possible late flights, getting to T4, etc, etc...


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
Thanks I'll buy for the later one. Much safer, and we do have checked luggage. Last time I took the train, and had half a day in Madrid, so I've never taken the Alsa bus from Madrid before.


Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
The Saint's Way, Cornwall
I'd go for the later bus, I hate the stress of rushing for connections, always have. I'd much rather have an hour to spare, I always have my kitting or Kindle if there is nothing else interesting to do while waiting.


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