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Alsa ticket online or wait & buy at Madrid Airport ?

Bopper

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
September 2017, Frances
Hi, my plane arrives 07:55 a.m. Terminal 1 Madrid. Alsa bus to Leon leaves at 11:15 from Terminal 4. Next one at 13:30. Would I be safe to wait and purchase at the airport (in case of plane delay, etc). or should I just buy online? What has been your experience? June 4th, it's coming soon!!! Thank You!
 
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november_moon

Veteran Member
I'd just buy the bus ticket at the airport. Getting through immigration and customs should take no more than an hour, then you'll take the airport shuttle over to Terminal 4. Terminal 4 is a bit removed from the other terminals, but the shuttle buses run often. I would anticipate that from the time you get off the plane to the time you are at the ALSA desk to buy your bus ticket should take no more than 1.5 hours.

There's a little cafe near the ALSA ticket desk, so while you wait for your bus, you can get a cafe con leche, zumo de naranja, and a pastry - start your Camino out on the right foot.
 

Anne DR

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017 (2018)
Last year we arrived around 10 and the ALSA tickets were sold out until evening. Fortunately, we were able to buy tickets on a different bus line called PLM. It stopped in Logrono for sure I’m not sure about Leon.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
1341
Hi, my plane arrives 07:55 a.m. Terminal 1 Madrid. Alsa bus to Leon leaves at 11:15 from Terminal 4. Next one at 13:30. Would I be safe to wait and purchase at the airport (in case of plane delay, etc). or should I just buy online? What has been your experience? June 4th, it's coming soon!!! Thank You!
Hi Bopper. You do have a few options. Buy a ticket online, and even two tickets in case of a delay. Wait till you get there, and chance your luck. If the tickets are cheap enough, I would buy online. It is not a lot to lose. Another option, have a look at blablacar. It helps but is not essential to have some Spanish to navigate the site. On both occasions that I have used it I have been very lucky with timing and departure points, though not from Madrid, and the journeys have been very pleasant.
 
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Jill
Year of past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
Hi, my plane arrives 07:55 a.m. Terminal 1 Madrid. Alsa bus to Leon leaves at 11:15 from Terminal 4. Next one at 13:30. Would I be safe to wait and purchase at the airport (in case of plane delay, etc). or should I just buy online? What has been your experience? June 4th, it's coming soon!!! Thank You!

Hi, I’d buy a ticket in advance. My experience: Monday 22 May last year, I met my sister at Madrid airport. I had bought a ticket in advance online for the 11:15 bus; she hadn’t, as she didn’t know if she’d make the 11:15 bus. She got to the ticket counter about 11:00 and the bus was full. She managed to get a seat on the next bus at 13:30, but she said (when she finally arrived in Leon) that her bus was also full.
Jill
 

Bopper

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
September 2017, Frances
Thank you very much everyone! It is so helpful to read your comments. Now I'll make a decision!!!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF- Finisterre-Muxia 03/17; Camino SK 10/17; Norte 03/18; Ingles 11/18; Augusta 03/19
I bought mine online Madrid airport to Pamplona and had a front row reseved single seat plus a boxed breakfast and water. I’d buy ahead to not have to rush or stand in line.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
In April, I flew into Terminal 4 at Madrid. I bought my ALSA ticket online. Passport control and customs clearance took less than 30 minutes. It helps if you do not linger or sightsee.

If you walk briskly following signs. you get through the arrival process, quickly. My luggage (rucksack in a brightly colored laundry bag) was coming off the belt just as I arrived, about 15 minutes after I got off the plane.

The ALSA bus counter is outside the Customs exit, opposite, along the glass outer wall, and slightly to the left. The bus platforms are just outside, stalls 1 - 4. You can see them outside, beyond the ALSA ticket counter.

Personally, I advise buying the ticket online. I did so using Paypal for payment. This allows you to proceed directly to the bus, no need to stop at the counter. There are displays above the counter clearly explaining arriving and departing buses. The line at the ALSA counter can be long and is slow to move. Best to avoid the counter if possible.

Getting from one terminal to another is easy. Just exit your arrival terminal and look for the inter-terminal shuttle. Signs are in English and Spanish. The buses run regularly. Just make sure you get on the correct shuttle. If I recall correctly, not all shuttles go to all terminals. Just ask "Terminal cuatro?"

Hope this helps.
 
Last edited:

Trude

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francais 2013 Finnestere, Muxia 2013, 2017
Norte 2014, Francais, 2015, 2016, VDLP 2017
Hi, my plane arrives 07:55 a.m. Terminal 1 Madrid. Alsa bus to Leon leaves at 11:15 from Terminal 4. Next one at 13:30. Would I be safe to wait and purchase at the airport (in case of plane delay, etc). or should I just buy online? What has been your experience? June 4th, it's coming soon!!! Thank You!

Cheaper to buy in advance with ALSA allow yourself plenty of time to get through immigration
 
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