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Any more delays at Madrid Airport Terminal 4S?

rgutena

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis?
Hi All, has anyone departed from Madrid Airport terminal 4S in the last week or so? What was the size of the queues for check in, security and passport control?

And could the busyness depend on the time of the day? Eg would 5-7am on a Friday be a busy time?

I am flying Qatar, but due to the inclusion in my ticket of a third party connecting flight back home, Qatar does not permit online check-in for my flights, ie check in at the airport is my only option.

Thanks in advance for any insight and tips (other than the usual advice to be at the airport 4 hours ahead of flight time)!
 
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TravellingMan2022

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte
Hi All, has anyone departed from Madrid Airport terminal 4S in the last week or so? What was the size of the queues for check in, security and passport control?

And could the busyness depend on the time of the day? Eg would 5-7am on a Friday be a busy time?

I am flying Qatar, but due to the inclusion in my ticket of a third party connecting flight back home, Qatar does not permit online check-in for my flights, ie check in at the airport is my only option.

Thanks in advance for any insight and tips (other than the usual advice to be at the airport 4 hours ahead of flight time)!
Not been through recently but I think you can assume that it will be busy at the time you highlight / date. I know they have recently taken on extra staff to deal with queues after some issues but this is a busy time with demand surging and resources under pressure so I would get there early! It’s a good airport with good punctuality though so hopefully it will work out!

0500 to 0700 is a very busy time at airports at major European cities. Also July and August are a time of much less business travel and more leisure travel so customers ted to take longer to process (bigger groups, more luggage, less frequent travellers, etc).

There are self service ticket machines but guess not sure whether you can use given the third party status.
 
Last edited:

mmayersmith

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future - May 2022
I flew out of Terminal 2 on a 6 am flight a couple of weeks ago. I arrived around 4 am. I had plenty of time.
 

rgutena

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis?
Thanks for your replies! I have just got home and am pleased to report that everything went very smoothly at Madrid Airport Terminal 4 / 4S, with minimal waiting time! I got there around 5am on Friday, just more than 4 hours ahead of the flight departure time. I was the first in the queue for check in and had to wait more than an hour for the check in counters to open. But once the counters were opened (around 6:10), I got checked in, passed through security and passport control and reached my boarding gate, all within 40 minutes. It therefore looks like the holiday chaos at this airport is now a thing of the past. Or, perhaps it is just that my efforts to get there super early paid off; I don't know how long the queues had grown later in the morning / closer to the flight departure time.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
Thanks for your replies! I have just got home and am pleased to report that everything went very smoothly at Madrid Airport Terminal 4 / 4S, with minimal waiting time! I got there around 5am on Friday, just more than 4 hours ahead of the flight departure time. I was the first in the queue for check in and had to wait more than an hour for the check in counters to open. But once the counters were opened (around 6:10), I got checked in, passed through security and passport control and reached my boarding gate, all within 40 minutes. It therefore looks like the holiday chaos at this airport is now a thing of the past. Or, perhaps it is just that my efforts to get there super early paid off; I don't know how long the queues had grown later in the morning / closer to the flight departure time.
I'm glad that everything went smoothly for you.
I would rather hang out at the airport for an extra hour than be a few minutes late and miss my flight!
 
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TravellingMan2022

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte
I'm glad that everything went smoothly for you.
I would rather hang out at the airport for an extra hour than be a few minutes late and miss my flight!
well done @rgutena, I think you did exactly the right thing!

Queues at airports in the morning, especially at peak leisure travel time, can be very volatile with a matter of minutes making a big difference....lots of factors.

The first subway / bus will lead to a lead to a quick build up. From memory the subway in Madrid starts quite late though there are night buses.
Versus evening flights people get to the airport closer to departure for a number of reasons

As well as volume of people, morning flights can take longer to process, especially at this time of year when there are an increased volume of leisure passengers, and a decreased volume of business passenger...more luggage, less used to airports etc.

Also morning flights have a higher proportion of transferring passengers who take longer to process, and possibly more likely to not speak the local language. There may also be a lot of group traffic on certain traffic flows, again a fair proportion in the morning. Back in the day there was huge group traffic from Paris to Tokyo via London (Japanese have a culture of travelling in big organised groups). They would take a morning flight out of CDG to LHR to connect with an afternoon flight to TYO.

Loads of other factors too! I would recommend your approach to all especially when flying out of the big city airports!
 

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