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Madrid Airport to Ponferrada

Past OR future Camino
Frances in 2016, Portuguese in 2017, and Frances again in 2018. Madrid to Ponferrada 2019.
I'll be arriving at the Madrid Airport a little after 9 a.m on September 3rd. There is an Alsa bus at 10 a.m. to Ponferrada that I would like to catch. I may miss it, however so I'm reluctant to buy my bus ticket ahead of time. Any suggestions?
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I'll be arriving at the Madrid Airport a little after 9 a.m on September 3rd. There is an Alsa bus at 10 a.m. to Ponferrada that I would like to catch. I may miss it, however so I'm reluctant to buy my bus ticket ahead of time. Any suggestions?
If you go to the Alsa website and plug in Madrid -Ponferrada, you will see that when the bus schedule comes up, the designation for the 10 am bus from the airport is “Superflex” and underneath it says — changes and cancellations permitted. I have had good luck with Alsa and their ticketing but have never had to change or cancel so I can’t give you any first hand experience.

I suppose the other option is to just assume that the bus will have seats, which is extremely likely. It starts at the airport before going down to two other in-town bus stations (Estación Sur and Moncloa) so you will be ahead of any walk-ons from those stations.

Do you know which terminal you arrive in? The Alsa bus leaves from T4, which is where Iberia and all its One World partners land. If you land in the other terminals,you will have to catch an intra-airport bus over to T4. The buses are very efficient and leave every ten minutes, but it will add another 15-20 minutes to your journey.

And who knows what immigration and the health form check will look like when you arrive!

Good luck and buen camino. Are you by any chance walking the Camino Invierno from Ponferrada?
 
Past OR future Camino
First one in 1977 by train. Many since then by foot. Next one ASAP.
I've had to cancel an ALSA bus ticket several times and never had the slightest problem. Money quickly refunded. (I always buy my ALSA bus tickets using Movelia, btw.)

9 AM flight arrival time, and 10 AM bus departure time? In the Age of the Virus? Good luck with that, my friend.
 
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Past OR future Camino
Frances in 2016, Portuguese in 2017, and Frances again in 2018. Madrid to Ponferrada 2019.
If you go to the Alsa website and plug in Madrid -Ponferrada, you will see that when the bus schedule comes up, the designation for the 10 am bus from the airport is “Superflex” and underneath it says — changes and cancellations permitted. I have had good luck with Alsa and their ticketing but have never had to change or cancel so I can’t give you any first hand experience.

I suppose the other option is to just assume that the bus will have seats, which is extremely likely. It starts at the airport before going down to two other in-town bus stations (Estación Sur and Moncloa) so you will be ahead of any walk-ons from those stations.

Do you know which terminal you arrive in? The Alsa bus leaves from T4, which is where Iberia and all its One World partners land. If you land in the other terminals,you will have to catch an intra-airport bus over to T4. The buses are very efficient and leave every ten minutes, but it will add another 15-20 minutes to your journey.

And who knows what immigration and the health form check will look like when you arrive!

Good luck and buen camino. Are you by any chance walking the Camino Invierno from Ponferrada?
Thank you for taking the time and thoughtfully answering my question. I know that one can cancel the bus ticket one or two days prior but I don't know if one can do that after the fact. I think I'll take my chances for an empty seat and buy my ticket at the airport. It's very possible that I may not make that bus and have to catch the 3 pm bus.
 
Past OR future Camino
Frances in 2016, Portuguese in 2017, and Frances again in 2018. Madrid to Ponferrada 2019.
I've had to cancel an ALSA bus ticket several times and never had the slightest problem. Money quickly refunded. (I always buy my ALSA bus tickets using Movelia, btw.)

9 AM flight arrival time, and 10 AM bus departure time? In the Age of the Virus? Good luck with that, my friend.
Thank you for your response. Do you know if it can be cancelled within a few minutes prior to the departure? Thanks
 
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Past OR future Camino
Frances in 2016, Portuguese in 2017, and Frances again in 2018. Madrid to Ponferrada 2019.
Thank you for taking the time and thoughtfully answering my question. I know that one can cancel the bus ticket one or two days prior but I don't know if one can do that after the fact. I think I'll take my chances for an empty seat and buy my ticket at the airport. It's very possible that I may not make that bus and have to catch the 3 pm bus.
I was thinking of walking the invierno but when I last looked there didn't appear to be adequate infrastructure for beds along the way.
 

pjacobi

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2015, St. Jean Pied de Port to Burgos
2016, Burgos to Ponferrada
2017, Ponferrada to Atlantic Ocean
I suggest taking a high speed train from Madrid to Leon, then take the bus from Leon to Ponferrada. Leon is a nice place to spend a few hours waiting for you bus to Ponferrada.

-Paul
 

khiker9

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, '12; Frances, '14; Port, '15; Frances, Norte, Fisterre, '16; Ingles, Fisterre/Muxia '17
I was thinking of walking the invierno but when I last looked there didn't appear to be adequate infrastructure for beds along the way.
I am planning the Invierno for mid-October & I was looking at that same 10:00 bus to Ponferrada but I was able to find a flight that arrives ~7:00 am & was still hoping I could make it! I have already been able to book accommodations along the way but I stay in small hotels. Good luck, Kathi
 
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Past OR future Camino
Frances in 2016, Portuguese in 2017, and Frances again in 2018. Madrid to Ponferrada 2019.
I am planning the Invierno for mid-October & I was looking at that same 10:00 bus to Ponferrada but I was able to find a flight that arrives ~7:00 am & was still hoping I could make it! I have already been able to book accommodations along the way but I stay in small hotels. Good luck, Kathi
Thank you for your post Kathi. Sounds like you're all squared away. Wishing you a Buen Camino.
 
Past OR future Camino
Frances in 2016, Portuguese in 2017, and Frances again in 2018. Madrid to Ponferrada 2019.
In June, I arrived around 8:35 and was through immigration, off the train and back in T4, and then down to the Renfe office in Cercanías by shortly after 9. It can happen!
I'll certainly give it a shot. Thank you for posting.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Checked luggage or carry-on only?
I had only carryon. The waits at the T4 baggage claim for luggage coming from the T4S satellite terminal are usually VERY long. So even if you zoom through immigration, immediately hop on the train, and sail through the health care QR inspection, it may all be for naught. Because if you have checked luggage, you will frequently beat it to the carousel, and often by a long shot.

Another good reason not to check anything when heading to the camino.
 
Past OR future Camino
2014, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Various routes...
had only carryon.
My experience of catching a Burgos bus was exactly what you describe. Waiting for the pack was nerve-wracking. I caught a bus that was 3 hours after landing, and after the wait in baggage claim I still had time, but not that long, maybe 30-45 minutes.
 
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Happy Penguin

Rainy day in Castilblanco
Past OR future Camino
2021
Chito, why don't you just buy a ticket for Alsa to Leon departing T4 at 11:15 and save yourself all the stress. From Leon at 16:45 you have another ALSA to Ponferrada. Yes, you will arrive later than planned but it is a day of travel anyways.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I'll be arriving at the Madrid Airport a little after 9 a.m on September 3rd. There is an Alsa bus at 10 a.m. to Ponferrada that I would like to catch. I may miss it, however so I'm reluctant to buy my bus ticket ahead of time. Any suggestions?
Hi @Chito, just a few additional comments to what has already been said.

You can start a ticket purchasing process on the Alsa.com website without completing it. During the second step, you can chose a seat. This allows you to see how many seats are already booked. There are currently still plenty of seats available for September 3, but more on the 15:45 bus than on the 10:00 bus. Also, the later bus has only 3 seats in every row while the earlier bus has 4 seats in every row, ie two on each side.

For €6, you can block the adjoining seat.

Just in case: look at the cancellation policy. You can cancel up to 2 hours before departure (you may have to pay €1 extra ... not clear to me). Conditions for refund/cancellation depend on where you booked the ticket and how you paid for it.

We did not get on the Alsa bus that we had hoped to catch on two occasions at Barajas. Once during Holy Week when it was very busy and busses were sold out, and once when we had less than an hour after arrival and there was a long and slow queue in front of the ticket booth. Apparently, there are ticket machines just outside but at the time I didn't have the nerve to try. In both cases we got a later bus on the same day but with very late arrival times at our final destination.
 
Past OR future Camino
Frances in 2016, Portuguese in 2017, and Frances again in 2018. Madrid to Ponferrada 2019.
Muchas gracias to all of you Peregrinos that have responded to this thread. You all offered me numerous options that I am going to consider. Ultreïa
 

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