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Luggage Transfer Correos

Madrid Terminal 4 connection—pass security checkpoint again?

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mblind

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2019
I am flying from Miami to Santiago in Sept with a connection in Madrid. Iberia flights. I am hoping I can take my hiking poles onboard with me. They fold small and no sharp tips. So IF the Miami TSA lets them through, I want to be sure I will be ok when I connect in Madrid. I fly in and out of terminal 4. So can anyone tell me if I will need to go through any security checkpoint/ screening for the connecting flight to Santiago? I know I won’t be able to take the poles on the plane when I return from Santiago and I am ok with this. And if TSA in Miami won’t let them through I have a backup plan and can check them. But it would be very nice to keep them with me on the outbound flights. Thanks for any info you can provide.
 

Juspassinthrough

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, May-June (2017)
Ingles, June (2019
Leon-Sarria, June (2019)
Le Puy-Santiago (2023)
My recent experience at JFK was that you probably will not be allowed to carry your poles on although I did see one Pilgrim who had his poles (TSA can be inconsistent). That same Pilgrim got them taken away in Madrid and had to check them to A Coruña. Good luck, Buen Camino.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011 (2019)
The TSA rules provide some discretion to TSA officers about what can be carried through, and it might be that similar flexibility is provided in Europe. But I doubt any one of us could say what response you will get to attempting to carry on items that are clearly listed as prohibited items in cabin baggage by the TSA and its equivalents.

I always think that the TSA security staff must get overwhelmed by the generally bad behaviour of travellers in the US. In one week alone this month, 77 firearms were confiscated at TSA checkpoints, 66 of them were loaded and nine had a round chambered. Faced with security threats of that nature and magnitude, it is possible that they let what might be seen as somewhat less dangerous prohibited items on board. I somehow doubt security staff at European airports face the same overload.

Anyhow, you really cannot expect other forum members to offer you definitive advice on this matter, although those who do use Madrid airport will know if you will be screened again. I know the practice varies. Some international transit airports do, other don't.
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
My recent experience at JFK was that you probably will not be allowed to carry your poles on although I did see one Pilgrim who had his poles (TSA can be inconsistent). That same Pilgrim got them taken away in Madrid and had to check them to A Coruña. Good luck, Buen Camino.
I always say much depends on the "mood" of the employee who is working on that particular day...that's been my experience, even with the same airline.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
If you transfer from an international flight to a domestic flight in T4, you will have to go through security, but it is a different security than the main security entering T4. It is a smaller security station just for people who are transferring to another Iberia (or partner) flight. I have brought my poles through US TSA and this Madrid security station on many occasions (most recently in June of this year), never a problem. However, I know that some people entering T4 from the outside, going through the main security lines, which are serpentine and kind of chaotic sometimes, have not been able to take them through.

So either way it’s a risk. If you get the poles through TSA and then cannot bring the poles through in Madrid at T4, you have a problem. Unless you have a lot of time for your connection, you will have to give up the poles. If you check your poles, you may lose your poles (I did, and that is why I have switched to the carry-on strategy).

TSA has a terrible record of finding dangerous items. The most recent test whose results were made published are cause for alarm. https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/travel/news/g3582/tsa-facts/ (this is not fake news).

The TSA staff at my small airport know that I bring through hiking poles, which are folded up and inside my carry-on backppack. I have never tried to hide anything from them and always go to the airport with enough time to check the poles if things change.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011 (2019)
TSA has a terrible record of finding dangerous items. The most recent test whose results were made published are cause for alarm. https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/travel/news/g3582/tsa-facts/ (this is not fake news).
This is an old story (published in 2016, but based on a 2015 ABC story here) and I thought there might have been some improvement. However, it appears that the red-team testing program doesn't publish its results. Even the GAO reports on the effectiveness of the TSA testing program have classified elements. This makes it difficult for ordinary people to find out what, if any, improvements have been made in the five years since. The latest GAO report on this testing might be characterized as bleak, inasmuch as actions to address vulnerabilities identified by these test activities are not progressed promptly. So we know issues are still being found, we are not being told what they are, but any changes needed had not been completed. Great!
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Airports may not have a good record of finding dangerous items, but the security personnel at the check in are excellent at taking the time to check the unimportant things.
I've had a clear plastic knife from a fast food restaurant taken out of my backpack by agents and confiscated at the Madrid airport. In another incident my backpack was pulled aside at Gatwick airport in England and half my stuff removed so they could check out a pair of children's play scissors that I had forgotten were in there...they did, however, return the scissors back to me and I continued on my way.
Both items, btw, had rounded edges and no sharp points.
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011 (2019)
The TSA may not have a good record of finding dangerous items, but they are "excellent" at taking the time to check the unimportant things.
I've had a clear plastic knife from a fast food restaurant taken out of my backpack by agents and confiscated at the Madrid airport. In another incident my backpack was pulled aside at Gatwick airport in England and half my stuff removed so they could check out a pair of children's play scissors that I had forgotten were in there...they did, however, return the scissors back to me and I continued on my way.
Both items, btw, had rounded edges and no sharp points.
You cannot lay blame on the TSA for either of these!!
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
You cannot lay blame on the TSA for either of these!!
Ok, I'm rather ignorant...sorry. I guess they are just the hired security check personnel. I will edit my above post.
 
Camino(s) past & future
September 2019 - 1st Camino - CF, Burgos to Astorga
So either way it’s a risk. If you get the poles through TSA and then cannot bring the poles through in Madrid at T4, you have a problem. Unless you have a lot of time for your connection, you will have to give up the poles. If you check your poles, you may lose your poles (I did, and that is why I have switched to the carry-on strategy).
Are there any organizations that give or take donated poles & sticks at the end of one's camino? My checked bag fee is absurd (the 'gotcha' to a phenomenal airfare price) so I'm thinking to purchase on arrival and donate before I return. Is that a thing?
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011 (2019)
I edited again and took TSA off completely...hope you are happy now, Dougy...it's all good! 😊 PAX
That's nice. I'm sure the TSA will appreciate not being blamed for the woes we suffer with airport security issues outside of the USA.
 

Mycroft

Member
Airports may not have a good record of finding dangerous items, but the security personnel at the check in are excellent at taking the time to check the unimportant things.
I've had a clear plastic knife from a fast food restaurant taken out of my backpack by agents and confiscated at the Madrid airport. In another incident my backpack was pulled aside at Gatwick airport in England and half my stuff removed so they could check out a pair of children's play scissors that I had forgotten were in there...they did, however, return the scissors back to me and I continued on my way.
Both items, btw, had rounded edges and no sharp points.
Sigh. I knew we were doomed after 9/11 when they started all this screening and tiny eyebrow tweezers were prohibited, but long knitting needles were not.
 

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés
I fly in and out of terminal 4. So can anyone tell me if I will need to go through any security checkpoint/ screening for the connecting flight to Santiago?
It is impossible to know what items will be allowed through security at airports these days.

I was ready to ditch my umbrella in Santiago, as it was too long to put in my small backpack.

However, airport security let me take it through into the cabin, not seeming to mind that it was full of long thin metal spokes!

At Madrid I had to go through security again between Terminal 4 and Terminal 4S.

I was pretty sure they would disallow it now. It had cost only 6 euros at a China Store, so not a big deal. However, it was still in my hand when I boarded the long-haul flight to Jo’burg.

Once there I had to get another flight to my home town, and at the check-in desk they said “No”, I couldn’t take it on board. I was told to “leave it on the chair over there”.

I kissed my faithful friend goodbye, and whispered, “don’t worry, one of the employees here will find you and take you home”.

Two hours later at my final destination, as I got off the tiny plane with the handful of other passengers, at the airport in the bush, a staff member came up to me and handed me my umbrella!
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011 (2019)
It is impossible to know what items will be allowed through security at airports these days.
The TSA What Can I Bring webpage is a good first start. I found the SA CAA website, but it was taking too long to find a list of what that would or wouldn't allow passengers to carry on in cabin baggage.

Umbrellas are allowed in cabin baggage but airlines can apply size and weight restrictions. Looks like it worked perfectly in the case of your umbrella, and a great service by airline.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
Passengers on all flights arriving at MAD from outside the Schengen free travel area (this includes those coming from Canada and the US) must first clear Spanish / EU passport control, THEN go through airport security again, BEFORE being allied to proceed to connecting gates for flights within the Schengen Area.

If you are gambler, go ahead and chance it. But as a potential passenger on your flight I DO NOT want objects that can easily become stabbing weapons in any plane I fly on.

My professional advice is to check the dang poles and avoid all the drama.

You have been advised...
 

cindyjo

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012
Camino del Norte /Primitivo (2014)
Chemin la Puy (2016)
Camino Portuguese (2017)
I’ve had no problems traveling with my carbon poles in my pack as a carry-on leaving the US. However, transferring to a domestic flight in Spain, I’ve had to check my pack. That can be a hassle. Thus, if you’re transferring to a domestic flight rather than taking the bus or train to your destination, you might want to consider checking the poles. Like others have said, you never know.
 

Telelama

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (Sep - Oct'14)
Frances (May - Jun'15)
Portugues (May - Jun'16)
Primitivo (2020)
Are there any organizations that give or take donated poles & sticks at the end of one's camino? My checked bag fee is absurd (the 'gotcha' to a phenomenal airfare price) so I'm thinking to purchase on arrival and donate before I return. Is that a thing?
I don't know the answer to your question specifically, but can speak to our experience. When we walked the Portuguese, we ended up back in Porto (heading to Lisbon) for a day after our Camino. The hotel we stayed at welcomed a lot of Peregrinos on their way out on the Portuguese. We left our walking sticks with the front desk clerk who had walked her own Camino. She promised to give them to any Pilgrim in need that was on their way to start their Camino.

We have always purchased walking sticks once we get on the ground in or around our starting point. We find that 25 Euros can buy you a very nice pair of walking sticks, similar to what you'd pay $100 for in the States.
 

Thebreeze52

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I plan to walk in August 2019
I am flying from Miami to Santiago in Sept with a connection in Madrid. Iberia flights. I am hoping I can take my hiking poles onboard with me. They fold small and no sharp tips. So IF the Miami TSA lets them through, I want to be sure I will be ok when I connect in Madrid. I fly in and out of terminal 4. So can anyone tell me if I will need to go through any security checkpoint/ screening for the connecting flight to Santiago? I know I won’t be able to take the poles on the plane when I return from Santiago and I am ok with this. And if TSA in Miami won’t let them through I have a backup plan and can check them. But it would be very nice to keep them with me on the outbound flights. Thanks for any info you can provide.
I just went from Miami to Madrid last week and the poles came with me all the way though, Virgin Atlantic and Iberian flights but they had to be checked when I came back through Santiago to Madrid they had to be checked again Madrid to Miami, but I had already gone though security and couldn’t get back through to check them in so I had to leave the poles.
 

gerip

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
CF, Burgos to Santiago, May 2019
Ingles, Sep - Oct 2019
Are there any organizations that give or take donated poles & sticks at the end of one's camino? My checked bag fee is absurd (the 'gotcha' to a phenomenal airfare price) so I'm thinking to purchase on arrival and donate before I return. Is that a thing?
I'm flying straight into Santiago so plan to check out Pilgrim House first for a donated set of poles. If nothing's there that suites I'll go to the Decathlon and pick up a pair of poles there before taking the bus to Ferrol. Cheaper than paying for checked luggage. I'll donate my poles back at Pilgrim House once I arrive in Santiago.

From what I've read, it's not about the pointy tips, it's about what you could possible store inside a set of hollow poles.
 
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natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
Yes, come on over to Pilgrim House and donate your leftover gear or pick up trekking poles before you start walking. Please just note our opening hours - you can message me if you have any questions.
Buen Camino! :)
Faith
 

TAG2305

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
( August/September 2019)
I carried mine, in my pack, in July, from Brisbane to Hong Kong, then Cathay to London then BA to Glasgow to do the West Highland Way, and all ok. Im in Madrid now before starting the Camino, and did it again, except cx hkg -mad, and all ok again.
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
My USA friends carried poles in the cabin from the States to Madrid. They changed flights there to travel on to Porto. Big argument about taking poles in cabin at Madrid. Finally they had to miss their flight and were able to keep the poles in the cabin on a later flight. Worth the hassle? I don't think so.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
I conclude my participation in this thread by simply imploring everyone to voluntarily comply with established rules. These rules are intended to keep everyone safe on a commercial flight.

Complying with rules, without being told to, or caught out, is a foundational basis for civilization. As children, most of us were taught to wait in a queue, take our turn, and follow the rules for the safety and security of us, and our community.

Somewhere along the line, some of us have learned the bad habits of queue-jumping, cutting corners, and pushing the envelope on following basic rules for our collective security and safety. IMHO, challenging authority and published rules is not a sport, especially in circumstances affecting the safety and security of others.

I PLEAD with each of you to follow the rules, without being challenged or caught out. Please check your poles. If this means also checking your rucksack, do that too.

Personally, in six trips to France & Spain to do Camino, I have never had a checked bag go walkabout on me. Similarly, on my seven trips over to do volunteer work in Santiago, I have never had a checked bag be late, lost, or misrouted.

My hiking poles are always checked, even if I have removed the pointy tips (I have Black Diamond sticks that have changeable / removable tips). I remove the tips to as to not tear anything in my also checked rucksack during airline handling.

I am done on this issue.

Hope it helps the dialogue.
 

erikakiana

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés July-August 2019
No, you won't. Unlike in the US where if you have a connecting flight coming from outside of the US, you won't have to go through security again. First, you'll go through border control, but then you'll just be redirected to your connecting flight in terminal 4. Iberia's hub is in terminal 4, so it shouldn't be too difficult.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
No, you won't. Unlike in the US where if you have a connecting flight coming from outside of the US, you won't have to go through security again. First, you'll go through border control, but then you'll just be redirected to your connecting flight in terminal 4. Iberia's hub is in terminal 4, so it shouldn't be too difficult.
That’s not accurate, sorry. If you arrive in the satellite T4, you do have to go through security again to make your connection. It is not the main T4 security, just a small area only for those who arrived in the satellite and are making connections to the regular T4. Iberia and its partners are the only airlines using T4. All others use the old airport, T1-T3.

If your flight arrives in the main T4 (but no US flights do), and your connection leaves from T4, there would be no way for you to go through security again, so that may be the source of some of the confusion.
 

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