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Non-EU immigration - Madrid airport.

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
A recent thread by @nidarosa prompted a thought.

Now that we in the UK have ‘taken back control’, to the delight of fractionally more than 50% of those who could be bothered to vote - a fair proportion of whom will be anticipating their annual two weeks on the Spanish costas in due course - we will be joining our American, Canadian and other friends in the ‘non-EU’ immigration queues.

Some of us will use the time to meditate on the folly of our friends (and in my case, their wife) whilst others will get mad and miss their onward connection

I digress.

Could those who have arrived at Madrid airport in the past and gone through non-EU immigration give me some idea how long it took to get through? COVID is another variable entirely, so let’s discount that please.
 
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Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Year of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
A recent thread by @nidarosa prompted a thought.

Now that we in the UK have ‘taken back control’, to the delight of fractionally more than 50% of those who could be bothered to vote - a fair proportion of whom will be anticipating their annual two weeks on the Spanish costas in due course - we will be joining our American, Canadian and other friends in the ‘non-EU’ immigration queues.

Some of us will use the time to meditate on the folly of our friends (and in my case, their wife) whilst others will get mad and miss their onward connection

I digress.

Could those who have arrived at Madrid airport in the past and gone through non-EU immigration give me some idea how long it took to get through? COVID is another variable entirely, so let’s discount that please.

I am American. My husband is English. Anytime we cross an international frontier at an airport one or the other of us is shunted into "that" line. Everything depends on where you are coming from, what airline, and where you're going. If you are American, flying British Air into Heathrow from New York, you're going to stand in a long line because so many of the people on the plane are Americans. If you're American flying a UK discount airline from Malaga to Luton UK, you'll zip through the lines because everyone else on the plane is UK, and you are one of the few "outsiders." You never really know who's on the plane with you. Sometimes it works to your advantage, sometimes it doesn't.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
A recent thread by @nidarosa prompted a thought.

Now that we in the UK have ‘taken back control’, to the delight of fractionally more than 50% of those who could be bothered to vote - a fair proportion of whom will be anticipating their annual two weeks on the Spanish costas in due course - we will be joining our American, Canadian and other friends in the ‘non-EU’ immigration queues.

Some of us will use the time to meditate on the folly of our friends (and in my case, their wife) whilst others will get mad and miss their onward connection

I digress.

Could those who have arrived at Madrid airport in the past and gone through non-EU immigration give me some idea how long it took to get through? COVID is another variable entirely, so let’s discount that please.
Returning from Santiago to Stansted in 2016 I queued for over an hour to use the bio-metric passport reader (which refused to work) and another 45 minutes in line to have it inspected by a sullen immigration officer.
I'd imagine the Spanish authorities will be much more efficient than that, after all they want you to visit Spain.
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
Thank you both. In a former life - whilst still travelling on an EU passport UK to Belgium I usually spent more time in the immigration queue than in the air; so I appreciate that there are many variables!
 

Jim ME

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
In September 2019, I flew from Boston to Madrid overnight. Arrived 6:00 am ish. I purchased a stand alone ticket from Madrid to Pamplona. I don't remember the exact connection time but it was in the two hour time frame. I was concerned about immigration and missing the Madrid to Pamplona flight. Someone told me to look for Madrid arrivals at or around my arrival time at the Madrid airport. Have a concern or expect delays if there are non-EU arrivals at or just before your arrival. As the immigration lines will be jammed. I did that and determined my flight was going to arrive before most (as it turned out we were 40 minutes early). So, I booked the flights and had a lot of time. Madrid does have a very large airport with shuttle buses, so you do need to make sure you do have the time. I would allow one hour just for immigration alone. Then add time to get to a connecting flight and get checked in. Oh, I did not check a bag. My backpack met the overhead size requirement. Claiming baggage and rechecking it in will add time. Good luck.
 
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Kaleena

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2025
With the US citizens, Canadians, and majority of non European countries banned from entering Spain, you might actually find the non-EU line (queue) almost exclusive for the British. You may get through faster than you would in the EU line, as everyone in both lines has to present their covid documents
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I have had the lovely experience of having an AA employee meet me at the gate as I deplaned in Madrid, take me to immigration and push me ahead of everyone else, and then getting me on my way to the tram over to the main T4 terminal where I just barely made my connection on a flight to Alicante. The people at the desk were calling my name loudly and had held the gate open just for me!

Because of that, I don’t worry about my connections. If I miss the connection to Alicante, or wherever I’m headed, because of late arrival or immigration delays, the airline will rebook me on the next flight. It’s not like flights in the US used to be where everything is already overbooked. That’s why I wouldn’t buy a stand alone ticket for a domestic flight from Madrid. You just never know.

But more directly in response to @henrythedog’s question, I have found that the lines at immigration vary tremendously. The US flights all tend to arrive around the same time, so you have to hope you beat the rush. Immigration tends to process US arrivals fairly quickly, and my guess is that they will do that with UK as well. But if you are behind flights from Africa or Asia, I find that the lines move much more slowly.
 

Barbara

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
It probably won't get any worse than a land border between Thailand and Myanmar on an EU passport. Two hours to get within sight of the immigration officer. Ten minutes per person on average. So early in the morning it was still dark.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
We flew from Chicago to a smaller airport in the UK pre-covid 2019 with the shortest layover ever in Amsterdam. There was a work vehicle at the gate holding up our plane to disembark. We literally had to run through the airport to make our connection, scared we would miss it. We were the last ones to arrive at the gate and they actually had the plane wait for us to arrive and board before it left. I felt like an important person...I was quite impressed.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I have decided, after flying into Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris on my way to walk the Aragones from Oloron Ste Marie, that I shall never again fly through that airport. The lineup for people going through immigration was so long that it stretched right out of the huge room set aside for it, with people packed in tightly. After a year and a half or so of "social distancing" I am not sure that my nerves could take it if anyone coughed in my vicinity.
 
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henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
I have decided, after flying into Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris on my way to walk the Aragones from Oloron Ste Marie, that I shall never again fly through that airport. The lineup for people going through immigration was so long that it stretched right out of the huge room set aside for it, with people packed in tightly. After a year and a half or so of "social distancing" I am not sure that my nerves could take it if anyone coughed in my vicinity.
Both Parisian airports are the same. Not many years ago I twice saw fist-fights in the queues for any kind of inspection.

Eurostar to Paris from the UK every time.

Rome is similar.

The most civilised European airports I’ve been through in recent years were Liverpool, Schipol, Frankfurt, Malaga, Madrid and -to my great surprise, after experiencing Rome- Venice.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I experience extremely long "cattle lines" every time I return to Chicago international from overseas...it's unbelievable. Of course I avoided all lines in 2020...if there even were any.😐
 
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jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I experience extremely long "cattle lines" every time I return to Chicago international from overseas...it's unbelievable. Of course I avoided all lines in 2020...if there even were any.😐
Try flying through Dublin. They have U.S. Customs there. Get off plane in T5 and walk right out. Also a nice place to relax after a Camino.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
My experiences @ Madrid airport have not been bad. U.S. flights usually arrive early. Always carry on my backpack. I am sure that helps.
Something else that helps a LOT with making time from arrival gate to immigration hall is to walk rather than ride on the moving sidewalk. You will be ahead of hundreds of people by the time you get all the way from one end of T4-S to the other. You came to Spain to walk, didn’t you?!
 

annangulo

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
A recent thread by @nidarosa prompted a thought.

Now that we in the UK have ‘taken back control’, to the delight of fractionally more than 50% of those who could be bothered to vote - a fair proportion of whom will be anticipating their annual two weeks on the Spanish costas in due course - we will be joining our American, Canadian and other friends in the ‘non-EU’ immigration queues.

Some of us will use the time to meditate on the folly of our friends (and in my case, their wife) whilst others will get mad and miss their onward connection

I digress.

Could those who have arrived at Madrid airport in the past and gone through non-EU immigration give me some idea how long it took to get through? COVID is another variable entirely, so let’s discount that please.
Gone through non-EU immigration at Barajas airport many times--no problems whatsoever.
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
In general, my experience has been that optimistic short layovers are the key cause of high stress levels. Rather, plan for 'stuff' to happen and then be pleasantly surprised when it doesn't. I always allow 4 hours for layovers, arriving from Seattle. If things go smoothly, I have the time for a leisurely lunch.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Given the changes with BREXIT and the fact that we really do not know yet how Spain will handle vaccinations ( or not) upon arrival. I would build in extra time as a precaution this year.....me thinks we are on a learning curve this time around. The early pilgrims in June or July can hopefully let the rest of us know😀!
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Try flying through Dublin. They have U.S. Customs there. Get off plane in T5 and walk right out. Also a nice place to relax after a Camino.
I agree. I often go through Dublin on the way home and spend a day or two there. This year no...because, I was concerned about one country being open and possibly another shutting down...who knows...so we just limited exposure to Spain for our camino.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
In general, my experience has been that optimistic short layovers are the key cause of high stress levels. Rather, plan for 'stuff' to happen and then be pleasantly surprised when it doesn't. I always allow 4 hours for layovers, arriving from Seattle. If things go smoothly, I have the time for a leisurely lunch.
I allow the same four hours as you, Kitsambler, and that normally serves me well. However, when I flew from Seattle to Paris in 2017, the plane was delayed out of Sea-Tac (no worries). Immigration at CDG took 45 minutes (budgeted). There would still be plenty of time to get to the Gare Montparness. I took a taxi as I enjoy seeing Paris from above ground. I did not anticipate the unusual volume of traffic this morning (surely it would not take more than an hour to get to the station). As we crawled along, the minutes began ticking by inversely proportionate to the distance traveled (getting anxious). The driver assured me we would get to the station soon. I checked my phone. 30 minutes until departure—the Gare is nowhere in sight (now I'm uneasy). The taxi dropped me off with 15 minutes to spare! I had my ticket, but how do I navigate this cavernous station and find a ticket validation station? Found it! Down to the main platform and into my seat with 5 minutes to spare. Off to Bayonne. Garçon, s'il vous plaît, I need a drink!
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
I allow the same four hours as you, Kitsambler, and that normally serves me well. However, when I flew from Seattle to Paris in 2017, the plane was delayed out of Sea-Tac (no worries). Immigration at CDG took 45 minutes (budgeted). There would still be plenty of time to get to the Gare Montparness. I took a taxi as I enjoy seeing Paris from above ground. I did not anticipate the unusual volume of traffic this morning (surely it would not take more than an hour to get to the station). As we crawled along, the minutes began ticking by inversely proportionate to the distance traveled (getting anxious). The driver assured me we would get to the station soon. I checked my phone. 30 minutes until departure—the Gare is nowhere in sight (now I'm uneasy). The taxi dropped me off with 15 minutes to spare! I had my ticket, but how do I navigate this cavernous station and find a ticket validation station? Found it! Down to the main platform and into my seat with 5 minutes to spare. Off to Bayonne. Garçon, s'il vous plaît, I need a drink!

Your time planning is very sensible and I share your preference for overground travel.

A suggestion which is intended to be helpful - calling a Parisian waiter ‘garçon’ is unlikely to result the rapid, carefree service for which they are renowned (cough!)
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
Your time planning is very sensible and I share your preference for overground travel.

A suggestion which is intended to be helpful - calling a Parisian waiter ‘garçon’ is unlikely to result the rapid, carefree service for which they are renowned (cough!)
Solid advice, henrythedog. It's something I would never say, but I must admit the sentiment of desiring a drink was momentarily there. Truth is, after flying all night with no sleep, I think I was in zzzzzzzzz-town before the train left the station. ;-)
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Traveling from the UK, you can enter the EU at smaller airports - avoiding large hubs that serve a lot of long-haul flights. Of course, it's possible for a non-EU passenger with an expired Schengen visa to create a hold-up at the "All Passports" counter in Bilbao, so immigration at smaller airports isn't guaranteed to go well, but none of my worst experiences have been at small or medium-sized, European airports.
 
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Friend from Barquinha

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
None yet; perhaps the Portugese (2021?)
We flew from Chicago to a smaller airport in the UK pre-covid 2019 with the shortest layover ever in Amsterdam. There was a work vehicle at the gate holding up our plane to disembark. We literally had to run through the airport to make our connection, scared we would miss it. We were the last ones to arrive at the gate and they actually had the plane wait for us to arrive and board before it left. I felt like an important person...I was quite impressed.
I have always found the airport staff in Amsterdam (Schiphol) to be the friendliest and most helpful, and although the airport is huge, it's reasonably easy to navigate. Unfortunately, I have not found the same in Paris. I avoid routing through France when going on to Portugal, even though there are plenty of flights from Canada.
 

Chris Gi

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Did April through June 2018 from Pamplona to Santiago.
2020 May or end of September - NO!
2021 ?
A recent thread by @nidarosa prompted a thought.

Now that we in the UK have ‘taken back control’, to the delight of fractionally more than 50% of those who could be bothered to vote - a fair proportion of whom will be anticipating their annual two weeks on the Spanish costas in due course - we will be joining our American, Canadian and other friends in the ‘non-EU’ immigration queues.

Some of us will use the time to meditate on the folly of our friends (and in my case, their wife) whilst others will get mad and miss their onward connection

I digress.

Could those who have arrived at Madrid airport in the past and gone through non-EU immigration give me some idea how long it took to get through? COVID is another variable entirely, so let’s discount that please.
In 2018 It took us a good hour before we realized that we were in the wrong place (along with several other people). We then found the correct place where it took us about an hour and a half. We should have cheated and used our still valid British passport and stayed in the original line but I worried that we could be in more trouble doing that. 🙄
 

Teresa Gonzales

“One step at a time....”
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
A recent thread by @nidarosa prompted a thought.

Now that we in the UK have ‘taken back control’, to the delight of fractionally more than 50% of those who could be bothered to vote - a fair proportion of whom will be anticipating their annual two weeks on the Spanish costas in due course - we will be joining our American, Canadian and other friends in the ‘non-EU’ immigration queues.

Some of us will use the time to meditate on the folly of our friends (and in my case, their wife) whilst others will get mad and miss their onward connection

I digress.

Could those who have arrived at Madrid airport in the past and gone through non-EU immigration give me some idea how long it took to get through? COVID is another variable entirely, so let’s discount that please.
Hello~~ June 2018 arriving Madrid at 9am from Dallas, TX USA....approx 30 minutes, perhaps a bit more...I didn’t feel it was long. However I was extremely anxious as I had to collect baggage; change terminal recheck to an Iberia flight by 11:30am. I made it with a little time to spare. (I made the mistake of booking the flights separately, so airline would not check baggage to final destination)

¡Buen Camino!
 

mikebet

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPdP to Pamplona (2016); Baiona to Santiago (2018); Sarria to Santiago (2018)
I can recall being in some epic immigration queues -- try the land border from Cambodia into Thailand, for example -- but except for the Frankfurt airport we have never had much of a problem anywhere in Europe. But of course that is of no relevance whatever to anyone else at any other time at any other place.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2017
Madrid is on my list of terrifying airports. I got lost for over an hour, and yelled at, at the informacion desk.

To be fair, I was also running on close to 24 hours of no sleep that wasn't making it any easier, but I learned from this incident to always google a map of the airport I'm landing in, and to find out ahead of time if there is a shuttle I need to take to a different terminal. 🤣
 
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henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
Madrid is on my list of terrifying airports. I got lost for over an hour, and yelled at, at the informacion desk.

To be fair, I was also running on close to 24 hours of no sleep that wasn't making it any easier, but I learned from this incident to always google a map of the airport I'm landing in, and to find out ahead of time if there is a shuttle I need to take to a different terminal. 🤣
Don’t ever try flying out of either Paris airport or Rome!
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Madrid is on my list of terrifying airports. I got lost for over an hour, and yelled at, at the informacion desk.

To be fair, I was also running on close to 24 hours of no sleep that wasn't making it any easier, but I learned from this incident to always google a map of the airport I'm landing in, and to find out ahead of time if there is a shuttle I need to take to a different terminal. 🤣
I agree! If I hadn't had my son with me my first time there in 2015, I would still be wandering around the airport aimlessly to this very day looking for help to get out!😂
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2017
I agree! If I hadn't had my son with me my first time there in 2015, I would still be wandering around the airport aimlessly to this very day looking for help to get out!😂
I didn't tell the end of my story. When I finally got to the terminal I had a camino friend (we had not met yet IRL) waiting for me. I was so turned around I couldn't find her and she finally texted me with "Eve. Just stand still. I'll find you." 🤣 She literally funneled me onto the train. I really don't know what I would have done if I had not had help.
 

Debora

Beautiful Burgos
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPdP to Santiago May (2016)
SJPdP to Belorado May (2019)
Try flying through Dublin. They have U.S. Customs there. Get off plane in T5 and walk right out. Also a nice place to relax after a Camino.
Agree with this. Dublin was always a great experience for me. The person checking your passport was always in a good mood...even funny.
 
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Debora

Beautiful Burgos
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPdP to Santiago May (2016)
SJPdP to Belorado May (2019)
Yeah. I also had a great experience flying in and out of Dublin, but that was a trip to Ireland. The flights from my area don't ever route through Dublin.
I flew from Pitts to Newark and then straight to Dublin. I stayed one day and explored Dublin and the next day I flew from Dublin on Ryanair straight to Biarritz FR (flight was about 1 hour). I used taxi service Express Bourricot that took me from airport straight to SJPP (taxi ride was about 40 min). The cost of Ryanair was around $100 one way and the taxi ride (because it's a ride share with other pilgrams) was around $20 for each person.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2017
I flew from Pitts to Newark and then straight to Dublin. I stayed one day and explored Dublin and the next day I flew from Dublin on Ryanair straight to Biarritz FR (flight was about 1 hour). I used taxi service Express Bourricot that took me from airport straight to SJPP (taxi ride was about 40 min). The cost of Ryanair was around $100 one way and the taxi ride (because it's a ride share with other pilgrams) was around $20 for each person.

Hmmm. I didn't realize you could fly directly from Dublin to Biarritz. /wheels turning...Did you have a one way ticket then from SDC back to Dublin in order to do a round trip ticket Dublin back to Pitt?

On Ryanair were you able to do carry on with your pack?
 

Debora

Beautiful Burgos
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPdP to Santiago May (2016)
SJPdP to Belorado May (2019)
Hmmm. I didn't realize you could fly directly from Dublin to Biarritz. /wheels turning...Did you have a one way ticket then from SDC back to Dublin in order to do a round trip ticket Dublin back to Pitt?

On Ryanair were you able to do carry on with your pack?
I did have a one way ticket back from SDC to Dublin used Iberia air and it went through Madrid airport with a quick layover...again cost was about $100. Yep...I had a round trip ticket to Dublin from Pitts. On my way back I also stayed one night in Dublin in a hotel by airport which had free (from and to) airport shuttle. While researching the Camino I realized a lot of Irish Citizens walk the Camino so I figured there must have been something set up to make it easy for them to get to and from - and there was...Ryanair.

 
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Year of past OR future Camino
2017
I did have a one way ticket back from SDC to Dublin used Iberia air and it went through Madrid airport with a quick layover...again cost was about $100. Yep...I had a round trip ticket to Dublin from Pitts. On my way back I also stayed one night in Dublin in a hotel by airport which had free (from and to) airport shuttle. While researching the Camino I realized a lot of Irish Citizens walk the Camino so I figured there must have been something set up to make it easy for them to get to and from - and there was...Ryanair.
This is awesome. Thank you!
 

Debora

Beautiful Burgos
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPdP to Santiago May (2016)
SJPdP to Belorado May (2019)
Hmmm. I didn't realize you could fly directly from Dublin to Biarritz. /wheels turning...Did you have a one way ticket then from SDC back to Dublin in order to do a round trip ticket Dublin back to Pitt?

On Ryanair were you able to do carry on with your pack?
The Ryanair flight had mostly pilgrams (you could tell because of how they were dressed and the backpacks) and most of them carried on their packs. I made friends with a few pilgrams in the airport and saw them many times throughout the walk.
 

Debora

Beautiful Burgos
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPdP to Santiago May (2016)
SJPdP to Belorado May (2019)
This is awesome. Thank you!
No problem. The name of the hotel I stayed at in Dublin was Crowne Plaza Dublin Airport. It was clean and inexpensive with restaurant and a bus stops nearby to take you to downtown. When are you thinking of going? Buen Camino!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2017
No problem. The name of the hotel I stayed at in Dublin was Crowne Plaza Dublin Airport. It was clean and inexpensive with restaurant and a bus stops nearby to take you to downtown. When are you thinking of going? Buen Camino!
I spent several weeks in Ireland in 19, so I’d be more tempted to try to go straight through to Biarritz and then spend a day there. I’ve not yet been to France.

I’m reading and watching here daily. Kind of waiting to see other pilgrims report on how hard it is to find a bed and dinner. I’m also kind of hoping that the PCR requirement will be dropped if we have proof of vaccination.

My current plan is to get a plane booked as soon as possible. August-September, most likely, but I’m not ruling out July if things really open up. I never thought I’d consider a summer Camino but I’m totally down for hot as hell weather if it means I get to be there, at this point. I’m re evaluating packing since I’m used to a March Camino, and what I really need to do is get back to training. Are you making plans to go back this year?
 

Debora

Beautiful Burgos
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPdP to Santiago May (2016)
SJPdP to Belorado May (2019)
The reason I stayed in Ireland 1 night was to help with jet lag and because the timing for the Ryanair flight out and my United flight in was 1 day difference. Ryan air only flies to Biarritz certain days (Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays).

I'm waiting to see when the restrictions are lifted. I like the idea of September -- crowd will thin out a bit by then with kids back in school...and summer heat w/pack sounds not ideal to me. :)
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
2017
The reason I stayed in Ireland 1 night was to help with jet lag and because the timing for the Ryanair flight out and my United flight in was 1 day difference. Ryan air only flies to Biarritz certain days (Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays).

I'm waiting to see when the restrictions are lifted. I like the idea of September -- crowd will thin out a bit by then with kids back in school...and summer heat w/pack sounds not ideal to me. :)
I’m not so sure there will be a deluge this summer. Not everyone has the option yet to be vaccinated. It will be interesting to see how rapidly camino traffic increases. I’m thinking ‘22 is the year that will be really busy. I’ve still got school aged kids at home but my husband will be working from home full time through the end of 21, so by going this year, I can be gone longer than normal, and I’m really hoping to take advantage of that. The advice here to start out slow is very appealing to me. I’m hoping for 8 weeks (including flying and jet lag days).
 

CWBuff

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Any time I fly to Europe I bank on an hour to get through "non-EU" customs. This way if its less then I am 'pleasantly surprised' and my day just started off on a good note :)
I think Nov 2019 into El Pratt (BCN) was the shortest time and that was probably around 35040 mins I cannot recall exactly
IIRC 2010 flight into Odessa Ukraine was also a breeze to get through but then it was a 1/2 full (if that) 737 from Prague and Odessa aint Madrid ;)
 

Lance Chambers

Lance Chambers
Year of past OR future Camino
Sarria (2015), SJPdP (2016), Burgos (2017), SJPdP (2018), Burgos (2019), SJPdP (2020?).
A recent thread by @nidarosa prompted a thought.

Now that we in the UK have ‘taken back control’, to the delight of fractionally more than 50% of those who could be bothered to vote - a fair proportion of whom will be anticipating their annual two weeks on the Spanish costas in due course - we will be joining our American, Canadian and other friends in the ‘non-EU’ immigration queues.

Some of us will use the time to meditate on the folly of our friends (and in my case, their wife) whilst others will get mad and miss their onward connection

I digress.

Could those who have arrived at Madrid airport in the past and gone through non-EU immigration give me some idea how long it took to get through? COVID is another variable entirely, so let’s discount that please.

I have entered Spain by plane twice and it was okay. Got a plane from Australia to Spain. Didn't have to wait to long to get through immigration but that was before Covid.
 

Anna Sar

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Portuguese Central, Litoral, Primitivo, San Salvador, di Assisi, Francis Way, Le Puy, Sanabres
(...) you might actually find the non-EU line (queue) almost exclusive for the British. You may get through faster than you would in the EU line, as everyone in both lines has to present their covid documents
There was no line for EU citizens pre-Covid. No documents checking, nothing. We were just leaving the airport like we were still in the same country. There was always a separate line for UK though, as UK has never been part of the Schengen agreement. Therefore regular border rules applied (yet simple passport control only or ID only if you were non British EU flying from/to the UK). Not sure how it is going to look now with vaccination passports. This year I walk Cammino di San Benedetto in Italy in August and I chose less convenient late night flight just to avoid change and possible additional check points. I thought 70 minutes might not be enough in Germany to change the flight.
 

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