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Time to get through customs and immigration

EL LECHERO

Friends no Strangers
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2016 PRIMITIVO 2022 LE PUY 2023
My plane lands at 0745am. I'm looking at getting a bus at T4 to Oviedo. There is one leaving at 0930 and another 11am. Do I have time to catch the 0930? Do I need to buy my bus ticket in advance or just wing it when I get there?
 
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irishrock

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (1st three stages in 2016 and finished in 2017)
will be tough, imo. Depends on where you're flying in from. EU has a different customs line than US citizens.
I landed at 5:50 am and I made it to the train station at Atocha to catch a train to Pamplona 8:50 for the 9:30 (it was sold out so had to take a later train)

good luck
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Portuguese, Aragon, Norte, SJWayUK, Nive
Customs is a breeze, but I think you actually are asking about Immigration? Totally depends on the line, which totally depends how many planes have landed when you have and where you sit on a the plane. You MAY be able to catch the early bus, but there’s no way to be sure.

Additionally, you can buy your ticket basically as you board, but it’s impossible to know if it will be sold out or not - even the folks on your plane may all want to take that bus, causing it to be full. Again, it’s impossible to know ahead of time.

My advice: do not pre-buy. Wait until you get through immigration and customs, then catch the first available bus. Way less stressful than worrying over things you cannot control.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Do you arrive at T4? Consider your transfer time to this terminal if not. I agree with Vacajoe. Unless you are arriving on a holiday which may result with increased bus travel by Spanairds.
 
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EL LECHERO

Friends no Strangers
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2016 PRIMITIVO 2022 LE PUY 2023
Do you arrive at T4? Consider your transfer time to this terminal if not. I agree with Vacajoe. Unless you are arriving on a holiday which may result with increased bus travel by Spanairds.
I checked, and Looks like T1
 

EL LECHERO

Friends no Strangers
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2016 PRIMITIVO 2022 LE PUY 2023
OK, just transfer on one of the buses outside T1 to ride over to T4. Alsa Buses are right outside T4 arrivals area. There is a kiosk where tickets are sold right by the bus loading/unloading area. Enjoy your trip!
YEAH!! I think I will wait on buying a ticket. Let the chips fall where they may.....Off to the PRIMITIVO in 19 days
 

jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2021, Norte/Primitivo 2022, VF 2023
Arrivals on any international flights that need to go through customs checkpoints can be hard to judge time wise. You could get lucky and get through in 30 minutes. Or it can take you a couple of hours if you are very unlucky. I always give myself 2 hours before I need to catch a bus/train or 3 hours before I have to be at any local destination for local events. Most of the time I have more than enough time and end up waiting for that bus/train time. Other times I am barely making it to the bus/train. If you buy tickets for the earlier bus, just keep a backup plan in mind should you miss it.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances Portuguese Finisterre Muxia Ingles Mozarabe VldP Sanabres Serrana Salvador Norte Espiritual
Hi,,, just came through T4 this afternoon,,, from Australia,, took nearly 2 hours to get through immigration (that was the big hold up) then the shuttle train, customs!!
But finally back for more Camino!!
 
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EL LECHERO

Friends no Strangers
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2016 PRIMITIVO 2022 LE PUY 2023
I think you are very fortunate to have two bus options running quite close together in the morning; the latter will still get you to your destination and hotel before the dinner hour even if you miss the first.
Buen Primitivo!
Yes, I think If I buy a ticket now it would only make me want to rush to make the bus.....I think I'll wait and see where my Camino takes me.....
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances/SJPP '15,'16,'18,'19,('20)
Way of St. Francis, Italy 2017
Portuguese/Finisterre 2018, 2019
I would do a little more research and ask those who have traveled within the last 6 months. I was there in October and my advice would be different than if I based it on prior Camino’s. It took me much longer to get through immigration (over an hour) and the buses were full due to reduced schedules. If ot was me I would buy the 11:00.
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Portuguese, Aragon, Norte, SJWayUK, Nive
And we had the opposite experience on several arrivals this past fall 2021. Immigration/custom time Heathrow, Edinburgh, Madrid, SFO, and Barcelona were shockingly fast! Again, it’s truly dependent upon how many planes arrive when you do and where your own seat is on the plane (are you first off or last after hundreds of others?!?)

In short, it’s absolute impossible to guess, so plan for the worst and celebrate if you get the best!
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
I have bought tickets for Alsa buses in Terminal 4, and have had a very long wait in line to get to the ticket office. If it were I, I would follow Susan Peacock's suggestion and buy a ticket online for the 11:00 o'clock bus, which should give you plenty of time to get the bus from your arrival in Terminal 1. It would also save you from the possibility that both buses are sold out before you arrive. That will give you peace of mind as you travel. If you get to Terminal 4 earlier, you can find a place to relax until 11:00 o'clock, which is better than a long wait in line or no available ticket.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
I would only say that on his last trip in the fall of 2021 from the US, my husband encountered flight cancellations both going and coming home. This resulted in arrival and departures not according to plan and we were glad he waited to buy bus tickets on arrival. Hopefully that won't happen, but something to think about.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
Get the Alsa app for your phone. Then you can avoid the lines and book your ticket when you have a good idea of which time will work for you.

iPhone

Android
 

EL LECHERO

Friends no Strangers
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2016 PRIMITIVO 2022 LE PUY 2023
I have bought tickets for Alsa buses in Terminal 4, and have had a very long wait in line to get to the ticket office. If it were I, I would follow Susan Peacock's suggestion and buy a ticket online for the 11:00 o'clock bus, which should give you plenty of time to get the bus from your arrival in Terminal 1. It would also save you from the possibility that both buses are sold out before you arrive. That will give you peace of mind as you travel. If you get to Terminal 4 earlier, you can find a place to relax until 11:00 o'clock, which is better than a long wait in line or no available ticket.
That is great advice and I followed it. Got my ticket for 11:00 so I don't have to rush. Thank you so much
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Portuguese, Aragon, Norte, SJWayUK, Nive
Please report back once you complete this transfer!
 
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