Madrid Barajas Airport

Customer Reviews

No Skytrax Rating
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Queuing Times 12345
Customer rating from 172 reviews
4/10
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4/10

"nightmare to navigate"

(Australia)

Trip Verified | Do not let the appearance of this airport fool you. It presents lovely but it is an absolute nightmare to navigate. I have traveled extensively for over 30 years and by the time I got to the lounge I was exasperated and frustrated by the pure insanity of trying to find your way to the VAT refund and business lounge. Someone needs to sit in the shoes of a traveler and experience what has been created. The signage is a joke and the assistance from staff proves that they don’t know where anything is either. Then you get to the beautiful lounge which is over 50 meters long. At one end they serve beers and at the other end they serve wine. It’s a disaster and I couldn’t wait to get on the plane.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitJune 2019
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
1/10

"no lines or organization"

(United States)

Trip Verified | My husband and I are still getting over our experience at the Madrid airport after 3 days home. All I can say is, arrive at least 3.5-4 hours early, and don't attempt it unless you are able-bodied in every way. I would also advise not bringing a heavy carry on bag because of what you have to go through with it (luckily, we didn't). We arrived for an international flight on Iberia (from Madrid to San Francisco) at terminal T4, 2.5 hours before our flight. There was a long line to check in bags, but that was not unusual. The security check was normal. Then the fun began. First there were about 8 escalators down to navigate. Then you get on a train to TS for a 10-15 minute ride (standing up of course and squished amidst confused and harried travelers). Then you are supposed to ride up an escalator, but it was broken. Carry your bags up the steep escalator with steep steps. Then the best part. Enter a passport control area. I hope this was unusual, but 100s of people (my husband thinks it was 1000s) are packed like sardines into a very wide and very long waiting area inching forward, with no lines or organization. People were starting to scream and freak out. A woman next to me had been separated from her husband a while back and had no idea where he was and she had already missed her flight, even though she had a boarding pass and had checked her bags. As you can imagine, this was a scenario for possible crowd panic. Finally, you are funnelled into a series of lines that move very slowly to have your passport stamped. After all of this, we now had 20 minutes until our flight departed. But you are still not done yet! Run through the perfumed duty-free shop and make your way down a very long terminal - in our case, to the last gate in the terminal. Even though there were moving sidewalks (thank God!) we were running the whole way. We made it to our flight for "last call". The flight pushed away from the gate on the dot - no waiting for stragglers. No time to go to the bathroom, fill a water bottle, or get any food for the flight. If we hadn't run the whole way, we wouldn't have made it! I will never fly out of this airport again!
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitMay 2019
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Airport Staff 12345
no
1/10

"rude and uncooperative"

(United Kingdom)

Not Verified | After a lovely stay in a beautiful city we arrived at the airport to return to London, only to find airport security to be rude and uncooperative. I am a Sikh and as part of my religion I have worn a steel bangle since I was a teenager, I am 55 now and the bangle is to tight to remove. I tried over and over to explain this to them but security insisted I take it off. The security personnel got a plastic foot cover and forced it off causing me a lot of pain round my hand. He refused to give me his details so I could lodge a formal complaint. His manager was just as useless telling me that all metal must be removed. The complaints desk had no answer other than these are the rules. As the second largest airport in Europe you would think they would carry hand-held metal detectors. All other airports small or large appreciate the Sikh religion and understand this including Barcelona. Madrid airport staff need to be trained so as to not to cause religious disrespect towards Sikhs. This is a clear violation of my religious beliefs.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitMay 2019
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
3/10

"traveling experience is very very poor"

(United States)

Not Verified | If you are a first time traveler from the US and are making a connection thru Madrid Barajas I advise leaving a minimum of 3hrs maybe even 4 hours between your connections, due to the length of time to process thru Customs and security screenings as well as the time necessary to transfer between Terminal 4s and Ternminal 4. Also they do not post the gate # of your flight connection until approximately 23mins before your flight starts boarding, making it it even more difficult to know what gate your flight departs from, Also, there are no kiosks available to check in at, as in the US, so even if you aren’t checking a bag, you still need to wait in line sometimes for an hour or more to check in, do it online if possible before you get to the airport. As far as baggage claim goes, they are absolutely clueless as to what the term “urgency” means, and they are on permanent “siesta” when it comes to getting your baggage to the bag claim, if you are making a connection, consider traveling only with a carry-on, all in all the traveling experience in Madrid Barajas is very very poor due to their lack of available information desks, as well as their seeming lackadaisical attitude to correcting all of the above mentioned issues. I have traveled thru this airport 4 times in the last year and if I had another choice I would take it.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitApril 2019
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
1/10

"Humiliating departure experience"

(United States)

Not Verified | Humiliating departure experience. Aggressive, rude, and demeaning security personnel. It took 30 minutes to get through the 10 people in front of me so the queue behind us grew very long. They did this not just with me but with everyone, even the handicapped person, which they made go through the scanner 3 times even after doing a pat-down.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitApril 2019
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Airport Shopping 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
1/10

"Terrible passport checks"

(United Kingdom)

Trip Verified | Terrible passport checks for EU citizens with at the gates long and tedious questions and requests to prove that you have other documents (cards, driving licences). This “special” check is reserved to Italians under the assumption (which is wrong - checked with the Italian consulate) that Italian passports are falsified. Those who make the rules should actually stop other nationalities.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitApril 2019
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
4/10

"PA systems at the gate were very quiet"

(United States)

Trip Verified | I connected through Madrid's Terminal 4 en route to Barcelona, and then a week later originated at Madrid to fly home. On the plus side, Terminal 4 of the Barajas Airport seemed to function reasonably well. Lines at customs and security were relatively short, both on the inbound and the outbound, and all my flights left on-time and my baggage didn't get lost. The airport is also blessed with very good public transit into the city, both Metro and Cercanias Commuter Train (the latter is actually cheaper if you're going somewhere near one of the stops). On the minus side, the airport is huge - when connecting, my watch said that I walked two miles from my arrival gate to my connecting departure gate, and that was not counting the tram ride I took in between the international and domestic concourses at Terminal 4. I wouldn't schedule very tight connections here. Also, the PA systems at the gate were very quiet, and I had a lot of trouble hearing the gate agent at both of my departing flights out of Madrid. Once you know your gate, I'd recommend staying very close to the desk so that you can hear the announcements being made, you won't hear it at all if you're even one gate over. What I found most annoying, though, was that the prices of the stuff for sale at the Madrid Airport seemed to be by far the most expensive of any airport I think I've ever flown through. Most of the food that's available seems to be fast food, and it's all horrendously overpriced. Ditto for the snacks available in the airport convenience stores, as just one example, they wanted 2.20 Euros for a package of skittles of the size I normally give out to Trick-or-Treaters. I can't imagine the stuff in duty free is any better, although I'll admit to not looking at the prices as I tried my best to avoid the people spraying perfume in my face while trying to get to my gate. I strongly recommend that you finish your shopping well before getting to the airport, and to either eat/stock up on snacks before arriving or to take your luck with the airline food.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitMarch 2019
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
1/10

"not user friendly and inefficient"

(Brazil)

Not Verified | By far the worst information desk help I've ever encountered (and I've been around). As all the other reviews say the airport is confusing, not user friendly and inefficient in almost all its most crucial passenger experience. The amount of people lost and asking for directions is quite high and the most shocking is that the very people at the information desks are the worst to guide you. Their English barely gets them by and if you ask in Spanish they speak too fast and make no apologies for the faces they give you if you ask them to repeat. Unfortunately this was my experience in 3 different desks. Google online whatever you can before hand and get there with plenty of time to try to find the terminals.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitMarch 2019
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
9/10

"bright, clean and practical"

(Italy)

Trip Verified | Modern airport, bright, clean and practical, with excellent facilities (especially in terminals 4 and 4S). Wide choice of food and shopping areas. Numerous waiting areas, even without confortable armchairs to rest (only normal seats). Excellent and powerful Wifi.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitMarch 2019
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
yes
2/10

"most confusing and complicated airport"

(United States)

Not Verified | This is the most confusing and complicated airport I have ever been in. It took a solid half hour to get from starting point to gate with my spouse in a wheelchair. Staff were courteous but spoke no English. We used something like 5 elevators and had a bus ride of several miles from one point to another in the airport. When we reached our terminal, there were no business kiosks to get a water or snack. Whoever designed this airport is a sadist. Plan on twice as long to get from door to gate at this airport.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitMarch 2019
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no