Madrid Barajas Airport

Customer Reviews

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Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Queuing Times 12345
Customer rating from 199 reviews
4/10
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7/10

"confusing with not great signage"

(Australia)

Trip Verified | The first time in Spain and travelling through the airport. Arrived at T4 via the metro from the city which was very easy and convenient. Painless. Now T4 is massive. From leaving the metro to the check in is easy but be warned, take a sandwich. One end of T4 to another is a long walk. I of course went to the wrong end first and had to trek back. Easy check in at Emirates (manned by Iberia). Fast track through security which is a complete unit in its own right and so quick. Standard fare of shops and restaurants. The Emirates flight leave from. T4S which is a train ride away. The terminal is new and very large but confusing with not great signage. One works it out eventually. Like many things in Spain it can be a a bit chaotic but generally works out ok.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitFebruary 2019
Type Of TravellerBusiness
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

"just not worth it unless you speak Spanish"

(Australia)

Trip Verified | Landed at Barajas from an Iberia flight originating from London Heathrow Terminal 5. The wait for customs was excellent and within about two minutes I cleared customs. After returning to the airport, the disasters began. As a Qantas Gold Frequent Flyer and One World Sapphire I was told by check-in staff that I was entitled to use the express lane to clear security when travelling on either IB or BA or any other One World airline (this is clearly signposted in Spanish and English in the terminal as well). Upon presenting my boarding pass I was told by someone who claimed not to speak English that "British Airways is not a One World Airline," and that I had to use the normal security line (despite claiming she couldn't speak English). As a matter of fact, BA is a founding member of One World, and I pointed this out to her as well as the clear BA sign sitting right next to her. She still denied me access without reason, and her gutless manager behind her seemed to be ignorant to the entire situation. After angrily returning to the normal security line, everyone was told to remove their shoes. I was then individually told that I shouldn't have removed my shoes. This utter contradiction really sums up the experience here. The language skills of staff across the airport (including in Iberia's business class lounge), are so poor that they generally refused to communicate in English, Italian or French and would only communicate in Spanish. This arrogance is simply disgraceful especially given the linguistic similarities between Italian/French/Spanish. It is not representative of an international airport. Even though I accept that many of Iberia's flights are to parts of the Spanish speaking world, there were more than enough airlines (eg Ryanair, Lufthansa, Vueling, AF, BA, LATAM, EK, QR, RJ, the list goes on) present to justify at least one other language being commonly used throughout the airport by staff. The process to clear customs on the way out was again simple, painless, and I once again came across a very friendly police officer. The customs process is literally the only reason I've rated Barajas as a 2/10 instead of a '1/10 rating. The customs officers were efficient, friendly and reasonable. The announcements in the terminal are also either non-existent or not in multiple languages (which isn't helpful when you're travelling on British Airways back to London). The Iberia lounge in terminal 4S (non-Schengen) is actually really nice, but apart from that this airport is not user friendly. I would go as far as saying that I would rather the all encompassing chaos that often consumes Rome's Fiumicino Airport, as opposed to the utter incompetence, language based discrimination and contradictions that I encountered in Madrid, purely for the reason that at least Rome normally eventually get things right (as opposed to MAD where they stubbornly, arrogantly and rudely outright lie, and stick to it even when you expose them for it). Stay clear of MAD if at all possible - it's just not worth it unless you speak Spanish.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitJanuary 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
8/10

"using T4 is quite fine"

(United Kingdom)

Not Verified | I have used Madrid Barajas many times in my life for different reasons as well as other 50 airports. I’d say using T4 is quite fine (relatively new terminal, easy to navigate). T1-3 are outdated and need a good revamp. Getting to the city from the airport is also easy and quick (tube, train, bus and taxi).
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitJanuary 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
yes
4/10

"at least 45 minutes for our bags"

(Spain)

Trip Verified | Terrible. Every time they leave us waiting at least 45 minutes for our bags. What the hell are these people doing? Come on guys. Start putting bag delivery times into objectives and stop leaving us all waiting.
Experience At AirportArrival Only
Date VisitDecember 2018
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

"airport is not user friendly"

(United Kingdom)

Not Verified | I agree with a previous reviewer, this airport is not user friendly. Confusing signage and very long walking distances to boarding gates make this airport a time consuming experience. On the plus side going through security was stress free, the usual overpriced food outlets await you on the other side. Make sure you get here in plenty of time for your flight and be prepared to lose some weight in the process!
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitNovember 2018
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
5/10

"it gets the job done"

(Spain)

Not Verified | I live in Spain, so whenever I travel I have to go trough Madrid Barajas airport (as it's closest to where I live). I've been flying trough here since I was born, so you can trust this review. I'll write this in the order that someone departing or arriving would follow. I'll focus on Terminal 1 for today. Departure: As soon as you enter T1 you can tell that it has it's age. The check-in area has a very low ceiling and is quite cramped. Despite this, it still gets the job done. Queues can be lengthy sometimes, but I've experienced that in many other airports. This area offers very little seating, as there is practically no space. Moving on to the security areas, the airport authorities have worked hard to renovate the checkpoints, and they have installed more modern equipment that helps lower waiting times (there is still a checkpoint that hasn't been renovated). Security is quite a pain though, as you have to take practically everything out of your bags, but there's plenty of space to put everything back without annoying anyone. Moving on, there is some retail spread out across the terminal (which generally consists of magazine stores, like Relay), but there aren't many places to eat. The "A" gates are in a pretty spacious area, and seating isn't a problem, but the older part of the terminal lacks some seating. Boarding is nothing out of the ordinary. Arrival: If you have the luck of arriving at the "A" gates, then de-boarding is really easy. You just walk off the plane and you end up in this walkway above the gates. When the walkway ends, however, things get complicated. There's not much signage, but it's hard to get lost, it's pretty straight forward. Passport control is slow, but airport authorities have installed a bunch of automated machines to make the process quicker. Baggage claim is also pretty straight forward. Exiting the terminal is quite easy, since you're really close to the parking lot, and to public transit. All in all, Madrid Barajas Airport is far from amazing, but it gets the job done.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitAugust 2018
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

"Generally not user friendly"

(Ireland)

Trip Verified | Manages to annoy in a lot of little ways that unfortunately cancel out the proximity to the city and easy metro access. For instance: Poor signposting, leading to inevitable extra walking and unnecessary conversations seeking help. Extortionate prices and tiny portions in the fast food-type outlets beyond the gates. Poor planning, with a lack of walkways on long thoroughfares, lack of escalators in Arrivals, lack of toilets, poorly sited flight information screens, hidden entrances. Generally not user friendly. Like most Spanish airports, lack of free water and wifi. On the plus side, security is relaxed and staff are informal.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitOctober 2018
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
1/10

"there is an element of chaos"

(United Kingdom)

Trip Verified | I travelled from Malaga via Madrid to Heathrow. I have been through Madrid Airport several times and there is an element of chaos. The transit time between the flights was very tight especially when I had to change from T4 to T4s - some of the signage is confusing - the airport estimates it is 28 minutes to transit to T4s - it actually took 45 minutes for someone walking quickly. As the transit time was tight my luggage did not make the second leg of the flight and remained in Madrid airport overnight. Unless the Spanish authorities up their game then you need to avoid Madrid airport wherever possible.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitAugust 2018
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
no
1/10

"rude, lazy, arrogant"

(Canada)

Not Verified | This was my second trip to Spain after my first time here about five years ago. Such a pity nothing has changed. I arrived on Icelandair from Keflavik and we got off the plane at an apron near T1. Once we came down the air stair we were all stranded at the tarmac for about 20 minutes because the bus never showed up. First time ever experiencing this nonsense in my travel to over 80 airports around the globe. Well done Spain! Custom and immigration went a bit quicker than I expected but still took about an hour. Real pain was on my departure date back to Canada after my travel. Signage is sparse and often time only in Spanish in the terminal. There were multiple security lines that were moving at turtles pace. Security personnel at this airport is definitely most rude and arrogant ones I ever encountered. The guy manning the monitor asked me something in Spanish and I said I do not understand Spanish and need to be communicated in English. His face becomes visibly red and upset and tells me in broken English that he will only communicate to me in Spanish. What a joke! They call themselves an International airport when they are either unwilling or unable to communicate in English. Once at the airside, there were so few benches and so many people, most people were sitting and lounging around the floor. Boarding process from five years ago never improved. There is frequent gate changes and no boarding announcements whatsoever. Madrid Barajas airport personnel especially those manning security lines in my opinion truly personifies Spain's overall reputation : Rude, lazy, arrogant.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitJune 2018
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
8/10

"Terminal 4 pleasant Terminal 4S not so"

(Greece)

Trip Verified | Departed September 26th to MIA and returned on October 4th from MIA. Iberia uses Terminal 4S to flights to the US. Checking in at T4 was fine but then got to get a shuttle to 4S. Terminal 4 is full of shops, cafes and restaurants catering for all tastes and pockets. Unfortunately, Terminal 4S has not that choice - very few shops and even less choice for food. Initial security screening was neither fast nor slow. Boarding on the departing flight was late for over 25 minutes and for about 20 minutes there was no announcement in any language! Apart from that all went smoothly. On the return flight getting to passport control involved lots of walking, as Terminal 4 is massive! Passport control is efficient as is baggage claim. Overall, Terminal 4 is a modern, comfortable and very pleasant place to be. Terminal 4S not so! I aim to reflect that in the rating.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitOctober 2017
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Airport Staff 12345
yes