Why do the best cities always have the worst airports?
Now I know Singapore and Hong Kong are excluded from this, but think about it for a minute. JFK? LAX? LHR? NRT? SYD? I’m seeing a trend here. Unfortunately MAD T2 is on the list of “terminals to avoid in wonderful places from now on”. I am sure I am missing some here, I haven’t been to DXB yet etc. So if you feel I left anything out, please let me know and I will spend my money there in the future.
Registration: SP-LLC (the golden one!)
Class: Economy (W)
Reason for delay: late aircraft arrival
European airports need self check-in kiosks, so if you arrive at the airport a little before their magic two hours; you are not forced to stand around doing nothing but suffer for your own ignorance.
Once we finally checked-in however, it was time to go to security. Oh, for those curious I should mention that our seat selection and check in process were mysteriously messed up. When we used the online feature, we had found ourselves in 15B and 18F respectively. We fixed this, but it was confusing.
This is where my annoyance with MAD began. There is a priority lane for premium and top tier pax next to regular security- with bizarre, bizarre requirements for entry. Only TP elites, KL elites, etc are allowed through. Not even a mighty Hon Circler could traverse this. No generic Star Gold, no Skyteam Elite plus, oh well.
Which is a shame because while there were no lines in general security, the screeners shove your bags down the extremely short tables at nearly the speed of light, which does not mesh well with putting everything back in your bags after some good old security theatre.
JK is gone and no one mourns its loss (except the Star Alliance and its employees).
Unfortunately, for us Star people the result was this:
A sign telling us that the lounge was closed “indefinitely” and that we could visit the Puerta del Sol lounge some kilometers away in E concourse.
So trek we did.
It led us to a giant lounge, with a decent selection beverages, but only Spanish language print media.
Eventually, Olga found some food.
Apparently, you could also acquire a sandwich- but the means to this were a secret known only to freemasons or some such.
It’s 2012, and this is Europe. I thought you guys had Internet everywhere. Not some Safari crashing paywall. Oh well, at least I was not going to be in the lounge for very long and the view was nice.
Bored, and annoyed by the thick glass obscuring the lovely view- we decided to head to the gate to find.
Seems like there was no plane, but that’s okay… it’s a pretty…
Never mind. When Douglas Adams said his infamous “pretty as an airport” statement- he must have been talking about MAD T2
Half an hour later, however; things took a turn for the awesome!
Special scheme: check
37” seat pitch: Check
Boarding was fast and uneventful, there was a lovely selection of trilingual newspapers, and ample overhead space.
This here is further proof that LO is one of the short haul gems in Europe.
Take off was a bit of a drive to get to (Runway 36R), but it was smooth and quite a lovely view.
After take off, it was time for the IFE to be switched back on.
Then came lunch:
It was very substantial for Y (even though that is both of our lunches combined.)
This time, it was most certainly a chicken sandwich, and quite tasty.
Followed by dessert
They did a second tea/coffee run thereafter.
Later, there was a round of water brought by the F/As.
Finishing with a juice course.
Once again LO, other than your last misstep- you are fantastic.
[Edited 2012-02-02 23:52:57]