Madrid-Barcelona by Air: A Pictorial Journey

Our flight from Madrid to Barcelona was pretty much your ordinary European business class flight where a seat is blocked off in the middle. I’m not going to bother providing pictures of the seat because those are dime in a dozen. Instead this will be a slightly different post with the journey in pictures.

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Introduction: Spring break in Spain
British Airways Club World DFW-LHR
British Airways T5 Galleries South Lounge @ Heathrow
The Westin Palace Madrid
Renfe Preferred Class Madrid-Seville
Renfe Preferred Class Lounge – Seville St. Justa
Hotel Alfonso XII Seville
Strolling through Seville
Sights and Sounds of Majestic Madrid
Iberia Business Class Lounge Madrid Barajas
Madrid-Barcelona in Pictures
The W Barcelona
Exploring Gaudi’s Barcelona
The Hilton London Heathrow Airport T5
American Airlines New Business Class LHR-DFW

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Our gate was luckily very close to the Iberia lounge and so we arrived well before boarding had begun. At around 10:50 am boarding was called, starting with business class and oneworld elites.

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Boarding was completed within 20 minutes, and we quickly began push back and taxiing to the runway. The flight time was presented as 50 minutes (from what I could understand from the captain’s announcement in Spanish).

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It was an absolutely beautiful day in Madrid with the snow capped Sierra de Grados mountain range clearly visible in the background.

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When I saw the first runway, I assumed that we would take off soon and be on our way. However, the taxiing continued.

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I watched many flights take off to the North and West as we continued to taxi. The pilot might as well have taken us to Barcelona by taxiway.

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I did not realize just how big Barajas airport was until this long taxi to the runway.

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We passed yet another terminal with a few American planes.

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I presume the American 777 pictured here is headed back to DFW. 
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After what seemed to be an eternity taxiing to the runway we finally took off from what I thought was one of the northern runways (I stand to be corrected). When I checked the clock I noted that this was almost 40 minutes after scheduled departure time.

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Views of the Spanish countryside were spectacular after take off from Madrid. So I just sat there admiring the views.

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Drinks were offered 15 minutes after take off, but I don’t recollect there being an actual meal service on this flight. It would make sense considering the fact that our descent into Barcelona started about 45 minutes into the flight.

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As we began our descent into Barcelona, the Pyrenees were visible on the left hand side of the aircraft.

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We landed in Barcelona at around 1:20pm, which was 45 minutes later than our expected arrival time. So you can clearly see the advantage of taking the train over flying this route, even though the latter may be cheaper.

Here is a video of the flight, which includes our descent into Barcelona. It isn’t one of my finer videos, but I just thought I would include it to be complete.

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The Veuling flight which left right behind us from Madrid, arrived right as we disembarked. It was an absolutely beautiful March day in Barcelona with clear skies and a temperature of almost 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Though it was a rather long walk to baggage claim from the gate, I didn’t really mind the walk. Is it just me or are airports in Spain, a step above the usual European hubs?

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The terminal was extremely airy and well lit, and featured a decent selection of cafes in the central area.

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Before I left the terminal, I dropped by the FCBOTIGA, where I picked up a Barcelona Polo, which was on sale.

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By the time we arrived at baggage claim, our bags were already available on the carousel. We grabbed our bags and hailed a taxi to be on our way to the W Barcelona.

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Bottom Line:

The Madrid-Barcelona air shuttle is often cheaper than the trains between the two major Spanish cities. Given the outrageous rates they were charging while we were there, it made absolute sense for us, but I would always weigh my time before deciding to fly. What really caught me by surprise in this experience was just how nice Barajas and El Prat airports were (in that order). I would definitely prefer flying through one of these airports as opposed to Charles De Gaulle or Heathrow.

Next up: The W Barcelona