Won’t Run and I recently traveled to Madrid in Spain and Athens and Mykonos in Greece.
We each used 40,000 American Airlines miles to book our award ticket on Iberia for two flights: (1) JFK to Madrid, Spain on June 29th, and (2) Madrid to Athens, Greece on July 2nd. I thought 40,000 miles and $97 in taxes was a pretty good deal. (For our return flights, we used 30,000 United miles, but more details on that in another post)
When we checked in for our flight at JFK, we were asked to check our carry-on suitcases. Reluctantly, we did so.
Iberia flights leave out of Terminal 7 at JFK. As my status with AA is presently only Gold which meant that I was not eligible to visit the British Airways Lounge at Terminal 7 (BUMMER!). Since we had gotten to the airport early (and we weren’t lugging around our suitcases), we jumped on the AirTrain and went to the Admirals Lounge at Terminal 8 for a little while. That lounge was open, but under construction. We didn’t mind. We were happy to just have a drink each and some cheese wedges and crackers. We had a toast to our vacation!
We returned to the correct terminal and joined the masses to board our flight. It was only chaotic for a few moments, but then it was more orderly.
Because of the AA Gold status, I was able to reserve seats close to the start of coach. Unfortunately, however, there was a family with 14-month old twins right near us. Yes, they took turns crying most of the flight.
The seats were not very comfortable, and the babies wailed. We still managed to get some sleep (but not a lot). I’m okay on lack of sleep. As for Won’t Run, well, you can guess the answer. It’s funny – I used to consider a flight to Europe as a long flight. Now I see it as a short(ish) flight. Perspective. Perspective.
We landed in Madrid and there was a very long walk through the airport to get to arrivals.
The airport is pretty modern and attractive.
I was excited to see this mural artwork – the artist is Oswaldo Guayasamín. I was already familiar with his work as I had visited the Guayasamin Museum in Quito, Ecuador.
And then we were reminded why we try not to check luggage. No, my bag was not lost, but it took close to 40 minutes to get it. Still, the baggage carousel area was pretty cool.
When the luggage (finally) (thankfully) arrived, we made our way to Madrid. I have found that it’s best for me to research topics like transportation in detail, including emailing the hotel concierge, taking screenshots of google maps, and stopping to ask for help at Airport Information Kiosks. This may sound like overkill, but it really isn’t as without such preparation, what should be simple often turns difficult.
Won’t Run and I were advised to take the Renfe train (Madrid’s suburban railway) rather than the Metro, as our hotel, the Radisson Blu Prado Madrid was not far from the central Atocha station where the Renfe train terminated (see MAP). We did so, and then walked to find our hotel. We only got a little lost along the way.
And like that, we were in Madrid!