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Connecting Through Madrid

artnbarb

1000+ Posts
As mentioned in a previous thread, we're looking at flights from FCO-TPA using FF miles for our return to the states next fall. Our FF miles are with American Airlines.

Right now I'm leaning towards breaking up the flight into two legs - Either Rome directly to a US hub, or Rome to London or Madrid, then onto a US hub. I want to do the transatlantic flight, spend the night in a U.S. airport, then fly to Tampa the next morning. Because of Brexit, and possible schedule changes, I'm wondering if I might be 'safer' to book a flight through Madrid rather than through London.

I don't know anything about the Madrid airport, but it has to be smaller than Heathrow and less confusing, doesn't it?
 

artnbarb

1000+ Posts
And now that I look at more itineraries, I see that the taxes for Madrid are even higher than those going thru London! Every time I think I have it all figured out I discover that the airlines are always one step ahead of me.
 

Andrew

100+ Posts
Contest 2019 Winner!
Hmm, traditionally the taxes and (mostly) airline fees on Iberia via Madrid are lower than on British Airways via London. It would be interesting to see the specifics.

At Madrid Airport, the intra-Europe Iberia flights are generally at Terminal 4, which is a long vast space with a straightforward rectangular design. The flights outside of Europe use the satellite Terminal 4S; to connect you have a train and a security check, as well as exit passport control to leave Schengen. I'd guess it's easier than a T5-T3 connection at Heathrow, but harder than an all-T5 connection there, although I haven't done either Heathrow connection.
 

ncp

10+ Posts
We did Rome-Madrid-Dallas about 6 years ago and found the madrid connection very easy and straightforward, but that’s a while ago. It was also much cheaper than London then. With all the possible Changes and your trip so far out you’re probably stressing far too much trying to play the odds. I’d choose what looks good now and keep checking anticipating a change before it all happens. I’d lock in a price I’m ok with and just keep watching. If they change schedule they can’t hit you up for more money, or at least I’d fight that if they tried. Good luck and have a great trip!
 

Andrew

100+ Posts
Contest 2019 Winner!
I've tried to replicate the search on an AA award between Rome and New York, where there should be lots of options. For one person, I find taxes and fees of $68 if flying AA and connecting in the U.S., $138 if all on Iberia via Madrid, $218 if all on BA via London, but $92 if going from BA to AA at London. It's the fees charged even on awards by the operating airline that make the difference.
 

artnbarb

1000+ Posts
I'm not flying FCO-NYC - I'm flying to Tampa.

For the searches I've done, I'm getting FCO-LHR, then connecting thru CLT, DFW, PHL and/or MIA. Connecting thru Madrid also adds ORD. Of course this varies from day to day. Right now I'm only looking at the 22.5K mile flights. Taxes/fees are all over the place.

Going thru NYC is a waste of my miles, as I still have to fly to Tampa.
 

Andrew

100+ Posts
Contest 2019 Winner!
Maybe my post wasn't clear enough: I entered New York as a destination because it's a destination for many international itineraries and we could get many data points, not because I thought you were going there. And I'll say again: it would be interesting to see the specifics of "I see that the taxes for Madrid are even higher than those going thru London!" because that's contrary to what I generally see particularly in regard to taxes. With specifics, we could either concede that point or give other explanations for the higher money price.
 

artnbarb

1000+ Posts
Gotcha! From my most recent search, one itinerary going thru LHR had taxes of $97.25, while FCO-DFW-TPA had taxes of $68.25, and another route through Madrid had taxes of $107.95. Flights using fewer miles seem to have higher fees, as far as I can tell - after comparing so many different itineraries, miles required and assorted fees, I have to admit my head is spinning!
 

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