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I'm having a lot of pain getting to a meeting in Tenerife (TFS/TFN) from Jakarta (CGK). I have Star Alliance membership, but there is no Star Alliance route there. The options are:

  1. Turkish Airline TK57, TK1857 from CGK to MAD, connecting with NON-partner Iberia Express I23944 to TFN. This is a 5 hour layover and if Google is not mistaken a change from Terminal 1 to Terminal 4 at Madrid Airport. I have never been to Madrid so please give me some advise. Is it difficult to switch Terminals? Do I have to go through immigration? How long would the whole process take assuming I have luggage.

  2. I could take Qatar Airways QR0957, QR0147, and they connect with partner airline Iberia Express IB3910 to TFS. I can't seem to find info on terminals for QR0147 so could someone tell me if I have to change terminals for this route as well? If yes, then also how long would the whole process take.

  3. Between these two options which one would you suggest? For convenience I think it's obvious #2 is more convenient since one ticket connects all the way CGK to TFS so no hassle about luggage. But the distance is quite good that it would be nice to earn mileage on my Star Alliance. What do you think?

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    I'm mostly sure (but not 100% certain, or I would post an actual answer) that for this itinerary you will do both immigration and customs in Madrid, as while Tenerife is part of Schengen, it is not in the EU customs area. Check with your airline to confirm whether you need to claim your baggage in Madrid. Five hours should be more than sufficient if your Schengen visa is in order; you'll probably be bored waiting for your next flight. – Michael Hampton Mar 5 '16 at 0:40
  • @MichaelHampton given that even a Jakarta-Madrid-Barcelona or Jakarta-Madrid-Lisbon itinerary does not involve customs clearance in Madrid, the fact that Tenerife is a separate customs jurisdiction should have no impact on the mechanics of the Madrid transfer. – phoog Mar 5 '16 at 2:43
  • @MichaelHampton thanks for your comment. Do you mean that for either itinerary I would have to pick up my luggage and check it in again? I'm not 100% sure either, but because I can buy the Iberia Express ticket in one go from QatarAirways.com I assumed that my luggage would go all the way to TFS from CGK. If it doesn't then I'd rather do option 1 to get the mileage. I guess I'll check with local Qatar office. Thank you! – rabbid Mar 5 '16 at 10:26
  • Thank you @phoog. You are saying that my luggage will go all the way from CGK to TFS? – rabbid Mar 5 '16 at 10:27
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    I'm quite sure you will go through immigration in Madrid. I am not certain about your baggage. – Michael Hampton Mar 5 '16 at 14:47
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Madrid airport is split in two main areas. Terminals 1 to 3 on one side, and terminal 4 (with its satellite building) on the other. International fights arrive at either T1 or T4S.

As IamJulianAcosta points out, there is a free bus service linking T123 with T4; while a tram joins T4S with the main building from which your flight to Tenerife would depart. Turkish Airlines will use T1, while Qatar airlines will use T4S.

If you go with your first option, you will have to carry your luggage yourself from baggage claim in T1 to check in on T4. You won't be able to use trolleys on the bus, so make sure you can handle all of it yourself. Depending on the time of the year temperatures range from below zero to over 30, so check the weather beforehand and dress accordingly.

I would honestly avoid option 1; you'll have a complex layover in a foreign land, carry your luggage yourself and, right after all that excitement, five hours of pure boredom. There's not much to do in T4 except for dozing, as it is a lone building in the middle of nowhere.

  • There are plenty of restaurants, cafes, and shops at Terminal 4 - and the VIP rooms are affordable (30 eur) and quite nice, with videogame consoles, showers, etc... I travel relatively often and I would not mind a 5h layover in MAD Terminal 4 (vs, let's say LHR T5, IST..). I – eLobato Feb 26 '17 at 12:31
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Is not difficult to change terminals, I flew from Bogota to Ibiza two years ago and had to wait for nearly 2 hours in Madrid. If mileage is important to you, go for option one. I spent nearly 10 minutes in immigration and like 20~30 minutes switching terminals.

There is a regular free shuttle between terminals. Madrid airport is big, so be prepared to walk a lot.

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