Friday, September 23, 2016

Sunrise Over Madrid

Arrival in Madrid and A Day to Crush Jetlag

So far everything went smoothly on this years journey to Spain.  Lots of AA points were shed in order for me to experience American's Business Class on their 767 (JFK to Madrid).  

Side Note: Business Class delivers access to American's Executive Lounge at JFK (which is utilizing temporary digs while it undergoes a much overdue facelift at JFK). I can confirm AA Lounges continue to serve up really mediocre "green eggs and ham" snacks. Hey AA, when your signature dish is gouda cheese soup that has been sitting in a kettle for hours......


767 Business Class Pod to Madrid

While American's 767 biz class pods offer a full lay-flat bed mode, the actual seating is way too narrow (which then makes the actual sleeping position a challenge). AA's pods just don't measure up when compared to most other international carrier configurations. I sure miss those "Envoy" pods that US Airways use to offer. 

AA"s In-flight entertainment is also lame. They still go through a time consuming drill of distributing Samsung tablets in lieu of installing built-in entertainment systems. The whole process is clunky and seems to always include a lecture about losing something. And, then when they get all set up you find out they are loaded with a truly marginal selection of movies. 

The tablets also lack a flight progress setting. I miss being able to see where we are and monitor our evolving ETA whenever I want.

Landing at Sunrise 

We had a major tailwind and arrived early enough to see the sunrise over Madrid and it was spectacular. The Sun was rising and the sky was on fire.

Although my bike trip begins and ends in Barcelona (which also has a nice airport), I love flying into Madrid. In fact, I like flying into the EU via Madrid to get to almost anywhere. Period. 

Madrid's airport is just wonderful. Immigration is a snap. There are lots of flights with frequent connections to anywhere in Europe. And from Madrid, connection prices to hop to Rome or Venice or Paris or London are really inexpensive. Plus, I really love Madrid. It is such an under rated city. The Prado is wonderful, the food is amazing and its residents are cosmopolitan and (when approached for directions) are really willing to help and smile.

I also love the Madrid Airport Hilton. I've stayed many times over the years. It offers a free shuttle to / from the airport, is walking distance to a Metro stop, offers an amazing breakfast and just seems to be consistently wonderful. It also has a great indoor / outdoor pool and the rooms are large and quiet.

 My JetLag Recovery Unit

Well time for bed. I'm off to Barcelona in the morning (highlights tomorrow include a walking tour with the day finished with a classical guitar / flamenco performance at the Palace of Catalan Music).

Roadboy's Travels © 2016

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