16.08.2014 - 16.08.2014
Before this trip I had planned to take my car back and forth to Stockholm-Arlanda Airport to avoid missing the first flight due to train delay. Here in Sweden, SJ have had all but great critique in the media lately and statistic shows 1 out of 4 trains are delayed or doesn’t show up at all. So I played it safe this time by taking the car. Even though I got up extra early in the morning to finish packing down everything I ran late. So typical me! I did have a transfer to catch from the long-term parking lot to terminal 5 at the airport. But somehow I managed to catch up time during the way and embarked the transfer bus exactly at 11 am.
Finally at Stockholm-Arlanda Airport I sat down and chilled a little. Ate my sandwich, drank my yoghurt and just absorbed the atmosphere. Finally vacation! I was all excited and full of expectations and also happy to see my Italian friend in Santiago de Chile. I checked in through SAS self-check-in, printed my boarding card and got the tag for my baggage. Luckily it was only a short line to the baggage self-drop. But obviously people don’t understand that it is a maximum weight limit of 23 kg for international flights. The people in front of me tried to check in bags with weight over 27 kg! It’s obvious that you can’t do that. Then you must go to a manual check-in desk and pay extra… When I had checked in my baggage and passed the security check it was only an half hour left until boarding started at 1 pm.
The flight was fully seated when the flight attendants announced “Boarding completed”. The crew was Swedish except from one man who obviously was Danish (more about that soon). Time was 1.35pm when the flight taxed out (as scheduled) and one of the flight attendants announced that the safety demonstration would be in English, Spanish and a Scandinavian language… yes, exactly. I reacted as much as you probably did just now… what Scandinavian language!? It ought to be Swedish since the flight is between Stockholm and Madrid, right? But no! The English demonstration was performed by one of the stewardesses. Then it was time for the Spanish demonstration… oh my God! It was the Danish man who spoke now. Has anyone heard a Danish trying to speak Spanish?!? Ha, ha I almost laughed myself to death! It sounded hilarious! My first thought was… What language is that? I really had to make an effort to hear what language it was. And the demonstration with the Scandinavian language was in Danish – not Swedish. I bet it was not a single Danish person on that flight! Very impractical SAS!
Thanks to fair winds the flight landed around 5 pm, about half an hour before scheduled (5.35pm), at Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport. The airplane was swirling around for 10 minutes before stopping at the gate. I disembarked the plane and got to the baggage belt where my baggage was one of the first to come out on the belt. Thanks for that Then it was time to get from Terminal 2 to Terminal 4-S from which my next non-stop flight to Santiago de Chile departed from. Madrid-Barajas Airport counts as the largest airport in the world (counted in terminal area) and since I’ve never been there before I had of course planned for some extra time just to orient myself and for transportation between the terminals. Madrid-Barajas Airport is the most important airport in Spain and has the most non-stop flights to Latin America out of all the European Airports. Good to know for those of you who plans to travel to South America. Madrid-Barajas consists of four terminals; T1, T2, T3 and T4. The latest built one, terminal 4, is situated more than 2 kilometers away from the other terminals and the passengers are transported with free buses in-between. Next to terminal 4 is a satellite building called T4-S. To get between T4 and T4-S you have to ride with an underground shuttle train (without driver).
Thus it was to T4-S I had to go… so after asking at the information desk about how to get to T4 (in the first place) I walked out of the airport and found the bus stop after a few minutes. The heat hit me and it was almost excruciating being outside. But the bus arrived after a few minutes and I dragged my baggage onboard. It took about 10 minutes before the bus stopped at terminal 4. I disembarked and stepped inside and found a LAN Airlines check-in desk. Checked in my baggage and got my boarding card. Yes, so now I only had to find that underground shuttle train. But I had received clear instructions from the man at the check-in desk. It took a while to get there though. The underground shuttle trains departure with only a few minutes apart so you really don’t have to worry if you just missed one. A few minutes later I was finally at terminal 4-S. Now I was so tired and hungry that I stopped by at the very first place which happened to be Burger King (not the best place to eat but at least a hamburger will satisfy your hunger). After eating my hamburger I connected my cell phone to the Airport WiFi and I had a few hours to kill before my flight to Santiago de Chile departed. I went to the gate a few minutes before boarding started at 10.55pm. and delightedly noticed that LAN uses a Dream Liner airplane for this flight. I really like that model since it is both roomy and airy even for economy class! As soon as I boarded the airplane and sat down in my seat, I felt how the tiredness hit me. Now I had ONLY been up for 18 hours… The airplane taxed out and departed according to schedule at 11.55pm. Total flight time calculated to 13 hours and 45 minutes.