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Lost Luggage / Travel Hell / Iberia / Spain Travel / MAD / PMI / Baggage / Luggage / → All Tags
Luggage gets lost. Sometimes even our luggage gets lost. Most of the time it's no big deal since we planned accordingly and packed the essentials in a carry on and have what we need until the airline get their act together and delivers the bag. No big deal, right? Not all the time. In particular the time we put all our money on one color and let it roll on Iberia from Madrid to Mallorca.
It was a normal one-way flight to the Balearic Island. After what seemed like an uneventful check-in and after closer inspection we were given the wrong boarding passes. Inquiring about the confusion, collecting correct passes and a confirmation that the luggage will be loaded, we headed off to the lounge. In a surprise twist, our luggage was not on the belt in Palma.
Airports are more than just a roof to sit under while transiting to a new city. More often they become places filled with the joy of reuniting friends or the sadness of bidding fond adieu, but most always they are a reflection of that particular city's local flare. With great design, an airport can be a way to show off to foreign visitors. Madrid's Barajas Airport, more specifically, the new-ish Terminal 4, is a prime example.
We admit, it's no Eero Saarinen, but this terminal gave us a sore neck the moment we walked under its high ceilings and colorful support beams. Completed and opened to the public in 2006 and home to Iberia, it's ranked among the top coolest airports through which we've had the pleasure of transiting.
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero accidentally became an international YouTube star this week when he cursed out a fellow world leader at a press conference. Surely he didn't say that Russia's Dmitri Medvedev and him needed to make their countries very intimate together, right?
Zapatero will be in a tight spot until the country can get over his gaffe, but travelers through Madrid-Barajas International Airport have no need to worry about getting caught out: The terminal wireless furnished by Kubi is so organized, the company even lists all the hot spots so you can find out before you go what restaurant or lounge to park yourself in.
Kubi is the leading provider of wireless Internet in Spain, and if this fanatical organization characterizes all their ventures, we will soon be getting very intimate with their services. (Uh, not like that.)
We promise not to put it on YouTube if you send us a tip on some international WiFi.
MAD / Disaster Travel / Spanair / → All Tags
A Spanair MD-82 bound for the Canary Islands skidded off a runway and caught fire at Madrid's Barajas Airport, leading to reports that only 25 of the 173 people on board survived.
Flight 5022 (also listed as Lufthansa 255) reportedly suffered an engine fire around 5 pm local time while attempting an emergency landing on Runway 6, immediately after takeoff. Despite the efforts of 11 emergency vehicles, on the scene reports are putting the death toll at around 150--though only 45 fatalities have been confirmed as of now.
It's the worst fatal airplane crash in Spain since a 1985 incident in Bilbao. Prime minister Jose Luis Zapatero has been called to the scene from his vacation in Doñana National Park in Andalusia.
· At Least 45 Dead in Madrid Plane Crash [AP]
· Dozens of Dead Following Crash upon Takeoff at Barajas [El Pais, in Spanish]
[Photo of a Spanair MD-82: thomasbecker]