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#1
Hartsdale, NY UDSA
1,614 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
In planning stage for Bordeaux river cruise on AMA. The land portion begins in Bilbao Spain. We are flying from JFK business class. There are no non-stop flights but rather flights with stops In Madrid. Airlines are BA or Iberia both code share with AA. Question has anyone flown this route? Opinion of service on either carrier. Realistically how much time should we allow for connecting flights?
Thx
Carole
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Carole-Lee

#2
ME
431 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Go with BA. Iberia has a very difficult time with lost luggage. They are known for it. Add a language problem and it becomes almost impossible to resolve. Not the way to begin a cruise.


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#3
New York
9,389 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
You can also fly Delta (JFK-MAD 7:35pm-9:15am on 767-400, 90 min layover, MAD-BIO 10:45am-11:45am on Air Europa Embraer 190). That would be my choice.
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Email me: [email protected]
Blogs: Jazzbeaux Blogs

I am not an employee of Cruise Critic and I don't speak for Cruise Critic. All opinions are mine alone. Also, I'm only a Host on the various River forums -- everywhere else I'm "just plain Jazz."

Booked:
Viking Sun British Isles Explorer 8-2018
Celebrity Edge Caribbean 1-2019
Ponant/Backroads Iceland 8-2019
Ponant New Zealand 3-2020

Completed:
AMA Discover Africa 5-2018 / Azamara Quest Costa Rica 1-2018 / Crown Princess Classic Canada & New England 10-2017 / Norwegian Pride of America Hawaii 10-2016 / Azamara Quest Norwegian Fjords 8-2016 / Celebrity Constellation Greek Isles 5-2016 / AmaDagio Provence 9-2015 / Celebrity Xpedition Galapagos 5-2015 / Celebrity Eclipse Southern Carib 3-2015 / Fresco Tours A Kinder Camino walking tour 9-2014 / Crystal Serenity Mediterranean 5-2014 / Coral Princess Panama Canal 1-2014 / AmaCello Rhine 8-2013 / Coral Princess Alaska 6-2013 / Ireland Fly-Drive 9-2012 / Norwegian Dawn Caribbean 3-2013 / Celebrity Summit Caribbean 1-2012 / Oceania Insignia Mediterranean 5-2011 / Fair Dinkum (Erie Canal bareboat) 7-2003 / Costa Italia Caribbean 5-1974
#4
FL
14,466 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
We loved Iberia business class - flew them when we did the Douro 2 years ago. Seats, lounge, food, service, cleanliness and equipment far exceeded any BA or AA in business class. And MAD is a very nice airport.
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143 cruises since 1964, 16 on the river.
Looking forward to:
MS Joy - Magic of Advent, December 2017

Amadeus Silver III, May 2018
AmaStella, Christmas Markets, December 2018
Scenic Eclipse, April, 2019

Our river cruising history:
Avalon Luminary B2B- Christmas Markets, 2009
Avalon Affinity - Christmas Markets 2010
Avalon Panorama - Danube New Years Cruise, 2011
AmaDante -Vineyards of the Rhine and Moselle 2012
AmaCerto - Budapest to Nuremburg, 2013
AmaBella - Tulip Time, 2014
AmaDagio - Provence, 2014
AmaReina - Holiday on the Rhine 2014
SS Catherine - Provence 2015
AmaSerena Christmas on the Rhine, 2015
Scenic Diamond, Bordeaux, April 2016, October 2017
AmaVida, Douro, August. 2016
AmaSonata, Romantic Danube - Oct. 2016
Joie de Vivre, Paris and Normany - April 2017

Recent ocean cruises:
Le Lyral, The Adriatic, September 2017
#5
Toronto, Canada
1,341 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Madrid is also a huge airport with long distances to walk. Remember you go through immigration where you enter the Schengen zone; i.e. in Madrid.

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AmaDara, Vietnam and Cambodia, 2017
Aegean Odyssey, Istanbul to Venice, 2015
Bike and Barge Holland, Bruges to Amsterdam, 2014
Uniworld, Vienna to Basel, 2011
Uniworld, Tulips and Windmills, Antwerp to Amsterdam, 2010
#6
FL
14,466 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
Originally posted by gnome12
Madrid is also a huge airport with long distances to walk. Remember you go through immigration where you enter the Schengen zone; i.e. in Madrid.

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That is relative, IMO. As compared to Frankfurt, Heathrow or CDG - not even close. And their tram system in MAD is very efficient and signage very good IMO.
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143 cruises since 1964, 16 on the river.
Looking forward to:
MS Joy - Magic of Advent, December 2017

Amadeus Silver III, May 2018
AmaStella, Christmas Markets, December 2018
Scenic Eclipse, April, 2019

Our river cruising history:
Avalon Luminary B2B- Christmas Markets, 2009
Avalon Affinity - Christmas Markets 2010
Avalon Panorama - Danube New Years Cruise, 2011
AmaDante -Vineyards of the Rhine and Moselle 2012
AmaCerto - Budapest to Nuremburg, 2013
AmaBella - Tulip Time, 2014
AmaDagio - Provence, 2014
AmaReina - Holiday on the Rhine 2014
SS Catherine - Provence 2015
AmaSerena Christmas on the Rhine, 2015
Scenic Diamond, Bordeaux, April 2016, October 2017
AmaVida, Douro, August. 2016
AmaSonata, Romantic Danube - Oct. 2016
Joie de Vivre, Paris and Normany - April 2017

Recent ocean cruises:
Le Lyral, The Adriatic, September 2017
#7
Hartsdale, NY UDSA
1,614 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
Originally posted by Host Jazzbeau
You can also fly Delta (JFK-MAD 7:35pm-9:15am on 767-400, 90 min layover, MAD-BIO 10:45am-11:45am on Air Europa Embraer 190). That would be my choice.
Thx to all for the answers. I have status with AA and want to use my points for my and DH's airfare
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Carole-Lee

#8
Madison, WI
501 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Using AAdvantage miles on Transatlantic flights is almost never a good deal - there are very high fuel charges on the BA flights, and AA flights are almost never available.
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Upcoming:

11/17/18 - Splendors of Egypt & The Nile (Uniworld)

Sailed:
7/1/17 - Sensations of Southern France (Emerald Liberté) (review)
12/20/15 - River Orchid & Vietnam/Cambodia land tour (blog)
09/07/14 - River Ambassador (review & blog)

Check out my travel blog: http://www.grosstravelchronicles.blogspot.com