After a few short days in Madrid, it was time for us to leave. I called down to the front desk so we could get some help with our bags and have taxi waiting for us. We said goodbye to the best upgrade we’ve gotten to date and went downstairs to the lobby.
Waking up for a 6 AM flight is never fun; it was still dark out.
The taxi ride was about 30 minutes with barely another car on the road. It cost about 30 Euros. If our flight was later, we would have taken the cheaper Metro, but it doesn’t open until 6 AM.
We arrived at the airport at 4:30 AM, which was apparently too early for our 6 AM flight because the check-in desks weren’t even open yet but the queue was dozens of people long.
To top it off, Madrid-Barajas Airport was in the midst of a cleaning worker strike due to salary cuts so there was garbage EVERYWHERE. I should have taken some photos, but it was too early for anything of the sort. Check out this article for a picture of what it was like.
Eventually, some pleasant Alitalia agents manned the desks and the line moved slowly but surely. It was still plenty of time to go through security where bottles and other trash was just piled up in corners.
At this point, it was around 5:15 and we didn’t even have anything to eat. Nothing was open so we grabbed a few drinks from the vending machine (they take credit cards, woohoo!) and sat at the gate.
Nothing else to do but sit and wait, in the dark. Apparently, it was too early to start turning on lights.
Madrid (MAD) – Rome (FCO)
28 JAN 2013
The great thing about the first flight of the day is that boarding is usually pretty quick. Everyone is still groggy, just wanting to get on the plane and into their seat to get some rest.
That’s exactly how this flight went and, after two and a half hours, we landed back in Rome for a short layover.