Our COVID-19 Testing Mess At Madrid Airport

Our COVID-19 Testing Mess At Madrid Airport

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We had a solid Iberia business class flight from Miami to Madrid, and even arrived 40 minutes early. Things were looking up for us at first, though quickly went downhill…

We had booked a COVID-19 test at Madrid Airport

Our plan was to spend two nights in Madrid, and we had booked an appointment for a COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival. Why? There’s no testing requirement to enter Spain if you’re vaccinated. However, Oman requires visitors to get tested within 72-96 hours of travel (depending on where they’re coming from).

We figured we might as well take care of this in Spain. We saw that Madrid Airport had a testing center, where you could get a PCR test for 79 EUR, with results guaranteed in 12 hours. It was even possible to make an appointment and pre-pay. It’s sad that this is considered a deal, but it’s significantly cheaper than in Florida.

Well, we ended up getting tested for COVID-19 at Madrid Airport, but not in the way we had intended…

We got selected for a rapid antigen test upon arrival

While we went through immigration as usual at Madrid Airport, there’s then a separate health screening area you have to go through, where they check your vaccination status and look at your health attestation form. They asked where we were arriving from, and when we told them Miami, they put us both in a “holding pen” of sorts, and told us we’d have to be tested for coronavirus.

This isn’t an official requirement (I had checked all the entry requirements), but presumably they have the right to randomly select people for testing, and I guess that’s what was going on here. But it wasn’t actually that random, because they seemed to specifically be selecting people arriving from Miami. Four more people joined us, and they were all from the Miami flight as well (there were other arrivals, and they were sent right through). I mean, I suppose I can’t blame them for singling out people coming from Florida. 😉

So after waiting for about five minutes we were escorted to a testing center…

Heading to Madrid Airport COVID-19 testing center

We were brought into separate rooms, and then given rapid antigen tests. On the plus side, they’re “complimentary.” I’ve taken more COVID-19 tests than I can count, and this one was probably the most invasive. I’m pretty sure it poked my brain.

We were then instructed to sit in a waiting area for our results. 15 minutes later we were told we were negative and could leave.

Madrid Airport COVID-19 testing center waiting area

Oh well, it certainly wasn’t a big deal, though it did eat up our time savings from an early flight arrival.

Our actual COVID-19 test didn’t go so well

The COVID-19 testing center that we had booked an appointment at was located in the departures hall of Terminal 4, so we headed up there. While I like the architecture, Madrid Airport sure is an adventure to navigate.

Madrid Airport Terminal 4 departures hall

Obviously I was being naive, but I was picturing an orderly, calm testing center where we’d be helped at our appointment time, especially since we had pre-paid. Instead I found a scene with dozens of people lined up (you can’t see all the people in the below picture) and zero organization.

Unsurprisingly the testing center is largely used by people departing on flights same day, and a lot of the people were panicked, and seemingly didn’t realize that they needed a test to travel. Oops.

COVID-19 testing center Madrid Airport

I figured the line would move, but we stood there for about 15 minutes and not a single person was helped. Eventually a friendly enough woman came out and said “the system is down, we are unable to do any tests.”

Huh? I asked for how long the system had been down. She said 30 minutes. I asked if there was a timeline for when the system would be fixed, and she just shrugged her shoulders. She did say that once the system was back up, those with appointments would be helped first, which caused a near riot among those who didn’t have appointments, and largely had flights to catch.

At this point we weren’t sure what to do:

  • On the one hand, we had already pre-paid for our tests, and just wanted to get the testing behind us; the fact that they have an on-site lab also gave us the best odds of getting results in a timely manner
  • On the other hand, we had no indication of when things would be fixed, and for all we knew we could have been there all day long and still not gotten tested

Ford and I agreed we’d wait another 30 minutes to see if things resolved themselves, and if they didn’t, we’d leave. At the same time we were using the chat feature for our hotel to ask if they could set up a test for us. While more expensive, there is something to be said for the convenience of someone coming to your room and taking care of the testing there.

They confirmed that they could have someone in our room within an hour, and after waiting for 30 minutes things weren’t looking any better. We didn’t even have two full days in Madrid, and the last thing we wanted to do was spend hours in a line with frustrated people. So after 30 minutes we decided to ditch, and head to our hotel.

Bottom line

While our Iberia flight was better than expected, our arrival experience in Madrid wasn’t. We did get a COVID-19 test at Madrid Airport, but not the one we signed up for. We were selected for a rapid antigen test upon arrival, but then the actual PCR test appointment we had couldn’t be honored because the “system” was down.

I guess I’m at least grateful that we weren’t immediately flying out and would miss our flight because of this, unlike many other people (then again, I imagine many of those people didn’t plan very well). Now I just have to go through the process of trying to get a refund for our pre-paid testing fee…

How long would you have waited in line at the testing center before seeking alternative options?

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  1. ChocolateFactory Guest

    I’m in Madrid today and I needed a test. After reading this, I didn’t want to take any chances and took an antigen test here:
    https://www.testpcrmadrid.online

    It’s Clinica Mayor. The address is Plaza Mayor be Barajas 17.
    It’s like 10 minutes from the airport by taxi. No need for an appointments, no wait, card payments accepted. I was in and out in 10 minutes (had to wait for the printed result, they wouldn’t...

    I’m in Madrid today and I needed a test. After reading this, I didn’t want to take any chances and took an antigen test here:
    https://www.testpcrmadrid.online

    It’s Clinica Mayor. The address is Plaza Mayor be Barajas 17.
    It’s like 10 minutes from the airport by taxi. No need for an appointments, no wait, card payments accepted. I was in and out in 10 minutes (had to wait for the printed result, they wouldn’t email it).

    Not affiliated with them in any way, just figured it might be useful to someone.

  2. OfTheWorld Guest

    As usual, I hope to offer and share some logic - rather than throwing in a fit of the recently all too typical anti-everything emotion. So please let me at least try! I use MAD (and in fact that same MIA IB flight) quite constantly. The testing place you mentioned is usually great - when you have an appointment. But an IRROPS event, with anything, will always result in a mess - that we all...

    As usual, I hope to offer and share some logic - rather than throwing in a fit of the recently all too typical anti-everything emotion. So please let me at least try! I use MAD (and in fact that same MIA IB flight) quite constantly. The testing place you mentioned is usually great - when you have an appointment. But an IRROPS event, with anything, will always result in a mess - that we all certainly know far too well! True? As for the sad complaints about "required testing" during the past recent years, PLEASE think of the absolute thousands of people who pre-tested Positive… and who as a result did not sit directly next to you, and infect you, and maybe your families too! How many people have died (even purely from COVID) during this time? So pleeease let's all stop "pissing and moaning" about the past testing that was previously necessary, and surely helped to protect a lot of us. From a personal point of view… I'm rather happy to still be here - and to now finally be traveling again!!

  3. Alan Gold

    Let's hope more countries follow Iceland and Israel and eliminate all entey requirements.
    I have lived in Mexico throughout the pandemic so my experience is quite unique as Mexico is the world's only country that has never implemented any entry restrictions. I can leave and know that I will always be able to return without worry.

  4. Joey Diamond

    Your experience reminded me of my LHR covid test experience last fall. I had an appointment and prepaid but upon arrival that covid test line was so long the end of the line was outside! At the very least people followed the queue but they didn't really care about appointment times. You just go to the end of the line. Most people were there since they were departing that day (I was there because of...

    Your experience reminded me of my LHR covid test experience last fall. I had an appointment and prepaid but upon arrival that covid test line was so long the end of the line was outside! At the very least people followed the queue but they didn't really care about appointment times. You just go to the end of the line. Most people were there since they were departing that day (I was there because of the day 2 test requirement.) Wait was an hour but it got done. Thankfully London is easing in its testing requirements upon entry.

  5. Adrian Guest

    Thanks for the information! I have a layover at Madrid soon! Now my plan might change because of your experience of the Covid test that I plan to use too!

    While I hope the Covid test requirement will be over by April, I am not counting on it!

  6. MichaelT Member

    You two have more patience than me. I would have bolted after 10-15 and went the refund route/local testing in the city.

  7. SeeSharp Member

    It actually does seem like the random test on arrival is part of the official process: https://www.spth.gob.es/info-pcr

    Still, it is a ridiculous measure given that most COVID-related measures are now being lifted. With Omikron now circulating at record-high levels in the population, in combination with the majority of people being vaccinated/boosted, there has never been a higher chance of testing positive while asymptomatic.

    When I travel to a country, I want to be certain...

    It actually does seem like the random test on arrival is part of the official process: https://www.spth.gob.es/info-pcr

    Still, it is a ridiculous measure given that most COVID-related measures are now being lifted. With Omikron now circulating at record-high levels in the population, in combination with the majority of people being vaccinated/boosted, there has never been a higher chance of testing positive while asymptomatic.

    When I travel to a country, I want to be certain of being allowed in before boarding the plane. For this reason I would avoid connecting/transiting in Spain for the time being.

  8. Andy Diamond

    Ben, I've never heard about that random test on arrival before. I also checked the official decree (in Spanish) and it does not mention such a test. So I guess it was some sort of health official (probably at lower rank) who individually decided to implement a new measure for Miami arrivals ...

    In respect of the regular testing site, I'm sorry to hear that things still have not been sorted. Due to procurement rules,...

    Ben, I've never heard about that random test on arrival before. I also checked the official decree (in Spanish) and it does not mention such a test. So I guess it was some sort of health official (probably at lower rank) who individually decided to implement a new measure for Miami arrivals ...

    In respect of the regular testing site, I'm sorry to hear that things still have not been sorted. Due to procurement rules, the airport to do a tender for the contract starting 1 January 2022. The result was disputed by those losing, however, the courts confirmed the outcome a few days before the end of the year. Understandably, the transitition from the old to the new operator was not smooth. But I'd hoped that things get sorted after a month and a half ... (for those bashing Spain, usually after a week or two things do get sorted!).

  9. Ray Gold

    You clearly haven’t spent quality time in Spain or you would know they don’t know how and/or refuse to get in line. After 4 years it still amazes me when I go to the market. The routine is to ask who is last in line, wait a bit, put your basket down, go pick up more items, then repeat once you get to the cashier. At times the cashier will pick something up for you as well if needed. Maybe it will be less entertaining to me after 4 more years.

  10. Aussie Guest

    If, two years into this pandemic, a traveller can’t figure out what the testing requirements are for countries they are travelling to, then they are dumb as a rock and don’t really have the right to “riot” when their last minute testing plan goes awry. Perhaps better stay home…in Florida

    1. LAX Guest

      Unfair.

      If you’re user name is true, then you haven’t been able to travel anywhere…not even freaking WA.

      As among the last countries in the world to open the border…of all people, you should chill.

      Go to the pub and have a drink.

    2. Donna Diamond

      What a cheap shot. There was no ignorance as to the testing requirement but rather a broken system at the airport which didn’t deliver. Put the blame where it belongs.

  11. Michael Guest

    About 5 minutes after they said system is down. I’ll get my refund, even if I have to fly back to sue in court. You had the evidence- collect some more, ask for some sort of note on their paper system is down and it’s out of there.

  12. Omar Guest

    you do realize you can get a test at any walgreens in Miami covered by insurance right?

    1. Leigh Guest

      It’s all about how quickly they will return the result…and whether it’s an antigen or PCR requirement.

      Country border crossings are very specific. I’d never rely on a drug store for border crossing requirements, and the timing requirements.

      Also, heads up…for the antigen test to return to the US…it’s “one day” before departure from the country you’re leaving from…it’s NOT “24 hours” before the flight. Makes a big difference. So if your flight departs from...

      It’s all about how quickly they will return the result…and whether it’s an antigen or PCR requirement.

      Country border crossings are very specific. I’d never rely on a drug store for border crossing requirements, and the timing requirements.

      Also, heads up…for the antigen test to return to the US…it’s “one day” before departure from the country you’re leaving from…it’s NOT “24 hours” before the flight. Makes a big difference. So if your flight departs from the other country at 10pm on Friday, you can get your antigen at anytime on Thursday.

    2. miamiorbust Guest

      And a meteor might hit the earth...it's all about probability. In this case a test at wallgreens drive through would have been free and probability of being delivered before leaving Spain approaching 100%. Or TPG2 could have photoshopped a test report. Literally thousands of test templates online and requires 5 minutes to modify. pre-departure testing is effectively an honor system. Only slightly less reliable as a formal health document than the silly paper cards we...

      And a meteor might hit the earth...it's all about probability. In this case a test at wallgreens drive through would have been free and probability of being delivered before leaving Spain approaching 100%. Or TPG2 could have photoshopped a test report. Literally thousands of test templates online and requires 5 minutes to modify. pre-departure testing is effectively an honor system. Only slightly less reliable as a formal health document than the silly paper cards we carry around. Hard to believe but sometimes bloggers make decisions to generate content not because it is convenient or appropriate for most people. This includes TPG2.

    3. Donna Diamond

      Those of us with health insurance can get free testing through our insurance however, the travel document is not included at least in my experience. You need verified name, DOB, time and location of test and testing lab on the document. Insurance companies do not typically cover testing for travel. And trust me, the airlines inspect these documents carefully and in most cases scan the QR codes and keep paper copies.

    4. miamiorbust Guest

      Lol, stop trying to scare people. Traveled to 20+ countries during COVID. 50+ cross-border flight segments. No airline rep ever collected a covid test result. Even when airlines and governments cared about COVID and most don't anymore. Most test reports don't even have QR codes and I've never seen any airline check-in facility with capacity to match test results with any health database. This includes places I've been that actually care about COVID: Hong Kong,...

      Lol, stop trying to scare people. Traveled to 20+ countries during COVID. 50+ cross-border flight segments. No airline rep ever collected a covid test result. Even when airlines and governments cared about COVID and most don't anymore. Most test reports don't even have QR codes and I've never seen any airline check-in facility with capacity to match test results with any health database. This includes places I've been that actually care about COVID: Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Osaka and Seoul. Even at height of restrictions London and Zurich didn't scan a QR code or collect a record. Even in countries with national health registries that might allow for verification the info is not shared with frontline airline employees to verify. Seriously, have you ever seen the technology available for folks working check in? It's ancient. The person checking you in does their best to identify obvious frauds. Their obligation ends there. Countries that care about COVID know many of the pre-departure results are frauds and require testing on arrival, which is a verifiable result. I cannot even remember how many covid tests for travel I've taken in the US but it is somewhere between 10 and 15. I paid for the first one in June 2020 mostly because I didn't know any better. All of the others were covered by insurance. Either you have an extraordinary ability to consistently find the most conscientious airline employees in the world to check you in or I detect a little politically-motivate white lie. Telling others what to do is so much fun! Seems you are finding it hard to break the habit.

    5. Leigh Guest

      UNBELIEVABLE for you to spread false information. I too spent most of 2021 traveling among countries/continents, dealing with various changes in the rules along the way. EVERY airline I flew required to see the correct COVID test for both the connecting country (if applicable) and final destination country.

      Early in the travel I was even denied check-in because I had the right type of COVID test for the connecting country, but not the final...

      UNBELIEVABLE for you to spread false information. I too spent most of 2021 traveling among countries/continents, dealing with various changes in the rules along the way. EVERY airline I flew required to see the correct COVID test for both the connecting country (if applicable) and final destination country.

      Early in the travel I was even denied check-in because I had the right type of COVID test for the connecting country, but not the final destination country. (on the other hand, it resulted in me having a great time exploring a different country that I wasn't expecting:))

      Airlines carry a huge financial responsibility for boarding any pax without proper docs.

      Now, on the other hand, those "health affadavit" forms required by most countries are silly (only Turks & Caicos, Tanzania and Argentina ever scrutinized the form), and most never even asked, or even turned it away when I handed it to them....but you have to follow the rules regardless.

      Better safe than sorry if you want to have peace of mind and enjoy a wonderful trip.

      I hope all have chance to experience the world again, and see family and friends.

  13. Lee Guest

    I'm going to Spain this May, and already have my 2 Pfizer shots plus 1 booster. Do I have to take a covid test before my return flight to America? Please clarify.

    1. Leigh Guest

      Yes, but only the antigen test, not the PCR test. Antigen is quicker and cheaper.

    2. Donna Diamond

      Antigen test within one day of departure, at least as I write. Check the requirement on Sherpa.

  14. Leigh Guest

    So many judgmental replies.

    Fact is, there is no consistency on availability/processing/costs for the tests, so stop judging different experiences.

    I traveled across 4 continents over most of 2021, sometimes connecting via the US to other countries (I’m American), which added extra to the process…and had my nose and mouth probed more than I can count. It’s just different everywhere, deal with it…and do as much planning as possible.

    When I research, I always Google...

    So many judgmental replies.

    Fact is, there is no consistency on availability/processing/costs for the tests, so stop judging different experiences.

    I traveled across 4 continents over most of 2021, sometimes connecting via the US to other countries (I’m American), which added extra to the process…and had my nose and mouth probed more than I can count. It’s just different everywhere, deal with it…and do as much planning as possible.

    When I research, I always Google “can a US citizen travel to (whatever country)”, which will show the local US Embassy COVID page….scroll 2/3rds down to “US Entry Requirements”, and you will find in-depth but easy to read info, testing details and links. All the US embassies basically use the same format, which makes it sooo easy.

    If connecting, via 3rd country, look at the airline websites. Oneworld uses Sherpa, it’s okay, but not as good for connections via 3rd country. I mostly relied upon the Kenya Airways website, and I don’t remember the name of the system they use, but it was the best at providing COVID requirements when connecting via any country (not just Kenya; I assume it’s what all of Star Alliance uses).

    Happy and safe travels! Enjoy the world again!

  15. Ron Mexico Guest

    Hope you haven’t had Covid. Because a Pcr test is gonna pick up molecules for months after and you may be screwed

  16. Jack Guest

    Ben, I’m puzzled at your comment “but it’s significantly cheaper than in Florida.” Both antigen and PCR tests are readily available in the Miami area and are free of charge. I’ve lost count of how many I’ve had during the pandemic and never paid for one. I have nothing else good to say about the state’s handling of the pandemic, but testing has been easy and free.

    1. Drennman Guest

      Just some additional info. You are right that tests are free. However, most (nearly all) of those testing sites won't give you PCR results in under 24hrs. To get fast turnaround you need to use a "private travel clinic" to whom you have to pay in real dollars, looking around my area these can go up to $250. As I've had to book these fast turnaround PCR tests.

    2. Omar Guest

      Not true, walgreens IDNOW test is a rapid PCR covered by insurance and results in 1 hour.

  17. ChadMC Guest

    This entire experience is why I won't travel internationally right now. No way I can handle that level of anxiety. I realize some see no issues and that's totally fine. But for me personally, this is way outside of the comfort zone.

  18. Jordan Member

    For someone that has traveled as much as you have, and have been to Spain I believe, multiple times. You know (or should know) how things work in Spain. It's like Italy. Expect a disaster, or by their own individual rules.

    Now I love Spain, and went there right before Covid locked everything down (for no reason - as we are now seeing) and also went there at the end of 2020. The people of...

    For someone that has traveled as much as you have, and have been to Spain I believe, multiple times. You know (or should know) how things work in Spain. It's like Italy. Expect a disaster, or by their own individual rules.

    Now I love Spain, and went there right before Covid locked everything down (for no reason - as we are now seeing) and also went there at the end of 2020. The people of Madrid do their own thing.

    You should have just booked one through your hotel. Most people are testing on the day of departure, and of course, many Spaniards will not check requirements before departure. :-D

    During these ridiculous fake times, one has to plan massively. The days of country hoping for us all without thought, have yet to return. But they will.

    1. D3kingg Guest

      @Jordan

      Is Italy bad ? I’m planning to arrive at MXP at 10am for my emirates flight at 4pm. There is also a testing place near the central train station my hotel is centrally located. I can ask my hotel or Emirates first class to deal with it .

  19. Pete Diamond

    So the left wing media is only for facts you don’t like…the FL surgeon general who can’t even openly state his support for vaccines …his “data” you are opening touting.

  20. Pete Diamond

    Never get a COVID test at the airport!

    Even if you think you’re ahead of the game and getting tested on arrival, you are always lumped in with the panicky day of departure folks.

    With the amount of money you spend on hotels why you wouldn’t spend a couple of extra bucks having the hotel set up an appointment on your schedule…is beyond me.

    1. Jordan Member

      Never get the test on the day of departure, in Europe.

      I have done it twice in the USA, and with planning and an appointment, it worked fine.

  21. Nate nate Guest

    I'm confused how e79 is cheaper than a test in Florida. Health insurance should cover the cost of a covid test. I can go to the hospital near me, get a test taken and be back home within an hour, and not pay a cent. Results come within 24 hours (usually faster).

  22. Vincent Guest

    What a complete joke, a testing center in an airport, seriously what could go wrong?
    If anything, it is the best way to keep people in closed space for longer duration to make sure the virus is shared.
    I stopped taking planes since the pandemic. And the control in trains, with officers wearing no gloves nor mask and taking in their hands every passenger passport one by one while travelers are squished behind...

    What a complete joke, a testing center in an airport, seriously what could go wrong?
    If anything, it is the best way to keep people in closed space for longer duration to make sure the virus is shared.
    I stopped taking planes since the pandemic. And the control in trains, with officers wearing no gloves nor mask and taking in their hands every passenger passport one by one while travelers are squished behind the unannounced control point. I remember when the officer looked at me after glazing at my ID and told me I could not 'continue' because of the date he could not even read on my vaccination cert made in a different language. I looked at him and asked: "So would you like to arrest me?" He did not even reply, he just looked away and waved his arm to tell me to just go.

    Does anybody still believe this has anything to do with health control at this point?

  23. Donna Diamond

    I always test at my departure point, and avoid airport test sites for the reasons you cite in your report. Fortunately, for countries requiring a PCR test, the price has come down from a high of $150 last year to $75 this year in San Diego with a 12 hour turnaround with travel documentation. While in the EU, rapid antigen tests are easy and cheap to find, generally around €22 with results sent on a...

    I always test at my departure point, and avoid airport test sites for the reasons you cite in your report. Fortunately, for countries requiring a PCR test, the price has come down from a high of $150 last year to $75 this year in San Diego with a 12 hour turnaround with travel documentation. While in the EU, rapid antigen tests are easy and cheap to find, generally around €22 with results sent on a QR code within an hour for return flights. The Abbott AG rapid antigen at home (online proctor) test returns in under an hour. Hopefully testing requirements will be dropped soon. France dropped its test requirement for vaccinated Americans a few weeks ago and I’m looking forward to my trip next month without the usual testing hassle.

  24. Ryan Member

    Not spain but I think they might also work in other countries as well, when I was in Thailand in Jan I used Europ Assistance for a hotel COVID test. They were awesome and highly recommend. I screwed up the date initially (put my departure date as the test date) and they were able to come out same day, did the test in my room and had results quickly.

  25. Patti Guest

    Just an FYI.

    Those free PCR tests at Walgreens are NOT an RT-PCR valid for travel to many places.

    They are rapid tests.

    Be sure you know the difference between tests before you fly. Example: Dubai requires the full RT-PCR test. The US accepts a rapid test. They are not the same.

    1. hypertext Guest

      You can actually pick which kind of test they give you, and Walgreens does perform PCR testing valid for travel at most locations. Misinformation like this is harmful to people who might otherwise think they actually have to pay for PCR testing for travel.

    2. Jason Guest

      You're wrong Patti. You can absolutely get a free PCR rapid test at Walgreens by appointment. Additionally there are tons of sidewalk tests such as LabQ that offer free PCR within 24 hours. Do not pay.

    3. Drennman Guest

      Yes, you can get a test at Walgreens that is valid for travel (yes, you have to take care you are booking a test that meets your destination requirements). Yes, you can even book an appointment if there are openings (there may not be any). But Walgreens (and CVS) don't guarantee results in less than 24hrs, in fact as someone else noted it can be 48-72hr which can be too late for meeting many travel requirements.

    4. miamiorbust Guest

      Yes, your statement regarding turnaround times potentially being longer than 24 hours is reasonable. No, your statement is not relevant for most countries requiring PCR testing. I'm sure someone can find a country currently requiring PCR testing with 24 hours of departure but nearly are closer to 72 hours described in TPG2's post.

  26. Chris Guest

    We waited around 2 hours from our appointment time when returning from Mexico around New Years. The line didn't move for over an hour. Eventually, we realized someone had tested positive and they were trying to figure out how to get them out a back door from the room the tests were conducted in and into isolation. I'm glad it seems most people are kinda done with this at this point. Vaccines are available and...

    We waited around 2 hours from our appointment time when returning from Mexico around New Years. The line didn't move for over an hour. Eventually, we realized someone had tested positive and they were trying to figure out how to get them out a back door from the room the tests were conducted in and into isolation. I'm glad it seems most people are kinda done with this at this point. Vaccines are available and people who refuse can roll the dice with their lives if they're stupid enough to.

  27. Reno Joe Guest

    I connected in MAD pre-COVID and found a general lack of service orientation across the board. Would recommend against it in the best of circumstances.

  28. Jama New Member

    @Ben could you share how much more expensive the hotel test cost? And did they also offer a fast turnaround ETA like the airport site did?

  29. BOb Guest

    "...results guaranteed in 12 hours. It was even possible to make an appointment and pre-pay. It’s sad that this is considered a deal, but it’s significantly cheaper than in Florida."

    Funny - I live in Colorado, and I can easily get same-day PCR results for free. Walgreens. Not sure if it's truly different in Florida, but people have convinced themselves getting PCR testing is hard/expensive. Currently...it is not.

    1. Steve Guest

      But does Walgreens guarantee a time period? In the Washington, DC area, CVS, Walgreens, etc. verbally state 12 hours, but in writing it is still 48-72 hours.

  30. Andy Guest

    Ben, what company in Madrid did your at hotel test? I’ll be in Madrid this coming weekend and need to PCR test within 48 hours of departure just to transit Munich on the way back to the US so that’s a somewhat daunting prospect / annoying rule. Appreciate it!

  31. Jeroen Guest

    I think you are trying to project your experience and expectations from USA to Europe. In Europe many countries (Spain and Greece come to mind) say that even if your documentation is in line, you might still be tested on arrival.

    So nothing to report home apart from the fact that countries follow the protocols. You were also done within 15 min, so come on!

    1. Never In Doubt Guest

      “ So nothing to report home apart from the fact that countries follow the protocols. You were also done within 15 min, so come on!”

      Tell me you didn’t read the entire article, without telling me you didn’t read the entire article.

    2. Jeroen Guest

      I am not referring to the Eurofins experience but on the “somehow unexpected” random test upon arrival

  32. Khatl Gold

    Let me guess. It was conducted by Eurofins?

  33. Justin Guest

    I scheduled an appointment well ahead of my first flight in the itinerary back to the US from Barcelona El Prat for an antigen test. I had to reschedule as my flight itinerary changed by a couple of days. I contacted them via an online contact form and had no problem getting it rescheduled. If it’s FlyCoVID then they are very strict about not providing refunds though. Good luck.

  34. Daniel from Finland Guest

    Hopefully, they will refund the payment without you having to chargeback!

    1. polarbear Member

      And if you did have to do a chargeback, please share the experience too!

  35. Captain Ron Member

    The bias and preconceived notions in some of the comments here about COVID are pretty sad. Did you know that, as of two days ago, the rates of COVID cases per 100,000 people are 61.9 in Spain, 31.3 in the USA, and specifically 28.1 in Florida? It's not Floridians you should be afraid of, but people from Maine: they're at 251.5 per 100k now! "Keep the virus out:" the goal for the past two years,...

    The bias and preconceived notions in some of the comments here about COVID are pretty sad. Did you know that, as of two days ago, the rates of COVID cases per 100,000 people are 61.9 in Spain, 31.3 in the USA, and specifically 28.1 in Florida? It's not Floridians you should be afraid of, but people from Maine: they're at 251.5 per 100k now! "Keep the virus out:" the goal for the past two years, how did that work out? COVID is serious business, but the responses utilized the past 2 years are largely ineffective and should be abandoned. Have a great time in Spain.

    1. ted poco Guest

      Maine is actually processing tests given a couple of weeks ago and reporting them in current time. They had backlog of tests much greater then their automatic testing could handle.

    2. Alonzo Guest

      Listen to yourself. 251 per 100k people. What percentage is that? Afraid of less than 0.5% positivity rate? Lmao, people are so weird and frightened easily haha. Get a life.

    3. hypertext Guest

      It's not per 100k people who get tested... It's per 100k residents. That's very different from a "0.5% positivity rate", as many people never get tested, or might self-test and not report.

    4. Alonzo Guest

      Ok, and? You can only operate on the data that you have. If you're talking about people not getting tested or self isolating and not reporting, then you're just speaking hypothetically because those folks were never tested. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and say the real number is 1,000 per 100k, we're still talking about 1%. Double it and it's still at 2%. Is 1% compared to 99% a huge deal? No. At the end of the day, who cares.

    5. lkmk Guest

      He's agreeing with you.

    6. Jkjkjk Guest

      Lol i still live in zero covid place with handful of outbreak here and there. If you get serious and determination, you can achieve zero covid. But most Americans don’t even believe in science or masks or higher rate of people dying in ICU. So there’s that.

  36. Fed UP Guest

    Of course you were "selected" being from Florida... Haven't you read the news about Florida for the past two years ?

    1. Luis Guest

      Have you checked the covid stats on Florida? Probably not.

    2. stogieguy7 Diamond

      This assumption cracks me up. Florida has done no worse than anyplace else, but they decided long ago to not mandate useless virtue signaling while letting you live your life.

      Don't believe me? Here's the Mayo Clinic's case tracker: https://www.mayoclinic.org/coronavirus-covid-19/map

    3. hartd8 New Member

      right on Florida did it right!!

  37. Jon Guest

    Glad countries are trying to keep the virus out and testing pax. Seems you should have gotten the test in Miami. Just be grateful you have the luxury to travel, and you get to write something up for your website.

    1. Al Guest

      Uh, in case you haven't noticed, countries aren't keeping the virus out. lol

  38. John T Guest

    I mean, you can't really blame any airport for wanting to test people coming from Miami ; P

    Seriously though, the best thing that could happen to the travel industry this year is the removal of all testing for vaccinated travellers. It is so much added stress, running around and cost to have to line up all these stupid tests with the whims of foreign countries or airlines.

  39. Thomas Guest

    You did exactly what i'd have done: wait 30 mimutes and then look for other options

  40. Ryan Guest

    Hopefully these testing requirements start to go away soon. It's pretty silly to require a test to 'keep corona out' when in many cases the destination has more cases than the place you're arriving from. It's definitely starting to feel like security theater and a for-profit racket at this point, adding undue cost and stress with little to no tangible benefit.

  41. Supropal Guest

    Fortunately, when I visited Madrid in Nov 2019 and was flying in from JFK, I didn't get selected for the "random" testing. Agreed, the testing center is quite difficult to find. There was a wait for me too even though I had prepaid but did get called in after about 20 mins of waiting and got the result within an hour (this was for my return to the US within 72 hours).

    1. RCB Guest

      I assume your year is off, since Covid wasn’t around yet to be tested for in Nov 2019?

  42. Matt Guest

    It seems like the Covid-19 testing turned into TSA security theater. Is it really useful at this point? Even with all the testing done, at the end of the day, the variants spread like crazy throughout the globe.

    1. Steve Diamond

      Think about the amount of money being generated by these tests, they aren't going away anytime soon.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Never In Doubt Guest

“ So nothing to report home apart from the fact that countries follow the protocols. You were also done within 15 min, so come on!” Tell me you didn’t read the entire article, without telling me you didn’t read the entire article.

7
Captain Ron Member

The bias and preconceived notions in some of the comments here about COVID are pretty sad. Did you know that, as of two days ago, the rates of COVID cases per 100,000 people are 61.9 in Spain, 31.3 in the USA, and specifically 28.1 in Florida? It's not Floridians you should be afraid of, but people from Maine: they're at 251.5 per 100k now! "Keep the virus out:" the goal for the past two years, how did that work out? COVID is serious business, but the responses utilized the past 2 years are largely ineffective and should be abandoned. Have a great time in Spain.

5
Ryan Guest

Hopefully these testing requirements start to go away soon. It's pretty silly to require a test to 'keep corona out' when in many cases the destination has more cases than the place you're arriving from. It's definitely starting to feel like security theater and a for-profit racket at this point, adding undue cost and stress with little to no tangible benefit.

5
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