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London, Boston

Conecting flights

Hi there! My kids and I (15 and 10) are travelling to Boston. We are Spaniards and will leave from Madrid-Barajas to Stansted with Ryanair. There we will change and take our flight to Boston in less than 2 hours with Spirit Airlines. (I have never travelled with either of them).

I supose I do not have time to pick-up and re-check any baggage. 

But most important is that I do not know where we have to clear customs to USA.

Do we have to leave the security area in Stansted and go back indide?

Will I be able to get a green tag in Madrid so I can carry only hand luggage?

Please, help!

3 Answers

top answer by
Mary from Leicester

As you are flying Madrid-Barajas Airport to Stansted Airport with Ryanair I doubt you are flying on any sort of 'through ticket'. Ryanair has only just started to provide a (minimal) connecting flight service, but only with certain airlines and through only 3 hubs. As far as I'm aware neither Spirit Airlines nor Spanish airports are included.

Do we have to leave the security area in Stansted and go back indide?

Yes.Unless you are travelling on a through ticket you must collect your checked bags at Stansted, go through UK border control and Customs and go landside. Then you will have to go back into the terminal, re-check your bags at the Spirit Airlines desk and go back through security.

The only way you could normally avoid this is by having cabin bags and no checked bags. But, having done some research (I've used Stansted many times but, as I live in the UK, I've never needed to connect there) it seems that there are no airside connection facilities. In other words, even with only cabin bags you'll have to go through border control and Customs, be landside, re-enter the terminal and go back through security.

 I do not know where we have to clear customs to USA.

You will clear Customs on arrival in the USA. You cannot clear US Customs in the UK and you won't be able to do so in Spain because you are not travelling on a through ticket.

>Will I be able to get a green tag in Madrid so I can carry only hand luggage?

No, because Ryanair will not transfer your checked bags at Stansted. You will have to collect and re-check them.

To be absolutely honest, making this connection in less than two hours is very tight indeed. You're unlikely to be landside at Stansted much less than an hour or so after touchdown and Spirit Airlines will close check-in/bag-drop at least 45 minutes before departure and quite possibly an hour before.

If you can't change your flight times (and I doubt you can) get off the Ryanair plane as fast as you can, move as quickly as you can and don't think of getting a coffee or whatever until you have re-checked your bags and are back through security.  

You can buy fast-track security in advance online and I strongly suggest that you do so:

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Madrid-Barajas Airport (attraction)
  2. Stansted Airport (attraction)
3 thankscomments (1)

answered by

As a general rule, if you get the luggage checked through on the same ticket, you won't have to pick it up at Stansted.  If you have bought two separate tickets, you will usually have to go and pick up your luggage and re-check it.  I don't know if two hours is going to be enough time for that.

I do not know about the green tag - ask about that in Madrid.

I am pretty sure that you go through US Customs in Boston and not in the UK.  The only time I've gone through customs at the airport before I left was in the Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico.

2 thankscomments (1)

answered first by
Hazel from Port St. Lucie

Call Stansted Airport to be sure. Usually your luggage follows you to the final destination. What l do is pack valuables and medications, electronics, plus one outfit into a carry on that has wheels. Spirit Airlines makes you pay for luggage, make sure you pay ahead. Make sure you have chargers in carry on, each person should be allowed a personal item. Everything will turn out well. Have a beautiful trip.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Stansted Airport (attraction)
1 thanks

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