Last week I took a flight from Granada, Spain into Barcelona – While being in Granada I was too busy exploring and touring to keep an eye on the news and of course I was enjoying eating endless amount of Tapas, drinking beer and sangria. The day of departure arrived and I was on route to the Granada airport to catch my flight back to Barcelona, the flight was only 1 hour long and it was a smooth ride. Upon my arrival into Barcelona I knew something wasn’t right – the vibe of the terminal was very hectic, passengers running all over the place, families freaking out and the tourist were lost and confused. I kept my cool because I was just getting off the plane and arriving into baggage claim so I still didn’t know exactly what was going on – I just knew something wasn’t right. Once I finally made my way into the arrival hall and was walking towards the taxi hall an officer was standing right in the middle of the gate entrance and a large group of people were surrounding him, at the time several thoughts came to mind but I simply asked the officer what was the problem in Spanish of course and he kindly mentioned that Taxis are on strike and not in service until the next day ending their strike at 6:00am. My first reaction was “Wow” time for another game plan and rushed to the AeroBus hall to take the bus into the City Center Plaza Catalunya.
I haven’t taken the Aerobus from Barcelona airport before – so I was excited to try something new and of course, it only made my arrival a little bit more exciting and seeing Barcelona with no Taxis in service was going to be a real treat – calmer streets and less traffic around town. On Today’s blog post I will share with you all my thoughts on the bus, its service, fee’s and the connivence of it and the pros of using this service.
AeroBus Hall & Signs upon arrival
My number one tip of advice is to keep an eye on the signs above – It will make things easier for you and tell you exactly where to go. As you can see from the photo there was a heavy flow of passengers arriving trying to use the bus to get into town. If I didn’t rush like I did as soon as I found out about the problem, I would have been stuck in line for at least 2 hours. Once you arrive into the AeroBus hall you will see a stand with a staff member on duty, thats where you will be purchasing your ticket. He will ask you where will you be going and direct you into the line that you should be in (keep in mind there are several other buses in service), the chances of you getting lost are unlikely since you will be getting help by the friendly AeroBus staff. They have an electronic machine where you can purchase your ticket on your own but it was currently out of service when I arrived.
When buying your ticket – here are a few things to keep in mind
- Electronic machine only takes Credit Cards.
- Staff on Duty at the kiosk only takes Cash.
- You can purchase your ticket with the bus driver but its Cash only.
AeroBus Time Tables
Once you have your ticket paid for – you can proceed to make a line to board the bus. The process is fairly smooth – it tends to slow down a bit because people are placing their suitcases, carry ons on the baggage section of the bus but nonetheless it goes by pretty fast.
Visuals before boarding, on board and seats
- The Aerobus has a “stop map” on board where you will be able to follow along since the moment it leaves the airport station. This will help you know which stop comes up next so you don’t miss your stop and once you know your stop, you can request a stop if necessary although the bus will stop anyway at each station.
- You are freely to sit anywhere you would like. There is no assigned seats when you purchase your ticket.
- Most important, keep an eye on your belongings at all times.
- If possible, sit on the isle seat of the bus (safer) and don’t leave your bag pack or purse by itself, hang on to it.
Taking the bus was better than I thought it was going to be. Arriving early into Barcelona helped because there was no traffic and no taxis, of course things may have been different if I had a late arrival and the taxis were on service. The service from the bus driver was great and he was a friendly guy letting the passengers know our stops and directing them on where to go so they would’t get lost. The bus itself is very comfortable and air conditioning is flowing through the cabin. The bus also features a TV Monitor on board where it shows you a few of the popular landmarks in Barcelona while sharing a few tips to the tourist on how to make the most out of their visit. Of course, the bus service won’t be as fast as a taxi would be taking you straight to your destination but it is certainly cheaper than a Taxi and thats what matters to me. This is the service to use but when there is no taxis in service.
Fares & rules by AeroBus
- Return ticket fare: 10,20€ which is valid for one person and his/her luggage. The ticket is valid on going one hour after purchasing and the return is valid for 15 days after purchasing and you must keep the ticket and present it when you’re going to use. If you lose it you will be required to buy another ticket.
- Single ticket fare: 5,90€ which is valid for one person and his/her luggage and the ticket must be used one hour after purchasing.
- If you are traveling with children who are under 4 years old – they will travel for free.
- You cannot book tickets in advanced.
An evening in Plaza Catalunya with no Taxi’s in service
The connivence of using this service is a great alternative from a Taxi because not only is it cheaper but it will also take you to anywhere around the City. One thing I noticed in Barcelona as I was walking around town is that half of the people were walking around town with their suitcases or carry ons, which tells me they have used the bus rather than a Taxi. Using the bus will help you familiarize yourself with the different locations and will allow you to see the city from another point of view especially when you arrive. The AeroBus has its main stop at Plaza Catalunya and it provides WiFi on board as well for those who are wanting to stay connected ;). I don’t really see any “cons” on the service but more pros than anything else. So if you find yourself arriving in Barcelona and the taxis are on Strike – this is a great alternative sort of transportation to use and you won’t be disappointed.
After arriving in my hotel and watching the news I found out the reason behind the strike, the local taxi drivers were complaining about Uber (not surprised).
Have you been somewhere and the taxis were on strike? What did you do on this case?