Mayor of Barcelona Wants To Ban Madrid Flights

Recently, the mayor of the Catalan capital city of Barcelona has stated that she would like to ban short-haul flights within Spain that can be reached via their High-Speed Train network of which she is in favour of. The largest route to be affected by this is Barcelona-Madrid, being one of the busiest routes in the world served by Long-haul, widebody aircraft sometimes, which could do some damage to Spanish aviation.

The mayor had proposed that taking the train would be 20 times greener than flying and overall, cheaper, more reliable and maybe even faster using the High-speed AVT train non-stop service between the two cities.

Personally, I get the mayor’s points. Some areas between cities are at situations where it’s better to take the train. All you do is go to the station, get your ticket, and hop on. (If that is correct of course)
To fly, you’d need to take some sort of other transportation to get to the airport, check-in, go through security, wait an hour or two and hop on the plane.

What’s your opinion on this?

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No one, Literally no one:

Barcelona Mayor:

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I think this is smart. Overall trains are better for the environment, plus there will still be room for aviation in the Spanish transportation sector. I don’t see why this could hurt. I personally would’ve added taxes on short-haul flights instead of banning them.

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I don’t like this idea. Let people have freedom stop trying to control people’s lives. If they want to pay to take a plane they should be able to

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I know this may be an unpopular opinion but I think this is a good idea. It would be cheaper and more eco-friendly. However there are still some flaws to this plan in my opinion. I think they should ban every single flight between the two cities for a few reasons:

  1. Lots of passengers connect through Madrid, and many flyers trying to get from the Americas (especially South America) to Barcelona will connect through Madrid. Eliminating all of these flights would just be bad for people in general.
  2. The train can take longer which may not be preferable for some people. Someone could take a day trip between the two cities if they fly, but not if they ride the train.
  3. It’s one of the busiest air routes in the world. Simply eliminating every flight would be a logistical nightmare, and would take a lot of court cases, time, and money.

This is just my opinion :D

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Yes, but also no. Apply this to a non-specific case:

“People should be able to pay to pollute when there are fair and reasonable means not to”

I love planes but sometimes people need a small push in the right direction not to fly.

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Iberia and the company that runs the rail system could work together to develop a plan like the one KLM and Thalys are going to launch later in March, instead of scrapping all together the MAD-BCN flights. The same thing they can apply for other cities that can be reached by train from Madrid as well in a short time.

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As I just very recently traveled with Renfe (the Spanish rail provider) I have to say that you have to go to a (small) baggage and security check before being able to enter the Plattform area.

Taking the Train (in my case the Euromed/Talgo) was pretty pleasant though and I imagine the AVE to/from Madrid to be even more comfortable.

On many routes this (reducing flights) might be a good options for the point-to-Point traffic (and should be promoted more), but for connecting passengers it remains a challenge/ time consuming to get from the airport to the train station as the major trains in Spain don’t stop at the airports but (close to) the city Center.

Conclusion: I don’t like the idea of banning flights, but encouraging point-to-point traffic (e.g. through taxes on flights for point-to-point) to change to the rail for the routes under 2-3 hours is something I would like to see and would be willing to support for environmental protection and other factors.

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They’d have to drastically increase the number of journeys each way per day.

The article points out how much more a train costs than a flight…demand would probably sell out all those trains? If so the prices will more than likely only become more expensive and people would be handcuffed to pay whatever price is set to go from one destination to another as you’re removing a very popular, economical option. Leads me to wonder what could be proposed to reduce ticket prices while supporting that many more journeys from an infrastructure point of view?

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I think this is a good idea. I think they shouldn’t necessary ban every flight, because those connecting through Madrid to Barcelona, or vice versa will probably not want to do more work such as going to the train station after a flight.
However if you’re traveling from point A to point B. Trains just make more sense. Trains beat planes in just about everything when it comes to intercity traveling at a practical level. Trains are often quicker than planes. By the times you commute to the airport, check in, go through security, fly on the plane, collect your baggage, than most likely take a commuter train to the city center. You may as well of taken a train, even if the train isn’t direct, its much less of a hassle.
I think the best way is to put a sort of tax on this flight like what Germany does. I also believe that airlines that fly between the two cities should receive a dividend in compensation, at least so the airline doesn’t get in any financial issues because I’m sure this route generates a lot of income.

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At the end of the day, yeah I think it’s the right thing to do. Planes are cool and all but we’re talking about the future of our planet. I’d rather have a slightly greener future than an expanded domestic Spanish aviation network. Plus trains are fun too :)

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That’s why I’m a train geek too. Mainly on the UK side of stuff.

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No! Planes are cooler >:(

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Personally, I do not think that Climate Change is man made (please do not try and debate this in the thread) therefore I disagree with this totally. It would be a logistical nightmare, imagine all the people with connecting flights that come from all over the world, they won’t want to mess around with a train - just get on their flight home. I understand her point and where she is coming from, but if it’s such an issue make sure all domestic flights are carbon offset, kind of like what BA has done in the UK. That way people can feel ok about the environment and still connect through Madrid and take flights.

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The high speed train between Barcelona and Madrid takes 2 hours 30 mins. The flight is 50 minutes, and factoring in time at the airport and travel times to the city centres, the train is faster, or if not there is very little in it.


I think it’s a good idea. We all know flying isn’t great for the environment and travelling by train can help reduce the impacts. Of course there should still be some flights to allow connections, but I think it should at least be encouraged.

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My opinions: 1. People with connections would have a nightmare 2. The train will have issues if the flights are all canceled and 3. Just let people do what they want in terms of travel and let the corporations decide the best option.

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Must be a Karen by heart

Probably had a bad experience with one of the airlines.

Can I speak to the FAA

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Oh I didn’t know the train was that quick! That’s good, fewer cons because I’m for it just with reservations!

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Japan and China:

First time?