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Forums Other Destination advice Quick turnaround at BCN without onward boarding pass

  • George K 284 posts

    Hey folks – I’m about to do Singapore’s only fifth freedom route as a back-to-back (MXP-BCN-MXP) and unfortunately SQ won’t issue a boarding pass for the second leg for some reason (but I am ‘checked in’ apparently). This means I’d have to get to of BCN T1 landside and back in airside again, because I can’t see SQ having a transfer/transit desk inside T1. I’ll have just over an hour -if all things go well- to do this. I’ve got an EU passport so no need for checks or other documentation. What I don’t know is whether BCN has some sort of conformance which would scupper the whole plan. Does anyone with a more recent foray into BCN T1 know if this plan is doomed to fail or not?

    Many thanks!

    davefl 1,126 posts

    Can you not get your BP on Singapore’s app or is that the issue?

    BA Flyer IHG Stayer 1,843 posts

    A problem you might hit is the time SQ close their check in desks.

    It’s likely their ground handlers will leave the desks at that time then move to the gate to handle boarding.

    Gate agents can (re)print BPs but not check you in if you arrive after check in close time.

    George K 284 posts

    Can you not get your BP on Singapore’s app or is that the issue?

    Yup – that’s the issue. It says collect from airport.

    Gate agents can (re)print BPs but not check you in if you arrive after check in close time.

    This is the question, really. According to SQ, I am ‘checked in’ but boarding pass cannot be issued due to additional document checks (although I think this is a boilerplate statement on the site and app)

    Should I try to speak to the agents airside first, I wonder? Or would that be a waste of time?

    BA Flyer IHG Stayer 1,843 posts

    Actually just thinking they might be able to do it at MXP. Worth a try asking there anyway.

    Sounds like they just want to do a passport check.

    davefl 1,126 posts

    I would imagine if you’re checked in, just go to the gate agent. Many a time I’ve seen/heard gate agents call names and seen them do doc checks. So since you’re checked in, just step off the plane, go to the gate area podium and ask them to do it there.

    George K 284 posts

    Will certainly try at MXP. I think it’s a simple check too, but I’m trying to see if I can skip getting out and back in again at BCN T1. Don’t want to risk it for no reason.

    Just my luck…

    WaynedP 258 posts

    A couple of us here had something similar with QR app recently.

    Going into My Account details and inserting otherwise superfluous info like Emergency Contact details and re-typing in the pax Nationality field (despite it all looking accurate and populated at first glance) seemed to unlock something in the bowels of the system that allowed online check-in and electronic BP issuing whereas previously not possible.

    A little counterintuitive but perhaps worth a try if you haven’t already thought of it yourself.

    SamG 1,608 posts

    Whoever handles SQ at BCN may be able to print it at the transit desk even if SQ logo isn’t displayed. Worth trying to find out who handles and who else they handle in advance

    George K 284 posts

    BCN website states that SQ does not have a transfer desk airside and anyone without a boarding pass will need to exit and re-enter (which is what’s triggered my query). I’m getting quite worried about this as I won’t meet the 90min threshold even if the flight lands on time…

    My only hope is that I’ll be able to get a boarding pass at MXP at this stage…

    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,018 posts

    Why are you doing this trip out of interest? Is it for the Shangri La status match?

    George K 284 posts

    It is. TAP gold status match ends next month, and this is the last year I’ll have Jade with ShangriLa, I expect…

    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,018 posts

    It is. TAP gold status match ends next month, and this is the last year I’ll have Jade with ShangriLa, I expect…

    I tried buying a small cake for equivalent of £4 on the Shangri La Hong Kong’s website, thinking that any spend to generate points in 2022 would extend Jade status. Sadly it did not. I never received that email others did saying any spend would extend status so it was a £4 punt I was willing to take.

    George K 284 posts

    It worked for me, but it wasn’t without issue. It failed to track when I did the transaction, despite me giving my card etc, so had to fight for it afterwards… It took a while but managed to get them to fix it after sending the spend receipt and card statement

    George K 284 posts

    I thought it’d be only fair to post a final update here. In short, all went well.

    I was able to get my onward boarding pass at MXP and this saved a lot of hassle. Once you disembark at BCN, there are two marshalled exits – one for each of the points of origin. Those originating from SIN, are thrown into the general arrivals stream that ends with passport control. Those originating from MXP, are let off straight into the intra-Shenghen airside departures terminal, meaning you can just wait at the gate you just came out from till the next flight is called, as that is also the departure gate for those who want to do the BCN-MXP flight (If however your final destination is SIN, you need to exit the intra-Shenghen area and go through passport control, after which you need to go to a different-numbered gate (which effectively is just above its Shenghen equivalent).

    The ground crew couldn’t see my onward ticket originally, so I had to insist they had another look. If I weren’t successful with getting my onward pass from MXP, I looks like I’d have had enough time to get out and come back in again (as it’s the same plane), but I can’t be 100% certain as I don’t know at what time the check-in staff all leave to go for gate duty.

    I also asked whether doing a back-to-back on this flight was a common occurrence, and I was told that it’s happened a few times…

    All in all, an excellent and affordable way to experience SQ’s A350 and in business class too!

    John 947 posts

    Wow, I can’t believe Schengen allows that (mixing of Schengen and non-Schengen pax), but it’s Italy…

    SamG 1,608 posts

    There is control at Barcelona though so even though they’re mixed on the plane there isn’t a possibility to enter schengen area (bypassing immigration) if you are coming from Singapore. It’s a passenger friendly solution – I think the other one (Copenhagen – Rome?) and the Scoot flights operated as international flights requiring passport / ID checks for those who wouldn’t usually require them

    How much service did you get? I know a common complaint on SIN-Kuala Lumpur on a widebody is the service is very limited as SQ require the aircraft to be ready for landing quite early

    George K 284 posts

    Wow, I can’t believe Schengen allows that (mixing of Schengen and non-Schengen pax), but it’s Italy…

    Sorry, I may have not described this very well: There is no mixing of Shenghen and non-Shenghen passengers anywhere besides on the plane itself.

    Those boarding in Italy are all Shenghen passengers (since the final destination is Spain), so there is no need for any segregation. Once you land in Spain and through the jetbridge, passengers get split. Those who boarded in Italy go left and enter the Shenghen transit area. Those who boarded in Singapore go right and up some stairs in what is the non-Shenghen part of the airport. In order to prevent mixing up, there are people checking passengers’ boarding passes and IDs, so no-one with a boarding pass that shows origin as Singapore can enter the Shenghen part of the terminal.

    Those boarding in Spain have to use the gate designated to their actual destination. So for example, if you are travelling to Italy, then your gate will be A18, in the intra-Shenghen part of the terminal. But if your destination is Singapore, your gate will be D18, which is in the non-Shenghen part, located in the level above the Shenghen one. You can’t enter either parts of the airport without a boarding pass for the correct level.

    I should mention that despite this being an intra-Shenghen flight, passports appear mandatory. In fact, in Milan, even if you have a digital boarding pass, they will call you to the gate to do a passport check and issue you with a paper one which you then must show in Spain with your passport at the point where the disembarking passengers are being split off.

    There is control at Barcelona though so even though they’re mixed on the plane there isn’t a possibility to enter schengen area (bypassing immigration) if you are coming from Singapore. It’s a passenger friendly solution – I think the other one (Copenhagen – Rome?) and the Scoot flights operated as international flights requiring passport / ID checks for those who wouldn’t usually require them

    How much service did you get? I know a common complaint on SIN-Kuala Lumpur on a widebody is the service is very limited as SQ require the aircraft to be ready for landing quite early

    Service was excellent. On Business, I had a choice of a smoked salmon or pastrami sandwich and salad, alongside drinks. In Economy, there was a frankly massive chicken or tuna ciabatta and drinks. Considering the entire cabin gets served, I think they do an excellent job in the 30 minutes or so of flight that we’re not ascending or descending.

    Copenhagen Rome, alas, is no more, as of last year. I had my eye on that one for a while but ended up waiting too long.

    Milan appears to be some sort of fifth freedom magnet though. From MXP, I saw Ethiopian to… Zurich, Qatar to.. Chicago, Emirates to New York…

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